Advice & Detailed Information You Need

To Retire In Panama.

Plus Really Affordable Property For Sale in Puerto Armuelles – a unique beach town

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Deciding to move to Panama is a big step. You need to consider a wide array of issues.

If you haven’t yet, we recommend that you take our Should I Move To Panama?” Quiz.

  • It won’t give you a definitive answer.
  • It doesn’t ask every question you should ask yourself.

But the quiz will give you a glimpse at a range of questions.
Questions you must answer BEFORE you move down to Panama.

Regardless how you score on the quiz, do NOT move or buy property unless you have visited Panama.

Not only visited, by made an extended stayed. Ideally, you will spend time in Panama both in the rainy and in the dry season.

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  1. Do you ever get used to the humidity? Does the rain season make you go insane?

    • Hi C. Brock,

      Me, personally, the rainy season is my favorite time here. I love it.
      As I was telling a friend the other day, when it is pouring here it feels
      like all the cells in my body are dancing.

      Of course, sometimes it rains all day for days. That can can wearing.
      But the usual 30 – 60 minute rain storm
      in the afternoon I love.

      I don’t find it that humid here, at least in Puerto Armuelles.
      It is nothing compared to the humidity of New York or DC in the summer.

      But everyone is different. It depends upon what you are used to.

      I find the dry season too hot for me. I have my techniques to keep comfortable,
      but I would be very happy to have air conditioning for those months.

  2. betsy/reyn just wanted to say hi and i no longer using xxxx@yahoo.com .I am now using xxxxx@gmail.com. I would like to be put back on your monthly news letter . I was happy to finally meet you, Reyn and family on the playa. You have the best website for Puerto Armuelles Panama . THANKS VICTOR

    • Betsy & Reyn :

      Hi Victor,
      I sent out our newsletter just before I got your updated email address. I will send you a copy later today.

      I am really touched by your compliments about my website. Thanks.
      It was great to meet you too. I hope you are feeling better so you can surf even more.

      See you on the beach. I’m heading over there in about an hour.

      Best wishes.

      P.S. For anyone else whose email changes, the fastest way to make sure you will continue to get our Newsletter is to re-sign-up for the Newsletter right on this site.
      Thanks.

  3. Rafael Ramos :

    Iam already retired at Puerto Rico and will like to live at Panamafor a certain time because it is very similar to Puerto Rico and has a lot of nature and beaches available for retired persons.
    Thanks
    Rafael

    • Betsy & Reyn :

      Hi Rafael,
      I like that you sent me a comment in both English and Spanish. I didn’t publish your comment in Spanish because it included your phone number.

      If you are looking to rent a place, my advice is to ask on relevant Panama forums. A good place to find those is on Yahoo Groups.
      I have a few rental options on my site. Go to this page.
      You should also look on-line:
      – Panama Craigslist
      http://www.encuentra24.com/panama-en/classifieds and
      http://www.compreoalquile.com/

      The best option is to come and look for a place in person. Most rentals are never listed on the internet.
      That is why I recommend asking on the forums. You can get some leads there, however, best is too look around once you are on the ground.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I was wondering if you knew about the new (and improved?) visa option recently signed into law in Panama? From what I understand, folks from certain countries (the U.S. is one! Yeah!) are afforded a quick path to residency. But other than that, I don’t know much. I’m 62, and my wife is 52, and we’re raising our 13 year old grandson. (How are the schools there?) Thanks! :)

    • Betsy & Reyn :

      Hi Steve,

      You are referring to the friendly nation’s visa. I talk about it on this post:
      http://www.livinginpanama.org/panama/panama-resident-permit-easier/

      Schools in Panama are not great. Of course there are exceptions. Those are mostly in and around Panama City. There are a few good schools in David as well. But if you don’t want to live in a city (or nearby), the schools are not good. Also those good ones are not cheap. Luckily on-line schools are plentiful, good, and affordable these days.

  5. Derik Howard :

    To answer your question. To get the hell out of Dodge!
    The US is being flushed down the loo by the scum running the banks and the Fed.

  6. Barbara Serafini :

    I was a zonian and was raised there and I have thoughts of returning

  7. Beverley McAleese :

    Hi Betsy, are there any veterinarians in Puerto or is the closest in David? When we come down there to stay we will be coming with a dog, 2 cats and a small parrot.
    Thanks Beverley

  8. I love panama though it does have its problems ,I want to learn more about it and what to expect and in the future I hope to retire there and start my own business’s and enjoy my golden years .

  9. Hi Betsy and family
    There has been a lot of talk on the yahoo group about an oil refinery coming to Puerto. I’d like to think that people wouldn’t be as stupid as they are here in North America and selling all the farm land to greedy corporations. Is there any truth in this ‘rumour’?
    Thanks Beverley

    • Betsy & Reyn :

      No. That rumor has been circulating for many many years. It usually gets revived every election since it promises to produce jobs. I highly doubt if a refinery will ever be built, but the rumor will keep growing strong.

  10. I’ve taken a few of these quizs and what would make then more valuable would be comments regarding the answers. I’m a single woman, not interested in meeting a partner, that wasn’t an option, I have no family, that wasn’t a real option. does the income play a part as long as it’s above the minimum. More questions re: retirement, age ox expats would be helpful also!
    Thanks and I’ll definitely continue to follow you! CArol

  11. Great site, appreciate all the detailed information. My lady and I currently live in Minneapolis, MN. We are retiring at 55, 7 years from now, but we are actively researching where we want to live. Looking hard at both Loeto and Todas Santos on the Baja side of Mexico, but hearing some great things about Panama. We want to live in a small safe town right on the beach. I also love bass fishing, not sure if this is an option in Panama???? How is the crime rate in Panama VS Mexico??? Any help or suggestions would be great, thank you.

