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Retirement paradise is at hand with Panama Residency for Pensioners. Discover the advantages
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Specialized international magazines have highlighted the benefits of Panama residency for pensioners. The law firm Caporaso & Partners offers you this complete guide on Panama residency for pensioners. If after reading the article, you want to apply here you will find the cost and form, we will take care of the rest.
In recent years, Panama has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for pensioners from all over the world. With its warm climate, economic stability, and a policy of welcoming foreigners, it is not surprising that many consider it a paradise to live their golden years.
This Central American country offers an idyllic setting for those looking to enjoy retirement in a place that combines natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a high standard of living at an affordable cost.
With pleasant temperatures year-round, pensioners can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities without the limitations imposed by winter in many other parts of the world. From sunny beaches to cool mountains and lush jungles, Panama offers a perfect setting for nature lovers and those who desire an active and healthy lifestyle.
Many exclusive benefits for pensioners and retirees
In addition, Panama stands out for its specific benefits for pensioners, including no taxation of pensions. The country has implemented a Panama residency visa program for pensioners, which is recognized worldwide for its generous tax incentives.
The incentives include tax exemptions on the importation of personal property and vehicles, as well as significant discounts on medical services, utility bills, entertainment and travel. These advantages make the cost of living very attractive for those looking to stretch their pensions and enjoy a quality lifestyle.
Panama’s economic security and stability are key factors in its attractiveness to pensioners. With a dynamic economy, and one of the highest growth rates in the region, Panama offers a secure and stable environment.
The official currency is the Balboa, which has been pegged to the US dollar since 1904 at a 1 to 1 parity. This provides additional financial stability and eliminates the risk of exchange rate fluctuations for those who rely on income or savings in dollars. Balboa coins circulate in the country up to the face value of 1, and U.S. dollar bills.
Pensioner residency in Panama is also favored by the hospitality and warmth of its people. Integration into the local community is easy, with friendly Panamanians and a growing expatriate community providing a social support network for newcomers.
In addition, Panama has a modern infrastructure, with high-quality healthcare services, comfortable and affordable housing options, and an efficient transportation system, ensuring a comfortable and convenient living experience.
How to obtain Panama residency for pensioners?
Obtaining residency in Panama for pensioners has become an attractive option for many foreigners seeking to enjoy their retirement in a quiet, safe and welcoming environment. Panama offers a pensioner visa program recognized worldwide for its benefits and facilities, designed specifically for those who receive a pension or retirement from abroad. Below, we detail the necessary requirements and benefits of obtaining residency for pensioners in Panama.
To qualify for the pensioner visa in Panama, the principal applicant must meet the following criteria:
Age: you need to be at least 18 years old. Yes, you got it right, only 18 years old.
Pension Income: Must demonstrate a monthly retirement income of at least 1,000 USD, guaranteed for life. This income can come from any government, agency or company, and must be verifiable.
Dependents: Dependents (spouse, parents and children) may be included in the application by demonstrating an additional financial solvency of USD 250 per month for each dependent. This additional amount can come from the same pension or through a local bank reference letter in the name of the main applicant.
Property in Panama: If the applicant purchases a property in Panama for a value of more than 100,000 USD, the required monthly income is reduced to 750 USD.
For the application process it is mandatory to contact an immigration lawyer in Panama such as Caporaso & Partners and make sure to meet all the requirements. Prepare and apostille the necessary documentation, certificates of citizenship or DNI from your country where citizenship clearly appears, marriage certificate (if applicable), health certificate issued in Panama (we help you with this), and proof of pension income. The documents must be translated in Panama, for this reason we request the previous sending.
In 5 working days the law firm Caporaso & Partners guarantees your residency in Panama for pensioners.
Benefits of the Pensionado Visa in Panama
Pensionado residency in Panama offers numerous benefits, including a duty free allowance for the importation of household goods up to 10,000 USD and for the importation of one vehicle every two years.
The benefits to retirees and pensioners are guaranteed by the National Assembly of the Republic of Panama (G.O. 26314-A) “comprises Law 6 of 1987, on benefits to retirees, pensioners and senior citizens, as amended by Law 18 of 1989, Law 15 of 1992, Law 37 of 2001, Law 14 of 2003, Law 51 of 2005 and Law 30 of 2008”.
