Panama’s Pensionado or Jubilado discount are one of the many ways you can live better for less in Panama. These discounts are available to all Panamanians who meet certain age restrictions. If a female, they must be 55 and if a male, they must be 60.
Expats can take advantage of the discounts listed below if they have any visa and meet the same age requirements as Panamanians or if they get a Pensionado visa.
Panama’s Pensionado Program’s Benefits
The discounts and advantages of the pensioner’s visa are quite numerous. Here they are in a nutshell:
- 50% off on recreation and entertainment such as movies, theaters, sports, etc.
- 50% off hotels Monday through Thursday (30% off on weekends)
- 50% off passports
- 30% off public transportation like buses, trains, and boats
- 25% off airfare
- 25% off restaurants (15% off fast food)
- 25% off electrical, telephone, and water service
- 20% off doctors and specialists
- 20% off prosthetics and other personal assistance devices
- 15% off hospitals and private clinics
- 15% off dental and optometry services
- 10% off prescription medications
- tax-free importation of household goods, up to $10,000
- tax-free importation of a vehicle, or tax-free purchase of a local vehicle
The Qualifications Required for the Pensionado Discounts
To qualify for the Pensionado discounts you can be any age but will need to qualify for the Pensionado visa. To qualify for a Pensionado visa you will need:
$1000 per month in lifetime income ( $1250 for a couple)
Clean FBI report or National Criminal Report
you can get one of the other visas but you will need to meet the age requirements.
How to Get a Pensionado Visa?
The process of applying for and obtaining a visa is a fairly easy. You will need to use a Panamanian attorney who will guide you through the whole process. To get your visa it will take about 3 months, will cost about $1,500 and $2,000. During the Panama Relocation Tours you will meet the Panamanian attorney who helped me and many of our tour attendees get their visa quickly and easily.
Getting the Pensionado Discounts
If you have grey hair or no hair, you are usually given the pensionado discount without asking at restaurants and pharmacies.
At other places you may need to ask.
To get the discount on utility bills, the utility will need to be in your name and you will need to show your visa card. Keep in mind that your water bill is only $60 a YEAR which is probably much less than you pay now.
You can get a discount on any airfare which originates in Panama but you will need to work with a travel agent. They will keep your visa card on file in their office.
In 2014 I have saved more than $900 on airfare using my pensionado discount.
Occasionally I have had trouble getting a discount at hotels if I am there on a weekend. But being persistent will usually get me the discount.
I never ask for a pensionado discount when I go to a Mom & Pop type restaurant where the whole meal is only $3.50. The meal is so affordable already.
There are many reasons to consider Panama as a place to relocate to. The Pensionado discounts are certainly one of them.
ACODECO is Panama’s Consumer Advocate organization. If any establishment refuses to give a Pensionado discount to someone who is qualified and can prove it, then you can report them to ACODECO who will fine the company.
Who Pays for the Discounts?
These discounts come right off the profits for these businesses. They are not reimbursed by the government of anyone else. So, be selective about asking for the Pensionado discounts.