A few years ago, when we told people we were moving to Panama, many assumed we meant Panama City, Florida.
This spring,we were in the US for five weeks. Traveling up and down the East Coast was an eventful time, and we bounced from Georgia to Virginia to Massachusetts, Vermont and New York State.
Throughout the region, we’ve talked with a lot of people. When they ask where we’re from and we say “Panama,” there’s no more confusion. Not one single person during this trip has tried to place us in Florida.
We did answer lots of questions about Panama, though. Common questions included:
- What’s the weather like?
- Do you live in Panama City?
- Are you near the ocean?
- Is it hard to get there?
- Can you get good seafood there?
- How did you choose Panama?
One woman admitted that she’d love to live someplace warmer than Massachusetts, but all her family was in the Northeast so she didn’t feel she could leave.
“I do my traveling with House Hunters International,” she told us.
The same’s been true in the Southeast. People we’ve met have been curious, but we’re not seeing the surprise we used to see.
There seems to be much more acceptance that moving abroad is a sensible, practical choice. It’s really become a mainstream idea now, where it certainly wasn’t just two short years ago. In fact, if you Google “retire overseas,” the first page of results includes links to AARP, Forbes, MSN, two British newspapers, and Kiplinger.
What’s caused the shift? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it’s a combination of:
- More publicity on mainstream websites like CNN, Forbes and Huffington Post
- More people personally know someone, or at least know of someone who’s moved overseas
- Organizations like the AARP, which has a huge reach, have been writing about overseas retirement destinations
I’m seeing it on this website, too, where traffic has been increasing steadily at 20-25% for the past few months.
What’s holding you back?
Mike Carlson says
“What’s holding you back?”
Been working full time since age 21.
Now, age 45, I have only 6-years still to pension-out to somewhere wife and I have a reasonable CHOICE as how to live as frugal as we please. Little choice but to try and keep up with ever escalating expectations of my disposable income here in the states. Very troubling this USA hamster wheel; theres really gotta’ be something better than this!
Some day soon though!
Carol Bell says
What’s holding me back?
I’ve been retired 2 years now so I don’t have a job to hold me back. My annuity pays my bills fine.
But I’m single and female. Safety is a big concern for me.
Carol, safety is a big concern for everyone. I can cite statistics for you that show how much safer you are in many countries than in the US, but if really boils down to common sense.
Just as you probably wouldn’t venture alone into certain areas of most US cities, there are places to avoid while traveling or living abroad and you need to be sensible about it. That said, where I live here on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula violent crime almost doesn’t exist. Many of my friends here are retired, single women and they don’t worry about their personal safety at all.
Have you visited any of the places overseas that you think about retiring to? If not, then plan a vacation and go. That’s the only way to find out if it’s for you.