Panama is the world's #1
Panama is also:
overseas retirement haven...
You've heard all this from me before...
- The best place in the world to base your business...and an
- A tax haven. As a foreign resident, you can pay zero local tax...
and you can operate your business here tax-free, too…
- An international banking center (where, yes, it is still possible
to open an offshore account, even as an American, even,
at one particular bank, in a single day)…
- The easiest and most advantaged place in the world to
establish residency, thanks to a ground-breaking new program
(that can even provide a work permit)…
- Home to the smartest beach, river, and mountain property buys
anywhere on the planet today…
- One place in the world that’s enjoying continued growth and
prosperity and that is positioned for a whole lot more of the same
over the coming decade…
- A great place to call home…
Panama offers many different, very appealing retirement lifestyle options, from Panama City to the highlands and two long coastlines...
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
And you're going to hear it again. Because if you are in the market right now for a place to live, retire, invest, or do business overseas, I'd say you're doing yourself a big disservice if you aren't looking closely at what Panama has to offer.
Much of the world is struggling through troubled and uncertain times, but you'd never know it down here in the Hub of the Americas. This remains a fast-moving, ever-expanding market...a land of opportunity.
- Home to more than 940 species of birds as well as 220 mammals and 354 reptiles and amphibians...from howler monkeys to caiman, from tiger cats to turtles, from ocelots to crocodiles, and from pelicans and toucans to king crabs and iguanas...plus the Central American tapir, the American crocodile, the scarlet macaw, many species of eagle, humpback whales, dolphins, and hammerhead sharks...
- Blessed with two long coasts and myriad sand-fringed islands, plus some of the best deep-sea fishing, surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving anywhere. Around its Coiba island lies the largest coral reef on the Pacific side of the Americas...
- A U.S. dollar jurisdiction--that is to say, Panama has been using the U.S. dollar as its currency for about 100 years...
- An established medical tourism destination and home to the Johns Hopkins-affiliated Punta Paitilla Hospital in Panama City...
- Home to both a World Heritage Site (Casco Viejo) and a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site (the province of Darien)...
- Because of its unique geographical position, Panama harbors a greater diversity ofwildlife than any other country in Central America. A natural land bridge connecting the two continents, Panama is home to both North and South American species of wildlife. About 29% of the country's land area is protected in 14 national parks, more than a dozen forest reserves, and 10 wildlife refuges...
- The biggest international banking center in the region...
- Without question, the best place anywhere in the world today to start a business (that's why we moved here from France in 2008)...
- One of the few Latin markets where it's possible for you, as a foreigner, to borrow locallyto buy real estate...
- Home to more than two-dozeninternational schools...
- One of the world's true tax havens, a place where you can live and do business tax-free...
What's going on?
From Corpus Christie To Capira—
I invite you to come on down here to sunny Panama to find out for yourself. We're holding our next Live and Invest in Panama Conference Aug. 21-23, 2013. If this country is on your radar for retirement, for investment, for banking, for adventure, for fun, or for profit (and, again, I strongly suggest it should be), I urge you to make time in your schedule to join us for a few days in this beautiful, safe, and welcoming place this August.
For this important and timely event, we've invited all our top Panama experts, advisors, contacts, colleagues, and friends. The personal introductions we intend to make over the two-and-a-half days of this conference are alone worth the price of admission. We'll arm you with every contact and every resource you'll need to pursue whatever Panama plans and dreams you may harbor.
And we'll introduce you to Panama in a way that no one else can. We'll show you Panama from the inside. We've been spending time and doing business in this country for more than 15 years and living and operating our business here full-time for more than 5.
Here in Panama, over the past 15 years, we've bought pre-construction for investment and centuries-old French-colonial for renovation.
We've started businesses, formed corporations, and opened bank accounts...
We've acquired full-time residency through the country's Reforestation Visa Investment program (which is but one of the 13 good residency visa options Panama offers, including the ground-breaking new “Specific Countries” visa program that I’ll tell you more about in a minute)...
We've hired staff, shipped household belongings, enrolled our young son in school, sourced architects and carpenters, paid local utility bills, researched which health insurance plan makes most sense for our family, bought cars (because finally we'd had enough of dealing with Panama City taxi drivers!), gotten local driver’s licenses, and, most recently, started a local franchise (a family project)...
And our experiences in this tropical haven are only the beginning. Because for this special Live and Invest in Panama event of 2013, we’re pulling out all the stops, with the help of the most expanded panel of Panama experts you’ll find anywhere.
Resident global real estate investing, tax, and business expert (and my husband) Lief Simon and I will be on hand throughout this Live and Invest in Panama event to share our personal stories, anecdotes, discoveries, recommendations, caveats, and cautions, of course. But we realize that we are but one (well, two) points of view. You need many others. Plus, you need experienced, professional counsel when it comes to things like taxes, banking, trusts, corporations, residency requirements, investor incentives, insurance...
