Good morning from Panama!
It is Saturday morning and this is the first Saturday, since back in March, when we will be able to go out and about with no quarantine, only the 8 pm curfew! I don’t have anything I have to do, and really am happy staying home, but I’m going somewhere today! Anywhere! Just because I can!
For the moment the Sunday stay-at-home order remains in effect. But Panama is slowly stretch and awakening after our long lock down. Masks are still required by law in public areas and social distancing protocols are still in place. Restaurants, most of which have been doing a take-out business, are gradually reopening with limited indoor and patio seating but only by reservation.
And the airports have reopened! Granted there are limited flights and various protective protocols including the requirement to have in hand evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken before boarding your flight. If not you can get a test at Tocumen International Airport, but its best to have the test in your home country before boarding, lest you end up spending 14 days in a “hospital hotel’ when you arrive in Panama. Carefully check requirements before jumping on a plane for paradise! Copa is our Panamanian carrier and has the most flights, and the best service, into Panama. There are cancellations and limited flights so it makes sense to book the airline with the most connections and flights.
The first flights have arrived carrying folks who are eager to escape to paradise in Panama! For me it is fun to read their Facebook posts as they share their excitement and enthusiasm coming to their new home in Panama!
For those of you interested in moving to Panama there is some great news!
Permanent residence program for investors.
A permanent residence program for “qualified investors” was announced by the Panama government on Friday, October 16
The plan is intended to stimulate economic reactivation, by attracting high net worth investors to boost different sectors of the economy such as real estate and construction.
“The applicant must make an investment in the Republic of Panama for a minimum amount of 500.000 from a foreign source, which may be personally or through a legal entity, in which the applicant is always the final beneficiary of the shares of the legal entity that holds the investment ”, says an executive decree.
Real estate investments can be for units already completed or also through investment through contracts of promise to purchase and sale of real estate units.
The applicant must prove that they have made some forms of investment. The modalities established in this decree include real estate investment through a promise of sale contract; Investments made through a brokerage house with a license approved by the Superintendency of the Securities Market of Panama and by reason of investment in a fixed-term deposit in the banking sector.
All investments must be held for a minimum of five years.
According to the Government, for the first time, there will be a program that allows qualified investors to apply from abroad. That is, the investment can be made from abroad, through a local lawyer, and the process completed when the investor is in the isthmus. PANAMA NEWSROOM
This program is a direct response to the Covid pandemic to stimulate the Panamanian economy providing a window of opportunity as a stimulus to foreign investment. I doubt very much that it will be permanently available.
Many folks visit Panama to see if it is “right” for them and go back home with a 3 to 5 year plan for moving to Panama. It amazes me how many of these 5-year plans become “let’s just do it honey!” one-year plans! It happened to us! We came down just to see if Panama remained on our short list, visited and fell in love with Boquete, bought a home and for 16 years have been living the adventure!
If Covid has reminded us of anything, it has reminded us that life is too short, precarious, and without guarantees, so it you’d better seize the moment. Even if you don’t have all your ducks in order, this new government initiative allows you to move ahead, make your investment, seize your new home in Panama, while you extricate yourself from your present situation.
Now here’s what I wanted to share with you, before being preempted by the governments’ amazing new residence opportunity …
We are in the midst of the Rainy Season [Mid-May to Mid-December] when Panama is greenest and Boquete is like living in a lush, tropical mountain rain forest. Our foliage has more shades of green than you can imagine with bursts of colorful flowers. Typical day: sunny morning with bright blue sky. About noon as the cool wind off the ocean blows the hot damp lowland air up our mountain, it hits the cool air on the mountain and we get rain usually with thunder and lightning and it can rain hard. Then around dinner time the rain stops and sometimes, but not always, the fog comes creeping in, which is just a magical experience. You can easily imagine you are looking at the mountains and hills around San Francisco Bay, or wandering with Sherlock Holmes and a movie crew through the old streets of London, or at sea sailing into a fog bank. Lingering on the back porch after dinner, sipping a second glass of wine, listening for the insects and frogs to “turn on” certainly enhances the experience.