When you retire in Panama, you’ll need to decide how to get access to your money that is in the bank in the country you moved from. The best way is to set up a Panama bank account then wire money from your bank account to your Panama bank account. This Livestream has more details about how to get access to cash when you move to Panama or when you are just on vacation in Panama.
Wires sent before noon usually arrive the same day. Wires sent after noon usually arrive in your Panama bank account within 24 hours. You can do most wire transfers using online banking. International wires usually cost about $50
You can use affordable services like Wise or OFX to wire money into your Panama bank account. Their fees are about 50% less than doing an international wire transfer from our bank.
Many ex-pats have their Social Security checks or pensions automatically direct deposited into their Panama bank account. The money shows up like clockwork.
UPDATE: Veterans can get their military payments direct deposited into their Panama bank account. Set up an appointment with the Federal benefits unit with the US Embassy in Panama City to process the paperwork. It will take 1-2 months.
Rest assured that you can wire money from banks or credit unions from other countries, into banks in Panama. And you can wire money from banks in Panama to banks in other countries. You can also get access to cash at ATM machines which are throughout Panama.
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If you have a United States bank account, you can deposit a check from a US bank or credit union directly into your bank in Panama. Most Panama banks have a check limit of $3,000 per month and it will take 5-7 business days to clear. There is “no fee” if you deposit a check into your account. If you have two Panama bank accounts, that means that can deposit $3,000 in each bank, or $6,000 a month! Once you establish a good relationship with the bank, they will allow you to deposit checks for even more.
If you’re just visiting Panama and need access to cash, you can get cash from ATM machines using your debit card. There is a $250 USD limit per transaction and it will cost $5.25 per transaction.