Panama Insider

Panama Insider

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"I knew if I was ever going to enjoy retirement on my terms, with my budget, I would have to look for a place to live that had a lower cost of living. And I wanted to live somewhere warm…a place where I could have my windows open all day…"

"With its excellent infrastructure and healthcare system, no hail storms, tornadoes or hurricanes, and the low cost of living, Panama ticked all the right boxes."

In Panama, she says, she easily lives on "around $1,000 a month"


Dear Reader,

If living comfortably well in retirement is important to you, you'll want to know about Panama's world-class retirement program.

When you join the Panama Insider today, you're entitled to:

  • Unrestricted Access to the comprehensive Panama Insider "online vault" and its vast archives
  • A Special Q&A Teleconference: "Ask the Experts": Get Answers to All Your Panama Questions
  • A Special Interactive Forum Where You'll Have Direct Ongoing Access to the Experts and Expats Who Can Guide You to Success on Your Personal Path to Panama
  • Bonus Report #1: The World's Best Retirement Program: Your 3-Step Guide to a Pampered Life
  • Bonus Video #2: "Is Panama Right for You?"
  • Bonus Video #3: "Panama's One-Of-A-Kind Combo: Consistent Value & Convenience"
  • Bonus Video #4: "Getting To Know The Chiriquí Province"
  • Special Bonus #5: $100 voucher to use for any future International Living Conference—we'd love to host you in Panama or elsewhere
  • And Much, Much More…Your Panama Insider has recently been updated with podcasts, insider insights, important in-depth articles and expat interviews, and on and on…Keep reading to learn more.

Your price today: $377…$199…

Thanks to the hefty discounts it offers, expat Nanette Witmer—who retired to Panama's second-largest city of David—says:

"My budget for living in Panama is $1,000 a month"

Nanette lives simply—you might even argue frugally. If you have a bit more to spend, you'll have even more options in Panama, where many expat couples say they live well on just $2,000 a month.

Here, in her own words, is exactly how Nanette does it:

"When I decided to get away from the cold winters of Colorado, Panama attracted me with its warmer climate, low cost of living, and first-rate infrastructure. That alone was worth moving for…but as a retiree here, it gets even better.

"One of the national laws of Panama can make the already low cost of living even lower. Law #9 entitles any resident of the country who qualifies to receive a discount on specific services. Called the 'descuento de jubilado.' it's mandated by law for all retiree residents. And expats with a Pensionado visa qualify for this program too.

"To give you an idea of how the discount can help with everyday costs, I get hotel discounts of 50% off Monday through Thursday and 30% off for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. These discounts apply to the rack rate, so ask for them at the time of booking and make your reservations directly with the hotel instead of online.

"Last month I went for mid-week outing to the beach. I didn't even make a reservation beforehand but asked for my jubilado discount when I arrived at the hotel. I was told the rack rate was $95 so I was charged $47.50 plus tax for an overnight stay. Not bad for an ocean view room.

"I also get discounts on public transport. The cost of a ticket for local bus services or long-distance buses within Panama get a 30% discount. Panama trains and boats give 30% off…

"You can even get discounts on flights out of the country…there is a 25% discount on Panama airlines. Again, you can't get these by making online reservations. You must reserve tickets and get your discount at local travel agencies or the local airline offices.

"Medical expenses are another area where I get to take advantage of these discounts. Doctor's visits, ongoing prescription medications, as well as over the counter medicines are all cheaper when you're part of this program. It is great to get discounts on cold medications, cough syrup and even aspirin. All doctor's prescriptions and over the counter medicines get a 10% discount.

"You can receive 15% off services in hospitals and private clinics. Medical doctor's fees are reduced by 20%. Dentists give a 15% discount.

"The entertainment discounts are great too. I get 50% off tickets to movies, theaters and all sporting events like baseball games and soccer…so first-run movies that normally cost $3.50 set me back just $1.75.

"Eating out is also cheaper when you're a jubilado. Sit-down restaurants offer a 25% discount when you purchase a full meal…Fast food restaurants are required to give a 15% discount. A recent visit to a new upscale restaurant for a buffet lunch cost me $10.50 with the discount instead of the usual $14. With a savings of $3.50, every fourth lunch is basically free.

"Another great advantage is that I get my own lines at banks, utility companies and anywhere else where you have to queue. If there are three tellers and 20 people in the regular line, everyone must wait until the jubilados are served first. And everyone complies with kindness towards the jubilados, knowing someday they will get their turn.

"Adding up all the savings in a month…in addition to the already affordable cost of living…it's not hard to see how inexpensive living in Panama can be.

"My budget for living here is about a quarter of what I spent in Denver. As a single woman, I spend around $1,000 a month."

The Perks and Prestige of Being a Retiree in Panama…

Panama's Pensionado Program is the most generous and appealing program of special benefits you'll find anywhere in the world today.

Best of all, you needn't be of "official" retirement age to qualify.

No matter your age, you can qualify for Panama's Pensionado Program—widely recognized as the best retirement program in the world. Just provide documentation of a guaranteed pension income of $1,000 a month from a government agency (e.g. social security, disability, armed forces) or corporation. If you buy a home in Panama valued at $100,000 or more, that amount is reduced to just $750 per month.

As a qualified pensionado in Panama, you're entitled to:

  • 50% off entertainment—such as movies, theaters, concerts, and sporting events—anywhere in the country
  • 50% off closing costs for home loans and more…
  • 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday
  • 30% off hotel stays from Friday through Sunday
  • 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
  • 25% off airline tickets
  • 25% off at restaurants
  • 20% off medical consultations
  • 20% off professional and technical services
  • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • 15% off dental and eye exams
  • 10% off prescription medicines
  • And more…

You're also entitled to a one-time exemption from duties on the importation of your household goods (up to $10,000) and tax exemptions on the importation or local purchase of a car.

Put Panama in the Top Spot on Your Retirement Destination List Now

I'm Jackie Flynn, International Living publisher. For years International Living has been sharing information about all that Panama has to offer. As quality of life deteriorates elsewhere in the world, Panama looks better and better.

Nowhere else can you enjoy such a comfortable life…with a year-round mild tropical climate, excellent medical care, fresh, healthy food straight from the farmer's truck…and a retirement incentive program that's truly welcoming of expats…

But don't just take it from me…

The AARP says that Panama is a "smart choice for retirees who want it all."

