Many work days, when my alarm goes off, I think about when I’ll be able to retire. My youngest child is only eight years old, so I know it’s a long way off, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about not having the alarm ring. Somewhat surprisingly, I have learned from my clients, that when the time comes to turn off the alarm, I may not be ready.
Getting Ready Emotionally
I work with all kinds of property buyers who come to enjoy everything Panama has to offer—which is a lot—and many of those buyers are individuals and couples who are looking to, or have already, retired.
When working with Baby Boomers, I have found that most have planned for retirement in terms of saving money and paying off their home, but I have noticed that many have not actually thought about what it will be like emotionally when the phone isn’t ringing and the office stops demanding.
“It’s a real shock to feel devalued,” a client told me the other day. “I feel marginalized. Just writing the word ‘retired’ on a form makes me feel less than. I always thought I’d be so ready for it, but it’s been a very difficult transition,” the woman in her sixties continued. “Some mornings I’m just lost not having deadlines and people wanting something. You’d think I’d be happy, but most times I’m not.”
This client’s sentiments have been repeated to me in many different ways, but bottom line, it takes some getting used to for people to be able to turn down the volume and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.
That is why, if at all possible, I encourage people to ease into retirement. Build a life that straddles the two worlds until it is possible to ease full time into no alarm clock and plenty of emotional calm to enjoy the surroundings.
Ease into Retirement
One way to start that transition is to purchase retirement property early, at a reduced rate, and then start building equity while winding down a career. Many times that comes when a project hasn’t even broken ground, or is just beginning to build, and all or most of the best locations in the building are still available.
The problem with pre-sales is that you want to be sure the builder is reputable. There are all kinds of horror stories about builders that promised a superlative list of amenities that never came to fruition. Hulks of concrete that stand unfinished and deserted remind us of how important it is to choose a builder wisely to maximize your investment and guarantee that you receive everything you are promised.
Know the Builder
There isn’t a more reputable builder in Panama than Empresas Bern. Bern has over four decades of successful operation and 150 implemented projects. When they say they are going to deliver, they deliver. There is none of the glossy brochures showing beautiful club houses and golf courses that are never built.
Living and Working in Panama
Empress Bern does business every day in Panama as one of the country’s most prolific hoteliers, builders of office complexes and residential properties. They aren’t going anywhere. They count the Westin at Playa Bonita, the Le Meridien and Gamboa Rainforest Resort among their projects along with Marbella 47, Parque Del Mar and Coronado Golf, just to name a few. The Bern family lives in Panama and continues generation after generation to embrace the first-world charms of the Central American country they call home.
Less Money, More Caution
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Baby Boomers in the United States saw a decline of nearly $1 trillion in home values during the most recent fiscal downturn. Consequently, many of the people I talk to about buying property in Panama, have less money and more caution when considering another property purchase. They simply don’t have the luxury of time to make a mistake in their next property purchase.
Low Prices, Growth Potential
[thrive_text_block color=”light” headline=””]While home sales in both Canada and the United States are on the rise, they still don’t match the 10% growth experienced in Panamanian residential real estate for each of the last two years. Panama has always been a terrific bargain, but things are beginning to heat up. I have never seen a better time to take advantage of the still bargain basement prices of luxury residences. [/thrive_text_block]
Ideal Options for Early Planners
There are two such properties coming on the market which present as ideal considerations for couples or individuals moving into retirement. These properties will allow for people to invest while transitioning away from alarm clocks.
Construction is just beginning on Royal Palm, a 28-story complex located 50 minutes from Panama City situated right on the Pacific Ocean. This residential property is located in Nueva Gorgona about a five minute drive from the well-developed beach property of Coronado which boasts a plethora of grocery stores, world-class English-speaking medical facilities and all types of service providers.
This development will have amenities including multiple swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts and ample social areas to go along with absolute beach-front access. It is priced appropriately for those individuals who don’t mind watching a surrounding community grow along with it’s luxury residential developments.
Punta Vela is the property complex for the discerning buyer who is looking for everything. Located in the prestigious and highly developed gated community of Coronado, this 33-story property is like none other and it is one of the last residential complexes allowed in this most-sought area.
The new construction offers buyers the ability to purchase, via pre-sales, almost any unit and any combination of floor plan. An infinity pool, spa with jacuzzi, steam room, several social areas and a 25-meter roof-top lap pool are just part of the construction. Over-sized balconies, from every residence, provide sweeping views of the shimmering Pacific Ocean and the majestic mountains.
The 18-hole Tom Fazio golf course sits at the foot of the sweeping grand entrance with a driving range and nine-hole executive course within walking distance. Membership in the exclusive Coronado Golf and Beach Resort comes with the purchase of a residential unit. That includes the Beach Club, Equestrian Center and hotel complex with restaurants, a luxury spa, pools and tennis courts. Priced accordingly, there is no better time than now to capture a bargain in one of the most-sought-after, well-developed, locations in Panama.
A Happy Retirement: More Variables Than You Think
I have learned over the years that individuals who come to Panama are seeking a place to take orderly control of their retirement. Many things need to be considered such as how much of your job is your identity, what will be your new mission or purpose and what about your relationships. Just because you married for better or for worse, doesn’t mean you need to be together 24-hours a day. Having a place to call home, where multiple activities and interesting people interact, is one of the most important things you should provide yourself.
All Here in Coronado
In Coronado and Nueva Gorgona, it is nice there are so many options available for everyone. Some of the residents like to put in 18-holes of golf before breakfast and others want to spend their time volunteering at pet shelters or raising money to buy wheelchairs for the less fortunate. It’s all here.
Royal Palm or Punta Vela may be right for you or perhaps another property is calling your name. My advice is that you take time to think about what you want out of retirement, how to best finance it, time it and capitalize on the money your have saved so you may best embrace life, once the alarm stops ringing.