Through a mutual friend, I got in contact with Bob Adams, a knowledgeable economic adviser for retirees and writer of a blog dubbed, “Retirement Wave”. This is by far, the best blog regarding information about retiring in an emerging country. His style is easy to follow and his arguments are rock solid.
Robert Adams, better known as Bob Adams, has spent most of his life working in more than 40 countries around the world. He has worked in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. That covers almost the whole surface of the globe. Bob has worked for non-profit humanitarian agencies, the “foreign aid” programs of the United Nations and the United States, and several international business firms. He is currently the President and CEO of New Global Initiatives, Inc. headquartered near Washington D.C. in the United States.
He has decided to live in Panama for several reasons. His reasons are clearly outlined in his blog Retirmement Wave. I obtained his authorization to quote an excerpt of some of his writings here, which I know will help those of you who are thinking of traveling abroad to build your nest after retiring.
The following words struck me like a lighting bolt. It’s about why you should live in Panama. This is what he wrote that deeply impressed me.
“If you want to retire, Panama wants you.
All of the above makes retiring in Panama an excellent choice for retirement, but here are some very direct incentives. As a pensionado [retiree] in Panama, you receive:
- 50% discount at most recreational, movie, and sporting events.
- 30% discount off public transportation (including buses and ships).
- 25% discount off Copa Airline flights.
- 50% discount off hotel stays on weekdays (30% on weekends).
- 25% discount at selected restaurants.
- 15% discount at fast food restaurants.
- 10% discount off prescription drugs.
- 20% discount on doctor’s visits.
- 15% discount on dental work.
- 25% discount on your electric bill (if less than $50).
- 25% discount on your telephone and water bills.
In addition, you can bring in all your household goods free of taxes and import a new car every two years for private use.
All that is required to qualify as a pensionado is that you must be in good health, AIDS-free, have an up-to-date passport from your country of citizenship and a verifiable monthly pension income of at least $1,000 per month for an individual, $1,250 for a couple, plus $250 for each additional dependent, if any.
Foreigners who become pensionados can buy and own Panama property and enjoy exactly the same rights and protections as Panamanians, not always the case in many nations and an important point people often forget to consider. As for income taxes, you will be pleased to know that in Panama you pay no taxes on income earned outside of Panama.”
For the last four years, Bob has met with his readers at his apartment in Panama City. He invites them over the Internet and many accepted the rain check. I wanted to meet him so badly, I gladly accepted his invitation and arrived at his place on the 19th floor roughly about 1:30 p.m. It was an exciting social event.
I met people from Belgium, Canada, Sweden, Costa Rica, Panama and the United States. All of them had fascinating backgrounds and plenty to say about their stay in Panama. The food and drinks were great. I left shortly after four to pick up my wife who had to go to Albrook Mall to drain up my credit card. Ouch!
Before I left, I took a couple of pictures of the social reunion to share with you. This is what I saw at Bob’s apartment on Sunday, December 20, 2009. Here we go.
It was a most enjoyable social gathering and I’m glad Bob invited me. Meeting people is like reading an encyclopedia, you learn so much from them. My conversation with Andre and John Ritche and his wife Yvonne was very informative. I can’t wait till next year.
If you’re planning your retirement, I strongly recommend you to read Bob’s blog. I’m sure it will help you get the most bang out of your retirement funds. Good Day.
Retirement Wave – Robert Adams