?? on moving there from the u.s

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kittyhawk

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Mar 21, 2009
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We are in our late 40's and want to leave America. Things are getting bad here! We are deciding tween D.R. and Panama. Are their any Americans living there that can tell us the pros and cons of living in the D.R. Everyone we know is telling us to go to Panama. We are thinking of Sosua and buying a small home and just living simple. We are go-getters, not rich.. leaving here to live comfortably and safe there or Panama.
 
Nov 25, 2008
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Have you been in the DR? or Panama? you should first check it out to see if you like it, thousands of Americans have settled in the DR
what are you going to do with you free time? all these things you should check into before making a decision
personally I have been here over 20 years, been to Panama,wouldn't change it
 

Bob K

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Aug 16, 2004
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We are here full time, and have not looked back for a second. Last year at a "town hall meeting" here in Sosua the US ambassador said that there were over 100,000 US citizens living here part or full time.
You should come visit first. If you decide that the DR is correct for you make sure you come with enough $$ to live on. Making a living here is hard and the salaries are not anywhere near what you are used to.
There is lots of good information on this board. Use the Search link to find many of your answers.
Feel free to PM me if you want to.

Bob K
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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I hope before you make a move such as this you take the time and make the effort to learn enough about your options to make a decision based on where you want to GO, rather than that you simply want to ESCAPE. A person who simply escapes, and doesn't really know where he is going is essentially a fugitive, and there are enough of those in the DR.

"Things are getting bad here"? That could mean a lot of different things, but don't be surprised if you discover that many of the very things you want to leave behind are just as present in the DR, Panama, or anywhere else for that matter. It is becoming a smaller and smaller world.

I am also a U.S. citizen, and will be moving to the DR in 2011 for early retirement. I would say my decision to relocate there is based probably 90% on the things I like about the DR and 10% on the things I don't like about the US.
 
Jan 17, 2009
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We moved here three years ago. My husband loves it, me, not so much. Things are bad at home, but there are not easy here either. You also need to think what you're going to do with your free time.

If I were you, I would not even plan a permanent move, but would go to both countries and live there for a while, then make your choice.
 

Cibaeno

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I would agree on the option to spend a time there before you make a final decision! Check at least one of the places for a time of minimum 6 months, perfect would be to check both. Then make your decision.

I live in DR and I love it, but it is not the "paradise" you see in travel reports. Live isn?t easy here either. You live very comfortable if you bring a lot of money, if not you will have to work hard for your money too. And things go different here, so that you will need good nerves.

Have you never considered Costa Rica? It?s actually the safest and best-developing country in Latin America.
 

oriole100

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Oct 9, 2005
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Come down for 6-12 months. Don't buy till your sure. Long term rentals in a american style condo complex, for 2 br, should be $1000, $1300 US. Top of the line 24/7 elect, all A/C etc. See if you can do it. It's a totally different life and nothing is easy. We live here full time and love it, but it's not for everyone. What you see on vacation and what it's like living here are not the same. PM us if you have any questions and we will try to help.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Come down for 6-12 months. Don't buy till your sure. Long term rentals in a american style condo complex, for 2 br, should be $1000, $1300 US.
:paranoid:

I pay that for a modern 5000sf, 6br/6.5 house on a landscaped, fruit-treed, gated, walled acre in Jarabacoa...

Folks considering the Big Move should travel away from the tourist spots before they settle. There are a LOT of beautiful, clean, quiet, safe towns in the DR that are a LOT less expensive than the tourits areas.
 
Jun 18, 2007
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www.rentalmetrocountry.com
Lived in Panama 9 years, here in the DR 2 years. My personal opinion is that Panama is much better than the DR. Infra structure is much better, cost of living is much less, 24/7 electricity, drinkable water, better medical services and a lot safer than the DR with a lot less poverty and less corruption.
The best thing to do would be to visit both countries and then make up your mind.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Lived in Panama 9 years, here in the DR 2 years. My personal opinion is that Panama is much better than the DR. Infra structure is much better, cost of living is much less, 24/7 electricity, drinkable water, better medical services and a lot safer than the DR with a lot less poverty and less corruption.
The best thing to do would be to visit both countries and then make up your mind.
So why are you here?

Oh, you left out that Panama is MUCH hotter and humid...
 
Jun 18, 2007
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So why are you here?

