Two decades ago, Panama was homologous enough that my naively generalized recommendation wasn't as misleading as it would be today. In the past 20 years, Panama has developed into very different regions...each of which makes more or less sense for today's retiree looking to reinvent his life overseas.
Today, 18 years and a half-dozen starting-a-business-in-a-foreign-country-from-nothing experiences later, I can explain. Someone who hasn't done it isn't going to understand, but it's just the way it goes.
When my wife, Suzan, and I first became serious about moving abroad, one of the first things we did to prepare was take some basic Spanish lessons at the local community college.
If you're hesitating making an international move because you have children, you're making a mistake. That, however, is not to say that raising kids in another country is easy.
In Hua Hin, Thailand, a retiree's monthly budget of $610 includes a weekly massage for $8, health insurance, and a round of golf. It also covers eating out at least twice a day.