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kimbo47 replied to the thread My recent trip to Panama conclusion on the Panama forum on October 31, 2014:
davisodb initially posted:
The rest of the journey was a slog. A planned two nights in Coronado Beach turned into one as I was so pissed off that I couldn’t get into the private beach but had to taxi the long way around. Once at the beach, I was afraid a taxi might not come by and it was way too far to walk so we just took the same taxi back. We went back to PC and changed our flight plans flying out on Friday instead of the following Tuesday. American Airlines raped us on this change. Before I forget, American dollars are not only accepted everywhere, they are the only currency--Panama has no local currency apart from coins that are synonymous with our dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny coins. My Conclusions, and I stress mine alone for it is obvious there will be those who disagree and they are not wrong for doing so: Panama is not for me and my wife though it certainly may be for others thinking of retirement there (I assume those who have retired there are mostly pleased with their choice); I make no judgements here, it is simply a matter of preference. The language barrier is too great for my wife, English is her second language, she is reluctant to learn a third. A second reason is very intangible and perhaps only a matter of perception. It just feels boring in Panama yet I must confess, what do I do in America that can’t be done in Panama other than visit current friends? Expats are best answering this as they are living through it. I noticed that expats, other than those living in Boquete where many expats live, seem starved for conversation with fellow Americans or Canadians. I understand this feeling as it is what I experienced when I lived in the Philippines. The slow pace in Panama is maddening because I am always in a hurry. Service is slow in restaurants and they make too many mistakes with your order, even if you point to the picture on the menu (when ready to leave, ask for the bill or you’ll be there forever). I am not trying to duplicate in Panama what I have available in America, only attempting to decide if the lifestyle changes are something I am willing to accept. Because it has been mentioned in other posts, I’ll just say that I did find the litter problem huge, but not as bad as I was anticipating (I’ve been to other third world nations). In PC, the side walks ARE very broken up, uneven, or there are other obstacles in the way, at least in the down town busy section where I stayed. Finally, Panama IS a third world nation and one needs to get used to the occasional whiff of raw sewage (less so in Boquete) and just a general atmosphere of minor uncleanliness. The country does feel safe though around the Casco Viejo it seemed real edgy, bordering on Brazilian Favela type atmosphere. I’m sure I’ll think of more but I hope this helps those thinking of either vacationing or retiring in Panama. I would add that I believe the standard of living will only improve there, driving up prices, but making it much nicer to live and visit.
kimbo47 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Good info. Thanks
Panama2017 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
MaryAnn is right. We had some other timing constraints in that we were trying to coordinate closing on some property with filing the Visa papers, so we delayed for several weeks after the Visa paperwork was in order waiting for the closing. Then... when we arrived in Panama a few days before the July 1st induction of the new president - everything was topsy-turvy there. So our attorney recommended waiting until after we left to file the Visa papers (due to entry and exit requirements). Then we decided to wait a few weeks after the attorney filed the papers to return to Panama to pick-up the cards. I am sure the whole process could have been done in a couple weeks versus months.
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cuPanama2015 replied to the thread Must Leave on the Panama forum:
zoemax1 initially posted:
I'm sure I will get a bunch of "do not leave for that reason" but I don't have much of a choice. We lost just about everything in the recession in the US and we now must live on SS alone. We cannot stay in the US without getting 2 jobs and a meager existence. Our SS combined is $3,600/month. If we want any kind of worthwhile retirement we have to leave the US. We are each 69. I'd like some comments please. We will try to leave around June or July of 2015.
cuPanama2015 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
My wife and I live a 5 star existence on $2000 a month in Panama. That same existence in the States was $8000 a month. $3600 a month would give you lots of perks.......You would have way too much money to leave for your kids!
MushroomMike replied on October 31, 2014 with:
I cannot imagine not being able to live on US $3600. per month. I am a single male living in Calif. on $1800./ month after taxes. I must be doing something right - or you are doing something wrong? And our Greater Recession is still continuing, despite what the liars club in D.C. is saying. A recession or depression simply means our (US) growth rate is depressed lower than the expected 3-3.5% annual growth rate. If you are really hard-pressed financially, what have you got to lose by getting a round-trip ticket to Panama and just trying to live modestly for a couple of months "out of suitcase"? You will definitely find out if you can adapt to Panama. If you choose to leave the USSA, sit down and write out, on paper, everything you need to cover your bases (leave no debts in USSA just in case you decide to return). Talk to your spouse about your proposed move! Get their input and feelings on the move, too. Some of my friends look at me as if I am crazy for thinking of moving to Panama, but I have to live with myself and march (or dance) to the tune I hear! I am sure you will be okay with whatever you choose to do.