Oh, you left out that Panama is MUCH hotter and humid...

Yes Panama is much hotter and more humid, never had a problem with it tough because there?s always a breeze.
The reason I?m here in the DR is because to take care of my 3,5 year old daughter. We were living in Panama and then my wife?s mom passed away so my wife had to come to the DR to take care of her kids which her mom was taking care of before. It was almost impossible to bring everybody to Panama and therefore I decided to move to the DR in order to make sure that my daughter would receive the kind of education that I?m used to and not the DR education.
So the reason that I moved here was not because I was in love with the DR, never even had visited the DR before. All I knew was that it was a popular vacation destination and that a lot of locals risking their lives leaving the country in yolas in search for a better future.
It?s not bad living here in the DR but as mentioned my PERSONAL opinion is that Panama is a lot better.
 
Mar 2, 2008
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"Have you never considered Costa Rica? It?s actually the safest and best-developing country in Latin America."

What are you basing that on? I've been to Costa Rica more than a few times, and I found it to crime-ridden, dirty, and very unsafe.

In fact, Costa Rica has a higher murder rate per capita than the US, and it is also higher than all other Latin American countries, excluding Columbia, Venezuela, and Mexico.

NationMaster - Murders (per capita) (most recent) by country

In my opinion, Panama is quickly following in Costa Rica's footsteps.

As other posters have noted, the world is much smaller than before, and crime seems to be increasing across the board, but the DR is at least understandable and manageable, at this point in time, and is relatively safe for an expat who is reasonably careful and aware.

It appears to me that Costa Rica is completely unsafe, and beyond redemption.
 
Jun 18, 2007
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"Have you never considered Costa Rica? It?s actually the safest and best-developing country in Latin America."

What are you basing that on? I've been to Costa Rica more than a few times, and I found it to crime-ridden, dirty, and very unsafe.

In fact, Costa Rica has a higher murder rate per capita than the US, and it is also higher than all other Latin American countries, excluding Columbia, Venezuela, and Mexico.

NationMaster - Murders (per capita) (most recent) by country


In my opinion, Panama is quickly following in Costa Rica's footsteps.

As other posters have noted, the world is much smaller than before, and crime seems to be increasing across the board, but the DR is at least understandable and manageable, at this point in time, and is relatively safe for an expat who is reasonably careful and aware.

It appears to me that Costa Rica is completely unsafe, and beyond redemption.

Yes it?s true that Costa Rica is a lot more dangerous than expected, lived there also one year but I do not agree that Panama is quickly following in its footsteps. Reckon that due to the world crisis violence is increasing in Panama but that will be the same as anywhere else in the world.
In Panama I never saw a guy selling frito carrying a 9mm, here in the DR it?s normal.
 

kittyhawk

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Mar 21, 2009
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thanx for all ur replys.. i have never done a forum b-4. But i figure asking other Americans is the way to go. In response to ur comments. We have been to many places on vacation b-4.. d/r in oct just for a day on a cruise. never panama. We can't live at either for 6 mos or so, don't have the $$/. we have to sell our home here and all items to move anywhere. so this move is a "no turning back" move. we know we want to be in a tropical place and we know they r primitive and not like here. Also what do u consider enough $$ to live on? we figure if we pay cash for a home there, we could live off of $1200 a month .. is that reasonabale? we have 2 cats and 2 dogs we have to bring also. since we won't work.. what will we doo all day? we live in Pa. now.. we are foster parents and hubby lays carpet. We are leaving the states as the news is more deapressign everyday and we fear of the worst to come. depression, riots, martial law microchipping us etc. Panam and d.r seem to be the cheapest places to go. we know any of these countries are not perfect, but i woudl rather live there and be comfortable than to lose everything here and be poor.. we would fly to either place for 4-5 days to check it out and find a place to live ( not into renting, plus anmals) Will we find toehr Americans to hook up with so it isn't just him an dI 24/7? Thsi is a big deal for us, that's y I am asking others. Would it be safe for me to go to the mall myself? Have any of you homes been robbed? How are the cops? Are their vets to tkae dogs too? how are the doctors and hospitals, dentisits? we are in good health.. nothing wrong.. i am 46 and hubby is 55.. are groceries cheap? furntiure? cars? everyday stuff?? thanx for any input>>
 
