The amazing benefits of retiring to Panama used to be secret, but not anymore. Panama offers a very comfortable retirement, in part because the nation is much more developed than most visitors expect, and that usually stay shocked after seen the skylines and the infrastructure development in Panama City, its beaches and highlands, plus the many amenities the country has to offer its residents and visitors.
Long overshadowed by its neighbors such as Mexico and Costa Rica where mass tourism is now the norm, Panama has been relatively unknown except for travelers with special interests such as world record deep sea fishing, birding, river rafting and rain forest experiences. All these exciting opportunities together with gorgeous beaches and great surfing, kayaking and diving, ensure Panama has something for everyone. It has an interesting cultural background, from stone age indigenous peoples the history of conquistadors and now a modern society with infrastructure that is first world.
Consistent with the generally reasonable cost of living in Panama is the affordability of available real estate in Panama. Whether you are looking to live in a Panama City high-rise apartment, a condo in a gorgeous beachfront community, or a house in the temperate mountain region, you will find very reasonably priced real estate to suit your needs and desires. Most people who retire in Panama find themselves enjoying the property they have always dreamed about but couldn’t afford in the U.S., Europe, or Canada.
Health care in Panama is also both inexpensive and modern. Many Panamanian doctors are U.S.trained, and hospital standards are on par with what you would find in North America or Europe. In fact, Panama City’s major facilities are all affiliated with prestigious U.S. hospitals. Perhaps the most appealing advantage is the private health insurance and prescription drugs that are readily available and much less expensive than their U.S. equivalents.
Another major attraction that Panama offers its visitors and residents in Panama City is the new Phase 1 of the Panama Metro (Metro de Panama), a metropolitan subway line that was inaugurated on 5 April 2014. Now they are building Phase 2 and Phase 3 is coming with a new bridge over the Panama Canal.
With an US style infrastructure, Panama offers an easy transition particularly for US retirees. More than ever before, U.S. baby boomers are considering retirement outside the U.S.A. Having traveled far more extensively and being more active and adventurous than previous generations, they are also identifying the need to maximize their diminishing retirement incomes, so the idea of overseas retirement is appealing to many. Discovering a less stressful environment also has a definite allure! Living and retiring overseas was once an option available only for the wealthy, it is now an affordable trend.
Copa Airlines, the national airline of Panama, in alliance with Continental Airlines is increasing its direct flights to an additional number of US cities, Canada and of course all of South America and the Caribbean.
Interest in Panama does not only come from the United States; many Canadians are heading further south than Florida for their “snowbird” sojourns - and staying for retirement. The increasing cost of living, overcrowding and higher crime rates in Florida, encourages them to take a slightly longer flight south! There are no direct flights, but it is easily accessible through various U.S. cities with comfortable transfers.
Lufthansa is flight direct from Frankfurt, Air France from Paris, KLM from Amsterdam, Iberia from Madrid.
Despite the distance, Europeans are not unaware of the affordable opportunities that Panama has to offer. The Expatriate Telegraph (offshoot of a venerable British newspaper) suggests an alternative retirement destination to the usual venues of Spain, France and Portugal that retirees should consider, a “warm, adventurous and inexpensive place to retire, Panama also offers an attractive incentive program for retirees”. Again Panama compares most favorably with the more usual European choice of retirement destinations with its lower cost of living and great climate, not to mention the financial incentives.
Additionally, Tocumen International Airport has decided to bet big. Expecting to double its capacity to service 18 million passengers for 2016, the administration of the airport decided to implement an aggressive investment plan that includes the expansion of the North and South terminals, at an investment of USD 769 million. The proposed expansion, which will be built at an estimated area of 150 hectares of land area, was conceived with the objective of maximizing the potential of the main international gateway.
The international mainstream press is also waxing lyrical about Panama, articles in National Geographic, Travel and Leisure, New York Times, LA Times Boston Globe and Harper’s Bazaar are stimulating interest with descriptions such as “the most beautiful retreat in the world and almost undiscovered” (Harpers). “Known mostly for its canal, Panama is in fact an undiscovered tourist paradise” (Boston Globe). Articles like these ensure that tourists and retirees are discovering Panama very quickly.
There has never been a better time to invest in real estate in Panama.
Panama's Public Registry is well respected and shows proof of ownership and clear title to property However it is strongly recommended that you carry out due diligence on any property you wish to purchase, even in a development. Searches should be carried out in the Public Registry.
Title insurance is strongly recommended and the BusinessPanama Group represents one of the largest US title insurance companies. Read our article for a better understanding of buying a property in Panama.
The legal department of the BusinessPanama Group will be pleased to assist you with the legal requirements for all aspects of real estate purchase. The preferred method for most expatriates to hold property is in a Panamanian Corporation.
In the BusinessPanama Group, we have experienced licensed real estate brokers, lawyers and other professionals to assist you on any service you may need.
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