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Hello-
I am new to this board. My husband and I live in Panama for 3 months out of the year. We are thinking about retiring here. Any experience out there in terms of retiring outside of the U.S.A.?

Thanks!
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My husband and I live in Panama for 3 months out of the year. We are thinking about retiring here.

I have no such experience but I am interested in Latin America as a place for part-time living. Anything you can share about your experience would be much appreciated.

--fleg
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The beautiful climate is quite a draw. It is their summer at the moment with sun and warm temps. The cost of living: we can go out to dinner and have hamburgers, french fries, papaya milkshakes and the total cost is $5.00 Very good infrastructure: roads and medical system are very good. That's just a start.....
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The USA isn't good enough for you? Then by all means stay there.
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The USA isn't good enough for you? Then by all means stay there.

PKnudsen


A little mean spirited, no? People who have worked hard and contributed now would like to be where it’s more to their liking and you object? On what basis? That they’re absolved from all commitments by living elsewhere? They still pay taxes and other levies. All they have chosen is to live where they now want – and isn’t that the reward given to those who have worked so hard for it?

In your retirement years you’ll be where you want to be but that choice will be because it is your choice. But, if that choice is dictated by what you wrote above your retirement will be stultified and narrow because you limit your options.

There’s a world out there and it’s to be enjoyed.

MichaelR
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You can retire there.

You will have to pay US taxes, unless you decide to become a citizen of that country.

You will need to return to the US every so many years to retain your citizenship....

and of course, you have to comply with the rules of the country you are in.....

You will have no medicare insurance there......and if you return to the US, you won't have it unless you sign up for it day one.....signing up for it after 65 is extremely punative......

There is lots on the web about residing in other countries for retirement.

t.
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You will need to return to the US every so many years to retain your citizenship....

Are you sure of this? I've never heard it before.

Phil
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My husband and I live in Panama for 3 months out of the year. We are thinking about retiring here. Any experience out there in terms of retiring outside of the U.S.A.?

No personal experience, but a couple of things I can think of that haven't been mentioned so far.

As has been mentioned, you remain subject to US income tax on your worldwide income. Fuzzier is your requirement, if any, for state taxes. You'd want to inquire about the laws in your last state of US domicile.

You'd also want to check on your US voting rights, again, which may vary by state. I know in MD we have overseas residents who can vote full ballots at their last MD domicile and others who are "Federal only," restricted to just President and Congressional ballots.

Phil
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I don't think Medicare pays when you are out of the country.

But I could be wrong about that.... just think it doesn't.

AM
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t:
<iYou will need to return to the US every so many years to retain your citizenship....

Completely INCORRECT. If you are a US green card holder (i.e. a resident alien) you must return to the USA every one to three years. It used to be every 3 years. GWB may have changed this but I'm not sure.

You will have no medicare insurance there......and if you return to the US, you won't have it unless you sign up for it day one.....signing up for it after 65 is extremely punative......

IIRC, you can participate in Panama's socialized health care system for VERY CHEAP. You can also buy private medical insurance in Panama.

If you want that private insurance to cover your bills in the USA, you'll have to be able to prove Panamanian residency, that you actually live there. And that you're only in the USA to visit. Of course, you'll have to pay a premium if you want "visitors" coverage while in the US and A.
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RetiredLinda:
I am new to this board. My husband and I live in Panama for 3 months out of the year. We are thinking about retiring here. Any experience out there in terms of retiring outside of the U.S.A.?

Why Panama? Why not Costa Rica? Or Nicaragua? Or Mexico? Why would you choose Panama?
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Phil:
You'd also want to check on your US voting rights, again, which may vary by state. I know in MD we have overseas residents who can vote full ballots at their last MD domicile and others who are "Federal only," restricted to just President and Congressional ballots.

Before a US citizen or resident decides to become a ex-pat retiree, it's a good idea to establish "residency" in a non-income tax state such as Nevada, Texas, Alaska, etc.

I don't know the details. Why pay state income tax on your retirement earnings if you don't live there and don't have to?
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Before a US citizen or resident decides to become a ex-pat retiree, it's a good idea to establish "residency" in a non-income tax state such as Nevada, Texas, Alaska, etc.

In all dealings with tax law it's a good idea not to put terms in quotes. Reality trumps appearance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Ask Florida "residents" who moved from New York and keep strong ties to New York.

I don't know the details. Why pay state income tax on your retirement earnings if you don't live there and don't have to?

I agree. That's why it's important to find out the relevant rules before you act.

Phil
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A little mean spirited, no?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. They are free to go where they like. I myself (already retired btw) considered Central America as well. Then I heard that Americans can get screwed by squatters taking over their property. No thanks!
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Yeah, yeah, yeah. They are free to go where they like. I myself (already retired btw) considered Central America as well. Then I heard that Americans can get screwed by squatters taking over their property. No thanks!

IIRC, this only happens in Costa Rica and only in/on properties that no one lives on.

Costa Rica is a small country with a socialist-type of mindset. The reason for this "squatter law" is that CR does not want to be like Columbia or the old (pre-Chavez) Venezuela where rich White people own acres and acres of land and never use it.

If you live on your property or use your land, you have nothing to worry about regarding squatters. If you don't live on your property or don't use it. You will.

Personally, I think it's a good idea.
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I can not be the only one, would like to still get VA care in that area, even if you have both parts A & B, If the cost is low enough to off set why not, but where? Have enough income, but just where. Only need a warm place with maid/cook & grounds tender. Tired of the cold and wet, ready for a change, Might be just me, but do want to spend over $1500.00 per month. Any one know? THKS, Grownbarley
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