Friday, March 13, 2009

Do you ever feel like escaping and finding the good life elsewhere?

Don't get me wrong, I love it here. BUT I love to travel and explore even more. I'm lucky, that I DO get the opportunity to travel. My yearly pilgrimage to Paris (with day trips around France and Belgium) have become almost a necessity to me. I'll most likely end up living there in a few years, but I also LOVE to explore other areas of the world.

One such place is Panama. Why? I guess there are a lot of reasons, the most being the Panama Retirement or Pensionado plan has made it cheap and easy to live the good life on VERY little money, plus you can make money while you live there. I guess the thought of a home on the beach with a MAID (yes, I said MAID) is very enticing.

Plus, I'd love to Travel to Panama. It's just one of those places on my To-Do list. Anyway, if you have an income from Social Security or a pension of at least a $1,000 a month you can obtain legal residency there and they've really made it easy for American's to move there.

  • The government is stable and the economy is growing
  • Currency is the US Dollar!
  • It's tropical - so, no shoveling SNOW
  • The cost of living is LOW (a full-time maid will cost you $200 a month)
  • Health care is CHEAP (& health INSURANCE will cost you about $50 a month)
  • Panama City is VERY metropolitan (that's a picture of it above)

A flexible tax system -
  • Residents pay no tax on foreign earned income
  • Panama is one of the best offshore havens in the world
  • Foreigners can buy and own property in Panama with the same rights and protections as Panamanians citizens.
Real estate is still fairly low. I was looking at Craigslist and found a PENTHOUSE apartment for rent for only $400 a month and an ocean front cottage for sale for $68,000 (YES - On the BEACH).

They have a benefit program for pensionados
  • 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theatres, concerts, sporting events, etc.)
  • 30% off bus, boat & train fares
  • 25% off airline tickets
  • 50% off hotel stays from Monday through Thursday
  • 30% off hotel stays from Friday through Sunday
  • 25% off at restaurants
  • 15% off at fast food restaurants
  • 15% off hospital bills (if no insurance applies)
  • 10% off prescription medicines
  • 20% off medical consultations
  • 15% off dental & eye exams
  • 20% off professional & technical services
  • 50% off closing costs for home loans
  • 25% off residential power up to 600 kw
  • 25% off residential phone service charges
  • 25% off residential water bills of up to US$30
Tax exemptions mean that you can get

  • New car imported tax free every two years
  • A one-time exemption of duties on the importation of household goods up to US$10,000 in total value
  • 100% duty exemption on the importation or purchase of an automobile
It might be fun to try to live the good life ELSEWHERE for a while. I lived in Gentilly (Paris) back in the 70's and I've always considered Paris to be my second home, but I'm definitely open to new adventures!


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