Coincidence or not, when Trump as announced the winner of the Electoral Vote the Canada immigration information site crashed! Now, having just completed two wonderful cruises on the St Lawrence Seaway and the Canadian Maritimes, I can attest that it’s a wonderful country, albeit a very COLD place in winter. If you are thinking about taking an extended vacation from your home country and enjoying the adventure of an expat lifestyle, Panama may be a much more attractive option. Not only is it warm, comparatively inexpensive in many ways, rated as one of the happiest countries in the world, doesn’t support a military or want to impose its lifestyle on the rest of the world, and has one of the most robust economies in the region, Most importantly Panama welcomes expats.
Forget all the stuff about “Panama Papers” … there are perfectly legal, good reasons to be, as Trump would argue, “smart” and not pay taxes. Panama does not tax you on income earned outside of Panama. And, if you are a US citizen, the IRS allows you to exclude up to $100,000 per person of earned income if your permanent residence is outside the US. With direct flights to Panama from the US, Canada and Europe it’s easy to get here, and to get back home to visit friends and family.
Moving to Panama doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, if you’re really ready to make the move, the process is easy. If you’ve always considered Panama as a retirement destination but have never really taken the step to explore it, now is the perfect time to move.
Panama wants you! It has the best retirement visa in the world – one that comes with discounts on dining, entertainment, travel, utilities and much more. It also has a booming, growing economy. The Panamanian people are friendly and welcoming.
Moving means a great deal of planning. Yes, that is true. I’d like to assure you, though that moving to Panama is easy and simple. I made that move myself, so let me share with you some tips to make the process easy and uncomplicated.
Visit Panama and see it for yourself.
Coming to Panama and experiencing what it has to offer are very important in your decision-making process. It is essential to have that “boots on the ground” experience so you will really see, hear, feel and taste what living in Panama would be like. You can read about Panama, but nothing beats the feeling of actually visiting Panama and seeing what your life could be like here.
The Panama Relocation Tours are tours that are designed specifically for this purpose. Guests will be taken to several different possible locations for retirement. These are Panama towns and cities that we feel are the best places to live in Panama. The goal of our tours is to provide an objective, “boots on the ground” Panama experience, so our guests are able to make a well-informed decision at the end of the day.
Then, if you decide Panama is right for you, this is the NEXT STEP IS.…
Decide where you want to live in Panama.
Research about the best places to live in Panama and then get to know these areas better. You have many wonderful options such as bustling Panama city, the beach town of Coronado Panama, and of course, Boquete and Volcan, a popular retirement destination because of its beautiful views and spring-like weather all year. There’s also Bocas del Toro, a small town wherein you will get to live near the ocean and see frequent sightings of dolphins. Whether you’d like the beach life, the city life or a peaceful life in the mountains, there’s a Panama town or city that’s right for you.
Since there are now quite a number of Canadians, Europeans, and Americans living in Panama, you might also consider areas where you can find the most number of expats. The key is to do your research and see for yourself which area suits you best.
By the end of a Panama Relocation Tour, 98% of our tour clients have discovered their perfect location. You can too!
Once you decide Panama is right for you and you know where you want to live, the NEXT STEP IS…
Pick the date you want to move and consult with an immigration attorney about getting a Visa.
You may want to make an additional trip to Panama to find a place to live and get your residency Visa, or you could plan to stay in a hotel until you find a suitable rental property. Once you know your date, you should start following blogs about rentals. We strongly advise that you rent for at least 6 months before you make a buying decision. Or, perhaps don’t buy at all and just enjoy your retirement without the obligations and liabilities of ownership. Rentals are affordable.
Prepare the necessary paperwork to get a Permanent Residency Visa
You have to be able to prove that you have the financial capacity to support your lifestyle in Panama. You must be earning at least $1,000 per month ( $1250 for a couple) to be eligible for the Pensionado visa. Proof can be in the form of retirement funds, social security or any other legal document that confirms the amount of money that you will be receiving regularly.
If you are planning to continue working in Panama, the Friendly Nations Visa will be ideal for you. You don’t need to prove any income but you will need to deposit $5000 in a Panamanian bank account.
Both Visa’s will require a national criminal report with no felonies.
The Embassy of Panama has a list of the necessary documents that you need to prepare ahead of time. This includes your birth certificate, valid I.D., bank statements and FBI clearance among other things. It is very important to consult with an immigration attorney in Panama who will help you get through the Visa process. During the Panama Relocation Tours, we will introduce you to a qualified attorney who has very reasonable fees. Keep in mind that you will need to have most of the documents authenticated by the Panama embassy in your country.
The immigration attorney will guide you through the entire Visa process to make sure that everything is done accurately.
The NEXT STEP IS…
Learn a Little Spanish.
While there are many Panamanians who can now speak fluent English, it would be to your advantage to learn Spanish. Simple phrases and sentences that can help you buy food in the market, ask for directions, and to simply have a nice conversation with the locals would help you adjust quickly. Panamanians love it when they hear an expat speaking their language. Learning a new language, in itself, would also be to your advantage since you have an added skill. DUOLingo.com is a good way to learn a little Spanish every day. It is free and available online or an App for your phone.
Moving to Panama is simple and easy because IT WANTS YOU. The economy is never better and the country offers the best retiree visa in the world. I believe that now is the time to move to Panama. Visit the country and see it for yourself.