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Trump Won - I'm outta here!

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tommcc
11/11/2016 00:05 EST

The worse-case scenario has happened in the US with Trump-elect so I'm seriously considering Panama as an expat until at least he's gone from office. I'm retired, single, an ex-Marine (Semper Fi on our birthday!), and fed-up with VA. I've read a lot of the previous letters and find most of them very helpful. One question I have is how hard is it to get the Pension Visa? It looks like a very effective tool to get retirees to Panama, but does it work well and is accepted easily in country? Also, is it possible to keep Social Security while living in Panama? I'm assuming I'll need to keep my stateside bank for auto-deposits from SS and just pull cash from a local ATM or use a credit card. I am also assuming that Medicare will not be accepted there so how expensive is medical insurance for a retiree? Is the electricity down there just like the US for use with computers, TV, charging batteries, etc. I plan on a month long visit after the first of the year - are there particularly great places most expats like? and I realize the expensive beach areas as opposed to cooler cheaper mountain areas are very different, but I don't want heavy crowds or complete isolation either. I see from most of the forum letters that renting is preferable to buying which suits me fine, but is there anything in particular I need to be aware of as a caution or helpful suggestion? I love outdoor activities, hiking, photography, chess, and writing. I'm a very good cook and comfortable on my own. I look forward to learning Spanish - frankly think everyone should be bi-lingual - do expats have language classes or will I just have to wing it on my own? That's enough for now and my sincere thanks to anyone kind enough to respond. Muchas Gracias.

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FredfromArkansas
11/11/2016 09:32 EST

If you are moving to Panama to avoid the culture shock of Trump, you may want to rethink it. Panama is NOT the South United States. The culture will be very different. If you are looking for the United States without Trump, I would suggest Canada or a European country.

Panama is a nice place, but not a substitute for the US. It is Panama. With it's own charms and shortfalls. If you come to embrace them, you can be happy. If you are just coming to live the same way you live in the States, minus a thing (or person) or two, you will probably be disappointed.

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BoqueteGirl
11/11/2016 09:44 EST

I will start by asking a few questions. You did not tell us (approx.) how much is your pensions? That will most definitely tell us where to recommend your stay. If you are drawing Military and SS you should be just fine in qualifying for a Pensionado. (You also have other choices in types of visa's) Are you bringing a family with you?

Now, I can basically only speak for Boquete as that is my area that I know a lot about. I have visited most all tourist areas of Panama, but have not lived in them. We have visited Coronado for a month at a time as our friends have a condo there and we stay in his condo anytime we want. Love the beach life, but it is not for me as I can not stand the traffic or that much heat.

In Boquete we have a lot of opportunity to learn Spanish as we have many who teach it. We also have a huge X-pat community and lots of wonderful restaurants. Too many to list. You can eat as cheap as you want or pay as much as you want due to having some very fancy restaurants. You can eat at a local restaurant for as little as $4. a plate. We also have a large photography club and hiking is unbelievably endless.

You are right in that it is recommended keeping your bank in the U.S. Keep in mind that you can only get $500. a day in the cash machines here. We sometimes have to go to two different bank machines to get our cash. Also,,,,make sure you notify your banks and credit cards that you will be traveling to Panama or your charges may be declined. You did not say if you had any pre-existing medical issues. If not, your age will determine your medical premiums. My husband was 64 when we received our medical at Chiriqui Hospital and we pay $138. a month for the two of us. Now that is just for the hospital's medical which is one of the best in Chiriqui Provence. The average cost to go to a Doctor outside of the Hospital is around $40. per visit. Unless you go to a local clinic and it could cost you $15. (approx.) The hospital has most of the really good Doctors. As far as your military medical benefits go,,,,I can not commit on that. Maybe someone with a military medical plan can give you some advice.

Electricity in Panama is not cheap by U.S. standards. The average cost per Kilowatt is anywhere from 17 to 22 cents per Kilowatt hour. In Florida the cost is around 12 cents per Kilowatt hour. Now remember these are estimates. Your cost will be determined by how much you use air conditioning. We replaced all our bulbs with LED. Not sure if it saved us or not to go LED as sometimes we can go several months without using the air. You can get cable and/or satellite TV.

When you come down for your month long visit, check and make sure you are not traveling during major holiday's or carnivals as prices for hotels go way up and you may not get a room. (Even if you reserve one) Don't try and stay in Boquete during the Jazz Festival. It is huge and no place to stay in town. But a wonderful experience. Lots of wonderful music.

Renting is the only way to go until you see if this works for you. Also spend lots of time visiting as many areas as you can so you can determine what works for you. Good luck in your search.

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Panama2017
11/11/2016 09:44 EST

Here is my impression. The expat communities in Panama are largely Trump supporters. Not everyone, but a lot. This might be due to the class divide that was evident in the vote split between Hillz and Trump in the US, and led to his election. The general pattern seems that the less populated areas in the US voted Trump. You may find a similar correlation in Panama.

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Travelocity
11/11/2016 09:55 EST

and what exactly were you expecting if Hilary won? lol
all these people always moving for candidates...we have Obama exiles, Bush exiles.
I frankly think he will do much better for his country than anyone else has, he ran for the need and betterment of his country, not like Hillary who wants power and more bribes from foreign governments. he said he is going to cut 25% of the government programs, so maybe if you get some it might affect you, otherwise if you just sat in you home and watched tv and will repeat the same words the new media presstitues called him on tv because that is what you "believe" he is, you might have been brainwashed, just a bit.
the economy will be much better under him than it would have been under Hillary because you were just going to get another 8 years of Obama part 2 with her. I am sorry but people were not ready put Bill Clinton as first lady....
on another note, If you are old and set on your ways, bitter, and never traveled, and haven't even been here doing some ground work you will find it hard to adapt to the way things are run around here.

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rrvantine
11/11/2016 11:02 EST

Whoever wrote the reply to this. You think you know something! You truly do not realize what a Trump win means. We will forever be known as an intolerant nation. Sexists, racist and soon to be more intolerant to our own people. Which I view as the native Americans!

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rodfan1
11/11/2016 11:50 EST

And I (a long with 25,000,000 loose Health Insurance! Before the ACA my health insurance was $1500 a Month and had a $5,000 deductable (I have heart disease. My wife could not GET insurance due to degenerative disc disease! Trump and GOPs repeal (done with such hideous glee) and replace (just a few bullet points) is no REALISTIC REPLACEMENT plan. It took years to get the ACA drawn up and implemented! So, since I don't even clear $1500 a month, approaching 60, do I just lay down and die, without medication and monitoring by a physician, that's what MY future here is now.

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glockdiver69
11/11/2016 12:28 EST

Sorry to hear about your poor health and your low income. However, it is not the governments job to support you nor its job to give health care for everyone. Not to sound harsh BUT, did you ever plan for your retirement and save/invest for your future? Assuming you started working at 18 and you are now 60, that is 42 YEARS that you had to save for retirement. If you are bringing in a gross of $1500 per month, that is your own fault for lack of planning. As for your health, did you smoke, drink, do drugs, work in an industry that was harmful, not have an active and healthy life style or bad genetics? Maybe you did this to yourself. Maybe not. I do not know but I wish you well. I just DO NOT want to pay for you and neither do the people who voted for our new President. The country has spoken and it should be a brighter 4 years compared to Clinton (Obama part 2).

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tharin4prez
11/11/2016 13:22 EST

Give him a chance. The same, and some worse things were said of Reagan ... and he turned out to be one of the best the U.S. Has had. If he turns out to suck, it's up to you to vote him out in four years.

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joeslinky
11/11/2016 16:43 EST

I've been crying for eight years, and finally a ray of light. I suggest you dry your tears and deal with it. You Liberals had your chance and what have you accomplished? We are not honored or respected in many places in the world. We support countries who want to KILL us and even fund them. Jobs are evaporating from the stupid decisions of the government. Many are loosing health insurance and sending them into Bankruptcy. Just a FEW problems we inherited from the Liberals. THANK YOU.

My advise to you Liberals PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Leave the country and take 100 more Liberals with you, America WILL be much better. It's our turn so deal with it or LEAVE!!!!

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dunnee
11/11/2016 17:22 EST

Hi Tom,
If you want to look into Chiriqui Prov. I can give you an intro for a month. A bed, refrigerator, old beat up mini farm truck. You cook, clean, and serve for yourself. Take the truck all over Chiriqui, come back to the farm and talk about any questions you may have. I have Vets in my family so you are welcome here.
Regards.

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RICOBREEZE802MARK
11/11/2016 17:37 EST

NO RR, what we are know for is war, going into our people's countries and killing off their people and their government to put more money into the pockets of big corp. intolerant nation? why because we don't want to open the doors and allow everyone to come running in, to sign up for free sht, and then plan on changing our government by fear from inside? look what happen to german and french people, group of young men raping women everywhere. wait until the attacks start, just like the ones that already have in the u.s. they don't come for a better life, they come to take over. put in their own laws, if that happens all women will have NO VOICE, no rights, cover your body and do as you are told. is that what you want? if so move to their country and bow down. Sexists really? trump has had women in top jobs within his corps. for 40 years. you wanted hillary didn't u?

lol,,, anyway, to reply to the man, our power is the same 110v. if you have a income over 1500.00 you can get a visa. you can find groups that will help you learn to speak. rent don't buy. of course if you are moving here because of trump and that's the only reason.. stay where you are.

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bluewind
11/11/2016 17:39 EST

Boy do you have a narrow view on why problems exist in the USA. It's a lot more complicated than the way you put them and much has nothing to do with decisions made at the federal level.

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Panama2017
11/11/2016 17:54 EST

So...Tommcc. By now you are probably getting a sense of how your peer group in Panama thinks. Not much different than the US - you have to "find your tribe". If political views of expat "friends" matter to you then that is something to consider.

But, don't move anywhere yet! Trump is already compromising on Obamacare. My guess, he will end up compromising on lots of policy issues. After all, he is surrounding himself with members of "the swamp" in his administration. So....yeah.

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tommcc
11/11/2016 19:23 EST

I guess my first letter to the forum stirred up some political animosity and that surely was not my intention so if I owe anyone an apology considered it extended. Everyone has their own agenda for relocating or even moving out of the country and while mine was politically motivated I did not intend to use the forum as a bully pulpit – again my apologies if I offended anyone. I also was trying to keep my request somewhat short in order to focus on the Panama aspects. Some people offered critiques, some excellent information, but I will respond to people kind enough to reply.
I most certainly am not a bitter person – that's not even in my make-up and was very surprised someone got that opinion. Yesterday was my Marine Corps birthday and today is Veterans Day so I guess it was also in the forefront of my thinking when I wrote. I know many expats are ex-military and the VA has helped some vets, but unfortunately completely disregards others as standard procedure, especially Viet Nam vets. Their non-involvement borders on criminal neglect. Enough of that.
I have lived all over the US and also in the Azores, Phillipines, Japan, Okinawa, and unfortunately Viet Nam. I have been fascinated with the people, their culture, their food, and history and respect their differences and strengths. I'm NOT an Ugly American! I learned conversational Japanese on Okinawa and most Japanese are pretty good with English, and when I traveled to Japan I was asked more than a few times where I learned to speak Japanese with an Okinawan dialect. No one was ever offended because I was not fluent; instead they seemed genuinely impressed that I made an effect to learn their language at all.
My Spanish in high school was difficult because one teacher was from Mexico and another spoke Castillian from Spain and constantly corrected me so I was frustrated. However, I had a landscape business for 12 years and most of my workers were Spanish-speaking. To a man, they were VERY hard-working, never complained, were polite and grateful and still had a great sense of humor. I admired them greatly – I did NOT see them as illegals, criminals and rapists as Trump does.
Another reply in the reply-string suggested if I was disillusioned with Trump to try Canada. That actually was my first choice, but I ALWAYS do my homework before making a decision and in my research I found out I could only stay 6 mo on my passport, 4 years with a work visa, and reside there 4 out of 6 years before becoming a citizen. I then would lose my Social Security and would be not employable in a high-cost-of-living country. At 69 I would be considered unemployable and would just be a drain on their health care system. It is understandable of course and that ended that search.
I researched Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama and came away surprised that Panama came out so far ahead in many areas: Stable government, low cost of living, a wide variety of people, mixed cultures, several different sources of income, diverse climates, a large expat population, and modern health care/hospitals/doctors, wide variety of food/restaurant choices, plus other incentives for pensioners. ( I was aware of Noreiga and the Panama Papers, but that seemed in the past.) Only after that research did I post my original forum letter. I can stay there while Trump is President and I can either remain in Panama or go back when he is voted out – it's too soon to know, but at least I can keep my Social Security check and that alone (at least $1500/mo for the pensionado Visa) may keep me in Panama even longer. It is premature to venture a guess.
I am not looking for or expecting a southern US. My current dissatisfaction is not with the country; it is with the man Trump is. While I see what made America great in the first place was the millions of immigrants from all around the world, Trump played to making America great again only to the Archie Bunkers who expect just a US for the white male and throw out all minorities, all blacks, all Muslims and put women on the back burner. As President I thought he was supposed to be the president of ALL of us – not just the few he thinks are OK. I feel sorry for the US – I'm disappointed, disillusioned, and discouraged that anyone wants a racist, pathological liar, sexual predator to represent the US, and feel extremely embarrassed that other countries see this and wonder, “What were they thinking?”.
America is not a perfect country, it has a lot of problems that need to be addressed. Getting rid of ADA (only people who hate Obama call it Obamacare) and having no Trump improvement or replacement to offer is both reckless and irresponsible. There are people who could not afford regular medical insurance or were un-insurable who now have coverage. The rise in premiums (to 30% of the insured, not 100%) is due to the insurance companies and indeed was a fault in ADA that was not addressed or rectified. This however played into Trump using his hate- and fear-monger rhetoric to stir up his supporters. Bear in mind this was another election where the loser won the popular vote, yet the winner of the electoral college became President.
I am not a huge fan of Hillary, but as in nearly every election your vote is often for neither (which is why some people do not vote) but rather voting for the lesser of 2 evils. In this case I saw a not-so-great candidate vs. a morally bankrupt sociopath so my choice was made easier. However, in a country of 260Million people you mean this is the best we can do? Yes, America IS in trouble. Someone mentioned giving him a chance. He has it, but not from me. Time will tell if he fulfills his own hype or his true colors come out. We'll see.

Now, enough of politics and answering the replys that may have meant well, but were aside from my original intent. I went back a long way on this expat forum and noticed some of the same names popped up and always seemed to be upbeat, helpful and encouraging. A few were not, but most were, so I can take that with a grain of salt – no problem. XSMEMORIES is a regular and always has well thought out, gracious and helpful responses as does BoqueteGirl – they often go out of their way to be helpful and I thank them both very kindly for their responses and cautions. I see a lot of great responses from OldPro (a very appropriate name) who has not responded to mine yet, but I look forward to his input.
My family resides in OK and KY and as I traveled around they rarely came to visit and I was divorced a very long time ago so I have always been an adventurous solo-person and embrace new opportunities. Every place I have visited I have met nice people and I am positive that will be the case in Panama. I have solid friends that go back 60 years so once I make a friendship it becomes very valuable to me and I hold onto it. SS should cover the pension visa requirements and I have a small company pension, and medical insurance from another company (not the military), but likely they won't want to cover costs from Panama which is why I inquired about insurance costs. (The rest of my assets and what I am giving up here do not need to be reviewed.) I also inquired about the expat population because it is often a tight-knit, mutually supportive, resource-rich community which is at least a solid starting point and maybe a source of great future friends as well. As long as they have 120AC down there I know I can bring the few electrical things I'd prefer to have – one post mentioned they wished they had thought to bring their power tools with them – these kinds of comments are invaluable.
And only after I have done substantial research, do I plan an exploratory trip, but I ALWAYS plan a trip before I commit to any move. Once I make up my mind I am totally committed and focused on seeing it succeed and so far this strategy has served me well. I am not the type of person to ever be bored. There are too many things I can do, want to do, and this has only enriched my life so I feel very lucky and fortunate, and even though no one has a perfectly easy float through life, I have certainly enjoyed mine so far – and I'm not done yet.

Well, this was more than I expected to write, but I am sure it will illicit more responses that I hope will be better focused on Panama this time after I spilled my guts when I didn't really want or expect to. Again, my sincere thanks to all who respond kindly, and my apologies to anyone I may have rubbed the wrong way with a political comment – that was not my intention. The hot-button issues of politics, religion, sex and money often diverge into unknown territory that is difficult to travel. I expect my travel to explore Panama after the first of the year will be much easier and more enjoyable. Muchas Gracias!

WOW. I see where even more replys have come in while I wrote this – some strong political comments again so I did open up a bag of worms. Again sorry.
I am not in poor health and all I get from the government is SS which I earned by working for 50 years and Medicare which I paid dearly for over many years and I most certainly saved up for retirement and will never be a burden on the government or Medicade.. There are things wrong with the government that need to be corrected and I agree, but there is no way to make everyone happy with whoever is in charge - we seem to hover around 50% for and 50% against. Just being fair seems to be too difficult to handle right now. Racial profiling and lumping everyone into a stereotype does not work, New York city where it started even says so. Does there need to be better filtering on people coming in? – absolutely, but not everyone coming in is trying to destroy America. America is not liked or respected everywhere in the world, and countries have their legitimate reasons for this whether we want to believe it or accept it. Standing at the Hiroshima Memorial is both terrifying, humbling and incredibly sad; going to Arlington Cemetery made me feel the exact same way. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Even the military thought VietNam was a mistake so we don't have all rave reviews in our history either. I've been around long enough to see the ebb and flow of politics, legislation, great times and bad. Our best times are when we work together for the common good a rarity. The president should be the president of ALL of us whether we voted for him or not.
Again, I am sorry I seemed to have stirred up a hornets nest as this has been a very divisive election and as one very recent replay stated, that if I don't like it - leave. That's exactly what I am trying to do.

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Panama2017
11/11/2016 19:59 EST

I am not trying to be disrespectful. But I think that even the Topic title of this post sets you up for political responses. This forum, like most of the world, is politically divided right now and folks are passionate. So don't expect anyone to mince their words here.

Only other point...I use the term Obamacare because I like the sound of his name on my lips. So don't be so quick to judge.

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tommcc
11/11/2016 20:42 EST

I also do not wish to be disrespectful as you seem to have listed all of your posts sincerely and honestly - I appreciate that. My original letter title was more of a joke rather than a desire to throw down a political gauntlet, but I can certainly see others also have passionate political beliefs and cannot fault them for expressing their opinion even though it is contrary to mine. This election was the most turbulent and emotional one I have seen so yes people are fired up one way or another. However none have ever pushed me to consider leaving the country, not even when Tricky Dick was re-elected. It was interesting that after he was impeached and stepped down I never heard anyone admit they voted for him.
As for the Obamacare issue - it was thrown around as a sledgehammer of hate to focus on during the debates and never discussed in any intelligent way or in rational terms. That's too bad because I admit there are problems with it but it does have some merit and could be fine-tuned and be beneficial. There are also a lot of people who complain about government entitlement and are fixated that the minorities are at fault. Well, I live in Arkansas and there are no blacks here at all, but I see a huge number of white Archie Bunkers getting fat and watching TV on the government dole so that argument is without merit. I can see 2017 that if I get down there and meet some expats and they see I'm the one that wrote this I'll either get my lights knocked out or someone will buy me a beer. As a young Marine I would have relished the fight. At my age, I'd rather apologize if I offended you and hope that we could agree to disagree and shake hands on it and steer clear of the hazard in the future. I'll buy the first round.

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SunsetSteve
11/11/2016 21:04 EST

I got the feeling that Obama actually took some pride in the phrase. Rightfully so.

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Panama2017
11/11/2016 22:05 EST

No harm done, no need to apologize, I'm not offended at all. And at the risk of offending someone else out there, I can't help but think that Panama has got to be better than Arkansas.

