International Moving Company License #: FMC 02238N

(877) 339-0267

International Moving From USA to Any Destination

Fill out the form for your free quote

1 2 3

Discovering Panama: A Comprehensive Guide for US Expats

Panama has increasingly become a top choice for US expatriates seeking a blend of modern amenities, natural beauty, and economic opportunities. Whether you’re retiring, starting a business, or simply looking for a change of pace, Panama offers a compelling proposition. Let’s explore in detail why Panama has garnered such appeal among expats from the United States.

Modern Infrastructure and Amenities

Panama boasts First World infrastructure, particularly in its bustling capital, Panama City. Expats enjoy reliable electricity, high-speed internet, clean drinking water, and well-maintained roads, which collectively provide a comfortable standard of living akin to what they are accustomed to in North America. This infrastructure is not limited to urban areas; even remote regions like Boquete and Bocas del Toro benefit from modern amenities, attracting expats seeking a quieter lifestyle amidst natural beauty.

Panama City
Panama City

Strategic Location

Situated at the crossroads of North and South America, Panama offers unparalleled connectivity. The country’s Tocumen International Airport in Panama City serves as a major hub with direct flights to many US cities, making travel convenient for expats and facilitating business connections. Additionally, Panama’s strategic location along major shipping routes and the Panama Canal enhances its importance in global trade, which can be advantageous for entrepreneurs and investors looking to tap into international markets.

Use of US Dollar

Panama’s official currency is the US dollar, which simplifies financial transactions for US expats. This monetary stability eliminates currency exchange concerns and provides a familiar financial environment. Whether shopping at local markets or managing investments, expats find comfort in using a currency they know and trust.

Welcoming Attitude Towards Foreigners

Panama has cultivated a reputation for its warm hospitality and inclusive culture, making it a welcoming destination for expatriates from around the world, including a growing number of US citizens. The country embraces cultural diversity, celebrating its status as a melting pot of international influences.

Cultural Diversity: Panama’s population is a vibrant tapestry woven from various ethnicities and nationalities. This diversity is reflected in everyday life, where expats find themselves welcomed into a community that values multiculturalism. Whether in urban centers like Panama City or rural towns, expats can expect to encounter a rich blend of traditions, languages, and cuisines.

Ease of Integration: English is widely spoken in Panama, especially in tourist areas and business hubs. This linguistic familiarity eases the transition for US expats who may not be fluent in Spanish initially. Additionally, many locals are accustomed to interacting with foreigners and are eager to share their culture and customs, fostering a sense of belonging for newcomers.

Community Involvement: Expats in Panama often find numerous opportunities to engage with local communities through volunteer work, cultural events, and social gatherings. Whether participating in local festivals, joining clubs, or supporting charitable initiatives, expats can build meaningful connections and contribute positively to their new home.

Legal Protections: Panama has clear legal protections in place for foreign residents, ensuring their rights are safeguarded under the law. The government’s commitment to fostering a secure and inclusive environment further enhances expats’ confidence in their decision to relocate to Panama.

Expat Support Networks: Throughout Panama, expat communities have established support networks to assist newcomers in settling comfortably. These networks provide practical advice, social events, and valuable insights into navigating life in Panama, helping expats integrate smoothly into their new surroundings.

Testimonials: Many expats who have relocated to Panama cite the country’s welcoming atmosphere as a deciding factor in their move. Stories abound of expats who have found a second home in Panama, describing the warmth and friendliness of the local people as instrumental in their positive relocation experience.

The Panamanian Flag

Diverse Living Options

Panama offers diverse living environments to suit every preference and budget. Expats can choose to reside in the cosmopolitan Panama City, where modern skyscrapers juxtapose with historic neighborhoods like Casco Viejo. Alternatively, they may opt for the tranquility of mountain towns such as Boquete, renowned for its coffee plantations and mild climate, or the laid-back beach lifestyle in destinations like Coronado and Bocas del Toro. Each region offers unique advantages, from cultural richness to recreational opportunities, ensuring expats find a place that feels like home.

Strong Economy and Investment Opportunities

Panama boasts a robust economy with steady growth, driven by sectors such as banking, logistics, tourism, and real estate. The country’s strategic location and business-friendly environment attract foreign investment, offering opportunities for expats to start businesses, invest in real estate, or work in thriving industries. Panama’s favorable tax incentives, including exemptions for certain industries and special economic zones like the Colon Free Trade Zone, further encourage economic activity and entrepreneurship.

