6 Reasons Panama In 2019 Is Still One Of The Best Places To Move To

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Panama City, PanamaPanoramic view of Panama City

According to USNews, Panama is one of the world’s top retirement destinations. In a survey, done by International Living magazine, Panama came out on top in their 2019 Annual Global Retirement Index.

According to the magazine, Panama is "Modern, convenient, and close to the U.S.—not to mention sunny, warm, and welcoming."

So, what are some of the other reasons why expats, retires, travelers and entrepreneurs are moving to Panama?

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The weather is amazing
On the many occasions that I have visited Panama the weather was always beautiful. There are days when you get a couple showers, but the place is mostly always sunny, except of course during the wet season ((May through to December) when there is a little more rain.

One of the good things about the weather in Panama is that you don't have to be concerned about hurricane as the country is outside the hurricane belt.

If you enjoy fishing, you can make use of the great weather and head out to the Gulf of Chiriquí, Piñas Bay or Coiba National Park and enjoy nature to its fullest.

You can look out for yellowfin tuna and black marlin from December to April in the waters of Coiiba Island.

Other fishing options include certain areas along the Azuero Peninsula, Lake Gatún and Pedasí (where you can expect to get amberjack, grouper, cubera snapper and roosterfish and others).

Coiba Island, Panama
Coiba Island, Panama


The food is delicious
Panama is a cosmopolitan country and this is reflected in its cuisine. You will find a lot of restaurants offering international cuisine including Greek, Spanish, Arabic and North American. Would you believe that the first time I ate Greek food was in Panama?

The local cuisine is somewhat similar to that of creole food, spicy and sometimes hot. If you're planning to move to Panama then you should definitely get to know some of the local favourites.

Ropa vieja:
Shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables.

Sancocho panameño:
Hearty stew with meat, vegatable and spices. National dish.

Patacones de plátano:
Mashed fried green plantains. Normally eaten with a meal.

Arroz con pollo:
Rice with chicken and vegetables. Olives and capers as well.
Every time I go to Panama I have a plate or two.

Patacones, fried green plantains Panamanian style
Patacones, fried green plantains Panamanian style


Many residency options

If you're planning to move to Panama then there are a lot of residency programs available.

Panama Friendly Nations Visa
Panama issues permanent residence to citizens from 50 friendly nations who have professional and economic ties with Panama.

After five years, residency permit holders can apply for Panamanian citizenship and passport.

Pensionado Program
The Pensionado program was introduced in 1987 by the Panamanian government to enable foreign retirees to acquire legal residency in Panama provided that they have a lifetime pension income of not less than $1,000 per month.

Panama Reforestation Visa

The Panama Reforestation Visa will give you permanent second residency that may culminate to full Panamanian citizenship by simply investing in hardwood forests.

Panama Professional Residence Permit
This is a legal document that can be obtained by foreigners who want to work professionally for a company in Panama and wish to be given residency.

These are just four of the options available. If you want to find out more contact us and we will let you know the best option for you.

Panama flag and different passports

Cost of living is not expensive
One of the things I noticed in Panama is the cost of renting an apartment. You can get a fully furnished one bedroom apartment in the city for around $800 to $1100.

When I say fully furnished I mean with washer/dryer, stove, microwave, refrigerator, television, air condition units and even Wi-Fi.

A two bedroom will cost you more of course. Depending on you taste you may have to spend $1400 to $1600. Of course if you're looking for upscale accommodation you will have to spend around $3000 to $4500.

If however, you move out of the city you can get an apartment for as little as $700 to $800. Food will also be cheaper in small towns and rural areas. If you know where to shop in Panama City you can get some really good food prices as well.

Panoramic view of Panama City, Panama

Exciting outdoors - enjoy nature
If you plan to live in Panama City and you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day city life, then you won't have a problem.

You can take a drive out to one of the rural towns and enjoy the fresh air of the countryside or visit one of the several beautiful islands on Panams's Caribbean coast.

On the Caribbean coast you can enjoy the turquoise water of San Blas islands, Isla Grande, Isla Escudo de Veraguas and Bocas del Toro.

You can also head out to Pacific coast to enjoy the beach, surf, food and ambiance of Playa Venao. Gulf of Chiriquí, which is a protected national park with 25 islands and 19 coral reefs can be found further west and is also a great way to spend the day or weekend.

Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Bocas Del Toro, Panama


No taxes on overseas income

Your income is not taxed, if you're an entrepreneur, resident in Panama with a Panamanian company that earns income overseas.

If you're looking for tax and other benefits for your company, there are three Tax Free Trade Zones in Panama. The Colon Free Trade Zone, the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Zone and the City of Knowledge.

All offer varying levels of tax and other benefits to company that set up there.

If you earn less than $11,000 per year you pay no personal income tax, between $11,000 and $50,000 you pay 15% and those earning $50,000 or more pay 25%.

It is strongly advised that you consult a tax expert before you move to Panama you so you can fully understand how taxes are applied, benefits and your obligations.

Business woman calculates tax

Other Panamanian articles of interest:

How To Get Panama Residency And Other Visas
Why Panamanian Residency Is Easier Than Most Others
How To Easily Move To Panama If You Are From These 50 Nations

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