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  1. Good points Jim. We are still working on the question of what makes us happy and will probably not have all of the answers until we have visited several places in person. But I can tell you that we are not interested in Costa Rica, Panama or any other country for speculative purposes - buying real estate cheap then selling high and moving on to the next place, etc. For us it is partly about adventure (experiencing other cultures) and partly about quality of life. And we realize that no place is "paradise" - every country has its issues just as the U.S. does. But we do have at least one very legitimate concern about life in the U.S., which is the ever rising cost of healthcare. There are currently over 40 million people in the U.S. who cannot even afford health insurance. I work in the healthcare industry myself and I can tell you first-hand that it is becoming a national crisis. We do not want to spend the "golden years" of our retirement simply struggling to survive. So that is not the only factor, but as with many who are considering retirement overseas, it is a major one.
  2. Thank you all for your feedback. I do not look at Costa Rica or any other country through rose-colored glasses. Most of the information I have about Costa Rica comes from reliable sources that tell both the good and the bad, so I am already aware of the negatives such as bad roads, heavy bureaucracy, and crime. And I realize that the only way to really get to know a place is to travel to it and spend time there. We hope to do this in the near future. But the more information I can gather from those who have already been to another country or are living there now, the better. This has been helpful. I will also search the forum for other posts regarding comparisons between Costa Rica and Panama. Thanks.
  3. Hello. My wife and I are considering retiring overseas and have been researching various countries, particularly in Latin America. We have not yet visited Costa Rica, but hope to travel there in the near future. For many reasons, Costa Rica has long been at the top of our list as a potential retirement destination. However, Panama now offers some very enticing financial incentives for retirees and has become a popular expat destination as well. For us, it is not just about finding the “cheapest” place to retire – there are many other considerations, such as climate, health care, infrastructure, culture and safety. Also, I very much admire and identify myself with Costa Rica ideologically – a peaceful nation (no military), where government money is invested in the health and education of its people, respect for and preservation of the environment, etc. I would be extremely interested in feedback from anybody who has spent time in both Costa Rica and Panama, and why they ultimately chose to live in Costa Rica. A comparison of the pros and cons of these neighboring countries would be very helpful to us.
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