Right Now Could be the Best Time to Come to Panama...the Hub of the Americas.
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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- Population: 3,559,408
- 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
There’s a highland village in Panama you probably haven’t heard of yet—a handful of North Americans are only beginning to establish a bohemian community. Pines and flowering shrubs, beautifully paved roads and neatly painted houses, where no-one locks their doors and everyone has reliable Internet.
In this video, International Living Panama editor Jessica Ramesch visits the mountain village of Santa Fe in the Veraguas province of Panama. The tiny town is rich in mountain charm, from its small, friendly community of locals (and just a few expats) to its lush vegetation and rural mountain feel.
Fast-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.
Fast-Track Panama: Lifestyle & Opportunity Conference
April 4-6, 2013 – Panama City, Panama
As quality of life (worsened by crumbling economies) deteriorates elsewhere in the world, Panama looks better and better…Nowhere else can you enjoy such a comfortable life…with near-perfect year-round weather, excellent medical care, fresh, healthy food straight from the farmer’s truck…and a retirement incentive program that’s truly welcoming of expats…Discover if Panama is for you .
Richard Brady goes by Ricardo these days…he’s been in Panama since 2001 and has no plans to return to Florida. That’s probably because he spends his days surfing at one of the best sites in the region. When he’s not surfing, he’s out on Elizabeth, a gleaming white 25-foot skiff, from which he’s spotted everything from manta rays to howler monkeys.
“It’s my favorite wave on earth,” says Jon Hanna, a championship surfer who’s seen more than a few waves in his travels around the world. He’s talking about Santa Catalina, a little surf town in Panama that was once a well-guarded secret.
Erica and Kevin Moore didn’t want much…a quiet setting where they’d be able to run a business and be a part of a welcoming community. In Panama, they found dozens of towns with potential…but the tiny village of Santa Fe de Veraguas called to them.
Amid the towers of steel and chrome waft the tantalizing smells of seafood and spices. Argentine, Cuban, Swiss, German, Thai, and Indian are only a few of the offerings you’ll find today in Panama City. Back home you may find yourself banished to the burbs for affordable food. But here you can eat at the finest gourmet restaurants in the financial district where the beautiful people play…
I’m sipping rich coffee—just poured from a French press—when it happens. A white horse ambles by, no rider or groom in sight. Behind him, there appears another… his chestnut brother. Single file they clippety-clop into focus and I make a mental note: Favorite image of the day.
Ecuador stormed to the top of our list in the cost of living stakes. We’ve heard from couples who are living well on $800—and less. Everything from home rentals and health insurance cover to eating out and motoring costs come in significantly lower than in the U.S. There are also regional differences – small towns like Cotacachi are significantly cheaper than the bigger cities.
Panama has put together the most appealing program of special benefits for foreign residents and retirees you’ll find anywhere in the world today. Its pensionado, or pensioner visa program, is extremely generous. If you become a pensionado, you’ll also be entitled to a one-time exemption of duties on the importation of household goods (up to $10,000) and an exemption every two years of duties…
Whether your dream retreat is a graceful colonial home with lavish gardens, a simple beachfront bungalow where you can prop up your feet and watch the tide roll in, an expansive hacienda with enough acreage for horses to roam, or a cliff-side villa with sunset views and cool, steady breezes, you’ll find it in Mexico.
While small pockets of Irish people still speak the native Gaelic as their first language, English is spoken by everyone in all parts of the country. While the accent can be difficult to grasp at first, most visitors will find themselves accustomed to it within days. Because language is the single biggest factor in ease of integration, Ireland naturally scores highly here.
Panama offers high quality health care and modern hospitals in the metropolitan areas. For example, the Johns Hopkins-affiliated Punta Pacifica Hospital is the most technologically advanced medical center in Latin America.
Six months from now, you could be living in paradise… for much less than it costs you to stay home. In the best destinations overseas, your dollar just goes further…ﬁrst class healthcare is affordable…you can keep a housekeeper or gardener…and live better than you can back home for a fraction of what you pay now…
If your Panama plans call for clear blue waters and long stretches of sandy beach, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of places to choose from. After all, most of Panama consists of coastal areas. Plus, unlike in some other countries, Panama allows foreigners to own beach property outright, rather than requiring them to own via trusts or foundations. The Sun-Soaked Shores of the Panama Coast – Dream it, Find it, Live it, details our favorite coastal locales, lifestyle and real estate options.
Panama City is a bustling, vibrant, and exciting metropolis. If you’re looking for inexpensive cosmopolitan living—but with the conveniences you’d expect in New York, Chicago, Miami, or any other major First-World city—you need to take a serious look at Panama City. In Panama City: The Ultimate 21st Century City – Dream it, Find it, Live it, we’ll tell you all about lifestyle alternatives and real estate prices, and give you our insider tips on saving time and money in Panama City.
