Retirement from Canada to Panama Part 1

Returning Home and Regrouping

After our return home we had a lot to think about. We had already sold our house so we were committed to moving somewhere be it a smaller house anywhere in Canada or really following through on our plan. We agreed that Panama seemed the place and that we were going to buy a modest resale home in our chosen area.

In the meantime the holidays were fast approaching and we had many things to do. Formulate a game plan, gather documents for residency and decide when we were going back to Panama to look for a place to live. We agreed that there was no point in going back to Panama until the New Year as we would not be able to get any business done with all the upcoming holidays.

As part of our regrouping plan while we were waiting to return to Panama we decided to take a vacation. We had always loved the South Pacific and the area had been part of our research. One of the problems was that it was so far away from home and it seemed that property prices just kept climbing every time we looked at real estate. We decided to book a trip to the Cook Islands, one of the places we had visited and fallen in love with. As soon as we booked our trip we received an email from the real estate agent who had taken us on the half day tour that a house we liked had come back on the market. We didn’t let our emotions rule our heads and we decided if the house was ours then it would still be available when we returned to Panama.

Having now lived in Panama for a year as of this writing I can truly see how this step is vital to a successful move. We have seen many people come to Panama and rush in to buying land or committing to working with a developer only to have their dreams
shattered or to get deeply frustrated with the process ruining their health. From our first research trip we decided we definitely did not want to build or be in a gated community. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to do those things but it was not something we wanted to do.

We took our vacation and returned at the end of January ready to commit ourselves to obtaining residency and moving to Panama. We gave ourselves a timeline for having this completed by mid-February to early March.

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  1. Karen,
    Thank you for posting such an informative blog. I am also retired CF and looking to make a move to Panama in the near future with my new partner and our 3 boys…5,9,&11. I would love to connect with you to discuss further as I have many questions that you may be able to answer or at least point me in the right direction.

    Your fellow Canadian,

  2. I’ll make this one short since Im not sure if it will reach you.
    Ex-military myself, I’m looking to move to Panama this winter.
    One simple question for now.
    Where are all the Canadian expats in Panama?


    Josh Garon

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