If you are considering Panama as a place for retirement, then this article is for you. Here you will find the advantages of retiring in Panama as well as reasons why this country may not be suitable for some people. Panama is currently home to thousands of American and European expats and continues to gain a constant influx of tourists and retirees. Read on to discover why Panama has become the second home of many Americans, and also find out why some people just go there for a vacation.
· Low cost of living – People who have made the move to Panama love the fact that it is a place where living expenses are very cheap. A couple can dine in a Panamanian restaurant for less than $8 including drinks. You can also get health insurance for as low as $60 per month. Panama is a place where basic necessities and healthcare are very inexpensive; hence, people who migrated to this country are experiencing a more comfortable life. Expats are also entitled to apply for the “Pensionado” retirement program that can give them huge discounts on lots of things including food and airline tickets. Retirement funds can be stretched to the fullest in Panama so one can be able to live a good life and afford luxury items.
· World class healthcare – Panama is well-known for its medical tourism. People from various parts of the world go to Panama for high standard yet inexpensive medical treatments. Panama has many state of the art and modern hospitals that are comparable to those in America, Canada and Europe. Many Panamanian medical practitioners are also graduates of US universities. Thus healthcare in Panama is of excellent quality that can match those in the US and Canada.
· Beautiful and relaxed environment – Panama boasts of attractive tourist destinations and residential villages that are beautiful and soothing for the soul. Take your pick on whether you’d like to stay in the cool mountain highlands, be near the beach or experience life in the city. Panama offers really beautiful scenery and lots of outdoor activities. Whether you’d like to go hiking, swimming, bird watching, or river rafting, Panama offers a relaxed atmosphere that can be stress-relieving.
· Booming economy – Panama is a very financially stable country that derives most of its income from the Panama Canal. According to Wikipedia, Panama City continues to experience economic growth due to the continuous expansion of the Panama Canal that contributes significantly to the country’s trade and industry. Panama gets most of its income from banking, commerce and tourism. Road expansions, airport improvements, the Panama Canal expansion and many more infrastructure and developmental projects are slated this year and the coming years ahead.
· Safe place to live – Panamanians are generally peaceful loving folks who are used to having a relaxed lifestyle. Crime rate in Panama is low since many of the citizens have jobs.
· Tropical weather – This can either be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your needs. Climate in Panama is tropical so expect a lot of sun and rain. It can get uncomfortably hot and humid during the summer months and rainy on other parts of the year. However, there is one place in Panama where the weather is much cooler and this place is known as Boquete Panama. Many Americans have come to live in Boquete because of its spring-like climate all year-round.
· Undisciplined traffic system – Panama is not very orderly when it comes to how its traffic rules and regulations are being followed. A red stoplight doesn’t always mean stop as well as many parking and driving laws. It may take some time getting used to this “craziness” especially when one comes from countries with well-regulated traffic.
· Cultural differences – Panama is a Spanish-speaking country that has its own unique culture. While the Panamanians are very friendly people, they do not respond well to criticism and aggressive demands especially if you are an English-speaking person. It would be a plus to learn more about the Panamanian culture and embrace it, so you can interact well with its people.
Retirement planning is absolutely essential especially if you’re considering moving to Panama. Let the above pros and cons help you decide if Panama is right for you. While other articles only highlight the advantages of retiring in Panama, identifying the drawbacks are also important. Take your time and plan your retirement carefully. Schedule a Panama tour to see for yourself what life is like Panama. Living in Panama has both pros and cons just like all other things.