September was an amazing month for us here at Inside Panama. Traffic, both online and in person, has been on a steady rise, and with the current situation in the United States we expect to see that pattern continue. We accredit much of the additional traffic to three significant changes:
1) Increased publicity for Panama, including Panama’s being listed as the #1 place to visit in 2012 by the New York Times.
2) An exodus of Americans frustrated with the current government and worried about the future as the outcome of the elections becomes more apparent.
3) The new laws coming into effect over the next few months that will make it harder to move money outside of the U.S.
The recent influx of new buyers has seen us sell 27 properties over the last two months. We are fighting to maintain enough inventory in the popular developments! That being said, please let us know if you have property you would like to list with us.
Mike talks with friends and clients at Inside Panama’s weekly happy hour, every Wednesday at 5:00pm at Picasso in Coronado
It amazes me the extent to which many of these people are willing to leave behind their family, friends and comfort zone – the entire life they have known – in order to get away from what they perceive as unacceptable change in the United States.
I meet couples that are sticking to their values, and refuse to accept that they have no control over their futures. These clients are often well into the autumn of their lives, but they are cutting ties, walking away and setting themselves up here in Panama. The amount of courage it takes to walk away from everything familiar at that stage in life humbles me.
I find myself torn. I have a huge amount of respect for those that are willing to walk away when they feel they can no longer fight city hall. They refuse to embrace irresponsible leaders with agendas that don’t seem to support the people represented. They are not giving up – they are just showing their opinion in one of the only ways they have left to them.
On the other side, I am disappointed in the leaders who have put us in this situation. As you are well aware, this is not a new issue: I began looking for a better quality of life seven years ago, before even the 2008 meltdown. The cost of health care, the security of liquid assets, and the mounting debt were all setting off alarms in my head. I didn’t have the same sense of fear or anger that I see now, but I had a feeling it was time to seek out a Plan B.
I looked at several options in South and Central America, and Europe too. It became somewhat obvious to me as a North American with North American expectations that Panama was worth a closer look. It offered easy accessibility, it was affordable, the weather was great, the health care was fantastic, the diet was much the same as we were used too, the currency was the U.S. dollar, and the incentives for retirees to move here were unbelievable!
The quality of life in Panama for a retiree, or even those looking to re-invent themselves and maybe start a business, is unmatched. The opportunities are endless, as Panama is an emerging country and has many needs to fill. For those looking to escape the United States, you will find many like-minded new friends here. For those looking to golf, swim, and relax on the beach – well, I think there are a few of us down here who would love to join you.