Panama, the best country in the world to retire

International Living listed Panama as the best place in the world to retire in 2022. Panama is ranked No. 1 in the Annual Global Retirement Index for 2022. More than three decades have passed, during which our explorers have traveled every corner of the world many times. The result is a much larger and ever-growing selection of featured destinations where you can live a healthier and happier life, spend a lot less money, and get a lot more.

What is the Annual Global Retirement Index?

The Retirement Index is the most comprehensive and in-depth survey of its kind. It’s the best way we know of to analyze the myriad of opportunities the world offers, put order, and help identify the best destination for you.

Our index is based on hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences (information) collected by our trusted sources in the best retirement destinations around the world. We consider it a tool for you, our reader. A way to quickly compare and contrast your best options and start narrowing down your options.

We have our people out there hitting the pavement in attractive overseas communities that we know you should consider. They inform us with insights and information about what is really happening. They are not indebted to relocation service providers, real estate agents, tourism boards, or economic development organizations. They work for you.

In no way is our Global Retirement Index intended to be a scientific result. It is designed to be a useful tool for people, built from real-world information on the ground interpreted through a lens of experience and well-informed opinion.

Our sources live in the places where they collect their intelligence. And we trust your judgment. If they say medical care is good, or that a meal for two at a good restaurant costs $ 20, then believe them.

Our intention with this index is that it is really useful. We are not looking for random contributions from random people around the world; you can get them with a simple internet search. Instead, we are in the business of providing solid recommendations on a refreshingly limited number of options.

About No.1: Panama, the publication notes that some say that the only constant in life is change. But after more than 15 years in Panama, I discovered that some of the best things in life remain the same. I’m not surprised that this little powerhouse has once again ranked number one in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

We’ve been here before … and for good reason. That’s because when it comes to benefits and overall value, Panama is very hard to beat. It’s what you get when thousands of professionals come together to create the perfect tropical storm. All any skeptic has to do is make a list.

Start with the geographical position and climate of Panama. Just a three-hour flight from Miami, it’s perfectly located between North and South America, on a narrow isthmus between the Pacific and the Caribbean.

It is warm and tropical, but completely outside the treacherous hurricane belt. Although it is a very humid and rainy destination … especially in the mountains and on the Caribbean coast … it is also one of the sunniest expat destinations in the region. My days here are mild and pleasant, characterized by the sea breeze and bright, bright mornings.

Blue skies and dark green jungle foliage are the stuff of #sinfilter posts. At this latitude, both the Pacific and the Caribbean defy description, with myriad hues ranging from turquoise and pale jade to brilliant, sparkling sapphire. (And as one of the only three carbon-negative countries in the world, Panama is serious about protecting this environment.)

The mild climate and incredible biodiversity are just the tip of the iceberg. Panama’s shape and strategic position also eliminated it in the obvious choice for its now world-famous Canal. That, in turn, led to major infrastructure works and the development of the busiest flight hub in the region.

People who have never been here tend to assume that it is very third world, but I have reliable electricity, water that I can drink straight from the tap, high speed internet, and excellent cell phone service. For 35 cents I can get on the only subway line in Central America and go through the center of the city in 10 minutes.

Downtown is framed by a glittering skyline and the glittering Bay of Panama. Residents and tourists come here for exercise, rollerblading, biking, picnics, and much more. A vast green park and recreation area stretches from here to the romantic historic neighborhood known as Casco Viejo.

At the other end of the city is the Tocumen International Airport, known as the “Hub of the Americas”. Today, Panama is one of the easiest retirement destinations you can travel to from the US or Canada. There are direct flights to Panama from all over the United States, as well as several cities in Canada and Europe.

Traveling within the country is easy too. I love exploring, and from my home in Panama City I have so many options that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. In just 20 minutes you can drive to Veracruz for a seafood lunch on the beach. Or I can take a 30 minute ferry to Isla Taboga, also known as the “Island of Flowers”.

Frescoes from the mountain towns of Cerro Azul, Sorá and El Valle are within an hour or two by car from the city. The unspoiled Caribbean beaches of Portobelo are about a two-hour drive away. Or I can fly to my favorite Caribbean archipelago in an hour.

The most popular destination for expat retirees is the lush mountain paradise of Boquete. It’s about the furthest you can get from the city, about six hours by car. I usually fly as it is only an hour to the domestic airport in the city of David. From there, I can rent a car and be in Boquete … having an award-winning coffee … just 40 minutes later.

My favorite place at the moment is Coronado, a lively beach town just an hour’s drive from the capital. In fact, I like it so much that I bought an apartment there and am packing to move as we speak. Coronado is home to one of the most active and welcoming expat communities in Panama. I haven’t even gotten there yet, and I’m already getting invitations for potlucks and happy hours.

No matter where you live in Panama, you are probably no more than an hour away from great hospitals.

Panamanian doctors make me feel truly cared for. They don’t rush appointments and often give you their cell phone number so you have direct access to them while you are in treatment or recovery. In fact, I would say that Panamanians in general are the best part of living in Panama. I have made so many wonderful friends here. People who are welcoming and fun and have a wide range of interests, so the conversation is always brilliant.

Panama may not be perfect, no country is, but I would not change it for anything. As a single woman, I feel safe and free to live my life here, whether I’m dining out and Ubering home late at night or driving cross-country to visit friends. Maybe it’s because this is truly a land of opportunity, home to thousands of hard-working and growing immigrants and locals.

There have been many ups and downs in the last two years, in Panama and around the world. But this country has a well-deserved reputation as the nerve center of Central America. And this is the question of living in a powerful nation: Panama was perfectly prepared to weather the financial and health-related storm, with excellent medical care and a strong economy that is sure to recover.

So these days it’s “back to business” here. The country is busy receiving tourists, new residents, and new investments as well. And if you are on your way down, rest assured that Panama is also ready to receive you.

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