To help you consider and understand the many advantages and benefits Panama offers, we've invited the top experts in the country on these important issues to join us for this just-in-time event. These are our trusted personal advisors, people you can count on to accomplish whatever you're hoping to accomplish in this country safely and efficiently. And, they'll join us not only to address the group, but also to answer your questions, one-on-one, and to make themselves fully at your disposal.
As so many nearing retirement are wondering and worrying how in the world they're ever going to be able to afford to stop working...and where in the world they can find safe haven, for themselves and their money...
Panama is the answer!
How This Texas Couple
Saved Their Retirement
Robert Coleby worked as a firefighter in Corpus Christie, Texas, for 26 years. Over the past few years, as retirement was drawing near, Robert and his wife Katherine came to a realization that was a bit of a shock:
They wouldn't be able to retire on Robert’s pension. It'd barely cover their basic expenses...and the home equity and investment accounts they'd figured would supplement the pension were going to amount, it became clear, to much less than they'd been counting on.
To continue enjoying the standard of living they'd been living, one or both of them would have to keep on working.
Robert and Katherine met about eight years ago. Finding "the one" at this later stage of life was a surprise for both of them, a gift that they didn't take for granted. As they explain it, once they'd found each other, they "went crazy," doing everything they could think of to embrace their new life together--sky diving, salsa dancing, rock climbing...
When the reality of their retirement prospects in Corpus Christie began to set in, they didn't hesitate. Robert and Katherine took action. They'd only just started their lives together. They weren't about to let something like a global recession get in the way of the future they had in mind. Rather than moaning and groaning about the challenges facing the retiree in the United States right now, they opted out.
Not out of retirement. But out of Corpus Christie. Out of the United States.
Last year, Robert and Katherine moved from Corpus Christie, Texas, to Capira, Panama, a small town about an hour outside Panama City. This puts them near enough to the big city but also near the beach and, important, in a region where it's possible to live a full and interesting life on very little.
Robert and Katherine understood the choice they were making. Capira is no expat community. Living here, they knew they'd be forced to learn to speak Spanish, for they'd be living among Panamanians. They've settled in an all-Panamanian development, where their rent is US$300 a month for a small house with a garden.
Robert and Katherine arranged to have all their personal stuff shipped to them from Corpus Christie. Until it arrived, they made an adventure of starting over from nothing. They refer to themselves as "babies” during this getting-established stage.
"We had to relearn everything all over again. It was like we're seeing the entire world for the first time,” Katherine remembers. “Yes, it was a little intimidating, but, really, we had so much fun. This whole experience has been the time of our lives.”
What's So Special About Panama?
Other former bubble markets worldwide have imploded. Why not the Panama market?
I can identify five reasons:
- This market was not made by Americans, at least not 100%. This market was also made by Venezuelans, Colombians, and other Latino investors looking for safe haven for their capital. Panama continues to offer this, certainly relative to other regional options…
- Panama is not only a safe haven for worried investors from less free markets, it's also the top doing-business haven in this part of the world.Big international firms (more than 40 of them, including Dell, 3M, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar) have targeted this country, especially Panama City's new Panama Pacifico international business park under construction at the former Howard Air Force Base. One mega-group in particular is in the process right now of scouting rental apartments for hundreds of its executives to be relocated here over the coming year...
The trouble is, as you may have figured out already:
My Rallying Recommendation Gets You Only So Far
- Panama's own infrastructure improvement projects (the Panama Canal expansion project...the new Cinta Costera Panama City-center thoroughfare...the under-construction Panama City metro...the new international airport) are requiring a big and ongoing influx of foreign labor. This foreign labor population is an important and expanding piece of this country's economy...
- Meantime, the middle class in this country is expanding quickly, creating an ever-greater local real estate market…
- Pro-Business President Ricardo Martinelli. You may think you know Panama, but I predict that, when President Martinelli's through, you won't recognize the place!
The Martinelli Plan calls for a First World Panama, and the country’s pro-business, pro-investor President has worked aggressively every day since taking office three-and-a-half years ago to progress that agenda. Martinelli's Five Year Plan is all about cleaning house and creating competition, two ideas that aren't always welcome in this part of the world.
But Martinelli doesn't seem to mind ruffling feathers. He's laying off government workers who don't work and increasing the salaries of those who do. He's jailing corrupt government officials and fining developers and others who've refused to play by the rules of Panama's careful and conservative development protocols.
Panama's President has been traveling abroad to establish business allies and trading partners, all the while pushing hard back home for his ambitious infrastructure improvement programs (which call for two new international airports and a public transportation system for downtown Panama City...more on this in a minute).
The new-and-improved Panama is a work in quick and aggressive process. We're here, in the country, watching the developments day-by-day, and we're having trouble keeping up ourselves.
Don't get me wrong. The real estate market in Panama has softened noticeably. However, the market fundamentals remain solid...meaning this is a window of opportunity for action.
Panama is a nature-lover's
paradise and one of the top
diving and snorkeling
destinations on earth...
Internet research...e-mail communications...armchair searching and planning...manuals, reports, and guidebooks...
All these resources are great...but no amount of them is enough.
You can't determine whether or not Panama makes sense for you as a place to think seriously about retiring or relocating or buying preconstruction or investing in raw land or setting up a corporation or launching a new business...long distance.