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JonCates
11/11/2016 22:10 EST

Dumb ass. Donald is a dem n
Disquise. Already changes his
Ideas on O CARE. U MUST B
A RED NECK FM THE SOUTH

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JonCates
11/11/2016 22:10 EST

Dumb ass. Donald is a dem n
Disquise. Already changes his
Ideas on O CARE. U MUST B
A RED NECK FM THE SOUTH

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JonCates
11/11/2016 22:19 EST

F off redneck. Don is a dem
Good luck mo fo

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JonCates
11/11/2016 22:19 EST

F off redneck. Don is a dem
Good luck mo fo

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tommcc
11/11/2016 23:50 EST

Hello Dunnee,
How exceptionally kind of you. Thank you very much and I appreciate your kind words. I am satisfied with very little and am neat and capable as a domestic and cook. Your willingness to take me in and lend me transportation is indeed touching - I certainly will send you a PM as my plans firm up and look forward to talking with you and the other vets in the family. My thanks to them on this special day.
I hope to cover every province in Panama - will have excellent maps, guidebooks, and an English/Spanish dictionary/phrase book to help me along the way, Have tentatively planned on the entire month of Feb to explore so figured I'd have to rent a car at times, but hear public transportation is decent so can observe more while traveling. I know the Jazz Festival is in Boquete at this time and sure would love to attend at least one day. (I grew up in New Orleans where Blues/Jazz there is primo!) The coffee around Ciriqui is excellent I've heard and I have sampled exceptional beans on Hawaii and Jamaica so this would be a real treat - sure hope I can bring some back with me.
Thanks again for your kind reply - glad you did not let the politics get in the way. Have a great weekend ahead, Warm regards, Tom

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volcan357
11/12/2016 00:17 EST

I think Panama may be a good choice as a place to retire but I don't understand how who won the presidency should have anything to do with your decision.

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tommcc
11/12/2016 02:24 EST

Hi Vulcon,
Fair question. Although it is the exact opposite of one reply that said if I don't like it LEAVE.
I know the US has problems - big ones that need cooperation to get fixed, not alienation. But I need to feel like there's at least a chance that we are actually trying to fix things for the people, not just a favored few. There is too much hate and hostility from him and I find I cannot in all honesty support him and do not want to be a part of his America. I'm not turning in my passport and giving up on the US, I'm just not willing to give complicit approval to his policies by even being there. I, like everyone else, will have to wait and see what he does do and again some will like his executive decisions and some won't. He may fool me and actually turn out to be a good administrator - only time will tell. I think he has fooled a lot of people and even some of his supporters will be disappointed - he changes his mind so often he contradicts himself - which makes it hard to pin him down on an issue. Regardless, I don't want anything to do with his running of the country. I'm aware that I may be expat for 4 or 8 years. At that time I could return or I may have grown fond of Panama and decide to stay as many expats obviously already have. As I am 69 and in good health (medical issues handled easily with proper meds) I look forward to that future choice, but I may die before that time is up, so am aware I may never get back to the US even if it turns out he does a good job and gets the US back on track. I am willing to wait; I am not willing to support.
He certainly won't change his agenda just because I and others leave the country so I am doing nothing to hold him back from doing what he wants to do. We'll see what happens - in the meanwhile I'm off on another adventure of my own.

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SunsetSteve
11/12/2016 07:04 EST

Who unlocked JonCates' cage???

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Christian86
11/12/2016 07:52 EST

In a developed democracy people get to choose their government. I am not American, but I love and admire the resilience of the American people especially in this last election. Despite all the subjective and one sided media attention they were able to vote without being influenced by it. I could not think of another nation where the people are so capable of discerning what is the right thing to do and not them be influenced by the stupid pollsters.
After GW Bush's poor judgment and presidency after 9/11 It was not difficult to understand that people wanted change. But after the way that the last 8 years went in the wrong direction a change was just as necessary. I doubt that the new president elect will spend as much time on the golf course as the last one while letting everything continue to go to shambles.

I personally am much more hopeful today for the future than I was a few days ago.

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SunsetSteve
11/12/2016 08:10 EST

Giving head a shake after reading that post!

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jaakko
11/12/2016 08:14 EST

Hillary Rodham as a 27 year old staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation was fired by Jerry Zeifman (lifelong Democrat) "because she was an unethical, dishonest lawyer, she conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the Committee, and the rules of confidentiality"
• What has changed in 40 some years
• Old habits and mind-sets are hard if not impossible to break

Subject: THE REAL CLINTON FOUNDATION FINANCIALs

BONNIE AND CLYDE DESERVED A BETTER FATE THAN THESE 2 CROOKS....THEY ARE PAST SLICK....THEY ARE OUT AND RIGHT JUST CONS....CROOKED IS MILD, THEY ARE BANDITS AND DESPICABLE.

Hillary Clinton said the Clinton Foundation gives “90% of their proceeds” to charitable organizations; however according to their “Form 990” required by the IRS for all charities.
• In 2013 they had total revenue of $148,889,439 (Line 12). Their TOTAL Grants to Charity were $8,865,052 (Line 13). That is a measly 5.95%
• Now, they are so efficient that it cost them a total of $84,684,494 in expenses (Line 18) to give away $8,865,052 to charity - Including $29,914,108 in salaries (Line 15), $185,970 in fundraising fees (Line 16a, that’s actually legitimate)
• and a WHOPPING $45,719,364 (Line 17) in “other expenses”. So AFTER all that hard charitable work they end the year with $247,299,458 (Line 22), a cool $100,000,000 more than was contributed for the year

Folks, no matter how you slice and dice it, this is simply a blatant money laundering program. They don’t even try to hide it. Oh and Congress wanted to investigate the Clinton Foundation and the DOJ stepped in and blocked it.

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SunsetSteve
11/12/2016 08:20 EST

Outright lies from the right, no surprise.

"Fiorina and others are referring only to the amount donated by the Clinton Foundation to outside charities, ignoring the fact that most of the Clinton Foundation’s charitable work is performed in-house. One independent philanthropy watchdog did an analysis of Clinton Foundation funding and concluded that about 89 percent of its funding went to charity.
Simply put, despite its name, the Clinton Foundation is not a private foundation — which typically acts as a pass-through for private donations to other charitable organizations. Rather, it is a public charity. It conducts most of its charitable activities directly."

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/06/where-does-clinton-foundation-money-go/

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SunsetSteve
11/12/2016 08:30 EST

According to Urban Myths .com

"The problem is that Hillary Clinton remained on the Watergate Committee until Richard Nixon resigned and the Committee was shut down. Hillary Clinton did not work directly for Jerry Zeifman, and so he had no authority to fire her. There is no evidence she was fired, so this story is false."

The uneducated right will believe anything that supports their hatred of liberalism.

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BoqueteGirl
11/12/2016 09:12 EST

Tommcc

Thank you for your kind words....Yes you should definitely visit Boquete during the Jazz Festival. The music is amazing. I might suggest you get a hotel in David for the night. (35 to 40 miles from Boquete on a beautiful highway) Just to make sure you have a place to stay. Try and make it to a couple of Jam Sessions. We have a local Jazz guitar player named Edgar Vargas who is absolutely the best I've ever heard. You will usually find him at the Jam Sessions. Here is a schedule:

http://www.boquetejazzandbluesfestival.com/jam-sessions-2017.html

Now make sure you always have your passport on you as they have MANY policia at "road check" stations. You were right when you said the public transit is sometimes the way to go, but be cognizant of the the times they are running. Taxi from David to Boquete is around $30. per one way trip. Not sure how late the buses run at night. If you decide to not come during the Jazz Festival, try and make it on a Tuesday and go to the Tuesday morning market next to the bridge. Lots of Expats to talk to and lots of people who are willing to talk about their moving experience.

Yes, this discussion got a little off point. But as you know, these are trying times in the U.S. That is ALL

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BoqueteGirl
11/12/2016 09:17 EST

Sorry I hit enter too soon.

cont.
"I will say on the political subject." I could have easily gotten into MY views on the issues, but this is not the place to post them. I found this out the hard way, if you know what I'm saying. Again,,,,,good luck and enjoy your visit.

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frankdurinda
11/12/2016 09:31 EST

PANAMA IS TRUMP LAND!!!!!!!
If you are a Libtard move to Canada, France Germany .etc....

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Christian86
11/12/2016 10:24 EST

Sunset Steve, I do not understand why you had to shake your head at my earlier comment and you do not explain.

In my native country we have saying that if you are young and not thinking socially minded, you do not have a heart. But if you are old and not thinking conservative, then you don't have a brain.

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Lamastus
11/12/2016 11:05 EST

If you cannot accept the people's vote, keep it to yourself, no one else is interested..

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RICOBREEZE802MARK
11/12/2016 11:13 EST

LOL as you can see we all left the u.s. but we still can fight about what is going on there still. I didn't leave because of government or who was or wasn't president, I left 15 years ago because I saw the writing on the wall, what the market was doing and where it was heading. I sold out everything while banks were handing out loans to people who couldn't afford to pay them back and real estate prices were out the roof.

I had lived in colombia for 5 years off and on before I sold out and then I moved to panama. During those years I went to many places around south and central america, only to pick panama. Colombia would have been my choice, as a single man, but I got married and had children and knew that it would not be safe for them as children of a gringo. Panama was far safer.

you will find many expat groups all over this country, there are little clicks that based on your views you will either be asked to join or be a out cast, I never cared one way or the other, like me, hate me, kiss me, or my asss. I am a man and walk my own walk.

When I came to panama it was a buyers market and buy I did. What I then saw was everyone else running here to buy and then the prices started to sky rocket. Our little town of el valle was turned into a major city with so many expats you couldn't walk without stepping on em. they came and went some bought others didn't and as the years went by less and less came, then none. then it was canada's turn which didn't last a year, then it moved to people from venezuela, their rich were leaving in groves trying to get away from their leaders who were taking every thing from the rich and handing it to the poor.

This was the time in panama that you couldn't rent a hotel room at any price, they all were full to the brim, plane tickets out of venezuela were sold out for 6 months running, all coming here with there pocket books buying homes and cars. resetting their lives.

This is about the time that local business men said hey we need to build more hotels, just look at these numbers.. and they did, the problem was they had already missed the boat before the hotels were opened. then you had thousands of new rooms with no one to put in them, as well as by that time, people from around the world with money had bought 10 20 30 condo units just knowing they could flip them later for a higher price, that didn't happen.

Then the hotel people started crying about low head counts so they passed a law that would not allow anyone to rent short term, to help these hotel owners.

Today prices are still far to high, not many deals to be found, sure you might find a 500k condo for 400k but as a investor that isn't good enough. even farm land in the middle of no where, the people who own it still think it's worth ten times what it is, because joe blow got a gringo to buy his place for that price, so can we they think.

My friends in real estate say nothing is moving, 200k or less still is but get any higher then that it takes a while to find a buyer for it.

I think you will enjoy panama, there are many things to do here as well as area's that will fit what you might like, ocean front places were it's hot as heck, to cool areas in the mountains to farm land with rivers running past it.

You spoke about health care, well it's not the same as in the u.s. it's a heck of a lot cheaper. I had a xray done for 20.00. set my broken arm in a cast for 65.00. try getting that for that price in the u.s. many towns have free places you can walk into and see a doctor, tell him what the problem is, walk out, and go get the meds. your only cost is the meds. and they are cheaper as well. many times sold by the unit, instead of the whole box.

your health starts with the food you eat, down here you can find fresh grown food and sea food caught that day, not grown with chemicals. Nothing added to your water supply either, ours in el valle is better then bottled water you buy in the u.s. Our air is better as well, we don't have huge factories pouring out smoke every day.

are you a lazy person like me? get a cleaning woman who will cook, clean, do your wash for as little as 300 to 400 per month. If that's to much hire you one to come in once a week and clean 20 bucks per visit.

you spoke about bring tools? come here and look around first, you will find that you can buy just about whatever you might need already here, and no shipping or duty cost.

we as american's are use to having a car, down here depending on where you live you might find you don't need one. there are buses and taxi's that run all over the place. and they are cheap, 4.50 for a bus from the city all the way to el valle. that's a two hour drive.

not sure what your type of lifestyle is, but there are many rich families that have a small unit on their property that rent those out, you could live real close to the beach in a back yard place for 4 to 500 per month. no yard man to pay, heck you could even use their cleaning lady once a week. and many times they will have a pool, and another plus is many times that is not their main home, meaning you will have the whole place many times. you spoke about XS, she has places she rents, and has a pool. right across the highway from the beach. anyway you seem to have a good understanding about things, just take your time you will find what fits you.

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OldPro
11/12/2016 12:13 EST

Tommcc, first I am going to respond to you and then I may add some separate responses to those who have hijacked your thread.

First, even though I am not an American, I want to say thank you for your service.

Next, I want to say that I try to tell people that the more background info they provide when posting in any kind of forum, the more relevant answers can be. So 'spilling your guts' as you put it, is something I consider a good thing.

Based on all you have now said, I have no concerns for you at all. I can tell from my experience of meeting many who try living in another country, that YOU will have no real problems wherever you choose to try. It is clear to me that you have what it takes to make it work anywhere.

I don't know if you have read the thread I started in the General Forum but I would suggest you consider one point in that thread in particular and that is the idea of 'next'. If you haven't read it, you can see the thread here: http://www.expatexchange.com/expat/index.cfm?frmid=260&tpcid=3407026

Most people contemplating a move come at it from the point of 'getting it right' because it is a 'permanent' decision they are looking at making. You do say you may return to the USA after Trump's time is up but I think there is still a bit of 'getting it right' in your thinking.

You do want to try and find a place you can afford and that provides you with adequate medical care if needed, a reasonably safe environment, etc. but there are a whole lot of countries where that can be found. There are over 200 countries in the world and most of them are affordable even on your income. I'm not suggesting Panama isn't a good choice, I'm just saying it's one of many and there is no WRONG choice. So there is no real need to 'get it right' if you consider it from the viewpoint of 'next'.

My advice is to go and see what happens. If you like it on your visit, make the move as a Pensionada and take it from there. The beauty of 'next' is that there can be no WRONG choice, all that changes is how long 'next' lasts.

I see no interests or requirements you have mentioned that would rule Panama out for you.

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OldPro
11/12/2016 12:21 EST

RRvantine, your response was actually the first that went totally off topic and did NOT respond to the OP at all.

Your response was of no use to the OP at all. Congratulations.

I will also use your response as an example of what several others have also done on this thread. It does not say WHO you are addressing at all.

You wrote,
"Whoever wrote the reply to this. You think you know something! You truly do not realize what a Trump win means. We will forever be known as an intolerant nation. Sexists, racist and soon to be more intolerant to our own people. Which I view as the native Americans!"

To you and the others who do this repeatedly, I want to ask why you can't ADDRESS your comment to the person by their name/handle? Clicking the 'reply' button doesn't automatically show anyone who you are addressing. USE names/handles to address people. It is also the polite thing to do.

Rrvantine, my comments do not mean I have any view on your sentiments, only on your hijacking of a thread onto a topic the OP did NOT ask you to help him with.


"

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SunsetSteve
11/12/2016 12:28 EST

Christian I shake my head not at those who hold a conservative POV, but at those who have decided that what Mr. Trump represents and stands for, his values and judgements regarding minorities, women, business ethics, self-indulgence, and utter disregard for facts is OK with them; who are content to put those values forward in front of their children as worth emulating; who are content to see their country shamed before the world. His policy positions are so well thought out that he has reversed the major ones within days of the election. We have no idea what he actually stands for, yet are delighted to see him occupy the highest position in the land. This is not politics. I would never have said this about any other leader, liberal or conervative in outlook.

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tommcc
11/12/2016 13:10 EST

Hi Lamastus,

After the storm I inadvertently stirred up I agree with you. Thank you for the advice and I will be more cautious, especially during my visit. It is always a hot button issue and I should have known better. Thanks again, Tom

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OldPro
11/12/2016 13:12 EST

Rodfan1 and glockdiver69, although totally off topic from the OP's post, I would like to comment on healthcare.

Rodfan1, you sound like a perfect example of why healthcare in the USA is not adequate in this day and age.

Glockdiver69, your attitude is I think typical of many people's attitude in the USA and is summed up in your comment, "However, it is not the governments job to support you nor its job to give health care for everyone."

That to me is typical of the American attitude of everyone is responsible for their own life. I don't disagree with it in principle but I do disagree that it should be applied to every aspect of your life. Sometimes it is just not practical.

In the case of healthcare, the fact is that a great many Americans who have lived a normal, productive life simply cannot afford your private insurance system. They didn't do anything wrong, they didn't not plan for retirement, etc. They did the best they could. You cannot suggest that because one given individual truly doesn't deserve help for whatever reason, that it justifies not helping every other person. That is simply false logic.

Look at the USA healthcare system compared to any other first world country and what do you see? Look at your neighbour Canada and consider your statement, " I just DO NOT want to pay for you and neither do the people who voted for our new President."

I can completely understand you not wanting to pay for someone else. No one wants to. The difference between you and your Canadian neighbour as well as all the other first world countries with universal healthcare systems, is that you believe you would be paying for someone else. The Canadian believes that when they pay for their government healthcare system, they are paying for THEMSELVES.

However, what paying for themselves means is not just the actual cost of their own healthcare. although to be fair, most don't even realize they are paying for more than that.

When you write, "I just DO NOT want to pay for you and neither do the people who voted for our new President.", I cannot believe that you actually mean what that really says.

Why don't you try saying to rodfan1, "I don't care if you or your wife dies because you can't afford healthcare insurance.' Can you actually say that to him glockdiver69? Because that is in fact what you are saying when you say, 'I don't want to pay for you.'

When I pay for Canadian healthcare, I pay for myself including paying to maintain my own self respect as a human being responsible to my fellow human beings.

I don't pay for rodfan1 to get healthcare, I pay for ME to be able to look rodfan1 in the eye.

There are no doubt some Canadians who think, 'I'm paying for the poor just because I earn more.' But there are very few who would DARE to voice that thought because if they did, they would be condemned as lacking in humanity.

You suggested that rodfan1 might find your comments harsh. Well you may find my comments harsh glockdiver69. You wrote, "BUT, did you ever plan for your retirement and save/invest for your future? "

And I respond, BUT did you ever plan for your self respect as a human being and invest in that for your future?

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tommcc
11/12/2016 13:19 EST

Hello BoqueteGirl,

Again thanks for your helpful info. I've checked the website and learned a lot and will make sure I see the Jazz Festival as I love live music anytime. The market is another useful bit of info as is staying in David.
Yes, I found out the hard way posting anything political on an open forum was a mistake - should have known better. Thank you for not letting it get in the way of your comments - I appreciate your input. Looking forward to my visit in Feb. Regards, Tom

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Lamastus
11/12/2016 13:39 EST

Your welcome, no sense in debating it. It's over

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tommcc
11/12/2016 13:58 EST

Hello Rico,

Thank you for your insightful response. I see your concerns were of a financial nature and I agree it is something almost impossible to time or predict and even the experts get it wrong as often as not. It's hard to hit a moving target and the powers-that-be seem to change the rules and directions a lot making it difficult to plan short-term, much less long-term. I know I'm an old guy and when I grew up there was penny candy, a nickel coke, a loaf a bread a dime, gas 19 cents a gallon, and a gallon of milk 59 cents. As I retire I had no expectation prices would have gone up so much as they had been stable for a long time. Everything to me now is sticker-shock. My last truck years ago was 3 times what my first HOUSE cost. I admit I could live comfortably in the US with what I have, but also see the wisdom of saving what you can by moving to a more reasonable location. That's why I left the big city in MO. and retired to a very small town in Arkansas thinking I'd be here "forever" and now finding myself seriously considering another move. I remember when banks were paying 15% or more on CDs and now are down to 1%, our assets seem to be in a constant state of flux as nothing is constant and lag times are hard to gauge.
One reason I was impressed with Panama was the Pensionado Visa as a financial vehicle of great value. It too may not last, but right now it appears to really help out retirees and I applaud the government for implementing it - it saves us money and obviously brings in another source of income to the country. I was recently unable to even get a discount at all, as a vet on Veterans Day, when I stocked up on cases of beer. That's tight as their markup is always high.

Sounds like you are well-versed in finances and I hope you have fared well and your long-term planning has worked for you. Thanks again for your input and insight and thanks for bypassing my unfortunate political comments.
Sincerely, Tom

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tommcc
11/12/2016 14:08 EST

Rico,

One more thing - sorry it slipped my mind while I wrote earlier. I heard Trump built a very expensive Condo tower someplace in Panama. How did that turn out? I'm sure you have the details. Thanks - just curious.
Tom

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Christian86
11/12/2016 14:54 EST

Steve, thank you for clearing that up. I have no idea what the future holds. I just noticed like many American voters that making the US more like certain Western European countries cannot be the goal, let alone the future for our kids. I believe that is more why people protested against a continuation of the policies of the last eight years rather than all the things you mention.