    Joe & Ra Vae

    • Hi Joe and Ra Vae. I’m glad you enjoy our site.
      I’m not sure if there is fresh water bass fishing in Panama. You’ll have to Google it.

      I have no data to support this, but I would say that Panama is definitely safer than Mexico.
      When we made our move south we didn’t even consider Mexico, even though in the past we had spent many wonderful vacations there.
      Even then the news of kidnapping, etc scared us off. The situation has not improved from everything that I have heard.

      Visit both places and see. There are many more small towns on the beach in Mexico than there are in Panama.
      Visit this page for information on small beach towns in Panama.

      • Hello joe I am new to the site but try bocas del toro we own land there they say the fishing is great going myself when we get time good luck Terry.

  12. This is one of the best web sites I’ve seen offering information on Panama. Congratulations. My wife and I will be moving to Panama full time in March 2014. We currently own a home near the City that is rented. We plan to sell and move west. You’re description of Puerto is captivating. We are looking for a place to move when we arrive. We are presently thinking of Pedasi, but I now think Puerto might be a better alternative. We will definitely check it out when we arrive. I look forward to receiving the news letter.

    • Hi John,
      After traveling pretty extensively in Panama, we also came down to a decision between Pedasi and Puerto Armuelles.

      We chose Puerto (obviously) and are happy we did. Pedasi is also a good option. We liked that Puerto was a bigger town with more amenities and that it is right on the water.

      Pedasi is abit of a hike from the ocean. The beach there also seems to collect alot of garbage. They say it comes on the tide from Panama City.

      We have a soft spot for all of the Azeuro Pennisula in general though. Very beautiful and the people are have an old world politeness, greeting everyone…

      Best wishes in choosing the ideal place in Panama for you.

      • Hi Betsy ,

        Glad you are back up. We have sold the house and will be moving to Panama the end of March. We have rented a small place in Pedasi for three month, with the intention of locating , during that time , a place we will try long term…. Number one on our list is Puerto. We want to rent for at least 6months to a year before making a final commitment. We will be looking for a two or three bedroom place fairly close to town. Also, it would have to be furnished. I’ve not been able to locate anything on the web so we’re hoping once we re there we’ll be able to locate something. Is there such a thing? We look forward to meeting you and getting some local direction.

        John

  13. Victoria Leitch :

    My husband and I are retired and considering a move to Panama. We love the mountains. In that I once lived in Quito, Ecuador for five years, I am relatively sure that Panama will be a good fit for us. We have just a few concerns. First, we’d like to build a small home and we’re concerned about building codes. We like the idea of building a strawbale home. Our second concern is moving our household belongings and hopefully our car in an affordable and safe manner. We currently live in Virginia. We would appreciate any advice you can offer.
    Thank you, Sandi and Steve

    • Hi Sandi and Steve,
      I am in Herdon, VA right now visiting my sister-in-law and her family.
      About building. There are very few building codes for residential houses in Panama.
      You do need to get a building permit, but those are fairly easy to get and affordable.

      I don’t think strawbale would be a good choice though. Too damp and too many microbes. But I am not an expert on that building technology.
      Personally, I recommend not coming down with many belongings or with your car. These days you can get pretty much whatever you want in Panama.
      It is best to get a car that is popular here so that you can find parts and mechanics that understand how to fix it.

      You asked for advice. I hope my 2 cents was helpful.

  14. Beverley McAleese :

    Hi there, My husband and I have been to Panama City, loved it but it is way too noisy and busy. We are planning on a trip in the new year to Armuelles. I am retiring from my career as an Executive Director in the humanitarian sector but do not want to retire from life. Do you happen to know if there would be any need for a TESOL (teaching English as a 2nd language) in the area or at the local school?
    I would appreciate any help/suggestions.
    Thank you Beverley

  15. Beverley MAleese :

    Hi Betsy, My husband and I plan on coming in the new year to check out Armuelles. We have been to Panama City, too noisy and busy, want something quieter. I am retiring from my career but do not want to retire from life. Do you know if there would be any need for a TESOL(teaching English as a 2nd language) teacher in the area or at the school? Thanks Beverley

    • Hi Beverley,

      There is a huge need for people with your skill. I am just not sure how much you would make doing it.
      What visa are you thinking of coming in on? You would need a work permit.
      Check out this link for information on the Professional Residence Permit.

      Overall, you might find it more profitable to offer you skill on-line. Or maybe private lessons.
      In general, wages are not high in Panama.

  16. We’re headed to Panama in January we’re seceduled to do a relocation tour first then start looking for a place to live. Sister in law interested in Boquete.
    What do you think about the “relocation tours” are they helpful or a gimic to gather expats together hold there attention and show real estate to them. All while giving a little information
    I enjoy your site. Have learned a lot from watching and reading your stuff.
    What to expect in Panama.

    • Hi Sharon,

      I’m glad you have found my site helpful.

      I have never been on a relocation tour.
      Based on speaking with others who have been on them, I think they can be useful.
      You learn alot in a short period of time and you don’t have to worry so much about
      arrangements.

      However, I think it is critical that you stay in Panama after the tour is over.
      Go to the place(s) that interested you the most and hang out.
      See what you think without the tour director framing the picture and events.
      The longer you can stay the better.

      Betsy

  17. Will be down next month to check out Puerto Armuelles, Las Tablas & Coronado areas. Staying at the Tsunami Inn for 2 days.