Why Panama?

PANAMA FACTS & FIGURES

Official Name: Republic of Panama (Republica de Panama)
Capital: Panama City
Nationality: Panamanian
Languages: Spanish is the official and dominant language spoken in Panama. However, English is now a second official language and widely spoken.
Currency: Balboa and US Dollar
Population: 3,191,319 (July 2006 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.6% (July 2006 est.)
Government Type: Constitutional Democracy
Army: Abolished in 1990

PANAMA TODAY

There is a reason why numerous travel publications have rated Panama the number one second home and retirement destination in the world! More than its famous and important Canal, Panama is Latin America's paradise.

Its warm weather, diverse ecosystem, breathtaking beaches, high standard of living and truly affordable real estate make it an ideal place to invest in and establish a second home.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Panama does not suffer from the frequent hurricanes (or any other natural catastrophes) that plague its neighboring Caribbean and southern US coasts.

Panama's weather is separated by two seasons, the dry (or summer season), which lasts between the months of December and April, and the wet (or winter season) for the remainder of the year. Temperature variations across different regions of the country are present primarily due to their altitude and proximity to the ocean.

STABLE AND GROWING ECONOMY

Panama's economy registers its greatest economic growth in five years, growing from 6.4% in 2006 to 11.2% in 2007. According to Reuters, Panama is one of Latin America's fastest-growing economies, spurred by increased canal traffic, a booming construction sector, buoyant banks and increased exports of tropical fruit.

The Canal Expansion, a USD$5.25 billion project is aimed at doubling the capacity of the canal and attracting an incredible 40,000 jobs during the estimated timeline of seven to eight years.

With the U.S. dollar circulating as legal tender since 1904, Panama's economic stability provides very low inflation rates and virtually no currency fluctuations.

Panama has developed a successful and Hi-End international "Banking Center" in Latin America, with more than 85 banks from 35 countries. Panama also has transparency and security standards worthy of a First-World service.

WORLD-CLASS GOLFING, SAILING, DIVING, RAFTING AND FISHING

Panama is home to some of the world's best golf courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Panama is also known for its excellent fishing and is host to many international fishing competitions.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Panama is considered one of the safest countries in all of South and Central America. Panamanians are extremely friendly and welcoming people, and foreigners who live in Panama, will tell you that they feel very safe and that street crimes are uncommon.

LOW COST OF LIVING

Even though Panama boasts a standard of living that is comparable to North America and Europe, the cost is significantly lower. For example, a full-time live-in maid would run approximately $250 monthly; a taxi will charge $2 to virtually any destination within city limits; a movie in a North American style cinema will cost under $4; an afternoon at a beauty salon is $8; a gardener will roughly cost $10 a day; and a luxurious restaurant meal (including appetizers, sides, drinks, and tips) will cost close to $50 per couple.

WORLD-CLASS MODERN INFRASTRUCTURE

Panama features one of the world's most sophisticated telecommunications networks and first- world countrywide road infrastructure. The country's modern shopping malls, banking center and hospitals will easily rival any of those in North America. With a purified tap water system, high-speed Internet access, cable TV, international restaurants, clubs, casinos and much more, you'll find that making the transition to Panama is easy when all the luxuries of back home are within arm's reach.

WARM CLIMATE ALL YEAR ROUND

Panama offers warm weather all year round, with temperatures fluctuating between 22 and 30 degrees Celsius. Due to its proximity to the equator, Panama does not suffer from the frequent hurricanes that hit the Caribbean and southern US coast.

A GREAT RETIREMENT DESTINATION

Panama has been ranked by numerous sources as one of the best places in the world to retire. In September of this year, it has been recently announced "For the sixth consecutive year, the same country has come out on top of the IL Global Retirement Index. After closely reviewing eight key factors: Real Estate Prices, Special Benefits for Retirees, Cost of Living, Safety and Stability, Health Care, Climate, Culture & Entertainment, and Infrastructure, Panama came out the top destination". This is not surprising considering the attractive incentive program retirees receive (discounts of up to 50% off on entertainment, transportation, accommodations, restaurants, hospital bills, prescription medicines, medical consultation and exams, utility bills, and much more)

A FOREIGN INVESTOR AND RETIREE-FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT.

Panama has the best retiree benefits plan in the world and also an investor-friendly government. Doing business in Panama is a pleasure because many in Panama's entrepreneurial class are US-educated starting with President Martin Torrijos himself and his top officials.

Some of the benefits for retirees:

  • 50% off entertainment including movies, concerts, theater etc. (a regular movie ticket costs $4 - the retiree price is $2.)
  • 25% off restaurants
  • 50% off hotel accommodations
  • 30% off bus, boat and train fares
  • 25% off domestic and international airline tickets
  • 10% off prescription medicines (much cheaper than US prices to begin with)
  • 15% off dental and eye exams
  • 50% off closing costs for home loans

Unlike other countries, in Panama foreigners who buy property enjoy all the same rights and protections as Panamanians.

GLOBALIZED- CULTURE

Panamanian have a long history of living and working with foreigners and they actually enjoy foreigners. There's a saying that Panama was "born globalized".

Historically, Panama is home to immigrants from all over the world. The different communities comprised of different nationalities and races have get along amicably. Like most Latin American countries most common are "mestizos" or persons who are a combination of European and Indian origin.

You will find that Panamananians are friendly and fun loving. Of special note is their predilection for beauty and elegance. This sense of beauty is visible in many ways, from the delicacy of their Indian handicrafts, to their beautifully groomed women and in the Panama City's many well appointed neighborhoods.

Located in Central America, Panama is easy to get to. It is just 3 to 5 hours by plane from the United States of America, there are non- stop daily flights to Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Newark, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Orlando and Fort Lauderdale served by Delta, Continental, American, Copa and Spirit Airlines. From Europe, KLM has 3 directly weekly flights. From Canada, Air Transat has a weekly Charter flight out of Toronto.