While we work with people of all ages, many hoping to relocate to Panama plan to do so for retirement. They’re hoping to start a new chapter, embrace the slower pace of life that the country’s culture offers, and, most importantly, make their hard-earned savings last longer.
The lower cost of living that Panama, and many Latin American countries, offers US retirees is an undeniable factor in their motivation to move abroad.
Of course, I always warn you that you should not move to Panama solely for that reason. However, it is one of Panama’s many benefits to those from the U.S. and Canada. When you combine the lower cost of living with Panama’s famous Pensionado Discounts, you can reduce your cost of living when you move to Panama.
But, if you’re about to hit retirement age or have already done so, you will also be collecting social security or a pension, reaping the benefits of all those years of hard work.
Therefore, it’s logical that when considering moving abroad, you’re also thinking about whether or not you will still be able to receive your monthly social security retirement payments.
That’s why we know that one of the most important questions on your mind is:
Will I be able to receive social security retirement income while living in Panama?
Yes! The easy answer to this question is that yes, you will be able to receive those very important monthly Social Security retirement payments while living in Panama.
Indeed, Panama has made the process relatively easy for foreigners retiring in Panama. In addition to wonderful benefits and a streamlined path to residency, once you have a Panamanian bank account, you can get your social security retirement via direct deposit. All you have to do is fill out a form with Social Security, and you’re set!
If you prefer, you can continue to have your Social Security retirement payments go into a US bank, then wire the money to Panama. Or, you can use a debit card to access the cash from an ATM machine in Panama, but the fees are $6.50 for $250 in cash. Another option is writing a check from a US bank to deposit into your Panama account.
Whether living in Panama or another country, you can receive your Social Security retirement payments.
However, with any rule there are exceptions, so always double-check on the official government sites to ensure your specific country of interest.
If you receive other forms of Social Security payments, you may not be able to receive them when you move abroad. Go Here for the Payment Abroad Screening Test to determine if you can still receive Social Security when you move to Panama.
While it’s simple for U.S. citizens, the qualifications for eligibility to receive social security payments abroad if you aren’t a U.S. citizen (just simply a resident) will vary. Check out this document for some more in-depth explanations if you find yourself in this position.
Can Canadians receive their Pensions if they move to Panama?
If you’re Canadian, you’re likely wondering the same thing: can you receive your Canadian pension while living in Canada?
Again, Panama makes retiring there easy, and Canadians can easily receive their pensions while living in Panama. Watch this live-stream interview with a Canadian CPA to determine if there could be changes in your pension or taxes when you move to Panama.
Do I make enough Social Security retirement income to Qualify for Panama Residency?
When considering retiring abroad, you’ll want to become a resident of that country. So, when considering relocating to Panama, ensure you are eligible for residency.
Your pension or Social Security payment must be a LIFETIME payment to be eligible for residency in Panama. This means you will get the payment every month for the rest of your life.
See this article to learn what’s required to be eligible to get residency in Panama.
One of the allures of retiring in Panama is that the Panamanian government has made it relatively easy for retirees to gain residency there. However, you do need to meet a minimum monthly income (along with other requirements) to qualify.
Luckily, the amount of money needed to qualify is quite accessible for most. You need to have a minimum monthly income of $1,000 USD. This number goes up by $250 USD for each dependent you declare. Considering many other countries’ requirements, Panama’s minimum monthly income requirement is relatively low.
For more information on residency in Panama, check out our article on how to get the Pensionado Visa in Panama, a visa specifically for retirees.
Receiving Social Security in Panama is easy!
As you can see, Panama makes it easy for U.S. and Canadian retirees to receive their social security or pensions while living in Panama. So, worry no more! You can certainly move to Panama and continue to receive your monthly payments.
When you’re ready to do a scouting trip to Panama, consider an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour. It’s the easy way to see much of the country, see rentals, meet experts and expats, and learn how to have a hassle-free move to Panama too.
We also offer the Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide with all the information you need to relocate to Panama.