Business Week dubbed it "the New Florida."

Forbes says, "It truly can be paradise."

CNN reports: "How do you retire on $25,600 a year? Move to Panama."

And the Washington Post says:

"With all of its benefits and active expatriate community, Panama is among the most affordable and appealing options for retirees."

Why is Panama one of the world's top retirement havens?

First published in 1992, International Living's Global Retirement Index measures everything from climate and healthcare to cost of living and ease of fitting in. Panama scores high in all these and more and has always scored among the top five on the Index. Its benefit-rich Retirement Program is the most generous you'll find anywhere.

This year, once again, Panama earned the top spot in International Living's Global Retirement Index.

In Panama you really can have it all: a cosmopolitan capital city with one of the world's largest financial districts…hundreds of miles of spectacular beaches…highland retreats with green valleys where the weather is spring-like, even in January and August…And did you know that there are never any hurricanes?

So please, don't put off your dreams of a better, less-stressful (and lower cost) life any longer…

If you're considering retiring overseas, but you're not yet sure where that might be, put Panama at the top of your list right now.

More than any other destination that International Living covers, Panama is—hands down—the most popular. And there are so many reasons why…

Panama meets all the criteria on most anyone's "perfect overseas lifestyle" checklist:

  • Close to the U.S. (just a 3-hour flight from Miami)
  • Politically stable and business friendly
  • Mild weather, with a climate for everyone, from tropical beaches to temperate mountains
  • Top-quality healthcare—the gleaming new Punta Pacifica Hospital is affiliated with the renowned Johns Hopkins Medicine International
  • No income taxes on foreign-earned income

Now, it's true that many of the things I've just mentioned apply to other Latin American countries, too. Some are even closer to the U.S. (but not by much). And many have democratically elected governments. (Although few are as stable and safe as Panama.)

Plus, there are many things that are unique to Panama that you may not be aware of:

  • You can drink the tap water almost anywhere
  • Property tax exemptions on a wide variety of homes and condos
  • The U.S. dollar is the official currency—your retirement income won't fluctuate with currency exchange rates.
  • A built-in community of English-speaking locals and expats
  • No hurricanes
  • The world's best retirement incentive program, and…
  • It's very affordable—live well on $2,000 a month or (as Nanette does) on even less!

I'll explain more in a moment about how comfortable and inexpensive it is to live in Panama. But first…

How Can You Quickly and Easily Determine, Once and For All, if Panama is For You?

In 2006—well more than a decade ago—we made a very valuable addition to our staff. Jessica Ramesch was born in Panama, but grew up in the States, and attended university there, too. As a young adult, she quickly realized that for her, there is no better country on the planet than Panama…from its world-class capital city that's bursting with cultural opportunities…to its fertile farmland where anything grows and its cool, crisp mountain communities…to its stunning Caribbean and Pacific Coast beaches.

(And that's not even to mention the hundreds of picture-perfect offshore islands.)

You—and Your Family and Friends—Will Love Spending Time in Panama

Panama is one of the hottest tourist destinations on the planet! Besides the Canal (the country's #1 tourist attraction), and Panama City, you can indulge your sense of adventure with a trek through uncharted jungles and virgin rainforests and some of the most vast, rich and complex eco-systems in the world (home to over 940 recorded bird species and 105 endangered species).

Canoe into rural villages…go on white-water-rafting expeditions…hike through lush green valleys…visit one of the world's largest crater towns…horseback ride along deserted palm-lined beaches…dive in spectacular Caribbean waters…sun yourself on powdery white-sand beaches…all this and more.

For nearly a dozen years now, Jessica has been digging deep into every corner of Panama…to discover the little-know gems and the very best locales for buying real estate, starting a business, or just living the good life you deserve.

To add another perspective, a couple of years ago, we added Nanette Witmer to our staff as an expert from Panama's Chiriquí Province. I've already shared some of Nanette's story with you—she's explored much of Latin America, and has lived in David, Panama's second-largest city, not far from the popular community of Boquete, since 2012.

Both Jessica and Nanette are like sponges…soaking up not just the fun facts but all the legal and regulatory details, too. They know exactly who you need to talk to and what you need to do to qualify for the Pensionado visa, for example… How to find the best local health insurance coverage… How to go about getting your Panama driver's license…your cédula (local ID card) and much, much more.

One of the things I admire most about these two is their tenacious ability to stay on top of constantly changing regulations and procedures. They won't stop digging until they understand every situation from top to bottom, inside and out.

There is no one more committed to giving you real-world, on-the-ground insights into life in Panama today and to helping to make your transition to life there easier.

We Have So Much information, Advice, and Guidance to Share with You about Panama…

Jessica and Nanette are always making new contacts, picking people's brains, scoping out ever-better places to live, and to travel.

As I've said, they stay on top of the "technical" stuff, too—for buying, renting, getting visas and residency, building, renovating, furnishing a home, bringing a pet, and so on.

And they're committed to giving you real-world, on-the-ground insights into life in Panama today. They're on a mission to help make your life easier. No use you reinventing the wheel!

Not just that, but add all the readers who have taken our advice and are already in Panama full- or part-time. They've improved their own lives immeasurably—they're eating better and living healthier, enjoying a lot less stress, going to concerts, traveling through the country, making friends, relaxing on the beach. Living their dream retirements and spending a small fraction of what they did to live ordinary lives back home.

And these readers who have gone before you—they, too, have recommendations and advice to share with you…all of which can save you time, money, and frustration.

Taken together, we have an enormous amount of intelligence that can help you get from where you are now to the place in Panama that's right for you—much more efficiently than you could manage on your own.

Frankly, we have MORE Panama insights than we know what to do with. Or, rather, more than we could reasonably send you unless we got in touch two or three times a day and all we did was talk about Panama.

But a couple of years ago—at the urging of Jessica and Nanette, who were searching for a way to effectively share with you in a comprehensive, timely, useful way—all the great advice, recommendations and guidance about Panama they'd like you to have…we created a groundbreaking "insider" group…

This is The Next-Best Thing to Sitting Down Face to Face…Whenever You Want…With Our Editors

To be honest, if you were to sit down over a cup of the world's best coffee (which comes from Panama, by the way) with Jessica or Nanette or any of our editors, you'd no doubt absorb an encyclopedia of Panama intelligence in no time. You'd get all your questions answered. And you'd spare yourself all the mistakes they made when they were first starting out in Panama.