Jun 18, 2007
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thanx for all ur replys.. i have never done a forum b-4. But i figure asking other Americans is the way to go. In response to ur comments. We have been to many places on vacation b-4.. d/r in oct just for a day on a cruise. never panama. We can't live at either for 6 mos or so, don't have the $$/. we have to sell our home here and all items to move anywhere. so this move is a "no turning back" move. we know we want to be in a tropical place and we know they r primitive and not like here. Also what do u consider enough $$ to live on? we figure if we pay cash for a home there, we could live off of $1200 a month .. is that reasonabale? we have 2 cats and 2 dogs we have to bring also. since we won't work.. what will we doo all day? we live in Pa. now.. we are foster parents and hubby lays carpet. We are leaving the states as the news is more deapressign everyday and we fear of the worst to come. depression, riots, martial law microchipping us etc. Panam and d.r seem to be the cheapest places to go. we know any of these countries are not perfect, but i woudl rather live there and be comfortable than to lose everything here and be poor.. we would fly to either place for 4-5 days to check it out and find a place to live ( not into renting, plus anmals) Will we find toehr Americans to hook up with so it isn't just him an dI 24/7? Thsi is a big deal for us, that's y I am asking others. Would it be safe for me to go to the mall myself? Have any of you homes been robbed? How are the cops? Are their vets to tkae dogs too? how are the doctors and hospitals, dentisits? we are in good health.. nothing wrong.. i am 46 and hubby is 55.. are groceries cheap? furntiure? cars? everyday stuff?? thanx for any input>>

One thing to bear in mind is that living on an island is always more expensive than living on mainland.
My experience is that Panama is a lot cheaper than the DR. The basics are about half the price as here in the DR.
Your dollar will go a lot further in Panama than in the DR that?s for sure!!!
Even though in my opinion Panama is safer than the DR you can go to the mall here don?t worry
Panama is almost first world and the DR is still more third world in my opinion and it will be easier for you there to live of $1200p/m than in the DR.
 

mido

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May 18, 2002
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Lived in Panama 9 years, here in the DR 2 years. My personal opinion is that Panama is much better than the DR. Infra structure is much better, cost of living is much less, 24/7 electricity, drinkable water, better medical services and a lot safer than the DR with a lot less poverty and less corruption.
The best thing to do would be to visit both countries and then make up your mind.

May I ask you why you stayed here?

Sorry, I didn't see the other posts with the same subject!!
 

TOOBER_SDQ

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Nov 19, 2008
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What's with this "love it or leave it" BS attitude towards Frank?

He is the only poster that has been able to give first hand information about living in either country. This is what the OP was looking for.
 
Mar 2, 2008
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"What's with this "love it or leave it" BS attitude towards Frank?
He is the only poster that has been able to give first hand information about living in either country. This is what the OP was looking for."


I agree. Frank has been very forthcoming, and he always responds honestly, often with very useful information and suggestions.

I don't think that simply asking why a person has decided to stay is necessarily wrong, as sometimes the answers can be very instructive and helpful to anyone trying to make a choice.

The way Frank answered that question was as considerate and reasonable as any response I have seen.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Agreed. Please read the whole thread before jumping in.
To the OP - in case it makes a difference, please note that you are receiving advice from several nationalities here, not just 'Americans'.
May I as a mere European ;) who has lived in the DR for 10 years suggest you have a good look in this forum for detailed and up-to-date information on the cost of living, security, pets, etc. It's all there.
 
Jan 17, 2009
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<<We are leaving the states as the news is more deapressign everyday and we fear of the worst to come. depression, riots, martial law microchipping us etc. >>

I'm sorry, many would disagree with me, but if you have all those fears, moving to a developing country is not the solution. Depression in the US, means depression here too, but more likely than not, much more pronounced and longer. Losing everything? More likely to happen in developing countries where "democracies" hang from a thread than back home. IMHO

How's the police? Highly corrupted. Crime, sure there's crime like everywhere, but in some areas, a lot more than you'd like to see. Home robberies? Sure, all the time. We were robbed just a few months after we arrived, despite security on the premises and a guard dog (maybe an inside job, but the police didn't bother investigating). Con artists, everywhere. Medical care, deficient (good doctors, but not very good facilities, and when you find one, it could well be out of your way for a real emergency). Cost of living, it could be higher than some non urban centers in the US (lower if you compare to New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles).
 
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