Not everyone chooses the expat lifestyle but there are few who regret it once it’s happened. The global economic crisis put paid to Susanna Perkins plans to stay in the US and she was forced with her husband to find a more affordable location. A one week reconnaissance trip and they were off to Las Tablas, Panama. Although Susanna wouldn’t recommend the speed of her transition the experience has proven wonderful as her husband and her settled into small town life making friends along the way.

Susanna has put her experience to good use. She has shared her experiences and knowledge via her website website where she has her free e-book on finding your ideal expat income.

Susanna PerkinsCarnaval Las Tablas Panama

What I learned from speaking with Susanna:

  1. Even if you’re retired it’s great to consider supplementing your income with an alternative income stream. If you’re receiving US income you need to consider exchange rate movements, what might seem attractive now can become an issue if the dollar swings in the wrong direction. Earning some additional income can help protect you against that happening.
  2. You should explore your income options. Is what you are doing transferrable or could be done online? How can you earn an income source from your specialist area of expertise? Are there people in other countries who may want their business cared for while they take a break (to works for doctors; what about your industry?)
  3. People in other countries are often more willing to talk. There is a consistent theme of innate friendliness in central America that all our interviewees seem to share, especially in smaller communities. Most seem more than willing to welcome the “gringos” to town and appreciate any efforts you make to become part of their culture

You can find out more about life in Panama City through our interview with Michael Long

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