According to Fortune Magazine, about 78 million baby boomers will be facing government budget crises as their time for retirement approaches. Many are being enticed by the low prices and tranquility of Central American countries, especially Costa Rica and Panama.
Volcano Arenal, Jaco Beach and Puerto Viejo are favorite destinations in Costa Rica, each offering its own combination of snorkeling, zip-lining or horseback riding. Panama offers a similar combination of adventure and relaxation in its featured destinations of Bocas del Toro, Boquete and Panama City.
Evergreen mountains, temperate weather and inexpensive property attract retirees from Pacific to Caribbean shores. Beachfront cabins are going for $30,000 in parts of Panama, and a mountain retreat in Costa Rica comes with its own river at $200,000.
Panama offers a mix of Afro and Indigenous culture, while Costa Ricans are more Spanish in influence. Costa Rica is thought to have a more stable government for having only two political parties and no military.
Residency in either country is easy through "turista pensionado" visas that allow ex-pats receiving income from the U.S. to become permanent residents with affordable health insurance.
Police corruption and strength of the government and financial institutions are important issues to research. Local laws and lack of social services catch many Americans unawares.