A Beachfront Retirement in Panama

The beaches outside Panama City offer modern conveniences and affordable prices.

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Richard Burry came to Panama City to manage a call center. When it came time to return home to Canada several years later, Burry and his wife Jamuna decided they would rather stay put in Panama. That’s how their overseas retirement adventures began.

[See 5 Luxuries You Can Afford By Retiring Abroad.]

They chose to settle just outside of Panama City, on the beach at Coronado. Coronado is one of a string of  city beaches located near Panama City. Just an hour from the capital, Coronado is close enough for convenience, but distant enough for escape.

Coronado is the most developed of these oceanside communities and, therefore, the most turn-key. This is a well-established retirement community where foreign retirees can connect immediately with all the services and support they need. Coronado also sees less rain than Panama City and enjoys slightly lower temperatures, thanks to the sea breezes.

[See The World’s Top Retirement Havens For 2011.]

For Richard and Jamuna, Coronado offered a chance to slow down and enjoy life with less pressure and more pleasure. Once settled in, they were delighted to look around and discover many opportunities for getting involved in their new community. Jamuna launched a Playa Community website, an online information kiosk where hundreds of people read daily information about Panama’s beach towns.

This is an active community where it’s easy to find your social niche. For example, each month there is a mixer at the Rincon del Chef restaurant that draws groups as large as 200 people in peak season (January through March). Jamuna helps to sponsor these events that provide an opportunity for the entire community, expats and local Panamanians, to meet and mingle.

[See 10 Tips for Retirement Overseas.]

Foreigners who choose to retire in Panama also enjoy plenty of perks. Retirees may be eligible for discounts on a variety of goods and services including restaurant meals, in-country travel, prescription medications, and the closing costs on real estate. There are several good and user-friendly options for establishing foreign residency. And American retirees have no currency risk. Panama has used the U.S. dollar as its currency since 1903. Some retirees can even reduce their taxes by moving to Panama. Perhaps most importantly, Panama is a safe, stable, and prosperous country where most people aren’t worried about their futures, but embracing them.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.