Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Discovering Panama-A Retirement Paradise

By Mona Sutherland

SUMMARY: Panama is a great place to live and retire and is considered one of the most secure capital cities in the region, practically free from natural disasters. Its tropical climate has two seasons, the rainy and dry seasons. The entire year is usually like spring, with average temperatures ranging from 70ºF to 90ºF in the city.

Getting to Know Panama

The word “Panama” means “abundance of fish and butterflies.” In addition to the variety of wildlife, one will also discover in Panama an abundance of great opportunities to live, retire or invest.

The population of Panama is approximately 3.2 million and its territory approximately 29,157-square miles. Panama possesses a democratic government and, consistent with the governance model for democratic states, is divided into three branches: legislative, judicial and executive, commonly referred to as “separation of power.” Panama’s economy is very stable in part due to the circulating currency, which is the United States dollar. Furthermore, Panama possesses a first-rate banking system.

Panama is a great place to live and retire and is considered one of the most secure capital cities in the region, practically free from natural disasters. Its tropical climate has two seasons, the rainy and dry seasons. The entire year is usually like spring, with average temperatures ranging from 70ºF to 90ºF in the city.

Urban or Rural Retirement

Where to people want to retire? Some retirees may imagine their retirement in the country with a temperate mountain climate among vegetation, fresh breeze, beautiful rivers and a variety of flora and fauna. Others may want to spend their retirement lying on a white sand beach shaded by a palm tree from the vibrant sun, taking an occasional dip in the crystalline waters. Another option for retirees is to live in a high-energy city full of 5-star restaurants, casinos and commercial centers. Panama offers all of these options to the retiree. In Panama, the best of various worlds is concentrated in a warm, friendly country, perfect for retirement.

Quality of Life for the Retiree

The cost of living in Panama is moderate, and much less than in the United Status. Baby boomers can retire comfortably with a modest budget. Housing, public services, gasoline and other general expenses are accessible.

Many are surprised by the infrastructure in Panama City, as was George Bush on his official visit in 2005, commenting that he had not expected to find a modern city. Panama possesses the tallest buildings in Latin America, according the Web site http://www.skyscraperpage.com. Furthermore, from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, flights leave everyday to important international destinations. In addition to a modern airport, Panama’s highway systems and ports are well structured.

In terms of services, Panama has achieved impressive developments in communications, such as cellular phone coverage, various long-distance providers, broadband Internet and satellite and cable television.

Panama possesses excellent medical facilities and, like all professionals in the field, adheres to high quality standards.

Legal Incentives for Retirees

The local laws offer multiple benefits for foreigners, both retirees and investors. Some of the incentives include:

• No taxes on income generated outside of Panama.
• Discounts for retirees on medicine, medical attention, restaurants, movie tickets, public services, airline tickets and accommodations, among others.
• Exoneration of taxes for a term of 10 to 20 years for the purchase of undeveloped real estate, depending on its value.

Panama welcomes retirees with open arms.
A survey by the Panamanian Institute of Toursim (IPAT) revealed that the thing that tourists and foreigners residing in Panama liked most about Panama is the people. Panamanian’s warmth, friendliness and hospitality have won a place in the hearts of those who visit, with many choosing to stay.

But, there are not words to describe all that Panama has to offer. Come check it out for yourself!

1 comment:

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