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Panama is a forward thinking, upwardly mobile country and it is obvious. Everywhere you look, from the Azuero Peninsula, to Panama City, to Chiriqui province, and all points in any direction the progress is palpable.
In the last few years the government has invested over $200 million to update Panamanian airports, ensuring that it is the best connected country in Latin America.
The Tocumen International Airport in Panama City and the Enrique Malek in David have undergone extensive renovations and additions, changing their designation in the “airport hierarchy.” In Rio Hato, Cocle province, the Scarlett Martinez International Airport is going to be the catalyst for a huge surge in tourism for Panama. It is situated close to resorts on the Pacific beaches so will enable Canadian and U.S. tourists to fly directly there.
Residential communities are under construction throughout the country, running the gamut from low cost tract houses to elaborate gated communities.
New and improved infrastructure, an impressive metro system in Panama City, new medical clinics and hospitals being constructed constantly are just a few of the constant improvements. Hospital Chiriqui in David has recently over doubled in size, as one example.
The province of Chiriqui alone is mind boggling in its full steam ahead progress. Look in any direction or on any street in the city of David and you will discover huge multi-floored edifices under construction from apartment/condo complexes to business/retail centres. A gargantuan mall is now in its second year of construction just outside the city on the highway to Boquete. It will not only boast four hundred stores, but will also be the home of the giant bus terminal. This project alone employs thousands of workers and in turn, when completed, will employ as many as 5000 staff.
The latest grand improvement in David is of course the monolithic state of the art baseball stadium which opened its doors on March 23, 2018 to enthusiastic fanfare. Panamanians take their baseball extremely seriously and this, the Kenny Serracin Estadio, is the proof and David’s pride and joy. It is a majestic landmark which seats between four thousand and six thousand fans and provides parking for three hundred vehicles.
Not to be outdone, Boquete is in the midst of excavating a new and sorely needed sewage system as well as waterworks improvements. A giant new Super Baru supermarket has recently opened, and it seems as though there is at least one new restaurant opening every week, ranging from the funky to the elegant.
Next on their horizon, just outside Boquete, in the area known as El Frances, a huge convention center is in the works. “It is the only center of its kind in the region, surrounded by nature, with environmentally friendly structures, a recyclable waste water plant, and a renewable energy system.” announced the Panamanian Tourism Authority administrator. “It will boost convention tourism in the province and positively affect tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants.”
Very close to the border between Panama and Costa Rica lies the town of Puerto Armuelles, once a United Fruit Growers town, consisting mainly of banana plantation workers. When UFG pulled stakes and abandoned this port town due to labor problems, it became a sleepy little shadow of its former self.
Recently, Del Monte has pledged to raise this phoenix from the ashes. Consequently many investors’ eyes are back on Puerto Armuelles. It is estimated that more than 15,000 jobs will become available, along with a myriad of satellite opportunities. As well, there is talk of a cruise ship port being located there someday.
New roads are being built south of Puerto Armuelles for better access to the southern peninsula and its beautiful beaches
Panama is a country in perpetual motion, ever striving to be better in every way. At this point there are, as is normal, growing pains and setbacks but mostly it is full steam ahead. This little isthmus is making huge strides each and every day.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LIVING IN PANAMA
Click on the link below to listen to a one-hour Q & A Conference Call about relocating to Panama
In Panama, certain professions are protected for Panamanians only. Some examples are doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, veterinarians, counselors. Consult with your Panamanian attorney to find out if there are restrictions for your professions.
If your profession is one where you cannot work in “that field” in Panama, it does not mean that you cannot earn a good living working in Panama. You could wait until you get your Panama citizenship which will take 5-6 years. But instead of waiting, you need to learn how to reinvent yourself and think outside the box. Here are some examples:
Doctors and Nurses
If you’re a doctor or a nurse, you would be able to get a lot of clients operating a Home Health Care business. Many people who move to Panama are retirees and they sometimes need temporary or permanent home health care.
There is a huge need for assisted living facilities. If you buy or rent a large house, you can operate an assisted living facility charging about $1000 PER BED. An assisted living facility opened in Boquete and was full within a month. There are few assisted living facilities in Panama, yet there is an aging expat population who could certainly use this service.
Keep in mind that working in Panama does require a work permit which you can only get after you obtain a residency Visa. The Friendly Nations Visa is the easiest and most affordable. And if you are in a business where you have physical contact with customers, you will also need to get a health certificate which cost $20 a year.
Obviously you are a vet because you love animals. Even if you can’t be a veterinarian in Panama, an ideal business for you in Panama, and one that is very much needed, is pet boarding. You could include grooming services too. You can also volunteer at the monthly spay and neuter clinics which are offered in many cities throughout Panama.
If you are a lawyer, you can offer consulting services to Panama companies. Panama has the second largest free trade zone in the world. Many companies who operate in the Free Trade Zone are interested in doing business in other countries. As a consultant you can help them find customers, negotiate deals, and create contracts. The Free Trade Zone is larger than Manhattan!
