Mossack Fonseca – International Living (IL) has named Panama the best place to retire in 2016. Their correspondents, editors, and contributors across the globe analysed, rated, and ranked the most popular retirement destinations.
Panama has long been a favourite of retirees. You’ll find them along both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, on white-sand islands, living contentedly nestled in mountain valleys, and along the glittering promenade of Panama City. Panama has hands down the best package of retirement benefits in the world. Pick your climate—tropical or temperate. On top of that, Panama is just a three-hour flight from Miami.
Both the cost of living and crime rate are low, the weather is warm and pleasant throughout the entire year, health care services are excellent highlighted by the Johns Hopkins affiliated hospital, the food is delicious, the airport offers worldwide flights, it’s only 2 ½ hours to Miami, the roads and highways are excellent, cell phone services are top notch, and high speed Internet service and cable TV are great. These are just some of the reasons that make Panama a great place to live and/or retire.
All that is required to qualify as a pensionado (pensioner) is that you must be in good health, AIDS-free, have an up-to-date passport from your country of citizenship, and you must draw a minimum pension of $750 and invest at least $100,000 in property in Panama or you must have a pension of at least $1,000 per month (no real estate requirement). However, there is a plus: you may now pool your pension with your spouse’s to meet the minimum pension requirement.
Foreigners who become pensionados can buy and own Panama property and enjoy exactly the same rights and protections as Panamanians, not always the case in many nations and an important point people often forget to consider. As for income taxes, you will be pleased to know that in Panama you pay no taxes on income earned outside of Panama.
Panama has created the most attractive special benefits programs for foreigners and retirees. As a pensionado [retiree] in Panama, you will receive:
- 50% discount at most recreational, movie, and sporting events
- 30% discount off public transportation (including buses and ships)
- 25% discount off Copa airline flights
- 50% discount off hotel stays on weekdays (30% on weekends)
- 25% discount at selected restaurants
- 15% discount at fast food restaurants
- 10% discount off prescription drugs
- 20% discount on doctor’s visits
- 15% discount on dental work
- 25% discount on your electric bill (if less than $50)
- 25% discount on your telephone and water bills.
In addition, a pensionado is 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 for the importation or local purchase of a car.