I am German and had my family business there. In good times I was taxed up to 70% even though the official top rate was just 56% under Chancellor Kohl in a "conservative" government. On top of that came a wealth tax of 0.5% p.a.

That was my first hand experience with what I do not wish my worst enemy. The worst for me was that it took away my entrepreneurial motivation. Because when things go not so well, the government lets you deduct your expenses only to a point. I therefore like the American saying that you should not judge others like the Indians until you have walked in their moccasins. Had I not felt responsibility for my family's long time employees, I would have closed shop much sooner.

Sorry Tom, for not having addressed you and your concern as some others. I just thought this might be useful information for some who have not had this social experience firsthand.

As far as Trump's investment in Panama City is concerned, I believe that he only sold his name for the project and came by to shake hands for the opening. The project itself is fully leveraged with debt but I do not know who the actual stakeholders are.

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tommcc
11/12/2016 15:00 EST

Hello OldPro,
I knew I would hear from you and thank you kindly for your insightful response - I was not disappointed. It was kind of you to thank me for my service - I never heard that from anyone until I was over 60 and never from a non-American- VietNam was NOT a popular war even in the US.
I did read your "retire" post and considered it excellent; very well thought out and phrased and realistic in a way to make you rethink the issue. I agree wholeheartedly. I always do my homework (research), weigh the pros/cons, make sure it is financially responsible and make the decision - and then focus on getting it done without distractions. It never is a wrong decision in my book even if it doesn't pan out because I made the best decision at that time with the facts I had at hand. Essentially what you have already said in more eloquent terms.
After reading all posts over the last year in the Forum I had grown to admire your wisdom, intelligent insight and dead-on helpfulness which is why I knew I'd hear from you. You take this job seriously. I knew I would value your comments and was quite elated that you saw (after all my verbiage) that I would do fine anywhere I chose to visit/stay awhile/retire. Your solid assurance was not just encouraging, but downright confidence-building. I am really looking forward to my visit and Feb now seems too far off to wait.
As the month-long visit approaches and as my plans firm up, I hope you would not mind a PM to inform you of my schedule just in case there is an opportunity to meet and thank you personally for sharing your wisdom with me and so many others. And thanks very much for your comment about keeping on track with the posts. I see now my political comments unfortunately invited the sidetrack and unnecessary comments. We are never too old to learn from our mistakes.
May you have a wonderful weekend for the rest of your life and I'm sure you will.
Warm Regards, Tom

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bluewind
11/12/2016 15:25 EST

Nice to know that Frank. Actually the countries you mentioned along with others provides a very good quality of living. Thanks for the info.

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Flathead
11/12/2016 16:14 EST

Get over the election. If you don't like the results stick around, dig in and make a change. Not run.. well on second thought go ahead go to panama

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Panama2017
11/12/2016 16:33 EST

The T Tower in PTY didn't work out so well for the buyers.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20151104/REAL_ESTATE/151109955/condo-owners-at-the-panama-city-trump-ocean-club-have-revolted-against-trump

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SAY
11/12/2016 16:45 EST

To move away from the politics and everyone's opinion, I want to answer some of your questions.

The Pensionado visa was easy to get. My friends in America couldn't believe how easy it was for me to become a resident of Panama

I live in the beach town of Puerto Armuelles, and it is extremely affordable. And the locals are very friendly and helpful. I absolutely love it here, and I love the people.

If you have your pensionado visa, you will get a discount on electricity, medical care and medicines, as well as other things. However, if you have allergies, bring a large supply of antihistamines, claritan and nose spray. Even with the discount, they are much more expensive than in the US.

Panama is not the US, but there are enough similarities that you don't feel like you just moved to Planet Pluto. I have to learn a lot more Spanish than I know now. But the Panamanians in my town are very patient with me and like to practice their English with me. And everyday I learn a new Spanish word. Maybe in a few years, I can string together a whole paragraph or two.

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SAY
11/12/2016 16:50 EST

I forgot to add that you can get your social security while you are in Panama but not the medicare. As for banking, I followed some advice on this forum and opened a Schwab account, which then let me open a checking account. NO FEES. Interest on you money in the account, and they reimburse all cash station fees. Their customer service is terrific, and they are very efficient in wiring money, if necessary

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jaakko
11/12/2016 17:11 EST

As we all know, the USA - still the best country in the world - was built based on an equal opportunity, not equal end result - income redistribution does not work.

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bluewind
11/12/2016 17:21 EST

equal opportunity in the USA lmao. More people getting poorer and the rich controlling the country doesn't bode well for a democratic country.

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jaakko
11/12/2016 17:26 EST

It is all about education and work ethics. In the USA we spent more per student than any other country, and yet we rank 25-30th in the results. No, we are not a homogeneous society with similar value system, thus there is the challenge.

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tommcc
11/12/2016 17:40 EST

Hello SAY,

Again, more helpful tidbits of information. The advice on meds was important to me as I take several maintenance prescriptions and the advice on the Schwab checking was perfect. I already have a Schwab IRA account so it will be a piece of cake getting the checking which really makes sense down there. One question, however. Can I have Schwab wire money to me in Panama and can I cash it at one of their banks? I've had money wired up here before and it was fast and easy with no fees, but how to cash it down there is the question. Thanks for a very helpful post and also thanks for avoiding the politics. Regards, Tom

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bluewind
11/12/2016 17:41 EST

If you look at where most of the money is spent and what it is spent on, you'll see what I mean. I've worked in both inner cities and wealthy suburbs. Trust me; there's nothing equal about it. And their educational systems aren't even close to equal. Just a fact.

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Panama2017
11/12/2016 17:47 EST

Thank goodness we moved away from political issues. Trying to keep my blood pressure in check, ha. To answer some of your original questions...

Regarding electricity prices, we have inverter air conditioners and appliances, I think much of Panama does too, which is eco-friendly and energy saving. This translates into lower energy bills than if you had conventional air conditioners and appliances. So while the price charged is higher the right appliances can help offset that cost.

I had a good experience with the Pensionado, which was 2 years ago, and friends who are following us there have had a good experience more recently. The key to a good visa experience is the attorney. Get a referral from this forum for a start. Consultations are free so you can compare prices and other commitments.

Likewise, opening a bank account was easy for us 2 years ago, and also easy for our friends very recently. They key here is relationships and we were lucky enough to have a well connected real estate agent who helped us via introductions, reference, etc. We still plan to keep our US bank account, of course.

When we visit we take Spanish classes from an excellent school in the city, but there are several throughout Panama which mostly seem good. A good one in Boquete, for example. We have a friend who has a private teacher come to his home several times a week to give lessons at a very low price. We have found that learning Spanish is a bit of a challenge for older folk but not impossible. When we are in Panama the Spanish comes easier, then we are back in the US for a few months and all is forgotten. Once we actually move to Panama next Spring it will become easier.

We bought an apartment on our very first visit over 2 years ago, so took a risk and non-conventional approach, but we are happy with our decision so far. Most people do rent however.

Medical insurance is of 2 varieties. International which can be used anywhere and those that can only be used in Panama in specific hospital systems. Obviously the local insurance costs less but has more limitations. Work with an Panamanian insurance broker or for International many US based companies offer it. Be aware that after you turn 70, you have a very limited selection of plans.

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jaakko
11/12/2016 18:04 EST

Education - my Finnish high school was equal to the 2 years of college in the USA - US post graduate education is superior; however who are we teaching - 50% or more are foreigners. We have a plenty of open jobs, just not the candidates with the required skills to fill them.

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kimbattlincoln
11/12/2016 19:12 EST

Can we all just recognize that all people are different. There is not a one-size fix for problems. People need to grieve in different ways. Some personalities can fight for change, some can't..., perhaps they are too emotional or older. Let's stop the judgment. Let's also pledge to post a reference for every "fact" we post. There is a lot of fake news out there. (See NYT article from last week).

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glockdiver69
11/12/2016 23:04 EST

@OldPro: I will try to answer what I can in the most polite and respectful way I can. I am a person that speaks pretty direct, so hopefully no offense taken. As to your comment [In the case of healthcare, the fact is that a great many Americans who have lived a normal, productive life simply cannot afford your private insurance system. They didn't do anything wrong, they didn't not plan for retirement, etc. They did the best they could.] That is not my fault nor of my doing. Sometimes the “best they could” is not good enough. I come from a strong business background and have invested for decades in preparations for my family’s retirement. In my world, you eat what you kill.

[Look at the USA healthcare system compared to any other first world country and what do you see?] I see firsthand a ton of waste and fraud. I see many people taking advantage “of the system”, while at the same time, the producers in society pay for these leaches. We (I for one) am sick of paying to solve everyone’s issues, self-inflicted or not.

[Look at your neighbour Canada and consider your statement, ”I just DO NOT want to pay for you and neither do the people who voted for our new President."] I am not in Canada, nor am I Canadian. Apples and Oranges in my book.

[I can completely understand you not wanting to pay for someone else. No one wants to. The difference between you and your Canadian neighbour as well as all the other first world countries with universal healthcare systems, is that you believe you would be paying for someone else. The Canadian believes that when they pay for their government healthcare system, they are paying for THEMSELVES.] Again, I am not Canadian. But I will answer. I AM paying for myself and my family. I pay for the health care that I receive. It is not through ACA, it is via my personal healthcare policy. I do not get a handout from the government in the form of a subsidy; I WORK for it. Hence, I do not want to pay for my neighbor’s insurance. That is on them, not me.

[When you write, "I just DO NOT want to pay for you and neither do the people who voted for our new President.", I cannot believe that you actually mean what that really says.] Believe it my northern friend! I mean it 100% and so do a lot of other Americans. Many of us are fed up and we voted to send a signal.

[Why don't you try saying to rodfan1, "I don't care if you or your wife dies because you can't afford healthcare insurance.' Can you actually say that to him glockdiver69? Because that is in fact what you are saying when you say, 'I don't want to pay for you.'] That is not what I am saying and I do believe I mentioned that I wish Rodfan1 well. What I am saying is that it is NOT my responsibility to fund someone else’s health insurance, their retirement or their standard of living. If someone cannot afford their health care; not my problem. If a person has a crappy, sub-standard house; NOT my problem. If someone brings in a low income in retirement and therefore has to work until they are 80; NOT my problem. Like I said before, you eat what you kill (as in a person has to be responsible for their own care, actions and future).

This view may sound harsh. I don’t really care. I am sick of having to pay more in taxes and fees than what most people gross in one year. I have been beaten up during the last 8 years with the anti-business, ultra-liberal “steal from the rich, give the poor” mentality of our current government. Our current government actually punishes its successful “subjects” in ways most don’t see. Try owning a successful business and then talk to me. Check our FACTA and then ask any American how they feel filing the needed paperwork (or opening up a foreign bank account). If you make more than a certain amount of income (earned, passive or dividend), instead of the government treating you fairly; they actually PREVENT you from many deductions and savings programs [like interest deductions or IRA’s] that most people take for granted. I could go on and on, but this is forum, which I truly enjoy and value, is not the stage for such a conversation. I do ask before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes and watch how my hard earned money goes right to in the gov’t coffers and then right down the crapper! I would think you would be a little frustrated too.

Lastly, [And I respond, BUT did you ever plan for your self respect as a human being and invest in that for your future?] Yes I have. I have great self respect knowing that I and my family will never be in a position where we have to worry about anything; including healthcare. This is done by taking charge of MY future and not worring about someone else's issues.

Oh, I do not feel your comments are to harsh. Everyone has the right to voice there opinions. Have a wonderful night my friend. I always enjoy your posts.

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jonoyakker
11/13/2016 02:04 EST

Maybe Expat Exchange has started moderating, but I am impressed with the general level of civility in this "hot button" thread! Its easy to get sucked into a pi$$ing contest but it just leads to more pi$$ing.

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JonCates
11/13/2016 09:31 EST

Blah blah. Get off ur PC
No one will read this S

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janetiller
11/13/2016 11:58 EST

Let me explain why it makes a difference to me. My wife and I were planning to move in the next 2 years and considering Panama among other countries. I am embarrassed to have a president-elect whom I cannot respect, who is a racist bully with out any empathy for others who make go ballistic (literally) in times of war.

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glockdiver69
11/13/2016 12:17 EST

@bluewind: I agree. Quick question. Which school (inner city vs. wealthy suburbs) do you think has a higher chance of gromming the next business owner, business executive or doctor/attorney/CPA/ other high paying - high producing person? The answer, the wealthy suburbs! Which school will groom the next drug dealer, McDonalds employee or leach on society? The answer, inner city schools! With that, why in the hell would you place a ton of money in the school system that will never produce a quality, producing person? Sure, put some money into inner city schools so they have heat, a roof that does not leak and metal detectors. But the smart money goes to the schools in the areas that produce quality students. In addition, the wealthy PAY taxes (the poor don't) and we demand that our funds not be wasted, thus most of the funding goes to OUR schools to benefit OUR children! I am not ashamed of this fact and all it should do is show other that are less fortunate what hard work and an education can do for you and tour family.

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jonoyakker
11/13/2016 12:26 EST

Actually the greatest leaders have been misfits and rejects in the school system because the school system is not designed to produce leaders! It is designed to produce good obedient citizens who will follow orders without question. If anyone is interested read "Dumbing us Down" by John Gatto. He won the teacher of the year awards in both NY City and NY State before he exposed the travesty.

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expatpanama2016
11/13/2016 12:32 EST

WOW !!

As if 3 days of this NONSENSE isn't enough.

Dear Americans --- (I'm assuming it's americans carrying on this pointless discussion here) --- we appreciate the dire situation your country is in. But, here's a bit of info you might have missed : the rest of us DON'T CARE ! We don't care about your politics...............we don't care about your endless ranting............and we certainly don't give a flying drum about donald trump !!

I would gladly have blocked it already, unfortunately this forum has no feature for blocking redundant topics. Thus, every piece of garbage is sent to our email inboxes.

For f***ks sake, it's 12 noon on a Sunday afternoon! We've tolerated this stupid topic long enough.

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jazzbass
11/13/2016 13:44 EST

Is there anyplace I can go without hearing political nonsense from people. Maybe you can go with Rosie she's leaving. I suggest seeing what he does first and stop listening to the media and uninformed people.

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OldPro
11/13/2016 14:38 EST

OK glockdiver69, you have made your position clear and I can respect that even if I can't agree with it. We can agree to disagree as they say.

I would like to add though that I can understand your position re how the government treats those that earn more. I retired at age 43 and a large part of that decision was based on seeing little future in continuing to earn more and pay more into the tax pool. Obviously I had to be earning enough to have a way to retire at that age.

So while I can sympathize and empathize in some regards to the financial issues you mention, I don't personally carry those same values and attitudes over to healthcare. I see healthcare as something that should be truly universal.

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OldPro
11/13/2016 15:13 EST

Tommcc, thanks for the kind words.

It seems you have the impression I live in Panama. I do not, I currently live in Canada. I post in various sub-forums here simply because some attract more new postings than others and many of the answers needed are pretty universal regardless of what country someone is looking at.

I have confidence in your ability to adapt based on your past history you have described. There are things you already know that someone (of which there are many who post in forums like this one) who is contemplating the first move to another country in their life, can have no way of knowing beforehand.

When I lived in Greece (7 years) I would meet tourists who missed home or in one case said, 'I'm really missing my dog', when they had only been there a week.

Obviously for them, homesickness was a real issue. Although I understand the concept of homesickness, I have absolutely no idea of what it feels like since I have never experienced it. For me 'home' is literally where I hang my hat today.

That speaks to the point I try to make to people about 'sticking'. There is no way to know whether someone will stick in a place or not beforehand. You just have to go and see what happens. BUT there are certain things that can INDICATE how likely someone is to stick. Missing home after a week is one of them. LOL

You already have experience of living in other countries, unlike those comtemplating their first real move. So I see that as an indication of a higher than average (but not a guarantee) of you sticking somewhere.

The biggest reason I have observed for not 'sticking' is simply an inability to adapt to 'different'. Not good or bad, right or wrong, simply 'different'. You have already experienced that and know whether it bothered you to the extent that all you wanted was to go home. Others do not have that experience.

So I am not just saying, I think you'll do OK wherever you choose to try, to be a nice guy and encourage you. I'm saying that based on the evidence you have presented.

A word on 'visiting' a place. I tend to think of that as a waste of time. A visit is never the same as 'living' in a country. It can tell you some things and provide some facts etc. but really it is quite limited. I tend more to the 'just do it' view.

When I first 'left' my home country to try living elsewhere, I put some stuff in storage, packed a small bag and left. I had a one way ticket to France and my credit/debit cards.

I had no idea of what I was going to do beyond trying living in the south of France or when if ever I might return. I had an income (so do you) I had a way to access it (cards) and I was free to do as I pleased within the limits of my income and the laws that govern where and for how long you can stay in a place.

That speaks to my 'next' viewpoint. It isn't a permanent move unless you stay till you die. It is only a 'next' until you decide to leave. A 'next' can last a few months, a few years or indeed end up being permanent.

Again when I was living in Greece I would meet tourists (It was a high tourism destination) who when they heard I had been there several years, would ask me, 'what made you decide to stay' in one form or another. My honest answer was I never actually decided to stay. I arrived expecting to spend perhaps 7 days seeing the island and I ended up staying 7 years. I didn't DECIDE to stay at any point, I just hadn't decided to leave yet. That's what 'next' is.

When I met the woman who is now my wife, 'next' became Scotland and it took me a week to pack my bag; take care of what needed taking care of and leave. i stayed there for 6.5 years until we decided to leave. But again, I never gave any thought when I moved to Scotland about how long I would STAY there.

People have this thing about 'getting it right' when they look at moving. I prefer to look at it as there being no way to 'get it wrong'. It's just a 'where to next' decision, with 'next' having no time in particular in mind.

Easy to say of course but hard for a lot of people to see it that way.

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Lamastus
11/13/2016 15:39 EST

Don't you have a delete key?

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Tscattraining
11/13/2016 16:51 EST

Well Tom !!!
I think your picking the wrong place !!!
First every Marine I know backed Trump hmmmm if you think your escaping something so bad as a Trump presidency you r truly misguided !
Go to Canada or some where else !
poor guy you need a puppy or maybe the Gov. will give you a tax break LMAO because your so distraught ! Another person looking to escape some thing I feel sorry for your sorry ASS !

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SunsetSteve
11/13/2016 18:40 EST

For Americans:

http://cogink.com/cleese/

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tommcc
11/13/2016 19:06 EST

Hi Steve -
a great laugh, but some people are bound to take it too seriously like my initial comment on Trump. And thanks for all of your good posts before.
I do have a few more questions:
Does GPS work down there? I plan on renting a car for the month from PTY - is this a good idea or not? Can I just come down in Feb on my passport or do I have paperwork to fill out in advance? Are there restrictions on how much money I can bring in? I've hear a lot of restaurants mentioned, but do you have sushi bars? - sure hope so with all that excellent fresh fish there. Do cell phones from here work down there without any type of changes or upgrades? Thanks in advance for any responses and thanks for skipping the politics. Regards, Tom

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Panama2017
11/13/2016 19:39 EST

Yeah, I agree. There is really little way to know if Panama is a fit until you live there. And it's not a life sentence.

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tommcc
11/13/2016 20:14 EST

Tscattraining,

Well thank you for your concern about my welfare it is truly touching. This has been a very long string of responses and I guess you've missed some because your comments have already been addressed, you just weren't able to come with something new, or you just haven't been able to digest what has already been said. Regardless, you sure don't know some of the Marines I do, but thanks anyhow and Semper Fi

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SunsetSteve
11/13/2016 20:31 EST

Does GPS work down there?
Yes
I plan on renting a car for the month from PTY - is this a good idea or not?

I suggest you wait and see, and only rent a car periodically as you need it to explore. Fairly costly, and not needed for inter-city travel.

Can I just come down in Feb on my passport or do I have paperwork to fill out in advance?

Passport is god.

Are there restrictions on how much money I can bring in?

Why wold you bring a lot of cash? Bring some of course but ATMs all over.

I've hear a lot of restaurants mentioned, but do you have sushi bars? - sure hope so with all that excellent fresh fish there.

There was an amazing sushi bar in the hotel I once stayed at in Panama City.

