Panama: The Best Place in the World to Retire

Panama consistently ranks as the Best Place in the World to Retire.  When you visit Panama during an all-inclusive Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll understand why!


Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days, it is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above.

In the quest for the ideal retirement haven, Panama emerges as a clear frontrunner, offering an enviable blend of ease, affordability, and natural beauty. Its allure is magnified by straightforward visa requirements, a cost-effective lifestyle, perfect weather, a vibrant expatriate community, and year-round access to fresh food, including seafood from its two oceans.

Effortless Visa Process

One of Panama’s most compelling draws for retirees is its straightforward visa process. The country’s friendly policies make obtaining a retirement visa relatively easy, especially for those from abroad looking to enjoy their golden years in a serene, welcoming environment. This accessibility has been a crucial factor in Panama’s rise as a top retirement destination.

To get the famous Pensionado visa, retirees only need to prove $1000 per month in lifetime income ($1250 for a couple). The visa process is fast and easy. Once you get a Pensionado visa, you will also qualify for the Penionado discounts which will save you even more when you move to Panama.

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 to anywhere in the world!
20% 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

There are many reasons to consider Panama as a place to relocate to. The Pensionado discounts are certainly one of them.

save money in panama

Affordable Living

The cost of living in Panama is another significant advantage. Compared to many Western countries, daily expenses, healthcare, and housing in Panama are remarkably affordable. This affordability does not come at the cost of quality; retirees in Panama can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank, allowing them to maximize their retirement savings. Regardless of your budget, there is a perfect place to live in Panama.

“We’re healthier and living a better lifestyle here than we ever did in the U.S.,” says expat Mitzi Martain, who has lived on her farm near Santa Fe, Panama, for nearly nine years. “And our Social Security income covers all our monthly expenses.”

santa fe waterfalls
waterfalls near Sante Fe

Idyllic Weather Year-Round

The Panamanian climate is a dream come true for those seeking to escape harsh weather conditions. The country is blessed with a tropical climate that remains pleasant throughout the year. Notably, Panama is situated outside the hurricane belt and doesn’t experience snow, ensuring a year-round season of sunshine and mild temperatures – a stark contrast to the extreme weather conditions found in other parts of the world.

You can literally pick your ideal temperature based on the elevation where you live. At the coast, it’s 90F (+/- 5) and for every 1000′ increase in elevation, the temperature drops 4F degrees.

Panama Gorgona Bahia
Bahia condos in Gorgona

Thriving Expat Community

Panama is home to a thriving and diverse expatriate community, making it easy for newcomers to integrate and find a sense of belonging. This community offers a supportive network for retirees, facilitating social connections and providing valuable insights into local living. The presence of a large expat community also means that many locals are accustomed to and welcoming of foreigners, adding to the overall sense of inclusivity and comfort.

Abundance of Fresh Food

Another appealing aspect of retiring in Panama is the constant availability of fresh, locally-sourced food. Panama’s unique geographical position between two oceans provides an abundance of fresh seafood, while its fertile land yields a variety of fruits and vegetables year-round. This access to fresh, healthy food not only enhances the living experience but also contributes to a healthier lifestyle for retirees.

In conclusion, Panama stands out as an ideal retirement destination due to its easy visa qualifications, affordable cost of living, perfect weather, supportive expat community, and abundant fresh food. Its unique combination of practical benefits and natural beauty makes it a top choice for retirees seeking a peaceful, fulfilling, and enjoyable retirement.

Panama has long been a favorite of retirees. You’ll find them along both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, on white-sand islands, living contentedly nestled in mountain valleys, and along the glittering promenade of Panama City.

In Panama, you can live whatever lifestyle you desire. You can hike green hillsides, explore rainforests teeming with exotic wildlife, or laze on a Caribbean beach and watch the world go by. And if you’re an urbanite, you can savor the incredible dining and culture of places like Panama City.

Affordable Healthcare

And the healthcare? Panama’s cities are home to world-class hospitals and many medical professionals trained in the U.S. A Pensionado visa can further lower your costs by providing discounts on the already low fees for care.

Even without insurance, it is rarely more than $20 to see a doctor or $50 for a specialist.

Friendly Panamanians

But on top of all these tangibles, the people make Panama so endearing to the many expats who call it home. “People here are warm, friendly, helpful, and welcoming,” says Kris Cunningham, who found her perfect retirement spot in the city of David. “I have felt so welcomed and accepted, and I feel so much a part of the community. It is surprising, but I have more sense of belonging here in this foreign country than I ever felt in the U.S.”

Come See How You Can LIVE BETTER for LESS in Panama!

Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour!

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. Thu ha Pho says

    I really like to live in panama when I retire, but I don’t know how to start . I am from Cana. Thank you

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