10 Reasons to Retire in Panama

So, you are finally reaching retirement age, but you don’t feel old! You still have a spring in your step, and the thought of sitting on the porch in a rocking chair doesn’t appeal to you. It’s time for a new adventure! Live a little, and become one of the growing numbers of retirees that are moving to Panama!

This article will highlight some of the many perks you will enjoy living in Panama. Some people live in Panama full-time, while others may choose to divide their time by living part-time in their home country and part of their time in Panama. But however you choose to do it, retiring in Panama will save you a lot of money, and you will have the retirement that you have always dreamed of, full of adventure and fun! No rocking chair for you; this is the prime of your life!

Boca Chica Panama
Boca Chica Panama

Listed below are the top 10 reasons making Panama your retirement haven is the right choice. We can sum up many of the reasons in 2 words: Pensionado Visa. Below, we will discuss all the perks you will enjoy by choosing this Visa in your retirement decision. It is one of the world’s easiest Visas to obtain and one that offers the most perks.

As a tourist, you can visit Panama for 180 days. If you want to live in Panama full-time, you’ll need to get a Visa. The Pensionado Visa is the easiest and most affordable visa to get. To qualify for the Pensionado Visa, you’ll need to prove that you have a lifetime income of $1,000.00 USD a month for one and an additional $250.00 per dependent. You also must submit a criminal background check (in the United States, it is a FBI check), and for a couple, you submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

You will need to use a Panamanian attorney to get a Pensionado Visa. They will make the entire visa process easy!

10 Best Reasons to Retire in Panama:

  1. Discounts on Restaurants. 20% discounts on main entrees at restaurants and 15% off fast food restaurants.
  2. 20% off Doctor’s visits and Specialists. 15% off a hospital and private clinic visits. 15% off dental and optometry services.
  3. 10% off for medications bought in a pharmacy. There is an added perk that many medications that require a prescription in other countries can be bought over the counter in Panama. No need for a prescription for medication such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and asthma medicines. You will also find the price of medication is remarkably less than they are where you live.
  4. 25% off airfare to anywhere in the world (It is best to contact the airline directly or go through a local travel agent,)
  5. 50% off renewal of passports.
  6. Tax-free importation of household goods up to $10,000.
  7. 25% off utilities such as electricity and water.
  8. 30% off public transportation (buses, boats, trains, subways)
  9. 50% off Hotels (Monday thru Thursday and 30% off for weekends.
  10. 50% off recreation. Examples include things like movies, tourist attractions and sports events, etc.

More Reasons Panama Is the Perfect Place to Retire!

Panama weather is a huge reason that many retirees decide to retire in Panama. It never snows.

If you live in the mountains, you will never need an air conditioner or heater again!

Because Panama is only 9 degrees from the equator, the temperature in Panama is about the same every day! Panama does not have a winter or summer season. Panama has a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy season is from May thru November, but it does not rain every day or all day long. The dry season is from December thru April.

There are no hurricanes, tornados, or tsunamis in Panama due to the country’s orientation.

Panama City Panama
Panama City, Panama

Panama uses the US Dollar as their currency, so there is no exchange rate for US citizens.

Many people in Panama speak English which makes communication much easier than retiring to another country.

The Panamanian government is highly stable, and its economy is one of the strongest in Latin America.

Panama is very close by air to North America. The flight from Miami to Panama City is only 2 ½ hours away.

Panama is in the Eastern time zone. Panama does not have daylight saving time, so you will never worry about setting your clocks an hour ahead or behind!

The Latin American way of life is admired for its slower pace of life. Panamanians are very friendly towards foreigners, and you will find their kind and gentle nature a welcome change.

snowbird beach

You can relax and enjoy life to the fullest in Panama. You can choose to be as busy or as leisurely as you wish here. The number of activities you can join is endless in Panama. The best part is that it is all up to you.

If you retire in North America, inflation skyrockets prices of gas, groceries, property taxes, utility costs, and more. When you’re on a fixed retirement income, inflation can make life difficult.

Luckily, prices are not skyrocketing in Panama. You will find that most everything will be much less expensive in Panama, so your retirement income will go further in Panama. Lower prices also take the stress away!

How about fresh tuna caught this morning for $4.50 a pound?!

panama tuna

In Panama, you can rent a furnished 2-bedroom house for an average of $500.00 to $2,000.00 a month (depending on your chosen area). In most cases, your rent includes all furniture, appliances, pots, dishes, sheets, towels, electricity, internet, water, cable TV, garbage, and gardener.

Panama has 1500 miles of coastline and a vast mountain range down the middle of the country. Regardless of what kind of lifestyle you prefer, there’s something for everyone – with every budget – in Panama.

