Typically for most Americans, Canadians and
Typically for most Americans, Canadians and Europeans, the best reasons to retire involve having a less expensive lifestyle, and to do something different. They happen to be older, they want to see new things, to be able to experience new things, and they’re excited to be part of an adventure. Sometimes these two reasons come together in the same person.
Moving overseas is an adventure. Whenever you move anywhere new, you’re learning new things. As far as the cost of living is concerned, I tell people that it is up to you. You can live inexpensively here in Panama, but if you want, you can also spend too much money. It really, really depends on the individual. If you have to have some sort of special food that has to be frozen or flown in from the United States, it’s going to be expensive. As an example, ice cream, brought down from the US. We have plenty of it here but I don’t buy it. I buy local ice cream or ice cream from neighboring countries because it’s good and it’s a lot cheaper.
A lot of how much of an adventure you’re going to have and how inexpensively you live really depends on your willingness to try new things and look around. For example, we have a lot of agricultural places to buy fruits and vegetables that are much cheaper than the big supermarkets in the city, but you have to find them and go visit them in order to take advantage of those lower prices. If you don’t want to do that and you just want to go to the supermarket, your experience will be just like in the US, and you’re going to pay higher prices.