Do cell phones from here work down there without any type of changes or upgrades?

you need to unlock your phone and get a local SIM card,or buy a cheap burner phone when you get to Panama. Easy peasy either way.

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SunsetSteve
11/13/2016 20:32 EST

No edit ability: passport is "good", not "god"!

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SunsetSteve
11/13/2016 20:32 EST

No edit ability: passport is "good", not "god"!

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Canuckers
11/13/2016 20:58 EST

Dear Tom, like you, we are retired Canadians looking for a forever home that has better weather and hopefully lower living costs. We do own a property in Arizona and I have met many friendly Americans but learnt to only respond to many questions. They were flabbergasted to learn our knowledge about the U.S. We are now considering selling the U.S. Property because a Trump dictator will likely cause economic grief to Canada, especially the province we live in. As you correctly stated, it's expensive to live in Canada. I am online trying to also search out where and why to live in Panama. Thanks for your genuine posts. I wish you success in your search for a better place and hopefully we cross paths. Ps. As for anyone else, don't bother bashing us, we all will have to wait for the facts to surface.

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Christian86
11/13/2016 21:05 EST

Tom, regarding GPS there is an app called Waze you can download on your smart phone. I then buy data usage from my local provider for the day when I take a trip as I only work with prepaid cards. This works and could be cheaper then renting a device.

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tommcc
11/13/2016 21:15 EST

Steve,
As usual thank you very much for your precise information - I have been able to get a wealth of information and help on this site and I certainly appreciate everyone who contributed. Looking forward to the trip and will be open for PMs if anyone wishes to add any more. Muchas Gracias. Tom

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tommcc
11/13/2016 21:21 EST

Christian,

Thank you for another valuable piece of information. You and others have been very kind and generous with your time and responses. Thanks again. Tom

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tommcc
11/13/2016 23:26 EST

Hello Canucks,
I used your handle because that's what you used - not because I wanted to be insulting in any way. Thank you for your kind words and I also wish you luck in your search for your "next" better place to live. I've always been impressed with the quality of the Canadians (RIP Leonard C***n and why is this a forbidden word on this site!?) and this was my first choice on where to go - it's been in the news a lot lately - but the more research I did it did not seem feasible if I couldn't work again at my age. One place after another as I continued to research seemed to lose something I wasn't sure I was looking for or even what that might be. My Intent on leaving the USA was to remove myself from Trump's America - others seem eager to have it -everyone is entitled to their opinion and I sure heard a lot from those people on this message string. We will see, but I expect everyone will have regrets when it is over, maybe even the world.
I just absently clicked on Panama because I have a stamp collection with a lot of Panama Canal stuff and eventually became very surprised, even amazed, that there seemed to be so many things going for it. I may be wrong, but I am not aware any other country has even tried to treat retirees as well as Panama. Not just tourists, but making it pleasant, affordable, and easy to stay there indefinitely as retirees - expats from everywhere it seems, who are very positive about their experiences. Caution was given to me that it was not a southern US - that's fine - I was not looking for nor expecting one. I won't know if Panama is my "next" home until I visit and check it out based on solid information and assess the pros/cons and the financial situation after I return. If I do move down there maybe I will find something so rewarding that I won't want to leave. I've lived and traveled to a lot of places - none perfect, all fascinating in their own way, and have always found very nice people, even when I wasn't looking. Not many countries think highly of the US, even some allies, have misgivings. The Phillipines were not happy with us and recently has gotten a lot worse. Japan probably hated us after WWII, but when I was there in'70 they were kind, gracious, polite, and went WAY out of their way to be helpful so times do change for countries as well as for the people in them.
In Feb I will be exploring what may very well be my" next" home in Panama and may even be my last. Time will tell for me as well. My apprehensions are always on the front end, but once I make up my mind I am committed to seeing it through and making it work. Not everyone has that mindset, but the posts from OldPro are full of wisdom and insight. I've never met the man yet I trust his comments implicitly. There have been extremely kind and generous people respond (without being sidetracked by politics) with very helpful info and cautions - this alone tells me about the people living there, and I would be happy to make their acquaintances and offer face-to-face thanks.
Please feel free to send me a PM anytime and I will do whatever I can to help you and even share my experiences on my month long sojourn in Feb. I love adventures, but I do not leap blindly or impetuously. I do my homework and prepare myself and then immerse myself, fine-tuning as I go. Even leaning a new language is not daunting to me - it's another challenge I'll need to measure up to. Not to anyone else's standard, just to my own.
I wish you great travels and experiences in the future and please stay in touch and thanks again for you kind post. Muchas gracias. Tom

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Christian86
11/13/2016 23:50 EST

Some of you posted about education and equal opportunity probably in the US based on the recent election.

I had the opportunity to attend a public High School in Los Angeles for one year as a 16 year old foreign exchange student and had a great learning experience. A majority of my American classmates did not as did not even do their homework. They had the same opportunity as me, but did not take advantage. I cannot say whether some turned out successful but when I look at the school's website from 40 years ago, famous alumni consist mainly of athletes and some musicians. No academic or entrepreneurial standouts.

The lacking ingredient here is upbringing. I suppose that if a child does not have the opportunity to grow up in a loving environment preferably with both parents then I do not see equal opportunity for those disadvantaged children. No government party or educational system can make up for lack of personal attention outside of school.

In Panama the upbringing of kids is less the problem than the educational opportunities provided by the public system. In the Us it seems to be the reverse.

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dumluk
11/14/2016 10:18 EST

@ SS......it is not the highest position in the land nor has it been for quite some time. The current U.S. president is a mid level executive who takes orders from the Corporatacracy or the Deep State, whichever u prefer.........I was definately not in favor of HIlliary, but am no big fan of Trumps either......A little bit of research into his business history shud take care of that issue.......We are in deep kimchee or as they say here in Panama, vaina......any way you look at it.........As you pointed out, Trump has waffled on various of his main campaign issues already.........its a sad soap opera........Im goin to the beach just to stop thinkin about it...........

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tommcc
11/14/2016 10:52 EST

Kim,

Thank you very much for your very helpful information. It's always best to check beforehand before realizing I made a big mistake assuming things happen the same in Panama as in the US.
This may sound like a dumb question, but I have not seen anyone ask yet. I will be there for a month, but do want to lug around multiple suitcases. Are there laundromats or obvious places to get laundry done? Do hotels usually have laundry facilities that can be used by quests? Thanks in advance for your response. Tom

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tommcc
11/14/2016 10:56 EST

Dumluk,

Yes it is indeed a sad state of affairs. His condo venture in PC seems to have cratered as well and his specialty is suing anyone who opposes him,
I hope to join you on the beach someday soon. Regards, Tom

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tommcc
11/14/2016 11:22 EST

Kim,

Very helpful. And again my sincere thanks for your information. There have been a wonderful group of positive responses on this post and I certainly thank everyone for their time & help. Regards, Tom

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ranadelnorte
11/14/2016 12:07 EST

Apartment hotels in Panama City (called suites) all offer laundry rooms. You buy a small packet of washing powder at a convenience store, then ask the front desk for change. In the interior of the country, you'll be able to find someone to do a load of laundry for you.

May I respectfully suggest that you start a new thread for specific, practical questions rather than having them embedded in a political discussion, unless of course this is how you'd like to proceed.

Good luck!

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tommcc
11/14/2016 12:37 EST

Rana,

Thank you for your answer and thank you for the suggestion to start a new thread away from politics. This one has gotten way too long as well and need to just let it die and answer better with PMs.
Since I will be traveling the entire country I won't have base to work from, but knowing I can find laundry services along the way is reassuring. Thanks again and I see you are one of the regulars contributors so keep up the fine work of helping others. Muchas Gracias. Tom

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kimbattlincoln
11/14/2016 14:14 EST

My esposo and I have been to Panama 5 times, we have always found someone to do our laundry..., no laundromats. We are just emigrating 11/21. What a paperwork nightmare it has been. Like you, we are hoping for a kinder group of people, natives and ex-pats to associate with. We will live in Playa Las Lajas where most ex-pats are Italians, Germans, Canadians and lastly, Americans. We are excited to live in a world community.

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tommcc
11/14/2016 16:13 EST

Hi Kim,
It turns out I was thinking laundry would be a hassle and everyone has made it sound like no problem. That's a relief. Thanks for your feedback.. Paperwork always seems to be a hassle, but once you get the Pensionado Visa the hard part is over, right?. Did you look around on your previous trips for a place to live or were you focused on Playa Las Lajas from the start? Yes, I am also looking forward to a change in scenery as well as being part of an international community and living among the Panamanians who at least have a tolerance for Americans, Good luck on your move which is just around the corner and thanks again for your responses as I have seen your name several times and you've been quite helpful. Muchas Gracias, Tom

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GLINK
11/14/2016 17:03 EST

First Thank You for Serving!!!

Second, you were going to be excited if Hillary won???

No he is not perfect, but he is a heck of alot better than her. Not trying to draw swords with you but the facts behind her policies and expanding on the current Obama Crap and then wanting to raise taxes more and expand government more!!!! The list can go on.

Finally to capo it all off, She is a proven Serial Liar and Massively Corrupt along with her Scum Bag Husband.

No Thanks My Friend!!!!! I will take a proven Business Man that has actually had to make payroll, grow a company, risk his financial well being and has common sense. PLUS, NOT A CAREER POLITICIAN!!!!

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GLINK
11/14/2016 17:07 EST

Forgot to say that I wish you the very best in your search for the right place to move to.

God Bless You and Family!!!

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tommcc
11/14/2016 17:20 EST

Glink
Thank you for this kind comment. Tom

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bluewind
11/14/2016 18:14 EST

I am one who posted that equal opportunity doesn't exist for many, but I must add that many kids in disadvantaged areas have opportunities in school that they could take advantage of but don't. Their parents just don't push the message of how important a good education is. Big part of the problem.

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kimbattlincoln
11/15/2016 09:08 EST

Tom, We rented a car and drove the whole country 5 times. We wanted to be on the beach even though it is hotter because we come from the mountains now. We liked Boquete and El Valle also. Feel free to contact us when you are in Panama. We would love to show you around Las Lajas.

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tommcc
11/15/2016 09:47 EST

Kim,
That is a very kind offer and I likely will take you up on that as I planned to stay in David a few days just so I could check out Boquete and El Valle and hopefully catch some Jazz Festival one night as well. I'm awaiting guide books & maps (and of course a Eng/Span dictionary/phrase book) so I can plan out my itinerary and know where & when I am going during the month of Feb. I doubt I'll have my PC with me so expect I'll be able to call and touch base with you that way. Could you please send me your phone number and info BY PM! so I'll have that with me. I will have my cell phone, but not sure it'll work and will likely get a burnable for the trip. Also I was not planning to rent a car, but think I will now for a number of reasons, just one being adaptability. Will probably fly into PTY on the 1st and head out the next day. Will be glad to send my itinerary to you via PM before I leave. Thanks again for your very nice offer - have been amazed at the amount of information I have received on this site and the very kind offers of strangers to help while I am there. Warm Regards, Tom

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kimbattlincoln
11/15/2016 11:15 EST

Tom, Our move to Panama is next Monday! Not sure what our phone #'s will be until next week so keep in touch.

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OldPro
11/15/2016 15:41 EST

Just a question Tom. You wrote, " I am not aware any other country has even tried to treat retirees as well as Panama. Not just tourists, but making it pleasant, affordable, and easy to stay there indefinitely as retirees."

There are plenty of other countries that welcome retirees as openly as Panama.

I'm not trying to say, don't try Panama, I'm just saying there are lots of other choices as well. For example, one country that is quite popular with Americans as a place to retire to is Portugal. I don't know if I mentioned it anywhere or not.

The way it works there is that you get a 120 day Type D Schengen Visa through a Consulate in the USA. On arrival, you then apply for a Residence Permit which is good for a year and renewable. It's all pretty simple as long as you have enough income to satisfy them. That amount varies but single people with as little as $12k per year have been given the visa. It seems to depend on which city you apply in to a consulate and who you happen to get to deal with. Some ask for more income, some less.

Quite exasperating for people who think everything has to have a definitive answer. Learning how other countries can have quite laid back or subject to interpretation rules and laws is one of those things that moving exposes us to.

Anyway, Portugal is just an example if you need another 'next'. LOL

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Panama2017
11/15/2016 17:02 EST

OldPro, yes there are other countries that will readily offer visas. There are a couple features that are favorable about the Panama visa that the Portugal does not. For example, Panama provides permanent residency versus annual renewal. Also, there is a whole laundry list of discounts that all older nationals and pensionados receive on goods and services. Lots of folks complain about the mechanics of receiving the discounts, but I have never had an issue, and they add up quickly.

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tommcc
11/15/2016 17:56 EST

OldPro,
As always I value your opinion - and I'm glad you brought me up to date. When I was in the Azores (off the coast of Portugal) I spent days talking to an ex[at that worked on base and had lived there many years and at the time there was no such program. He needed special permission and indicated certain palms had to be greased for him to stay there even though he was married. I was very young at the time and hope I haven't misstated his comments, but he did seem to enjoy it regardless. I thought New Zealand did, but found no info that they did recently. Again thank you very much for your insight and wisdom as a world traveler and for all the excellent help, words of caution, and straight-on help you have given to so many - not just me. Warm Regards, Tom

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tommcc
11/15/2016 18:01 EST

2017,

I'm glad to hear that as I am really looking forward to utilizing those discounts - it's an added bonus on top of permanent residence and low cost of living, Again thank you for your input as well. My trip in Feb is beginning to firm up nicely and I am really looking forward to the experience. Regards, Tom

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dominic135
11/15/2016 19:03 EST

Oh no! I'm moving to Panama because half of my fellow citizens voted for Hillary! Well 40% of the live ones anyway!
What to do, what to do!
Tell you what, if you keep your political observations to yourself... so will I.
Happy V-day from a Viet Nam Vet to you!

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dominic135
11/15/2016 19:03 EST

Oh no! I'm moving to Panama because half of my fellow citizens voted for Hillary! Well 40% of the live ones anyway!
What to do, what to do!
Tell you what, if you keep your political observations to yourself... so will I.
Happy V-day from a Viet Nam Vet to you!

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dominic135
11/15/2016 19:06 EST

Seems to me, most of the expats left America because of the hyper-political stress they dealt with at home. The last thing I want to talk about is politics! I'm trying to relieve stress, not transfer it!

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tommcc
11/15/2016 19:30 EST

dominic,
Thank your for the vet good word.. I know this is a very long string and I don't think you've read the entire thing. The political aspect is already over as most people have stuck to the queries I asked, Some have told me to leave - others have asked why I'm leaving. I realize everyone has a particularly strong passion this election. Every expat leaves for their own particular reason and none are exactly the same - mine just happened to be as stated. I'm not judging what reasons anyone else has in leaving - I really don't care - but if someone posts an message asking for help I have been extremely impressed that so many have politely looked past the reason and focused on giving me valuable help. Some have been kind enough to volunteer to show me around and some have opened up their homes which I find extraordinary for strangers to offer, but that is exactly the type of hospitality and kindness I have repeated seen on this site. I agree to disagree if you wish as I am not the one talking politics for a pretty long time in this string - it's old news now. Tom

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dominic135
11/15/2016 19:30 EST

Apology accepted! Political differences are a big reason expats exist. Not personally, but from the mad house of the American political scene. Many left for Bush and many left for Obama and many because the media enjoys shaming people with different opinions from theirs.
My big attraction is the comments about how Central American life style is very much like the 50's in the US.
Good luck to you!

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tommcc
11/15/2016 19:39 EST

Dominic,
Sorry I missed this post while I answered the first one. I agree that this has been an incredibly difficult time for the entire country - I'm sure everyone is glad it's over, not everyone is glad with the outcome. So be it. Now we all have to deal with it in our own way. It looks like Panama will be my next home and I am preparing so that it is successful and I have no intention of ever getting into another political conversation regardless of when it is or what it's about. It's always a hot-button issue and I'd rather go home than argue. Enjoy your stay in Panama. Tom

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OldPro
11/16/2016 11:14 EST

Panama2017, bear in mind I was not suggesting Portugal over Panama, I was simply commenting on Tom's impression that there were not other places that welcome retirees with little real hassle.

Re the Resident Permit vs. Permanent Residence, I don't actually see that as worth anything. Basically, if you get the 120 day Visa to start with, the Residence Permit is a slam dunk and the renewing of it is the same. After 5 years, you then apply for Residency which again is a slam dunk.

The one MAJOR plus Panama has over many countries and that a lot of US expats don't even realize enough about to consider when choosing a country to try, is the affect that the EXCHANGE RATE can have on their income.

So while someone moving to Portugal (again as our example) has to consider the potential a change in the exchange rate will have on their income, the person moving to Panama can ignore that completely as the Panama Balboa as you know is fixed at 1 to 1 with the US dollar. Of course that advantage only applies to someone from the USA with an income derived in the USA. It doesn't help a Canadian moving to Panama for example who still has to consider the exchange rate between the Canadian and US dollars.

People moving to other countries have to realize that even 'strong' currencies like the US and Canadian dollars; UK Pounds: the Euro, etc. can fluctuate by as much as 25% quite regularly.

For example the UK Pound to Canadian dollar has gone from 1 to 2 just 10 years ago to as low as 1.6 to 1 7 years ago and then back up to 2 to 1 last year and is currently back down to around 1 to 1.65 since Brexit.

That means my wife's UK pension income has varied by as much as 25%. Not all retirees plan for a 25% swing in their income! Fortunately for us, our income can handle that kind of swing without any real difficulties for us. It just cuts into our travel budget.

But currency parity for US retirees is what I would consider a real significant plus of Panama.

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Mangan
11/16/2016 12:00 EST

Adios! The American people are sick of the cronyism and utter corruption that this administration and its mirror image (Clinton) will continue to impose on us. Take HRC with you please!!!!

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Mangan
11/16/2016 12:00 EST

Adios! The American people are sick of the cronyism and utter corruption that this administration and its mirror image (Clinton) will continue to impose on us. Take HRC with you please!!!!

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Panama2017
11/16/2016 12:20 EST

OldPro, fair enough. Agree with your points. I think that the main difference between our opinions is that I am (admittedly) not unbiased.

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dominic135
11/16/2016 21:49 EST

You mean as intolerant as the Liberals are to religion, guns, white people, businesses, police? That line can go on indefinitely!
I've heard some of the most idiotic fears about Trump, but nobody seems to mind Hillary selling favors to middle east countries, or her lies, or her giving away top secret material on her e-mails.
Both sides of the political spectrum make up so many of the fears both sides have. Remember they are politicians... well Hillary is anyway, and politicians lie for a living.
Best to watch and learn before you make up your mind and realize most of your conservative neighbors want the same things you do. They want to feel safe, protected, sure they will receive a fair income for what they offer society. They want dangerous people put in jail, and they want to feel free to worship as they wish without being shamed for it.
I don't trust Trump and would not invite him home for dinner or even share a beer with. However, he is not the evil person the Clintons make him out to be. He has some great ideas. Let him try to win you over that much at least.
Frankly, I'm considering Panama not because of who is president as much as who are my neighbors! You know... the ones who think like you.

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dominic135
11/16/2016 21:49 EST

You mean as intolerant as the Liberals are to religion, guns, white people, businesses, police? That line can go on indefinitely!
I've heard some of the most idiotic fears about Trump, but nobody seems to mind Hillary selling favors to middle east countries, or her lies, or her giving away top secret material on her e-mails.
Both sides of the political spectrum make up so many of the fears both sides have. Remember they are politicians... well Hillary is anyway, and politicians lie for a living.
Best to watch and learn before you make up your mind and realize most of your conservative neighbors want the same things you do. They want to feel safe, protected, sure they will receive a fair income for what they offer society. They want dangerous people put in jail, and they want to feel free to worship as they wish without being shamed for it.
I don't trust Trump and would not invite him home for dinner or even share a beer with. However, he is not the evil person the Clintons make him out to be. He has some great ideas. Let him try to win you over that much at least.
Frankly, I'm considering Panama not because of who is president as much as who are my neighbors! You know... the ones who think like you.