You can't make any real decision about Panama until you've come down here to see it for yourself.
Therefore, I suggest you get yourself down here ASAP.
"I am so Happy I Joined Your Group!"
"Thank you to you, your staff, and the professionals who participated at the event. It was a great experience for me and I am sure for all the other participants, as well. I am so happy I made the decision to join the group. I learned a lot about investments, offshore banking, living in foreign countries, and much more. Congratulations for your organization."
You could make the trip on your own. I'd recommend you allow at least a month in the country...and that you count on a series of follow-up visits. No matter how well prepared you think you are before you get on the plane, you'll likely find, once you're on the ground, that nothing plays out quite as you expect.
How Much Does It Cost To Live In Panama?
--Janet K., United States
There's no answer to this question...at least no one-size-fits-all answer.
A couple could live comfortably in this country on as little as US$1,000 a month, perhaps less.
Of course, you could also spend a whole lot more than that...
Together, during our Live and Invest in Panama Conference this August, we'll walk through aseries of budgets, from very modest to fully loaded, each one realistic and based on real-world experience...so you can make an informed decision both about what it would cost you to live in Panama...and exactly what that monthly spend would buy you.
You'll run around from banker to attorney...from developer to owner...from agent to broker...from tax advisor to insurance salesman...from visa specialist to customs agent...back to the banker...back to the attorney...
You'll stand in lines...you'll struggle with the language...some appointments will show up hours late...others will never appear...
You'll be batted around among bureaucrats...you'll wonder if you're getting a good price...if you're being presented with all the options...
Yikes. Why would I subject myself to that torture, you might be wondering.
Make plans to be in Panama City Aug. 21-23, 2013. Be in Panama City...and in the room for our Live and Invest In Panama Conference. We'll take care of the rest.
Indeed, why in the world would you?
Especially when you have a far superior alternative.
You need to get down here to Panama straightaway to see what's going on in this country with so much to offer. And, while you're here, you want to make efficient use of your time. You want to make the contacts and the connections you'll need to realize whatever Panama agenda you imagine. You want to have all the options and opportunities laid out for you. You want to meet with the bankers, the attorneys, the visa specialists, the property developers, etc., etc....
And you certainly don't want to spend weeks and weeks of your time doing it.
At Home In Panama
At this point in our lives, Lief and I could be living anywhere. We choose now to be in Panama. We're making a home here. Our 13-year-old son is attending the Paul Gauguin French school. (This is but one of the good schooling options in Panama City.)
At home in Panama, some of the world's most beautiful beaches would be on your doorstep...
Because this country continues to offer some of the smartest property buys on the planet today.
We're building businesses.
We're putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to the local real estate market. We've been investing in Panama property for more than 10 years, and we continue to shop...and to buy.
We're also becoming part of the community. We have good friends in this country, some Panamanian, some American...others are Dutch, British, Russian, Italian... Our commitment to Panama is long-term.
What's the point of all this to you?
Well...all those years of experience...all those contacts and resources...and all those community connections? We'll be bringing all that...and then some...to the table over the two-and-a-half days of our Live and Invest in Panama Conference in August.
We've put out a general call, and I'm pleased to report that all our top contacts have responded enthusiastically in the affirmative. They are ready for action. With their help, we've put together an A+ program.
"A Lifeline For Americans"
"Thank you for all of this ongoing information. You are a lifeline for Americans wanting out right now."
-- Peggy D., United States
Join us in Panama, and you'll learn everything you need to know about residencyand taxes...bank accounts and corporations...holding structures and health insurance...employment opportunities (these are limited) and entrepreneurialoptions (these are not)...
Over the course of these two-and-a-half days, you'll also meet everyone you'll need to know to launch your new life in Panama. We're opening our personal rolodex for this event...live and on stage.
At our Live and Invest in Panama Conference, we'll introduce you to:
- The #1 Resource for Living and Retiring in Panama:
Rainelda Mata-Kelly, attorney-at-law and principal of
Law Offices Rainelda Mata-Kelly
Rainelda is our personal attorney, the one who's been by our side for every real estate purchase, every visa application, every bank account, every corporation, and every contract.
In Panama, You Could...
Furthermore, we've been recommending Rainelda as the top legal resource in this country for 15 years. In that time, Rainelda has assisted thousands of readers with real estate purchase, residency applications, incorporations, bank accounts, and tax and business issues. Her track record is as good as they come...her reputation second to none.
Enjoy Perfect Weather
Not in Panama City, of course. The climate in the capital is hot, hot, hot...and humid. But in the interior of the country, in places like Boquete and Volcan...Santa Fe and, nearer to the big city, El Valle...the weather can be spring-like year-round. In Boquete you might even want a fireplace for the chilly nights...
In Panama you'll never again have to worry about snow. Nor will you have to give a thought to hurricanes. As one expat friend puts it, "The only hurricanes in Panama since 1851 have been the kind you drink."
