Living in Panama

Here are a few among many reasons to consider Panama as a retirement destination or a place to buy a second home.

American-Style Infrastructure

The Americans came here a hundred years ago to build the Panama canal. They did a great job. But they didn’t all leave when the construction was over. A lot stayed and they did more than just build a canal. They built roads, highways, bridges, airports, hospitals, telephone systems, etc. In other words, they built a high-quality, first-world infrastructure that is still here and remains the best in Central America.

Property Tax Exemption

If you are used to paying thousands of dollars in property taxes every year, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that there is a 15-20 year exemption from property taxes on newly constructed homes. There are still property taxes on the value of the land your home is built on, but the taxes only begin on land valued over $30,000, and the amounts are modest -- roughly 1% annually of the value of the land over $30,000.

Panama is Close

Panama is easy to get to from most major cities in the US, Canada and Europe. There are non-stop daily flights from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Newark, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Orlando and Fort Lauderdale courtesy of Delta, Continental, American Airlines and Copa. From Europe, KLM has 3 directly weekly flights. From Canada, AirTransat has weekly Charter flights out of Toronto.

Dependable Travel in Panama-Roads, Highways and Public Transportation

Travel within Panama is dependable and inexpensive. Taxis in Panama City are cheap and reliable. You can go just about anywhere for less than $5. The highway system is excellent. For $17 you can travel across the country on a luxury bus from Panama City to Chiriqui province in West Panama. If you are renting a car, the Interamerican highway that goes from the border of Costa Rica to Panama City is a four-lane highway most of the way.

First Class Health Services and Medical care

More than any place in Latin America, you can readily find English speaking, Western trained doctors and dentists. There are several hospitals with the latest in diagnostic testing and services. Prescription and over-the-counter medications are available at low prices. Health insurance policies are inexpensive..


Panama has the best shopping in Central America. Supermarkets like Riba Smith, El Rey and Super 99 stock just about everything you would find in a North American or European supermarket. There are 4 Price Costcos, three in Panama City and one in David in Chiriqui. There are three major shopping malls in Panama City and one in David. There are also many electronic, appliance, computer and furniture stores with familiar brands.

High Speed Internet and Services

High speed internet and reliable cell phone service are readily available in most parts of the country.

The Best Retiree Benefit Program in the World

The Panamanian government has a special benefit and discount program for retirees, including 50% off movies and concerts, 25% off restaurant meals, 50% off hotel rooms on certain days, 30% off bus, boat and train fares, 25% off domestic and international airline tickets, and 10% off prescription medicines.

Property Rights

Foreigners who purchase property in Panama enjoy the same legal rights as Panamanian citizens.

Panama has a wide selection of beaches and island venues and activities

If you love beach vacations but hate the crowds, Panama is the place for you. With two coasts and more than a thousand islands, there is much to choose from for beach vacations from full service resorts to exotic island retreats.

World Class Sport Fishing

The Pacific coast of Panama is home to world class sport fishing in the Hanibal Bank, Coiba area and Gulf of Chiriqui, where there is an abundance of yellow fin tuna, marlin, snook, roosterfish and other species.