Right Now Could be the Best Time to Come to Panama...the Hub of the Americas.
Panama has long been the prime choice for retirees, second-home buyers, and property investors alike. Today you can still find apartments in sought-after areas of Panama City for $80,000 and live well on $1,200 per month.
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Panama Fast Facts
Capital City: Panama City
Climate: Tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Time Zone: GMT-5
Language: Spanish (official), English 14%; (many Panamanians are bilingual)
Country Code: 507
Coastline: 2,490 km
Read more articles about Panama Below
“My typical day starts with a steaming cup of excellent Panamanian coffee,” says Jade Wills. “I settle down at my desk and work for a few hours then I take a smoothie break using fresh papayas from our yard. “Later, I’ll ride my bike to the vegetable truck or maybe spend some time gardening. I’ve plenty of time for things like yoga and pilates, and some days I’ll pack up my laptop and work from right on the beach. Life is good.”
It feels like the highland town of Boquete is Panama’s fastest-growing relocation destination. There are a lot of “new things” around here…a new market, new theater, new library, and a new hospice are just a few
The market opens daily, but Sunday is when it’s at its busiest with buses bringing tourists to check out the bargains on offer. But after the last vacationer leaves at 5 p.m., the town returns to its usual state: quiet, easy and relaxed.
Panama is well known for its friendly people…and that includes both expats and locals. It’s easier than ever to find like-minded people who are willing to make friends, include you in their activities, or support you in starting something new.
- Boquete Bargains: Prices Fall in Panama’s Idyllic Mountain Retreat
Posted on April 22, 2013 by Jessica Ramesch
It feels like the highland town of Boquete is Panama’s fastest-growing relocation destination. There are a lot of “new things” around here…a new market, new theater, new library, and a new hospice are just a few. In fact, there’s little that can’t be found in Boquete these days.
- A Comfortable Retirement in Panama for Less Than $2,000 a Month
Posted on April 22, 2013 by International Living
Comfortable retirement. That’s an oxymoron for anyone living in the U.S., Canada, or Europe these days. If that’s you, listen up: there’s a tiny little country where all your retirement dreams can come true: Panama. That’s right. Panama… the squiggle of a country that connects two continents…
- “The Lower Cost of a Retirement in Panama Drew Us Here”
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Terri Marshall
When John and Robyn Cole married in 1990 their 12-year age difference wasn’t a big deal. But as they started to age together, the difference became more apparent… and they started to think about the future. “I began to see what life would look like if I worked until age 65,” says Robyn. “John would be 77.”
Our plane approaches the city just before sunset. Through wispy clouds, the sea below takes on a silvery shimmer… the sun strikes the sparkling water so that it appears to be a sea of white. We could be flying over Antarctica. Except for one thing I know to be true: it never, ever snows in Panama.
I’ve hosted a lot of International Living conferences and seminars, but this is the first time I’ve heard one of our events rated in this particular way. An attendee at our Fast-Track Panama Conference came up to me after the final presentation. “You know how I can tell if I’m getting something out of a conference?”
Last night we had cocktails overlooking the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. For various (perhaps obvious) reasons, I can’t remember exactly how many ships passed through the canal, traveling in both directions. But there were a lot. Non-stop. I’m sure you know that the Canal is currently undergoing a massive expansion.
- A Little Mountain Town in Panama You’ve Never Heard Of…
Posted on April 12, 2013 by Suzan Haskins
I’m Suzan Haskins, reporting from International Living’s 2013 Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference in Panama City.
“Pase al frente”… “Go to the front.” That’s the phrase I hear most when I’m with my Dad, who is 75 years young. When I was a kid in Oregon, I don’t remember there being a particular emphasis on respect or special courtesies for our elders. Now we live in Panama, where I’ve discovered that locals have very specific notions about how to treat mature citizens.
We love living part of the year in the province of Chiriquí, in Panama’s southwest corner. Chiriquí is so diverse. Cerro Punta is a mountainous area where most of the vegetables are grown for the entire country. Coffee plantations, orange groves, banana plantations, and cattle ranches are scattered throughout.
