Monday, October 30 2006 @ 06:25 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Question: I am considering retiring in Costa Rica or Panama. I have learned that Panama has many more and better incentives to retire there. As people who have lived in Costa Rica perhaps you may be able to tell me which Country is better for retirement. Why are you looking to move to Panama?
Answer: By David - Costa Rica has become a very dangerous place for Gringos who are singled out as a better mark. I lived there for ten years from 1992 to 2003 and accumulated a wide circle of friends. All of them had been assalted or robbed at least once. After awhile you become radicalized and double lock everything and are fearful to walk on the street without constantly checking behind you for the lurking ladrone. Costa Rican culture is NON CONFRONTATIONAL and no one will come to your aid if you are attacked so the banditos are very brazen. Oftentimes they are intentionally overlooked by the police for propina or family/friend associations. I got out, and ALL OF THE GRINGOS I know are either out or in the process of leaving, many to Panama and Nicaragua, some to Asia. I donīt believe it will profit you much to visit there for a short time to get the feel of it. In my opinion it takes at least a year to penetrate the veneer of a culture to see whatīs really going on. I suggest that you read AM Costa Rica on your computer every Monday for more information, bearing in mind that they are also "selling papers" and so are not completely objective.