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Single Lady retiring to Panama

Hi Tracy
I'm a Canadian woman also and am planning on moving to Panama as well.  I was going to sell and move this summer, but I decided to stay one more year in Ontario, get my place on the market mid April and be ready to leave in the fall.. Then I will only have 2 more years before pensions.. 
I like you would also like to chat with other people who are planning a move.  I have travelled quite a bit but always as a tourist. So taking the plunge can be a little overwhelming.. 
Boquete seems nice and temperate, and like a very popular spot... I've read and it makes common sense to be on the ground there to look for an apartment..
Where are you thinking of going?  Are you back in Canada now? 

Hope to hear from you and good luck on your move

Livin

Hello to all my name is Dan

From AskPanamaDan.com

I am planning to make a big welcome information gathering in the near future. This meeting fun and information for all will take place in a location big enough to accommodate everyone. Please stay posted.

In information gathering we will talk about Panama and you will here from folks that have been in Panama and made the transision some you already made or are planning to do. As I mentioned it would be an information gathering and will try to answer all of your concerns. Stay tuned visit my site and stay happy life is too short.....Hasta Luego.

Hi, i am also Canadian girl from Ontario. inhave living in Ecuador for 17 months and will make the move to Panama tomorrow!!!

Great, I am happy for you Janet

If you need any tips, I am here or you can visit my site at ***

I plan to be there soon and will make an event to illustrate all the little things that people need to know about my country

Stay happy..life is short

Dan

janet119 :

Hi, i am also Canadian girl from Ontario. inhave living in Ecuador for 17 months and will make the move to Panama tomorrow!!!

Woohoo! Congrats and good luck Janet!

How Exciting Janet.... I wish I was moving tomorrow too, but the spring will be here fast enough.

Keep us posted as to how the move goes..

Where in Panama are you heading?

Livin

Patti,
Great question and ironically no - there are and it surprised me, many single women living here in the Boquete area - some maybe lost a loved one but most by choice - so no way would you be the only one.

Best Wishes!

That is great to hear there are other single woman adventurous enough to make the move from North America to Panama... most folks I share with here in Southern Ontario think I have more than a screw loose for even considering such a move... What leave the stress and expense, and never mind the long cold winters and skyrocketing cancer rates and other "age" related illnesses, I must be nuts... I feel so sorry for those trying to live off a pension here...They were once the haves and now feel like the forgotten,..  I have only met other person who is edging towards retirement who shares the vision of retiring to Central America...

Boquete sounds like a great starting place... Can't wait.

Livin

I think all of us get that - you must be crazy. I could never do that. Aren't you scared?  and so on. Or - I wish I could do that! (so what is stopping you beyond your own fear and inertia) That's OK though. It takes someone ready to take on a new experience and a new life to make it work here.

It's difficult to answer the questioning stares from those who are shocked by "thinking outside the box" of traditional retirement choices.  My grown daughters want the same fixed star in their universe.  Of course they raise practical concerns that I share.  But settling for living as others want has its own frightening consequences too.

Almost 50 years of living the rat race has been tiring.  Over the last decade the USA and other industrialized countries have been through a very real readjustment of economics.  I've watched my buying power dwindle.  A simple trip to the grocery store is now far more scary than any episode of the Walking Dead.  Many of my friends have been lost either to death or to relocation due to hurricane Katrina.  My hometown of New Orleans has been reinvented into something I can hardly recognize.  The point is that everything CHANGES and so must I.   

I don't know if Panama will be the answer for me, but not exploring my options is not the answer either.  So to all who question my choices, I say, you aren't living my life for me.

LOL. Over the years we knew this was going to happen, I did of course speak to people I knew first, and my family and mixed but all now know or we aren't in contact. This  was the right decision for my husband and I - no doubt.

Then you just have small talk with people sometimes- after a while, I just gave up - it started  to become comical but I think originally, I wanted to see the reaction to confirm our decision? Thenit,got old....Some  had no clue where Panama was including a friend who thought Panama is an island and this is a /!\ I AM A STUPID SPAMMER /!\ graduate!

Agreed No relocation tours!

Thank you

Hello all,

I too am a single lady interested in an alternative place to retire and have been reading about Panama.  However, I have not been there as yet.  Can anyone give advice as to the best way to pursue getting information on where to go, where to stay, etc.?  I'm just getting started in my research with at least 2 years to go until making a decision.  I am reading on here how important it is to know Spanish, and yet the magazines tell you that Panamanians speak predominately English.  So, misinformation already:-)  Any comments welcome!

Don't believe anything those magazines say without verifying it yourself. This is a Spanish speaking country. You will find more people who speak English in areas known for expats and tourists but in general, people speak Spanish.

What are you looking for? City? country? mountains? beaches? lots of expats? cultural immersion? do you speak Spanish? want to learn? what is your budget? what activities do you expect to fill your days? This is a small but diverse country so there are a lot of options.

