Hearing What You Want to Believe

Several years ago University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracín, led the study, later published in Psychological Bulletin, the journal of the American Psychological Association, that analysed data from 91 studies involving nearly 8,000 participants, focused on seeking a definitive answer to a longstanding debate. “We wanted to see exactly across the board to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.” Or one might also say, “what they think they know.”

Not surprisingly the research found that people were in general twice as likely to select information that supported their own point of view as to consider an opposing idea, with two-thirds going for supportive views as opposed to a third going the other way. Some people, particularly those with more close-minded personalities, were even more reluctant to expose themselves to differing perspectives, opting for information that corresponded to their views nearly three-quarters of the time.

Sante Fe Panama beautiful but ... Panama Relocation TourIt is my opinion that many times people are so anxious to find the “paradise” that they believe Panama to be, that they accept only what they want to hear, what confirms their existing beliefs. Now I am all for Panama as “paradise,” after all it’s been our experience, and I wrote the book THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE: OUR EXPERIENCE LIVING AND RETIRING IN PANAMA. But … BIG BUT HERE … some of the organizations who promote expat living in Panama selectively offer information that glosses over the realities of life in Panama. And of course they do a very profitable business.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I try to do is give the REAL story and encourage people to move ahead cautiously, checking out things as they really are, spending time actually in the real Panama, not just a fancy hotel room somewhere, with boots-on-the-ground. If you do that there is a good chance that your will decide moving to Panama is right for you, but you’ll know what you are getting into. We all know you take a big risk when you leap before you look, yet it amazes me how many people will pick up and move to another country, usually one that’s hyped as the latest, greatest place to retire, without doing their own due diligence. In the end they head back home embittered, frustrated and having lost lots of money in the process.

Those who do the research and carefully check things out are the ones who come to Panama, love it, and thrive on the adventure!

I didn’t say these things, but here’s what others have to say about THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE, and if you doubt it, just check out the comments on Amazon.

The Most Beautiful House in Boquete, Panama FOR SALE 12 A good honest outline of what Panama is really like. I was very impressed with this book, very well written and very informative. Having lived in Boquete, Panama for almost 6 years, travelled around the country and worked here, I have never seen such an honest, complete and straightforward representation of what it is like to live here. Richard writes the truth about subjects that many won’t, and shows very little bias throughout the book. In all of his chapters explaining life, real estate, services, construction and retirement in Panama, he hits the nail on the head and isn’t afraid to outline the fact that Panama may not be for everybody.” Conner

“5.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny, Well written, and informative.” Big Al

“What a fantastic resource from someone who has been living in Panama and knows the eccentricities and nuance of the culture. Whether considering Panama or anywhere else to retire abroad, Richard provides a lot of food for thought. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Richard!!” khfitz6311

“Great Job Richard!“I could hardly put this book down, even though I’ve lived in Boquete for seven years. Richard tells it exactly like it is … how I wish this wonderful tool were available before we moved here. It would have saved a lot of frustration trying to figure it all out for ourselves. This is an awesome book for those thinking of retiring in Panama.” Kathy Donelson

“5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for anyone contemplating a move to Panama – Richard once again “nails it” with his straight-shooting comments, No rose-colored glasses here – Panama is not for everyone. If you’ve never lived outside the US before, particularly in a developing country like Panama – don’t even think about making a move without thorough research. Richard’s book is one of the best. Extremely valuable advice – take it to heart!” AKD

“Great book! This book is like reading a letter from a good friend who answers the most important questions you would ask if you were thinking of moving to Panama. Like a good friend, he gives you honest answers.” Jubal Atencio

“Reading Richard’s book paralleled the thoughts we were processing trying to determine where to retire and if Panama is a viable option. His book answers the questions about affordability and the mind shift needed for a life outside the USA, and the sacrifices (really just tradeoff’s, good/bad) we’d need to make if we chose to live in Panama. I don’t think there’s anything he missed in his book! From obtaining a Visa, to moving with a pet, to finding the best for an Expat place to fit in and live in Panama. It’s a big book but a fast read. I couldn’t put it down. A must read if retirement in Central America is on your mind.” Margie Casey

“I have to say that what and how you laid out the details is outstanding. You covered the reality of pros and cons. It is by far the best book out there for folks that want to relocate to Panama. We will arrive in April and rent for a year or so.” John & Susan Pazera

018THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE is an updating of one of the best books about moving to and living in Panama. Detrich has lived in Panama for a decade and he still thinks of it as paradise. The New Escape to Paradise is a pragmatic and thought-provoking guide if you seriously contemplate moving to a new land. After researching living in Central and South American for more than fifteen years, including some tourist visits, I thought that I knew a great deal of things. As it turns out, my impressions were superficial. If you have plans to live in Panama you certainly should be prepared with this book!” James Fletcher

“This is a comprehensive, boots on the ground book about what it is like to live in Panama. The only way to learn more is to come here and stay awhile. I can’t think of anything Richard didn’t cover.” Judy Sacco

“A must read: great book, especially helpful if you are considering moving or retiring to Panama. I loved all the insight to their experiences and can’t wait to experience the country myself.” Joan Egizili

“I gave this book 5 stars because it answers all the questions about living and retiring in Panama with the pros and cons.” Gillberto Smith

“Excellent. An outstanding, insightful book about the author’s experiences in Panama. It is a very sobering look at his and his family’s experiences, both the good and the not so good. The reader can tell they’ve landed in their paradise. My wife and I are considering relocating to Panama and we’re using Richards book as one of our primary sources of information for an anticipated visit to the country next year. Because Richard does not sugar coat life in Panama, rather he tells it like it is, we feel like we have a more realistic expectation of what life is like in Panama. He most definitely has us studying up on the many aspects to be considered.” Daniel Bridges

“Richard really knows what he’s talking about. Down to earth, no sugar coating. The book lays out both the good and not so good of living in Panama. I highly recommend it.” Steve McVicar

“You provide a lot of useful information. Overall it led me to decide against Panama, except maybe as a tourist for a month or two. Too bad! I had high hopes.” Ida Freer

THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE is a must read for anyone thinking/dreaming about retiring to Panama. We’ve been researching for two years and will be retiring to Panama in six months. The information in this book is highly informative, current, and down to earth. Richard tells it like it is about Panama and retirement in Panama, and, I enjoyed reading about his life and his family.” Allison Guinn

“Part philosopher, part psychologist, part historian, part travel guide, and part economist, all describe Richard Detrich as he weaves his tale of life in Panama. He tells it ‘like it is’ without the hype. THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE is a must read for anyone who is considering relocating to another country whether it’s Panama or somewhere else. Interactive exercises will give you insight into what you want out of your life and your next adventure.” Kristin Stillman
“Extremely helpful. No bunnies and rainbows here, both sides of the coin are exposed. Like any country, Panama has it’s issues and beauty and Richard gives insight to the reader/expat on both so we don’t arrive and end up shocked to find bugs in our paradise. Good job.” Dorothy

“What a wealth of information. This is the perfect book to read if you are considering a move to Panama or just want to know all about Panama from an insider. After living in Panama for just a few months, this book addressed aspects of life here that I am experiencing or will experience as times goes on, giving me insight as to what to expect. For my friends who live in Panama vicariously through me, I have highly recommended they read this book.” Lorelei

“This book has everything and more than original book had. It is so current, that you will think you are reading the morning newspaper. If you have the original book, now is the time to upgrade. The book itself is also much improved over the original book with very few typos left for us nitpickers to pounce upon. Once you start reading this book, it is extremely hard to put down until you have finished it. If the book wasn’t so entertaining to read, I would say that it should be considered as the text book for Relocating to Panama 101. Panama is not for everyone, this book may save you thousands and thousands of dollars down the road. Get it! Read it!” Larry H

“Besides almost living in Panama for ten years, building a home in Panama and owning a business in Panama, Richard has traveled extensively lecturing about Panama on cruise ships. His second book, an updated version of the original, has more insight into the good, bad and sometimes even ugly about expats living and retiring in Panama as well as wonderful stories about his life along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it very useful in regards to my future retirement to Panama. Highly informative, entertaining and a great read!” Allison W. Gunn“Thinking of moving to Panama? Read this book first! It could save you a lot of time, money, trouble, and worry. Not only is the book entertaining, it’s full of really important information for people considering making a move of this magnitude.” E. Bolton

Mr and Mrs Claus Come To Visit“He’s amusing and informative. He doesn’t write seriously, yet covers all necessary ground to give us an accurate picture of life in Panama without blinders. All pertinent questions are covered informatively and accurately, giving you a clear understanding of the reality you would experience.I strongly recommend The NEW ESCAPE TP PARADISE. It’s a great read!” Doug Tyler

Let Me Save You The Money & Frustration!