In Boquete, Panama, you want a really good camera. That’s because the mountain views are lavish and rainbows appear nearly every day. Karl and Liz Parker fell for this landscape when they first arrived. Now they live in Panama part of the year, spending the rest of their time traveling or back in the U.S. with family.
News and notes from around the world.
When you’re buying a property overseas, it’s good to have help. You want someone who can show you a selection of properties that fit your budget, explain the market’s history, give you price comparisons, and set a fair market value. Someone who will go back and forth with the seller and get you the best possible price. Someone on your side.
A round-up of the events you should be chalking down on your callendar.
Panama City $185,000. For the artistically inclined, Panama City is the ultimate new frontier. Nowhere else in the region will you find such an exciting art scene. Galleries sit on nearly every corner, with exhibits and events every day of the week, music festivals, film festivals, and performance art celebrations… poetry readings and book clubs… […]
U.S. President Barack Obama recently put the final signature on what some are calling the last major trade agreements of his administration. With a simple signing ceremony, Obama made Panama—along with South Korea and Colombia—one of only 20 countries in the world to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S.
Panama is the most business-friendly country for expatriates anywhere in the Americas, a major new study in the International Living November issue reveals. When compiling our Business Index 2011, IL’s researchers examined factors such as visa requirements, ﬁnancing, how easy it is to set up a bank account, local taxes, business expenses, infrastructure and the local business culture in seven business-friendly countries.
Embassies and Consulates: Embassy of Panama (in the U.S.), 2862 McGill Terrace N.W., Washington, DC 20008; tel. (202)483-1407; fax (202)434-8413; website: www.embassyofpanama.org/cms/index3.php. Embassy of Panama (in Canada): 130 Albert Street Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5G4; tel. (613) 236-7177; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.embassyofpanama.ca. U.S. Embassy in Panama, Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue, Clayton, Panama […]
Marvin and Joanne Riddle don’t just enjoy “the best of both worlds”…they enjoy the best the whole world has to offer them. The couple spend part of every year in Florida, part of the year living on La Barqueta beach, in Panama’s Chiriquí province, and—when the mood takes them—they travel the world, too.
Here’s a note from our executive editor, Jennifer Stevens, on what we’ve covered in our November issue.
Globetrotter: Bite-sized news and notes from around the world.
Marvin and Joanne Riddle don’t just enjoy “the best of both worlds”… they enjoy the best the whole world has to offer them.
It might be a palapa bar on a white-sand beach, deep-sea ﬁshing tours, a restaurant, a surf shop, importing t-bone steaks, teaching English, making cheese, exporting art work…Whatever your idea, there’s a place overseas where you can make it a proﬁtable reality. But readers ask us all the time: Where is best? That’s why we’ve put together International Living’s ﬁrst-ever Business Index.
In this month’s Property Picks, we’re highlighting properties next to some of the world’s best dive destinations.
To evaluate our seven countries for our Business Index 2011 we consulted seasoned entrepreneurs who’ve made the move and learned the ropes, as well as worked through in-country attorneys. We asked them about visa requirements, ﬁnancing, and how easy it was to set up a bank account. They told us about local taxes, business expenses, infrastructure and the local culture for doing business, Here is what they had to say…
For International Living’s first ever Business Index we asked our in-country correspondents and a host of expat entrepreneurs what opportunities they see around them in their new homes. These gaps in the market include everything from small guesthouses to dog grooming services… read on to spot your opportunity.
You couldn’t ask for a better location than Panama City’s popular and central El Cangrejo neighborhood. As an example, a furnished, one-bedroom, 650-square-foot condo with air conditioning recently sold for $82,000. The building has all the amenities you’d want like social area and pool, sauna, party room, and doorman.
When not behind the counter of his Panama City bagel shop, Jon Hurst makes the most of his adopted home. The Maine native has lived in Panama City for six years, and with easy access to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, as well as the country’s magnificent highlands, he’s spoiled for choice.
Whenever I travel to any of Latin America’s colonial cities, I can’t help but compare them to my home, the historic Casco Viejo district of Panama City. I’ve lived here for almost five years and I love this neighborhood’s friendly, bohemian vibe and beautiful buildings.
Columbus landed in the Dominican Republic in 1492—the same year he “discovered” some of the other Caribbean islands. Like those other islands, the Dominican Republic is ringed by white sand beaches and coconut palms. Unspoiled towns boast stone churches and candy-colored home facades.
This month, International Living released its Annual Global Retirement Index 2011. To rank our winners this year, we analyzed 37 critical data points for each of our top 23 retirement havens. As usual, Panama is a heavy hitter, taking one of the top 3 spots.
Here’s a round-up of some of the travel-related stories that have been making the news around the globe.
For many folks, the drive down California’s Highway One epitomizes the road trip. The views are glorious. But it’s hardly the only stretch of road that’ll make you stop and stare. That’s why we asked our International Living editors to tell us about their favorite road trips. Here’s the list below, in no particular order of preference.