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A Growing Trend: Americans Living Abroad

From the restless to the retired, the financially savvy are seeking better living situations, and finding them in Panama

CHICAGO, June 2, 2010 — While it's easy to get frustrated with the economic climate in the U.S., some industrious individuals are finding a better way of life. A recent article in the New York Times marked the growing trend of Americans living and retiring abroad, detailing why they are doing it and how it's providing them with a luxury retirement for less.

Seeking a lower cost of living, a laid-back lifestyle and other like-minded retirees to enjoy it with, more Americans are retiring abroad to locations like Central America. A 2010 survey by International Living magazine found that 96% of respondents are more likely to move out of the United States now than they were in 2009.

Panama in particular ranks highly with retirees – so much so that Business Week called it "the new Florida" last year, saying it offers "more bang for the buck." Elaine Finnegan of International Living says, "Panama has always been a top choice for people from the U.S., Canada and Europe who want to significantly lower their cost of living without giving up the good life."

Ben Loomis, President of Amble Resorts, is developing a luxury residence community on an island property in Panama, The Resort at Isla Palenque. "American retirees are finding a haven in Panama real estate on their quest to get more value out of their retirement dollars," says Loomis. "In addition to its affordable real estate, Panama's low cost of living, tax benefits and excellent health care make a luxurious retirement more easily attainable for Americans willing to relocate there."

That low cost of living makes a luxury Panama retirement well within reach, even for those who have experienced economic losses. The New York Times quotes Kathleen Peddicord, author of "How to Retire Overseas," on low Panama rents. "It could be $200 a month if you choose instead to settle in a little house near the beach in Las Tablas, a beautiful, welcoming region," says Peddicord.

Panama has become so attractive as a retirement destination that the small country already has several thriving expatriate communities. Just an hour from Loomis' Isla Palenque beachfront development is the Panamanian mountain village of Boquete. Boquete's total population of 4100 already includes an expatriate community of 600 Americans, Canadians and Europeans, and their numbers continue to grow.

For those who prefer Panama's beach over its mountains, Isla Palenque is launching special pre-construction pricing for its island homes later this year. Loomis recognizes the area's need to provide for the growing number of retirees moving to Panama. "We plan to meet the increasing demand with a world-class residence community," says Loomis. "With our pristine island property, award-winning design and unmatched service provided by incomparable The West Paces Hotel Group, there's no need to give up on the dream of the ideal retirement home."

Living abroad is now an attractive option for Americans looking to maximize dwindling retirement accounts, and there is no question that Panama has the awe factor that retirees desire. But does the reality of expatriate life stack up to expectations? According to Peddicord, "I don't know of anyone who has decided to move back full-time after having had a taste of living abroad."


About Isla Palenque

Amble Resorts' new Panama real estate project, Isla Palenque, will be a secluded and sustainable residence community with a unique boutique hotel, ingeniously designed residences, and sumptuous amenities.

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