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Live Like a King on Less

ocean-viewMost people’s portfolios have been hit hard. They’ve come back some but we’re still down. People who are close to retiring are the most worried. However, we all have to think about having enough money for retirement.

We have three options – invest more, risk more, or plan to live on less when we do retire. None of those sound particularly attractive, do they?

Unless you can live like a king or queen on less!

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That’s why a recent article in Business Week caught our attention. It says that Panama is becoming a popular destination for retirees. It’s been going on for a few years now but really seems to be gaining momentum.

We hasten to say that, even if you’re not thinking about retiring soon or you wouldn’t even consider retiring outside your country, you still might consider putting Panama on your list of vacation destinations.

In addition to the Business Week article, we referred to PanamaInfo.com as a source for the information we’ll discuss today.

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georgeFrom everything I saw as we prepared for this show, I’d say a trip to Panama is in our future! I want to check it out.

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marylynnI’m on board, George. When are we leaving? Actually, let me rephrase that … I’m good with our weather this time of the year. I want to go there in the winter when it’s freezing cold here and 80 degrees there!

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Climate

It’s tropical and humid during the day most of the year in the highlands, which includes the capital of the country, Panama City. Temperatures range between eighty and ninety degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

The main tourist season corresponds with their dry season which runs from mid-December through May. In the rainy season, though, it rains for an hour or two about every day. That’s also when the hotels offer special rates.

Topography

Panama is an isthmus that connects Central America with South America. Hence the Panama Canal!

It has about 1,000 miles of coastline and 1,500 islands nearby. A mountain slices through the middle of the country. Panama also has five million acres of parks and more species of birds than the U.S. and Canada combined.

Cost of living

The main reason retirees are flocking to Panama is its low cost of living. The government encourages retirees to spend their golden years there. Seniors get discounts on just about everything.

For example, they save 50% on tickets to concerts, the theater and movies. A movie ticket normally costs $4 (dollars are the currency in Panama). Seniors pay $2.

They also get 25% off at restaurants, a 30% discount on most travel, except flights on which they save 25%. You name it and seniors likely get a discount, even on things like dentist and doctor visits.

Not that the price is high, relatively speaking, in the first place. The Business Week article points out that Panama has first-class health care at Third World prices.

Seniors even get a 50% discount on home closing costs. Once you buy your property, you have all the ownership rights any Panamanian would have.

And you don’t have to pay any property taxes for 20 years or pay any tax on your foreign income.

To give you some perspective on how inexpensive homes are there, the Business Week article mentions a couple who bought a 3,000 square foot oceanfront penthouse in 2007 for $250,000. At that time, it would have cost $3,000,000 to buy that same property in Miami.

Of course, it’s a lot cheaper in Miami now, but it’s still not close to $250,000. Speaking of Miami, Panama is only about a 2½ hour flight from Miami.

There’s a local joke that Panama is just like Miami. Except that it is safer. More people speak English. There are no hurricanes. And Americans are more popular!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can you have too much money?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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The Great Competitor

By Bigg Success Staff
09-19-08

Peak Performance

poetry 

The late Grantland Rice enjoyed an incredible career, eventually becoming known as the Dean of American Sportswriters. He knew all the great athletes and coaches of his era – Knute Rockne, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Red Grange and more. He also had a penchant for poetry, including this one – the most powerful poem we’ve ever read …

The Great Competitor
By Grantland Rice

Beyond the winning and the goal,
beyond the glory and the fame,
He feels the flame within his soul,
born of the spirit of the game,
And where the barriers may wait,
built up by the opposing Gods,
He finds a thrill in bucking fate
and riding down the endless odds.

Where others wither in the fire
or fall below some raw mishap,
Where others lag behind or tire
and break beneath the handicap,
He finds a new and deeper thrill
to take him on the uphill spin,
Because the test is greater still,
and something he can revel in.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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The Respect Reward: Letting Your People Know They Matter Matters

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Leadership Skills

people

Judy Bardwick wrote an interesting book called One Foot Out the Door: How to Combat the Psychological Recession That is Hurting American Business. In her book, she claimed that as many as two-thirds of America’s workforce feel insecure about their future.

Ineffective leaders reinforce this feeling by scolding employees publicly while being stingy with praise. This results in their troops feeling unappreciated.

Effective leadership calls for the opposite approach.
Let your people know what you expect from them. Set high, yet achievable, goals. Let them know that you realize you’re asking a lot, but you have confidence in their ability to do it.

Then let them do it. Praise them publicly when they do well. Offer constructive criticism privately when they don’t.

The reward for respect
Bardwick says that there’s a direct relationship between leaders who treat their employees like this and positive outcomes. People who are respected and trusted work more efficiently and effectively. They feel like they are part of something bigger. That they matter.

As a leader, letting your people know they matter matters a lot.

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