What’s Up?

Regular life, with a few interesting things thrown in. That’s what’s up around here these days.

One big thing was an article written about me on Marketwatch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-never-expected-to-retire-to-panama-but-we-are-living-very-comfortably-on-1-200-a-month-11633001564 You only get one article before they want you to subscribe, so I’m sorry if you can’t see it. Silvia Ascarelli wrote it and we had a wonderful time talking with each other and found we had a lot of interests in common. The article was factual and well written, and I was very happy with it.

It’s funny though when you have a couple days of fame. I heard from people I hadn’t talked with in ages. A big argument broke out in the Facebook group of expats because someone thought you can’t possibly live here on $1200/month (well no, not in Panama City where it’s much more expensive). I walked into the Brewery to set up for our gig on Sunday. “Hey aren’t you…?” Yeah, that’s me. I had a big uptick in blog visits, followers, requests to promote things, and Facebook friend requests (which I limit to people I actually know)

Speaking of Facebook, what was that yesterday?! Messenger didn’t work either, but I can contact people on WhatsApp. Nope, not that either, or Instagram. We had to use old fashioned phone calls! Panama seems to run on WhatsApp for communication so that must have been a problem for a lot of people. Instagram is also heavily used, especially among the younger people. We don’t realize how much we rely on these things until they don’t work, and when they are based on the same business and it all goes down, then we really see it.

Speaking of Instagram, a notice popped up Friday evening that our friend Arya was live. When I went to check, I saw that he was with his band Hashtag at the brewery. We don’t get up there much to see other bands since we drive up enough for our own band, so this was great. We were able to virtually go to their gig and hear them from our living room on our TV. Technology can do some cool stuff.

Panama is doing well with COVID. The numbers continue to go down and the news said recently that 74% of people are fully vaccinated. It was just announced that people over 55 will be able to get booster shots. Curfews have been lifted, and temperatures are no longer taken in every business you enter. Everyone continues to wear masks though and follow social distancing, and alcohol gel is available at the entrance to every business.

Back to the subject of articles, I came across this good one about a guy who was able to retire earlier by leaving the USA for less expensive places to live. He decided to land in Panama. Our friend Jackie Lange from the Panama Relocation Tours provided a lot of information for the article. https://time.com/nextadvisor/investing/retirement/leaving-the-country-to-retire-early/?fbclid=IwAR3a7dyymM9WzQtp9s35ZgFOaIxQciW36CBwSzZ-06FT7g1LXSpt-f75MFQ

I got a list of things done on my bike – new front wheel, new tubes in both tires, painted the front fork, new chain, new brakes, new gear changers, and adjusted everything so it works great now. Total $78, and they even painted the basket on the front. Now that things aren’t squeaking and rattling and it’s so much more fun to ride, I’ll have to take it out a lot more often. I know it’s not fancy but it’s served me well for many years and we have a lot of history together, so I’m rather attached to my bike.

I think that’s about all that’s going on with us at the moment. We were locked down for so long because of COVID, and I think it’s taking a while to get back to living like we used to. But we’re getting out more now, the band is playing again, and I have tickets to see the family again next month. It feels good!

I hope all is well with you all out there! Take good care of yourselves and each other.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to What’s Up?

  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    The $1,200/month is very doable, especially for a single. When I was living in Boqueron I received $1,100/month in SS. Not being a spend thrift, not going out hooting and hollering a lot I always had more money in the bank at the end month than I started with. That little house you use to visit me at over by the river in Boqueron only set me back $175/month and it was fully furnished. I mean just bring your toothbrush and clothes furnished. As you know, I miss Panama. But I’m enjoying the wildlife here in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida. I live amongst alligators, wild boar, black bears, deer, wild turkey, owls, all of which I’ve seen right next to my boat.


    • Oh yes, absolutely. We could get a cheaper place, be more frugal in the supermarket, use public transportation, etc.
      I’m glad your situation is working out for you. I would enjoy that wildlife too, but I’m too happy here to think about changing. Black bears though? I didn’t know they lived in FL. Very cool, as long as they don’t try to get on the boat with you. ha!


  2. Traci says:

    Seems like digital nomads tend to ignore Panama and gravitate towards other low CoL places, maybe because they have better WiFi? What’s the internet like where you live? I’d love to retire in Panama, but that’s a long ways off for me. Digital nomading, though, i can do! Just need WiFi to work.


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