Monthly Archives: December 2013

“Retirement Mapping” our new On-Line Enterprise

RetirementMapping a new online Enterprise

Thank you so very much for your registrations on our site!

Amazing … So Many New Registrants

Over the past 3-4 months our blogs “PanamaMundo” and “CoronadoPropertyMarket” have received an amazing number of new registrants in spite of my rather limited postings. I never anticipated this level of interest and it has inspired a new business plan.

New Website: RetirementMapping.com

To consolidate activities and appeal to a wider audience, I have just published our new site “RetirementMapping” today.  It is still in the very early stages and definitely a “work in progress” but it will take shape very quickly. I have decided to significantly expand the number of weekly postings and related online offerings such as eBooks, webinars, white papers, an email newsletter and related digital products such as online courses where appropriate. If you signed up for PanamaMundo or CoronadoPropertyMarket you will probably be interested in this new consolidation web site RetirementMapping.

I have created a rather ambitious five year plan for “RetirementMapping” focused on the 5 or 6 most worrisome concerns people have in planning/living their retirement options including offshore living. This is the option that I and my wife Lise have chosen for the past 6 years in Coronado Panama and it has worked out brilliantly. The broad subject area of “retirement” was a relatively simple decision to make.

Many of my offerings will be free to members although eBooks will be offered for sale on Amazon, Kobo among other marketers.

Never Retiring

One theme that you may encounter in my musings is that retirement is not for everyone. There are many people, myself included, who never wish to retire if that means buying a hammock/rocking chair , playing golf every day or watching old action movies. I will try to interweave some highly inspirational stories about people such as Mandela, Warren Buffet and Picasso who continue(d) to make significant contributions very late in their lives to the benefit of many without any regrets or downside.

Main Categories for Focus

My email newsletter and in-depth eBooks will explore subjects such as offshore living, financial planning and related investment strategies, developing a “retirement” personality, social networking, learning a new language issues (for most people living offshore), the advantages/savings from medical tourism, longevity risks, optimal exercise and diet, assisted living issues, early planning for hobbies and other enjoyable retirement activities, charitable work opportunities, and even second careers including starting an online business!

Our Technological “Platform”

In addition to selecting an interesting subject area in which I could be considered relative authorities, I had to spend considerable time constructing a solid technological platform for the online enterprise with the appropriate software. This was particularly difficult and time-consuming because it meant integrating and learning about 25 different software packages and “plugins”.

These software tools ranged from the chosen web design package “WordPress” with about 10 critical “plugins” (out of the more than 2500 available), to “Scrivener” (an absolutely  first class writing tool for creative authors), Adobe PhotoShop for designing and producing book covers, a professional email “autoresponder” such as arpReach to handle  email lists of more than 100,000 members, Dragon Naturally Speaking (12) permits me to dictate while it types every word into Scrivener, DropBox for cloud backup and sharing, social networking platforms such as Twitter, FaceBook and Digg etc. and translation software since we intend to go international. There are more …..

Of course new versions and updates for these basic software programs keep coming out at blinding speed with new features, functionality and user manuals.

Getting Ready to Launch

I feel confident about today’s launch and consider that I have a solid and realistic long term business plan and strategy in place. The new web site “RetirementMapping” is available as of today today and will be rolling out a lot of new stuff in the next few days and weeks.

We will be looking for your feedback.

Thanks again

 

Coronado vs Atlantida Uruguay

Coronado Panama vs Atlantida Uruguay

For more than 40 years, my wife Lise and I have continuously searched for a better quality of life wherever it might take us in the world and the search goes on today. If you take the time to read my free eBook you will better understand our saga. Incidentally I will be publishing a new eBook this month focused exclusively on Coronado.

There will always be some disadvantages wherever you choose to live. It might be too expensive, too cold, too boring or unsophisticated, too threatened by “ObamaCare” or any number of related economic, political and social drawbacks. Clearly, everything is relative to your personal priorities and no place is perfect for everyone.

With this in mind we visited Uruguay 2 years ago on a fact finding mission to see how well Panama stacks up. Both countries have a population of about 3.5 million people. We prefer countries with smaller populations.

The bottom line was that we came to the conclusion that we actually could live happily in Uruguay and particularly in Atlantida, a small “ocean front” town on the Rio Plata about 25 miles from Montevideo somewhat similar to Coronado but without the security gates.

