Panama is an excellent country to move to or retire in with several expat communities and wonderful visa programs aimed at absorbing retirees and other members of the public into the Panamanian economy, there are a few pros and cons of living in Panama. These pros and cons are facts most people may tend to neglect before moving to Panama, and they include;
1.Provision of Retiree benefits
When it comes to the provision of excellent and thought-provoking programs aimed at appreciating the years of meritorious service offered by retirees, Panama has some of the best expat locations in the World. It has a combination of highly effective retirement plans which can subsidizes the cost of living, access to healthcare and loans. It has one of the highest combinations of expat communities which are ready to receive retirees and offer them the best retirement plans you could ever imagine.
The Panama Pensionado Visa is one of a kind in the world, offering people from other countries receiving a permanent pension of $1000 a month or more, the ability to retire in panama and receive permanent residency. There is no investment required, and an lawyer can get all the paperwork completed for about $1500. Once you receive your permanent residency visa, you will qualify for many discounts, that can really lower your cost of living in panama. Below is the current list of discounts you will receive.
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
Then there is the Friendly Nations Visa, also an unique visa to any other country in the world. This Visa is restricted to 50 countries, see the list here, that qualify. The process is pretty simile, you hire a lawyer, who sets up a corporation for your, you deposit $5,000 into the corporations bank account, and the process will get you a permanent residency visa. Your fees for the lawyer, application process and corporation will be about $3,000. Once you receive your permanent residency, you can do what ever you want with the $5,000.
This visa is great for younger people, that want to move here, and maybe open a business, or for online worker who can really work from anywhere in the world. This visa can also lead to a work visa or even naturalization.
2.Favorable weather condition
Panama experiences an all year long summer with a long rainy season and relatively short dry season. By virtue of its location on the equator, Panama falls within the Tropical Monsoon Climate, and its position below the Atlantic Hurricane belt excludes it from a long list of places prone to hurricanes. The average temperature recorded throughout the year is around 30° C (86° F) degrees which is not affected by season. Panama experience two major seasons; la seca (dry season) and la lluviosa (wet season).
One of the greatest things about Panama is it’s diverse climate. In the above paragraph, I say the average temperature is 30 ° C, there are many cooler mountain areas. Many people who choose to retire in Boquete, did so because of its cooler temperatures at a 1100 meter elevation. Daytime highs of 25 ° C (77 ° F) to evening lows of 15 ° C (60° F)
3.Healthcare delivery system
As far as healthcare delivery is concerned, Panama offers one of the best quality infrastructures in the Americas. If you intend to move to or retire in Panama, access to healthcare in Panama should not be a challenge. Regardless of your chosen location in Panama, it is quite impossible to come across a place without potable drinking water, high-speed internet connection, and reliable power supply.
There is a private health care system and a public one, both very affordable, but the private one, there are less waits, and a like more like a North American system, but affordable. I am a 54 year old male, and I pat $108/month for $1,000,000 a year full coverage health insurance, with a $1000 annual deductible.
A doctor visit is $12, blood tests $10, x-rays $15, so you see, very affordable.
4.Cost of living
When it comes to value and variety, no location does it better than Panama. This is a place where you get what you pay for. With as low as $1000 you can live a comfortable life in Panama with good access to health, transportation and a full month worth of grocery supplies. Renting a home in Panama is relatively cheap, in the more rural areas, and the friendly locals are always available to assist you with all that you may need on a daily basis. Life in Panama is generally easy and breezy.
The highest cost in Panama of course is your month rent. In panama city, you can pay $1500 a month or more, in the more rural area, you can pay as little as $350. Things where you will really save are car insurance, healthcare insurance, groceries, is you shop in the local markets, cell phone will cost you $20 a month, or less, so there really are some good savings. Check out cost of living in Panama 2019 for a more comprehensive look.
5.Economic and political stability
In the past few years, the country has been enjoying a good level of economic development which is aimed at transforming even the least of the communities into choice locations for people. Regardless of the location of the town, it is quite impossible to visit a Panamanian town without an adequate supply of social amenities such as potable drinking water, fast internet connection, improved healthcare system and social centers.
One of the most significant and mind troubling factors about living in Panama is the language barrier. The people of Panama are Spanish speakers and depending on your location; you may be forced to learn the language if you are to communicate and perfectly blend into your environment.
While learning the language is a plus, you will find in the expat communities, possible to get by with English, but you will fit in better, knowing some Spanish. Some will find it frustrating going into a store to buy something, and not know how to ask for it.
2.Latin America is slower at making decisions
Things here move a lot slower than other parts of the world. Sometimes you may think that the person you are dealing with, just doesn’t care, but in face its just the way it is here, you need to be patient. This same spirit is replicated in their personal and professional lives. If you want to get things done in a Panamanian office, you will need to develop a special ability to keep your cool because it will require a lot more time then you think it should.
Panama is known to have one of the most accommodating and inviting people in the world; their people give a warm welcome to newcomers thus assisting them to enjoy a stress-free transition. Before you decide to just pick up and move here, come on one of our tours, to help you decide where you want to live, and if Panama is really the right place for you.
Retire in Panama Tours
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