Rainelda knows Panama law, and she understands the current Panama market. She knows the players. She knows what to look for in developer sales agreements and what to demand in pre-construction contacts. She (and her top-notch staff) know their way around the immigration office...and understand the advantages and the downsides to every one of this country's 13 residency visa options.
Rainelda is Panamanian. However, she earned her Master of Laws from Cornell University and practiced in London for six years...before returning to Panama to found her own private practice. Rainelda specializes in corporations and commercial and shipping law, as well as taxes, contracts, real estate transactions, immigration, and labor permits.
Rainelda is the most knowledgeable attorney we've found in more than a decade of looking. She's the one you want on your side when you sit down at the negotiating table...or when you begin considering your full-time residency options.
- The #1 Resource for Real Estate Investing in Panama:
Lief Simon, private real estate investor, consultant, and developer
Lief Simon has lived and worked on 5 continents and traveled to more than 60 countries. His real estate investing experience began more than 20 years ago with a multi-unit building in Chicago. After selling that building for a leveraged total return of more than 1,800% in 2 ½ years, Lief began to diversify internationally. In the 15 years since, he has personally bought and sold property in 21 countries.
Lief looks for one of two market situations when evaluating a potential investment: an abundance of opportunity created by a market distortion (crisis investing) or a chance to position yourself ahead of new infrastructure or some other local trend (the path of progress).
“Thanks To You, Kathleen, We Fell In Love…”
"Last year my husband and I attended one of your conferences and absolutely fell in love with the country. The conference was amazing and provided us with so much valuable information."
For example, Lief told his readers to buy in Argentina immediately after the 2001 financial crisis in that country, a time when CNN was showing riots in the streets and warning people to stay away. Lief saw not crisis but opportunity. Forward-thinking readers who followed his lead enjoyed appreciation rates of 100% and more in fewer than three years on buys in Buenos Aires.
-- Diane, T., United States
Panama boasts top-notch, first world healthcare and medical facilities...
Since then, Lief has also turned readers on to investments in Mexico, Nicaragua, Romania, and Colombia, buys that have appreciated 160% in 18 months, 120% in 12 months, 82% in 15 months, and 50% in 24 months, respectively.
Lief made his first Panama purchase 10 years ago and continues shopping and buying today. In that time, he's covered every corner of this country. Lief knows where to buy now and how much to spend. He knows the pitfalls and the caveats and how to avoid them all. If your Panama agenda includes any real estate component, this is the man you want to speak with.
Over the two-and-a-half days of our 2013 Live and Invest in Panama event...you'll have the chance to do just that.
Where Should You Buy For
Investment In Panama Today?
Panama's is one of the fastest-moving property markets on the planet.
No, that's not true. Panama is many property markets...and they're all shifting so fast right now it can make your head spin.
How do you keep your wits about you...buy smart...and come out on top?
More to the point: Where do you look to buy in the first place?
Lief Simon and our other in-country Panama property experts will tell you. Join us in Panama to find out...
- Is this the time to buy in Panama City? The capital city market is down, and sellers are more negotiable than they've been in more than a half-dozen years. Will prices fall further or is this the window for action?
- How much should you pay for farmland? Where should you buy? And what might you best grow?
- What's the best investment in the country right now overall?
- Is preconstruction still smart?
- What about these hotel-condos?
- Most up-and-coming region?
- Where will the new international airports go?
- Where else might you front-run the infrastructure?
- Panama's Next Big Thing? We believe we've found it...
- Best buy on undeveloped beachfront?
- Best condo buy for 2013?
- The #1 Resource for Insurance, Including Health Insurance, in Panama: Gonzalo de la Guardia, licensed broker, Ducruet Insurance Agency
Gonzalo de la Guardia is your one-stop resource for all your Panama insurance needs. Gonzalo has been helping expats in this country shop for insurance for more than 35 years. He understands your concerns and needs, and he's well familiar with all the options.
Health insurance may be one of your biggest concerns as you prepare to make a move overseas. Gonzalo understands that and is ready to answer all your questions.
In addition, though, he's also the most knowledgeable and experienced source of information and advice you're going to find in this country on title, automobile, fire, homeowners, and life insurance. Gonzalo can help you understand the costs and the product options in each case and make the most informed decision to suit your personal circumstances.
Again, here in Panama in August, you'll have the opportunity to speak directly with Gonzalo and to have your particular insurance questions and concerns addressed.
- The #1 Resource for International Tax Planning:
Chris Rusch, JD, MBA
You don't want to organize your live, retire, or invest overseas plans according to tax code, but you sure don't want to ignore it either. Especially when you're just starting out, but even after you've been at this a while, buying real estate in a foreign country or setting up an offshore corporation...these are intimidating propositions. You worry you'll end up running afoul of some tax law you didn't know existed.
In Panama, You Could...
Panama is one of the world's top tax havens, a place where you can live 100% tax-free.
Organize your affairs properly, and you could operate your business here tax-free, too. Our experts will show you how...
You need advice from an expert. The trouble is, a reliable, affordable international tax expert...who really understands the opportunities created by living and investing your money across borders...is hard to come by.
We looked for more than 20 years...then, finally, six years ago, we found Chris Rusch.
