The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

I’ve been living in Panama as an expat for a little over a month and a half now.  And what a truly awesome experience it’s been so far for me and my family. The first couple of weeks were like a vacation.  Most of our time was consumed with exploring and having fun.  We spent our days eating out, shopping (ok, mostly just browsing!), and doing fun activities like whale watching. Starting at the beginning of September, we began to scale back a little bit.  It was time for us (mostly Lisa) to start Faith’s homeschooling.  That had its ups and downs but seems to be working pretty well as of late.  But it also has meant an earlier bedtime

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

When it comes to solving the world’s problems, I’m the man.  I’ve got it all handled.  Call me “Mr. Fix-It”! Ok, maybe that’s far from true.  I’m not solving the world’s problems at all.  In fact, I sometimes struggle to handle my own problems. But, I’m good at adapting and actually enjoy change.  I have an engineer’s/programmer’s mindset and like to logically find an optimal solution to problems. And now that we’re living in Panama, I get to push my problem-solving to a different level.  We live in a small town in the mountains called Boquete.  There’s no Walmart, Target, or Home Depot here.  The closest counterpart I’ve got is a small discount store called Novedades La Reyna and a

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

We’ve been preparing for our move to Panama for over a year now.  When we decided to move, we knew we were going to be homeschooling for at least the first year we’re here. Immediately, I started researching homeschooling and have been trying to figure out this new world.  There are so many different philosophies and strategies on how to homeschool that I wrote about previously in my post, Homeschooling Research… Aarrgghh!!!!. I quickly realized this was going to be an ongoing learning process for all of us and a big adjustment! For this first week, I didn’t plan too much as far as lessons go.  Jim and I came up with a daily schedule for each day of the

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just how they live.  But imagine not knowing, moving in, and then jumping into the shower for the first time.  SURPRISE!!!  YIKES! But if you know what to look for, you can find some real gems.  Although costs aren’t as cheap

We’re Now Living in Panama… Finally!!

We're Now Living in Panama... Finally!!

It feels like we’ve been planning this for years (because we have!), but it’s finally happened… we’re now living in Panama! I wasn’t going to post about this yet since we’ve been here less than a week, but I figured a lot of you want to know the details about this adventure. Although I started this site in 2015 intending to focus mostly on personal finance, I feel like I’ve become known more for our plans to retire early and move to Panama more than anything. That’s not a bad thing at all – it was just a little unexpected.  We were doing this just because it seemed interesting to us.  It was initially “just” a plan to utilize geoarbitrage

Global Entry – Why You Need It and How to Get It for Free

Global Entry - Why You Need It and How to Get It for Free

Global Entry was something pretty foreign to me at this time a year ago.  We love to travel, but most of it has been domestic here in the U.S. The biggest exception to that are the cruises that we love to take.  But here’s the thing – all the cruises we’ve been on are considered closed loop sailings.  That means that we departed and returned to the same U.S. port when the trip was over. It also means going that through customs is a little simpler.  You generally zip through those lines like nothing. However, with us planning to bounce in and out of Panama over the next few years, customs will become a little more of a burden.  Sure,