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Hola,

Trying to start at the beginning and read all these posts. 32 and hope to be free by age 50. Since you were born and raised in Costa Rica, you may know a little about Panama. I spent 2 1/2 years there in 88 through 90. Met and married a beautiful woman. The thought has crossed my mind to retire to Panama, but I have also thought about Costa Rica. Problem is I've never been to Costa Rica.

Are you able to compare the 2 countries? Problem with Panama is that I was there for Noriega and I know how politically unstable it can be. And with the US pulling out who knows what will happen with the Canal.

Reply by e-mail if you want. Back to the mid 200 posts. Many more to read.

Thanks.

Mark :-)
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mpkear wrote:
Are you able to compare the 2 countries? Problem with Panama is that I was there for Noriega and I know how politically unstable it can be. And with the US pulling out who knows what will happen with the Canal.

I'm a big fan of Panama. Panama is as stable as a Central American country can be. As far as economic stability is concered, they use the US dollar as their currency. You know this. No "funny money" there. The cost of living in Panama City is the same or less expensive than Costa Rica. Panama City reminds me of Miami.

I have three problems with Panama City. One, I HATE the weather. It's just WAY too hot and humid for my tastes. Unless I live in air conditioning, I sweat like crazy there 24/7. I love the (tropical) beach but I couldn't live there. I'm a mountain boy at heart. Two, there is a certain violent element that exists in Panama City. You know what I'm talking about. Three, I'd be just a retiree there. At least here, if I want to get a job on a fishing boat or practice medicine doing housecalls, I can. I've got paperwork power. My wife and I are also near family and friends here. This last consideration weighed large when we ALMOST moved to Mexico late last year.
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mpkear, just wanted to give you my 2 cents on panama. My brother has lived there for about 5 years and I've been out to visit him twice. I've never been to costa rica.

I believe panama, in general, is still cheaper than costa rica to live, especially when you get out of the bigger cities.

My brother lives on about $3000 a year, but he lives in a very rural place. And he is still looking for the beautiful panamanian woman to marry :) But panama is pushing tourism very hard right now and prices are going up- getting more comprable to costa rica, according to travelers I've met.

I don't think you need to worry much about the political climate. It is stable now and, while the US is not controlling the canal, it still does have military bases there. The US has a large vested interest in keeping the canal open and running well. If panama was in any danger the US would intervene very quickly. But I believe panama learned a lot from the noriega experience and have become intolerant of corrupt leaders and violent police.

Galeno mentioned the heat and humidity- Panama is a small country but has a varied terrain. The mountains are much cooler and there are some beautiful places to live there- Boquete is my dream retirement place. Or you could live on or near the Bocas del Toro islands which are right near the border of costa rica. That way you could enjoy both places. Good Luck, Lisa
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Thank you galeno and lisamike. I still have a ways to go until I retire, however, I am getting there. Just bought some Nokia this AM and it had a nice healthy gain today. I'm in it for the long term, but if all my stocks would have these daily gains I could retire much earlier. Of course, if I ever make the decision to retire to Panama I could do it much sooner rather than later.

Thanks to all posters on this board. Too many to thank individually. For those of us still working our day is coming.

galeno and lisamike, keep us posted on the tropics. I was in Panama for 3 weeks last summer and it may be a little while till I get back. I am curious about your brother lisamike. I could live cheap there, however as a tourist this past summer I sure spent a bunch of money. Lot's of fun, I must say.

Mark :-)
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