So far, 5 day’s into our expat adventure, I have to say I have not detected any mistakes yet. I’m sure something will crop up eventually but as of today, June 2,2013,we are feeling as though all our research and planning has really paid off. Also our mindset is a huge help in this regard because we are very relaxed and ready to just chill! To worry and fret about things and have very specific expectations would lead to extreme frustrations and unrealistic outcomes. Things are different here and we are prepared to face whatever comes our way. We expect to begin to experience some difficulty in some way but it’s too soon to know what they may end up being.
We are still debating on when we will buy a car, how we will do it, where we will do it and what car we will buy. We know already that we will eventually have two cars , one new or newer SUV for me to drive and a used pick up truck for Scott to use. We have been looking on line and talking to our friends to find out what dealerships are in David . There are Toyota, Hyundai, Mitsubitshi, Honda, Ford, Suzuki, Kia. There are also two men in town who come very highly recommended by every expat we speak to . Apparently they both help expats buy cars and get all the necessary license and registration and insurance and inspections done. One guy is known as Cowboy Dave and Keith is the other guy who we actually saw today at One Eyed Franks. Scott sent Keith an email today asking him a few questions. We are thinking it might be prudent of us to wait to buy the new car until we have our Pensionado visa because it’s our understanding that when we have that we can defer the import taxes on the new car,( it’s one of the perks of this particular visa) . This could amount to several thousand dollars so it’s probably a good idea to consider waiting for that benefit to click in for us. Scott is hoping to get some answers regarding what is available and what is the best way to proceed in regards to buying a vehicle here. We are in no hurry to buy a car because so far,(it’s only been 5 days) we find taking taxi’s and walking to be quite easy to get around.
I began thinking about mistakes about moving overseas because I was reading another blog written by someone who just recently moved to Boquete. One of his posts was listing some of the things he considered mistakes for him and none of them seemed to be things that have even remotely registered for us as mistakes. His was not buying a car before or just when they got here and not speaking the language and bringing too many belongings from his country of origin. Hmmmmm, I wonder how many pairs of shoes he brought? I’m sure we will eventually have a list of things we would do differently but as of right now we seem to be cruising along just fine and enjoying the fruits of many years of research and planning, a very open mind and a sense of humor along with an appreciation for a culture and community that we hope to integrate ourselves into with time. So far we are relaxing, exploring, recuperating from surviving our exit strategy from the States and finding our bearing with each passing day.
This indigenous couple were strolling into town ahead of us on Saturday night, Sooo adorable!!
Be sure to investigate the deferment of the import taxes on a new car. It is my understanding that you will have to pay them if and when you sell that vehicle, unless you sell it to another Pensionado Visa holder and then they would have to pay them if they sold it to a non Pensionado Visa holder. One way or another Panama is going to get their import taxes.
BTW, we are using Keith to find us a vehicle and he has already saved us more than the cost of his services by knowing exactly what to look for as regards to different vehicles, mainly because the vehicles that are imported into Panama are not necessarily built like similar models that are sold into the U.S. market.
From the pictures you sent today, it looks like you are living in a land of color!! Tell where you saw that beautiful parrot. It reminds me of some I once saw in a Sea World in Florida.
Before we left for Uruguay last year I practiced and practiced learning/speaking Spanish. But it was truly frustrating. My retention level was about zero. We’ve since discovered two apps that you might like. The first was a translation program where you typed in your question or comment and it would translate that into the language you chose. The recipient then responds in their language it’s translated back to you. It’s a slow process but it really helped us a lot. Another friend of ours went to Japan and he said he used an app that you just speak your question and then it translates it and vice versa when they respond. For those of us linguistically challenged these apps just might be ticket.
Thanks Linda, Are you living in Uruguay now? That was one of the first places we researched, we spent Five weeks exploring and loved it. The distance from the States was one of the big drawbacks for us but we did enjoy our time there. I have one of those apps and its great because it actually records what you say and translates it! And the best part is that it’s completely downloaded onto my iPhone, some of the translator apps you need to have wifi for it to work, so I really like this one. BY THE WAY, how is your spanish now? Yikes! They speak soooo fast in Uruguay! And the Portuguese influence in the spanish made is almost unrecognizable for us. Cheers!
It’s my understanding that you only have to pay import duties if you actually import a car. Buying a new one from a dealership does not count, the car is already here. You used to be able to bring a new car in every two years but that didn’t help the dealerships here so they cut that benefit out of the visa.
I’ve heard very good things about Cowboy Dave and Keith. They seem to be very fair. We also used a local “facilitator” from Pedasi to buy our used SUV and were very happy with the experience. One thing that you might not know is that if you buy a vehicle in say Chitre you can’t register it in Bouquete unless you transfer the registration. Like the states and provinces in North America. Even though all the plates are just “Panama”.
Yes, there will be several things you wished you didn’t pack and/or bring with you. But how do you really know until you actually live here for a while? Only you know what you want your lifestyle to be like. Most of the guys will say tools, tools and more tools. I have to agree. And a generator, and a lawn mower… For me I thought I had too many linens when we moved here. Nope, wish I would have brought more. I didn’t realize how much I would have to wash! LOL!
There are many things to ponder. Take other people’s advice and disseminate at will. But don’t fret. It will all work out. After all this is Panama! 🙂
Beautiful picture of the Scarlet Macaw coordinating with the Ngobe Bugle couple!
Holly, that Macaw is absolutely beautiful 🙂 That couple walking into town does look so sweet 🙂 The walk it’s self looks so beautiful and the scenery on the walk is amazing:) I am sooooo happy for you both:) Just keep enjoying your new home, Ihave faith you two togather can handel anything that comes you way for sure 🙂 Love Mom xxoo