Who the hell am I

  My name is John Rogers and I am a retired business person from Canada who has spent the last 10 winters in Panama.  I spent 6 years building custom homes in the foothills and mountains around Calgary before the crash in 81.  Yes I understand construction under less than ideal circumstances.  Since spending so much of my retirement in Panama I have witnessed many horror stories, stupid mistakes, broken dreams and broken promises.  All my "stories" are from actual experiences in Panama.  If you recognize some of the issues they may well be your very own or someone just like you.
Since I have front line knowledge of the process and absolutely no interest in getting back in the business down here I can be fairly objective in what I have to say. You can read my material and make your own decisions or just go your own way and weep later.

Try to enjoy but please be patient with each other at least :-)
  Panama the dream paradise for retirement,  Panama the unspoiled paradise, Beautiful Panama,  Panama the land of enchantment,  Panama where everything is possible.

Yes you have read all the exciting material about why you should move to Panama, why you should retire to Panama and why Panama is so special.  Its all true Panama is truly a special place.  I will leave it to others to tell you all the wonderful things there are about Panama.  International Living,  Live and Invest in Panama, etc etc.  They all sing the favors of Panama and are of course selling the dream.  The dream is quite real and in our humble opinion its worth taking a good look at it.  The key is to spend the time here - find a decent place to rent and get to know some of the expats living here already.  They are a pretty good bunch and are always ready to open their doors and welcome you.  "But I don't want to just meet a bunch of expats - I want to get to know the locals" -  Guess what folks - they are not that anxious to meet you.  First you do not know the customs, you do not speak the language, you are considered a rich American - no matter where you are from so get over it.  In time you will get to know some of your neighbours but it may take years.  Yes after you learn at least some of the language and get used to some of the customs.

Yes find a decent place to rent.  This may seem easy but it is not.  We have seen so many folks truly disillusioned by Panama because they did not do enough homework and find a good place to rent.  No matter what you read in the brochures you cannot find a decent place on the beach in an expat community for less than $1200 a month.  If you shop carefully you might find a place in a high rise condo for 15 - 1800 dollars a month but be careful. I say be careful because if it is owned by Panamanians the furniture will be sparse, there may not be any hot water, internet or TV.  There certainly will not be a telephone.  They only use it for the odd weekend so why put a bunch of furniture in it.  The Gringos (you) will not find out till they get here and its too late by then.