Happy Where You Are Now? Were You Happy Before?

Correction:    In my last post near the bottom I wrote “Receiving $234” – that should have read “Receiving $1,234”.  I hope you figured it our yourselves but I thought I should mention it.


Happy? Yes  I am….

First of all, I’ve got to say I like it here in David, Panama. But it seems that some of the Gringos I’ve met would rather talk to me about their perceived negatives, even if we don’t know each other, meeting in a store and such. Bummer.

I don’t associate with negative people so I politely distance myself from any I meet. It makes me wonder if they were happy wherever they came from back stateside (an old phrase we used on Guam back in the ’50’s).  I’ve met some VERY happy expatriates whom I bet were pretty happy where they were in the states.  Wherever You Go There You Are.

During my researching for my last few posts I’ve done a lot of reading. Some of what I read really surprised me. I’ll admit I was “Pushed” plenty but “Pulled” even more by Panama, its people, the climate, lower cost of living, and the helpful expatriate community.

Yesterday’s post  quoted “… some retirees may not desire to become fully integrated into a local community.”

Wait up-Okay…, so when an American citizen complains about ethnic groups coming into his/her American town and clinging to “the old ways” it’s somehow different when a US citizen does the same thing in another country?

There are so many neat things about different people and cultures that is seem that one would be MISSING OUT BIG TIME not to experience the richness of other cultures.

On a personal note, our First Christmas in Panama was wonderful – the family up the street sent their 6-year-old daughter down 4 houses to invite us up to their place to watch the fireworks. You know, the ones you shoot off at Christmas? (Me either!) They brought out 2 chairs, gave us cups of apple juice, took photos of us and we BARELY KNOW these folks!  And on Panama’s Mother’s Day they had brought us gifts of food around midnight.  We were touched. None of this could have happened if we had cloistered ourselves away in a “Gringo Only” community.  

What a different and wonderful Holiday Season it has been.

Yes, it’s good to be happy. Hope YOU are too!

Smilin'! My dentist Dr Spiegel

Smilin’! My dentist Dr Spiegel



More Success Found Running “TO” rather than “From”

A few days ago I posted about Pushes and Pulls, this post is in the same vein, trying to figure out what drives/brings folks from/to different places. The article I referenced is; http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/americas_emigrants.pdf

This study features information and conclusions on Mexico and Panama but since I live in Panama I focused mostly on Panama.

I’ve gone straight to the Conclusion (I like to cut to the chase, especially on very long articles) and cut/pasted some of the more significant findings (to me, YMMV). I also read “What Everybody Ought to Know About Those Who Choose to Move to Panama and Mexico”, an article summary of the same study. I’ve also included some of their summarizations//quotes.

”By and large, most successful Americans abroad “are running to rather than running from,

“While people are looking for something new, they’re not giving up their citizenship,” … prefers the word relocation to emigration.

According to census figures between 1990 and 2000, Mexico saw the number of US-born senior residents increase by 17 percent, while Panama saw a 136 percent increase during this period.

Some retirees noted that they could no longer afford health care or were not eligible for health insurance in the United States, which prompted their moves. These findings challenge the literature’s depiction of retirees abroad as “amenity-seeking” migrants, indicating that they may also move for more basic needs. 

… some retirees may not desire to become fully integrated into a local community. For them, the push factors in the United States may have outweighed particular pulls toward Mexico or Panama, or pulls may have included the US expatriate community and economic factors, but not the culture or people of the country.

This is from the Social Security Official Website:

  • An estimated 159 million workers, 94% of all workers, are covered under Social Security.
  • 51% of the workforce has no private pension coverage.
  • 34% of the workforce has no savings set aside specifically for retirement.
  • $1,234 average monthly benefit for retired workers

Receiving $1234 would not be considered rich by American standards but would be considered rich in some areas of Panama where the average wage in 2012 is +-$500 nationwide (I couldn’t get any hard numbers for 2011).

I’m not going to sum this up, I put it out for you to read and ponder, you can make of it what you will and act accordingly…