It would "fast track" you into a better life in Panama, no question.

The thing is—that just isn't a practical option. After all, we've got half a million readers and tens of thousands of them are interested in Panama.

So…after our decades of experience researching, analyzing, and reporting about Panama retirement and relocation opportunities and (yes, a few) challenges, we created what is—without a doubt—the next-best thing.

It's a way for you to gain access to an incredibly comprehensive and truly rich depth of knowledge and get "plugged in" to everything you need to know.

…so you can get from where you are now—to a better life in Panama, in the perfect place there that's exactly right for you.

You get everything you need to do it quickly, easily, and seamlessly.

We call it Panama Insider. It's your direct access to your perfect Panama lifestyle.

Let me say right up front here: This isn't a newsletter. It's not a magazine, a book, or even a conference. It's not a static resource at all.

Panama Insider is the virtual equivalent of spending a couple months in Panama with the experts, soaking up every last bit of intelligence from the insiders who know the benefits, the tricks, the challenges, and the real-world solutions that really work.

As a Panama Insider member, you can ask questions… Get answers… And I guarantee it will help you determine if Panama is right for you.

It'll help you match your personal interests and preferences with your own patch of paradise in Panama, and it'll give you solid, up-to-date, reliable details about everything from how you apply for a visa to where you can buy a custom-made dining table or organic produce or your favorite herbs and spices.

Plus it'll give you practical things like day-by-day trip itineraries that'll show you the best ways to explore Panama if you're doing so with an eye to living there.

But perhaps most importantly—it "connects you" with the experts, with Jessica and Nanette and your fellow readers who share an interest in Panama, and with a friendly community of expats we know already living there who can share with you their insights and advice.

It essentially puts you on the "inside" so you have people to turn to and you don't have to figure everything out on your own.

Now that's just a very small taste of what Panama Insider is about—and I'll tell you more in a minute…

First, though, let me share more about why we're so excited about Panama to begin with…and why you should be, too.

Yes, There Are Still GREAT Deals to Be Had on Panama Real Estate

Ronan McMahon, executive director of Real Estate Trend Alert has logged hundreds of thousands of travel miles in pursuit of the world's best real estate bargains. Here's what he says about today's Panama real estate market:

"Back in 2004 you could have bought a prime condo preconstruction in Panama for $120 per square foot. Within a very short three years, preconstruction prices almost tripled. The market became too frothy for my liking…and I stopped recommending Panama as a must-buy market.

In Panama, It's Easy to Start a Business, and Property Rights are Guaranteed By the Country's Constitution

As The New York Times reports, Panama's "laissez-faire stance on private property rights and entrepreneurship" makes it an easy place to invest and to start a business.

Property rights are guaranteed by the country's constitution and foreigners can legally buy property in Panama and generally enjoy the same rights as Panamanian citizens.

You can be sure that Panama Insider will introduce you to the best real estate and business opportunities available in Panama today.

But fast forward over a decade…and I pin-pointed a beach deal on Panama's Pacific coast that stacked up for investors…and buyers looking for a beach getaway at an unrivalled price. It's on the last undeveloped stretch of Pacific beach close to Panama City. It's the nicest stretch. This point of land with its white-sand beaches, stayed undeveloped as the city and other beach locales close by were transformed. Now this area is set to explode."

You can buy a two-bedroom luxury condo here for as little as $169,300. Best of all, the developer is offering a manageable payment plan.

And Ronan adds: "I've got another exciting deal in the works….this time in the heart of Panama City. It's a unique low-rise condo building, smack in the middle of a millionaire's neighborhood…with pricing below $200,000. I expect to see strong capital gains from this deal - and good rental returns when the building is move-in ready."

Point is: There are bargain opportunities out there if you know where to look. (Panama Insider points you to the resources you need to locate the best real estate deals.)

And remember, Panama offers a big buyer's incentive in its tax-exemption program. Buy new residential construction and you may be exempt from paying any property taxes for up to 20 years!

How much does it cost to rent in Panama?

Average rental prices in Panama City's nicer areas tend to range from $1,000 to $1,800, but a little legwork can yield some bargain results. And outside the city…in popular Boquete or up-and-coming coastal Pedasí, you can find rentals for half as much. As one expat says about the mountain village of Santa Fe, where she lives amongst the locals: " You can rent a house with a garden for $300 a month."

Check out these bargains I found in exciting, cosmopolitan Panama City:

  • On popular Balboa Avenue—front and center bordering the Bay of Panama—a one-bedroom condo, with expansive views of the ocean (in a building with an oceanview infinty pool, a gym, and more) is selling for just $99,000.
  • In Panama City's Edison Park neighborhood, a new two-bedroom condo—with a balcony overlooking a city view, garage parking, and more—is selling for just $130,000.
  • In the popular El Cangrejo neighborhood—in the heart of the city's entertainment district, near some of Panama's best restaurants, you'll find a modern luxury condo with three bedrooms and two bathrooms—all-new modern appliances included. The building also houses a lounge, gym, Olympic-sized pool, BBQ area, and more. Price: just $270,000.

When you become a Panama Insider, you'll always be up-to-date about exactly where to look to find the best deals.

Prefer to live outside bustling Panama City? That's where the real bargains are found:

  • A pretty three-bedroom, two-bath home on a pine-studded lot of nearly a quarter acre is selling in the cool mountain town Cerro Azul, just 45 minutes from Panama City. It has gorgeous mountain views and a large covered terrace to hang your hammock. It's in a secure community with a swimming pool, tennis courts, restaurant and more. Price? Just $120,000.
  • In upper Boquete, the boutique mountain town in the Chiriqui province that's become somewhat of an expat enclave (although it certainly retains its Panamanian flavor) you can buy a spacious three-bedroom three-bath home—with a covered terrace, a pretty garden from which to enjoy the sunshine and stunning mountain views, and even a swimming pool, all for just $169,500! (And that's negotiable, of course.)

