Panama is a popular destination for retirees from all over the world. With its warm climate, welcoming people, vibrant culture, low cost of living, and beautiful scenery, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to retire in Panama.
If you’re considering retiring in Panama, there are some important things you need to know. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the Panama retirement information you need to make an informed decision.
Why Retire in Panama?
Panama has become increasingly popular amongst retirees over the years, and there are many reasons why. Firstly, the cost of living in Panama is significantly lower than in many Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and Europe. This means that retirees can enjoy an excellent quality of life without breaking the bank. Secondly, the healthcare system in Panama is first-rate, with many highly qualified doctors and hospitals that offer excellent care at an affordable cost. Thirdly, Panama offers a range of climates, from tropical beaches to mountainous areas.
There are many retirement communities in Panama, catering specifically to retirees from North America and Europe. These communities offer a range of amenities, including golf courses, fitness centers, and social events. While these communities can be more expensive than other options, they offer a sense of community and a built-in support system.
Where to Retire in Panama?
There are several beautiful places in Panama that are ideal for retirement. One of the most popular destinations is Panama City, which is a modern metropolis with all the amenities of a big city. Another popular place to retire in Panama is Boquete, located in the Chiriqui Highlands, surrounded by beautiful mountains and lush greenery. There are also other smaller towns like Coronado, Santa Fe de Veraguas, and Pedasi, all offering different experiences.
Here are some popular places to retire in Panama:
1. Panama City: The capital city has many modern amenities, and it’s home to a large expat community. It’s a vibrant and lively city with plenty of restaurants, shopping centers, entertainment options, and healthcare facilities.
2. Boquete: A small mountain town located in the Chiriquí province, Boquete is known for its cool weather, scenic views, and coffee plantations. It’s a peaceful and tranquil place to retire.
3. Coronado: A beach town located on the Pacific coast, Coronado offers beautiful beaches, golf courses, and a variety of outdoor activities. It’s also close to Panama City, making it easy to access modern amenities.
4. Pedasi: A sleepy fishing village located on the Azuero Peninsula, Pedasi offers a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. Its pristine beaches, warm weather, and natural beauty make it an ideal retreat for retirees.
5. El Valle de Antón: A picturesque town nestled in a volcanic crater, El Valle de Antón offers a cooler climate, lush vegetation, and stunning views. It’s a peaceful and tranquil place to retire, with plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching.
Activities for Retirees in Panama
Panama offers a wide range of activities that are perfect for active retirees. Beaches are abundant and offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports such as surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The interior of the country has jungles, rainforests, and nature reserves, which are ideal for nature lovers, hikers, and bird-watchers. Panama also has an excellent golf culture, with many courses located around the country. And finally, Panama is known for its vibrant culture, with festivals, music, and food just waiting to be explored.
Getting a Retirement Visa in Panama
If you’re considering retiring in Panama, you’ll need to obtain a Panama retirement visa. Panama offers a special retirement visa program called the Pensionado Visa, designed specifically for retirees. It requires proof of a monthly income of at least $1,000. Other requirements include a clean criminal record and a medical examination. It’s important to note that the retirement visa does not allow you to work in Panama, but you can still start a business or invest in the country.
The retirement visa grants retirees many benefits, including discounts on healthcare, transportation, and entertainment. And if the retirement visa is not right for you, can find a complete list of permanent residency visa options here.
Panama Retirement Visa Benefits
Here is a summary of the benefits of the Panama retirement visa:
- One time Duty tax exemption for household goods up to a total of $10,000.
- Duty exemption for importing a new car every two years.
- 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, concerts, sports)
- 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
- 25% off airline tickets
- 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday
- 30% off hotel stays from Friday through Sunday
- 25% off at restaurants
- 15% off at fast-food restaurants
- 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
- 10% off prescription medicines
- 20% off medical consultations
- 15% off dental and eye exams
- 20% off professional and technical services
- 50% reduction in closing costs for home loans
- 25% discounts on utility bills
- 15% off loans made in your name
- 1% less on home mortgages for homes used for personal residence
Tax Exemptions: As a qualified “Panama pensionado visa” holder, you will be entitled to:
- A one-time exemption of duties (taxes) on the importation of household goods up to US$10,000 in total value.
- 100% duty exemption on the importation or purchase of an automobile every 2 years.
Cost of Living
One of the main reasons people choose to retire in Panama is the low cost of living. Depending on your lifestyle, you can live comfortably in Panama for anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month. Housing costs are relatively low, with apartments and houses available for rent or purchase at reasonable prices. Food, transportation, and healthcare costs are also much lower than in many other countries. Read more about cost of living in Panama.
Panama has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season runs from December to April, while the rainy season runs from May to November. Temperatures are warm year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Panama has a good healthcare system, with both public and private hospitals and clinics available. Many doctors and medical professionals are trained in the US or Europe, and English is widely spoken. The cost of healthcare is much lower than in many other countries, making it an attractive option for retirees on a budget.
Panama has a thriving real estate market, with many affordable properties available for sale or rent. Many retirees choose to purchase property in Panama, as it can be a good investment and provides a sense of stability. However, it’s important to do your research and work with a reputable real estate agent.
Retiring in Panama can be a great option for those looking for a low cost of living, a warm climate, and beautiful scenery. With its range of climates, friendly people, and affordable cost of living, it is easy to see why so many retirees choose Panama as their home. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Panama has something for everyone.