When I first started doing Panama Relocation Tours many of our tour guests moved to Panama because they were looking for great weather and a more affordable place to live. Everyone is looking for a new adventure. Fifty percent of tour clients came from the United States. Nine years ago, the majority of my tour guests were over 60 and ready for retirement.
People from all over the world come on a Panama Relocation Tour. About 50% of our clients come from the United States and about 25% are Canadians. We also have clients from England, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, China, Singapore, South Africa, Egypt, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), New Zealand, Australia, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and more! It’s fun for me and it’s fun for everyone on the tour to meet people from other countries who are also considering relocating to Panama.
Over the last 3-4 years the reasons for moving and the demographic have changed.
We still get plenty of retirees looking for great weather, affordable living and a new adventure. You can find all of those things in Panama. Panama is the number one country that retirees move to. It’s understandable for retirees and others to move to Panama because it offers so much!
But now, we have people in their 30s 40s and 50s coming on the Tours and relocating to Panama. These people are obviously not retirees. They are also looking for that new adventure but they are looking for business opportunities which are plentiful in Panama. Some already have online businesses which they can run from anywhere there is an internet connection.
What attracts people to Panama?
Panama is close to the United States. Miami is only a 2 hour flight. From Panama, it is a quick flight to Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, etc. Living in Panama makes it easy to explore and enjoy the adventures in other countries too.
Even though Panama is a small country it is packed with a lot of diversity. Drive an hour in any direction and you can completely change your environment. Panama City is a very cosmopolitan city where you can find anything you’d every want. There are first class restaurants, fancy malls, opera, ballet, a subway, and some of the best hospitals in Latin America.
Beach lovers can enjoy 1547 miles of coast line from two oceans. The Pacific Ocean is to the south and the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea is to the north. There are many islands off both coasts. Snorkeling, scuba diving and deep sea fishing are favorites of sun lovers. Those who prefer cooler weather will enjoy Spring-like weather year round in mountain towns like Boquete, Volcan and El Valle. It’s not just the weather, the scenery is just spectacular.
Another huge benefit for retirees in Panama is the world’s best retiree program, the Pensionado Visa. With this visa you need to prove a lifetime income of $1000 for singles or $1250 for a couple. Then you qualify for discounts on eating out, prescription drugs, 25% discount on airfare or cruises to anywhere in the world and many other discounts.
It’s easy to start a business in Panama and there is much less regulation compared to other countries. There are many tax advantages to living in Panama too.
The Panama Relocation Tours demographic is changing
In August, a family from Seattle came on the tour and decided to stay instead of flying back to the United States. Within 2 weeks, they had a nice rental house, a car, bank account, a visa and a corporation set up. A few months later, they opened a new restaurant after hiring contractors to completely renovate the building, getting all the permits and health certificates, and hiring employees. Try doing all that so fast anywhere else!
Panama makes it easy to start and run a new business.
There are several Visa programs available for people who want to work or start a business in Panama. The easiest is the Friendly Nations Visa which only requires $5,000 in a Panama bank account then a corporation set up with the intent of doing business in Panama… someday. You do not need to prove any income. You can also get this Visa if you have a job offer.
Most people from other countries are not taxed on their worldwide income. US citizens are taxes on their worldwide income but you do get a $103,000 per person tax exemption. That means a single person from the United States,who lives overseas full time, can make more than $100,000 in income (after expenses)… and not pay a penny in taxes! You still have to file a tax return but you will not owe any taxes if you keep your income below $100,000 a year.
That’s a really good reason to move to Panama! And it is why many younger adults are moving to Panama.
If your income is not sourced in Panama, you don’t owe any taxes in Panama either. So, it is possible to move to Panama and not pay ANY taxes. Even if you do have to pay taxes in Panama, taxes are much less than the United States, Canada, or other countries. You can live in Panama but not have income sourced in Panama if you do not sell a product or service in Panama. An online business if ideal.
Some people who move to Panama don’t have a pension or Social Security so they need to find a way to make a living in Panama. My free book Fund Your Freedom Overseas will give you plenty of ideas about how to make a living or supplement your retirement income when you move to Panama.
I have international health insurance which covers me at any hospital or doctor anywhere in the world. I pay $2200 a year with no deductible in Panama and a $1000 deductible for procedures done outside of Panama. My insurance would be much less if I were only covered in Panama. I’ve had two eye surgeries in Panama. Insurance covered every penny. This insurance is the price for a 64 year old. If you are younger it would be less. If you are older, it would cost more.
Two 52 year old November tour clients who live in the United States told me their Obamacare insurance has a $6,000 deductible and is $750 per month per person. That’s $1500 a month for a couple or $18,000 a year for health insurance that they cannot use until they pay $6,000 out of pocket first.
You can see why affordable health insurance is a big reason why people move to Panama.
Panama is safer!
Panama has no military. Panama does not go around the world occupying other countries or telling them what to do or not do. Therefore, Panama has few, if any, enemies. There is no big divide between political, religious or ethnic groups like there is in other countries. So, it just feels much safer in Panama. There are no terrorist threats in Panama.
Panama offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a more affordable lifestyle, better weather, business opportunities, or just a new adventure– Panama has what you are looking for.
Come check out Panama during a Panama Relocation Tour.