Another prominent blogger, in Chiriquí, is Richard Dietrich, His current blog is probably a worthwhile read. I usually don’t direct people to his blog because I view it an a “for Profit” blog as evidenced by the $1,144,000 property he is selling, other ads and promotion of his books.
The fact that he spends more time on cruise ships lecturing than living in Panama makes his Panama experiences different than the majority of people moving from the U.S., thinking they are moving here for a slower paced and cheaper way of life.
Depending on one’s age, it may be neither of those.
In his current post, he touches on items such as the “Pensionado Discounts”, “Gringo Bingo”, “Healthcare” and a new chapter to his latest book called “Exit Strategy”.
It is the Exit Strategy, I would like to spend a little more time on. No book, magazine article, or blog should be sufficient for making the decision of a permanent move to Panama, or any other foreign country for that matter.
At best, they may provide a reason for a closer look. The closer look needs to be intensive. You have to live like a resident for a minimum of 6-10 months in both the rainy and dry seasons. The longer the better.
You need to experience waiting in lines to pay bills, waiting in lines to get over charges removed from bills, language and cultural differences, water outages from hours to weeks, electricity outages from hours to days, continuous electricity fluctuation (which may damage connected devices), non English TV, gringo pricing, Internet outages (assuming you can get Internet), healthcare, healthcare insurance, and on and on.
With those 6-10 months, you may not need an exit strategy. You will either realize that Panama is a mistake for you or you will know a few of the things you have to cope with. I have lived here going on 13 years and continue to have new experiences.
And yes, I do believe you shouldn’t move here without an Exit Strategy. I know people who are here, who want to move back and can’t do it.
It may be because they put all their life savings into moving and can’t pull together enough money to make the move back. It may be because they came here and a health problem hit and they had no option to return because their health wouldn’t permit it. Many have had health bills in Panama that totally depleted all their savings. Of course, that happens in the U.S. too, except no one ever told you that the U.S. had cheap healthcare.
As a disclaimer, when I moved here, my long term plan was to live here for a maximum of 20 years, sell my property for a $1,000,000 and return to the U.S. I moved with an exit strategy in mind. In that regard, I was no different than my fellow blogger Richard.
However, an error in judgement in a second marriage removed that as a possibility. No I didn’t marry after moving to Panama, but was married in the U.S. exactly 10 years prior to my move to Chiriquí. The good news is that I would never have met Lilliam and her family if I hadn’t moved to Panama.
This reminds me, don’t move here, because you think the move will be good for your marriage. If your marriage is on shaky ground before the move, this move will end the marriage.
Bottom line, buy all the books you can and take advantage of all the media on the Internet to better understand living in Panama. The cost and time will be insignificant compared to a permanent move.
Just remember this old saying my dad used to tell me “ I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
No article, book or blog will compare with your individual Panama experience. HERE is Richard’s book, if you want to assist him with part of his exit strategy.