Here is a question (s) that came in today.
We are also Ontarians and about 10 - 15 years away from retirement. Like you we would like to escape the Ontario winters and Panama sounds very good indeed.
Given the obvious disparity between the income levels of the foreign retirees and the locals, is there any resentment developing or manifesting amongst the locals towards the foreigners?
We have read that Panama is very popular with American retirees. What is the proportion of non-American retirees? We have a strong preference for a more Euro-centric/Canadian-centric sensibilities and world-view.
I presume from reading your article, you are now living full-time in Panama and not bothering with maintaining your OHIP coverage. Does that mean that medical costs are cheap enough to afford private health-care?
10 - 15 years away? Wows - that's great planning. I didn't start planning until about a year after I moved down here. LOL
1) Yes we are full time. Medical - as a Pensionado (any age is eligible) you get discounts off doctors visits and prescriptions. Medical insurance is about $600 per person according to a real estate agent I spoke to today - I am investigating now - and getting quotes of $3,000 a year - so stay tuned. Note on my site the $2 tourist insurance ($20,000 coverage) Good for 30 days.
2) 30,000 Americans left when they turned the canal over in December 31, 1999. Over 1/3 of all real estate transaction in Latin America in 2008 and 2009 were made by Canadians. Almost all buyers I have met this past year have been Canadians, with a few Europeans. Coronado and Boquete have more Americans than any other expat group. Every other area is either a mixture or a majority of Canadians- hey - I warned them - if you didn't spray, the Canadians will spread - and we have!
3) What I like best about Panama is that Panamanians really want us here - they have worked alongside Americans for over a hundred years, and with the canal, they have had more international visitors than almost any other country. They like Canadians down here.
There is none of the resentment I have felt other places. These people smile and if you try - even a little Spanish, they will help you.
We have made friends with a number of people here - and they are helping us learn Spanish and learn their culture.