Chris is an international tax lawyer with a dozen years' experience working with international structures, asset protection, banking, and multi-jurisdiction tax issues. Lots of guys call themselves international tax experts, but Chris is one guy we'd describe that way.
We've invited Chris to join us for the Live and Invest in Panama conference…and I'm delighted to report that he's agreed. He'll be on hand over the two-and-a-half days of the event to help you understand and connect the financial, banking, doing-business, and taxation pieces of your new life in this beautiful country.
In addition, over the course of these two-and-a-half days in Panama City, you'll also meet and hear from:
- Representatives from our recommended local banks (including one where you can open an account in a single day, even if you’re an American)…
- Our preferred local shipping and logistics firm…so you can get answers to all your questions to do with what to do with all your stuff (including your car)…
- Doctors and medical professionals from the top local hospitals and health care facilities…
- Our favorite Spanish-language teachers…
- Our recommended local real estate agents (with long experience helping foreigners buy property in this country)…
- Expat-entrepreneurs running successful businesses that are funding their Panama adventures…
“Honest And Real”
"The honesty and realism of your information shines through. I am looking forward to continuing benefitting from your offerings for a long time."
-- Carol C., United States
In Panama, You Could…
Indulge Your Hobby
"Kathleen, I moved to Panama 11 years ago because I like gardening and wanted to live in a place where tropical gardening is possible year-round without worrying about frost.
"Here in the highlands of Chiriqui, we have very rich black volcanic soil, and it is cool enough here to grow many temperate plants, yet it is frost-free.
"Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, especially among retirees, and a reason to move to Panama. If you move to a foreign country with an interesting hobby, it helps to keep you from becoming bored and dis-satisfied with your choice.
"In addition to gardening, birding is very popular in Panama, as there is an unusually large number of species of birds living here..."
--Robert G., Happily Retired to Panama for 11 Years
The World's Best Residency Program--
And A Work Permit, Too!
In May 2012, Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli issued an executive decree that has since become known as the "Specific Countries" residency permit. Big news, as this new program is not only easy residency, but a quick and easy route to a work permit, as well. And a work permit is no easy thing for a foreigner to organize anywhere in the world.
One of the most frequently asked questions from rea
Panama is experiencing a growing shortage of qualified labor. President Martinelli wanted to do something to address the problem. So he conceived what amounts to the most user-friendly and straightforward residency program on offer anywhere in the world, not only today but in the history of residency programs.
What's more, again, this special program also provides for the holy grail: a work permit.
We’ll share all the details for how to take advantage of this ground-breaking new residency program during our Live and Invest in Panama Conference in August.
In addition, during the two-and-a-half days we're together here in Panama City, we'll introduce you to our favorite Panama mortgage broker.
One of the most frequently asked questions from readers is, "Can I arrange financing locally to buy real estate?"
Panama is one of the world's leading banking havens...
In most of the developing world, the answer is no. In Panama, the answer is, indeed. This is the biggest international banking center in the region, home to more than 120 international banks, and a number of them lend to foreign property buyers. Right now, when it's no longer an easy option to borrow against a real estate asset back home or to bring your equity with you, this is a more important than ever advantage to choosing Panama.
and a tax haven, too...
Which banks offer financing? According to what terms? What paperwork will you need to apply? How will you qualify? Can you be pre-approved?
Our preferred mortgage broker in Panama City will detail the answers to all those questions and every other one you have regarding financing in Panama.
"Kathleen thanks so much for a super seminar. That was really sensational, and I have lived here for two years already!"
-- Scott R., Panama
In Panama You Could…
In the highlands of Panama, the temperatures are cooler and the cost of living is much, much lower...
Coley and his wife weren't worried about money, making ends meet, or how they'd pay for retirement. Coley was making a great living, the young couple and their two small children were enjoying a fully appointed life in Washington, D.C., and retirement was decades away. Looking ahead, their lives seemed to promise lots more of the same--more earnings and an even more comfortable lifestyle as they continued to work hard and make their way up the D.C. ladder. They had achieved, at early ages, the life that many Americans dream about.
Embrace The Resilient Life
Only it wasn't working for them. From their position in the U.S. capital, they had an insider's view of what was going on and, from their perspective, what was going wrong. This was seven years ago, and, after a lot of research and months of soul-searching, Coley and his wife, in their mid-30s, scooped up their two little ones and opted out. "We wanted to get out while we were still young enough to remake our lives and our children's futures in a way that made more sense to us."
Coley and his young family hopped a flight from the American capital to the Panamanian one, where, months before, they'd purchased a house on the beach. They had to pull the trigger on their plan, because their house back in the States had sold. Yet, they discovered, their new home on the coast outside Panama City wasn't finished yet. Arriving in Panama, the little family checked into the Intercontinental Hotel.
"We were at the Intercontinental for weeks," Coley explained Thursday night when we met for dinner. "I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. What had I done? What was I doing? We were living in a hotel in a Third World city with two toddlers, for crying out loud. Burning through our savings. No one could promise when our house would be ready for us to move in. I thought I'd made the biggest mistake of my life."
