The Key Biscayne real estate market is hyperactive, which has some island residents considering cashing out and retiring. But where to go beside island paradise?
If you have considered retiring to an international city, Panama might make sense.
The Central America country offers lovely beaches, rain forests, and a warm tropical climate that resembles South Florida. According to a recent article by Cindy Barks, published in the website Travel Awaits, Panama also offers a retirement visa that offers steep discounts to seniors and has an affordable health care system.
Once famous for the Panama Canal, the country has been increasing in popularity for retirees, and in January, Panama placed number two on the Top 10 places to retire in the world by International Living.
Panama was second to its neighboring country of Costa Rica.
What makes Panama such a desirable destination for retirees? Barks provides nine reasons.
1. It is close to the United States. A 2.5 from flight Miami gets you there, making Panama a fairly easy trip from for grandkids to visit
2. Ideal Climate. Located in the southern part of Central America, average high temperatures in Panama City are in the mid-80s year-round.
3. Plenty of ExPats. You will not feel alone as there are many Americans living in Panama which makes it possible to live in the country without speaking Spanish.
4. Beaches or Mountains? You get both! Pacific Ocean on the west with sandy beaches and big waves. Travel north and east to enjoy the Caribbean Sea and its tropical features and to complete the trifecta, the west side of Panama, near the Costa Rican border, there are mountain dense with green foliage.
5. Cost of Living. Compared to South Florida, rents could be much cheaper. Travel Awaits interviewed a recent retiree to Panama who is renting a modern, 1,500-square-foot apartment with mountains and beach views for $1,400 a month.
6. Special benefits for retirees. Panama’s Pensionados Program offer a lot more senior discounts than other countries, such as 50 percent off movies and sporting events and 25 percent off energy bills.
7. Affordable Health Care. $12 doctor’s visit? Yes. And most doctors are fluent in English.
8. Safety. ExPats say they feel safe living in Panama and the country is safe when compared to other Central American countries, although crime rates are higher in some provinces (Colon, Panama, Herrera, and Chiriqui).
9. Friendly locals. The expats who reside in Panama say that they feel welcomed, with one retiree saying that Panama life reminds them living in the United States in the 60’s.
To read the entire Travel Awaits report, click here.
Cindy Barks is an Arizona-based newspaper reporter, freelance travel writer, and travel blogger.