Here is a list of blogs and websites you might find helpful
http://www.panamaforreal.com/ Panama City
http://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/  David
http://www.chiriquichatter.net/  David
http://onemoregoodadventure.com/  Chiriqui (Boquerón)
http://hollycarter184.wordpress.com/  Boquete
http://tombseekers.wordpress.com/  Boquete
http://mcmoller.wordpress.com/  Pedasi
http://indacampo.wordpress.com/  Pedasi
http://panamadude.com/ Pedasi
http://time4panamaniacs.blogspot.com/ Panama City
http://panamaforbeginners.com/  Panama City, and lots of great general info.
http://www.2RetireesinPanama.blogspot.com  Chame and Coronado area

SingleLady :

Hello all,

I too am a single lady interested in an alternative place to retire and have been reading about Panama.  However, I have not been there as yet.  Can anyone give advice as to the best way to pursue getting information on where to go, where to stay, etc.?  I'm just getting started in my research with at least 2 years to go until making a decision.  I am reading on here how important it is to know Spanish, and yet the magazines tell you that Panamanians speak predominately English.  So, misinformation already:-)  Any comments welcome!

Thanks  Kristc for posting all those links.   I too am a single lady and planning on retiring in Panama..

Next spring 2016 I will make my exploratory trip, look for an apt etc.  I can't wait. 

Livin

Hey Janet,

How is it going in Panama?  did you make it?  hope all is well.

Livin

Thank you so much!  I will certainly check out the links you provided.  Your questions prompt me to think about these things that are most important to know about what I am looking for. 

I suppose, at first thought, I would prefer city with a social life, but safety is paramount.  And affordable.  Probably expat community if possible, at least at first. 

Deb

hi single lady.,  my name is dave, im retired, 63,  im from calif. but in up state NY right now.. i just got here..  i've lived the last 4 years in san juan del sur, nicaragua..  tired of nica, a little too poor.
anyway i spent a month in panama. i liked it in the north where ckrista lives,, david.. david is on the panam highway and near the ocean.its the commercial center,, airport, hospital---- its hot a lot of the time..  but 40 miles drive up the hill from david  to volcan is where to live.  its really nice. and they have all the day to day stuff.  good grocery store..  im moving in september . see ya there..   direct flights from the states to david

Curious as to which magazines say that English is the predominate language.  That is SO wrong it should be considered to be misleading.  In SOME areas where tourists or business people come, English may be widely available, but rest assured that the overwhelming majority of Panamanians do NOT speak English.  Possibly 20% may know a smattering of English, but at a guess, there are likely only around 5-10% who are capably speakers.  And I live in a touristy area. Possibly some are fooled when someone says hello, or how are you and derives from that comment that the speaker knows English, but if you would try to have a conversation, you would soon find that any English is soon exhausted. If you intend to live here, learning Spanish is a must. It is the language of the country. Unless of course you limit yourself to anglophone company and try to make out with hand gestures.......... Some do. But what a loss in terms of richness of life and appreciation of the culture and ways of this country to limit oneself to a few words or phrases.

there are expats in volcan..   check out the website natual solutions. the owners  have a organic resturant and a bunch of expensive art in volcan. interesting people. there is another cafe and resturant  that are expat.   I  got a great hamburger from a little resturant that is popular with expats..  i just like volcan more than boquete. but only there a week.  i have been in central america 4 years, I dont speak spanish,   and it is inconvenient,  but google translate takes the sting out of it.

Expat community and affordable don't go together much (though of course what is affordable isn't the same for everyone). Panama City is very expensive though it has everything anyone would probably want, and also big city problems like crazy traffic. Many like Coronado, lots of expats, but again expensive. Same for Boquete. Otherwise in other areas you will find expats but they are probably more integrated into the community so there isn't much of an expat scene. We are in David. It's too warm for many but everything you need is right here, and it's very affordable. It's close enough to Boquete that you can easily go up to participate in activities there.

I think probably best to pick 2-3 areas to visit to see how you feel about the country in general, and then it will be easier to narrow your search for just the right place for you. Start learning Spanish too if you are serious about this. It's hard and takes time so the sooner the better. - hablayapanama.com/ I took class on line with them. They aren't the cheapest but they are very professional and know their stuff. They have a contest going on at the moment - hablayapanama.com/blog/2015/08/win-flight-to-panama-500-in-cash-3-week-spanish-immersion-vacation/   I thank them and my Panamanian friends every day for my ability to communicate.

I have rattled on quite enough for one day :D  Good luck!

SingleLady :

Thank you so much!  I will certainly check out the links you provided.  Your questions prompt me to think about these things that are most important to know about what I am looking for. 

I suppose, at first thought, I would prefer city with a social life, but safety is paramount.  And affordable.  Probably expat community if possible, at least at first. 

Deb

Hi all! You are all ahead of me here. I live in North Carolina, and have had a drawn out life of care giving for my Mom. I can see the end of the road with that, and really excited, but cautious about the read for Boquete! I have been doing research, and I am a single woman too. Want to live where my SS will be all that I need, and if I happen to see an opportunity to make additional funds, well that would be great too! I am a bit afraid of the unknown, being single, but up for the adventure. Safety is important too. Thanks for reading, and would love to start connecting with others having the same dream. If we could all leave close together in time and space, that would be nice to already have a friend there! Any considerations?

