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  • amanap...

    SO...Any expats out there who happen to be living the good life in Panama these days? I've heard some pros and cons about moving there and was wondering if anyone had some first-hand knowledge, opinion, heard something, or thought about moving there.
    Feel free to give your 'honest' opinion. Thanks.
    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

  • #2
    We were just down in Panama for 10 days. Four at a military reunion on the Atlantic side and six roaming around Panama city and the Pacific coast as far as Rio Hato. In 1989 we were contemplating retiring there, but the Crisis prevented the Panama Defense Forces from processing my paperwork. We had also looked at Costa Rica.

    My impression today is that Panama is booming, with the result that prices are climbing. Nevertheless, pockets of poverty remain, particularly in the slums of Colon. At the same time, people from overseas are moving in and setting up businesses. My impression is that they are taking out of the country more than they are paying in. So for the immediate future, the wealthy in Panama will continue to grow richer at the expense of not paying fair wages to their employees. Unless that changes, Panama is headed for trouble, at least on the Colon side, where some of the best beaches and scuba diving are. Panama also takes in a fair number of political refugees. The Bed and Breakfast we stayed in was Panamanian owned, but staffed by Venezuelans, as the neighborhood is largely Venezuelan now. That adds to Panama's multi-Latin American environment. We did run into some American expats living in the former Canal Zone areas. The liked their life, but had the usual complaints. SInce most of the homes were duplexes, and since the Canal Zone or military maintained the common areas, everything looked nice and neat. That is not the case anymore, except in the old Fort Clayton area, which is some sort of University. Now your neighbor can style or paint his house however he wants, and may not even keep the property up, Meanwhile, your half is immaculate. But even if both of you take good care of yours, the buildings down the street may be totally abandoned, making your neighborhood look like a Robocop movie set.

    So my best advice is: go and take a look for yourself. Visit Panama City. Stay out of Colon. Run over to the Colon side and see Porto Bello and Isla Grande for a day. Note the toll road charges. Drive up to El Valle on the weekend, and enjoy yourself. Make sure to stay over for a weekday or two, and see what five days of the week would be like. Run down to Punta Chame and see what most Panamanian middle class have for weekend getaway houses. Hit Coronado beach for a day, then head back to Panama City. Visit the Albrook Mall. Take a day trip to Taboga Island. Maybe play golf or tennis for a day. And then ask yourself: Is this what you want the rest of your life to be like? If it is, you're home free.

    One thing is certain: As Panama's economy keeps improving, and I believe the Canal improvements will assist that, the cost of living will keep going up. But if any worldwide economic crash impacts the Canal traffic, Panama's quality of life will plummet. If you're one who lives for the greatest Rainbow Bass fishing in the world, then you won't care as long as you can get you little bass boat out on Lake Gatun.

    Hope this helped.
    Last edited by lirelou; 29 Jan 16, 23:06.
    dit: Lirelou

    Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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    • #3
      Shaun- Thanks for the specific insights. From what you say there are some pros but also a few cons involved. I'll have to ruminate some more on this.
      ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
      IN MARE IN COELO

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