Safe Passage to Panama2

Safe Passage to Panama: Protecting Yourself During the Relocation Process and Saving Money!

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 by Retire in Panama

Safe Passage to PanamaMoving to a new country can be exciting and overwhelming. As you prepare for your move to Panama, the process must be transparent and as unstressful as possible. You must spend as little money as possible but still get the best value and assistance in all aspects of the move.

We have been doing this for many years, and Oscar, Megan, and Rod have combined almost 30 years of experience helping expats move to Panama. So, we have seen it all. One of the most important things is our Vetted Suppliers, which we use to connect with our tour guests. You will need assistance in Panama with immigration, health insurance, logistics, banking, possible tax structure/planning, etc.

Taking one of our Retire in Panama Tours will teach you about Panama’s culture, traditions, and laws. On our group tours, you will visit all the possible locations that expats typically move to across the country. You will meet many expats who have already made the move, and they will share their experiences with you. If you move to their location, they will also be there to help you. You will meet the expert service providers you will need to make the move.

On these tours, everything is provided: the perfect hotels, the best food, and the best locations. Doing it on your own would take weeks. Because you have taken one of our tours, you will have direct access to properly vetting suppliers to handle everything you need to accomplish in your move. You will also have direct access to Osar, Megan, and Rod to help you through the process.

How Retire in Panama Vets a Supplier

The word “Vetting” is used very loosely in Panama, especially on social media. Vetting is not collecting money for advertising or having someone register on your directory, checking if they have a business license in Panama, and then referring them as the best suppliers in Panama. It is much more than that.

This is how Retire in Panama “Vets” its suppliers that assist their guests. When we decide to bring on a new supplier, the vetting is a six-month to one-year process. It typically starts even before we have spoken to the supplier, testing them on their customer service skills and reviews from other past clients. We check the business licenses and compare them to public and corporate documents, directors, and shareholders. If this is a high-dollar vendor, our lawyer will check for legal cases, lawsuits, or liens against the company’s directors. We can also check if the company needs to catch up on corporate tax filings or government payments.

Then, we check their public reviews, not the reviews on their website. If possible, we try to contact the reviewers for a conversation. This is all to protect against future problems our tour guests could encounter with bad suppliers.

Then, we move into the phase of contacting them about their product through an “alias,” checking on response time and accuracy of the information given. Our most recent international container moving that we brought on took one year to vet before we were 100% satisfied enough to provide them with a customer. Then, with that customer, we stayed very involved in the three-month process of moving a container to see how the new supplier performed.

That is how you Vet a company! Saving money and getting the best suppliers to assist with your move will not likely happen based on Facebook recommendations. Nor will it happen from taking advice from someone who has done this once, their own move.

money 4068357 1280 How Much Money Can You Save Taking a Relocation Tour?

This will vary from person to person, but our company model is designed to save you money, even as much as the tour or more. Let us give you some examples.

Immigration: The immigration lawyers we use must provide you with a complete quote, their fees, any government fees, stamps, translations, cards, multiple entry visas, etc. They will not charge you anything extra during the process. The quote is what you pay. Also, our lawyers offer a complete 100% money-back guarantee. If your visa is not approved, you will get your money back (although, because we use the best, this has yet to happen)

Health Insurance: Our recommended health insurance agent will provide multiple quotes from multiple insurance companies, ensuring you get the right package and the absolute best price. Your cost will be the same or less than what you can get directly from the company. The healthcare myth that if you use an agent, you will pay 30% to 50% more is BUSTED here. We, your relocation experts, protect you from anything like that!

We meet so many people here who have selected the wrong health insurance. It sometimes costs them hundreds more a month than they need. We walk our guests through this process, listening to their needs and finding the right product for them at the best price.

Moving your belongings.

Some people move entire containers, some just a few boxes, and some just their suitcases; we will work with you directly during the move process to find the best rate for moving your belongings, possibly saving you $ 1000s.

A good example is that we had one couple, former tour guests, moving goods out of 2 different houses in the same state. The husband did not want to bother us; he thought, how difficult can this be? Get a referral off Facebook and move my pallets. The wife listened to us, called, and discussed what she had on her pallets. We researched and found the right fit for her, and she shipped her pallet for 1/3 of what her husband paid, saving them 1000s.

