Panama is #1 for Retirement Abroad
“1. Panama is the world's top retirement haven. Panama City no longer qualifies as cheap, but other spots in this country certainly do. Panama continues to offer the world's gold standard program of special benefits for retirees. The currency is the U.S. dollar, so there is no exchange rate risk if your retirement savings and income is in dollars. The climate in Panama City and on the coasts is tropical, hot, and humid. However, the climate in the highlands can be temperate and tempting. Panama is the hub of the Americas, meaning it's easily accessible from anywhere in North and South America and Europe. “
-U.S. News and World Report's 'The 18 Best Places to Retire Overseas 2012'
Panama ranks in the 10 least expensive cities to live in the world.
-Worldwide Cost of Living 2012—The Economist
The World’s Top Retirement Havens in 2012—Panama
'But some countries stand out for the amount and quality of benefits they offer foreign retirees. Panama tops the category with an organized program of discounts and perks called the pensionado. The program is open to foreigners and there’s no minimum age requirement.
With it you have serious discounts, money off that makes a big difference to your costs. Like 20% off any professional services used in Panama; 50% off for movies, theaters and sporting events; a 30% discount on public transport, 25% off the price of food eaten in a sit down restaurant; 15% off in fast food joints, 15% off in hospitals and private clinics…25% domestic flights on COPA…the list goes on…'
-International living 2012
"Panama is a smart choice for retirees who want it all—in a country that really wants them. Not only does it feature attractive retirement destinations—slee capital city, hot beach towns, cool mountain villages— but is also offers an unbeatable package of retiree benefits and discounts (and a currency tied to the U.S. dollar). Little wonder there has been a steady influx of expats in the past few years.
If you want a temperate highlands retreat surrounded by unmatched natural splendor, the mountain town of Boquete, an hour' flight from Panama City is close to heaven. Here expats settle amid rain forests, coffe plantations, burbling streams, and hummingbirds hovering over dazzling flowers. Boquete is decidedly gringo-friendly, offering a wide range of hack-home amenities, from a golf course to high end gated communities."
-AARP Magazing October 2010 'The Best Places to Retire Abroad'
Retire South of the Border
"When Sid and Barb Williams began searching for the perfect place to retire, they never thought they'd wind up living outside the United States. But they kept hearing about the benefits of Panama. The Central American country not only offers a warmer climate than their hometown of Cincinnati but also provides a lower cost of living, generous financial incentives for retirees, and a reliable and affordable health-care system. Plus, Panama uses the U.S. dollar, so there's no need to hassle with foreign currency."
"Panama City has the best infrastructure in all of Central America, but it no longer qualifies as super-cheap. Other places in the country can be affordable. But the cost-of-living and of real estate in the capital and other more developed parts of the country has risen to the point where I wouldn't include Panama on our list of bargain havens."
-U.S. News and World Report's 'The World’s Top Retirement Havens For 2011'
12 Top Foreign Retirement Havens
"Once a virtual colony of the U.S., Panama has come into its own as a place for Yankees to live. Attributes include good (but warm) weather, excellent health care and short plane rides back to the states. Cultural component is less than other places, but the dollar-based economy eliminates currency risk."
"Panama has almost everything: year-round sun, low taxes, massive discounts for seniors, first-world amenities, quality private hospitals, bird-filled rainforests, a dollar economy and easy flights from the U.S. Panama City is considered safest of all Central American cities, with worldly buzz because of the canal, and a World Heritage Site."
-Forbes 2009, 'The 10 Best Retirement Havens'
"Panama: If you're a sun-worshipper determined to protect your assets from overreaching Western governments, consider countries like Panama."
-Forbes Magazine, October 2009, 'Panama: One of the Top Ten Best Places to Retire in the World'
"Panama’s pensionado program, which entitles retirees to all sorts of discounts including 50 percent off movie and theater tickets and 30 percent off public transportation, has made this Central American country a hot spot for retirees looking for a less expensive option."
-Global Post, 2010, 'Top budget retirement destinations abroad'
Panama: The New Florida
Panama's quality health care, low costs, and proximity to the states are attracting American professionals as a retirement haven Prospective retirees: Panama wants you. The pitch? A plane ride just 21/2 hours from Miami enables the newly poor to swap a wretched retirement in the U.S. for one befitting a royal in the balmy Central American nation. Cash out! Emigrate! Feel rich! Panama—the new Florida.
