Published on:
Last Update:

Retire in Panama

    Related Guides


    Panama is one the most popular destinations for retirees from all over the world, offering a stable economy, affordable cost of living, high quality of life, tax benefits and favourable retirement discount and Visa plans. Retiring in Panama offers a blend of beautiful scenery, warm weather and a welcoming culture, making it the perfect destination for many looking to spend their golden years in this Central American city popular among retirees for excellent healthcare and a relaxed lifestyle.

    Why Retire in Panama?


    One of the most compelling reasons to retire in Panama is the cost of living. Retirees can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with their retirement budget. The most common expenses like rent, utilities and grocery are more affordable compared to North American and North European standards. Tax benefits and retirement discount plans help you to stay on budget.


    Panama offers high-quality private healthcare, with access to excellent hospitals and skilled healthcare professionals. Many doctors speak English and have been trained in the United States or Europe, ensuring that retirees have access to excellent medical care at a reasonable cost. It’s strongly suggested to get Private Health Insurance when you move to Panama.

    Climate and Geography

    From the hot Panama City to the tranquil beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Panama offers diverse climates and settings. If you are looking for a cooler climate, consider going to the highlands of Boquete, otherwise, in Bocas del Toro Caribbean islands, you can find tropical warmth. Check a more detailed guide about the Panama territory and where to retire below.

    Expat Community

    Panama has a thriving expat community, particularly in places like Panama City, Coronado, Boquete, and Pedasi. This community provides a support network for newcomers, making it easier to take your first steps into this new country.

    Easy Access to International Travel

    You can get to Panama easily by flight, with the International Tocumen Airport (PTY) in Panama City. PTY is the primary gateway and the largest airport in Central America with flights to more than 60 cities between Europe and America. The other 2 airports in the city, the Albrook “Marcos A.Gelabert” International Airport (PAC) and the Panama Pacific International Airport (BLB) are mainly used for domestic or short flights.

    1. Tocumen International Airport (PTY): situated in Panama City, is the principal airport in Panama and the hub for Central America. Copa Airline offers flights to over 80 destinations in North, Central, and South America. Miami - Panama flight is just 2 and a half hours.
    2. Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV): located in David – the biggest in the country-side town in Panama. This airport services the Chiriqui province.
    3. Bocas del Toro International Airport (BOC): is located on Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro Province.
    4. Scarlett Martinez International Airport (RIH): situated in Rio Hato, this airport services the Provincias Centrales area and a lot of beach resorts.


    Spanish is the official language but many Panamanians speak English, especially in the healthcare sector and tourist areas. Learning Spanish can significantly enhance your experience and help you integrate into the community.

    How to Retire in Panama

    To retire in Panama you must obtain a Panama retirement visa. Panama offers two kinds of retirement visa programs: the Pensionado Visa, and the Panama Retired Rentier Visa.

    Panama Retirement Visa (Pensionado Visa)

    Aimed at retirees, this program requires proof of a stable monthly pension or income of at least 1,000andanadditional1,000 and an additional 250 for each dependent (spouse and children). It offers discounts on services and entertainment. Panama is now rated as one of the first retirement countries in the world!

    Principal Advantages

    • Acquiring Permanent Residency in 5–6 months.
    • Personal Panamanian Identity Card (Cedula).
    • Exemptions from paying the $250 and $800 in fees to the government for submitting the visa application.
    • Up to $10,000 in total duty-free allowance for the importation of goods for domestic or personal use.
    • Complete duty-free allowance for the importation of a car for family or personal use every two (2) years.
    • 15% discount in hospitals (if Insurance does not apply).
    • 10% discount on medicines.
    • 20% discount on medical consultations.
    • 25% off tickets for flights.
    • Hotels are discounted by 50% from Monday through Thursday.
    • Hotels are discounted by 30% from Friday through Sunday.
    • 50% off at movies, concerts, and sporting events.
    • 30% off while using public transit.
    • 25% off at dining establishments.
    • Fast food restaurants are 15% off, and a few more!

