Panama City, Panama
Live from International Living's

Did you know Panama does not have hurricanes?

There are some small beach towns in Panama that you've most likely never heard of...where you can still buy a home on a long stretch of beach, and pay very little for it.

If you were to live in one of these towns, you could sit on your terrace and watch young surfers trying out the waves or whales frolicking with their babies. You might see giant sailfish flipping and diving...

There are also some little mountain towns in the interior of Panama where you can still buy a home or a large parcel of land for a very low price. Chances are it will come with a babbling brook...they're everywhere here.

It's also likely this land will have waterfalls and hiking trails on it...or that you'll see wild toucans and parrots and flowers and vines of every tropical variety and color.

The tall grass waving in the breeze will be so green it may remind you of Ireland—although you can be very sure you'll never suffer any cold weather here. The land is so fertile that a broken tree branch stuck into the ground will quickly sprout and blossom into a full-grown shade tree.

As I said, you've probably never heard of these little hamlets...but you will soon, mark my words.

And of course, there are also all those well-known Panama expat communities...like Boquete and Coronado, where life is tranquilo and there's not much angst for the new expat. Don't speak Spanish yet? No worries. Don't know anyone? Not a problem. There are lots of other folks just like you...except they're been here longer. They can tell you about the best doctors and medical clinics, the best places to bank, to eat, to get your car repaired, or to take your dog for grooming or medical care.

They're also the best resources when it comes to finding out how much it really costs to live in Panama, right down to the nickels and dimes. After today, that's something I (and the more than 400 people in the room with me today) know for sure right now.