“Kathleen, I am a disabled American veteran and longtime reader of your newsletters who enjoys them very much. I find that every one of your newsletters is so full of valuable information. Thank you very much for your dedication in keeping us well informed so that we will be able to make a wise decision when the time comes to move.
“I wonder if you have any information on a good place to go in Central or South America for quality dental work at low cost. I live on a fixed income and am in need of some tooth implants. While I am there, I hope to check out some the places you have mentioned in your newsletters so that I may have an idea of where to settle when I make the move.
“I know that I will have to enroll myself sooner or later in your 52 Days course to really put myself in position for any future move I make.
“I appreciate any help you can give me on this matter and thank you for all your efforts on my behalf.”
–Robert K., United States
Panama, Colombia, and Costa Rica are good “dental tourism” choices in the Americas. Malaysia and Thailand are good options in Asia. I’d decide where to have your dental work done based on where you’re thinking you might like to base yourself in retirement. Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, and Thailand are very different lifestyle choices, each with pluses and minuses. All, though, are good budget options. You could retire to areas within each of these countries on a budget of US$1,200 a month or less.
“Kathleen, I thoroughly enjoy all the tips and advice and stories you provide, but there is one topic that I haven’t seen addressed–services in different retirement locations for elderly who need special assistance (such as with bathing, dressing, etc.) as well as accessibility issues (ramps instead of stairs, elevators, etc.).I currently have my 90-year-old father living with me. I’d love to live in one of the places described in your publications, but it’d have to be able to provide services that he needs. Any suggestions?”
–Mike P., United States
The unfortunate truth is that most of the world outside North America, especially the developing world, is not very handicapped accessible. In much of the world, certainly outside the bigger cities, someone in a wheel chair or even getting around with a cane is going to struggle. Medellin, Colombia, is one exception I can think of. I’m sure there are others, but, generally, you should assume that your options in this regard are limited.
Likewise when it comes to special assistance of the kind you describe. These services don’t exist in much of the world, though I believe this is going to change in the coming several years as the demand is growing. A new nursing care facility has opened recently in Cuenca, Ecuador, for example, and a friend in Panama City told me yesterday of a retired doctor here who is starting a new home-care service to help older and disabled folks needing routine assistance. I’m following up to find out more about this new service, as I think it will be of great interest to our readership. I’m hoping to have some details in time for next week’s Live and Invest in Panama Conference.
“Kathleen, I found today’s e-mail very apropos to my situation. Choices, choices, choices. I think visiting a variety of places will be my next move.
“In the interest of full disclosure, do you or your business partners own property for rent or sale in the locations that you are promoting?”
–Jim B., United States
Lief and I, with some partners, are developing land on the Pacific coast of Panama. The community is called Los Islotes. You can read about it here, and we reference it regularly.
In addition, we own rental apartments here and there around the world. Each is managed by a local rental management agency.
If ever and whenever we’re invested personally in anything we write about, we disclose that fact in the writing.
Hope this helps to clarify.
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