One of the worst reasons to retire overseas
One of the worst reasons to retire overseas is expecting everything to be very cheap. It’s not. I lived in Hawaii for a year and 90% of everything in Hawaii is imported, so it is cheaper to go out to eat. It is the same in Panama. There are things in Panama that do come from the US, but you pay the extra cost of having that.
Panama is a developing nation and the rising standards of living reflect that. Some retirement companies seduce people by saying that you can buy a beach house for US $59,000. Well, there may be something out there for that amount, but it would be a shack on a beach that is not yet developed.
Some retirement companies tell people that the price of fuel, groceries, and similar things in the US is very cheap here in Panama, and that is not 100% true. They make people go to their seminars. You will pay for your own flight; you will pay a ridiculous amount for your hotel accommodation in Panama City. Then they have seminars and they rush people to different places, such as to an immigration attorney they know, who will fix people’s paperwork. If you want to buy property, they will tell you to go to a specific attorney, and they all get paid under the table for things that we do at no charge, and that is disappointing for us.