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dominic135
11/16/2016 21:50 EST

You mean as intolerant as the Liberals are to religion, guns, white people, businesses, police? That line can go on indefinitely!
I've heard some of the most idiotic fears about Trump, but nobody seems to mind Hillary selling favors to middle east countries, or her lies, or her giving away top secret material on her e-mails.
Both sides of the political spectrum make up so many of the fears both sides have. Remember they are politicians... well Hillary is anyway, and politicians lie for a living.
Best to watch and learn before you make up your mind and realize most of your conservative neighbors want the same things you do. They want to feel safe, protected, sure they will receive a fair income for what they offer society. They want dangerous people put in jail, and they want to feel free to worship as they wish without being shamed for it.
I don't trust Trump and would not invite him home for dinner or even share a beer with. However, he is not the evil person the Clintons make him out to be. He has some great ideas. Let him try to win you over that much at least.
Frankly, I'm considering Panama not because of who is president as much as who are my neighbors! You know... the ones who think like you.

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dominic135
11/16/2016 21:54 EST

You mean like the way Hillary sent a shipment of arms to Libya and funded the assassination of Mohmar Kadaffi?
Or maybe how some of the arms used to kill our ambassador had serial numbers that traced back to that shipment?
Tell me more... I like a good laugh!

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Panama2017
11/16/2016 21:59 EST

For several politically motivated posters: you only need to press the "post reply" once. Sending 2 or 3 dup messages in a row doesn't help your cause.

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dominic135
11/16/2016 22:05 EST

TOMMCC: I'm on the opposite side even though we are both Viet Nam vets. From the response I'm hearing, this post has become an open can of worms!
I'm just about ready to make the move because I'm sick and tired of all the political flack! My dream is to never hear a political argument again!
Maybe we should be looking for a place in Thailand or Cambodia!
Good luck in your endeavors!
This also reminds me of a religious comment, or maybe irreligious... but the net blew up with fiery wrath of God! Maybe Central America is not as peaceful as the ads say!

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tommcc
11/16/2016 23:27 EST

Dominic
I doubt you've read the entire message string, but my reason for posting legitimate questions about Panama was just to give some background, not to open up the floodgates of passionate political debate. Every expat has his own reason for leaving and setting up shop somewhere else. Most contributors were kind enough to bypass the politics and focus on my questions. I have been extremely impressed with the kindness, information, cautions, offers, and advice I have received on this forum. I have already apologized to anyone who might have been offended, but I too feel like I have my legitimate reasons for my comments and position and do not expect everyone to agree. This has been an extremely difficult time for the entire country. However, even some of the critical posts have joined with me to agree to disagree so I would hope we are past the fireworks from the beginning post and we can return to a degree of civility. My exploratory trip will be in Feb and if I decide Panama is for me I expect to be hoisting a cold beer in some bar there celebrating my 70th birthday and a new beginning. I wish you well in your search for your next home. Tom

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dominic135
11/16/2016 23:40 EST

You sound like the protestors/rioters we have here in the states. The thing I've noticed is that the democrats (definitely not all) are the real haters, the violent gangs dragging people out of their cars and beating them, the poor bag lady in Hollywood who was knocked around because she was protecting Trumps Star on the sidewalk. When you side with them, you show your own mean spirited nature. How do you live with that kind of anger and hate?

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SunsetSteve
11/17/2016 07:25 EST

Time to take your vitriol to another thread Dominic. Let it go.

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Latina07
11/17/2016 14:33 EST

Hi Tom, where do you live in AR? My brother in Panama may be able to help you. I am from Panama and lived in AR since the 1980s.

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bluewind
11/17/2016 15:55 EST

Well, I consider myself a liberal and I'm pro police, believe in religious freedom, have no problem with white people, am pro gun but believe in appropriate regulations, pro racial tolerance, pro peaceful demonstrations, etc. I'm also pro people taking responsibility for their lives and not blaming the gov. or others for their problems. When semi-skilled, uneducated people are having a hard time finding a job; maybe they should quit pointing fingers, get off the couch and do something about it. This also includes lazy people who sit home and collect gov. handouts.

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Jazzmann
11/18/2016 08:51 EST

Dear bluewind, you are really not a liberal.

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Travelocity
11/18/2016 08:57 EST

well there are those who love the government hand outs and those who still get them because they refuse to get a job. they refuse to being underemployed or are too good for the job available (yes this is true and not gossip) so they prefer to sit at home and collect the goodies.

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Travelocity
11/18/2016 08:57 EST

well there are those who love the government hand outs and those who still get them because they refuse to get a job. they refuse to being underemployed or are too good for the job available (yes this is true and not gossip) so they prefer to sit at home and collect the goodies.

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SunsetSteve
11/18/2016 09:07 EST

And then there are those who ought to occupy their minds with more important things than how much they resent those less fortunate or less able. Seriously.

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SunsetSteve
11/18/2016 09:13 EST

But not concerned about handouts to the fossil fuel industry. Funny how that works. :)

"In total, the United States government has identified eleven Federal fossil fuel production tax provisions, as shown below. Combined, these
provisions total USD 4.7 billion in annual revenue cost (nominal annual average figure based on the 10-year revenue estimate). "

https://www.treasury.gov/open/Documents/USA%20FFSR%20progress%20report%20to%20G20%202014%20Final.pdf

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SAY
11/18/2016 09:22 EST

Yes Schwab wires money to Panama. It's a $25.00 fee and no exchange rate fees. When I had money wired to my customs person's bank, I put in the wire transfer request at 9 am and it was in her account before noon.

If you decide to use the Chiriquí province as your base, I hope you will check out our little beach town of Puerto Armuelles. Feel free to pm me at any time with questions.

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jonoyakker
11/18/2016 09:26 EST

Are they still planning on building an oil shipping port at Puerto Armuelles?

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wjc08
11/18/2016 09:58 EST

tommcc

First I would like to thank you for your service to our country. Second I will convey a story and some information that I received in 1985 from then Secretary of State Shultz. During a VIP mission a young Marine corporal was guarding the elevator, on the floor the Secretary was staying on. Mr. Shultz stopped and talked to the corporal as he would with any military member on his protection detail. The corporal asked him if he was an x-Marine, the Secretary immediately put the corporal at the position of attention and told him that there is no such thing as an X-Marine, He was a former Marine! I find it curious that the younger Marines consider themselves X-Marines instead of former Marines!
As for you moving down here, Welcome! But you may not find the sympathy or empathy you are looking for here in Panama. The Pensionado Visa is the way to go if you are retired military or on social security or have a guaranteed monthly retirement pension. http://panama-immigration-services.com/panama-pensionado-visa/
Maybe I’ll see you in Panama, you and your Family are welcome. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

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wjc08
11/18/2016 09:58 EST

tommcc

First I would like to thank you for your service to our country. Second I will convey a story and some information that I received in 1985 from then Secretary of State Shultz. During a VIP mission a young Marine corporal was guarding the elevator, on the floor the Secretary was staying on. Mr. Shultz stopped and talked to the corporal as he would with any military member on his protection detail. The corporal asked him if he was an x-Marine, the Secretary immediately put the corporal at the position of attention and told him that there is no such thing as an X-Marine, He was a former Marine! I find it curious that the younger Marines consider themselves X-Marines instead of former Marines!
As for you moving down here, Welcome! But you may not find the sympathy or empathy you are looking for here in Panama. The Pensionado Visa is the way to go if you are retired military or on social security or have a guaranteed monthly retirement pension. http://panama-immigration-services.com/panama-pensionado-visa/
Maybe I’ll see you in Panama, you and your Family are welcome. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 10:00 EST

You are beating a dead horse Travelocity. Maybe you need to move on to more productive items.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 10:03 EST

SunsetSteve,

Well said. His rants are old hat.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 10:05 EST

SunsetSteve,
Point well-taken and I see you don't shy away from facts vs the ones who just babble. Well done.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 10:12 EST

SAY,
Your suggestion about Schwab checking was excellent. I've called them and the paperwork is on the way. Also will be easy to pull $$$ out of IRA and put it into checking account. They will let you pull out $1K a day out of an ATM, but it looks like Panama puts a $500 limit per day withdrawal so nice to know a wire transfer works so well. Again, thanks to you and all of the other POSITIVE comments that have been offered on this site. Your comments have been invaluable and I appreciate your time and patience over this very long thread. Regards, Tom

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Travelocity
11/18/2016 10:31 EST

thanks for the permission to move to something else, I would have never known what to do prior to your post tommcc lol
meanwhile you need to start packing your bags because your Hillary hopeful didn't win.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 10:35 EST

WJC08,
Thank you sincerely for your kind post.. It proves the adage, "Once a Marine - always a Marine" and I will remember that.
When I started the post I was not looking for like-minds in Panama - I was simply stating my reason for leaving, just like every expat has their own reason (it's a good reason in their mind!) and whether it's the same as mine is really none of my business . We all do what we have to do - I have to satisfy me - I'm immune to what someone else says I SHOULD do - I don't live to make them happy, just me.
I have already decided the Pensionado Visa is for me - looks like a no brainer with great benefits. I'm checking to make sure I have all documents apostilled. One question: someone mention was getting the local police to take a set of fingerprints. Of course, my fingerprints were take in the service (50 years ago!) so is that sufficient or do they require recent prints for the background check?
Thanks again for your POSITIVE post and kind words and I do look forward to my visit in Feb.
Regards, Tom

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Panama2017
11/18/2016 10:40 EST

You know, I am really trying to understand why some folks are giving this OP such a hard time. The OP is free to believe what they do and so are all of you. No minds will be changed here so quit wasting your time (and mine).

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tommcc
11/18/2016 12:08 EST

Hear, Hear, 2017! You laid it out succinctly.
Tom

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wjc08
11/18/2016 14:13 EST

Tom

Yes you'll need fingerprints here and an examination. Get a good attorney "here" to process the documents and set you up with all the appointments you will need and in the correct order. The Embassy has a list as well as International Living. https://internationalliving.com/countries/panama/
http://panama-immigration-services.com/

Hope this helps.

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bluewind
11/18/2016 16:37 EST

Well maybe, a conservative-liberal. I'm definitely not a conservative, or at least not a hard line conservative lol. I'm into helping the needy, free lunch for students in financial need, believe war is bad in most cases, think the rich should contribute more to helping others, believe on tighter regulations on gun sales, especially gun fairs, and believe the environment should be protected and believe in everyone's right to practice their religion, including Muslims. Hardly conservative values.

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bluewind
11/18/2016 16:42 EST

I think Clintons idea (Bill) of people on government assistance should put in so many hours a week to help clean up parks, streets, etc. was a good idea. Maybe some of these people might be more motivated to get an actual job if this happened.

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tommcc
11/18/2016 17:34 EST

wcj08,
More good info, thanks. I guess I can get the fingerprints locally, although I can't imagine many good people walking in and asking for that. You also mentioned an exam. A doctor's exam or an oral exam just to check basic personal items before applying for the Pensionado Visa? Again, thanks for your information.
Regards, Tom

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wjc08
11/19/2016 09:34 EST

The physical is to insure you are healthy. I was told by the attorney that among other things they were checking to ensure I didn't have HIV, or any other communicable disease.

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tommcc
11/19/2016 10:13 EST

Wcj08

Glad to know this - never even thought about it - thanks for the heads-up - I'll be sure to wear clean underwear! Regards, Tom

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SAY
11/19/2016 11:32 EST

They have been moving oil in and out of the Puerto Armuelles area for quite some time. There is a big, secured facility on the peninsula. You can watch the ships come in, pull up to the port and they pump the oil into the big pipeline.

There's a lot of talk about making the port a place for tourist ships to stop. And of course, there is the banana shipping business being revived, if the government will sign the paperwork.

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SunsetSteve
11/19/2016 12:54 EST

Tom - if you get the right attorney - who gets the right doctor - you won't have to worry about your underwear. My med took 10 minutes: BP, heart and lung, outa there!

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tommcc
11/19/2016 13:52 EST

Hi Steve,

LOL, I'm beginning to realize it is who you know to get things done quickly and easily that counts in Panama or else you plod and stumble on your own even if you save a few bucks. There are lawyers here I wouldn't trust with a bent penny and I guess there are some there as well, but the right lawyer up front seems to be even more valuable over time. I am grateful so many have offered me names they have used for many years. Sure makes my mind rest easier as the LAST thing I want to do is get into trouble with the authorities and ignorance is the easiest way to get nailed. Thanks again to all. Tom

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llseldon
11/19/2016 14:27 EST

tommcc, I was born in P.C. (Santo Tomas hospital). school in the ole CZ, been watching the decline of the USA since the Watts riots in the summer of 1965, but the USA is still here despite Obama, Hillarys, Bushes, Carter, et al, it will probably be around when I'm gone. I love to visit Panama & ole friends, many ask me if I'd buy property in Panamá, ans NO. My brother moved back for 3 1/2 years & moved back to the bad ole USA. My suggestion to you & others, is don't sell out in the USA (or other countries), take enough "stuff" for 6 month, go down & see IF Panamá is really for you, my brother wishes he had done that now FYI. GOD SAVE AMERICA. P.S. some people in Panamá tell me they wish they could move back home but don't have the money, SO DON'T get trapped there or elsewhere in the world, the USA with all its problems is still a good place to live, if you don't like where you live in the USA, look for another option in the USA, my opinion & I'm sticking to it. LOL, I don't check this site often anymore so for those who will want to "blast me", don't bother. Buena suerte amigo, PL

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paulie123
11/21/2016 01:41 EST

Why would anyone want to deal with Americans. To get away from them is the best reason to leave the US.

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paulie123
11/21/2016 01:44 EST

You love trump so much don't touch your investments. My broker tells me all the financial models predict a recession in a year that will make 2008 look like a picnic. I'm certainly not moving to Panama to deal with fools like you.

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paulie123
11/21/2016 01:49 EST

Glocksucker, stay in alabama where you certainly live, we don't want you in Panama.

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paulie123
11/21/2016 01:55 EST

I'm with you brother. Ignore the alt-right posts I can assure you they are not from people living in Panama but fat disaffected ammo-sexuals living in mom's basement in alabama.
As you can see they respect no one but their narrow minded group of trolls that have nothing to do but mess with forums that don't apply to them.
In Panama they would never want to live as a psychiatric exam is required for gun ownership.

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stgibson
11/21/2016 12:01 EST

tommcc,
you will need a set of recent fingerprints. Go to a local law inforcement agency there that can scan them. If they use the old method with ink you may wind up doing them multiple times. It is also a good idea to get an FBI report in advance to moving here. Who knows what will show up on it. In my case it was a misdemeanor arrest from 1969 that was immediately dismissed but my fingerprints still showed up. It wound up costing me an additional $16K getting my residency here. According to a US Dept. of Justice study released in 2014 over 50% of FBI records are inaccurate. It is better to spend an extra $18 to make sure there are no surprises.

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tommcc
11/21/2016 12:10 EST

Hi stgibson,

Thank you for your excellent advice. I sure don't want any surprises or problems. I've heard the same thing about inaccuracies in the records and there doesn't seem to be a way to get them cleared up without a massive headache as you seem to have found out the hard way. Thanks again for your advice. Regards tommcc

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BoqueteGirl
11/21/2016 14:11 EST

stgibson,

You no longer can go to the local law enforcement and get your finger prints taken. It has to be FBI (federal printing only for the U.S..) Here is one site that explains it. Good luck

http://www.panama-offshore-services.com/panama_criminal_history_background_checks.htm

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dominic135
11/21/2016 15:36 EST

I'm sure you had a load of negative posts. You may not even get to this one.
I've had to live with liberal Presidents for 16 of the last 24 years.
It's been hard for me as a lifelong conservative. I've consoled myself with this: The strength of our country is not that we have common beliefs, but it is the differences that make us strong! If America was ruled by one belief system, we would be the USSR. We would also be ripe for a takeover!
Personally, as a Viet Nam Vet myself, what scares me most is the thought of being disarmed by our government. That was the first thing Hitler did as Chancellor of Germany. It wasn't until he disarmed the people that he started his slaughter of civilians both Jews, Poles, Gypsy's and anyone who opposed him.
Just look at cities like Chicago where guns are outlawed. Dozens of people are shot every week, yet the good citizens are not allowed to defend themselves.
The thought of electing the same people that spit on us as we returned from war... well, I guess I can't understand why any vet would elect them. But that is the beauty of our country... we are allowed to have different beliefs.

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 15:52 EST

Dominic135, you have the facts wrong here. Chicago does not outlaw guns. Concealed carry is even lawful with the proper license. So now what...

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glockdiver69
11/21/2016 16:04 EST

@Panama2017: How many FFL dealers are there in Chicago (aka Chiraq)? Answer: ZERO! Many of Chicago's gun laws are mandated by State law. However, it is well known that the city leaders feel that the non-elite (general citizen) should not be allowed to own a firearm AND due to recent court decisions (in favor of gun rights) the CPD is used to voice the city leaders vision. Just ask any CPD officer what they think of a responsible and trained civilian having access to a firearm. You would not be surprised of the answer.
Fact is, Chicago is not a safe place and IMO, you would be crazy to live there.

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 16:14 EST

Whoa. I am not here to argue the points that you raise Glock. All I know is that the laws do not restrict guns with proper id, etc. All that other stuff...don't know. Don't care.

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SunsetSteve
11/21/2016 16:22 EST

Let's not forget that there are many who feel it would be crazy to live anywhere in a country where every dickhead can carry a gun around. In fact, pretty much everyone who lives outside the USA and about half of those who live within it feel that way. But of course, they are all crazy.

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 16:28 EST

Yeah, 4 cops were shot this weekend (not in Chicago) by those same dickheads.

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SunsetSteve
11/21/2016 16:42 EST

More Americans were shot by toddlers this year than by terrorists. It's called "Freedom - USA style"!

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tommcc
11/21/2016 17:45 EST

To all,
It looks like my original post has gone from politics, to religion, to gun rights. I'm very sorry this forum has been shanghai'd away from the good peoples' contributions and into other unwanted areas. Pleas let this die out. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. tommcc

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 17:51 EST

Sorry. I couldn't resist fact checking that dude Glock.

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TextoMex
11/21/2016 17:51 EST

Re: More Americans were shot by toddlers this year than by terrorists. It's called "Freedom - USA style"!

I accidentally gave SS a thumbs up. I meant down. WTF was that comment supposed to mean?

"Toddlers have shot at least 50 people this year - The Washington Post"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../toddlers-have-shot-at-least-50-people-t...
Oct 20, 2016

Jun 13, 2016 - Sunday and started shooting, killing 49 people and wounding at least 53, officials said.

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TextoMex
11/21/2016 17:51 EST

Re: More Americans were shot by toddlers this year than by terrorists. It's called "Freedom - USA style"!

I accidentally gave SS a thumbs up. I meant down. WTF was that comment supposed to mean?

"Toddlers have shot at least 50 people this year - The Washington Post"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../toddlers-have-shot-at-least-50-people-t...
Oct 20, 2016

Jun 13, 2016 - Sunday and started shooting, killing 49 people and wounding at least 53, officials said.

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glockdiver69
11/21/2016 18:00 EST

No worries Panama2017. We're good. ??

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panamaexpat
11/21/2016 18:02 EST

You are forgiven. Just don't mention the word Trump anymore... lol. ??
FYI some (at least 50%) of new posts in this forum turn into a p..ing contest. Some people then would rather just PM you to avoid know-it-all" opinionated posts, which is a shame because there are very sincere willing-to-help people as you have already found out.
Cheers and welcome to Panama!

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SunsetSteve
11/21/2016 18:03 EST

In my defence: 1. This thread has fulfilled its original intent and has wandered into novella-length discussions, and 2. just responding to Glock - nuthin wrong with having a little fun now, eh? Especially with easy targets floating by . . . :)

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 18:06 EST

Sure Glock. We're good.

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Lamastus
11/21/2016 18:59 EST

No one is forced to live in the United States with our laws so if one doesn't like it go somewhere else.

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jaakko
11/21/2016 19:02 EST

Finland and Switzerland have some of the highest per capital gun ownership. and yet some of the lowest violent crime rates - culturally homogeneous educated societies. Guns don't kill - people do. Criminals will always have their guns, so extensive gun controls do not work. Swiss men keep their army issued weapons at home, and Finland would not have survived the war without private hunting rifles.

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Panama2017
11/21/2016 19:09 EST

"Men" hold firearms in Switzerland because they are a peaceful nation and have no armed forces other than those conscripted to stand ready. The men don't hold firearms because of some obsessive fascination with them. So that explains a lot.

