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Giselle Leignadier of Hacienda Los Molinos – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Zipline Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingExpats in Boquete (most of whom are retirees) are very grateful people. They have this feeling that when they come to Panama they are well accepted and they always articulate their gratefulness for that. Most of the expats here try to learn the Panamanian culture and they try to learn Spanish. They are generally from the US, Canada, and Europe and they are mostly retirees.  Historically, the expats here in Boquete have been retirees, but more recently, we have begun to get younger expats here in Panama. 
 
Expats in Boquete have a close community and they do a lot of charity work. That is very important for the community. Boquete has a lot of coffee farms.  The coffee is harvested by Indians who sometimes do not have all the things that they need to live. The expat community does very nice charity work by opening opportunities for better education and a better quality of life for the locals.  
 
(Zipline Boquete, Panama, picutred.)
Alberto Socarraz of Panama Vida – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
championship golf in Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living Generally speaking, retirement anywhere in the Chiriquí Province is very laid back. The hardest adjustment for most people coming here to retire, whether they are retired or semi-retired, is making the adjustment to the pace of life. The pace of life here is much slower. You have to be much more patient, just because things do not get done as fast or as efficient as we are used to, especially if you are coming from the US. Coming here as a retiree, if you want to lead a very laid back lifestyle, enjoy nature, enjoy a culture that is very enthusiastic, that is very warm, then Panama may be a good fit for you. If you try to bring the US style of life here, you are not going to last. You are actually going to end up burned out.
 
The typical day-to-day of retirees here in Boquete is having some fresh breakfast, which would be fresh fruit that is readily available all year around here in Panama. The retirees who I know are pretty active, so they get up and go to the gym or go for a walk in the morning. I have a couple of friends who play golf every day, then they have lunch at the normal hour and then maybe take a little siesta and relax. Pretty much all of the retirees that I know get together in the evening for cocktail time with their neighbors or friends and they just discuss what happened during the day and what events are going on. They have a couple of cocktails and then have dinner. Those are people that I know that are semi-active, but once again, what retirement would be like for you in Boquete just all depends on your lifestyle and what your goals are. 
 
Generally, the biggest difference between the retiring in Miami, Florida, and retiring in Boquete is lifestyle. Being that you are in Boquete, you are in a mountain town so you are not surrounded by a big city. You do have that but it is 30 minutes away from Boquete in David (the closest larger town to Boquete, but nowhere near as large as Miami).  In David, you can do your shopping or go see your specialist doctor.
 
Retiring in Boquete is being able to relax and not having to work with a lot of noise and heavy traffic. Retiring in Boquete is being able to really live off of your retirement, live comfortably, and not have to worry about the month-to-month bills that come in or the month to month expenses. You can hire a housekeeper for $15 a day to do all the cooking, cleaning, and do your laundry, whereas in the US, that would be almost impossible. Because of the lower cost of living, retiring in Boquete is a much less stressful and retirees here have an easier life.
 
The weather here in Boquete is a true dry season and a true rainy season. There is about 6 months of dry and about 6 months of a wetter season. In the Boquete region, there are about eleven microclimates, so depending on where you are at in Boquete, the weather can change dramatically.
 
For the most part, the weather in Boquete is much cooler because you are in the mountains. You may get a little more moisture but you don’t have that blazing heat that you experience in Miami, for example. You also do not have the humidity here in Boquete. Just the sense of being out in the mountains and out in the open country, it just feels cleaner. The air and the environment feel cleaner. It’s about 75 degrees Fahrenheit all year round in Boquete.  
 
(Retiree enjoying championship golf in Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Retirement in Boquete has been ideal for me because when I came here, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. I think to the extent people struggle it is because they either do not have an idea before they come here or they do not spend much time to develop it. A lot of the turnover that we see here are people who do not want to take the time to learn how to speak Spanish or who do not become involved in humanitarian organizations or the social organizations, so they become to feel somewhat isolated and they go home. That is basically something you can control.
 
What I found terrific, because I was working on the humanitarian organizations, is that I had the opportunity to meet extraordinary people at Amigos de Animales. My wife is co-president of  Amigos de Animales and on average now they are doing about 225 spay and neuters each month. They have the largest number of volunteers of any other organization. They are a great group of people.
 
I can generally categorize the people who come to Boquete in three different groups. The first group would be the people who come here who want to play golf, tennis, go out for lunch all the time, and have a country club experience. You can do that here in Boquete and it is pretty terrific.
 
The second group would be the people who are interested in photography, or painting, gardening, bird watching, hiking, etc. There is no shortage of wonderful things to do with a group of nice people here in Boquete.
 
The third group of people who come here are those to work pretty much full time or close to it at the humanitarian organizations; women like Penny Barrett with Bid4Boquete; Susan Peterson with Fundacion Pro-Integracion (the handicap foundation); my wife and her co-president, Dotty, with Fundacion Amigos de Animales; and we can go down the list of the nine leading humanitarian organizations. The people who are officers and directors of these organizations and others like them are working pretty close to full time.
 
