Panama is fast becoming one of the world’s top retirement destinations and also a world class tourist location – particularly for adventure and eco-tourism. Long overshadowed by its neighbors such as Mexico and Costa Rica, where mass tourism is now the norm, Panama has been relatively unknown except to travelers with special interests such as world record deep sea fishing, birding, river rafting and rain forest experiences.
The Panamanian economy is stronger and more stable than these other nations and presents a superior infrastructure throughout the country. Panama also offers world-class modern medical facilities and treatment, and the John Hopkins flagship hospital in Punta Pacifica. Additionally, the core income of the Panama Canal adds to this stability, and given the recently approved $5.4 Billion expansion to the Canal, this will create an even further increased value, and provide local strength and stability for the economy and government. This expansion is giving Panama the fastest-growing economy in the Americas. Panama has also completed a $2 billion subway project with an additional line in the planning stages. This would combine to give Panama 36 km. of subway. Recently finished, the Panama City Cinta Costera green-way project and Avenida Balboa road improvement has put a glamorous face on that area of Panama City. There are gardens, walking and bicycling paths as well as, plazas and a sporting complex.
All these exciting opportunities together with gorgeous beaches and great surfing, kayaking and diving, ensure Panama has something for everyone. Panama has an interesting cultural background ranging from Stone Age indigenous cultures to the history of conquistadors and now a modern society with infrastructure that is world class.
With a US style infrastructure, with the U.S. dollar as its official currency, Panama offers an easy transition particularly for US retirees. Approximately 75-80 million Baby Boomers will reach retirement age in the next 10 years in the US alone. US Government statistics show that most of them will not be able to sustain their current standard of living by relying on savings, assets or pensions. More than ever before, U.S. baby boomers are considering retirement outside the U.S.A. Having traveled far more extensively and being more active and adventurous than previous generations, they are also identifying the need to maximize their diminishing retirement incomes, so the idea of overseas retirement is appealing to many and easily attainable in Panama. Discovering a less stressful environment also has a definite allure!
The families of the North Americans who lived in the Canal Zone during the 90 years of North American presence look back at their “Paradise Lost” and very often return. Living and retiring overseas was once an option available only for the wealthy, it is now an affordable trend.