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tommcc
11/21/2016 19:12 EST

hi panamaexpat,

I am trying to move away from the controversial and you are correct - most of the responders have had excellent comments and suggestions and I have also received PMs that were downright kind, generous and gracious, and I applaud these people - they have my sincere thanks. Just think there is no way to avoid the mean-spirited ones who just have to argue and hijack a thread so they can have the bully-pulpit. I hope this thread ends soon - it is by far the longest one I've seen - and I expected maybe 8-10 responses! LOL - ya never know! tommcc

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SunsetSteve
11/21/2016 19:28 EST

Jaako - so you believe the problem is not with gun laws - it's with Americans?

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jaakko
11/21/2016 19:50 EST

Inter-City Black-on-Black crime mindset & failed educational system re-enforced with the violence in the movies, TV and as importantly the gaming industry. Lack of self-respect and respect of others - their opinions and property.

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Lamastus
11/21/2016 21:30 EST

People, remember we have a lot of illegals
From every where!

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paulie123
11/21/2016 23:06 EST

Love it or leave it? Grow up Archie Bunker.

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rosydi55
11/22/2016 06:57 EST

BYE!!

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tjo50511
11/22/2016 07:25 EST

You really have to put boots on the ground. Various parts of Panama are very different. I live around Chitre and love it. I couldn't take living in Panama City but I love to visit. Boquete and Coronado both have too many Gringos (makes things much more expensive). Bocas del Toro gets too much rain for me but some people love it. Come see for yourself.

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tommcc
11/22/2016 12:51 EST

Hi tjo50511

Thanks for your suggestion. I plan on a full month in FEB to travel around the country and will have my itinerary planned out before I even leave. Since I have had so many helpful suggestions and offers in this Forum to look at different places before I decide I'm not sure one month is enough, but it is all I can do for now. Thanks again for your information - I appreciate that. tommcc

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SAY
11/23/2016 12:05 EST

I have full confidence that a month will be enough for you. Your heart will know when it has found a new home. Cause you are ready.

It only took me 2 weeks to find my Panama home place. My heart lifted, and I couldn't suppress a big grin the first time I visited and walked out of the airport. Two years later, and I"m still smiling that I am here,

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SAY
11/23/2016 12:05 EST

I have full confidence that a month will be enough for you. Your heart will know when it has found a new home. Cause you are ready.

It only took me 2 weeks to find my Panama home place. My heart lifted, and I couldn't suppress a big grin the first time I visited and walked out of the airport. Two years later, and I"m still smiling that I am here,

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OldPro
11/23/2016 13:39 EST

Sorry to go off topic Tom but I cannot resist responding to the remarks by Jakko and SunsetSteve re gun crimes.

SunsetSteve, as I see it you have two interrelated factors. One is access to guns and the other is culture. You cannot separate them.

Take 3 countries as examples. The USA, Canada and Switzerland.

In the USA access is easy and the culture allows a significant number of people to see using a gun to solve their problems as a viable solution.

In Canada access is not easy and you also have a culture that does not see using guns to solve problems as a viable solution. Canada could probably allow easier access and still not have high gun crime.,

In Switzerland, half the men between the ages of say 25-45 have fully automatic weapons in their homes, so access is easy. But their culture does not see using guns to solve their problems as a viable solution. So they in fact prove that access is not the real issue, it is the culture that is the real issue.

Now go back to the USA. IF you had less access, that would in fact make it more difficult for people to commit gun crimes regardless of the culture that sees it as a viable solution. So gun control would help reduce gun crime in the USA even though it would not change the culture. But what really needs to change is the culture. That however is a long term solution, while gun control provides a short term answer.

So to me, the USA needs to work on BOTH. Control in the short term and a change in culture for the long term.

The often used comment, 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' is indeed a factual statement but it is easily misconstrued. It does not mean access doesn't matter. It would be more accurate to say, 'people who have access to guns and a willingness to use them, kill people.'

The 'guns don't kill people' is supposed to suggest access doesn't matter and that gun control won't change the fact that, 'people kill people.' In fact, gun control will change the number of people killed even when the people are willing to kill people.

Recently, here in Canada there was a a rare instance of someone going off the rails and wanting to kill strangers in a mall. A not unfamiliar scenario for the USA but rare in Canada.

So what happened? Well, not being a professional criminal and not having easy access to guns, the perpetrator used a knife. Result, no deaths only injuries. Now no doubt someone could have been killed but it is not so easy to kill people with a knife if you don't know how to do that effectively. It is much easier to do with a gun though.

Most mass school killings etc. that we hear about in the USA, are done with guns by people who are not professional criminals and have little if any real experience with trying to kill people. Take away the gun and give them a knife and what is the result likely to be?

Comments like 'criminals will still have guns anyway', are again a way to try and suggest that the guns are not the problem. What it tries to tell you is that it is criminals that commit the murders. In fact, that is not always the case. Which mass school killing in the USA was done by a professional criminal for some kind of criminal gain? Answer, none. Which killings where someone went 'postal' and killed fellow workers was done by a professional criminal? Answer, none. Which domestic killings? Answer, none.

Unfortunately, while the answer to make access difficult and then start trying to work on a long term change to the culture is easy for anyone with half a brain to see as far as I am concerned, the ELEPHANT in the room is really the gun industry and their ability to control the public's perception that they need to 'protect themselves' and thus not be willing to vote for gun control.

The USA is the only country in the world where there are more guns than people! That is a huge amount of MONEY being spent buying guns from gun manufacturers. That translates to a huge reason for them to oppose gun control.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-u-s-gun-deaths-compare-to-other-countries/

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TextoMex
11/23/2016 16:17 EST

Alright tommc, why don't you stay outta this!!!

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Lamastus
11/23/2016 17:10 EST

Let me ask you a question. There are 330 million people in the United States over a fairly
Large area. How many people in Canada over quite a large area.
In the United States we have every ethnic group there is and I am living in a gated community of 21 units 2 from the US And the rest are Canadians and they can't get along.
The two from the US CAN.

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Lamastus
11/23/2016 17:10 EST

Let me ask you a question. There are 330 million people in the United States over a fairly
Large area. How many people in Canada over quite a large area.
In the United States we have every ethnic group there is and I am living in a gated community of 21 units 2 from the US And the rest are Canadians and they can't get along.
The two from the US CAN.

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Lamastus
11/23/2016 17:12 EST

Yes please go to Canada.
Thank you

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VictoryRider
11/23/2016 17:25 EST

bluewind,

The US is a Constitutional Republic not a democracy ...

Regards

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SunsetSteve
11/23/2016 18:19 EST

Lamastus - the 35 Million in Canada are spread over a fairly small area in fact. All crushed together along the 49th parallel. Whatever space we have still available is reserved for refugees and family reunification of Asian and other families. We might make an exception for threatened minorities fleeing from the fresh terror south of us. We have a well-known soft spot for victims of terror.

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Panama2017
11/23/2016 18:24 EST

Fresh terror! Yes...

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jaakko
11/23/2016 18:25 EST

It is not politically correct to report on the black-on-black and gang gun violance. However NRA gets all the publicity on the crimes their members have not committed.

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SunsetSteve
11/23/2016 19:24 EST

Those darn violent Blacks! Grrr . . . why can't they just act like white folks? Now with Trump victorious we can finally express our true feelings! Now things will get better, right? And hard working stupid Trump voters won't have their overtime rates slashed and benefits and health care eliminated. What a wonderful world it will be. Lalalala.

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Lamastus
11/24/2016 06:51 EST

You are so funny

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dominic135
11/25/2016 18:48 EST

Frankly, it bothers me to know you will still be in residence by the time I get there!

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dominic135
11/25/2016 18:58 EST

Relax Tomcc!
Unlike most liberals, you seem very respectful of everyone's feelings. That attitude in itself could mend the political fences not only at home, but anywhere you choose to go!
I'm a Nam Vet myself and although I can't imagine any vet from that period would vote against the second amendment, you certainly do not sound like the exclusion type of liberal I'm against!
May you find a haven up to your expectations. I doubt you'll have any problem fitting in with such an open mind!

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dominic135
11/25/2016 18:58 EST

Relax Tomcc!
Unlike most liberals, you seem very respectful of everyone's feelings. That attitude in itself could mend the political fences not only at home, but anywhere you choose to go!
I'm a Nam Vet myself and although I can't imagine any vet from that period would vote against the second amendment, you certainly do not sound like the exclusion type of liberal I'm against!
May you find a haven up to your expectations. I doubt you'll have any problem fitting in with such an open mind!

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dominic135
11/25/2016 19:10 EST

TOMMCC: For some reason, I like responding to your posts! You are right, there is too much political anger in the US.
The truth is, there is a lot of anger AT TRUMP, but I think you will notice by now that he has no use for PC rhetoric, and that makes him a target for anger.
He doesn't hate as much as he calls things as he see's them. A week or 10 days later, he has opened his arms to his political rivals because he believes every one has a special gift and he is willing to make use of those gifts for the sake of Americas survival.
I never liked the man personally and would never buy him a beer, but I respect his beliefs even if they clash with his personality.
Listen to what he says, not what is said about him!
Good luck!

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JonCates
11/25/2016 19:13 EST

Dude there was no f ing vote
Against the 2nd amendment
I'm proud to b a draft dodger of the stupid nam war ha like ur stulid president drumpf. Sorry there hasn't been a necessary war since ww 2

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dominic135
11/25/2016 19:20 EST

Great to hear your reply!
I'm planning a 3 month tour of Panama soon. One of the posts I've read is that some used car dealers will rent long term and or sell you a car with guaranteed buy back. Check it out because the car rental can easily triple what you will spend on rent! Especially when you include insurance.
That cost kind of scares me because I have a 30 yr old son who is in a wheel chair and we won't be able to depend on public transportation.

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dominic135
11/25/2016 20:13 EST

TOMMCC: I own you one man! I monitor these forums to get the skinny on what the expat community is really like... not what the magazines promise!
It's been harder than finding hens teeth! I have never seen a response to any post this large and filled with honesty!
Kudo's to you!
Thanks to your post, I find Panama to be the kind of place I want to be a part of! Reply's were honest, for the most part without judgement and very supportive! Honestly, with your first post, I thought the s__t would really hit the fan!
I've read zealous religious rants, political ravings and unbelievably snobby posts from some expats in Central America! But I've never seen one post draw out so many warm wishes and helpful hints! I don't know about you, but your post made my decision firm! Hope to meet you some day!

Just a working Squid!

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tommcc
11/25/2016 21:56 EST

dominic135, et. al.

Yes, this post has grown to an amazing length and I frankly I just wanted it to die since it seemed to divert into areas that were totally away from my intent and I wasn't going to answer anymore off-the-cuff comments, but your last response does seem to warrant a reply. I guess I am pretty immune to whatever nasty remarks someone wants to throw at me, but I feel bad for the many fine folks who have been so kind and generous with their helpful info and advice that they have had to put up with the hijacking of this post. To them I ask indulgence while I answer what I hope is the last of this string.
I did not vote against any issue at all (NOT politics, not religion, not gun rights, not political correctness, etc.). I simply voted against the character of Trump. I don't want any part of his idea for America - I was appalled he said what he did just to alienate the country. This is the country I dearly love, good and bad since we cannot all agree; I have fought for her, I have bled for her, I have tried to learn about controversial issues rather than just conveniently listen to a mouthpiece and take what is said as gospel. I can think for myself. I have worked hard my whole life, and did not consider living out of my dilapidated pickup truck after a divorce for 6 months the low point in my life. It was in fact the beginning of my new life and I like what I have done and achieved and have never held the almighty dollar as almighty God. I do not cringe when I look in the mirror although I sure have gotten fat and wrinkled in my old age. I've always considered myself lucky to have triumphed over all the adversity thrown my way and it hasn't made me bitter or angry; in fact it has strengthened my character and enriched my life.

However the initial post, before it was shanghai'd afield, was my blunt observation that Trump is very dangerous for my country and I'd rather leave than stay and show tacit approval & support. He is in short morally bankrupt and I am embarrassed for the US that he is the one chosen to show the rest of the world who we want for our leader. No thank you. I realize Hillary had her own serious baggage, she sure was not high on my list, but every election seems to show a weakness in democracy when we have to choose between the lesser of 2 evils! You mean out of more than 300 million people this is the best we can do??? That's pathetic. Me leaving isn't going to hurt or slow him down one iota, but leaving the scene of the crime will at least allow me some positive diversion and maybe a chance at something better in many ways. I won't know till I try, but once I make up my mind I do not fail as I am lazer-focused on my decision. Will I return to the US after Trump? Probably, but that's not definite either. What will be left after Trump has gorged his wallet at the expense of the country and to the detriment of his supporters remains to be seen as well, but I suspect he is going to really let down a lot of folks (and allies!) that actually believed in him. But since he lies so often and changes positions daily it is impossible to pin him down on anything so he will always have a convenient way to explain away the problems. He has already done this and I don't see him changing his ways at this stage of his life - he's in it for himself and therefore will never lead as the President of all of us.

Years from now some expat will dig up this post/ thread and say that tommcc was dumber than dirt - he didn't know what the heck he was talking about. OR. That person will say tommcc was a prophetic genius and saw the hand-writing on the wall well before anyone else. OR, my thoughts and decisions mean nothing at all to anyone but me and that's fine also. I'm certainly not perfect nor do I pretend to be, but I do have a moral conviction that I have to live with, and honesty and integrity mean something to me. The quality of life should be something we cherish rather than just exist in whatever is convenient. I'm not looking for an easy way out. I'm looking to do the right thing in my own mind - and everyone has their own mind, different from me, and they need to live with themselves as well.

I again apologize to the great expats for their considerable and valuable information sent my way and who judicially ignored the political diversion, but I am afraid that this "last" response will unfortunately set off another spat of mumbled diatribes that only show me they have not bothered to read the entire spiel and therefore are just blowing pipe-dream smoke. To the sincere and gracious responders I again send my heartfelt gratitude to all and if somewhere down some road we should meet, and recognize each other by our handles, I want to offer my hand and the first round is on me. Muchas Gracias, mi amigos. tommcc

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jonoyakker
11/26/2016 02:30 EST

Tommcc, thanks for that post. There are two things I have learned in life. The first is that I need to be thoughtful, respectful and responsible for what I express. The second is that ugliness (from myself and others) can rear its head at any moment but being ugly in the face of ugly never accomplishes anything. Too bad it feels so good to be hateful :)

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BoqueteGirl
11/26/2016 09:19 EST

@dominic135

I just want you to be aware (if you're not already) that this country is NOT wheelchair friendly. The sidewalks alone are very difficult to maneuver when walking around on ones own. I can tell you that Boquete has very bad sidewalks and there is no way you could use a wheelchair on the sidewalks here. They have some parts that you can use a wheelchair, but not many.

Also, MOST the bathrooms you barely have room for a person without a wheelchair, let alone a person with a wheelchair. The major hotels are wheelchair friendly, but not smaller ones. I just didn't want you to get stuck somewhere and not have a heads up. Some of the restaurants we have gone to have a step up or step down to get into the bathrooms. Just a little heads-up. Have a great stay and hope this is what you are looking for.

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OldPro
11/26/2016 14:12 EST

Sometimes I think a lot of Americans can be quite insular in their thinking. Not looking outside their borders at the rest of the world.

In the case of Mr. Trump, a closer look at his past performance elsewhere might have been of some value. He does seem to repeat the same words and promises. And he delivers...........?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/world/europe/donald-trump-scotland-wall.html?_r=0

As for the thread digressing Tom, I"ve never seen a thread yet that doesn't unless it is a simple factual question with a simple factual answer and even then, people write wrong answers. LOL

Any thread that goes to 200 responses is obviously evoking that many responses for whatever reason. You get the answers you want mixed in among the responses that want to talk about something else. Even those responses may open someone's eyes to something they had not thought of and that's always a good thing.

So congratulation on a highly successful post on many levels.

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tommcc
11/26/2016 17:37 EST

Hello OldPro,

Again, thank you for your words of wisdom.
The story about the wall indeed demonstrates his disregard of anyone but himself - he does whatever he wants and to hell with anyone else. He just ran his "Art of the Deal"* on half of the US and rather than check his past behavior for clues they were gullible enough to believe him and I still think most of his supporters will be disillusioned when this episode is over and done with.
I did not expect such a huge response to my initial post, but you are right, the good and the bad are both enlightening in their own way and are both part of the truth of the situation. I'm sorry the good people were exposed to the nasty comments that were directed at me and I can only apologize and wish it hadn't happened, but it did.
When you send a response I never know what to expect, but by the end I am reassured that someone with a factual mind has just dispensed valuable wisdom. I wish I saw more of it, but it, unfortunately, is too rare. Thanks again for your thoughtful words.

Warm Regards, tommcc

* Promise them anything, get the money, do what I want, insult them shamelessly,and send them the bill, and if they don't pay - sue!

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Panama2017
11/26/2016 18:17 EST

Tommcc, I havent spoke out about my opinion because I was trying to avoid contributing to the negativity. But now I am compelled to do so. Recently, a few professionals that I have worked with in the past have contacted me via LinkedIn to inquire about advice on getting residency in Panama. This surprises me. They "accuse" me of being prophetic because although we bought the condo in PTY 2 years ago, we move shortly after January 20th. It's a coincidence because we don't agree that we can outrun the effects of a Trump administration. And we are actually beginning to feel somewhat reluctant to leave our 5 kids and 2 grands behind...but we are obviously still going to do it...move to Panama in July. Just saying that we rely on the US for SS, Medicare, and shelter for any family we are leaving behind. This is not how we think to just leave it all behind and possibly return when it's all over. We will all feel the effects regardless of where in the world we live. And Panama is the last place to expect to feel the least effect. They use the US dollar, and rely on the US for military force as an an example. Just my opinion.

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tommcc
11/26/2016 19:59 EST

Hi 2017,

Thank you for your comments - you make good points and not in a negative way so no problem. I'm sure there are people who would like to leave and can't because of work, family, or finances, etc. I am lucky - I've been on my own for many years and my kid is grown and the rest of my family never visits me here anyhow - I'm always the one expected to visit them. I'm not leaving anything serious behind at all. I'm lucky I can do this financially and realize I am not just giving up Medicare, I am giving up my retirement health account that now pays for secondary coverage, dental and prescription costs and I'll have the added expense down there if I move. I will leave behind great friends that I've known for 20, 40, even 60 years, but with a few exceptions I am again the one that is expected to visit. They all have seen me move to different places for different reasons and they might even think I'm nuts - until I'm gone. It is true that Panama & the US are tightly tied together and who knows if that will last. Maybe Trump wants the Canal back so I realize I am also tied back to the US even if all I do is pay my income taxes from Panama.. There aren't many places that are 100% independent from the US even if all they get is an aid package - always with strings attached however. If I just wanted to get as far away as possible I'd be on a forum from Siberia, but distance is a relative thing. I don't want to see Trump on TV, hear him talk about anything at all, or see how his policies affect more than 300 Million people. Everyone deals with grief differently and I am grieving for the US, but have no desire to be reminded of it daily. Panama offers a lot of positive diversions and after all of the feedback I have received I realize it is not perfect - no place is - but enough good-hearted people have answered my post and I feel confident it could be another valuable experience and give me a broader view and appreciation for other people in the same world. Americans can be very arrogant - traveling and leaning about other cultures and peoples can be very rewarding, and besides, you must leave the US to do that even if your passport eventually takes you back home again. I'll give up some things and take on new ones, but then life often is an ongoing set of compromises, isn't it?

That's all from me now and I appreciate the many comments you have made - you have always been polite. Thank you and take care. Regards, tommcc

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lcopling
11/27/2016 06:46 EST

Not sure WHO it was that unlocked that cage, but he is clearly off his meds! Such loving tolerance on display, with this guy!

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dominic135
11/27/2016 14:30 EST

Thank you for your input. Don't know how I managed to attach this to TOMMCC's post other than I posted him on the same day. Anyway, many claim Panama is like the 50's communities they grew up in. As an anecdote let me tell you just how true that is.
We were attending a family wedding in Buffalo, NY . Greg needed a hair cut before the reception and we drove all through my old neighborhood and found that virtually no businsses we wheel chair friendly! They all had 2 or 3 steps entrances above street level. Restroom facilities were inaccessible due to the architecture of the early 19th century.
So yes, the 50's atmosphere of Central America is very believable!