Hi! Please keep in contact! Love to hear how it goes...I may be looking at fall 2016. Would love to know what you find.

Deana

Hey Deana

Welcome to the Panama forum.  I too am a single lady planning on retiring in Panama.  I've met a few single woman planning on the same thing.  I'm planning to take my first trip Jan/Feb ....  I will be heading to Boquete as I've a connected with a few people there.  I'm planning on spreading out around that area... Puerto Armuelles has peaked my interest a bit too.

Stay in touch and who knows we may well meet up in Panama.

good luck

Livin

hi,
if you need a place to stay for a nite or 2 close to panama city, we have accommodations available, and a vehicle.  we are also cdn.
cheers,
kathy

it is absolutely gorgeous where we live, best of both worlds,  cool mtn. breeze, yet view of the ocean, AND close to everything!  We even have accommodations!!

hi
what you said is so true.  I gotta learn more spanish.  i brought a grammer book with me this time, with very practical exercises.  i don't really enjoy learning a new language, and am not a natural but i cannot communicate with my neighbours and am missing out, so i need to buckle down and do it.
kathy

hi deb,
when are you planning a trip to panama?
kathy

Sounds great! That's the area I'm looking at also! It's wonderful to know other brave single women are moving to a beautiful place! I plan to visit next year 2016. Please let us all know your knowledge! :-)

Sounds so wonderful! Is it really as inexpensive as it sounds?

Yep! I live in Charlotte! Have been caregiving too! I want to do more research as well, small fears about not knowing much Spainish! Also living in a a third world country. Want to know more. I was a little concerned when one shared they were driving and local police pulled them over and wanted bribe money in leiu of a ticket. They gave him 100.00 cash. That made me uneasy being female

Mainland :

Sounds so wonderful! Is it really as inexpensive as it sounds?

Not as much as some would have you believe.  The biggest savings results from your change in lifestyle - fewer cars, practical living, less on entertainment, etc.  You could live as inexpensively in rural America, but few people are willing to accept in the U.S. the lack of infrastructure, primitive housing, poor and unreliable utilities and similar differences they should expect to put up with in Panama. Moving to Panama forces a lifestyle on you that could result in a reduction in the cost of living, IMO.  Duplicating your U.S. lifestyle would not save you anything.

Mainland :

Yep! I live in Charlotte! Have been caregiving too! I want to do more research as well, small fears about not knowing much Spainish! Also living in a a third world country. Want to know more. I was a little concerned when one shared they were driving and local police pulled them over and wanted bribe money in leiu of a ticket. They gave him 100.00 cash. That made me uneasy being female

I would not recommend traveling alone at night in rural Panama.  Expats are preyed upon for obvious reasons.  This doesn't necessarily make Panama more dangerous than many areas of the U.S., but that, IMO, it's harder to detect the unsafe areas in Panama compared to the U.S.  In other words, it's easy to avoid north St. Louis, Detroit, etc., but in Panama the crimes that are most troublesome and often least expected are home invasions in supposedly safe expat areas (e.g., Boquete) and highway ambushes.

Good to know! Thank you!

Deana

we will retire on social security plus a little extra online earnings.  hope we can connect in November.

Paul n Marija

hi, too bad i didn't see your post earlier. there is cheaper accommodation in panama, if you look beyond, boquete, david, coronado, las tablas, etc.  we live around nature, but only 40 min. from pc.  we have bus service from our door. great views, close to national park. and easy access to the hwy.  AND we have an upstairs room you would to yourself, your own kitchen and bath, for $400 a month.  plus when we go to canada, you would have the whole house to yourself!!!,

please pass on if you know other travellers.  cheers. 
ps we also consider ecucador, but just were a little cautious.

I can strongly recommend Rosetta Stone, which has you speaking immediately, guessing what is being said from photos appearing simultaneously with the utterances. It is not quite the drudgery you would get with other courses. If you get all 5 levels of Spanish, you will get all the exposure you need. However, you get zero grammar, and the geniuses who devised the course thought you wouldn't need any, ie, that you would learn the way children learn. But what they forget is that babies are exposed ONLY to one language and that they are exposed 24/7. We are not babies and already have a language under our belt, which interferes with Spanish, so we can benefit greatly from a good grammar course in addition to the Rosetta Stone course. Another item the designers forgot is that once you get into highly complex sentences there is no way the learner can know exactly what is being said based on a simple photo. They solution: download free of charge the English RS course text. The course is now about 50% cheaper than it was when I got my Arabic course.
Good luck (!suerte!)

we are very interested.  pls forward some photos and a location on the google map.  sounds perfect for us..at least for 6-12 months or longer
xxx

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YES!  I too am a single gal considering retirement in Panama.  Originally from New Orleans, now living about 60 miles north of N.O. La. 
I'm am planning a trip to Panama; maybe this year to investigate prior to my retirement next year.
I would love to hear from you...

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