The Law guarantees that persons of Panamanian nationality or foreigners residing in the country who are 55 years of age or older in the case of women, or 60 years of age or older in the case of men, as well as all retirees and pensioners, are entitled to the following benefits:
1. 50% discount on the price of admission to recreation and entertainment activities, such as cinemas, theaters, sports and other public shows.
2. Discounts on public transportation, with discounts of 30% for intercity buses, trains, boats and ships, and 25% on air tickets of national and international companies.
3 Discounts in hotels, motels and guesthouses, with a 50% discount from Monday to Thursday and a 30% discount on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
4. 25% discount on the value of individual consumption of food in any restaurant, except in fondas, which do not require a commercial license to operate.
5 15% discount in fast food establishments with national and international franchises.
There are also medical benefits
6 15% discount on dental and optometry services, and 20% discount on fees for general medical consultations and medical and surgical specialties.
7. Discount of 20% on fees for technical and professional services.
8. 20% discount on the price of all prostheses, appliances and assistive devices and accessories.
9. Insurance companies that include the risk of illness in their policies must adjust their prices to pass on these discounts to policyholders who are 55 years of age or older in the case of women, or 60 years of age or older in the case of men, as well as retirees and pensioners.
And benefits on loans
10. Discount of 50% on closing costs or commission on personal and commercial loan transactions made in banks, finance companies and credit institutions.
11. Exemption from the payment of the surcharge or levy of the Special Interest Compensation Fund (FECI) on personal and commercial loans.
12. Discount of 15% on the maximum interest rate allowed by law on personal and commercial loans.
13. Discount of 1% on the interest rate on mortgage loans for own housing when the person turns 55 years old if female or 60 years old if male, or if he/she is a pensioner or retiree.
14 Freezing of the real estate tax when the home is solely owned by the person.
15. Exemption from the payment of the valuation tax on the property that constitutes the person’s only home.
16. Discount of 50% in the value of passports.
17. Discount of 25% in the monthly invoicing of the consumption of electric energy up to 600 kWh.
18. 25% discount on the fixed charge for telephone service when the account is in the person’s name, is residential and refers to a single telephone.
19. Discount of 25% on the water consumption fee up to B/.30.00, when the account is in the person’s name, is residential and refers to his/her home.
20. In addition, the properties of the associations of retirees and pensioners also enjoy these discounts on electric power, water, telephone, post office box, valuation tax, real estate tax and other benefits granted to non-profit associations, as provided by the laws of the Republic.
What locations do pensioners prefer in Panama?
Panama attracts pensioners from all over the world thanks to its diversity of locations, each with its own unique characteristics that cater to different lifestyles and preferences. Here we explore some of the locations preferred by pensioners in Panama and the reasons behind their popularity.
Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro is an archipelago in the Panamanian Caribbean known for its stunning natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere and vibrant international community. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers, scuba diving, surfing and other water activities. Life in Bocas del Toro can be as quiet or active as one desires, with the advantage of living surrounded by one of the most spectacular natural environments in Panama.
Boquete stands out for its cool and pleasant climate, very different from the humid heat characteristic of other tropical regions. This town is known for its stunning natural beauty, including mountains, rivers and a great variety of flora and fauna, which makes it perfect for nature lovers and outdoor activities such as hiking and bird watching. In addition, Boquete has a well-established expatriate community, offering a sense of community and ease of adjusting to life in Panama.
Chitre, located on the Azuero Peninsula, is known for its rich culture and traditions. This town provides a more authentically Panamanian living experience, with local festivals and a strong sense of community. It is ideal for pensioners looking to integrate into Panamanian culture and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. In addition, Chitre offers all the amenities necessary for comfortable living, including hospitals, supermarkets
Panama City, as the urban center of the country, attracts retirees looking for a vibrant and active retirement experience without moving away from the comforts and conveniences of modern life. The city offers a wide variety of cultural, dining and entertainment options, in addition to high-quality healthcare services and accessibility to international shopping. Living in Panama City allows pensioners to enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle, with the advantage of having easy access to natural areas and beaches within walking distance.