Panama Rentals
Coronado Panama

Electric bills in the mountains rarely go over $30 a month because there is no need for either air conditioning or a heater. If you live in the mountains, your electricity is usually included in your rent.

highlands of panama zen
Boquete Panama

If you live near the coast, you’re usually required to pay your electric bill. Each room has its own air conditioner, so you don’t have to cool down the whole house. This saves money on your electric bill. It is rare to find central air in Panama.

Remember, you get a 25% discount on your electric bill if you have a Pensionado Visa.

More Ways to Save When You Retire in Panama.

In Panama, you can buy a large pineapple for a dollar, and sometimes the vendor will sell you 2 for a dollar! Panama pineapples are the sweetest you will ever taste!

The fruit and vegetables you buy in Panama are grown around the area that you are buying them from. They are not shipped in, so you do not have to pay for that extra cost. Any fruit or vegetable that is grown in Panama will be cheaper and fresher than buying in North America.

Farmer's Market in Panama
Farmers Market El Valle de Anton

Your coffee is grown in the highlands of Panama. Panama is the #1 coffee capital of all of the Americas.

Seafood is much more affordable in Panama. Most towns have fresh seafood brought in daily by fishmongers, like the beautiful shrimp pictured below. Because Panama has the Pacific to the South and the Caribbean/Atlantic to the North, fish is super affordable all year in Panama. Sea bass, also known as Corvina, is less than $2 a pound.

fresh shrimp panama

Examples of the costs of everyday items:

A liter of regular gas is currently $0.91.

A propane tank is $5.35.

Cell Phone Plans: Unlimited calls and unlimited data is $25.00 a month.

Housekeeper $25-$30 a day

Gardener is $25-$30 for a full day

Men’s haircuts less than $5

As you can see, retiring in Panama offers so much. Panama is a retiree’s dream! You’ll enjoy a lower cost of living, beautiful weather, a fresh cup of coffee, tons of activities, and a slower pace of living in Panama! Isn’t that what you always dreamed retirement could be?

Come see how you can LIVE BETTER for LESS in Panama!

Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day Panama Relocation Tour, or check out the Online Panama Relocation Guide to learn everything you need to know to retire in Panama the easy way!


Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michael Hider says

    My wife and I are interested in being near waterfront but the beach area in Coronado has black sand. Where can we find white sand beaches. We would come in the dry season. We are from Rockland Ontario about 20 KMS east of Ottawa Ontario. We would rent. I am 81 in good health and my wife is 66. Eventually we would want to rent a house but would first of all try to find a resort then a condo to rent to explore and then a house to rent.

    • Jackie Lange says

      There is white sand in Chame (east of Coronado) and on the Caribbean side of Panama in Bocas del Toro.

  2. Tim Walsh says

    Enjoying the emails and videos we have watched so far. Full of very useful information. We are looking on moving from Canada and was wondering if the same process and rules on relocating to Panama apply?

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Tim. I’m glad you are enjoying the articles and videos. The process for getting a visa and relocating to Panama is the same regardless of which country you come from. The names of the documents are a little different for Canadians; for example, you will need an RCMP vs an FBI report. Everything else is the same. We detail what Canadians need during the tours and in our Complete Panama Relocation Guide. We have people from all over the world come on tours, buy the Guide and relocate to Panama. See this — https://help.panamarelocationtours.com/article/129-are-your-tours-only-for-americans

  3. Cindi says

    How can I get a FBI background check done in USA for my husband and myself?

  4. Sharon Lewis says

    Hello. I am a single African American woman. I am 60 years old, & very healthy. I plan to take my Social Security at age 64 or 65 at the latest. I also receive a small pension from a former employer. My total retirement income will probably be around $1500 to $1800 per month. Can a single person live a decent lifestyle in Panama outside of Panama City & Coronado, with this income? I plan to take the tour in a few years. Boquete, Las Tablas, & Chitre would be the places that most interest me for retirement. If I decide that Panama is right for me, I would be interested in moving there permanently. I hope that they have some nice casita style homes for rent between $400 to $700 per month. By the way, I really enjoy your website and you tube videos. There is a lot of great information about relocating to Panama.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Sharon. I’m glad you enjoy our videos and information. You can live in $1500 to $1800 a month in Panama. Your $ will go further in Chitre or Las Tablas than in Boquete. Rents are more affordable in Chitre and Las Tablas. But even in Boquete, you can live well on that amount. Come see how you can LIVE BETTER for LESS in Panama.

      • Sharon Lewis says

        Hi Jackie. Thanks for the nice reply. I am glad to see that I will be able to retire in Panama on my social security income.

        • Jackie Lange says

          You will love living in Panama!

          • Sharon Lewis says

            Hello again Jackie. Thanks for your quick reply to my questions. I am also considering Volcan as a place to settle down once I decide to visit Panama. I heard that Volcan has a good climate with lower cost of living than Boquete.

          • Jackie Lange says

            Volcan’s weather is similar to Boquete’s. Rentals are more affordable in Volcan.

  5. Lucinda Wing says

    How can I get a FBI background check done in USA for my husband and myself?

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