Today, seven years later, Coley is confident that moving his family to Panama was the smartest thing he could have done at the time and that, if he hadn't done it then, he'd do it today for sure. "I look at what's going on back in the States," he says, "and I know we made the right choice. I see very bad times ahead for my country. I think my family and I can do better for ourselves in this life we're creating for ourselves.
"There's so much unhappiness and uncertainty in the United States right now, especially in D.C. I think people in that part of the country are at the epicenter of a growing recognition that things are out of control. What I realized years ago was that nobody was going to get things back under control anytime soon. Our only choice, each of us, is to take control of our own lives. I say this to friends and clients back in D.C. today, and they agree. They see this truth as well as I do. But they're scared, intimidated. I understand. I was scared, too, when the realization first set in for me.
"All I can say is that this move to a simpler life here in Panama that we found the courage to make? It was the best move and the best decision of our lives."
Plus, at our Live and Invest in Panama event, we'll also introduce you to the people behind the most appealing property developments on offer in the most appealing regions of this beautiful country.
In charming mountain and coastal towns across Panama, it's possible to retire well on a budget of as little as US$1,000 per month...
One problem with Panama is that you're spoiled for choice. Panama City's, especially, is a mature real estate market. How do you choose among all the options for city living?
And which beach developments make most sense for you given your personal preferences, priorities, and budget?
We've been scouting, researching, and performing due diligence on real estate development projects in this country for more than a dozen years. We know who's doing what...and who's doing something he shouldn't be doing.
“You Have Made A Lot of Dreams Come True”
"Thank you for all your hard work. You have made a lot of people dream and a lot of dreams come true. I enjoy all the e-mails from all your staff living all over the world. I am always telling people about you and how you started your publications years ago. In fact, I just today told my banker about how honest and smart you are, letting us know where to go. Wish I had listened to you more years ago..."
-- Marlene M., Alaska
We know who is building dream homes by the beach and who's the subject of serial horror stories.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that dozens of local developers have asked to be able to participate in this event. They're all willing to pay advertising or sponsorship fees. That's not the issue.
The issue is: Who do we want to recommend?
We understand that, when you're in the room with us over these two-and-a-half days, every speaker and exhibitor we introduce to you comes with our implied endorsement.
Heck...he (or she) comes with our explicit endorsement.
We don't take that lightly. Our reputation is everything. We want you to be wowed by the quality of this event...so that you might think about coming to another event somewhere sometime down the road.
We're in this for the long haul.
The same can't be said for all the real estate developers in this part of the world. We're careful, because we've learned you've got to be. That's why, for this event, we're inviting but a handful of developers. These are the guys we want you to know, for theirs are the development projects worth your attention...and your investment.
14 Reasons Panama Remains
The World’s Top Retirement Haven
#1: The cost of living is affordable. Outside Panama City, it remains downright cheap. You could retire to the beach in Las Tablas, for example, on the country's Azuero Peninsula, on a budget of US$1,200 per month or even less.
#2: The sun shines year-round. Panama City can be too hot and sticky for some retirees' tastes, but, again, look beyond the capital, and you find pockets of near-perfect climates in some regions. If you prefer cool mountain temperatures to steamy sea-level ones, consider Boquete or, less discovered and therefore more affordable, Santa Fe.
#3: The retiree's path is well worn. This country has been attracting foreign retirees in growing numbers for more than a decade. It offers many and very user-friendly options for establishing foreign residency if you want to live here full-time, and it is home to established and welcoming communities of expats and retirees.
#4: You can get by without speaking Spanish. I don't recommend it, but, in Panama City, you don’t have to learn to speak Spanish if you don’t want to.
#5: Health care in Panama is of an international standard, and Panama City is home to Hospital Punta Pacifica, the only hospital in Latin America affiliated with and managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
#6: The cost of medical care is a bargain. Like everything, medical costs are higher in Panama City than elsewhere in the country, but, even in the capital, a doctor's visit costs US$50 or less.
#7: Local Panama health insurance (which can be good, comprehensive coverage, all you need living in this country) can cost US$100 per month or less.
#8: The infrastructure is of a high standard. This is a place where things generally work--the Internet, cable TV, phone service, etc., are all as reliable as anywhere in the States. The roadways and highway systems being constantly expanded and improved.
Panama City is an international banking center, meaning you find here banks from all over the world. ATMs are on every corner.
#9: The currency is the U.S. dollar, so U.S. retirees have no currency-exchange risk or exposure.
#10: Panama City is an international travel hub, very accessible from North America. The flight from Miami, for example, is about 2 ½ hours.
#11: Panama's pensionado program of special benefits and discounts for foreign retirees is the current Gold Standard. Retired in this country, you can save as much as 50% on everything from restaurant meals to in-country airfares, from prescription medicines to closing costs on your new beach house.
#12: This is a nature-lover's paradise, boasting some of the world's best surfing, snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, birding, hiking, and adventure-travel opportunities anywhere on earth.
#13: This is a safe, welcoming place to call home.
#14: Retirees you meet in Panama aren't losing sleep over their futures. They're embracing them.