Coronado, located on the Pacific coast a short distance from Panama City, is preferred by those seeking a balance between accessibility to modern amenities and beach living. With a wide range of amenities, including supermarkets, restaurants, medical clinics and social activities, Coronado is ideal for retirees who desire convenience without sacrificing the charm of living near the sea. The developed infrastructure and expatriate community make Coronado a comfortable and safe place for retirement.
El Valle de Antón
The Anton Valley, (el Valle de Antón) located in the crater of an extinct volcano, is unique for its cool climate and rich biodiversity. It is a popular destination for tourists and pensioners alike, thanks to its natural beauty, gardens, waterfalls and hot springs. The expatriate community in El Valle is active and welcoming, regularly organizing activities and social events. In addition, its proximity to Panama City offers the advantage of a quiet retreat with easy access to urban amenities when desired.
Las Tablas, also located on the Azuero Peninsula, is famous for its Carnival, considered the largest and most vibrant in Panama. It is a town that attracts those seeking a serene lifestyle along with rich folkloric traditions. With its proximity to beautiful beaches, Las Tablas is perfect for pensioners who wish to enjoy the sun and sand in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere
Santa Fe, located in the province of Veraguas, is a hidden gem for those looking to escape the crowds. With its cool mountain climate, crystal clear rivers and lush vegetation, it is perfect for boarders seeking tranquility and a deep connection with nature. The community is small but cozy, offering a simple and tranquil life.
Each of these locations offers a unique environment for pensionados, depending on their personal preferences for climate, type of community, proximity to nature or urban living. The choice depends largely on what each individual or couple is looking for in retirement, with Panama offering options for almost every taste.
Once you have chosen where to live, comes the million dollar question.
What is the level of security in Panama for pensioners?
When considering Panama as a retirement destination, it stands out as one of the safest countries in Central America. Panama stands out as an attractive destination for expatriates and pensioners, in part due to its strategic geographical position. The location boosts its economy through the famous Panama Canal and places the country on the route of important trade flows.
Unfortunately, it is also on the drug trafficking routes. Despite the challenges the latter could pose in terms of security, the country has implemented a number of effective strategies to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.
Urban areas, and in particular certain parts of Panama City and Colon, can experience higher crime rates, including robberies and drug-related crimes, reflecting a common problem in many metropolises worldwide.
However, many areas, especially those favored by expatriates, maintain low levels of crime thanks to a strong police presence and community security measures.
In addition, the presence of gated communities or condominiums with 24-hour surveillance provides an additional level of security for those seeking that extra level of peace of mind.
Panama’s government has taken important steps to combat violence and crime, such as strengthening police capabilities, using advanced technology for surveillance, and implementing crime prevention programs. These actions have contributed to a decrease in certain types of crime in key areas.
Tourist areas and communities with high expatriate populations enjoy enhanced security, with regular patrols and surveillance systems helping to maintain the tranquility and security of these places.
Drug-related violence, while present, tends to be concentrated outside of the main residential and tourist areas: in areas where you certainly don’t want to live.
For residents and visitors, adopting personal security measures such as avoiding areas known to be unsafe, not walking alone at night in poorly lit places, and keeping a low profile in terms of valuables, are recommended practices to enjoy a safe stay in the country.
Compared to other countries in the region and even many European countries and U.S. states, Panama is perceived as one of the safest.
How are the health services in Panama?
Health care in Panama is recognized for its high quality and accessibility, both for residents and expatriates. The country offers a combination of public and private health services, adapting to a wide range of needs and preferences.
Public Health Services
The public health system in Panama is administered by the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Social Security Fund (CSS), providing comprehensive coverage to citizens and legal residents. Public health services are accessible at little or no cost to those enrolled in the social security system, financed through labor deductions and government contributions. This system offers a range of services including primary care, medical specialties, emergencies, hospitalizations and surgical procedures. However, it is important to mention that, although services are of good quality, there can be long waits for treatment and appointments due to high demand.
Private Health Services
Panama also has a robust private health sector, with hospitals and clinics offering high quality services. Many doctors and specialists in the private sector have received international training, ensuring a high level of care. Private hospitals in Panama, such as Hospital Punta Pacifica affiliated with Johns Hopkins International, Centro Medico Paitilla and Hospital Nacional, are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and offer a wide range of specialties.
