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  • Writer's pictureYuka

10 Reasons to Retire in Panama

Panama has been sitting at the top of the list of the world’s best countries to retire.

Why do people choose Panama? The fact is most people don’t know much about Panama. Panama Canal, of course. But what else? I am not going to talk about Panama’s famous attractions today but I would like to share the 10 reasons why people choose to retire in Panama.

1. Safety

Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America. In general, Panamanians don’t like confrontation. The nature of their personality is very relaxed and friendly. Most people greet you on the street even if they don't know you. You will see police officers on the street regularly, but they are most likely stopping to check for speed or license. Panama does have some crime, just like any other country, but it is usually petty theft.

2. Weather

Panama has two seasons. The wet season and the dry season. The wet season is from April to December. The dry season is from late December to late March. If you were to visit Panama, I would highly recommend the dry season. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 75°F to 90°F(23 to 32°C). Panama has about 100 microclimates, so weather varies greatly depending on where you live. You can choose from beach communities, cool mountain areas, grassy highlands or modern city life.

And the best part is, Panama is located away from Central America’s hurricane belt. No hurricane and no snow storm, how great is that.

3. Currency

Panama uses the U.S. dollar. Even if you are not from the U.S. it is easy to convert money.

4. Housing

The cost of housing varies based on where you live and what you are looking for. Compared to North American house prices, the cost of houses in Panama is very affordable. Of course ocean view or beach front houses are more expensive but you can still purchase houses under $400,000 for ocean view houses. You can also buy land and build your own.It may take longer but it is possible to build your house in Panama. Check our website for the House for Sale and contact us for house viewing. We are happy to find your dream home.

5. Insurance and Health care

Affordable health and auto insurance. Some people choose not to have health insurance here in Panama. Pricing varies in healthcare depending on the emergency and location, in most cases, public healthcare is very affordable in Panama. But if you were to have a complicated surgery, it is not cheap, of course. That is why having health insurance is a safe way to go, especially in a foreign country.

Compared to the health care in the United States, you can get quality healthcare at a cost 50 to 70% lower than in the U.S.. As for Canadians, medical costs may be free but the waiting time is extremely long. Try to book an MRI in Canada, you will easily wait for a year or two. Panama has some of the highest quality healthcare systems in Latin America. Eye exam is free as long as you purchase glasses. Dentists are way affordable. Even for the medical cost for the pets. Veterinarians are quite affordable as well. This reason itself is attractive enough to move to Panama.

6. Amazing Pensionado Program

The Panama Pensionado program is considered to be one of the best retirement programs in the world. Here are some of the incentives they offer.

For the most updated information, please check the government website. (Updated on January 19, 2023)

• Import tax exemption for household goods.

• Import Tax exemption to import a new car every two years (please note that you will need to pay other taxes when importing your car. You will be exempt from the import tax only)

• 25% discounts on utility bills.

• 25% discount on airline tickets and 30% on other transportation.

• 15% discount on loans made in your name.

• 1% reduction on home mortgages for homes used for personal residence.

• 20% discount on doctor's bills 15% on hospital services if no insurance applies.

• 15% off dental and eye exams.

• 10% discount on medicines.

• 20% discount on bills for professional and technical services.

• 50% discount on entrance to movie theatres, cultural and sporting events.

• 50% discount at hotels during Monday to Thursday, 30% on weekends.(Note* You need to book directly through the hotel. Contact the hotel and find out)

7. Safe water

Tap water is generally drinkable in Panama. Based on the Pan American Health Organization website, only 65% of the population has access to safely managed water services. Significant proportion of the Latin American and Caribbean population still lacks adequate access to water and sanitation services.

8. High Speed internet

If you are working remotely, high speed internet is essential. Panama has by far the fastest fixed broadband speed in the region, Cost is from $40 to 60 average.

9. Beaches and beautiful nature

Panama is a truly beautiful country. The Pacific coastline of Panama has many beaches, ranging from calm waters to the best surfing beaches where tides change frequently. Some beaches have black sand and some have pearl-white sand. Even if you are not into beaches, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain side of the country where the weather is much cooler.

10. People

I am a big fan of Panamanians. They take pride in their culture and traditions. Panamanians are very kind people. Even if your Spanish is poor, don’t be shy. They will do their best to help you. Respect their culture, be patient and be polite. They will be polite back to you as well.

I hope these lists will help you understand some of the benefits of retiring in Panama. We have chosen Pedasi as our destination. Pedasi is located at the south-eastern tip of the Azuero Peninsula on Panama’s Pacific coast. It is a quiet little fishing town. For people who love beaches, Pedasi is a paradise. People in Pedasi are generally laid-back and very friendly. Both locals and expats live as one community and respect each other. Come and stay in Pedasi for a week or two. Pedasi is a special place. You will understand why people choose Panama to retire.

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