Why Panama. The trend to seek a retirement or alternative home abroad seems to be growing among people from many countries around the globe but especially among North Americans and Europeans. And Panama is becoming popular with these new-style immigrants.
“International Living”, the renowned magazine and recognized expert for promoting U.S. expatriate lifestyles, has rated Panama as the best place to live outside of the United States. The American Association of Retired People’s (AARP) Modern Maturity Magazine, has ranked Panama’s town of Boquete as fourth in its listing of the “Fifteen best cities in the world for U.S. retirees.”
Panama’s popularity as a retirement destination is easy to define. This country’s mixture of a high quality of life, easy life-style, retirement incentives and modern amenities allow persons to change their location and lives, with very little problem.
** (Check) Panama is one of the safest countries in the world and has the highest rating for tourist safety from the prestigious Pinkerton Intelligence Agency. Panama is a constitutional democracy with no dictator and no standing army. Due to the presence of the Panama Canal, Panama also enjoys international protection and monitoring.
Those settling in Panama can expect the tab for day-to-day living to be significantly less than in “first-world” countries. Nice apartments and homes can be rented for $1,000 or less per month. Grocery prices are 25%-30% lower. A meal at a good restaurant can be enjoyed for $15-$40. First-run movie tickets are $3.75. Concert tickets range from $20-$100. Maid service is around $180 per month. Gardeners cost under $10 a day. A bottle of Scotch whisky can be found for $6.
Purchasing just what you need is not usually a problem. Due to its mixture of cultures and positioning as an international trade hub, Panama offers a wide range of top-quality goods and, therefore, shopping options.
Keeping in touch with friends, family and the rest of the world is no problem. High-band Internet connectivity, cellular phone networks and ADSL in-home phone capability are readily accessible. Full service satellite and cable TV are common.
A retirement visa for Panama brings with it the privilege of importing personal and house belongings with you tax-free and a new car (for private use) every two years. If all this is not beneficial enough, English is spoken widely enough so chances are you can converse with at least some of your new neighbors.
Making the most of their money is, of course, a prime concern for retirees. The U.S. dollar has always been the republic’s currency. Panama is known for its banking center, which boasts branches from nearly all of the international banks. The cost of living is reasonable and is much less than in the States and Europe. Inflation rates are some of the lowest known.
Why have so many people chosen Panama for their new home?
To begin with, Panama is a beautiful country. It has a diversity of flora and fauna that is found in no other place, due to the Isthmus’ position as the crossroads of North and South America. Potential residential opportunities range over city, mountain, beach and island communities so that a special place can be found to suit anyone’s taste. Once you decide where to settle, you have the security of knowing that, as a foreigner, you can own property easily and are granted exactly the same rights and protections as a Panamanian property owner.
Some of the reasons for foreigners to obtain a second residency in Panama are catalogued in the following excerpt from the website of Panama Offshore Services which we quote with their permission:
- Have a second home overseas in a tropical country where they can live or visit.
- Have a ‘safe haven’ to escape to in the event of war or any type of civil unrest that may threaten their family.
- Actually live in Panama permanently, perhaps after retirement.
- Relocate to a tropical, stable, safe country where it is very economical to live in comparison with most other developed countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, etc.
- Relocate to a more tax friendly country where foreign earned income, capital gains, and interest income is not taxed.
- Relocate to a country where frivolous lawsuits are not recognized by courts, and assets can be truly protected through a corporate shield, without the risks of ‘piercing the corporate veil’.
- Relocate to a country where one can begin business operations economically, and without heavy restrictions, regulations, or taxes that hinder the growth of the business.
- Relocate to a country where real estate is still affordable for purchasing homes in the city or land at the beaches, mountains, lakes, etc.
- Uses US Dollar as its currency.
- Has a nearly perfect climate. Has banking conveniences and a strong financial service sector.
- First class health and medical services.
- Offers direct daily flights from seven major US cities.
- One of the fastest growing tourism sectors in all of the Americas.
- There is a great variety of attractions all in close proximity.
- Pacific and Atlantic oceans only 50 miles apart.
- Wide variety of beaches, ecotourism destinations, sport fishing opportunities, and golfing.