Real Expat Stories Straight From Our Panama Conference

Your Fellow Readers Biggest Complaint About Panama Last Week

For me, the best part of my job is the people I get to meet.

I look forward to every one of our LIOS conferences for the chance they offer to make new friends… while catching up with old ones.

Last week in Panama City, during our Live and Invest in Panama Conference, I was able to spend time with readers I’ve formed friendships with from previous events…

But the majority of the crowd last week was first-timers… and, for me, that’s super fun. I really love watching people experiencing these live-and-invest overseas ideas for the first time.

One woman, for example, told me that she had traveled outside the United States only two times before in her life. Her husband had convinced her to come to the conference because he has been thinking about retiring overseas for years and has his sights set on Panama.

She admitted that she had been super reluctant about the whole idea of moving out of Virginia and wasn’t on board even with the idea of coming to Panama for the conference.

“Don’t tell my husband,” she whispered to me with a big smile, “but I’m having a great time!”

She was joking, of course. She couldn’t hide her enthusiasm from her husband very long.

In fact, she and her husband are already making plans to return to Panama. They want to come back before the rainy season so they can take the trip out to see Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast and Los Islotes.

This visit, they were able to arrange a custom tour of Casco Viejo followed by a rain forest excursion. They were excited for the chance to see some monkeys.

“This conference has been a serious eye-opener,” the lady told me. “We’ve learned so much about all our options in this country.

“Now I’m no longer worried about moving away from our children and grandchildren. I’ve spoken to many people who’ve had great suggestions for how to stay in touch.

“Now I just feel really excited about what the future has in store for us,” she said.

Another woman I spent time with was here with her boyfriend. Her name was Kathleen. She’s from Florida, and her boyfriend is from Canada.

The couple met in Costa Rica six months ago. They impressed me with their clear vision of what they want their life together to look like.

“We want a life full of adventure, culture, and travel,” Kathleen explained.

She found out about our event at the last minute and wasn’t able to make it for the first day. When I asked her how everything was going during the Friday morning break, she replied:

“Really fantastic. I’m making friends and memories and learning so much and really kicking myself for not making it to the first day.”

I told her not to worry because she would receive all of the recordings from every presentation within about two weeks of the close of the event. These are sent with our compliments to all attendees as part of their registration.

Friday afternoon, after the conference was over, I caught up with Kathleen again in the lobby of the hotel. We were both waiting for Ubers…

She was elated with the abundance of information she’d had access to.

“I really just learned so much at this conference, the real nuts and bolts,” she said.

“I know others put on Panama conferences, but I don’t think that any other event could compare. You guys just have such an impressive boots-on-the-ground presence in this country.”

Indeed we do (if I say so myself), and I take great pleasure and pride in being able to make our extensive Panama infrastructure and network of resources available to our conference attendees.

Over the course of the event, I helped folks connect to the local phone networks… order Ubers… find their way around the city… make dinner reservations… plan outings and adventures for after the conference had concluded…

I also helped to arrange dozens of personal appointments with bankers, attorneys, and tax and residency advisors. It’s all part of the service we offer, and, again, for me, it’s just great fun. I feel like I’m helping people reinvent their lives for the better in real time… and what job could be more rewarding than that?

Most in the room with us last week were newbies… but not everyone was a LIOS conference virgin.

I reconnected with one longtime reader whose first event with us was our 2014 Retire Overseas Conference in Nashville.

“That event,” he told me, “helped me to narrow down my list to a few countries in particular—Colombia, Panama, and Portugal.

“I attended your Live and Invest in Colombia Conference in 2015,” he continued, “and now here I am taking a close look at Panama, again with your help.

“Your conferences really are the best and most efficient way possible to understand and process all the options.”

He wanted to join us for our Portugal conference but can’t… so he took advantage of his attendee discount to purchase the Live and Invest in Portugal Home Conference Kit from last year.

“I figure it’s the next best thing to being in the Algarve with you in July,” he chuckled.

The biggest complaint from attendees during last week’s event?

That the cocktail receptions were too much fun. Our early-morning sessions were noticeably under-attended because our conference-goers were still recovering from the parties the evenings before…

Allison Jokinen
LIOS Conference Assistant