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cuPanama2015 replied to the thread bank advice on the Panama forum on October 31, 2014:
drifter13 initially posted:
I will be in Panama to open bank account soon . .Leaning towards Banistmo and plan to live near city.Any feedback on this choice is wecomed. Also what are U.S. requierments regarding a foreign account.Any advice on buying a CD.
cuPanama2015 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Let's start some banking advice here on this site soon. Here is some info from some of my banking friends back in North America. Several major national and international banks are planning to launch their own mobile payments apps next year. The banks would be major competitors to handset makers Apple and Google because unlike others pushing mobile wallet technology, such as mobile phone carriers and retailers, they already have an intimate relationship with consumers and know their spending habits. “Banks all around the world are working on this right now,” said James Anderson, senior vice president for mobile and emerging payments at MasterCard. Anderson didn’t name any of the banks, but said MasterCard is already in conversations with them on how to add mobile payment capability to the existing apps that millions of consumers already have on their phones. The most likely way will be through a technology called host card emulation, that was introduced in Android 4.4 “KitKat” and allows software apps to emulate the secure element chip found on some bank cards and the iPhone 6. Using software means wider compatibility with phones than if a dedicated chip was required. The mobile payments market had been relatively quiet until recently. Google Wallet and Softcard, a competitor backed by cellular carriers, were in the market but consumer awareness and interest appeared to be low. That changed with the launch of Apple Pay on October 20. A million cards were activated in the first three days of use and early adopters have praised its ease of use: users just need to hold their thumb over the iPhone 6 fingerprint reader and bring the device near a terminal for payment to be made. As a result, competitors are planning their attack. Next year CurrentC, backed by some of the biggest retailers in the U.S., will launch and companies like PayPal are also hoping to expand their footprint in stores. No third-party fears But an app from a bank might have an edge because it removes a potential hurdle to adoption: unease among consumers that at a third-party is getting access to details of purchases they make. Apple has stressed that it doesn’t see any of the purchases made by its users but Google’s system is set up so that all payments run through the company’s servers—giving the company an additional layer of information into the lives of its users. A bank already has access to this information because of its nature and is presumably trusted by its customers. If a customer has a banking app on their phone, it would suggest they also have faith in the bank’s online security system.
kimbo47 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Panama, you are right! I have just finished a long chat with Banco General and according to the rep a foreigner CAN NOT open an account without having some tie with the country. I assume if you speak to someone else you may get a different answer. Todd & Mary, the key seems to be "having a tie with PC" which a normal foreign tourist would not have. They go on to describe what this means with a large list enumerating the ties that besides a residence can be purchase of property, donations to the forestry program, opening a business, renting a property, investments, etc As far as the CD's and rates they publish a table that shows a max of $10,000 for 5 yrs gets 4.5% you can access it here: So bottom line it seems there is no answer except the individual requirements you would be subjected to when you actually show up in the bank and depending on who helps you.
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shawnnn replied to the thread Christmas Season has started in Panama City on the Panama forum:
MaryAnnR initially posted:
If you love Christmas, Riba Smith in the MultiPlaza Mall in Panama City, is filling the aisle that had school supplies with Christmas lights, stockings, and decorations. Alissa, a type of department store in the mall, has a big department filled with wreaths, wooden Santa Clauses, and a lot of sparkly decorations.
shawnnn replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Yeah Multiplaza great place. Advise you use the bathroom before you go there. Merry Christmas Multiplaza customers. Signed Santa. P.S. BYOB bring your own bottle (water that is) MULTIPLAZA, Mall, home to outlets for some of the world’s luxury brands and a shopping destination for visitors from Central and South America suffered the indignity of having its water cut off on Tuesday, October 28 because an outstanding debt. The action was taken by the country’s Water and sewage authority (Idaan). According to information released by the institution’s Twitter account of the unpaid bill amounted to $ 48,000. Spokesmen for the mall said they were preparing a statement in response to the situation.
