Retiring in Panama: What can you expect as a new arrival?




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Retiring in Panama has been popular with many North Americans and Europeans for quite some time now. Over the years, the country has offered fantastic options for expats to spend their retirement in comfort, at a great price, with many amenities and activities to make it all worth while. Have you been thinking about retiring in Panama? Chances are, you’re overwhelmed with all of the information out there. When you do commit to retiring in Panama, it’s time to get ready to live there. That takes some preparation, and more importantly, leveled expectations.

With so many options for retirees in Panama, it can be tough to gauge where you fit in, and how you’ll feel once you’re here. Don’t worry! That’s what we’re here for. Here are some basics that you can prepare for and expect as a new arrival, once you’ve taken the leap to make Panama your new retirement home.

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Getting to know your community

As a new arrival to Panama, no matter where you choose to live, one of the most important first steps is to get to know the people and culture of your community. Many retirees choose to live in communities with large expat populations, and other retirees. Others choose to live in more local communities. There’s no wrong choice here (it’s all about preference), but no matter where you choose to live, it’s important to to immerse yourself in your community. Panama is a country that values community and culture, and the best way to smooth out your transition into a new life here is to get to know your neighbors. Go to local events, attend a town (or neighborhood) meeting, volunteer, and introduce yourself!

Adjusting to the climate

It seems like a silly warning if you love the heat, but even the most warm-blooded amongst us can get a bit overwhelmed in the tropics if we’re not careful. Panama has a year-round hot climate with about 8 months of heavy humidity and tropical rain. If you’re an outdoors person, try to do your activities in the early morning or late afternoon, to avoid peak heat. Also, from May to December, bring an umbrella with you and expect rain, particularly in the early afternoons. Remember, no matter how much you love the heat, you need to make sure not to overexpose yourself to the sun, drink lots of water, and don’t overexert.

Struggling with the local language is OK!

One thing that many of the retirees face when first arriving to Panama is a bit of a culture shock with the Spanish language. This is very normal for people who are experiencing their first residency somewhere that their native language isn’t spoken. The trick to getting by is to actively try and learn Spanish, practice with locals, and don’t get too hard on yourself if your Spanish isn’t perfect. It takes years to fully master a language, but as long as you put the work in and try to improve, you’ll find your retirement is a lot more enjoyable. Better yet, you’ll also find that people are more endeared to you and respect you as an expat. Learning a new language can be fun, challenging, and a great way to keep yourself motivated during retirement. Don’t miss this opportunity!

About POLS Attorneys Staff Writer


As one of the leading Panama Law Firms, and one of the regions most reliable offshore service providers, POLS Attorneys brings a wide range of professional knowledge to our clients needs. Our staff is made up of professional offshore consultants, Panama attorneys and immigration specialists who are experienced in offshore business, understand international investment and asset protection strategies, and are experts in providing a seamless Panama immigration process.

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