Amigos de Animales started a year before I came here by an extraordinary woman named Ruby Mckenzie, who paid for the acquisition of enough operating tables and all the equipment that you would need to start a spay and neuter clinic, and it has grown from there. I think when she started it, two veterinarians could be operating simultaneously and it has now grown to a point where they can get five or six veterinarians operating simultaneously. They have affiliated groups that take care of the street dogs. They feed the street dogs, they have animals for adoption, and there is a whole adoption set up here. It is pretty terrific.  
 
One of the nice things about Boquete is that when you go downtown, you don't see starving dogs. There are three dogs downtown that we call tres amigos because they are always hanging  out together and they could not be friendlier. They are the official greeting dogs of Boquete and the lady who takes care of the street dogs feeds them at least once a day.
 
In the country of Panama, this all started with an extraordinary woman whom we met at the Panama Canal Zone named Pat Chen. I think she has spayed and neutered about 50,000 cats and dogs. Her foundation is called Spayed Panama. She is fabulous. She is the one who created the model that the Amigos de Animales in Boquete followed.
Penny Barrett of Fundacion Bid 4 Bouquete – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In Boquete, I guess retirement varies for each person. As for me, I am very busy.  I could even say that I'm not retired.

Some expats are hermits; they do not partake much of the opportunities for volunteer work and they do not socialize, but they are happy. Other expats are very active and socialize a lot. Everybody has his or her own sub-group of friends. You tend to make friends with the people who came to Boquete about the same time as you did.
 
 
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In my experience there two basic types of people who retire to Boquete:  those who feel perfectly comfortable with a laid back lifestyle and those who need to be more engaged and active with their time.
 
The great thing about Boquete is that it appeals perfectly to both of these personalities.
 
For those wishing a more relaxed and laid back lifestyle, the surrounding beauty, quiet environment and the near consistent climate offers the perfect place to sit back on your patio, soak in the views and read a good book while enjoying a cup of some of the best coffee in the world.   Laid back but not disconnected, you can enjoy this slow living pace but still have cable or satellite TV and high speed Internet to keep you informed and wired to the rest of the world (as much as you choose to be anyway).
 
For those that want or need more activities there are a host of things to see and do in Boquete.  From volunteering time to local causes, to participating in our community theater group to socializing with friends at the over 40 restaurants in the area there’s always something to keep you busy.  In Boquete you’ll find groups organized around golfing, fishing, tennis, bird watching, gardening, knitting, card and game playing (bridge groups, Mah-Jong, Mexican Train just to name a few) and a host of other activities to keep you occupied.  We even have local Trivia Nights to help keep your mind sharp.
 
Because of its location, ideal climate, beautiful surroundings, quiet, laid back attitude and the vibrant and diverse community, Boquete is the perfect place to retire however you want to spend your leisure time.
Anayansi Menendez of El Oasis Hotel & Restaurant – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Retirement in Boquete is so nice, now with the many activities the expats and locals have created.   I think that many of the retirees here in Boquete have a new lifestyle including lots of camaraderie with other people here.
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLiving in Boquete, Panama is like finally being able to breathe deeply and get a full breath of air! We find it less stressful to the extent my husband's health has improved so much he has cut his meds in half, even stopped some of them.  We love to eat the fresh meats and vegetables, fruits and try new foods available here. Walking is enjoyable as well. 
 
It is very easy to meet people; both ex-pats and Panamanians are friendly and helpful. We have had several parties on our patio and enjoy the laughter and conversation with as many of our friends as possible. In fact on most days we eat all our meals out on the patio.  We feed birds and enjoy the lovely flowers growing all around us.
At the Oasis Hotel in Boquete Panama with friends. – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
We talk to our children and grandchildren by SKYPE and it is fun to see them. However we know that they are busy. Our children keep their kids busy, they have difficult jobs and not a lot of time to what I call "tolerate the old folks." I know they love us and we love them but it is so much better for us here health-wise I feel our kids would have sent us here themselves if they had known how beneficial it is living here.A flower near our home in Boquete Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
The beautiful mountains, the rushing rivers, warm beaches, all are so nice to enjoy and do not take long to get to, either. We enjoy shopping in town or in David. We have a health insurance plan with Chiriqui Hospital that is as good as the Medicare in the USA. However it is great not needing it! 
Our patio in Boquete Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
                                                                Life is good in Panama; it is a country of many comforts, many activities, and wonderful people. Plus we have better financial security. This is why I love it here so very much, we have been here only 13 months but other people have made this country home for 11 years or more. Come for a visit and stay for lifetime!
Dianne Heidke of The Boquete Handbook – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Retirement in Boquete is as relaxed as you want it to be. Most people complain about the food being pretty average but that is if you eat out a lot.
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you like a cooler climate, then Boquete has it.  Also more rain than on the coast. In recent years mostly American and Canadian ex pats have retired there. You can buy your basic foods there but would need to drive into David for major shops at the larger supermarkets there. Lots of restaurants around. David is about 30 minutes drive away.
Most Americans and Canadians tend to congregate together and many live in gated communities. Beaches are not that far to drive from David and new roads have recently been implemented.
 

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