Private health services are a popular choice among expatriates and those seeking immediate medical attention without long waits. Although costs are significantly higher compared to the public system, they are still lower than in many developed countries, especially in the United States. Many residents and expatriates choose to purchase private health insurance to cover these expenses.
Pharmacies and Medications
Pharmacies are widely available in Panama, and many offer 24-hour service. Medications are often affordable, and in many cases, it is possible to buy drugs that would require a prescription in other countries. However, it is advisable to have the proper prescription for those medications that are controlled.
Medical Care in Rural Areas
While medical care in Panama City and other metropolitan areas is of excellent quality, rural areas may face limitations in terms of availability of specialized services and advanced medical technology. However, the government is working to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare services throughout the country.
Panama has become a popular destination for medical tourism, thanks to the quality and cost of its healthcare services. Patients from all over the region and the United States visit Panama for medical procedures, dental treatments and surgeries that are significantly less expensive than in their home countries.
Health insurance in Panama plays a crucial role in access to healthcare services, especially for expatriates, foreign residents and those who prefer to use the private healthcare sector. Panama offers a variety of health insurance options to suit different needs and budgets, including local and international insurance.
Medical insurance coverage in Panama can include a wide range of services, such as primary and specialty care, hospitalizations, surgeries, emergency treatments, prescription drugs, and in some cases, dental and vision services. Insurance costs vary significantly depending on the scope of coverage, the age of the insured, the insured’s medical history and the deductible chosen. It is common for plans to offer options to adjust these factors in order to balance the desired coverage with the cost of insurance.
When choosing health insurance in Panama, it is crucial to consider several factors:
Provider Network: verify the hospitals and doctors included in the insurance network.
– Reimbursement vs. Direct Coverage: some insurances offer direct coverage at certain hospitals and clinics, while others operate on a reimbursement basis, meaning that the patient must pay upfront and request reimbursement at a later date.
– Exclusions and Limitations: understand plan exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions, and any limitations on treatments or medications.
– Customer Service: the availability of assistance in your language and the ease of handling claims and queries are also important factors.
International Medical Insurance
For expatriates and frequent travelers, international medical insurance offers broader coverage that transcends national borders. These insurances are ideal for those who wish to have the flexibility to receive high quality medical care both in Panama and in other countries. Although the costs of these insurances are generally higher, the global coverage, including medical evacuations and access to a wider network of healthcare providers, can justify the investment, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions or those who value the ability to seek second opinions and specialized treatment abroad.
Local Health Insurance
Local insurance companies in Panama offer plans designed to cover health services within the country. These plans vary in coverage and costs, ranging from basic insurance that covers emergencies and hospitalizations to more comprehensive plans that include visits to specialists, medical procedures, and medications. Local health insurance is usually less expensive than international health insurance and is sufficient for those who plan to receive all of their medical care within Panama. However, it is important to carefully review the scope of coverage, co-payments, deductibles, and plan limitations.
A list of insurers in Panama:
1. ACERTA Compañia de Seguros, S.A. www.acertaseguros.com/accidentes-personales
2. Aseguradora Ancon, S.A.. www.asegurancon.com/products/salud
3. ASSA Compañia de Seguros, S.A. www.assanet.com/seguro-de-salud
5. AXA Assistance Panamá www.pcabp.com.pa/es
6. International de Seguros Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Panamawww.iseguros.com/salud.html
7. International Touristic Medical Service of Panama, S.A. (ITMS) www.itmslatam.com
8. MAPFRE Panama www.mapfre-asistencia.com
9. MERCANTIL Seguros www.mercantilseguros.com.pa
10. PALIG (Pan American Life Insurance Group and private client) www.palig.com/pan-american-private-client
12. Quantico www.quanticoservicios.net
13. SAGICOR Panama www.sagicor.com/es-pa
15. Worldwide Medical Assurance, LTD.Corp. . www.wwmedicalassurance.com
There are also hospitals and clinics that offer medical plans:
Hospital Nacional www.hospitalnacional.com
Hospital Santa Fé www.hospitalsantafepanama.com