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Younger retiree questions

Hello - I'm currently 37, live in FL. I am down to Panama, Belize or Costa Rica as my choices to retire to in 2018. I am trying to find the best place that would be good for a mellinial retirement. It seems most programs for expat retirees don't help me at my age.

So I look at facing the following:

- not being free of import taxes due not qualifying for certain programs
- not getting discounts / benefits (Panama program sounds great!)
- don't have a pension but have funds that exceed the minimum
- trying to find a place that will grow with me as my interests surely will change
- still interested in quality healthcare for some time to come
- also seeking English language countries or good size pockets of speakers

Are there ways to get around some of these obstacles? Is one place better than another if I can't get these program benefits?

Hi Jsherm007!

Although I am a fairly young retire as well, I would suggest you to view some of Bob Adams YT videos https://www.youtube.com/user/globalist426 . There is a wealth of information there. Although I haven't visited Panama yet, it appears the land of the opportunity...but, as you probably are aware, you must visit the country before making any decisions. As far as I have been told, the area of Boquete and Volcan is very popular among the expats (English speaking). In this blog there are a lot of great folks that will be able to help you answering some of your questions.

Finally, regarding visa or entry information, I have being advised to seek counsel of a lawyer who can explain your options and the requirements (for example www.kraemerlaw.com)

I hope this little information helps.

Take Care and best wishes!

Thank you for the info on the videos I will watch those. I'm also signed up for a Belize webinar on 8/15. Trying to do my due diligence on this. I plan to spend the next 6 or so Mo the with a week or two in each place.

I'm in a spot that I want to spend 6-12mo more in the states and then find a new home no later than August 2018.

Is that law firm specializing in Panama or multiple countries?

Panama only (I believe)

I messaged them, asked about the program and qualifications. Thank you for your referral.

My pleasure! Have a great weekend!

Thank you, you too! I asked if I don't have a pension if my current situation as explained would also count. Or can I buy real estate to make it happen.

Hi! I live in Panama (David, Chiriqui) and am a bit familiar with Costa Rica, but know almost nothing about Belize.
What do you plan to import? Many come with just a suitcase or two. It's hard to know what will work in this climate or what you will need in your new life until after you've been here for a little while.

Yes, the Panama discounts are nice. It's helps me especially on airfare so I can visit family in the US. I believe you have to prove $1000/month (for a single person) income for life to qualify for the retired person residency but if that doesn't work there are other options. The Kraemer law firm already mentioned is a good place to go for info. He did our residency and that of quite a few friends and everyone has been very happy with him.

I'm not sure what will grow with your interests but for me, being in a new country, culture, language is endlessly interesting. You would not believe the variety of fascinating bugs that live here. But it's an individual thing what you enjoy and find interesting and if it gets old, you can always move on.

I am very happy to be here because of the health care. I'm a nurse so I've seen the US system from the both sides. Here they can actually practice medicine (instead of paperwork and red tape). A doctor will give you all the time you need, and even share their cell phone number. If some state of the art thing isn't available here, it would be in Panama City. This is very much a culture of kindness and helpfulness and it extends to health care too.

There are pockets of English here, Boquete, Coronado, Pedasi, etc but I highly recommend you learn some Spanish. You will have such a better experience if you can communicate with the locals. My Panamanian friends are my biggest pleasure in my life here.

We have been to all 3 countries you mentioned and have friends that have lived in Costa Rica and Belize. You should visit each country and see what feels right for you.

Our two cents: Costa Rica, beautiful and scenic. Expensive!

Belize, Beautiful beaches, barrier reef, crime, hot and poor health care

Panama, undiscovered, beautiful, banking center for Latin America, one of the best economies in Latin America, friendly people, very good affordable health care.

Learn some Spanish, it will open up your world here.

Good luck!

Cheers,
John and Susan
http://latitudeadjustmentblog.com/

Great input, and Panama seems like the best option in my research. I really want to make sure I qualify for the retirement benefits they offer. With my savings, although not a pension, if I extrapolate payments of $1,000/Mo, and assume $0 interest income on investments, I get 33yrs of payments...

Given that I'm 37, that takes me to 70... And I have messaged a lawyer in Panama if that would qualify me as "lifetime" income needed.

I don't think that will qualify. I have friends in similar situation who had to buy an annuity and document income from it for a few months. But you are right, a lawyer is the best for info.