A word about Boquete… It's been named one of the top destinations to retire outside the U.S. by Forbes, Fortune, and AARP's Modern Maturity magazine.

That's thanks to its stunning vistas (and oh so healthy) temperate mountain climate, its modern amenities, delicious fresh food, and more. (Boquete is known for its fresh strawberries and cream and for having the best coffee in the world! Need I say more?)

Maybe beach living is more your style? You, too, will be happy in Panama:

  • At the upscale beach community of Coronado, a two-bedroom condo in a brand-new community with a pool and more, just a couple of short blocks to the beach and popular restaurants, is on offer for just $95,200.
  • And in nearby Gorgona, a three-bedroom, one-bathroom oceanview condo is selling for an unbeatably low price of just $155,000. And the building even has a swimming pool and doorman.

Panama Is Politically and Economically Stable—Exactly What You Want in a Retirement Destination

Yes, Panama is thriving. It boasts one of the top two most vibrant economies in Latin America…and well ahead of the U.S. in fact, according to recent data released by the CIA World Factbook.

For you, this means that Panama is a land of opportunity. Many foreign retirees who have settled in Panama have started B&Bs, opened restaurants or bars, run import-export businesses, and more…

As one successful expat entrepreneur put it:

"This country invites and welcomes businesses with tax incentives, streamlined paperwork, quick turnaround, and a big smile. Starting a business in Panama is easy, empowering, and exciting. There are endless possibilities for adventure."

(This—business and investment opportunities—is something we report on often in Panama Insider.)

I'm sure you've heard of Panama's biggest stimulus project: the recently completed (and massive) expansion of that Modern Wonder of the World called the Panama Canal. It's just one of several mega-projects helping to fuel Panama's economy in the years to come.

Not bad for a "Third World" country, huh? Well, believe me, Panama is hardly Third World these days. For instance:

  • Panama is more modern than any other Central American country. You can stay at a rainforest resort or an island hostel and still enjoy the same high-speed Internet that you would in Panama City.
  • From the expanding international airport at Tocumen, also known as the Hub of the Americas, you can travel anywhere in the world, and often on a direct flight.
  • New cars of every make and model safely travel modern roads and highways. The country is small, so you can easily drive from the city to the rural, interior areas, including those gorgeous cool mountains, in just a few hours. See the sun come up over the Caribbean and go down over the Pacific all in one day!
  • With historically low inflation, one of the world's biggest banking sectors, and the government's business-friendly posture, Panama offers a combination of benefits that no other Central American country can match.

So let's talk affordability…

I've already touched on the affordable costs of buying real estate in Panama. But what about the low cost of living overall? Many expats report they're living well on budgets of less than $2,000 per month. That doesn't include rent, but even if it did, you can see that in Panama, you can live very comfortably.

Here, in fact, is an average monthly budget, for a comfortable lifestyle for a couple in the beach community of Chame—not far from Panama City:

Electricity: $35
Propane (cooking and hot water): $5
Water and trash collection: $5
Maintenance/ insurance/ fuel for one car: $200
Internet: $50
Cellphone (prepaid cards): $10
DirecTV (US channels): $20
Groceries/ prescriptions/ dining out: $900
Health insurance: $270
Home maintenance, etc.: $200
Spanish classes: $25
Clothing/misc. $50
TOTAL: $1,770

Of course, your expenses will depend on your situation.

In any case, you can easily see how affordable it is to live in Panama. While city living may cost a bit more, thanks to all those entertainment and shopping temptations, when you choose to live outside the city…in a pretty little beach town or even in a mountain town like Boquete…your monthly expenses may be considerably less.

Pamper Yourself—You Deserve It

In Panama, a manicure and pedicure at any number of salons is just $10, and a relaxing hour-long massage is just $30. You can hire a maid to clean your house for $15 a day. A hearty lunch can be had just about anywhere for under $7.

In Panama, even the lowest budget affords a very good lifestyle. You'll enjoy guilt-free conspicuous consumption at laughably low prices. For instance, splurge on a day of beauty at any number of salons ($20 for a blow-out and mani-pedi), pay a maid to clean your house (just $15 a day).

A complete blood workup at Panama City's gleaming Hospital Punta Pacifica (the most technologically advanced hospital in Latin America) is $36. A consult with a physician at this state-of-the-art hospital is $50.

At smaller-but-modern clinics, like Hospital America or Clinica Omega, you'll pay 50% less, and in rural areas a doctor's visit can be far less. As one expat retiree says, she spends just $1 to visit the public clinic in little Santa Fe.

Remember, retirees on the Pensionado Program are entitled to sizeable discounts!

What about health insurance? Retirees (who would be paying $1,250 a month or more—$15,000 a year—in the U.S. for health insurance with a high deductible) say that in Panama, they're paying, on average, $3,240 a year for coverage—and that's with a deductible of just $250 a year. That's a substantial annual savings of nearly $12,000!

It's easy to see how living in Panama can contribute to your quality of life. You'll save, too, on the little things that matter the most, but can add up.

Imagine…sitting at a sidewalk café and enjoying a cup of premium Panamanian coffee, aromatic and hot, for just $1. (True, at $3 per pound, you can make delicious coffee at home for just pennies. But this way, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery as you soak up the sunshine and enjoy the tropical breeze.)

A taxi anywhere in town is only a few dollars. In any of Panama's cities or towns you can buy juicy tropical fruits and fresh vegetables for "locally grown" prices… little more than a buck a bag. At any of the many ocean-side restaurants, you can enjoy a cold beer for $2 or less. A satisfying lunch can be had just about anywhere for under $7.

More time and more money to spend as you like…no taxes on your foreign income, no inflated health care costs, no more worries about outliving your retirement nest egg.

So are you ready to learn more about all that Panama has to offer?

Are you Ready to Quickly, Easily, and Affordably Discover All That Panama Has to Offer?

The only way to really find out if Panama is right for you is to visit and see for yourself. But before you spend that kind of money, I've got a proposition for you.

I'd like to invite you to become a member of our exclusive Panama Insider. It offers…in one place…every single bit of Panama-related intelligence we know. Everything you need to ease your way into a new life overseas—efficiently and with confidence. And it "plugs you in" directly to our network of experts and friends on the ground.

