Retiring in Panama can be comfortable yet exciting. Convenient, yet still charmingly rough around the edges. For the potential retiree or foreign resident, Panama offers big and unequaled advantages— great weather, a low cost of living, a foreign-resident-friendly tax system, one of the best banking systems in the region, a stable political situation, a bright economic outlook, and the world’s best program of discounts and perks for foreign retirees…better than the famed pensionado program that operated in Costa Rica throughout the 1980s.
Panama is at its best ever; no wonder it´s quickly become a top retirement haven. You will fall in love with this multifaceted tropical country where they can choose to live in cosmopolitan and exciting Panama City, at a calm sunny beach like Coronado, or up at a cool quiet mountainside town like Boquete.
If you’re the kind of retiree that rushes south when winter comes along, you’ll appreciate the year-round warm, tropical climate in Panama.
Panama’s Retirement Benefits
You will be hard pressed to find another country who provides the same level of retirement benefits that Panama does. The pensionado visa makes retiring in Panama easy, even if you are well below the typical retirement age. There are a seemingly endless amount of benefits, from discounts to conveniences. The discounts typically range anywhere from 15% to 50% and include restaurants, medications, transportation, and a whole lot more. If you are moving to Panama and need to import your household items, there is a tax exemption, as well. Other conveniences include special programs at participating businesses and even express lines, where retirees are able to forgo the usually lines, at banks and some government institutions.
Panama is a wonderful place to be retired. There is always something to do or see; go to the theater, catch a movie, see a conert, or attend the regular sporting matches. All of these activities are provided for half-off when you retire in Panama. That means your current entertainment budget could be cut in half, as well. As Panama is the hub of the Americas, it is attracting people from all over the Americas, and even beyond. With these new people and cultures so comes their cuisines, giving you the chance to taste some of the best meals; from Caribbean to Chinese, French to Italian. Whats more, you are able to enjoy dining at restaurants and save on the bill, as restaurants in Panama give retirees anywhere from 15% to 25% off.
See our Panama Visa and Residency Information section for more information about the benefits of retiring in Panama.
Reasons to Retire in Panama
Panama as the world’s top retirement haven isn’t news. It’s another simple fact. That is, following are the top reasons why Panama is the world’s top retirement choice:
The cost of living is affordable. Outside Panama City, it remains downright cheap. You could retire to the beach in Las Tablas, for example, on the country’s Azuero Peninsula, on a budget of US$1,200 per month or even less.
The sun shines year-round. Panama City can be too hot and sticky for some retirees’ tastes, but, again, look beyond the capital, and you find pockets of near-perfect climates in some regions. If you prefer cool mountain temperatures to steamy sea-level ones, consider Boquete or, less discovered and therefore more affordable, Santa Fe.
The retiree’s path is well worn. This country has been attracting foreign retirees in growing numbers for more than a decade. It offers many and very user-friendly options for establishing foreign residency if you want to live here full-time, and it is home to established and welcoming communities of expats and retirees.
You can get by without speaking Spanish. We don’t recommend it, but, in Panama City, you don’t have to learn to speak Spanish if you don’t want to.
Health care in Panama is of an international standard, and Panama City is home to Hospital Punta Pacifica, the only hospital in Latin America affiliated with and managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
The cost of medical care is a bargain. Like everything, medical costs are higher in Panama City than elsewhere in the country, but, even in the capital, a doctor’s visit costs US$50 or less.
Local Panama health insurance (which can be good, comprehensive coverage, all you need living in this country) can cost US$100 per month or less.
The infrastructure is of a high standard. This is a place where things generally work. The Internet, cable TV, phone service, etc., are all as reliable as anywhere in the States. The roadways and highway systems being constantly expanded and improved. Panama City is an international banking center, meaning you find here banks from all over the world. ATMs are on every corner.
The currency is the U.S. dollar, so U.S. retirees have no currency-exchange risk or exposure.
Panama City is an international travel hub, very accessible from North America. The flight from Miami, for example, is about two and a half hours.
Panama’s pensionado program of special benefits and discounts for foreign retirees is the current Gold Standard. Retired in this country, you can save as much as 50% on everything from restaurant meals to in-country airfares, from prescription medicines to closing costs on your new beach house.
This is a nature-lover’s paradise, boasting some of the world’s best surfing, snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, birding, hiking, and adventure-travel opportunities anywhere on earth.
This is a safe, welcoming place to call home.
Retirees you meet in Panama aren’t losing sleep over their futures. They’re embracing them.
As everyone from the AARP to the New York Times has been pointing out for a long time, Panama is one of the world’s top destinations for retiring overseas.
Does that mean Panama is where you should retire? Nowhere is perfect, and no one place is right for everyone.
We strongly recommend that if you’re in the market for a place to reinvent your life in retirement (or otherwise), you should take a close look right now at what Panama has to offer you. The best way to do that is to come see Panama for yourself.
Tens of thousands of folks just like you have already chosen to retire to Panama. Many thousands of others are here starting businesses, investing in property, reinventing their lives and taking control of their futures.
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