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dominic135
11/27/2016 14:45 EST

It's me again Tom! You have fired up more than 200 people I see! You are a rarity, an open minded liberal and a pleasure to argue with!
Keep in mind, you are very unusual in your willingness to converse with the opposition. As I see it, Trump may inflame liberals but he doesn't use violence to prove his point. In fact, no one has been as viscous as the left in this country.
The liberals (what a misnomer) are the perpetrators of violence, arson, and vandalism and they all claim it is due to Trumps "violent beliefs".
What has made our country great is our differences and the American capacity to allow everyone their own values. If we were only allowed one choice of beliefs, we would be living in Cuba.
Again, let me congratulate you on one of the most stimulating conversations I've seen on political views!
Dominic

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SunsetSteve
11/27/2016 15:06 EST

Just curious - would a closed=minded conservative be the opposite of a "rarity"? Do you imagine that your constant attacks on "liberals" - who represent over 50% of the US population - are anything other than insulting and offensive? Are you ever going to stop with that obsessive posting?

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Panama2017
11/27/2016 15:09 EST

Dominic135, please stop bashing us liberals.

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dominic135
11/27/2016 15:12 EST

Yours is maybe the kindest compliment on American Politics. Thank you, sincerely!
Our ability to, and right to choose our leaders is what most Americans are worried about... from BOTH sides of the political spectrum!
There has always been completion between parties but the current suppression of ideas has both sides in turmoil. We all feel betrayed by the media, the ultra Left and Right, but above all, believe it or not, is the irresponsible lack of indifference in our society.
We have been very lucky to be born here but the newer, younger generation does not understand the price of our freedoms. Too many are looking for the next sugar daddy to support them. To old timers like myself, I see a generation of "money for nothin', chicks for free" youth with palms outstretched, expecting to live off the government. Let me say that the monetary deficit is nothing compared to moral deficit I see!
We are torn between helping the unfortunate, and that includes immigrants, and the lack of work ethics this generation exhibits.
Your kind post is refreshing and I thank you for voicing it.
Dominic

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tommcc
11/27/2016 16:50 EST

Dominic, Sunset Steve, 2017 et al,

Just when I think this monstrously long and convoluted post is going to finally end, something else turns up, and my mouth opens up.
Let me just say I took ETHICS, LOGIC, And DEBATE in HS and college and these have been some of the most wonderful elective classes that have served me well in later life. ( The 6 years I was forced to take algebra, trigonometry, calculus, have been totally useless in daily life.). This is one reason I do not run from a difficult subject (ie, politics) and I listen to the other side. What they say helps me focus on shutting down their argument due to their lack of logic or not following the rules of debate. EXAMPLES: As soon as someone uses the word "all" or "never", I just need to show one example where that is not true and you've lost that argument. Trying to put everyone into just 2 camps is fraught with disastrous consequences as soon as I can show the existence of a third. Making up false facts are easily disputed upon conscientious and diligent research which too many people do not do before they pontificate their side of the debate.

It is a mistake to think in just terms of Democrat or Republican as diametrically opposed to one another since there are at least 4 more parties that disagree - Independent, Libertarian, .Green, & Constitution. As soon as someone in a debate puts everyone into just 2 boxes they have doomed themselves to a loss. My friend (still a friend after the election!) sees only Liberals and Conservatives and says that the Liberals love everybody and want to take care of everyone. OK Friend since you are a Conservative you must hate everyone and want to help no one. He didn't like that when it was turned back on him. The point being is there is no way to put everyone into neat little boxes as if we come from the same source. The dualism argument is fast and convenient, but fails logic miserably. It's the same illogical argument I've heard from some law-enforcement (and, yes, I have them in the family so speak from experience) that it's US vs. THEM. They've made themselves to be the "good guys" (and we know that is not always true) and everyone else are the "bad guys' (and we know that is not always true as well). So when you debate have your facts straight and most importantly listen in order to counter. However when a debate descends into an argument with words thrown out in anger with no basis in reality or with vicious malice to insult the other party, listening ceases immediately and no good will come of further talk because it has entered the realm of BS.

This election seems to have brought out the worst in everyone from the debaters down to the electorate and that is a sad state of affairs when in your heart you love your country and hate to see it bad-mouthed on any level.

The press. It's too convenient to make them the whipping boy as they have been all lumped into just one box. There are responsible sources and there are not so responsible sources and every shade in between. I personally think it is a huge mistake if someone has just one source of information. Try reading/listening to 10 different sources and you'll see most have some facts the same and other facts just appear out of thin air or a judgement is made as if it is a fact. With 10 different sources I think you end up with a much sounder representation of the facts and can put things into a better perspective. Above all, use your brain and think for yourself. Just don't follow Pete with RePeat as if he has better insight or knows more than you. Question authority - just don't blindly follow someone or capitulate your own mind as if it can't figure things out for itself. Ask questions. There's an awful lot of BS out there that people just accept; but avoid that trap. Ask for clarification and the false facts easily unravel on heir own.

I know OldPro could have said this response with even greater clarity because as one travels they see pretty much the same human weaknesses and strengths that adds to a worldwide wisdom that very few people seem to achieve and understand. I hope he sees merit in my response.

That's it for now and, as I've said before, I hope the last reply on this long-winded post.

Again my thanks to all of the contributors, mostly the positive and helpful ones, but also to the hurtful and belligerent ones who felt like they had to add their 2cents; we all have our own thoughts well outside of the " just 2 box" paradox. Regards to all. tommcc

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Panama2017
11/27/2016 17:38 EST

tommcc, I do identify as liberal and see nothing wrong with that. But the label is not a box that I live inside and does not constrain me. I haven't always voted for the democratic party candidate, I vote my conscience and have voted republican in the past (but not for Trump - don't get it twisted, ha). The problem with bashing is that the intent seems to be to change minds, but that will not happen in a forum environment. So folks should exercise more self-control with the bashing. It is offensive, insulting and pointless. Just asking nicely for folks to knock it off.

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mcqueen321
11/27/2016 17:49 EST

I feel your pain brother! I'm an American RN who was born outside of the canal zone. I don't speak Spanish but I'm looking to return. Good luck to you!

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tommcc
11/27/2016 18:14 EST

Hi SunsetSteve,
You proved my point. Not all liberals are democratic, nor would all conservatives be republican which means we don't necessarily fall into neat little niches. You strike me as someone who can think for himself and make decisions with intelligence and facts. Good for you. And I agree it is overdue for the ongoing bashing to end - it will never change anyone's mind - it just turns that person off. Let's hope it does so we can move onto other things.
Regards, tommcc

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Panama2017
11/27/2016 18:21 EST

Actually, it was me who proved your point. Except that I am a "liberal" ;-)

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Soontogo
11/27/2016 19:49 EST

Wow, been off site for a while and guess I am the only one with no comment here. Firstly I am a Limey, yes call me what you want. To me black is black and a redneck is as said. I do not believe in political correctness but do believe in personal politeness.
I believe everyone may be in for a shock when Trump takes over, despite his personal views which I personally consider wrong. A DNA ancestors check on him is likely to find black ancestors as well as Mexican in him.
Point of fact most Americans have English/Irish/European heritage. When the Romans invaded England they had battalions of African centurions who settled here and married Celtic and Saxon women. In the 1600's we had freed slaves who interbred in the community. I imagine the same applies to the whole of Europe.
Despite big mouthing during the campaign it is hardly likely that a wall will be built, gays will be castrated, same sex marriages outlawed and black people put on a reservation. None of this will go through congress even if he tries.
He is a ruthless businessman not a politician. This is what every country needs someone who can count pennies and turn a business round. A person who will have very well qualified people to do the most important jobs such as managing Americas accounts. Not some buddy solicitor/ politician who is so out of touch with the real world he might as well not be here. Someone who will give bitter pills to those too lazy to work, a person who will be hard on illegals in the country. Above all, despite his own personal views and lack of political finesse he will not act without top qualified advisors. No businessman will.
All in all he has been elected. Perhaps the majority of people voted against him but he won most states. If you are not happy with this then lobby for proportional representation in future elections.
America as Europe have for years now been held in austerity, low inflation, low interest rates = stagnation.
By reducing business and personal taxes he will re-start inflation, interest rates will rise as will salaries. By reducing other cheaper imports such as steel and vehicles it will give a level playing field for American producers= more jobs.
This cannot happen overnight and unfortunately there will be a transitional period between inflation rising and interest rates going up when most Americans will feel the bite, but then when salaries rise shortly after I think America will boom.
Can he do this in 4 short years? I think not, but the foundations will be there for America to prosper and thrive. Maybe I am wrong, maybe he will get pissed with somone and nuke them, maybe the trade winds will blow the fallout all over Panama. I think not. I am still coming, watching the £ slowly recovering and hoping I am right for all our sakes.
Well done Old Pro, your post on gun law is your only subjective post I wholly agree on. In the UK it became illegal to own a hand gun and rifles and shotguns can only be held with very good reason and under stringent conditions. Also other laws portend to knives and swords. Unfortunately, at the same time we armed our police which has led to a tit for tat with more criminals with illegal arms.
I actually agree with the gun laws, there is no need to have them at home, but you do need a moderation between an unarmed public and armed criminals. Hopefully Trump may also help with this dilemma which plagues America so badly.

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dominic135
11/28/2016 14:33 EST

You are correct Kimbatlincoln. There is no one side in a Democracy and what America is suffering from is a dwindling understanding of tolerance for opposing views.
Our ability to shine has always been our tolerance of differing view points.
When that ability dies, so will our Democratic Republic!

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Marilynne
11/29/2016 16:04 EST

I am in exactly the same place as you are at this time. I have been exploring Panama for several months and feel it would be a nice alternative to what has been going on here in US. I am not optimistic for the future over the next 4 years. After lots research, I have decided that Panama, and specifically, Boquete is the right location for me. I am going to spend three months there in the Spring and if all goes well, I will return on a more permanent basis. I currently live CA and I like the idea that it is relatively inexpensive to travel back and forth to visit family/friends....and they can visit me! I must admit that I am a bit troubled by some of the rhetoric that I read on this Forum but I am old enough and have traveled extensively, so I know that there are rude/opinionated people everywhere. Fortunately, there are enough expats in and around Boquete so that you can pick and chose with whom you want to spend time. As to medical care, there are options to explore right on this Forum. I suggest that you spend one or two months exploring your options in Panama. There are very nice people willing to give you GOOD advice.

Good luck and perhaps we will meet in Panama.

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Marilynne
11/29/2016 17:14 EST

How nasty of you

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ol
11/29/2016 17:38 EST

Yeah there have been close to 1k attacks on minorities,jews etc and massive defacement of minority owned businesses, by some of trumps supporters, and one that harassed a flight

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lcopling
11/30/2016 11:21 EST

You're gonna have to provide verifiable evidence for those charges, because the ONLY violence I have seen has come from Liberals or paid protestors.

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lcopling
11/30/2016 11:21 EST

You're gonna have to provide verifiable evidence for those charges, because the ONLY violence I have seen has come from Liberals or paid protestors.

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Marilynne
11/30/2016 11:39 EST

I have no interest in engaging in an exchange on this issue. This forum is not to air political and social commentaries on the USA. It is to exchange HELPFUL information for expats and those planning to become expats. I will say that I am quite surprised to see the extent of the misguided and unpleasant rehtoric that has been posted.

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Marilynne
11/30/2016 11:41 EST

Hi,

Your messages have been most informative and helpful.

Thank you

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Panama2017
11/30/2016 11:44 EST

It seems to me that everyone's point of view is skewed depending on what TV and social media we follow. Basically the media is "preaching to the choir" since few folks ever visit media sources that don't align with their political views. Pointless rhetoric unless we open up our minds and news sources to include sources that are 1)true and 2)non-partisan. So much junk out there so be careful folks.

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Marilynne
11/30/2016 11:45 EST

Is it necessary to be so unkind in your remarks?

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Marilynne
11/30/2016 11:45 EST

Is it necessary to be so unkind in your remarks?

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Ladymel
11/30/2016 12:17 EST

Now you can go back ;0). Good luck!

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Panama2017
11/30/2016 12:20 EST

Marilynne, just fyi, since there are 200 responses, it would be really helpful if you used the "handle" of the person you are addressing in your comments.

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glockdiver69
11/30/2016 12:22 EST

@Marilynne:
Not that I disagree, but you can also hit the delete key. If people want to voice an opinion, fine by me as everyone should have a voice.

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Ladymel
11/30/2016 12:59 EST

My sentiments exactly. There has been so much hate and ugliness during the 2016 election process which has been promoted by the news media and online social media. I have been shocked. and dismayed. I had hoped to find a more open and tolerant political environment in Panama but this forum has shown that it is pretty much the same wherever there are a group of Americans. Sad but it is a reality.

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OldPro
11/30/2016 13:39 EST

I would like to second the comment by Panama2017 that people address their remark to someone by using their handle,

It is very easy to not know who a remark is being addressed to if you don't name the person. It's also simply polite to address your remarks to an individual by name.

I am not addressing this remark to any one individual since there is more than one individual on this thread that has done it.

Hey Tom, I agree that ethics, logic and debate are worthwhile having an understanding of.

The only problem is that as I was once told, 'when emotion comes in the door, logic goes out the window' So do ethics and logic sometimes.

You cannot debate logically with an emotional person. They don't 'loss' a debate because they never saw themselves as in a debate.

Not too long ago, I tried to answer a poster's point with some numerical facts. Her response to me was, 'I don't care about numbers. My son was robbed in Toronto and so I KNOW there is as much crime there as in Costa Rica.'

Well if someone says, 'I don't care about numbers', that's all there is to say. The FACTS are not going to change her opinion. LOL

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tommcc
11/30/2016 18:49 EST

OldPro,
Again I agree with your assessment. Our debate coach always told us to listen to the tone of the voice of the others, As long as it was a civil speaking level we could move ahead with the discussion and make progress. As soon as the voice got louder, faster, or jumped up an octave or two then we have descended from logical discussion into the realm of an emotional diatribe and nothing else said was going to be accepted and no agreement would be reached as they were no longer listening, It had gone from a 2-way discussion to a 0ne-way outburst.

There were quite a few of these negative posts in this thread where I heard the people yelling over the internet - it's best to let them rant, but rarely is truth in evidence so it's best just to let them listen to themselves yak since numbers, truth, honesty, or facts mean nothing at all. Best not to even respond to that type of vacuum.

Keep up the fine work - you are a valuable asset to the people who really want to hear the facts and appreciate honesty and experience. Regards, tommcc

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ol
11/30/2016 19:11 EST

http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/28/news/companies/trump-supporter-delta-air-lines/index.html

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ol
11/30/2016 19:22 EST

would like me to put out a list of every incident

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Ladymel
12/1/2016 16:13 EST

My sentiments exactly! If you get to Boquete in March, say hello and we will compare notes on our Panama adventures.

Marilynne

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Ladymel
12/1/2016 16:25 EST

Are you serious?

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Panama2017
12/1/2016 19:24 EST

Ladymel, it's the same North Americans that you find in...North America here in Panama. Why would you expect to find a more open political environment. These are the folks that ran from the US when Obama took office, ha! My advice, hang with the locals and expats from other nations. You'll be fine.

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bluewind
12/1/2016 19:46 EST

Right panama2017
Now all those people that moved south of the border because of O'Bama and how he will bring the end of America which never happened can now breath a sigh of relief and come back to their homeland and be a part of making America great again. Now is the time for all patriots to come to the aid of America, roll up their sleeves and put their words into action!! Cubans living in the states are hoping to go back to their native land now that Castro's dead and help make Cuba a better country. There must be patriotic Americans that are now ready to embrace this opportunity to join Trump and his movement to do what's best for your beloved country that you miss so much. Trump needs you. His supporters need you.

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bluewind
12/1/2016 19:47 EST

Right panama2017
Now all those people that moved south of the border because of O'Bama and how he will bring the end of America which never happened can now breath a sigh of relief and come back to their homeland and be a part of making America great again. Now is the time for all patriots to come to the aid of America, roll up their sleeves and put their words into action!! Cubans living in the states are hoping to go back to their native land now that Castro's dead and help make Cuba a better country. There must be patriotic Americans that are now ready to embrace this opportunity to join Trump and his movement to do what's best for your beloved country that you miss so much. Trump needs you. His supporters need you.

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Panama2017
12/1/2016 19:51 EST

Hahaha bluewind. You trying to clear out Panama? I do love how you've made Obama Irish now ;-)

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bluewind
12/1/2016 20:06 EST

Not sure what you mean about making O'Bama Irish, but was just saying that all those people that moved out of the states cause of his administration and all the horrors it has brought on the Nation can now return can now return to their country knowing things will be more the way they wanted it to be. I would think many of the people that left the states would be celebrating Trumps election and would want to be a part of turning America back to when things were much better. It's almost like being part of the militia back in the days when America was under siege, and true patriots fought back to defend the principles that made America the great country that it was. This is truly a chance to become a part of history. Now people that have been bitching for years on this forum now have a chance to make a difference and do their duty to their country and stand up for what they believe in. People in Panama, CR, etc., should be pumped over this opportunity and do the right thing.

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Panama2017
12/1/2016 20:15 EST

You know bluewind. The apostrophe. Like O'Connor, O'Reilly and now O'Bama? Just kidding you because there is no apostrophe in Obama.

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bluewind
12/1/2016 20:19 EST

Thanks for the correction. I really thought Obama had a ' in it. Always ready to learn something new.

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Ladymel
12/1/2016 21:41 EST

Yep! My bad! But I do hope they all come back to TRUMPORKIE land to reap the many rewards and benefits in store for them??

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bluewind
12/1/2016 22:01 EST

For some reason, The Trump movement reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. Everybody marching down the yellow brick road thinking things will be better when they get to the end. Pull the curtain, and it's all smoke and mirrors. God help us all. I really feel sorry for those that have put their faith in him. I really hope I'm wrong, but it doesn't look good. You can only give a thumbs up for so long before reality sets in. I'm just glad I'm an old person that can't be sent into a war, young people trying to make a living, someone that's living in absolute poverty (with many more to come), no kids to have to worry about etc. I'm one of the lucky ones in the USA. Most of the damage he will do will not affect me except for the cost of living. I'm afraid many people are gonna suffer big time because of his Presidency. I really feel sorry for them. Like him or hate him, Trump is gonna make the USA a totally different country. Hope people are ready for it. A lot of it won't be pretty, and it has nothing to do with the media. It has to do with the man. Glad I grew up in the USA when I did. Good times.

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llseldon
12/1/2016 22:04 EST

Like I've said, I've been watching the decline of the USA since the Watts riots in the summer of 1965, but it's still here. Hang in there, I'd keep a foot hold in the USA, but it is seriously sad the options we had for president this time. Wait & see IF Trump can really make any of the changes he campaigned to make!! God Bless America. PL

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bluewind
12/1/2016 22:22 EST

Yeah, I hear ya, but when I think of all the things he believes in and wants to do and the people he has selected into his cabinet, it just doesn't look good. I know Trump is thinking out of the box and maybe that's what's needed to make things better, but thinking out of the box and coming up with new ideas is one thing. Going to extremes and ignoring reality and what's in the best thing for everybody is another thing. It's just sad to see a country I love desolve into what it is today. I'm hispanic and lived my whole life here, taught 30 years, yet I see people looking at me like I'm part of the problem. To not feel I'm not wanted in a country I've given my life to make better is just not right. People like me are being pushed out. Just got to figure out where to go.

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Ladymel
12/1/2016 23:03 EST

No matter what, I would never give up on the USA. But I need a breather from all the drama and anger that has been going on. Panama seems like a good place to unwind and wait things out. I don't hold out much for meaningful progress under the new "regime" but I fervently hope a star will rise from the ashes to bring the Country together.

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Lamastus
12/2/2016 05:50 EST

Bluwind
I guess you are one that thought Obama was your savior and Hillary was the next greatest.
I would like to see our country back where it was when I was growing up.
Not the sick socialist divided country it is now.
I guess we disagree.

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lcopling
12/2/2016 07:05 EST

Bluewind:

I can tell that you, although blind to the Liberal reality of the past few decades, are sincere in your wish for a better America, and I appreciate your veracity.

Trump was not my first choice, but became my preferred choice. As a man, he has certain challenges (don't we all? At least, he doesn't wear Mom jeans!), but he is really just a messenger, representing the movement CREATED by the mismanagement in D.C. for many years. America is not buying what Liberals have been selling, but they have ALSO rejected the wishes of the Republican elite.

