2005, and for the sixth consecutive year, Panama reigned atop
International Living’s Retirement Index. International
Living is a media and events company that provides living, overseas
investment and retirement information. The company uses eight
factors for its judging criteria: Cost of Real Estate, Cost
of Living, Infrastructure, Safety & Stability, Climate,
Health Care, Culture & Entertainment and Special Benefits
for retirees. Stating that with this criterion, it is easy to
understand why retiring in Panama is favored by so many people
from North America. The magazine noted that Panama’s retirement
benefit program is the world’s most generous for retirees,
the cost of living is low, the land and beaches are beautiful,
the people are friendly, and the capital is superior to other
cities in the region. From the International Living survey,
highlights of the factors are:
Cost of Real Estate
The cost of real estate in Panama is incredibly low.
It is easy to find new homes in beautiful subdivisions for
$20,000. While the construction differs from that in the US,
the homes in Panama equally beautiful and maintenance free.
Apartments tend to be more expensive, but with the low cost
of homes, retiring in Panama is quite affordable.
Cost of Living
While some “creature comforts” in Panama are expensive,
those retiring in Panama will find the cost of many things
to be incredibly reasonable. Most restaurants, clothing, utilities
and items for the home are priced well below the same items
in the US. American restaurants tend to be similarly priced
with those in the US, but it is possible to dine in nice Panamanian
restaurants for $2.00 or $3.00 per person. All in all, Panama
retirement has a very low cost of living.
Due to 100 years of American presence, much of the infrastructure
in Panama is remarkably similar to the US. There is the typical
array of streets, highways, and of course, potholes. Most
cities have electricity, telephone, cable and Internet.
Safety & Stability
Because Panama has a very stable economy and a low level of
poverty, the retiree in Panama will find it to be as safe,
or safer, that areas in the US. The government has been active
in fighting drugs and as a result, there is less overall crime.
Panama retirement offers a wonderful change of climate for
most from the US. Gone forever are the days of snow, cold
and ice! Retirees in Panama will generally find two seasons;
rainy and dry. In the interior, the humidity in the rainy
season and the heat in the dry season can both be oppressive,
but air conditioners are quite common. In the mountains, the
temperatures are more seasonable.
This is a big advantage for Panamanian retirees. Health costs
are substantially lower than the US, whether for basic health
care or cosmetic purposes. In fact, Panama enjoys an increase
each year of people visiting for health
care and cosmetic surgery.
Culture and Entertainment
Retirees will find Panama has a rich history, diverse culture,
and a multitude of cultural and entertainment opportunities.
From the holidays to Carnival, which is held in February,
there are many special events for those retiring to Panama
Benefits for Retirees
As previously mentioned, Panama is the world leader in benefits
for retirees. They include:
• 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies,
theaters, concerts, sporting events, etc.)
• 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
• 25% off airline tickets
• 50% off hotel stays Monday through Thursday, 30% off
Friday through Sunday
• 25% off restaurant meals
• 15% off at fast-food restaurants
• 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
• 10% off prescription medicines
• 20% off doctors' consultations
• 15% off dental and eye exams
• 20% off professional and technical services
• 50% off closing costs for home loans
Panama is an excellent retirement choice, and according to
International Living, it is the best in the world. For six
straight years, retirees have found Panama’s attributes
make it the perfect to come and stay, not only for a visit,
For more information about living or retiring in Panama, or
for any of our services, please contact
us for more information.