When you consider Panama’s low cost of living, affordable real estate, world class health care and most of all, benefits to retirees, it’s no wonder Panama has been rated the number one retirement destination in the world by numerous publications.
Panama offers its residents, both foreigners and locals, the good life on a silver platter, without the red tape and bureaucracy that usually accompanies immigration. Perhaps what has given Panama that reputation is the Visa de Turista Pensionado program for international residents, a plan that is second to none. It allows for maximum benefits, yet demands little effort from participants. A person does not need to be retired to qualify. The only requirements are that the applicant is over 18 years old and receives monthly foreign income of at least $500USD/month, either from public pension, social security, disability or a private corporate pension plan.
In return, participants of the program receive:
- Indefinite residency in Panama, regardless of duration of stay in the country
- Exemption from property taxes for up to 20 years
- Exemption from taxes on foreign income still being earned
- Exemption from taxes on imported household good or cars
- Up to 50% discounts on airfare, popular restaurants and fast food chains and entertainment
- Up to 50% discounts and advantages at the bank with loans, mortgage interest rates and closing costs
- Up to 25% discounts on all professional and technical services
- Up to 20% discounts on drugs and health care services including hospital, dental and optometry
Applying to the Pensionado Visa is simple. With the help of an attorney, a one-time application is usually processed within a month and there is never the need to renew your Pensionado Visa. No additional fees are ever required.
Panama’s health care system is just as convenient and beneficial for retirees. Almost all of Panama’s doctors speak fluent English, as most have been trained in the United States. Health care standards are on par with what is expected from the United States and Canada and private health insurance is extremely affordable.
It’s not only Panama’s incentive package that makes it such a viable retirement destination. A warm culture, year-round tropical weather, virgin wildlife and breathtaking environment make Panama a veritable paradise for the young and old alike. Panama is the ideal destination for the both nature lovers and urbanites. Whether it’s the city, the mountains or beaches that grab your interest, the country offers everything from world-class dining, exquisite golf and unlimited opportunities for bird watching, fishing and a luxury lifestyle most people only dream about.