In the News from Panama

Here’s Why You Should Retire in Panama

Panama is often listed among the top retirement spots in the world, thanks to its climate, security and welcoming benefits for retirees. Any Web search will discover pages of testimony to Panama’s benefits for senior citizens.

But this article in the Wall Street Journal by Lee Zelter in the Wall Street Journal sums it up about as well as any report I’ve read. Mr.  Zelter and his wife decided to retire in the northern town of Boquete eight years ago. They researched Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and the Netherlands, but found everything they wanted in Panama.

“For me, Boquete has been a dream come true,” Mr. Zelter wrote.

According to Mr. Zelter, “Boquete and Panama’s western highlands were a revelation: a small, inviting agricultural town with a sizable international community.”

Boquete is one of several popular destinations in Panama for retirees. While many active seniors like the downtown waterfront of Punta Pacifica, Boquete offers a fantastic rural experience in lush hills.  (One source for more information about Boquete is Tom Brymer at Panama Perspective.)

Mr. Zelter found a long list of reasons to love Panama, beyond the climate. Among other benefits, Panama is a relatively inexpensive place to live, Mr. Zelter explains. His electric bill is about $40 a month, since he doesn’t usually need to worry about heating or cooling; his propane bill is $5.37 a month and water is $2.50 a month.

Mr. Zelter’s commentary also details his ease in integrating into Panama life. Many North Americans find Panama a much easier transition than other Central American countries, in large part due to the friendly people and history of international activity in the country. Mr. Zelter learned how to fish. He works a small farm, growing coffee, administers local Web site and volunteers on the local water board.

But there are challenges to retiring in any foreign country. This is how Mr. Zelter sums up his advice:

“Learn the language, embrace the culture and have patience. If you can make those changes, you can see more shades of green than you knew existed, swim in the Pacific in the morning and the Caribbean in the afternoon, and climb Volcán Barú, Panama’s highest peak (almost 11,400 feet). If this isn’t paradise, it’s close.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Duncan McGowan is president of Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.