Who is made for retiring abroad?
You may be the kind of person who thinks the idea of moving and living abroad is no big deal – just another adventure. Then again you might also be the kind of person who is intrigued and terrified at the same time by the whole idea. Kathleen Peddicord of Live and Invest Overseas suggest that, creating a new life by retiring in Panama or in any other country requires two essential qualities — having an open mind and being able to seeing things with a sense of humor.
How about you? Is retiring in Panama really something that will work for you?
Asked another way – is this something you want to even be considering? After all, moving and living in a country which is foreign from the one you were born and raised in is not for everyone. In fact it’s for a minority of people. Yes, the idea of
- Selling everything you own…
- Packing what little is left and you consider too personally valued to give away or sell…
- Getting a one-way airplane ticket to a foreign country…
- Arriving and building a whole new life from scratch…
- Leaving all of your family, friends, familiar and comfortable places…
- and then finding yourself smack dab in the middle of a new community where the people may not even speak your language…
- and where essentially 90% of the things you see, do and use are now new – foreign – different.
Can you understand why most people would truly be terrified by that whole concept? Who would want to do that? Why would anyone in their right mind do that?
Yes, many people would thin it crazy – I know my friends and family thought that of me – most still do! But you and I know there are much bigger reasons for considering a big move. For us the Big Picture is much brighter and clearer than the habits we have developed in the name of comfort. There are so many, and that’s what I try I do almost every day in my letters and tips from Panama – I try and remind you of the Big Reasons and the Big Joy that comes from living life as a Global Citizen. And my ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, you have whole different list of ideas that are all your own – your personal reasons for considering taking a giant leap and relaunching your life anew in Panama.
But I also see my job to make sure you get the whole picture so that you can confidently answer, Yes when I ask you, “Is moving to Panama what you really, really want? Is this going to work for you?
Of course just the fact that you’re even considering this notion of moving to Panama is a big clue that you ready and it is something you really, really want. Just considering this idea means you likely do possess at least the first quality Kathleen suggests as a basic requirement to survive and thrive in Panama – open-mindedness.
I’ve always told my kids, The more I know, the more I know how much I don’t know! And when we travel I like to say, The more of the Wolrd I see the bigger the world gets! As we travel I become more and more aware of how big the world really is! Our planet is a very interesting place that is full of opportunities. And it helps me understand and teach my boys that new and different is just that – there is really no Good or Bad, just different. Things happen…are happening…will continue to happen. Some of those things may be enjoyable and others may be uncomfortable. And some things I may not even know how to react to. I have discovered that the survivors – the travellers who really “Get it” are the ones who recognize that. We choose to focus on the potential and the promise that is all over the world. We look at difference as an opportunity to learn rather than a problem or something to be judged.
We choose to acknowledge and appreciate that, no matter what we have seen and done and enjoyed, we don’t know everything and, the more we know the more there is to know! Our curiosity and need to learn is insatiable we always want to know more. We started with our own ideas and realized we wanted to be introduced to some other ideas, from other people in other parts of the world. How do they do things? How do they live their lives? What can we learn from them? How can we take those ideas – make them our own and evolve a lifestyle that is multifaceted – multi-coloured?
Now, if you’re like me and you share that way of looking at the world and I’d bet you do, given as you’ve hung around and continued to read my letters, then I would say, yes, a new life in Panama could be everything you’re hoping and imagining it might be.
Let’s turn this somewhat philosophical discussion to the second quality Kathleen mentions.
Do you have a good sense of humor? Can you laugh at yourself? Can you laugh at circumstances even when nothing, or especially when nothing seems to be going your way?
Having an open mind will take you to all kinds of new, exciting and interesting places where you will experience many new, exciting and interesting things. If you’re really cut out for this you will discover that you are completely reinventing yourself and your life on a continuous basis – assuming that is one of your goals and objectives for moving to Panama. In reality, whether you want to or not you will make discoveries you can’t even imagine. You don’t even know, what you don’t know. For me that’s one of the most exciting places to be!
Years from now as you look back on your life and your experiences in Panama you will find they are some of the greatest, grandest and the most fun adventures of your life.
And some of the greatest learning will come from those times when you were most frustrated, most intimidated, most concerned, most confounded, and wondering why the heck you ever left home! The reality is that some days, you won’t be enjoying your new life in paradise that you dreamt about. Your patience will be tried, your temper may rise and it’s in those moments you’ve got a choice.
Those days, when nothing makes sense, no one is there to help, and you think you made the biggest mistake of your life what will you do?
You’ll have an opportunity to pause and make a choice. You’ll chose to stay stuck, angry, moaning and groaning, ranting and raving, and wonder what’s wrong with these @*#$@^! people you’re now living among.
You’ll take a deep breath and muster up a smile and a laugh. You’ll remind yourself, no one ever said it was going to be easy – comfortable – familiar – just like the way it was growing up in hometown, USA. You’ll appreciate that perfection is a myth and that this is an opportunity to learn – to grow and add another experience to your personal history that you’ll likely never forget. You’ll remind yourself of the big-picture, the real reasons you made the leap in the first place, and you’ll think about all of the advantages you’re enjoying living in Panama.
It’s that choice you’ll have time and again, sometimes even daily, that will determine the outcome of your personal retire in Panama adventures.
If and when you choose to find humour in the differences and the chaos that sometimes surrounds then you will find yourself learning and growing and enjoying the best this life has to offer.
P.S. As I re-read this letter I realize that I have painted a pretty extreme picture for creating your new life in Panama. I like what I’ve shared because it’s me – it’s form my heart and my personal experiences. But like I said in my very first letter it’s not about me – it’s about you taking bits and pieces of my experience and using them to enhance your own.
You don’t have to sell everything, I didn’t, at least not at first. You don’t have to leave everyone behind forever. You may want to and that’s certainly one approach to retiring in Panama but there are many other paths too. Maybe you simply want to retire in Panama part-time. Perhaps downsize a little and keep a place back in your home of origin.
You could move into a community where life won’t, in fact, be all that different from where you are now. Where things are more familiar and comfortable. In Panama those options do indeed exist.
The idea is is that your life is infinitely customizable – it’s your life and I encourage you to design it just the way you want.
This is where the discussions just like this at events like the Live and Invest in Panama Conference coming this summer can be the most powerful and helpful. If you’re at that stage I strongly encourage you to consider attending the conference. You’ll learn about what it takes to not just survive but to thrive in Panama!
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The information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Nothing on this web site or in subsequent communications is to be considered personalized investment advice. Although we may answer your general questions, we are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by any associate or representative of Learn About Panama is to be deemed as personalized investment advice.