12 Great Reasons to Move to Panama
1. Incredible Nature
No matter what type of outdoor activities you’re looking for, Panama has them. From the Caribbean to the Pacific coastlines, Panama offers incredible beaches, stunning mountain scenery and lush rainforest filled with exotic wildlife. In Bocas Del Toro, you can swim with thousands of starfish or watch sloths in the trees. In Isla Bolanos, you can watch humpback whales with their new babies. In Boquete, you can sample local coffees and tour the industry. Pack your hiking boots and swimsuits!
(We partner with Viator for adventures & excursions. See tours & activities in Panama. >>)
2. Affordable Property
It’s no surprise that housing in Panama is much more affordable than in many other countries. Whether you are looking for a city condo or a beachfront villa, there are properties available in virtually every price range. Plus, laws ensure foreign ownership of property without discrimination against non-residents. Panama City itself isn’t cheap, by any means, but for the quality of life in a world-class city, it’s very reasonable. For bargains, consider Boquete, Coronado, and other outlying locations.
3. Lovely People
Panamanians are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you’ll ever meet. The locals are known for their graciousness, and they will make sure that you feel right at home. If you’re feeling worn down by the current phase of American culture, being among friendly faces will be a welcome respite. Be sure to catch the spirit and return the hospitality.
4. Low Cost of Living
A reminder that what’s a low cost of living on an American budget might be pricier for locals, but it’s also an opportunity to escape the rat race and embrace simpler values. Panama does offer a great price point for American expats when it comes to daily living costs, and that price is in U.S. dollars! Costs for basic necessities such as food and utilities are substantially lower than in the U.S., making it possible to stretch your budget further, especially if you’re on a fixed retirement income. For retirees, there’s also the Pensionado or Jubilado discounts that can save you a TON on entertainment, dining, and even healthcare and prescriptions!
5. Easy Residency
There are several options available that make obtaining residency in Panama relatively easy for Americans. From the Pensionado program (which requires an income from Social Security or another pension) to the Friendly Nations visa, there is something available for almost any circumstance.
6. Modern Infrastructure
Panama City is one of the most modern cities in Central America, with an extensive network of roads and highways. Panama is also a major banking and business hub in the region, making it easy to stay connected and conduct business from anywhere in the country.
7. Excellent Healthcare
Panama has one of the best health care systems in Latin America. High-quality medical care is available at reasonable prices, allowing expats to rest assured that they are in safe hands should any medical issues arise. Public hospitals are nearly free, but you may experience long waits. Private healthcare is still much more affordable than in the U.S.
(We partner with International Insurance for international health insurance. Get a quote. >>)
8. Tax Benefits
In addition to its retirement visa program, Panama also offers tax incentives for retirees and those who are employed within the Free Trade Zone of Colon. This can be a great way to reduce your taxable income while still enjoying all the benefits of living abroad.
In addition to the tax benefits above, Panama makes it easy to start your own business, from startup costs to labor laws and average wages that benefit both parties without exploiting local employees.
(We partner with the HSP Group to scale business internationally. Talk to HSP.>>)
10. Cultural Diversity
It’s no secret that Panamanians have a unique culture, but what many don’t realize is just how diverse the country really is. With influences from Latin American, Caribbean, African, and European cultures, Panama is home to a wide variety of backgrounds that all contribute to the vibrant culture.
11. Great Weather
If you’re looking for an escape from the cold winters of the United States, Panama definitely delivers, but with year-round highs and lows in the 70s and 80s, you won’t be sweltering. For even cooler weather, look into Boquete and other towns in the highlands. There’s a long rainy season that brings afternoon showers, with the Pacific coast receiving about half as much rain as the Caribbean coast and mountains.
12. Easy Accessibility
While living in Panama offers numerous benefits, one of the most noteworthy is its easy access to both North America and South America via direct flights or boat. This makes getting around a breeze and allows for easy access to major cities such as Mexico City, Bogota, Lima, etc. So many choices for weekend getaways!
We didn’t even touch on the food, the arts & entertainment, or the Panama Canal, but you get the idea. Panama has better infrastructure than Costa Rica and the rest of Central America, better safety than Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, or Belize, and lots to offer Americans who want to move abroad. Panama often ranks tops for retirees, but its cosmopolitan capital is also a winner for working families and digital nomads.
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