MaryAnnR replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Update on Christmas decorations in Panama City: The first Christmas tree is up in the Multiplaza Mall,. It is about 35 feet high, has lights, but they were not turned on yet. The second tree is under construction as of today. Three stores have gorgeous decorations on the ceilings with red gift boxes stacked on the counters. One store has a nice window display. The decorations remind me of Christmas in the US about 20 years ago. Riba Smith grocery store already has live poinsettias on sale for $9.95. Panama City is Heaven for Christmas lovers. I am curious about Christmas in the interior.
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panamachick posted leaky roof on the Panama forum on October 31, 2014:
we have a fiberglass roof, a frame that has 2 additions with a sloped roof.. where the roofs, join it leaks terribly in the house. we have consulted our panama neighbours, contractors and we have sealed it many times and my house still leaks like a sieve. should i jusrt put a new roof over top? What is the answer? Anybody with spme experience in living in the rainy weather please reply!!!!
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llseldon replied to the thread Loking for new contacts on the Panama forum:
nadfree initially posted:
Feeling out of touch? Maybe new to town or not so? I`m a single Panamanian woman in her 50s recently back in the city after a long time away oversees. So this is a call to all newcomers and those not so new who'd like to get together for a nice chit chat, brush up their English, their Spanish and just have a good time. Expats, Repatriates, Locals. Simply comment or PM me.
llseldon replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Look at the beaches on the Azuero Peninsular, Playa Venado/Pedasí & Santa Catalina southwest of Santiago & west of Azuero (see: ).
llseldon replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Contact Anne Gordon de Barrigon (from Washington state) for info on the Embera Indians & Whale watching, tell her Lou says hola.
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WMBGamboa replied to the thread Oral Surgeon Recommendation in PC on the Panama forum on October 31, 2014:
WMBGamboa initially posted:
I have a broken molar that must be removed. Can anyone recommend an oral surgeon in the Panama City area? I have not had any dental care in Panama, so am completely in the dark as to whether I should have it done here or in the States.
WMBGamboa replied on October 31, 2014 with:
Thanks to jonoyakker and todd2433 for their replies.
todd2433 replied on October 31, 2014 with:
I have had extensive dental work done in Panama City. Very happy with the results. On one occasion I was qupted $21,000 by a SW Florida dentist. Had the exact same procedure done in PC foe $7,000. The dentist that I used is Waldo Avila.His phone number is 2655836.Good Luck!
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Oldcameraman replied to the thread magicjack problem on the Panama forum:
helenaanstoos initially posted:
Noticed today my phone dedicated to magicjack says "no line" and the jack itself feels cool instead of its normal warm. Can't get a dial tone either. It's hooked into a heavy duty surge protector. However, the magicjack works fine on my little tablet. Gets daily power loss here so wondering if that repititious power loss blew out my phone and jack. I'm no techie. I have 3 more months paid up on my magicj so I doubt that's the issue. Any ideas?
Oldcameraman replied on October 30, 2014 with:
Magic Jack is really good about things like this. I lost my AC adaptor, called them and they sent a replacement N/C. The "reason" note said "defective" but I was okay with that because at. least I got my AC adaptor. Took about 4 weeks to get it by mail to Canada
jedard replied on October 30, 2014 with:
Anyone having this problem the issue is definitely the power adapter. I have been using MJ since the day they came out. Recently , in the last two years they have been experiencing problems with the power adaptors. They are guaranteed so all you have to do is call them on this phone number Tech Help 561 594 9782 They will send you a new one. In a pinch you can use another one you use for charging your cell phone.
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GlamBabe replied to the thread Scuba Diving Tours West Coast of Panama? on the Panama forum on October 29, 2014:
norteamericano907 initially posted:
Are there any scuba dive operations in the Golfo de Chiriqui Marine National Park or within driving distance of Boquete?
GlamBabe replied on October 29, 2014 with:
And does anyone know of a scuba instructor or school in Coronado? I'd like to get my son involved. Thanks!
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Oldcameraman replied to the thread Travel on the Panama forum on October 28, 2014:
Oldcameraman initially posted:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. - Mark Twain
Oldcameraman replied on October 28, 2014 with:
Amen to the second Mark Twain quote. Been there, done that one !
jonoyakker replied on October 28, 2014 with:
"There are two classes of travel-first class and with children." Also, Mark Twain
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