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Live in Panama

Ten Great Reasons Why Expats Choose To Live in Panama

Idaliz Guiraud from Guiraud Law offers ten great reasons why expats choose to live in Panama, from economic stability and tax incentives to culture, weather, and more.

In recent years, Panama has emerged as one of the most sought-after destinations for expatriates worldwide. The country’s unique combination of economic stability, favorable climate, culture, and welcoming policies for foreigners makes it an attractive place for relocation . Here’s an in-depth look at why so many expats are choosing to live in Panama.

1. Economic Stability and Growth

Panama has of the most stable economies in Latin America, driven by a robust service sector, including banking, commerce, and tourism. The Panama Canal significantly contributes to the nation’s GDP, facilitating global trade and attracting international business. This economic stability translates into a reliable standard of living for residents, with consistent growth and investment opportunities.

2. Attractive Tax Incentives

One of the key attractions for expats who live in Panama is the country’s favorable tax regime. Panama has a territorial tax system, meaning residents are only taxed on income earned within the country. Foreign income is not subject to local taxes, making it particularly appealing for retirees and digital nomads with international sources of income. Additionally, Panama offers various incentives for retirees through its Pensionado Program, providing significant discounts on services and products.

3. Low Cost of Living

Compared to North America and Europe, living in Panama offers a relatively low cost of living without compromising on quality. Housing, healthcare, and everyday expenses are more affordable, allowing expats to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on a budget that would be modest in their home countries. This affordability extends to luxury living, with high-end real estate and amenities available at competitive prices.

4. High-Quality Healthcare

Healthcare in Panama is both high-quality and affordable. The country has a mix of public and private healthcare systems, with many doctors trained in the United States and Europe. Private healthcare facilities, especially in Panama City, are equipped with modern technology and offer services at a fraction of the cost compared to the U.S. This high standard of care provides peace of mind to expats, particularly retirees who live in Panama.

5. Easy Residency Programs

Panama offers several straightforward residency programs that make it easy for expats to relocate. The Friendly Nations Visa, for instance, allows citizens from over 50 countries to apply for residency with minimal requirements. The Pensionado Program is another popular option, providing lifetime residency to retirees with a guaranteed pension. These programs are designed to attract foreigners and simplify the transition to living in Panama.

6. English Proficiency and Expat Communities

While not the most English-proficient country in the region, English is still quite widely spoken in Panama, particularly in urban areas and among professionals in the service industry. This makes it easier for expats to navigate daily life, conduct business, and integrate into the community. Moreover, Panama has well-established expat communities, providing a support network for newcomers. These communities often organize social events, offering opportunities to meet people and build friendships.

7. Vibrant Culture and Lifestyle

Panama is a melting pot of cultures, blending indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences. This diversity is reflected in the country’s rich cultural heritage, lively festivals, and varied cuisine. Expats can enjoy a vibrant lifestyle, with access to numerous recreational activities such as hiking, bird watching, and water sports. The country’s stunning natural beauty, from tropical rainforests to pristine beaches, offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

8. Strategic Location

Caye International Bank president, Luigi Wewege, who splits his time between Panama and Belize, says that “Panama’s strategic location between North and South America makes it an ideal base for travel. The country is well-connected with direct flights to major cities in the Americas and Europe. This accessibility is particularly beneficial for expats who travel frequently for business or leisure.” Panama’s location in the tropics also ensures a warm climate year-round, appealing to those seeking to escape colder climates.

9. Safety and Political Stability

Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America. The government places a high priority on maintaining security, and crime rates are relatively low compared to neighboring countries. The political environment is stable, with a democratic government that has been conducive to economic growth and social development. This stability is a significant factor for expats considering long-term relocation to live in Panama.

10. Environmental Initiatives and Quality of Life

Panama is committed to environmental sustainability, with numerous initiatives aimed at preserving its natural resources. The country’s extensive national parks and protected areas offer expats the chance to live close to nature. Panama City is also one of the few urban areas in the world where the rainforest can be found inside the city limits, providing a unique blend of urban and natural living.

Panama: An Ideal Choice for Expats

In summary, Panama’s blend of economic stability, attractive tax incentives, low cost of living, high-quality healthcare, and easy residency programs make it an ideal destination for expats. The country’s vibrant culture, strategic location, and commitment to safety and sustainability further enhance its appeal. Whether seeking a retirement haven, a base for international business, or a new adventure, expats will find that living in Panama offers a welcoming and enriching environment to call home.

Idaliz Guiraud is the managing partner and founder at Guiraud Law, specializing in banking, commercial, immigration, real estate, trade, tax, and wealth structuring. She lives in Panama City, Panama.

Idaliz Guiraud

Idaliz Guiraud

Idaliz Guiraud is the managing partner and founder at Panamanian legal firm Guiraud Law, which specializes in banking, commercial, immigration, real estate, trade, tax, and wealth structuring. She is also the CEO of Panama-based international consultancy TS Corp, and lives in Panama City, Panama.