Economics, Politics, Education and Crime

Uruguay has one of the highest per capita incomes of Central and Latin America (just behind Chile and ahead of Panama). The economic growth rate in Uruguay has been extremely strong with very low unemployment levels. These trends have been increasing during the past two years with housing prices rising sharply. The government is very stable. Education levels are very high with free university tuition up to and including the doctorate level. Crime rates per 100,000 were very low in most categories. Warren Buffet has been buying Uruguayan agricultural land.

The weather in Atlantida is virtually identical to the weather in San Diego California or the Algarve in Portugal with “winter” temperatures dipping to perhaps 40 degrees at night. The “high season” is packed in Atlantida as the population swells from about 5000 to 20,000 for three months.  Ocean swimming or even wading except for the brave at heart is perhaps 4 months whereas in Coronado the ocean temperature is always at about 80 degrees. But sometimes Coronado becomes too hot and humid for some people and they have to seek shelter indoors or in the pool under a shade bohio.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Uruguay was higher than Panama by perhaps 15% with certain categories of expenses being substantially higher such as purchasing a new automobile (about double) and buying gasoline (about double). Electronic stuff is readily available but about 10% higher than in Panama.

Medical care in Uruguay is rated better than Panama by the World Health Organization. The best part however, is that once you formally declare your intent to become a permanent resident of Uruguay, you are immediately eligible for their state health care and you can also sign up for a “mutualista” health care policy from a specific hospital which is better than the state care program. The monthly cost for a hospital plan is in the $75 to $150 per month range per person depending on age.

Ability to Work and Citizenship

Another major advantage for Uruguay is that the same day you declare your intent to become a permanent resident you can accept a job or start a small business. If married, your decision to reside in Uruguay can lead to full citizenship within three years. As a single person there is a 5 year wait for citizenship.

In Panama, a new program for a “professional or investor visa” was approved more than a year ago with relatively similar advantages but this is not quite as universal as the Uruguayan situation. This professional visa can result in Panamanian citizenship in 5 years but the standard “pensionado visa” for Panama does not permit employment and does not lead to citizenship. You remain a “glorified tourist”.

No Taxes on Global Income

Neither Uruguay nor Panama will tax you on money earned offshore meaning that  you are NOT taxed on your global income. So your carefully planned million dollar a year internet income would be safe in both countries.

Banking secrecy in both countries is virtually identical with a strong and conservative banking sector in both countries. Panama actually has a more robust international banking sector with frequent comparisons made to Switzerland and/or Singapore.

Housing

The housing stock in Atlantida is certainly acceptable with prices of land close to the beach considerably less than in Coronado. One significant disadvantage in Atlantida is that many of the existing houses lack central heating. They were designed primarily for use during the “high season” from November until March. In contrast, Coronado houses, of course, do not require central heating and it is much easier and cheaper to retrofit/install an AC system than a central heating system.  Moving to Atlantida would probably mean building a custom home from scratch with radiant floor heating and probably a solar system because the cost of electricity is very high.

Restaurants

The off-season selection of good restaurants in Atlantida is very limited. Don Vito’s is the best in town by far but in the off-season this establishment also suffers from a lack of central heating with inside temperatures in the 65 range (too cool for me without a heavy coat).  There are perhaps five other restaurants within easy access.

In contrast, Coronado has about 35 restaurants (within 15 minutes of our house) open all year ranging from very expensive to very, very cheap.  Last night for example we ordered vegetarian lasagna for two with sodas at “Leonardo’s Steak House” and paid $8.25 total. We could have eaten a huge portion of chicken and rice next door for two for about $6 or upstairs in the same commercial complex for about $50.

Shopping

Coronado is also better for shopping if that happens to be your thing. There is one quite acceptable shopping center in Coronado with about 2 acres of inside shopping on three floors. There are also three major shopping centers easily available within a one hour drive. The largest has more than 400 modern stores (Albrook) selling every imaginable item. Westland is only about 40 minutes from Coronado and you could shop all day and still not visit every store. It is very new and still expanding rapidly. Then there is the Multi Plaza in downtown Panama City for people with a Platinum Credit Card ….. Rolex, Gucci, etc.

Distance

We found that Uruguay was a bit “far away” for our tastes given that we like to travel to Canada and Europe although the price differential for airplane tickets was that much more than from Panama.

We liked Atlantida for many reasons but we remain in Coronado still looking for the perfect place.