In the Highlands of Panama, near the border of Costa Rica, there are mountains and valleys velveted in deepest green. Bougainvillea scampers up the hillsides, most often in shocking, bright contrasts of magenta and coral. The place just feels good for you. People comment on it all the time, particularly the expats, many of whom will tell you their health improved after moving here.
- News from Around the World…The World’s Best Health Care
Posted on March 25, 2013 by International Living
Thousands of Americans have already moved south to enjoy the pleasures of an affordable retirement. In countries all over Latin America—and Europe and Asia, too—they have found good, low-cost health care. Just take one of the world’s most popular retirement hotspots—Cuenca, Ecuador.
Spare a thought for the citizens of Belgium. Their beer is great and their waffles tasty but they also suffer from the highest effective personal tax rate in the world. That’s according to a survey by KPMG. The auditing firm looked at income tax rates and other deductions like social security to calculate their results.
- The Upside of Opening a Bank Account in Your New Home
Posted on March 25, 2013 by International Living
There are good reasons to consider opening a bank account in your adopted home country. And it doesn’t mean you need to close any of your U.S. accounts, either. So what exactly are the advantages of having a local bank account?
There is something amazing about the medical system here, and something not quite right with ours,” says Shane Simons, who moved to the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia, eight months ago from Los Angeles. “My doctor in L.A. told me I needed a mole removed from my neck.
Mr. Bauman is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Maryland (1973-1981). He is also a former federal official and state legislator; member of the Washington, D.C., Bar; graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center (1964) and the GU School of Foreign Service (1959). Mr. Bauman serves as legal counsel to International Living. He’s also one of the world’s foremost offshore experts. Here are some of his recent articles:
What’s the secret to a long, healthy, and enjoyable life? A group of researchers believe that residents of five Blue Zones around the world know it. They have the longest life spans on Earth and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions.
- Up to 50% Off Property Prices in Boquete, Panama
Posted on February 26, 2013 by International Living
Now is a good time to buy in Boquete, Panama if you’re looking for a second or retirement home. The market slowdown is throwing up some nice discounts and deals. A dozen years ago it was little more than a sleepy mountain town. But its cool climate and low cost of living attracted expats and retirees. Word got out and Boquete boomed. Located in Panama’s Chiriquí province, the town is also known for its expat community.
At home we’re fed a distinctly flavorless view of the “rest of the world.” When we get news of foreign locales, it’s most often about tragedy or macroeconomics. We have a poor understanding of what’s really “out there.” Here at International Living, we aim to help you build a richer and more nuanced understanding of the kind of life you could embrace abroad—and why you’d want to.
“We first visited Panama in 2005 and joked about moving there. But the more we thought about it the more we realized it ticked all our boxes. In 2008 we spent a month trying out life in Panama City, and we liked it so much we bought an apartment in the San Francisco neighborhood.”
Panama is the world’s most upbeat country. That’s according to a recent Gallup poll measuring people’s positive emotions in 148 countries. The poll asked locals questions like whether they felt respected and well-rested… whether they smiled or laughed…or learned something interesting the previous day.
My wife Sylvia and I landed in this Pacific coast village of 302 (300 Mexicans, two gringos) six years ago. We bought a half-acre vacant lot in the center to build a modest, hacienda-style place. We had sailed from San Francisco on our 48-foot sailboat, Sabbatical but were easily lured ashore by the tranquil lifestyle.
Oak floors, chandeliers, large fireplaces, and exposed wood beams are things you’d expect to find in a chateau. And this perfect country getaway in Normandy has them all. Built in 1881, it’s set on five acres and surrounded by a mixture of lush green pastures and the forest of Eu. There’s a fruit orchard and the Yres River runs through the property, with a bridge leading to a private island.
