1. CLIMATE: There is something for everyone in Panama. Most of us foreign retirees enjoy the constant 70-80 degree weather of Boquete, Panama the best, but, if you happen to like more heat, you'll find it at the beach of either coast, just one to 2 hours away. January thru March is bone dry with tons of sun. April to December are our wetter months, although you are almost always guaranteed a sunny morning. NEVER BE COLD AGAIN!!! And ...... never close your windows again. Enjoy fresh, untreated air (that you don't have to heat or cool!) 352 days a year!
2. BEAUTY: Boquete is arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet. With such a diverse ecosystem, a culture which respects and protects it's natural resources, a rich volcanic soil, and a progressive interest in pesticide free growing, your senses become alive to overwhelming harmony in Boquete. Look at the million shades of green and explosion of flowers; taste the organic fruits, vegetables and world class coffee available year round; smell the fresh, pollution free air; hear the thousands of bird species singing to one another; touch the earth at 3,000 ft. or all the way to the top of Baru Volcano at 11,000 ft.
3. TRANQUILITY: Foreigners move to Boquete because it is peaceful. You can still have all the cyberspace and cell phone action you had in the States or Canada, but it's not required. We have great internet and cell phone access (tons cheaper than the States), but ........... you'll find more choice in your life. You will use it as a tool, not a master. There's more time for friendship and people connections with new found friends from the local culture or from our great Boquete network of foreigners who have relocated their lives and passions to Boquete. People with vast accomplishments and fascinating stories find their way to our sweet village. You can slow down and relax or swing into total reinvention of yourself. It's your choice...........
4. AFFORDABILITY: To be honest, the difference between people with money and those on a tight budget is that the people with money travel more. Living a lovely quality of life in Boquete is accessible to all, regardless of income level. Perhaps if you have less, you'll eat more locally grown foods and buy less imported goods. (And probably live longer because of it!) Housing varies, depending on whether you rent or buy ($200 to $1500 for renting). Many live comfortably on $1000 a month FOR EVERYTHING. Water with garbage is $5 a month. Electricity is $7-$50 a month (depending on US conveniences in home). No sewage costs (septic only). Very inexpensive medical, vehicle and home insurance. For many, a 20 year exemption on paying property tax. 50% less on food (if you aren't addicted to imports). GREAT (and I mean fabulous!) restaurants for a fraction of US prices. Fuel is the same as anywhere, which means $4-$5 a gallon. NO HEATING OR COOLING EXPENSES!!! Moreover, there are phenomenal benefits awarded to women over 55 and men over 60: food and medication and travel discounts. Plus, gaining residency is not only easy, as compared to other foreign choices, but also, full of cost saving benefits to make your relocation affordable. (The Pensionado benefits program is available to anyone with a monthly pension of at least $1000 --$750 with $100,000 of real estate). And you can bring your pets ...... since they are priceless!
5. ACCESS to US: Who doesn't want to go home to see the family, right? When deciding to retire to a foreign location it is essential that one can easily get in and out, when wants to or has to. Boquete is 45 minutes away from a regional airport that will begin DIRECT service to Texas (Houston probably) and Miami, FL beginning in 2012. If you are from the US, you'll just hop on an easy 2.5 hour flight and you are back in your homeland. Additionally, the one road you need to take to get to this airport is being expanded, as we speak, to a 4 lane major road, easing your travel. Moreover, "ACCESS" includes being able to buy familiar foods, use familiar currency, find quality medical attention when you need it, offer bi lingual education to your young children and trust your bank. All of these systems are reasonably similar between Panama and the US or Canada.
6. MEDICAL CARE: The quality of medical care in Panama is excellent with most physicians being trained in the US. Insurance can be gained for as little as $60 a month. As is currently advertised all over the world, many people now travel to Panama SOLELY for the purpose of medical tourism. Price low, quality high. Do not be afraid..........
7. SAFETY: The government of Panama is a stable democracy. They have no military and their territorial integrity is guaranteed by the United States. Great, safe place for young people to feel as free to roam and play as they did in the 1950's in the US.
8. CURRENCY: It's the US dollar!!!
9. PEOPLE: The people are warm and sincere. They don't stare or beg. They are proud and they like us. This cannot currently be said of all places we would "like" to retire to internationally (or even visit for that matter). There is a beautiful blend of spanish and indigenous cultures. Truly, a welcoming community. In compliment to the Panamanians is, of course, a very welcoming expat community of roughly 3000. Some make Boquete their forever home and others enjoy the back and forth of a second home experience.
10. FOOD: EXTRAORDINARY!! Over the last 10 years, many five star chefs have migrated from some of the best US restaurants in Atlanta and New York to grow Boquete into a gourmet restaurant destination. Hang out and chat over world class coffee and sweets. Lunch with friends over paninis, fresh fish and chips and Shrimp pasta. And for dinner, attend a special themed event. All this and music too! Rock out on the weekends with our own expat bands or learn salsa and tango from native Panamanians. And if you are lucky enough to be in Boquete in March, enjoy a World Class Jazz Festival.