Panama: Expat living

/Panama: Expat living

Living in The Happiest Country in the World!

 (don’t you deserve it?)

image-one-panama at glance

‘Quality of Life’ & ‘Value for Money’

When you live overseas and go to your favorite expat watering hole to knock down a few drinks and exchange war stories, the conversation drifts to the existential question: ‘Where’s the best country to live?’.

Sadly, this has become a very serious question as the tone becomes somber, with many expats staring into their glass, deep in thought and pondering on the imponderable – leaving a country they have considered their ‘second home.’

Naturally, the follow-up question arises, ‘Will you return home?’ Not much time or thought is required for this answer and within nanoseconds the response is a definitive ‘No Way!’. Why? Not because they don’t love their country but it’s about ‘Quality of Life’ and “Value for Money’ for you see, expats living abroad become spoiled. They enjoy luxury living, maid service, employ a car and a driver, receive quality healthcare, top schools for the children and all the amenities for a fraction of the cost in their native lands. And oh ya, almost forgot – lower income tax rates so you retain more of your hard earned money! That’s an easy question to answer but the harder one is ‘Where?’ and it’s getting harder with each passing day largely due shifting political landscapes and economic stagnation. In mature economies you’re paying more – for less..

These changes in worldview are not unique to the USA & the EU, it’s ubiquitous. Globalization has given rise to Nationalism and is a collective surge occurring in many countries throughout the world, you just rarely see it reported in your local news. But, if you are living and traveling abroad, the signs are unmistakable; ever present and on the forefront of your conscious awareness.. In the wake of rising Nationalism, some emerging markets have become ‘less foreigner friendly.’ Stated or unstated, the sentiments are there and often you will see this reflected in changes of national policies and laws that adversely affect your ability to live and conduct business abroad. (trending in some Asian countries)

The good news is, there is an answer for ‘Where’ – especially if you are American – Panama! Where you can enjoy first class luxury living at a fraction of the price. (compared to most major cities in the USA & EU) The cost of living, including the essentials such as food, health care, transportation, quality international schools for your children, and a great foreigner friendly retirement visa plan with exceptional benefits for pensioners and much more…

Most importantly, it is SAFE & SECURE – politically stable and very prudently managed. It has all the amenities consistent with most major cities; tropical weather, lovely pristine beaches, a rainforest less than an hour from the city, public transportation for under $1. or if you want to splurge on a taxi, that will run you $3-$5 for local travel. Best of all, you have access to low cost direct flights to many US cities and flight times vary from 2.5 hours to Miami, 5 hours from NYC and about 4 hours to Dallas.. Panama has a rich European culture, stemming from it’s Spanish settlers and was rated the HAPPIEST people in the world!* They welcome foreigners and enjoy excellent relations with the USA & low taxes.

* Country rankings from the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index Report show that, for two years in a row, Panama has the highest overall well-being in the world. The new report, “2014 Country Well-Being Rankings Report”, ranks 145 countries and areas based on the percentages of their residents that are thriving in three or more well-being elements. Global Well Being Report (link: http://info.healthways.com/wellbeingindex)