postheadericon How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

Three Parts:Preparing to MoveDeciding Where to LiveAdjusting to PanamaCommunity Q&A

The Republic of Panama is a country that welcomes retiring people from many countries including the USA. It offers multiple climate choices, from the tropics on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans to the temperate climates of the mountains. The U.S. dollar goes far in this country. Infrastructure is some of the best, with nearly the entire country having WiFi, cell phone reception, utilities available…and that cost a fraction of what they would elsewhere.

In 2013, the Panamanians were decided to be the happiest people on earth according to the World Health Organization. Healthcare is excellent, and at the time of this article, costs about $200.00 per person per year.

Part 1 Preparing to Move

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

1 Show financial ability to support yourself. Prove that you have $1,000 for a single person (or $1,250.00 for a couple) of income per month. This can be social security, retirement funds or other. You can also demonstrate that you are a person of means. This is defined as having $100,000.00 or more in funds and will meet the financial requirement.

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

2 Have a clean record. The Panamanian Government is not looking for individuals with a criminal history, so your record (FBI) must be clean. All required documents, including the FBI report, birth certificate and others can be found in list form at the Panamanian Embassy site listed under Citations below. They all must be ORIGINAL documents, and must go through a Panamanian lawyer.

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

3 Secure a Pensionado Visa. This is a retirement visa. It both allows you to stay in the country, as well as access the Pensionado benefits. Pensionado visas provide for deep discounts on everything from entertainment to travel. Unlike the USA, the discounts are not minimal. Anyone with a lifetime pension regardless of age can get a Pensionado Visa, but note, you are not allowed to work. Many other visas are available for those who are not yet drawing a pension such as investment, student, immigrant, work and teaching visas. This visa provides for discounts up to 25% off of any dining out and 50% off entertainment. It also provides deep discounts on airfare, goods and services and many more, too many to list. Part 2 Deciding Where to Live

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

1 Deciding where to live. You may want to take a trip before moving, to explore the different areas and decide what you like. Boquete is a high elevation plain where many English speaking people have retired. It has a thriving ex-pat community from the USA and other English speaking countries. The languages in the Republic of Panama are Spanish, Mandarin and Mayan dialects (especially in the West coast rain forest, or in the more mountainous regions). Most individuals do speak some English.

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

2 Rent a house first. Unless you already are familiar with Panama, you might find that within the first six months to a year, you find a place where you really would like to live. If you have rented a house, moving is much easier. There are English-Speaking gated communities. This could be good or bad depending on your point of view.

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

3 Learn at least some Spanish. The Panamanian people are nice to begin with, but if you try to speak to them in their own language, it is says something about you. People will help you as much as they can if you attempt to speak a bit of Spanish. It is helpful if you start this learning process even before you move and while you are living in Panama. There is a cultural dynamic that occurs when people at least try to speak with them in their native tongue. It dispels the perception of US citizens as expecting everyone to learn English, rather than both parties trying to enhance communication. Part 3 Adjusting to Panama

How to Retire in the Republic of Panama

1 Enjoy your new life. From golf to horseback riding, gorgeous vistas and beaches never more than an hour’s drive, it is a wonderful way to live. For less than $10 per week you can even have a maid, or for a few more dollars per week, a gardener. Given these reasonable costs, it is wonderful for people as they age, and need the additional help. One can get it without going broke in the process.

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