Finding a place to live.

Finding your first rental from afar can be difficult, but that gets simplified with the Retire in Panama Tours. Some people like to have a place ready for them when they arrive; others are okay with getting a short-term monthly rental so they can start looking once they are here. Either way works, and we set our past guests up with the best rental people in the country to assist in the search. We also stay involved to ensure they are looked after.

There is nothing we like more than checking out rentals. We want to keep a pulse on what is available and pricing so we can best advise the client. In Chiriqui province, we will likely visit the rental in person. Across the country, if you can wait until Oscar is in the city you are looking at (he travels the entire country every month, usually more than once), or we will ask one of our past guests to check it out.

We recently assisted a past guest who is in the process of moving here, and she asked Rod if he could go by a rental she saw on Facebook to see what he thought. She was sold on it and wanted to sign a lease. This rental was in Boquete. Rod visited and told her it was nice with a good location, but it was at least $300 a month overpriced. The guest loved it, but with Rod’s advice, she continued to look and found a much better place, $500 monthly less, and an excellent location. Rod knows the building and the owner, so it was perfect. That’s a $6,000 annual savings because she took our tour.

If you are buying, even though we advise you to wait at least six months, we will still help you with our years of experience, selecting the right location, needing a home inspection, and most importantly, the right lawyer.

All the other stuff.other stuff

Banking, investments, mail, phones, pets, everyone has to handle most of these things, if not all, before they make a move here.

Buying your first car in Panama can be a daunting task. Our past tour guests enjoy Oscar’s expertise in used car buying. Oscar has purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in vehicles for clients in the last five years, so he knows his stuff. Tell him what you are looking for and what your budget is, and he will search the county for the best deals on quality, low-mileage vehicles. He will handle all the paperwork also. Many of our past guests have had Oscar get them a car before they arrive, so it is ready for them the day they arrive. The money-saving here can be huge, not to mention the stress savings.

Our pet relocation assistance for our past guests starts at only $250. We have also saved several guests thousands here, as many people have problem pets—too big for the commercial carriers or banned breeds. We have saved several guests over $13,000 with private jet sharing to get those problem pets down here.

Cell Phones. We cannot believe how many expats we have met here who have been here for years, live here permanently, and still pay for a US cell plan with international roaming, as they think that is the only way to keep their US number and receive their one-time passcodes for online banking. Many people have been paying $50 – $70 monthly for a US phone while living in Panama.

We will show you how to keep your existing phone number and pay nothing for it. Get a Panama cell with $30 monthly, including international data roaming for when you return for visits. We will show Canadians how to do the same, with a minimal monthly cost. Your friends and family will be able to call and text you as usual, and you, them, and you will still be able to receive those one-time passwords—all at no cost to you.

We will assist our technically challenged guests with this setup.

Banking in Panama can be complicated, and getting money here can be challenging. But, we have perfected this over the years; we will assist you in setting up the right bank here and show you how to send international wires and about 1/2 the costs of other expats who have not taken our tours. Canadians, the exchange rate is even more complicated, yet we can save you even more by using the proper methods to move money to Panama.

Receiving mail and packages in Panama. Panama has no door-to-door postal system, so you must use a third-party freight forwarder to ship products from the US. You can ask ten residents in Panama about this, and you will get ten different answers on who they use and what they pay.

Over the last ten years, we have compiled the information, and depending on your online shopping habits, we will advise you on the best method that will be efficient, save you the most money, and protect you from losing your packages. We can show you how to ship heavy but small packages for as little as 50 cents a pound or ship pillows and bedding for as little as $2.50 per pound.

Some of these savings can really add up. Our goal as a company is for those who take our tours to save as much as or even more than the cost of the tour, and we have proven to be able to do that.

So, please join us on our 7-day Cross Country Tour, our 3-day Chiriqui Highlands Tour, or a fully Customizable Private Tour.


Retire in Panama Tours

It’s more than a tour… it’s an experience.

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