Why retire in Panama? Panama has become a top retirement destination according to recent articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Here is what these and other publications are listing as the 5 top reasons to retire in Panama:
1. Panama is Safe
Panama is safer than any other country in Central America. According to the CIA Fact-book and Panama National Police crime statistics, Panama has the lowest crime rate against the person (murder, assault, muggings, armed robbery) than all of the other countries in Central America. Panama has no hurricanes and relatively small earthquakes. Panama’s tap water is safe to drink, unlike Mexico and the other Central American countries.
2. Panama’s Economy is Growing
Panama’s economic growth rate is among the highest in all of Latin America. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that:
“The economy of Panama is slated to continue thriving in 2013 after posting double-digit growth for two straight years as a boom in construction and transportation tied to the expansion of the Panama Canal continue to drive economic growth.”
It further went on to claim:
“Panama’s gross domestic product expanded a whopping 10.7% last year, driven by large infrastructure projects that include the expansion of the Panama Canal as well as a boom in real estate in Panama City, where high-rises increasingly dominate the skyline.”
3. Low Cost of Living
Panama’s cost of living, especially for a metropolitan capital city, is amongst the lowest in the world. The Economist magazine published an intelligence report in 2012 comparing the cost of living for cities around the globe. Panama came out in the Top 10 for its low cost of living worldwide.
4. Great Retiree Benefits
Panama has a retiree benefits program that rates among the best in the world. The age limit is 18 years old and up to qualify for this unique “Pensionado” Visa Program. The applicant must be receiving a minimum pension or annuity for life of $1,000 USD (plus for each dependent add $250 USD). This pension or annuity can be from a government, a bank, a corporation, a trust company, or any financial institution. Once granted the “pensioner” gets an immigration ID card which can be used to obtain discounts from domestic airline tickets (25%); restaurants (25%); bus, train and boat fares (30%); dental & eye exams and treatments (15%); prescription medicines (10%); hotel rooms Monday – Thursday (50%); and many types of entertainment including concerts, movie theaters, and plays (50%).
5. First Rate Health Services at Half the Cost
Panama offers excellent medical services on par with North American hospitals. Medical Tourism in Panama is becoming a big industry because medical treatment and major surgeries cost ½ of what they cost in the U.S. Many of the Panama medical doctors and dentists were trained in the U.S. and speak English.
Panama City has 4 modern private hospitals with advanced high tech equipment which are associated with leading U.S. medical centers such as Johns Hopkins Medical Center (rated #1 in the U.S.) and the Cleveland Clinic (rated #4 in the U.S.).
In Conclusion, Panama offers many benefits to retirees who relocate here. POLS has complete Panama relocation services including locating and purchasing or leasing real properties, immigration visas, corporations and company formations, and a website filled with useful relocation information in English.
Read more articles on moving to Panama here.