Panama’s a place of sunshine, 365 days a year. You have hundreds of miles of beach…highland retreats with green valleys where the weather is spring-like, even in January and August…and a genuinely cosmopolitan capital city, too, with one of the world’s largest financial districts. And Panama offers the world’s most generous retiree benefits.
Great boulders in the distance, half wet, half dry…cobalt-blue waters scrubbing sands of downy gray…white seabirds soaring above, their cries for fish occasionally audible above the sounds of the surf. This is Coronado Beach, Panama’s most popular Pacific coast destination.
On my first two visits to Panama I tried, unsuccessfully, to get to the bizarre “Bahai Egg.” My first attempt, five years ago, (without a GPS) involved trying to navigate with a map given to me by the car rental company and an outdated guide-book. The “Bahai Egg,” also known by its actual name The Bahai Temple, sits on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the city, valley and jungle around it.
Boquete, in Panama’s Chiriquí province, is known for its expat community. Rated by the AARP as one of the world’s best retirement destinations, Boquete blipped onto the expat radar around 2001 when International Living first started writing about it. Its artsy social scene has been growing ever since. I first visited this highland town in 1998 with my family. Though you can fly an hour to the Chiriquí capital of David…
There are thousands of expats living in Panama: Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and many more from around the globe, who come here for the beautiful weather, the tropical beaches, low cost of living, and because Panama makes it easy to start a business.
After four years of 70-plus hour weeks in the cruise ship industry, I was ready for peace and playa. And of all the countries that could offer me that, I chose Panama. Why? For a lot of the same reasons so many first-time expats have chosen to move here.
As a native New Orleanian, Panama very much reminds me of the city I left behind. Friendly people, a laid-back lifestyle, fun culture, warm weather and outdoor recreation are all part of a full life here. Panama has been my permanent home for almost 28 years now.
- Enjoying Panama’s Cafes, Culture, and City Life (at a Discount)
Posted on February 3, 2013 by Jessica Ramesch
“On an ideal day, I get up, sit on my balcony, and read a bit. Then I exercise or take a swim in the pool, and come back for breakfast. I might check my email or go for coffee with a friend. Later I might play bridge, or go to the National Theater, or meet with one of my clubs. There are just endless things to do,” says Joyce Perrin.
- Coronado: A Popular Beach Town for Expats in Panama
Posted on February 1, 2013 by Erica Mills
Coronado, Panama, is a relaxed community. Only an hour from Panama City, this coastal town—now popular with expats—was once a vacation getaway for Panamanians, who came from miles around to sun themselves on the black-and-white-sanded beach and swim in the Pacific Ocean.
I’m in the City of Knowledge, a large “technopark” in Panama’s capital. It’s much like a business park, but the offices here mostly belong to NGOs and educational institutions. This is a place for innovation and forward thinking…and its small theater is the venue for this year’s Panama Jazz Festival.
Work ‘Til You Drop? Not in Panama
Event Date: Apr 04, 2013Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle & Opportunity Conference
April 4-6, 2013, Panama City, Panama
Stay home and face mounting debt and dashed retirement dreams. Or come to Panama and enjoy picture-perfect beaches kissed by turquoise waters… pretty mountain villages with year-round Spring-like weather… a cosmopolitan seaside city with world-class restaurants and designer shopping for pennies on the dollar… In Panama, you really can live well on $1500 a month or less. Discover if Panama is for you at the Fast-Track Panama Conference.
Welcome to IL
- Panama city map
- VIDEO: A Taste of Panama
- Invest in Panama
- Move to Panama
- Travel in Panama
- Beachfront Property in Panama
- Health Care in Panama
- Taxes in Panama
- Retire in Panama
- Living in Panama
- Panama Fact File
- Panama Visa and Residency Information
- Panama Real Estate
- Rolodex: Contacts in Panama
- Why Panama?
- Fatima Parish Charity in Panama
- Renting in Panama
- Buying Real Estate in Panama
- The Economy in Panama
- Working in Panama
- Cost of Living in Panama
- Find Out More About Panama
- Free Panama Report
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