Teachers can legally work in Panama but finding a good paying job is the challenge. Instead of working in the public school system, it would be better to contact International Schools. Or, there is a Florida State University campus in the City of Knowledge and Louisville Kentucky has a Fast-Track MBA program in Panama City. You can work online as a teacher. I know several people who are making $50 an hour teaching English online. Another way to make money in Panama is to start a business tutoring expat kids.
In Panama, you may need to reinvent yourself If you can’t find a job in the line of work you are most interested in or if your pay would be substantially less. Here are some additional examples:
If you have been making a good living working on cars, you will find that the pay is much less in Panama. A neighbor’s Montero got side-swipped while it was parked. There was a huge gash on one side of the car and even the side mirror got knocked off. He took it to a collison repair place in David. A week later, he got his car back and it looked like new – the total cost was only $320. That’s not much money for a week of work. It may be more profitable to open an auto parts store. If you deliver parts to auto mechanics, you will do very well. Or, you can be a car broker who helps expats buy used cars when they move to Panama. I know several people who are car brokers and making very good money helping new expats find cars.
Yoga Teachers & Massage Therapist
Yoga teachers and massage therapist are all over Panama. You’ll have a lot of competition and their prices are probably less than half what you usually charge. Instead, you could offer yoga retreats or organize yoga cruises. Or you could offer online training to new massage therapist about how to get their business up and running successfully.
You can also write an eBook about your experience in your profession. Your book could offer advice to people just getting in to that line of work. The e-book can be sold on Amazon – go to https://kdp.amazon.com to get set up as a seller… for free. A book could even lead to clients you could coach for extra revenue.
There is a big need for freelancers in a variety of fields at www.UpWorks.com. And, when you work online, you do not need a work permit in Panama nor do you have to pay taxes on your income in Panama.
Farmers and Agribusiness
Panama is keen on encouraging people to be farmers of any kind. There is special 2% financing available to help you get started or to expand your business and anyone in an agribusiness does not pay taxes on your income for the first 5-10 years you are in business. Panama also offers a lot of educational classes on farming. These are all good reasons to considering getting in to a farming business in Panama.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Instead of moving to Panama trying to find a job in the same profession you have been doing all your life, it may be a good time to reinvent yourself. Start thinking of other things you’ve always had an interest in doing in Panama. Or, think of ways you can take your current skills then apply then to a similar kind of work in Panama.
Keep in mind that if you are selling a product or a service in Panama, you will need to get a work permit. You can’t get a work permit until you receive your permanent resident Visa. Your immigration attorney can help you get a work permit. The cost is $500.
Moving to Panama could be the perfect time to start your own business with no boss telling you what to do. The opportunities are endless in Panama when you start thinking outside the box.
A snowbird is someone to goes someplace warm when it is winter where they live. The snowbirds in Panama are primarily from Canada and northern states in the United States. They usually live in Panama 3-6 months out of the year starting in November or December. But we also have snowbirds from New Zealand who have an opposite schedule and arrive in Panama in late May.
Being a snowbird is the best of both worlds because you can live close to family and friends part of the year, but as soon as the weather gets cold you can head to Panama where the weather is always fantastic.
Previously, snowbirds went to Florida, Arizona or south Texas during the winter months. But because of the high cost of living in those states, snowbirds now are flocking to Panama where it is much more affordable and the weather is great year round.
Living in Panama does not need to be an all or nothing situation. You can live in Panama part time, as a snowbird. Some snowbirds rent while they are in Panama. Other snowbirds own a home in Panama which they rent out while they are not here.
Here’s a great video of a snowbird couple explaining why they came on a Panama Relocation Tour:
Panama Relocation Tours delivers the reliable, unbiased information you need to make an informed decision about Panama. And you will never be subjected to a sales pitch! We do not sell real estate.
If you’re looking for a place to retire, or be a snowbird, where the weather is perfect and it is more affordale, you probably already know that Panama is the top retirement destinations in the world.
Panama has great weather all year, amazing scenery, the best infrastructure in Latin America, and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
No matter what your budget is, there is a perfect place for you in Panama. Panama has 1500 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful and tranquil mountain towns too.
Panama’s Pensionado (retirement) Program offers huge money-saving benefits and incentives. Even if you only live in Panama part-time, if you have a residency Visa, you can take advantage of discounts like 25% off airfare to anywhere in the world, 50% off tickets to movies and sporting events, 20% off at restaurants, 25% off utility bills, 20% off
prescriptions, and much more.
During a Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll learn all about how easy it is to qualify for the Pensionado Visa PLUS our attorney charges less than half what other’s charge.
Not ready to retire? Panama offers many other Visa programs and opportunities for entrepreneurs too.
One of the biggest benefits to living in Panama is the ability to get really good and affordable health insurance – even insurance that will cover you internationally.
All this and much more will be covered in great detail during a Panama Relocation Tour. We offer 11 Tours a year. SEE THE TOUR DATES HERE