Panama offers many benefits for relocating here. Here are some of the top reasons for relocating to Panama:
1. Low Cost of Living: Living in Panama is cheaper than the U.S., Canada, and Europe according to a recent survey by The Economist called the “Global Cost of Living”. Many expats from the U.S. claim that the prices for the basics of living in Panama average around 25% than at their former homes. In fact, many pensioners from the EU, Canada and the U.S. live full time in Panama. Most live well here on only $1,500 to $2,000 a month.
2. Lower Taxes: Self-employed individuals and employees earning less than $11,000 USD do not have to pay any income taxes. When they earn between $11,000 and $50,000 their income tax rate is only 15%. Even those earning more than $50,000 pay a flat maximum income tax rate of 25%.
The maximum corporate tax rate is 25% with similar tax deductions found in the U.S. and other countries.
All income earned outside of Panama’s borders are completely tax free no matter how much is earned. This is perfect for internet based businesses or those travelling to other countries to earn incomes.
3. Stable and Growing Economy: Panama’s economy has been stable for many years which was not even affected when the 2008 global economic crisis hit so many countries including the EU, Canada, and the U.S. Panama’s economy has benefitted from an average of 8% growth (GDP) over the past several years.
4. Protection of Foreign Investments: Panama’s Constitution (Article 44) specifically states that private investments and private ownership of real estate rights are protected. Panama’s Civil Code guarantees that all laws will be applied equally for its citizens and all foreigners which includes commercial contracts and residential leases. In addition, Panama’s Foreign Investor Protection Law (Law 54 of 1998) provides equal rights to foreigners involving business, trade, importing & exporting, and all industries. This includes the right to send all capital, dividends, and profits to other countries.
5. Cheap Labor: The minimum wage in Panama is less than half than in the U.S., Canada, and the E.U. Hiring a Panamanian for office and domestic work is very low compared to what is paid in the above-mentioned countries. Since 2010, The Latin Business Chronicle publishes a yearly Index which consistently shows Panama as one of the “best places to do business in Latin America”.
6. Panama’s Good Infrastructure: Paved highways connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans with the interior. Panama City boasts one of the newest and modern Metro subway transit systems in the world and is the cheapest at only $0.35 each direction. Their new, air conditioned Volvo busses are modern and comfortable and only cost $0.25 each way. The Panama Canal recently added a 3rd set of locks to handle huge mega ships including wide body cruise ships making increasing stops at Panama’s ports. Renovations to Panama’s international and domestic airports is meeting increased air travel demands.
7. Liberal Immigration Laws: Panama boasts the most liberal immigration laws in the world. No country has such a liberal immigration residency program like Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa allowing citizens from 50 countries to relocate to Panama to work or set up a business and receive fast track permanent residency for their entire immediate family leading to full citizenship in only 5 years. Panama’s Pensionado Visa for pensioners provides anyone over 18 years old who receives a lifetime pension or annuity of at least $1,000 USD per month permanent residency. There are many more immigration visas available to fit many more situations.
7 reasons for relocating to Panama are summarized above. There are additional reasons like yearlong warm climates and a variety of environments to live in such as beaches, farm lands, islands, jungles, rain forests, valleys, mountains, and a large metropolitan capital city.
Foreigners tired of living in countries with cold weather, soaring taxes, and a high cost of living should consider relocating to Panama.