    Panama Retired Rentier Visa

    The interested party must set up a Time Deposit in the Caja de Ahorros de Panama or the Banco Nacional de Panamá, free of encumbrances, for a term of five years in order to be eligible for this kind of visa. Depending on the interest rates the bank is charging at the moment, the minimum interest amount of such a certificate of deposit must produce an interest payment of roughly $850 each month.

    The applicant will get a Panamanian Special Passport, valid for five years. This passport does not grant Panamanian citizenship. If the applicant decides to withdraw the funds of his fixed term, before the five years, the passport and the residence visa will be cancelled. Spouses and children may be included in the visa application.

    Where to Retire in Panama?

    There are different options for where to retire in Panama. If you are looking for city life with many hobbies and entertainment, the chaotic capital Panama City can be a good option. Panama City can boast one of the best healthcare systems in Latin America. If, however, you are looking for tranquillity and spending time immersed in nature, the town of Boquete offers a peaceful refuge with its majestic mountains and lush landscapes. There are also small, quiet communities with a high concentration of retirees such as Coronado, Santa Fe de Veraguas and Pedasi, which you should take a look at. Finally, if you would like to live on a Caribbean Island, the Bocas del Toro Archipelago could be your choice.

    The best sites where to retire are:

    1. Panama City: A modern capital where you can find most of what you are looking for such as restaurants, malls, entertainment, and top-notch medical facilities.
    2. Boquete: Located in the province of Chiriquí, the beautiful climate is guaranteed by the mountains. The stunning views and the aromatic coffee plantations dot its landscape, offering a tranquil retirement lifestyle.
    3. Coronado: This beachside haven on the Pacific offers golden sands, excellent golfing, and plenty of sunshine activities, plus it's just a stone's throw away from Panama City's conveniences.
    4. Pedasi: A quiet fishing village on the Azuero Peninsula, Pedasi is a slice of paradise with pristine beaches and a relaxed vibe, ideal for those looking to slow down and soak up the natural beauty.
    5. El Valle de Antón: Anton Valley is a beautiful mountain town located in the crater of an extinct vulcan. This picturesque town is a haven of cool climates, greenery, and breathtaking views, perfect for retirees who love the great outdoors and a peaceful community.
    6. Bocas del Toro: A tropical paradise, ideal for retirees seeking a serene lifestyle amidst nature. This Caribbean archipelago offers clear blue waters, abundant wildlife, and a friendly, laid-back community. A lack of healthcare services and the no-stop party in the main Islands should be considered as well.

    Taxes Exemptions for Retirees

    No Income Tax on Foreign Earned Income

    Panama employs a territorial tax system, meaning residents are taxed only on income earned within Panama. Thanks to the territorial taxation pension and other income that are coming from abroad are not taxed.

    Property Tax Exemptions

    Panama offers property tax exemptions for retirees under certain conditions. For example, new residential properties may be exempt from property taxes for up to 20 years, and there are also tax benefits for properties registered as primary residence.

    Import Tax Exemptions

    The Pensionado Visa guarantees you a one-time exemption from import duties for household goods up to a certain amount and tax exemptions on the importation or local purchase of a vehicle every two years. Potential retirees should consult with a tax advisor to fully comprehend how to exploit these benefits.

    Cost of living

    The cost of Living in Panama is detailed in this article: Cost of Living in Panama City


    Living in Panama in retirement represents a wonderful chance to lead a luxurious life in an attractive area. A low cost of living, great healthcare and friendly community make Panama a favourite destination for retirees who want adventure and tranquillity in their golden years. Anyone who dreams about spending their retirement in a place where they are surrounded by the beach and with tropical weather should consider Panama.

    Sources & Foot Notes

    [1] Retire in Panama - Guide to Retiring in Panama
    [2] NDM - Living in Panama
    [3] Relo Firm - Retire in Panama
    [4] Kraemer & Kraemer - Benefits of Retiring in Panama
    [5] International Living - Retiring in Panama

    Thanks for reading

    If this guide helped you, tip us to support our work

    Tip Us

    Guides on this website might contain affiliate links. When you click those links and buy something, we make a little money. This allows us to work on this website full time.