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Anne-Michelle Wand of United Country Bocas del Toro – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Retirement here in Bocas del Toro is Floating in the ocean with friends at Bocas del Toro – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingin some ways much like retirement anywhere else. One must adjust to not having a JOB anymore.
 
Many of us were used to having too much to do and not much free time between our jobs, children, and activities. It was called the Rat Race and it wore us out. Now that we are retired, we sometimes feel anxious if we don't have each minute filled with something to do.
 
As you relax into the chill lifestyle here though, you realize that you don't need something to do every minute, and it is OK to have nothing to do sometimes.  You start making contacts and friends and pretty soon you have a whole set of new things that are enjoyable to do, that fit your particular lifestyle. It might be exploring on your boat, it might organizing a charity event, It might be socializing with your friends, it might be learning Spanish and it might be choosing a retirement career that you always wanted to do but never had time or all of those things and more.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Bocas del Toro, Republic of Panamá
 
The Bocas del Toro Archipelago (Archipiélago de Bocas del Toro), a little over 90 miles, located in the province of Bocas del Toro is truly a hidden paradise, recently discovered, at  the north-western part of the country, and visited by thousands every year.  Bocas del Toro borders Costa Rica and the province of Colón (Panamá), where the international famous Free Zone is located.
 
Bocas del Toro has excellent tropical weather all year round, the same as the rest of the country.  The major town is usually called "Isla Colón," or "Bocas," accessible by boat from Changuinola, or domestic airplane from the city of Panamá, David, Chitré or Río Hato.  (This ticket costs around $200 round trip). Driving from Panamá takes about 10 hours, and then, take a short ride by boat to cross onto the island.
 
The area includes some 48 cays, and some tiny islands. These are some of the islands:
  • Cristóbal
  • Popa
  • Solarte
  • Bastimentos
  • Carenero
  • Bagui
  • Pastores
There are also some minor ones.  There are extensive protected areas, in which specimens close to extinction are very well protected, especially the numerous and exquisite beautiful corals.
 
This archipelago is ideal for honeymooners; scientists; writers; backpackers; family-oriented tourists; people looking for something out of the ordinary, yet, totally classic; surfers; water lovers; scuba-divers. The Caribbean seawater is beautiful to experience.
 
The main island offers all kind of hotels, restaurants and tours to different islands.  Some of the other  islands also offer resorts, spas and other activities for every taste and budget.
 
And how is the  retirement is Bocas?  That depends on you.  It could be very calm, relaxed with zero stress, spending your day on your own rhythm in a hammock and reading a good book with the extraordinary view of the ocean in front of you, or you can live at the maximum speed every hour of the day.  Your call.
 
One thing, though.  Don´t expect Bocas to be a "normal" town.  Bocas is unique, and not for everyone.  It is very small with no malls, no big shopping centers, movies or sophisticated places.  Land is quite expensive and construction is a little difficult due to the area.  Housing is not yet developed into "complexes" or neighborhoods. 
 
Every retiree makes their unique and creative ideal house, very much aware of the lack of certain facilities in the area, yet enjoying a paradise.
 
JB Seligman of BUENA VISTA REALTY located in BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
La_Amistad_Panama_Biosphere_Reserve_Bocas_del_Toro – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe expats in Bocas Del Toro who have something to do would typically get up early in the morning and do things around the house. There is always something to do around the house in the tropics. There is always a maintenance program of some sort. That would be the first thing you would do after having breakfast.
 
A lot of people check read the newspaper and check their emails in the morning, and then read whatever they can read on the internet in the morning. Expats here usually have gardeners come to their house or either the husband or the wife is into gardening, which is a big thing down here in Bocas because of the so many different types of plants. Then they may go into town and go shopping, which is actually an event. People look forward to grocery shopping or just shopping in general as an event in their lives.
 
Expats also may end up volunteering. We have a volunteer group here in Bocas called The Floating Doctors, that goes out to the indigenous villages in the outer islands. They need help. The doctors may need your boat to take them to the outer islands or you can go out there with them to volunteer and help out.
 
If you are a retiree who does not plan on doing anything here in Bocas, that would be a typical active day. Then the next time, you can spend your whole day in the beach or in the jungle. Retirement here in Bocas provides you with the ability to have an active lifestyle.
 
Bluff Beach Bocas Del Toro Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI am not retired yet but I can say that if you are an expat who wants to retire in Bocas Del Toro, you have to have something to do on this Caribbean island. If you are retired, you have to do something. It can be either volunteering for some type of social activity, which we have a lot of here in Bocas. There are lots of different things that expats can help the locals with. Retirement in Bocas means you have to have a hobby. To just retire in Bocas with nothing to do does not work; you’ll go crazy because you have nothing to do!
 
When I first came down here to Bocas, I was semi-retired. The thing that I used to wish back in the US when I had my company was that if I could just wake up in a Caribbean island with nothing to do. The only thing I can say right now is, be careful what you wish for! It’s terrible to have nothing to do in a Caribbean island. It is a situation where you really have to have something just for yourself to work. There people who retire here with nothing to do and they leave because Bocas is a kind of place where you retire if you want to be active. If you are sedimentary then you would reconsider other places such as Boquete or other retirement villages. Retirement in Bocas is a different type of retirement. The retirees who come to Bocas are active retirees and not sedimentary.
 
There are no golf courses here in Bocas but there is plenty of snorkeling. You can go into the jungles or walk on the beach. It really helps if you get yourself setup with some social environment where you volunteer to put water systems in an indigenous Indian village or volunteer for spay and neuter programs for dogs and cats here in Bocas. You can volunteer to teach children in schools or volunteer to teach people how to play guitar.
 
In Bocas, you have to have that certain kind of activity that lets you help other people so that you have a sense of self-worth. I have met very few people who had actually nothing to do here that lasted very long here in Bocas.
 
We have a lot of retiree surfers. Bocas Del Toro is a world class surfing destination and you would be surprised on how many 60 to 70 year old surfers we have down here.

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