There are many good reasons why it's a smart choice to retire or buy a second home in Panama.
In no special order, here are some of the most important:
1. Panama is close.
There are direct flights of 3-5 hours from seven major US cities-New York, Newark, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Orlando and Toronto.
2. Panama is safe.
Panama is one of the safest countries in the world with the same rating for tourism safety as the United States. Don’t believe us. Talk to foreigners who live here and they will tell you how safe they feel relative to other places they have lived.
3. Panama is a beautiful country with a wide variety of world-class attractions- all close by
Panama has a wide variety of destinations, activities and world class attractions - and since it is such a small country ( the size of South Carolina) they are all in close proximity. You will never have a reason to be bored- Panama has it all - beach, mountains, nature, a sophisticated captial city, fine dining, golf, sportfishing, Indian culture, history...
4. Your investment will increase in value.
Panama today reminds real estate professionals of the Florida market twenty years ago- it has many of the same attractions of Florida and property prices are a bargain. It is not uncommon for Americans coming to Panama today to buy a condo in Panama City, a beach home and mountain home- all for less than the price of the home they just sold in the States. And because the Panama property boom has just begun, your investment is sure to increase substantially as more and more people discover what a great place Panama is to live and invest.
5. Panama has a stable democracy and Latin America’s most stable economy.
Panama has a democratically elected president and historically the most stable economy in Latin America. The present administration of Ricardo Martinelli has excellent relations with the United States, is pro-business and working hard to create transparency and good governance.
6. Panama has the US dollar as it’s currency.
What a "travelers pleasure" it is not have to exchange money at the airport and not to have to pull out a calculator to figure out what that meal just cost or how much that neat Panama City condo costs.
7. Panama has no hurricanes or major earthquakes.
Unlike it’s Central American neighbors not to mention certain places stateside, Panama is in an absolutely hurricane-free zone. There are no major destructive earthquakes.
8. Panama is a nature lovers paradise
You will discover beautiful and fascinating nature in the rainforests, mountains and the oceans- indeed it's hard to think of anywhere as nature-rich as Panama.
9. Your family and friends will be impressed with your smart decision.
We hear this story all the time…”my kids and family thought we were crazy when we told them we were going to buy a home and live in Panama ...they thought we were having some severe mid-life crisis etc…then they came down and were blown away by the place...”.
10. If you or your friends and family are beach lovers, Panama is the place.
There’s a beach close by everywhere in Panama. The narrow isthmus is only 50 or so miles wide- this means a beach is never more than an hour away. With both a Pacific and a Caribbean coastline, Panama has thousands of miles of beaches and in addition over one thousand islands. This also means great water sport activities- in fact, fishing, diving surfing, sailing, sea kayaking is world-class.
11. Panama has the best retiree benefit program in the world.
Retirees get major discounts on air tickets, medicine, movies, restaurants, hotels etc. Other benefits include the importation of all your household goods free of all taxes and as a retiree you can import a car every two years free of import taxes (other taxes apply).
12. Panama has a carefree climate.
In Panama City, the beaches and lowlands there’s a year-round warm climate. Some places like Panama City are humid but that is easily remedied with air conditioning… and you go from an air-conditioned home, to an air-conditioned supermarket, to an aircondioned mall etc. and never are bothered by it. Evenings and early morning temperatures are perfect for walking or running. In the mountains and highlands weather year-round is spring-like temperatures-- no air-conditioning needed.
13. Panama has a modern American-style infrastructure.
Panama City- it's Manhattan-like skyline, the buildings, stores, shopping malls and many neighborhoods will remind you of the States- this is all the by-product of nearly 100 years of an influential American presence in the Panama Canal.
14. High speed internet is more available in Panama than in the United States.
You can get high speed internet just about anywhere in Panama. Phone and other telecommunication services are also excellent.
15. If you are an investor or businessman, you will find Panama's entrepreneurial class great to work with.
People starting small companies or major investments find it a pleasure to do business in Panama because so many business people are American-educated or worked for Americans in the the former Canal Zone; ie they understand Americans and know how to work with them.
16. Medical care is on a par with United States Medical facilities and it is easy to find a Panamanian doctor or dentist that is US trained and speaks English.
Prices run about 50% less than the US.
17. Panama has one of the best road infrastructures in Latin America.
It is not perfect, mind you- this is the "third world"- but pretty darn good.
18. You will love the Panamanian people
One of the most common things you will hear from retirees is how friendly and helpful they find the Panamanian people - that means the man-on-the-street, neighbors, maids, taxi drivers, the mall security guards…etc. They feel safe and welcome- many are well traveled and say there is no place in the world they would rather be.
19. A Retiree Visa is easily and readily attained.
You can get a retiree visa in a short time for a reasonable price.
20. Foreigners can own property in Panama and have all the same legal rights as Panamanians.
Unlike some other Latin American countries, foreigners in Panama have all the same property rights as its citizens.