Jsherm007 :

Great input, and Panama seems like the best option in my research. I really want to make sure I qualify for the retirement benefits they offer. With my savings, although not a pension, if I extrapolate payments of $1,000/Mo, and assume $0 interest income on investments, I get 33yrs of payments...

Given that I'm 37, that takes me to 70... And I have messaged a lawyer in Panama if that would qualify me as "lifetime" income needed.

I think OP misses the difference between being "retired" and being "a senior citizen". The discounts you are referring to have at least an "age" requirement.

Assuming you are coming from the U.S., you can use the "friendly nation" visa to reside legally in Panama and convert it to "pensionado" when you reach the correct age.

FI/RE is also my dream (@55). Make sure that you use the 4% rule, this way you are guaranteed not to run out of money.

BTW, buying a lifetime annuity that start paying you at age 37 would be very expensive.

I didn't see an age requirement on the discounts only the lifetime pension requirements. So it seemed very interesting. If I missed that then I appreciate you pointing out I couldn't use it till 55+ possibly.

I agree a lifetime pension or annuity is very expensive for a guaranteed payout. Where as I believe my current savings with growth over time and spending $20-25k per year will get me very close, if not to, when social security kicks in. And I honestly would find it hard to not work when I relocate. I would probably work part time to have some fun / people interactions, maybe a bar tender!  But keep it casual, and to also not require a draw for 100% off investments to live.

I am wrong on the pensionado visa age requirement. It looks like anyone 18+ with a lifetime income can qualify for the pensionado visa.

Well unfortunately still doesn't help me qualify, I can take savings and make decades of withdrawals, of $1000/mo to get me to 70, or more, but it won't qualify. Bummer, as I like to save money!

Also, if you plan to work research that carefully. Jobs here are generally only available to Panamanians. Expats can, however, start their own business and if they hire Panamanians, that's even better.

Good morning,
I must say I am impressed that you are in a position to "retire" at such a young age---well done!
I live in Panama and have done so for 10 years. I can tell you this,  you will definitely need something to keep you occupied or you will go crazy. Once the novelty of living in a foreign country wears off,  reality sets in. If you do not live in a big city with a lot of younger people or a place like Bocas (mostly back packers) I am sure you will become bored. Remember places like Panama and CR are geared towards the older set.
Please contact me as I would love to chat.---villadavinapanama[at]gmail.com--
Good luck!
Jack

Belize is the easiest
english speaking
no property taxes
in one year you are resident

panama has high property taxes
lots of traffic and pollution
street robberies are on the rise
in panama you need a lawyer who will spin your head forever
panama has squatter rights

forget CR expensive lots of red tape people SJ are rather rude

I would suggest you consider Medellin in Colombia, or Santa Marta or Cartagena.  The cost of living is much lower, you can live "like a millionaire" without worries.  Colombia is FAR more advanced, organized, cleaner and more pleasant than Panama or Costa Rica.  Panama does NOT have a young ex-pat community outside of Panama City, and you will get tired of the excessive humidity and broken sidewalks pretty quickly.   If you're going to live in an ex-pat community outisde of Panama City, be sure to bring your dentures and hearing aid.  Old people!  Ditch Panama and go for something much better. :up:  :huh:

Tough1sweet1 :

I would suggest you consider Medellin in Colombia, or Santa Marta or Cartagena.  The cost of living is much lower, you can live "like a millionaire" without worries.  Colombia is FAR more advanced, organized, cleaner and more pleasant than Panama or Costa Rica.  Panama does NOT have a young ex-pat community outside of Panama City, and you will get tired of the excessive humidity and broken sidewalks pretty quickly.   If you're going to live in an ex-pat community outisde of Panama City, be sure to bring your dentures and hearing aid.  Old people!  Ditch Panama and go for something much better. :up:  :huh:

Colombia could have been a sweet retiree haven, but taxes on worldwide incomes and wealth ruined it.

After just skimming your questions and the detailed answers you have been given, I get the feeling you need to think (and later investigate) the more general issues when relocating to another country and culture.  In another threat, a little higher, someone completely bi****d about Panama and his experience.  I had to smile, because I have seen it so many times before.  There are two reasons why expats get so frustrated with a location, 1) they are not prepared to the inevitable culture shock and, 2) they haven't done a thorough and unbiased research.  Remember, you choose a country to live in, so it is your responsibility to research what you are getting into.  Many of your questions (thought important) are very detailed and some are in the long-run pretty irrelevant.  Which questions will you care about in two or three years?  Start with the big picture and work yourself down to the details... Hope it helps.

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