If All These Folks Could Do It, You Can Do It, Too!
Who else will you meet at our Live and Invest in Panama Conference? Others just like you who've already made the move! expats already living, investing, or doing business in this country... folks just like you!
In fact, these introductions...and your chance to mingle one-on-one, during cocktail receptions and over poolside lunches, with these folks...these alone are worth the price of admission. They could be the most important benefit of the entire event.
What is your Panama dream? Come, let us help you realize it...
I'm not counting myself as part of this crew. Yes, I'm an expat living, investing, and doing business in Panama...but I understand if you'd like to hear about Panama from someone other than me for a change.
These people have no agenda. They've agreed to participate in the event for no reason other than they'd like to help out fellow expats considering following in their footsteps. They receive nothing in return...have no ties to anyone (including me or Live and Invest Overseas)...and are hindered by no conflict of interest.
Our only request of them is that they tell it like it is. What you hear from these Panama expats won't be all good. Maybe it won't even be mostly good. But it will be the real deal.
“Honest, Tell-It-Like-It-Is Approach”
"I particularly appreciated your information today about the joys (?) of international rental property. What I admire is your honest, tell-it-like-it-is approach. A lot of people have been hurt by nothing but glowing reports about offshore living from various sources. Your honest, direct approach is a real service."
-- Arlean K., United States
No place is perfect, and we understand that a rose-colored view does you no favors.
There's a reason these folks (and Lief and I) are in Panama. We're fans. But we're not fools. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly of day-to-day life and of trying to do day-to-day business in this place. We're enjoying the advantages...and we're reconciled to the downsides.
An important part of our agenda during this event is to show you these downsides...so you can decide whether you can live with them, too.
To this end, we've invited three expats who chose Panama. One is running a business...one has invested in real estate with near-disastrous results (he'll tell you all about it when you meet him)...one is living his retirement dream in an expat enclave high in the mountains…and each one is excited to share his (or her) story with you.
And, of course, I'll be there, too. You hear from me every day...but perhaps this would be a good time for a more formal introduction.
"This was a 10! Great event. Awesome job by the Live and Invest Overseas team!"
-- Edward T., United States
My name is Kathleen Peddicord. For more than 23 years, I was Editor and Publisher of International Living. In 2007, I decided to take a break, during which I did two things.
First, I began work to launch this new publishing group, Live and Invest Overseas, and the new free e-letter service, theOverseas Opportunity Letter.
In addition, my husband, Lief Simon (yes, the guy I introduced to you above), and I made an important geographic decision. We decided to make a third international move with our family and my new business, from Paris to Panama City.
In other words, I've been covering this beat, researching, writing, speaking, and presenting on the opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas, for coming up on three decades.
I have moved children, staff, enterprises, household goods, and pets from the East Coast of the United States first to Waterford, Ireland...then, seven years later, to Paris, France...and, most recently, five years ago, to Panama City.
I have traveled to more than 50 countries, invested in real estate in 21, established businesses in 7, and renovated historic properties in 6. I've written two books (including my most recent, “How To Buy Real Estate Overseas”) on why and how you might want to do the same and I've appeared many dozens of times on television and radio (everything from Bloomberg and CNBC to Fox and the Regis Philbin Show) detailing opportunities for living, retiring, and investing all around the world.
In Panama, in August, at this Live and Invest in Panama Conference, I look forward to sharing details of our long experience in this little country with such an abundance of upside.
More than that, I look forward to the chance to meet you face-to-face and one-on-one. For me, this is one of the best parts of these live events.
And Competence Are Top Shelf”
"The level of experience, knowledge, and competence is top-shelf. Primarily, I appreciated the sincere and honest approach of the organizers and all the presenters, as well as the obvious desire to give participants complete, accurate, timely, and appropriate information and to answer questions thoroughly."
-- Andrew F., United States
This will be a high-energy, full-throttle two-and-a-half days. But we'll do everything we can to make sure it's also a whole lot of fun. We're building in cocktail receptions, lunches, open-air parties, and other special events to give you as much opportunity as possible to mingle and mix with your fellow attendees, with our Live and Invest Overseas panel of experts, and with all the Panama expats we’ve invited to join us.
You never know where these cocktail and poolside conversations might lead. Over the years, we've known readers who've met business partners...roommates...equity investors...language tutors...and, certainly, great friends at our conferences.
We've even known some conference introductions that have led to much more than friendship. You know...Lief and I met, some 15 years ago, at a conference in Ireland...
Publisher, Live and Invest Overseas
P.S. From my vantage point here in Panama City, I can tell you that this is a moment of opportunity in this country that, right now more than ever, qualifies as the world's top retirement, investment, tax, and doing-business haven.
The better acquainted I become with this country, the more convinced I am that this is the place to be (as a retiree, an investor, and an entrepreneur) for the coming decade. Here's your chance to stake your claim here while prices are down and sellers are more negotiable than they've been in a half-dozen years.
It's time to come see for yourself what all the fuss is about down here in sunny Panama.
What are you waiting for? Here in Panama, the sun is shining, and the future is bright. You owe it to yourself to come see for yourself.