As I said before, it's like the virtual version of a couple of months spent in the good company of our editors, correspondents, and experts in Panama. You become, really, a member of a community that is there to help you every step of the way as you investigate your options there.

We've spent four decades researching this country. Our correspondents and contributors live there. They've experienced all the benefits this country has to offer and they've interviewed hundreds of expats who've done the same.

They've been through the challenges, too—and they tell you all about these—there's no sugar-coating here. As I mentioned, Panama Insider provides a forum for exchange—for input and feedback. It's not merely a clearinghouse of intelligence, it's a community of like-minded folks there to help each other. As a Panama Insider, if you're interested in living, retiring, investing, or starting a business in Panama, you'll benefit immediately.

Through your Panama Insider access, you'll—

  • SAVE TIME! Whether you're a city, country, highland valley, or beach person, there's a perfect place in Panama for you…more than one, I'd dare say. But no worries, we provide the pros and cons to help you narrow down the choices and save hours of painstaking research and expensive travel time. We'll help you pick the locales in Panama that best fit your lifestyle, your preferences, and your priorities.
  • SAVE MONEY! We've done the scouting work for you and provide you with the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for our most trusted and helpful contacts. This information is worth its weight in gold (and can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars). But as part of Panama Insider, our "Rolodex" of contacts is yours, free.
  • MAKE MONEY! We devote a full section of Panama Insider to current business opportunities for the entrepreneur, outlining the sectors where you'll find the most promise. And we provide references and resources to help you launch your new business.

You'll also get all kinds of practical, useful help, like—

  • How to choose and easily qualify for the right visa. The residency process is simple. And unlike some other countries we know, Panama has never revoked residency rights. So once you have your residency it's yours…for life. Your visa typically takes no more than 90 days to process. You just need to know which visa is right for you and where to start.
  • How to "smartly" buy property in Panama. Written by one of Panama's most-respected attorneys and authorities in expat issues, all the details are spelled out in plain English. You'll discover exactly what you can expect when you buy…with notes about each step that gives you the inside, "here's what you need to watch out for" story.
  • Complete details of exactly how much you can expect to pay in fees when you buy property in Panama. And we explain exactly how everything is calculated so there won't be any surprises.
  • Where to find affordable, first-rate healthcare. You'll find all the healthcare services that you want and need, but at a fraction of the prices in the U.S. or elsewhere. Insurance, too, is highly affordable, as are prescription medications. Many that require a prescription in North America are available over the counter in Panama. Get the complete rundown as well as contact info for hospitals, insurance agents, and more.
  • Tax benefits, too. Long before Panama became known as a top retirement destination, it was known by a select, wealthy few as a modern business destination. Open a bank account, set up a corporation or private interest foundation…and take advantage of major tax and estate protection benefits. And remember, when you buy property in Panama, you're eligible for up to 20 years exemption on real estate taxes, and you'll pay zero income tax on your foreign-earned income.
  • Firsthand tales from the field—stories from people who have already done what you're thinking about doing. Their hard-won advice will save you time, money, and days (maybe even months) of frustration…

All the Practical Know-How You Need to Find Your Place in Panama…and Enjoy Life!

  • Where to find an affordable dream home. In Panama, you can still find stunning Pacific Coast condos for $95,200…city condos with a view of the bay for less than $100,000…and secluded mountain or valley retreats for only $120,000 or less
  • How to minimize your cost of living. We'll show you where to find the best (but least-expensive) housing, insurance, even the most romantic settings for an affordable evening meal.
  • Get in early on the newest emerging markets where opportunities are to be found. Not by listening to salespeople, but by taking advantage of our market analysts' extensive experience.
  • Where to indulge your sense of adventure. Trek through uncharted jungles and some of the most expansive, rich, and complex rain forests on the planet… Canoe past rural villages… Go on white-water rafting expeditions… Go swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling in turquoise Caribbean waters… Horseback ride along deserted palm-lined beaches… Surf some of the world's best waves…
  • Learn what it takes to start up a business. Not from a book, but from expats like you who have come to Panama and done it themselves, and done it well.
  • Know the ropes with banks, corporations, foundations, all while learning to unlock the secrets of Panama's solid, renowned international banking sector. Hear it straight from the professionals who are guiding your fellow expats.

Plus, you'll hear regularly from Jessica Ramesch and Nanette Witmer, who have their ears close to the ground. Any time a need-to-know situation arise… Any time regulations and laws change…or any time a special opportunity is presented…Jessica or Nanette will note you immediately.

Panama Is a Smart Choice Today for a Comfortable, Good-Value Retirement…With No Sacrifices—Zero, Zip, Zilch

Baby Boomers are approaching retirement at a time when the world economy is unpredictable. The global financial crisis a few years back pummeled many of their investment portfolios, IRAs, 401Ks, and pension funds.

In greater numbers than ever, they are seeking alternatives to a retirement of merely scraping by in the U.S.

Right now…today… Panama makes perfect sense as an ideal escape from financial chaos and stress. Especially when you consider the high standard of living you'll find in Panama.

As a Panama Insider, you'll learn everything you need to live and prosper in one of the most beautiful and affordable places on earth. And beyond that, you gain, really, a community, too.

Because your fellow members are interested in the same things you are. They have the same questions. They have the same worries. And they're looking for the same sort of answers and help. It means they're asking questions you might not think of. They're making discoveries of their own that would be helpful to you. And they share all that as part of your Panama Insider.

In addition to all those things I've already mentioned, you'll ALSO get:

  • A review of Panama's history, customs, and culture so you'll know exactly what to expect when you get there.
  • A list of need-to-know Spanish terms for getting around (although many expats get along just fine with only English).
  • A complete guide to getting around Panama. (How to get there, where to stay, how to take the bus, buy a car, and more.)
  • A complete rundown of Panama's diverse climate and geography and a guide on choosing which area—city, beach, countryside, or mountains—is right for you.
  • Full details of the real cost of living and a complete guide to taxes…what you can expect to pay locally in Panama and how to keep the tax police back home happy.
  • A step-by-step guide to that worlds' best pensionado visa. We spell out exactly what you need to do to qualify. And we detail all the discounts and benefits so you'll know exactly what your potential savings might be.
  • Plus, you'll have access to our own personal Rolodex, full of invaluable Panama contacts and resources, including our comprehensive Rolodex of legal, personal, and professional services that will be your "Bible" for getting anything you want done in Panama.

