Retiring in Panama: How to enjoy your golden years on the Isthmus

Jul 7, 2017 | Moving to Panama, Relocating to Panama

Retiring in Panama should be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Panama is full of adventure, relaxation, and great people to enjoy it with. It’s also going to take a bit of getting used to, and that’s perfectly normal. When planning your retirement in Panama, you may think you’ve got all your bases covered, but inevitably, when you’re here, you’ll adapt with your own first-hand experiences, trials, and triumphs. To make things just a bit easier, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your retirement in Panama.

1. Make Friends:

While this may sound a bit tongue in cheek, we’re being deadly honest here. One of the best ways to ease into retirement, and enjoy all of your new free time in Panama is to make friends. Panama has a vibrant retirement community made up of people from all countries, and all walks of life. Go socialize with them as much as you can. People in Panama (both expats and locals) are very welcoming, and will open their arms to new friends immediately if you give them the chance. You can join social groups, local happy hour events, exercise groups, and even bridge and board game groups. As long as you get out there and stay social, you’ll be much happier in the long run.

2. Learn Spanish:

Learning a new language can be tough, but the rewards are endless when it comes to retiring in Panama. You’ll find that most retirees speak English, so in your personal life you won’t be overwhelmed by a new language. However, many day-to-day tasks can get done much easier with a little Spanish knowledge. That, plus you’ll endear yourself more to the locals, which can open up so many doors as far as getting by, and getting things done here in Panama.

3. Shop at Local Markets:

Supermarkets are plentiful in Panama, but let’s be honest, they’re boring. Why not live a little and get your fruits, veggies, and meat from local vendors and markets. You’ll save a lot of money, get very fresh and high quality goods, and can use it as an excuse to practice your basic Spanish and local bargaining skills. Plus, perusing one of Panama’s many open-air markets is sort of half the fun. The weather’s warm, so this is a year-round activity, and one that many retirees rave about when talking about their favorite reasons for living in Panama.

4. Don’t Overdue It!:

Seems pretty self-explanatory for retirement, but with so many activities in your new expat retiree community, it can actually be pretty easy to overwhelm oneself. Our advice is, participate, make friends, have fun, but don’t push too hard. A new culture is a gift, but it can become a burden if you don’t pace how you participate in it. Panama is all about the good life, slow and easy, so take advantage of that. Make sure to rest, stay out of the sun for extended periods of time, and don’t overbook events on a week-to-week basis. At the end of the day, you’re here to unwind, not to wind up.

Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in Panama immigration law, relocation services as well as real estate law and corporate law. POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a licensed Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA, a Masters degree in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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