Have questions or prefer to order over the phone? Contact our Conference Coordinators directly, toll-free from the United States and Canada: 1-888-627-8834. Or reach us by email at: PanamaConference@LiveandInvestOverseas.com.
Register online here.
Live and Invest in Panama
Aug. 21-23, 2013
Program Details, Costs, & Special Discounts
Your Live and Invest in Panama admission includes all seminars, breakout sessions, workshops, lunches, cocktail parties, entrance to the sponsor hall, participation in the farewell reception, plus printed materials and your Live and Invest in Panama Binder Kit.
We're holding our event at the centrally located Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino, where we've negotiated a very special rate for our attendees, including both full breakfast and free wireless Internet. If you've researched the cost of international-standard hotels in this town, you appreciate what a bargain this is. Internet alone can cost you US$30 a day at some hotels!
The full, list price of this year's Live and Invest in Panama Conference will be $1095 per person, and only $1,595 for two. (Yes, second person attends for half price.)
But frankly, there's no need to pay that much… today, you can save more than $250, or $500 per couple.
When you sign up now, you qualify for the Early-Bird discount. This will slash the cost of admission to just $845 for one person, and only $1095 for two. In other words, your guest attends for only $250.
Important Discounts And Special Offers:
If you're a Panama Circle Member or Live Overseas Personal Consulting Client, we've got a seat at the conference with your name on it. Your admission is free. As is that of your spouse, significant other, or guest.
In addition, we'd like to extend a special discounted invitation to our Overseas Retirement Letter subscribers and Overseas Retirement Circlemembers. If you're an active ORL reader, you save an additional US$50. Active ORC members enjoy a total discount of US$100. (Note that you cannot combine the ORL and ORC discounts.)
Plus, we offer a special US$100 discount if you have attended any event with us in the past. Note that you can combine this with any other discount for which you are eligible.
Please don't delay. Reserve your place now. Click on the Reserve My Place! Button below to obtain any coupon codes for which you are eligible and to register online. Or get in touch with our Conference Coordinators by e-mail:PanamaConference@LiveandInvestOverseas.com or by phone: 1-888-627-8834.
Remember to mention any discounts you think you may be eligible for when you e-mail or call. Our Conference Coordinators will take care of everything from there.
On behalf of our entire Panama Team: We look forward to meeting you soon in sunny Panama City!
“Sophisticated And Thoughtful”
"I have to say that you seem to dig deeper into the feel of a particular place and to do comparative analysis between alternative places. Your approach is more sophisticated and thoughtful and therefore more useful than that of other information sources covering these same subjects."
-- John W., United States
More Reasons To Join Us In Panama City
Aug. 21-23, 2013
- To learn the secret to getting around Panama City by taxi...we'll introduce you to the new taxi fare zone chart...and we'll even show you how to read it! (Plus, we'll tell you the one thing never to say to a Panama City taxi driver.)
- To learn the secret to having mail delivered in this country (Hint: You don't rely on the Panama postal service...)
- To learn how to live in Panama tax-free...
- To understand the options for getting a job (Yes, there are some opportunities...and we'll detail them...)
- For a firsthand account of everything you need to know to start a business in this country. Panama is an entrepreneur's playground. How can you cash in? Our entrepreneurial experts have real-world answers...
- To get to know Panama as a tourist. This country is a naturalist's dream come true and an eco-traveler's paradise. Come, let us introduce you to Panama beyond the tax and banking advantages, beyond the real estate investment upside, beyond the economic boom and the special benefits for foreign retirees...come discover the other Panama...
- To understand the particulars of the 20-year property tax exemption on all new construction (and, often, on resales, too!)...
- To meet like-minded folks who, just like you, are looking for a chance to live better, to retire well, and to invest safe and smart in the current climate...
- To mingle with expats who've already made the leap...to hear firsthand of their adventures, their discoveries, their accomplishments, and their horror stories...an evening chatting at the bar with these people is alone worth the price of admission...
We're Not The Only Ones Who Know
A Good Thing When We See It
Here's what others are saying about Panama...
- Trump Says: "Great Views, Prestige, Convenience, and Growth Potential"
"Donald Trump is participating [in the boom] ... developing Trump Ocean Club -- a 68-story mixed-use hotel and apartment tower in the Punta Pacifica district, which meets with his four key criteria: great views, prestige, convenience and growth potential."
-- New York Times
- Drawing Investors from Across the Region and the World
"The tiny Central American country is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the region ... the Latin American powerhouse. The economic boom comes amid efforts by the Panamanian government to market itself as a financial haven in an area of instability, drawing investors from across the region and the world."
-- National Public Radio
- A Secret the Rest of the Traveling World Has Yet to Discover
"Panama's charms include its stunning coastline of palm-fringed beaches, its astounding wildlife - boasting an incredible diversity of tropical birds - and its proud, vibrant indigenous peoples, such as the Kuna. While in Panama, you'll find it hard to shake the inescapable feeling that you're in on a secret the rest of the traveling world has yet to discover."
-- Lonely Planet