In essence, Panama Insider gives you a complete resource for everything you'll want to do, know about, and see in Panama. And it plugs you in to everybody you'll want to know and meet to ensure your experience is smooth, efficient, and enjoyable.

All of Our Most Current Articles, Podcasts, Videos, and Interviews… See, Hear, and Experience Firsthand With Those Who Have Gone Before You

In addition to the live-better, invest-well details and advice we've packed into Panama Insider to help you… we also offer you the true insider experience. There is no substitute for hearing directly from the experts and expats who have paved the way for you…

With your Panama Insider access code, you gain all our best tips, suggestions, and recommendations—gathered over more than a decade of on-the-ground travel. We've been reporting about Panama for decades now, and nobody knows Panama like we do.

We've collected scads of interviews with expats—many of them audio- or video-recorded—and our editors have shot videos of the country's best locales and expat destinations…real estate…street scenes…festivals… farmer's markets…restaurants…beaches, lakes, mountains, and more…

So you can see exactly what the places we recommend look like. You can hear the "true stories"—the rewards and the challenges—straight from your peers, the expats living and working in Panama.

There's nothing else like it out there…

Plus, Our "Editor's Choice" Guide Will Help You Plan Your Own Panama Discovery Trip…

We've also put together our "Editor's Choice" list—a detailed itinerary guide that will help you make the most of your own trip to Panama. Whether you've got a week, two weeks, a month, or longer…we'll give you the tools to plan your stay so you get the most mileage out of your trip.

That way you get a real-life feel for what day-to-day living is like, you meet the people who can help you on the ground, and you can be that much closer to deciding if Panama is right for you—and if it is, where you'd like to settle.

For example, say you're interested in a small town with a real sense of community and many cultural offerings, where the weather is comfortable year-round. You might have narrowed your search to include El Valle.

In that case, you'd take a look at our "El Valle and Environs" itinerary. We'll tell you how to get there, where to stay, what to be sure you see, and send you to our best contacts on the ground, too…

Plus, you'll also get our editors' insider travel tips: the best hotels, the best restaurants…the "don't miss" natural parks…and more, including—

  • Our favorite little restaurant in Panama City's Casco Viejo… Those who are "in-the-know" rave about this exquisite Spanish-influenced restaurant. Be sure to go when you have an entire evening at hand…you'll want to savor every morsel.
  • If you're a golfer, listen up: we've got the inside scoop on Panama's best courses. Where, what, and how much. There are nearly a dozen courses to intrigue, entertain, and delight you. Did you know several prestigious international PGA events have been held in Panama in recent years? Look closely… You may spy your favorite golf celeb out on the links.
  • Speaking of celebrities, we'll share details of the secret hideaways of the rich and famous…the private island where Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have vacationed with their children…the secret beaches where property investors like Mick Jagger and Brad Pitt have been spotted…
  • How and where to take in Panama's favorite pastimes…a trip to the national stadium to take in a passionate game of fútbol (better known as soccer in the U.S.) or baseball, a favorite for many in Panama—the land that gave us Mariano Rivera.

EVEN…a Special, Interactive Forum Where You'll Get All Your Questions Answered

We created Panama Insider as a way to gather all our best, most useful Panama intelligence in one place—and give it to you in a way that you can find what you're looking for. It's like a treasure trove of secrets, answers, and recommendations…

When you become a member, we'll give you your own personal access code. You'll unlock the door…and we'll swing it wide open for you so you can step in and explore.

Here's Just Some Of What You Get When You Join Panama Insider Today…

As I've mentioned, International Living has been exploring and reporting on Panama for four decades now. No one knows Panama better. And we created Panama Insider to ensure that you get all of our Panama intelligence in one easy-to-access place—your virtual Panama "clubhouse."

As soon as we learn something new about Panama, so will you. The moment any new rule or legal process comes into effect, the information will be in your hands. Even the small things…like a new noteworthy restaurant or hotel opening its doors…we'll be sending details off to you.

For instance, here's just a sample of what's been recently added:

Our Favorite Little-Known Mountain Town

There's a hidden valley in Panama that has near-perfect spring-like weather year-round. Wild flowers grow amongst lush green forests. Of course, it's not really "hidden." In fact, some of Panama City's oldest and most affluent families have been coming here for years. As a Panama Insider, you'll be in-the-know about where this "secret valley" is and exactly what kind of lifestyle opportunities you'll find there…

Coronado vs. Pedasí: Which is Best for You?

Imagine having your own personal stretch of gorgeous shoreline where can take your morning walks…where the sound of the ocean is all you hear because there's no one else around. The fact is, most of Panama's beaches match this description—they're largely pristine and uncrowded. That's certainly true of Panama's top two expat beach destinations—the Coronado and Pedasí regions.

But which of these is best for your particular lifestyle needs? Jessica Ramesch spells it out for you. Coronado, of course, is closer to Panama City and its many amenities, but Pedasí is only slightly more "remote." The differences are in the "flavor" of the expat community, the cost of living, healthcare options, and more. If you're looking for a beach destination, these are "must-have" insider insights that you simply won't find anywhere else.

Boquete vs. David: Comparing the Jewels of Chiriquí

Similar to Jessica's comparison of Coronado and Pedasí, Nanette Witmer compares and contrasts the two largest and most popular expat communities in Panama's lush Chiriquí province.

You may know of Boquete and the reasons for its appeal (particularly its perpetual Springlike climate and gorgeous mountain setting), but what about the larger and amenity-rich David? That's where Nanette lives, of course, but why? And if she had to do it over again, would she make the same choice? Nanette gives up all the details you need to know to decide which of these Chiriquí jewels is best for you.

Podcast: Why Ed and Pam Chose Boquete for Their Part-Time Escape

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live part of your year overseas? You could skip the harsh winters of home, swapping snowstorms for balmy climes—but return home for all the important stuff with family. It's easier than you might think.

