International real estate investing in Panama is encouraged by the Panamanian government. Foreigners are just as welcome the citizens to buy real property and it is a preferred retirement haven.
Several years back (in 2009), well-known publications such as Business Week were touting Panama as being “the New Florida”. Panama has beautiful scenery with exotic looking flowers and dazzling sunsets, great fishing spots, fantastic weather, and it is already a place where many retirees opt to spend their golden years. The same goes for Florida. While it is true that Panama and Florida have so much in common they could easily pass for twins … fact is … they are not!
Panama is Panama
- Panama is a Republic in Central America, right next door to Costa Rica. Central America is also referred to as “God’s country” with pleasant amenities of city-style life woven into its fabric.
- The country’s name, Panama means “the place of abundant fish”. However, I think Panama should have been named Abundancia which means “abundance” because it has so much more in abundance there than just fish.
- The official language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken.
- Panama’s close proximity to the United States, its low cost of living and affordable quality healthcare are what makes this place very attractive to retirees.
Real Estate Investing in Panama
Panama has implemented the Pensionado Program, a real estate investment program aimed at attracting foreign investors, US investors/retirees, in particular, to buy real estate, and to relocate or retire there. Experts in retirement planning state that Panama is recognized as one of the world’s top offshore havens for investment purposes. Panama did not always offer a comfortable living environment nor were its doors always open. It took the forcible removal of the dictator Manual Noriega in 1989 by American troops to provide a significant impetus for change. If you want to educate yourself further regarding this topic, just use a keyword search phrase like “Panama Pensionado Visa” and include terms like “immigration law” and/or “retiree” to narrow down the results.
Additionally, in case these two sites don’t pop up on the first page of the search engine results, Live and Invest Overseas (LIOS) and International Living are both proven reliable information sources. They both publish a blog, an official Guide which shares information about retiring overseas (“overseas” by their definition means outside of the United States), and every year they distribute a free report which lists the 10 best places to retire overseas. Each organization has a team of country-specific professional advisors who can answer your questions about the healthcare, housing affordability, cost of living, the crime rate, and the weather!
Let’s Be Real! Can We Talk?
The harsh and cruel reality of life is that you could buy or build the most beautiful home located on the most beautiful piece of real estate on the planet, move in, settle down, and find yourself living in hellfire! Why? Well because some countries, no matter how much they advertise about how wonderful life is in their part of the world, they don’t welcome “your kind”. In some places being hateful or racist is not a crime.
Lord knows the USA has its share of hate crimes and there are those who live within this country’s borders who support and promote hateful ideologies. But there are laws against hate and discrimination, even if those laws are not always enforced.
So! Dear People of Color:
If you’re planning to live overseas, i.e. outside of the United States … you better do diligent research. Some countries may not approve of your lifestyle and/or just don’t like the color of your skin.
According to some sources, while Panama does have a history of slavery and racism, it also embraces and takes pride in its rich cultural diversity. For research purposes, if you are fortunate enough to know people who live in or are from Panama, they could probably shed a lot of light on the subject. It also recommended that you simply read local news reports published via The Panama News or Newsroom Panama. Finally, there are some references included in the listing below that are eye-opening and supply perspective.
Can you believe it? It’s 2020 and these are still very real concerns.
Conlin, Michelle. “Retirement: Why Panama Is the New Florida – BusinessWeek.” Businessweek – Business News, Stock Market & Financial Advice. 2 July 2009. Web. 05 Oct. 2011.
“The Global Integrity Report.” Global Integrity. Web. 02 Feb. 2020.
“Preview: Black in Latin America.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 11 Nov. 2015, pbs.org/wnet/black-in-latin-america/featured/preview-black-in-latin-america/172/. Black in Latin America is the third of a trilogy that began in 1999 with the broadcast of Professor Gates’s first series for public television, Wonders of the African World, …
Vida, Melissa. “For Black and Indigenous People in Central America, Black Lives Matter · Global Voices.” Global Voices, 5 June 2020, globalvoices.org/2020/06/05/for-black-and-indigenous-people-in-central-america-black-lives-matter/.
Mckenzie, Kevin Hinton & Ryan. “Top 10 Most Racist Countries in the World.” InfoBarrel, 4 June 2013, infobarrel.com/Top_10_Most_Racist_Countries_in_the_World.