Why El Valle Is The Top Retirement Haven

“Kathleen, I just signed up for two years of your Overseas Retirement Letter. I enjoy your info and almost daily updates, but I am growing weary.

“I’m still working and need your info to plan for my exodus in three to five years. However, your current format will become background noise for folks like me who aren’t yet killing time on a hill in Panama.

“Also, the El Valle topic should be reconsidered. As a new reader (and a salesman myself), I think you oversold it and are overselling it still. It sounds lovely for some, but too esoteric to be ranked the #1 place in the world to retire. A thinking person might deduce a financial tie between yourself and the region. Please don’t allow my enthusiasm for your independent objectivity to become clouded.”

— Respectfully, Joe G., United States


Regarding El Valle, I have to ask: If not this small mountain town in Panama, then where?

If you consider the whole wide world and challenge yourself to identify one small spot within it as the Best Place In The World To Retire at any given time…frankly…why not El Valle?

No, we don’t have any financial tie there. If we were going to put that cart before this horse, we’d have chosen somewhere on the Azuero Peninsula, where, it’s no secret, my husband does have a financial interest.

We’re not getting anything out of this El Valle recommendation…and, again, speaking frankly, the few reader challenges we’ve received in response to our position have caused me to feel more confident than ever in our judgment.

I’m well familiar with a great many places that qualify right now as great locales to think about retiring. But I can’t think of any one place in particular that I’d say makes more sense than El Valle.

As we’ve said, El Valle doesn’t make sense for everyone. But no place makes sense for everyone.

If you think esoterically (as you suggest, dear reader)…and theoretically…casting as wide a net as possible…and you consider all the options…and all the priorities and agendas of the would-be retiree abroad…you wind up if not at El Valle, Panama…then somewhere very much like it.

I could name spots in Ecuador or Uruguay, for example, that would be ideal retirement escapes for some. But you’d be in Ecuador or Uruguay. Nothing wrong with that…but those countries don’t come with all the advantages of Panama. That’s the plain truth of it.

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