As a Panama Insider, you're invited to listen in as International Living editor Dan Prescher talks with Ed and Pam Kuiper who are living the retirement of their dreams. After just one night in Boquete, they made the decision to buy a condo there. Today, they split their time between their home in Florida and their new getaway in Boquete? What was it about Boquete that attracted them? And how do they make their new lifestyle work to their advantage? Listen in to this new podcast and find out…

And there's much, much more…

As I've said, we're constantly updating your Panama Insider with insider insights and reliable, actionable information you need to know if you're considering a move to Panama.

Any time anything noteworthy happens in Panama, you'll be first to know about it. Week after week and month after month, we're adding to the Panama Insider online "vault" with valuable "need-to-know" information that we guarantee will help you on your Panama journey. (More about that rock-solid guarantee in a moment.)

Plus, Remember: You'll Have Insider Access to a Special, Interactive Forum Where You'll Get All Your Questions Answered

Once you're a Panama Insider member, you also gain access to the exclusive interactive Panama Insider forum where you can ask questions about your particular situation…and get feedback. From our correspondents and from your fellow members who are, like you, interested and familiar with Panama. (It's the virtual equivalent of meeting in person with a savvy group of fellow members.)

Plus, for New Members Like You: We're Hosting a Revealing Conversation with Our Top Panama Experts

To get your insider access to your Panama Insider kicked off right, we're going to let you listen in to a conversation with our top Panama experts. In fact, we'll ask you to submit questions, so we can be sure you'll get the answers you're looking for.

Dan Prescher—who's been traveling to Panama frequently for more than two decades now (he even lived in Panama City for awhile)—is preparing to sit down with Jessica Ramesch and Nanette Witmer and address all the details about life in Panama that you're most curious about.

They'll share what they love most about Panama… Jessica and Nanette will explain the ins and outs of living there, what they like most, what they find frustrating…and more…

Together, they'll answer the questions they get most often from readers like you… (Once you enroll as a member of the Panama Insider, we'll ask you to submit your questions.)

They'll talk about healthcare in Panama, about their favorite spots in the country, about what a typical day looks like. And they'll tell you what life in Panama really costs…

In other words, they'll "open their door" to you and invite you in, sharing insights and observations about their own lives so you can better gauge whether Panama is a good fit for you…

But to listen in to this Q&A and to submit your own questions—free for Panama Insider members—you must have your access code. (Normally we'd charge $49 for a teleconference of this sort. But it's yours free as a Panama Insider member.)

Regular Updates Mean You're Always Reliably Up-to-Date and In-the-Know about Panama

What's more, we're constantly adding to this intelligence database of Panama insights, solutions, recommendations, and advice.

When we meet somebody new who's living there, we don't just say hello and goodbye. We get their contact information. We ask them all about "their story," and find out why they chose Panama, what they like, what they don't like, what they wish they'd known before they went. And we include all of that for Panama Insider members. These are invaluably useful insights. And, we hope, will help you begin to see yourself in Panama…

We interview people regularly—folks with a Panama connection, might be an expat who has a business there or a retiree who's found a great volunteer pastime or an attorney who can answer important questions—and we post the conversations and podcasts for our members to listen in to.

Every time there's a new development or a change we feel you need to know about, we host a special call or produce a Special Alert Report—and make sure you get it first as a Panama Insider.

And all those extras and on-going additions are yours as part of your membership. We're always adding content to the Panama Insider vault. We're making sure the information is right and up-to-date. And everything new, everything extra—it's all included for you as a member.

If you're serious about investigating your best options in Panama, you can't find a better, more comprehensive, more useful, more up-to-date, more personally helpful resource.

I'd like to invite you to take a look today, risk free…

Take a Look at Panama Insider Today—Specially Discounted for New Members

There will never be a better time to give Panama Insider a try…

Because as we invite new members to join us, we're making a very special offer.

We're eager to build our membership ranks quickly. And we know there's great interest.

So here's what we're going to do…

When you request your own access code as a new member of Panama Insider today—we'll give you complete access to the Panama Insider password-protected website for just $199. Taken over a year, that's an investment of less than 53 cents a day for access to all the how-to details, solutions, and recommendations you need to get smoothly from where you are now—to enjoying the good life in Panama in a place that's just right for you.

And that's not all…

We'll extend your membership indefinitely with a modest annual maintenance fee of just $19 a year. That gives you continued full membership and access to regularly updated Panama intelligence. This stuff isn't static. Things change. New regulations emerge, laws shift, opportunity pops up in a place it didn't exist before…

With your Panama Insider membership, you'll always have the best, most up-to-date Panama strategies, ideas, and recommendations. You'll always have access to the forum and its community of like-minded members and experts who can help you explore your best options in Panama efficiently and thoughtfully.

The annual maintenance fee is normally $47. But with this special deal—when you become a member today—you'll lock in a maintenance fee at less than half that amount. And we'll never raise it.

It means you're gaining insights, recommendations, advice, and guidance about Panama—constantly updated—that could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on the ground.

Panama Insider will pave the way for you to find your own perfect retreat easily, quickly, and smoothly. So you can stop dreaming about that life where you can relax, where you have the time and funds to enjoy life and travel…and start living it!

It could make all the difference between you stumbling blindly into a retirement haven that may or may not be a good fit…or you getting there easily and calmly, with a good plan and a well-marked road map in hand.

Confidence, peace of mind, and hand-holding guidance that could save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours—it's yours for just $199 today…

You gain full, unfettered access to the Panama Insider website, where we've catalogued everything for you so it's easy to find and access and use.

And now's the time to enroll and get your Panama Insider membership. There won't be a better, more affordable time to do it! In fact, take me up on this special offer right now—and we'll include a couple more special extras, too…

Fast-Reply Bonuses Give the Panama Insider a Try Today…and We'll Toss in 5 Special Extras…FREE

Join Panama Insider now, and we'll also include for you—

SPECIAL BONUS #1: The World's Best Retirement Program: Your 3-Step Guide to a Pampered Life (Value $49)—YOURS FREE.

In this in-depth Special Report, we take a look at the famous Pensionado program. As I've mentioned, it is one of the best retiree benefits programs in the entire world. And in this report, we'll share the three top tips that will get you on the road to living the life you've always dreamed of in Panama. We'll also share some of the best places to look for your dream home, tips about how to start your real estate hunt, and—very importantly—all the details of the Pensionado visa program.