Attractive Retirement Programs

Panama offers some of the most appealing retirement programs in the world, making it a top choice for US expats looking to retire abroad. The most notable program is the Pensionado visa, designed to attract retirees with its generous benefits and straightforward application process.

Pensionado Visa Benefits: The Pensionado visa is available to retirees with a guaranteed lifetime income, such as a pension or retirement fund, of at least $1,000 per month. This visa offers a range of benefits that significantly enhance retirees’ quality of life in Panama:

  • Discounts: Holders of the Pensionado visa are entitled to a wide array of discounts, including:
    • 25% off airline tickets originating from Panama
    • 50% off entertainment (such as movies, theaters, concerts)
    • 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
    • 25% off monthly energy bills
    • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • Tax Exemptions: Pensionado visa holders are eligible for exemptions on import duties for household goods (up to $10,000) and the purchase of a new car every two years.

Requirements and Application Process: To qualify for the Pensionado visa, applicants must provide proof of their income and meet certain health requirements. The application process is straightforward and typically involves submitting the necessary documents to the National Immigration Service of Panama.

Healthcare Access: Retirees in Panama have access to high-quality healthcare services at a fraction of the cost compared to the United States. Private healthcare options are readily available in major cities like Panama City, and many doctors are trained in North America or Europe, ensuring expats receive excellent medical care.

Cost of Living: Panama offers a lower cost of living compared to many US cities, allowing retirees to stretch their retirement income further while enjoying a comfortable lifestyle. Basic necessities such as groceries, dining out, and transportation are affordable, contributing to retirees’ financial well-being.

Retirement Communities: Throughout Panama, retirees can find specialized communities tailored to their needs and preferences. These communities offer amenities such as recreational facilities, social activities, and organized excursions, fostering a sense of community among expats.

Testimonials and Experiences: Many US expats who have retired in Panama share positive experiences, praising the country’s welcoming atmosphere, affordable living, and comprehensive retirement benefits. Retirees often find themselves surrounded by like-minded individuals, creating a supportive environment for enjoying their golden years.

Choosing Panama for retirement not only offers financial advantages and healthcare benefits but also provides a rich cultural experience and an opportunity to explore the country’s natural beauty. Whether you dream of beachfront living, mountain retreats, or urban conveniences, Panama’s retirement programs cater to diverse preferences, ensuring a fulfilling retirement abroad.

High-Quality Healthcare

Panama offers a modern healthcare system with facilities and services that meet international standards. Hospitals in major cities like Panama City and David are well-equipped with advanced medical technology, and many doctors are trained in the United States or Europe. Healthcare costs in Panama are generally lower than in the US, making medical services more accessible and affordable for expats. Comprehensive health insurance plans are available, providing coverage for both routine medical care and emergencies, ensuring expats receive the healthcare they need without financial strain.

No Central Bank and Military

One of Panama’s unique features is its lack of a central bank and military. Panama uses the US dollar as its official currency and abolished its military in 1990, opting for a public force responsible for internal security. This decision has contributed to political stability, economic prudence, and a peaceful living environment. The absence of military expenditures allows Panama to allocate resources to infrastructure development, social programs, and environmental conservation, benefiting residents and expats alike.

Natural Beauty and Recreational Opportunities

Panama’s natural beauty is a major draw for expats seeking an active outdoor lifestyle or peaceful retreat. The country is blessed with diverse landscapes that include pristine beaches along both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, lush rainforests teeming with biodiversity, and majestic mountain ranges offering panoramic views. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as surfing, snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching, and zip-lining, while eco-tourists can explore national parks like Soberanía and Darien. Panama’s natural wonders provide endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation, ensuring expats can enjoy a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.


Panama stands out as an ideal destination for US expats seeking a blend of modernity, natural beauty, and economic opportunities in a tropical setting. Whether you’re planning to retire, start a business, or simply embrace a new way of life, Panama offers the infrastructure, amenities, and welcoming atmosphere to support your goals. Explore Panama today and discover why it’s more than just a destination—it’s a lifestyle waiting to be embraced.

Rate this post

International Moving From USA to Any Destination

Fill out the form for your free quote

1 2 3
(877) 339-0267
Get a Free Quote