Spin aside, Panama is increasingly popular among retirement-age types looking to hedge against, or skip out on, the recession. The Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank that studies the movement of people around the world, says the chief factors prodding professional-class Americans to flock to Panama include its First World health care available at Third World prices and the country's pensioner program, which offers some of the deepest retiree discounts in Latin America. Seniors get up to half off on nearly everything, including movies, motels, doctors' visits, plane tickets, professional services, and electric bills. Expats also pay no tax in Panama on foreign income. Nor are they required to pay property tax for the first 20 years.
The fact that a luxury beachfront mansion can be had for the same price as a dump in Daytona doesn't hurt, either. "We would have been looking at $3 million in Miami," says Jon Nickel of his 3,000-square-foot oceanfront penthouse in Panama City. Nickel and his wife, Gretchen, bought the place in late 2007 for $250,000, right after Nickel retired from his corporate law job in Portland, Ore., and sold the family's mortgage-free home for $800,000.
- Business Week, July 13, 2009
Panama City, Panama- # 1 Best Place to Retire Abroad.
- AOL Smart Money, June 2007
"Panama is the best place in the world to retire." A rating based on the low cost of living, stable government, clean air, climate, safety and outdoor recreation - from tennis and golf to river rafting.
- International Living, 2007
"Lock in a Visit to Panama for a Few Days or the Rest of Your Retired Life."
It's no surprise that travelers to Panama are going back in search of second homes, plots of land and much longer stays. Panama, small and manageable, is a vacationers paradise with a little bit of everything. From bird watchers to engineers wanting to marvel at the Panama Canal's mechanical wonders to beach lovers looking to take advantage of the country's three coastlines (Pacific, Caribbean and the Gulf of Panama), the country is much more than just the place that connects two important bodies of the world via a crucial man-made trade route.
- Frommers Guide 2006
"Content to Watch Bananas Grow, More Retirees Relocate to Panama"
With low housing and living costs, a stable political environment, relatively safe streets and that tropical climate, people in their 50's and early 60's are flocking to the Central American nation, rather than working for a few more years to scrape together enough money for a condo on the Florida coast. "We're seeing a significant number of Americans coming here to retire," said William Ostick, a spokesman for the united States Embassy in Panama City. Mr. Ostick said the embassy did not keep statistics on Americans who have moved to Panama to retire, but he said there were 25,000 to 30,000 Americans living there. - New York Times, April 2006
"Panama: Paradise Found-Where to Retire Abroad"- Panama is the only Central American country-and one of only 5 places in the world-that is recommended.
- Fortune Magazine 2005 Retirement Guide:
Janet 51 and Newton Osborne 68: The Osbornes had been thumbing through retirement community brochures from all over the U.S. when Newton, a professor of obstetrics at Howard University, considered the possibility of retiring in Panama—the country where he was born. "There are certain advantages to Panama," says Osborne, who has lived in the U.S. for 45 years and is planning to retire in the next few months. I won't have to shovel snow, and I won't have to pay property tax for the next 20 years." So in 2001 he took a trip to visit both a coastal and a mountain community. He chose the latter and brought Janet to Boquete a few months later to look at property. They purchased a lot on a hill overlooking a golf course and have built a three-bedroom white-stucco house with a red-tile roof (total cost: about $250,000). "You can hear the sound of rivers here," says Janet. "It's very peaceful."
- Fortune, July 2005
"In Panama, American retirees finding more paradise for less"
Boquete, Panama -- Golf course manager John Sutton had enough of lawyers, telemarketers, and the US government. So the San Diegan and his wife took early retirement, sold everything they owned, and moved to Panama.
The Suttons, who bought a house here last summer, exemplify the wave of American retirees who want to get away from it all -- far, far away. Each month, about 20 new ones turn up in this remote coffee-growing town in the mountains of western Panama, buying houses and starting new lives. It is the latest hot spot in Central America, a region that over the past decade has attracted increasing numbers of US retirees. "Boquete gave us the opportunity to have a great, comfortable lifestyle," said Sutton, 50, who with his wife, Dinah, had put $5,000 down on their new house without seeing it. Other US retirees are making similar moves, attracted by Panama's favorable tax treatment of foreigners, the relatively low cost of living, the lush surroundings, and the eternally mild climate.
- Los Angeles Times, February 2005
Retiring in Panama: The country has several things going for it that mesh with modern-day retirement plans. Panama has a reputation for being friendly and welcoming, and Americans are not new to Panama. Retirees can choose among quiet beach communities on the Pacific Ocean, the urban and modern Panama City, tropical Carribean islands, or Panama's highlands where year around spring makes sweaters comfortable in the evenings. "The best thing about living in Panama is that I feel relaxed and stress free here-beautiful scenery, climate and the people are so friendly" says Randy Moscorella formerly of Ojai, California. The frosting on the cake is an affordable cost of living and inexpensive real estate.