But that's not all…

Let me know you're ready to become a Panama Insider member now and I'll also give you:

SPECIAL BONUS #2: The Special Video, "Is Panama Right for You?"( (Value: $29)—YOURS FREE.

What are the two best residence options Panama offers to Americans and Canadians? There's no one better to explain than Panama attorney Rainelda Mata-Kelly. For more than 30 years, she's been helping expats go through the visa process and more—and Panama Insider members can listen in (and watch, firsthand) as Rainelda explains—in a special video presentation—how to qualify for the world's best package of retiree discounts…and the easiest way to get permanent residence in Panama:

How to qualify for the world-class benefit-rich pensionado visa. Everything you need to know, such as:

  • How to qualify for the world-class benefit-rich pensionado visa. Everything you need to know, such as:
  • What are the necessary documents and how they must be qualified?
  • What are the income requirements? And how much does the visa itself cost?

Rainelda has done all your homework for you and you can be sure, after watching this video, that you'll understand the steps to take to make the visa process as easy and cost-effective as possible.

And to introduce you to two of your key Panama Insider experts, we'll also give you:

SPECIAL BONUS #3: The Special Video, "Panama's One-Of-A-Kind Combo: Consistent Value & Convenience" (Value: $29)—YOURS FREE.

In this special video, your International Living Panama Insider chief editor Jessica Ramesch offers an in-depth overview of tangible benefits and challenges of life in Panama. And she runs you through need-to-know facts on Panama and the hub that is Panama City, complete with maps, stats, charts, and more. This detailed presentation also sets the stage for exploring important regions outside Panama City that are attracting expats today and will be an invaluable tool as you move forward with your research on Panama.

SPECIAL BONUS #4: Another Special Video, "Getting To Know The Chiriquí Province" (Value: $29)—YOURS FREE.

This is your opportunity to meet your Panama Insider expert Nanette Witmer and learn more about the area where she lives—the Chiriquí Province, known as Panama's "breadbasket" for the wealth of agricultural products that come from there. Hands down, this is Panama's most popular area for expat living, and in this special new video, Nanette shares details about the climate you might expect, your cost of living, housing options, healthcare, activities you can join in, and much more. Via video, you'll discover the Chiriquí Province's most desirable communities and why you might want to consider making one of them your home.

SPECIAL BONUS #5: $100 Voucher to use on any future Fast-Track Panama Conference. ($100 Value)—YOURS FREE.

Because we understand and appreciate your thirst for information about Panama, we're throwing in a voucher good for $100 off any future conference International Living hosts in Panama—or use it for any International Living conference anywhere in the world, for that matter. Use it to attend our Retire Overseas Bootcamp Conference in the U.S., any of our country conferences in other popular destinations such as Panama's neighboring Costa Rica…or any other International Living conference anywhere in the world.

Best of all, this voucher can be used on top of any other discount you may be eligible for.

At each conference, we bring together the country's best, most knowledgeable experts: immigration attorneys, expats, business owners, and more…This is your chance to rub elbows with and talk one-on-one with the professionals who can help you streamline your move to Panama.

All five of these excellent, detail-rich resources are yours not for $236, which is what they're worth. ($49 for the special report, $29 for each of the three special videos, and the $100 conference voucher) But they're yours for FREE when you take me up on this special offer to join Panama Insider now. And they remain yours to keep, no matter what, even if you cancel your membership.

Order now and you'll also receive our complimentary International Living Postcards, sent everyday via email. You can unsubscribe from this service at any time, with no hassle.

There's No Risk to You! So Just Take a Look…Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed

If you've ever wanted to turn your back on long, bitterly cold winters and brutally hot summers…

And if you've ever wanted to walk away from skyrocketing healthcare costs…to a place where healthcare is truly excellent, but is still completely affordable (1/4 to 1/2 the cost of the U.S.)…

If you're looking to salvage your retirement dreams or start a business or a new life in a place where prices are affordable on everything from real estate to public transportation and restaurant meals…now's your chance.

Panama really does make sense for so many people, and for so many reasons. I'm so confident you'll be impressed by everything you discover as a Panama Insider member, I'll give you a full 30 days to decide if it's right for you. (Wouldn't it be nice if travel companies gave you this kind of try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it option?)

I feel certain you'll like what you find as a Panama Insider. And to prove it, I'm willing to take all the risk. So just take a look at everything membership gets you…

Ask questions and get answers. Print out the itineraries that most interest you, and simply take in the great depth and breadth of guidance you'll gain.

If, within those 30 days, you decide Panama Insider isn't what you need to discover whether Panama is right for you, and where your ideal haven there might be, then simply let us know and we'll give you a full refund. No fuss. No questions asked.

Your special bonuses, the special video about visa options and qualifications with attorney Rainelda Mata-Kelly, the two special videos with Jessica Ramesch and Nanette Witmer that introduce you to Panama and its popular Chiriquí Province, and the $100 Conference Voucher (which, by the way, does not expire) are yours to keep, no matter what.

You know, Panama really DOES offer the best possible lifestyle, and with no sacrifices. It may sound cliché—but it's true.

From a sophisticated capital city to pretty, quiet little towns…to miles of unspoiled, sun-kissed beaches…to fertile farmland…to cool-climate mountain hideaways… This retirement haven has it all.

All of this…and you don't have to sacrifice one single aspect of your quality of life. In fact, I daresay you'll live better in Panama than you do now, and for a lot less than life costs you today.

As I've said many times, we know Panama well. And we'd like to share with you our best intelligence about it.

So you can pinpoint the place that's right for you, and get there with ease, confidence, and the enthusiasm that comes with knowing what you're getting into!

Take a look now. I'm confident you'll be impressed with what you find.

There's no risk to you and a whole world of good-value living to gain. Simply click on the link below now, and we'll make you a member and send you your access code so you can get started.


Jackie Flynn

Jackie Flynn,
Publisher, International Living

P.S. Retiring overseas is a big step. Why make mistakes and feel your way forward blindly when you can simply follow a well-marked path and get the experts to help you along the way? Panama Insider can save you time, money, and frustration, too.

And it's yours—including the special bonuses (valued at more than $377 altogether)—for just $199 right now. But to take advantage of this special membership offer, click on the Add To Cart button now.

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