As a moderate Libertarian, I am VERY excited about what is doing, and wants to do. Without even taking office yet, he has prevented Carrier from relocating to Monterey, Mexico; saving about 1000 American jobs. Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Your concern is understandable. REAL change can be scary. But I suspect that your view of the Trump Train will improve, long before Trump's re-election.

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lcopling
12/2/2016 07:06 EST

Bluewind:

I can tell that you, although blind to the Liberal reality of the past few decades, are sincere in your wish for a better America, and I appreciate your veracity.

Trump was not my first choice, but became my preferred choice. As a man, he has certain challenges (don't we all? At least, he doesn't wear Mom jeans!), but he is really just a messenger, representing the movement CREATED by the mismanagement in D.C. for many years. America is not buying what Liberals have been selling, but they have ALSO rejected the wishes of the Republican elite.

As a moderate Libertarian, I am VERY excited about what is doing, and wants to do. Without even taking office yet, he has prevented Carrier from relocating to Monterey, Mexico; saving about 1000 American jobs. Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Your concern is understandable. REAL change can be scary. But I suspect that your view of the Trump Train will improve, long before Trump's re-election.

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SunsetSteve
12/2/2016 07:48 EST

Ah, the good old days, when Mom stayed in the kitchen and out of politics, and kept her nose out of a man's world, when Blacks knew their place, when the top marginal tax rate was 91% but still no social safety net, living with the constant threat of nuclear holocaust hanging over our heads, bomb shelters proliferating, Make America great again? Make America white again?

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frankdurinda
12/2/2016 08:27 EST

Stupid Comments Sunset Steve

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Jazzmann
12/2/2016 09:48 EST

What color is it now?

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BoqueteGirl
12/2/2016 10:21 EST

I will NOT comment,,,,I will NOT comment,,,,,I will NOT comment,,,,,Whew that was tough.

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Ladymel
12/2/2016 11:31 EST

??

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Ladymel
12/2/2016 11:50 EST

Hi

I am looking forward to getting to know you when I arrive in Boquete in March. The post from Tom certainly brought out the best and the worst in responses. But I have lived long enough to know that there is no Utopia of common values. Your responses have encouraged me to continue with my plans to explore and enjoy Panama. Hope to meet you soon.

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Ladymel
12/2/2016 12:01 EST

Blue wind,

He and Pence managed to use Indiana taxpayer dollars to bribe Carrier to keep those jobs....the old bait and switch. Don't get your hopes up for Trump and the GOP helping the middle class. Just look at the cast of characters he is bringing into his Cabinet. Very wealthy or guilty of he very wrongs for which he berated Hillary. Just sayin'

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PeterLawton
12/2/2016 12:02 EST

Wonder how many ways you or your family has been subsidized by govt that you are either too dumb or too dishonest to acknowledge or appreciate.

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lcopling
12/2/2016 13:03 EST

SunsetSteve:

Interesting comments. Of course, making comments with no basis to ACTUAL reality really makes things interesting.

For example, it was DEMOCRATS that fought slavery AND civil rights. Republicans supported both. Also, 91% tax rates were also caused by Democrats and were reduced, to the groans of liberals saying the world would end, by Reagan.

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SunsetSteve
12/2/2016 13:16 EST

First, hard to tell here who is addressing whom.

lcopling: your comment is odd - I was referring to the culture of the times, irrespective of which party brought about what. I simply point out that the good ol days weren't always so good, depending on who you were at the time. So when folks yearn for an older, simpler time, my position is that they are feeding themselves an illusion. They were young and are now relying on imperfect memory.

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Panama2017
12/2/2016 13:25 EST

SunsetSteve, my memory is not imperfect. And I too am concerned about how far back we have to go before we finally arrive at the "again" point. Back to times when my ancestors picked cotton? Or when they sat in the back of the bus? Or were found hanging from trees? Memories from any of people impacted by the in-your-face racism of the past are not trying to bring back nostalgic times, trust me.

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Marilynne
12/2/2016 14:24 EST

Panama 2017

I totally agree with your post. I just wish that this Forum would stay on topic about living in Panama rather than casting aspersions on those who have a different political/social perspective. I was in SC and GA when Pres. Obama was running and I thought that I had heard it all, but this election, and now this forum, have told me that, sadly, it will never end in my lifetime.

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Panama2017
12/2/2016 17:44 EST

Marilynne, I agree and would rather be discussing Panama. And the OP must be really mad about all our off topic postings. Sorry OP. It's just so frustrating to deal with folks in a post-factual world. The facts are that 11 million new jobs have been created over the past 8 years with 74 consecutive weeks of increases. Unemployment is at 4.6% which is lowest since 2007. Home values are high. Growth is up...economy expanded by 3.2% in 3Q16. The US is in fact not "a disaster" at all. So then that must mean that "great again" means regressing to some of these cultural astrocities that I mentioned earlier. I have to speak up about that. It's my obligation not to let comments like that go by with no comment.

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bluewind
12/2/2016 18:38 EST

Actually, I have no faith in Trump's administration. My point was that so many people on this forum have bad mouthed Obama and blamed him for every problem, and moved out of the states thinking the USA is over, can now move back to the states now that Obama is gone and be a part of the Trump movement, which I think will be a disaster for the country. If people think the USA is in bad shape, just wait. It's not going to be pretty.

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bluewind
12/2/2016 18:46 EST

And if people in the states thinks it's expensive now, just wait. All those uneducated, semi-skilled people better hope to get a very well paying job if they are going to maintain the same pathetic standard of living they have now. Of course, they could always take one of the jobs those terrible illegal immigrants have once their gone like working in fields, or cleaning rooms in hotels and work for minimum wage and see how that works for them.

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jaakko
12/2/2016 18:52 EST

Let’s get the facts straight:
• Southern Democrats were the slave owners, not Republicans
• KKK was their militia
• LBJ – “Son of the South” – for years in the Senate supported the Southern Democtracts – racists and segregationists, who successfully blocked civil rights reform for close to 30 years
• In 1963, Democrats blocked Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act – everything changed Nov 22, 1963
• After 54 days of filibuster (mostly by Democrats), the bill passed the Senate on June 19, 1964 and was signed by President Johnson on July 2, 1964
• The Senate vote was supported by 80% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats – just about all Southern Senators voted against the bill
• Main reason for LBJ’s change in his position was to create a permanent voting block for Democrats, which has lasted 50+ years

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Lamastus
12/2/2016 18:59 EST

I am one of the deplorables, I am trying to figure what you brain dead people who have been drinking the Kool aid are talking about.

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SunsetSteve
12/2/2016 19:00 EST

Jaako - what on earth are you going on about? No one is pitting dems against repubs except you. The discussion is about Trump, who is neither. He is just an un-allocated jackass. We all know our history and neither major party has a lock on perfection. So move on.

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SunsetSteve
12/2/2016 19:03 EST

Lamastus: I suspect that no one expects you deplorables to be able to follow along. Don't worry about it.

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Ladymel
12/2/2016 19:22 EST

Panama 2017

Totally agree. But you will never get the TRUMPORKIE acolytes to agree. So I say use the delete button and move on ;0))

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Panama2017
12/2/2016 19:25 EST

Ladymel...I know...

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jaakko
12/2/2016 20:03 EST

SunsetSteve:
The entire system has to be totally shaken up in order for this the best country in world to survive. The traditional Republican and Democrat politicians (looking for the next election, not a service to the country) have not been able to accomplish anything meaningful – the productivity of the Government is measured how many laws and regulations they pass, not how they improve the efficiency of the process. US Government is a big business, and thus requires competent CEOs, COOs and CFOs (not political operatives) to manage it.
The current (Recorded) National Debt of $20 trillion is 7 times the tax collections, i.e. one who is having a $700,000 mortgage with $100,000 gross income – could you be considered financially responsible with this? And that is with the current artificially low interest rates.
As to the Wall - a significant portion of this FREE money (our tax dollars redistributed) does not stay in the US economy – Remittances to Mexico were $25.2 Billion in 2015 (and only amounts reported, i.e. excluding the hand-carried suitcases) – larger than their Tourism receipts and first time due to low oil prices more than Mexican oil exports; thus Mexican Leaders do not want to stop this source of foreign exchange income, particularly not having to support additional millions of people.
The ‘surprise’ (HSS solicited contracts six months prior) Unaccompanied Minors from Central America costed taxpayers during four months $20,000 per child per month, and then they shipped to the States to house, feed, and educate.
Just a couple of examples.

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jaakko
12/2/2016 20:04 EST

SunsetSteve:
The entire system has to be totally shaken up in order for this the best country in world to survive. The traditional Republican and Democrat politicians (looking for the next election, not a service to the country) have not been able to accomplish anything meaningful – the productivity of the Government is measured how many laws and regulations they pass, not how they improve the efficiency of the process. US Government is a big business, and thus requires competent CEOs, COOs and CFOs (not political operatives) to manage it.
The current (Recorded) National Debt of $20 trillion is 7 times the tax collections, i.e. one who is having a $700,000 mortgage with $100,000 gross income – could you be considered financially responsible with this? And that is with the current artificially low interest rates.
As to the Wall - a significant portion of this FREE money (our tax dollars redistributed) does not stay in the US economy – Remittances to Mexico were $25.2 Billion in 2015 (and only amounts reported, i.e. excluding the hand-carried suitcases) – larger than their Tourism receipts and first time due to low oil prices more than Mexican oil exports; thus Mexican Leaders do not want to stop this source of foreign exchange income, particularly not having to support additional millions of people.
The ‘surprise’ (HSS solicited contracts six months prior) Unaccompanied Minors from Central America costed taxpayers during four months $20,000 per child per month, and then they shipped to the States to house, feed, and educate.
Just a couple of examples.

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Panama2017
12/2/2016 20:39 EST

Regarding the national debt:

5 Things Most People Don’t Understand About the National Debt

http://time.com/money/4293910/national-debt-investors/?xid=emailshare

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volcan357
12/2/2016 22:53 EST

Trump winning the election is not a good reason to move to Panama.

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Ladymel
12/2/2016 23:15 EST

Panama2017. I agree. It takes fortitude to stay above the fray. Over the years I have come to realize that unhappy people want to drag others into their unhappiness. So I take it all with a grain of salt. Looking forward to my visit to ????

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lcopling
12/3/2016 03:58 EST

Tell that to the 1000 people who work for Carrier Air Conditioning. Your irrational, negative preconceived ideas about Trump and the "disaster" that is about to happen is about as accurate as the Liberal preconceived conclusions about how Trump could not win, in the first place. Your team got SPANKED in the election, because of how OUT OF TOUCH you are with reality and the mood of the American voter. It is not the end of the world. It only appears that way, for goofy Liberals.

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lcopling
12/3/2016 04:12 EST

My my, isn't it interesting how Liberals want to "move on", when confronted with historical fact? It may be technically true that both parties are imperfect, but when 100% of Republicans choose NOT to support Obamacare (because they KNEW it would be bad for America), when the vast majority of Democrats vote AGAINST abolishing slavery, or against the Civil Rights Act, when the vast majority of Democrats would rather vote in a corrupt, known liar, with countless scandals surrounding her, rather than an outsider who is working for NOTHING, except to Make America the Exceptional country it used to be... it's time to realize that Liberalism is a cancer to our freedom. We HAVE moved on. You should put aside the Kool-Aid and join us!

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lcopling
12/3/2016 04:33 EST

Interesting article, which makes some good points (especially Reason #5), but the overal gist of the article is that "it ain't all that bad and could be worse." I, for one, do not want those kind of people managing our economy. Trump will cause our economy to take off like a rocket and a rising tide lifts all boats. Our NEW path is far superior to the one we have been crawling on for the last 8 years.

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SunsetSteve
12/3/2016 05:58 EST

Unemployment now 4.6%. Crawling? LOL

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SunsetSteve
12/3/2016 08:29 EST

I don't know about you, but in my book, if a guy pays $25Million to settle a fraud case, the guy's a fraud.

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Lamastus
12/3/2016 08:40 EST

When did you ever have 25 Million to settle anything?

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SunsetSteve
12/3/2016 12:54 EST

I'd have to commit fraud to get it . . . just like u-no-hoo. But I guess your point is that it;s OK to defraud hundreds out of their hard-earned money if you're really rich. As Trump would say, "that makes me smart!"

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Ladymel
12/3/2016 13:26 EST

To all the Political Pundits who have posted rants on this forum:

You are entitled to your opinions, beliefs and political perspectives. But it has been my experience that those who are most vociferous and nasty toward those of the opposite viewpoint are usually very unhappy people. At this stage of my life, I hope to find some peace and harmony among open minded individuals who have a "live and let live" attitude. I hope my exploratory visit to Panama in 2017 will reassure me that I can find it there. The good news is that most of the folks I have connected with re Panama have made me optimistic..

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paulie123
12/3/2016 13:26 EST

You live in a dream world. My broker tells me that all the financial predictions are for a recession in 12 months.
Paying a company $7,000,000 to save 1,100 jobs is hardly great fiscal leadership and it signals all other companies to hold jobs hostage for government payouts.
But then again war is great for the economy and that fool will certainly get us into one with his ham fisted twitter rants and phone calls.
These idiots didn't even realize that the WH staff would need to be replaced! Anyone in real estate should know that is what drives the real estate market in DC whenever a administration changes.
Now instead of learning the job he decided he needs more adulation so it's rally time!

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Ladymel
12/3/2016 13:30 EST

Good info on smart phone usage??

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bluewind
12/3/2016 16:46 EST

If you look at Trump as an 8 year old, a lot of what he says and does makes sense. Think about it.

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 17:23 EST

bluewind

I think 8 year old gives him too much credit. He acts like a cranky 4 year old.

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glockdiver69
12/3/2016 17:43 EST

TRUMP WON! Deal with it for 4 years and then try again.

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glockdiver69
12/3/2016 17:43 EST

TRUMP WON! Deal with it for 4 years and then try again.

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bluewind
12/3/2016 18:01 EST

Your right, comparing Trump to an 8 year old is giving him too much credit.

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 18:15 EST

Glock

No need to be hostile

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 18:34 EST

Panama2007

My, you are a cynic. In any event, I have always enjoyed meeting and getting to know people from other countries as well as my own countrymen. I have lived all over the world, raised as an Army Brat and was married to a career officer (Vietnam Vet). Learned a long time ago not to have expectations and to roll with the punches. You can rest assured that I will pick and choose my friendships....always have. BTW: was the reference to sticking with the "locals" a snide remark? Sad.

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 18:46 EST

Peter,

If you are speaking to me, my family and I have NEVER been subsidized by the US govt. My father and my former husband served the USA. So think before you speak.

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Panama2017
12/3/2016 19:29 EST

Marilynne, nope. Sticking with the locals was not cynicism. It was sincere. I'm not sure why you would think that.

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glockdiver69
12/3/2016 20:34 EST

@Marilynne: That is not hostile. I am just speaking accurately. Which is better than your comment "I think 8 year old gives him too much credit. He acts like a cranky 4 year old." Basically, like President-elect Trump or not, people need to learn to deal with and get on with life.

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 21:04 EST

Glock,

Can we agree to disagree? I doubt that we will find ourselves in a social gathering when in Panama.

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glockdiver69
12/3/2016 21:17 EST

@Marilynne: We can agree to disagree. No worries. As for social events, you never know. I socialize with many types of folks and tend to enjoy being with all types of people (for the most part). I even have a few friends that are bleeding heart, steal from the rich-give to the poor, anti-business, anti-gun, pro-illegal immigrant, non-affluent liberals. While they are always wrong in their views, I still don't mind having a beer with them while proudly wearing my Trump baseball hat. :-) Enjoy your retirement.

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Marilynne
12/3/2016 21:22 EST

glock,
Thanks for the heads up! Will watch out for Trumporkie caps and steer clear of those wearing them.

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tommcc
12/4/2016 09:26 EST

glock,
I have refrained from responding to the ongoing political comments because they have gotten us nowhere and just keep stirring up bad manners and hateful remarks; yours being right near the top. If you are this nasty when your guy wins, you must have been a hoot when Obama won. And no I wouldn't share a beer with you, as I expect a little more quality out of people I associate with. Keep the bottom of the barrel for yourself. And for your next obnoxious post you'll say................ wouldn't expect anything less from you. Have a nice Sunday. tommcc

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stgibson
12/4/2016 09:42 EST

Might be a good time to close or delete this discussion as it seems to be going nowhere.

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tommcc
12/4/2016 10:15 EST

AGREED!

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Panama2017
12/4/2016 10:18 EST

Only a moderator can close a thread, but the OP can request that. In the mean time it feels pretty good to just hit the delete key.

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tommcc
12/4/2016 11:16 EST

panam2017,

I would like to close this thread, but cannot find anyway to do this nor did I think it was even possible. Precise instructions would be appreciated. Thanks for all of your helpful responses. tommcc

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Panama2017
12/4/2016 11:26 EST

Tommcc, when there is a call to close by contributors, then sometimes the moderator is following along and will just do it automatically. But if you go to the main menu under Contact Us and Our Team you will fnd that Betsy Burlingame is the owner. She can do it. Or under the main menu for Panama forum you can find the moderator who is "joslin". This person doesn't post very often but you should be able to send them a PM or something like that.

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tommcc
12/4/2016 12:04 EST

2017,

Thanks for your right-on suggestion. I have emailed them for a termination of this thread. Again, thanks....and stay in touch in Panama. Regards, tommcc

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bluewind
12/4/2016 15:10 EST

tommcc, that's a good one!!

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Ladymel
12/4/2016 16:26 EST

Tom

Good luck on your exploratory visit to ???? . I hope you will post your observations on the Forum for those of us planning to visit and explore. Have to say the tread of this posting has more than once given me pause but then again some very kind folks have reached out as well. Take care and happy travels.

Marilynne aka Ladymel

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JonCates
12/4/2016 20:59 EST

Omg w a hash tag. Glock must b a drumpf voter. Hope u didn't bring ur Glockenspiel to p
Ass hole. Go back to the. South where u came @@

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tommcc
12/4/2016 22:23 EST

hi Ladymel,

Thank you kindly for your post. I was somewhat surprised at the negativity and vehemence of some posts, but you must consider the source and, after all, my title probably set a few of them off. However, there has been a wonderful outpouring of gracious offers, solid information, suggestions, and advice that I am very grateful for. The vast majority of the responses were kind, considerate, and positive so I am certain I am on the right track by heading down to Panama. My exploratory is the month of Feb and I hope to cover as much of the country as possible being open-minded with a great map and my Spanish/English dictionary. I have lived in hot & humid climates so may be ok along the coast somewhere, but the climate and pace of Boquete, Volcan may be a pleasant change from where I live now. Don't want big city, congestion and daily traffic hassles. I am looking forward to hooking up with some expats I have met here on the Forum as they seem well-grounded and knowledgeable. Since my name is now recognizable after this monster posted thread I'll be glad to post my brief experiences upon my return so people can see if their responses and time was worth the trouble. And no more political posts from me - I have asked that this thread be terminated as it seems to have outlasted its usefulness and I feel sorry for the good people who had to listen to the rants from the negatives, As far as I am concerned there are some GREAT expats down there. Thanks again to all who shared these posts so kindly. Muchas Gracias. tommcc

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lkngirl
12/5/2016 07:46 EST

Well said....

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lcopling
12/5/2016 13:09 EST

SunsetSteve:

So... you have a problem with frauds, do you? You don't like voting for people that are liars, or untrustworthy? Got it.

Who was that you voted for, again?

Hypocrits are frauds, too, you know. Just sayin'...

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lcopling
12/5/2016 13:32 EST

LOL! Your comments sound like a Glock being fired!

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lcopling
12/5/2016 13:32 EST

LOL! Your comments sound like a Glock being fired!

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lcopling
12/5/2016 13:32 EST

LOL! Your comments sound like a Glock being fired!

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A expat in Panama talks about what it's like being retired in Bocas del Toro - adapting to island time, building a home on Isla Solarte, the friendly people in Bocas, the lower cost of living, the new...

Moving-To-Nueva-Gorgona-An Expat Talks about Moving to Nueva Gorgona , Panama

An expat talks about moving to Nueva Gorgona and advises newcomers to rent before buying so that you can move if you don't end up liking the neighborhood. We couldn't agree more with this advice!

An expat talks about moving to Nueva Gorgona and advises newcomers to rent before buying so that you can move if you don't end up liking the neighborhood. We couldn't agree more with this advice! ...

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