I am always amazed to find people who up and move to Panama without putting in the effort to do their own due diligence and study. They end up spending thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars only to decide that Panama is not for them and then end up going back to wherever.

Panama is a fantastic place and many folks are taking advantage of a relatively “open door” policy that welcomes law-abiding folks from other countries to come and participate in Panama’s growth and development, as well as just enjoy . . . Panama! But Panama is not for everyone.

So how can you know if Panama is for you?

There are several ways I can help you know if Panama is right for you.

First, this blog. A lot of folks have commented [Thank you!] that I tend to cut through the crap and hype and tell you what real expat life is like in Panama. I’ve been writing this blog for six years and within this blog is lots of information to help you decide if Panama is right for you. And it’s all free! Just scroll down the sidebar on the right hand side and you will see a cloud of various categories like “Expat”, “Life in Panama”, “Retirement in Panama”, etc. Just click and you’ll find tons of information that will either bore you or excite you.

You need to talk to as many expats as possible, read their blogs, check out everything you can find on line about living in Panama. But be aware . . . stuff, including my own, gets on the Internet and then in most cases stays there. It may have been current when it was published, but may or may not be current now. Panama is booming. Nothing is static, especially in Panama. When you check out past posts on my blog at least you will know when they were written.

2015 EscapeSecond, get my book THE NEW ESCAPE TO PARADISE: OUR EXPERIENCE LIVING AND RETIRING IN PANAMA. The reason for writing the book was to share information that you need to know if you are thinking of living abroad. The book is based on our experiences in Boquete, Panama, but most of it is applicable to Panama in general, and some of it is applicable to moving or retiring abroad anywhere.

Third, visit Panama with an eye to actually living here.   There are a lot of things to see as a tourist visiting Panama, and that’s great, but you want to visit looking at Panama as a potential place to live, which means you’ve got to ask different questions.  What would it be like to actually live here?  What would there be to do?  What kind of expat community is there?

One of the best ways to get a “feel” for living in an area as an expat is to actually talk with expats.  There are a number
of organizations in the business of selling you on moving to Panama.  They can be helpful if the tour is a genuine “boots-on-the ground” tour and they are providing you unfiltered information from real expats.  I’d avoid the real estate tours or the tours that want to sell you something.  One of the best is the Panama Relocation Tour.

Fourth, and I throw this in for FREE … Over the years I’ve gotten many, many questions,new-picture-smsometimes the same ones over and over … so I put together some LIVING & RETIRING IN PANAMA Q&A which I’m happy to share with you.  We want folks coming to Panama who have done their research, come here prepared and with the right expectations … folks who are going to love it here, like we do, and know that they’ve made the right decision.  Folks who are going to enjoy expat life in Panama and not waste time bitching about politics back home or how Panama should be more like it was back home, wherever home was.

Great Videos About Life In Panama

Here are some great videos about Panama and life in Panama …

People

An Expat Helping to Transform a National Treasure

Savannah Jane Buffett (Jimmy Buffett’s daughter) visits Panama City to meet KC Hardin, a 39-year-old American who went from being a corporate lawyer to a youth hostel owner to restoring historic buildings in Panama City. Panama City has given KC many things including a beautiful wife, who is a Panama City native and has a thriving restoration business built with a social mission. Visit the Panama Canal, the Danilo Perez Foundation, and many other amazing places that KC’s company has rebuilt.

A Teenager’s Expat Experience in Panama

A Gringo’s Life In Boquete Panama

From Canada to Running A Bed & Breakfast in The Pearl Islands

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

Life in Panama Offers Choices

Message for Expats from Bob Adams of Retirement Wave 

Is Panama for You by Bob Adams of Retirement Wave

 

Bob Adams of Retirement Wave on Cost of Living in Panama

Jeff Lane of Retirement Wave gives a younger persons view of what there is to do in Panama

Cost of Living in Panama

Future of Panama Economy by Patrick Dixon

Places

Boquete Panama

Panama City and the Pacific Beach Communnities

The NEW Panama City

Coronado Panama If You Like Hot Weather

Motorcycle Ride Through Boquete

Volcan, Bambito and Cerro Punta 

David Panama Tour on a Motorcycle

Bocas

OK it is a party town!

And, in case you wondered, the difference between “Nightclubs” and “Discos” in Panama City …

Panama