- Where to Retire Magazine, July 2005
"Hot Times in Panama-16 Beautiful untouched Islands and the most Beautiful Woman in the World"
"Panama is one of the world's rare places where in a matter of hours you can go from the wild untamed nature of the Pacific Coast to the laid-back influence of the Caribbean. The two coasts of Panama are different types of Paradise. The country is now considered "hot" from both and investment standpoint and for recreation. Retiring Americans are snapping up land and investment is taking place. From what I saw Panama stands poised to be the next Costa Rica."
- Islands magazine-Cover Story, June 2005
"Beauty and Tax Breaks Lure Buyers to Panama"
Little wonder that Panama is increasingly lighting up the radar screens of those searching for an affordable alternative to more traditional south-of-the-border retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, where escalating prices increasingly rival those along America's own beachfronts.
Touted as the "next Costa Rica" by travel magazines and newsletters like International Living, Panama is undergoing a land rush as its Tocumen Airport fills with plane-loads of eager foreigners with cash in hand.
Since 2001, once sleepy rural towns like Boquete, which AARP's Modern Maturity magazine named one of the world's best places to retire, have seen real estate prices rise as much as fivefold as developers transform farmland into high-end developments like Valle Escondido, a gated golf-course community where half-acre lots now sell for $100,000 and more. Prices in coastal areas like Bocas Del Toro, on the Caribbean Sea, have also skyrocketed, and a restoration under way in Panama City's historic Casco Viejo neighborhood has drawn foreigners eager to get a piece of its 330-year-old history.
Yet despite the price increases, property here remains a fraction of what one would pay for similar real estate in the United States. And with enticements like a 20-year suspension of property taxes to those who build houses or renovate in a historic district, and an income tax hiatus for those starting some small businesses, the opportunities are appealing not only for those seeking a place to retire but also for entrepreneurs.
- New York Times, February 2005
Panama: The Skinny on Six-to-Die-for Second Home Destinations-Your Piece of Paradise
Panama is the new Central American bargain where the US dollar- the market currency- goes a long way. A former gas company executive spent a year and a half researching a retirement spot with his wife before settling on a 2.4 acre lot on a beach resort near Coronado. "We wanted a tropical place with an ocean view in a politically and economically stable country" he said. "Panama just kept coming up."
- Conde Nast Traveler October 2004
How To Retire Abroad A trend that demographers say will only increase as baby boomers start cashing their Social Security checks: Americans are retiring in other countries where the prices are low and the living is easy. Hot spots like Costa Rica, Panama and Belize look like Florida circa 1970.
- Newsweek, March 14, 2005
"Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama Vie to Be the Next Florida"
"The quality of life, the cost of living is a lot better" than the U.S., says Mr. LaFoley, 56 years old, who owns a shopping center in Massachusetts. Countries like these are rolling out the welcome mat to Americans with a variety of financial incentives. The LaFoleys, for instance, are in Panama on a pensionado visa similar to what is available in Honduras, which lets them live there after proving they have $500 a month a piece in income. Panama also lets retirees import a car tax-free every two years, import $10,000 of household items tax-free, and buy property tax-free if it is the owner's only home.
- The Wall Street Journal, June 2004
"Panama is now where Costa Rica was 10 years ago. Panama is getting ready to explode."
National Geographic Traveler, December 2004
The New Panama "Invasion"
A century ago, Americans took over this country to complete and run the Panama Canal. In 1989, we sent in troops to arrest national leader Gen. Manuel Noriega, now in prison in Florida for money laundering. These days, Americans are threatening to take over Panama by more peaceful means: We're retiring here by the score. The biggest industry in Boquete, a town of 4,000 people located in an impossibly beautiful mountain valley full of whitewater streams and year-round tropical blooms, seems to be selling retirement homes to Americans. Prime ridgetop lots with a view of 11,400-foot Volcán Barú can be had for $100,000; you can buy a modest home in ticky-tack developments south of town for $40,000. The government is cooperating in this new invasion by giving 20-year property tax exemptions to new houses built by foreigners, which largely means Americans, Canadians and Europeans."
- Oregonian Register Guard, June 2004.
"Panama has no hurricanes ever- and no destructive earthquakes."
Panama is the only country in Central America in a climate zone that is absolutely hurricane-free. Truly blessed by nature, Panama also has none of the destructive earthquakes that plague its Central American neighbors.
- The Panama Planner, 2005