Panama has been radar in this last two years by many international magazines as the best place for retirement in the western hemisphere. It is not by random why it has been chosen for it.
Here are some quotes from the press:
"The safest and most stable place in Central or South America with some of the world’s most beautiful mountain, beachfront and island property. The country also has the number one retiree incentive program in the world"
International Living Newsletter. September, 2002.
"Panama is now where Costa Rica was 10 years ago. Panama is getting ready to explode."
National Geographic Traveler. December, 2004.
Panama has won for five years in row the best place offshore retirement country by the Global Retirement Index of International Living. Of the eight variable taken in account, Panama came first in cost of living, in real estate cost, health services, , and in special benefits. Not all the variables weigh the same, but those in which the percentage is higher Panama ranked at the top.
The advantages of living in Panama is part of his history, it has been a transit area since the first Spaniards put a foot here. Its geographical position is one of its major assets, because it is the narrowest distance between the two great oceans in this planet.
- The Isthmus has an American-Style infrastructure, product of our historical relationship. There has been ninety years of American presence here. Up until 1999 when the Panamanian took control of the Panama Canal around 50,000 Americans made their home in Panama. This Americans call Panama their “Lost Paradise”. There are still around half of this amount today here so you never feel abound. That is why you will never feel that you are completely away from home. As many of us when stay for long periods of time in another country, you sometimes feel homesick. Here you will have familiar services and the comforts at home like a glove in your hand.
- Panama is safe, it has the highest rating for tourist safety from the Pinkerton Intelligence Services and a low crime rate.. Panama City, like in every big city has some neighborhoods better to avoid, but in general it is safe to go along in here and in the rest of the country.
- Panama is tourist friendly. It has been a melting pot, so there is a saying that Panama was “born globalized” before the term was in general use. As an historical crossroad, it became home to immigrants of many nationalities and got along friendly. English is spoken as a second language and the Panamanian people.
- Panama is close. Located in the middle of America it is at two and half hour from the United State. There is frequent flight to the main cities like Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, New York daily.
- The Dollar as the currency is a great convenience and can not be underestimated, this is one of the factors that Panama has the lowest inflation rate and the most stable economy in Latin America.
- Excellent health services. We got many English speaking doctors and dentists trained in the United States. There are hospitals with the latest in diagnosis and testing. One affiliate of the John Hopkins Medical Institute. Full coverage health insurance are a very reasonably price.
- Panama has no hurricanes or major earthquakes. There is saying “that God is Panamanian”. Panama is blessed by nature, is the only country in Central America that is absolute hurricane-free. It also has none of the destructive earthquake plaques as it neighbors.
- Good communication system. This small called developing country has high speed internet access that is more available than in many cities in the USA. Panama got the interconnection of fiber optic from Europe to Asia, done by the former Global Crossing. Phone services are excellent, unusual to many Latin American countries.
- Great restaurants with variety of taste. As a small melting pot you can taste very good sea foods, Italians, Spaniards and the best Chinese food in all Latin America. You can find them at a very reasonable price. If you have special needs in food as vegetarians, kosher or health conscious you can find it in some supermarkets.
- Good shopping malls including Multicentro, Multiplaza, Albrook Mall and Los Pueblos. You got 4 Price Costo . You can find everything you will find in the USA, but at a better price.
- Sophisticated Banking System. One of the best in the world with around 90 banks including Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Nova Scotia, Banco General, Banco Continental and Banistmo. There is not control in the amount of currency you can change. The banking system has a privacy law and is a tax heaven country, second only to Switzerland.
- Good schools to choose from. There are three accredited American school, usually in most capitals there are only one.
- Panama is affordable. Panama is beginning to promote itself as a tourism destination, so its prices are one of the best in the market.
- Panama has a great variety of attractions in a close proximity. Starting with the exotic tropical rainforests, beautiful mountains, Caribbean beaches, a Miami-style capital city, historical sites, diving, seven Indian cultures and the 8th wonder of the world engineering marvel The Panama Canal.
- The most accessible rainforests in the world. Thirty minutes from Panama City. As a narrow land bridge connecting two continents (north and south) has endowed some of the world’s most bio-diverse rainforests. Its national park covers five million acres. Panama has 944 recorded bird species, more than the US and Canada combined.
- Quality constructions. Panamanians architects attend US construction industry conventions and are updated frequently in constructions styles so you can see from the Spanish colonial up to the modern architecture.
- Panama has 90.8% of literacy in his population.
- Has the highest per capita income in Centro America.
- The water supply is safe and you can drink directly from the tap.
- We have religious freedom.
- Best Pensionado Program in the World. You can apply to a pensionado visa, not based on your age, you can have it if you are 18 years old, only if you can prove that you have a monthly pension of U $500.00 (and $100.00 more for any dependant). And you will have this benefits:
- Import duty exemption for all your household goods.
- Tax exemption to import a new car every two years.
- 50% discount off entertainment tickets (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events).
- 50% reduction in closing costs for home loans
- 50% off hotel if stays from Monday through Thursday
- 30% off hotels if stays from Friday through Sunday
- 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
- 25% off airline tickets
- 25% discounts on utility bills
- 25% off at restaurants
- 15% off at fast-food restaurants
- 20% off medical consultations
- 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies).
- 15% off dental and eye exams
- 10% off prescription medicines
- 20% off professional and technical services
- 15% off loans interest made in your name
- 1% less on home mortgages for homes used for personal residence( example interest at 6.00% yours at 5.00%)