Boasting year-round sunshine, the strongest economy in Central America, low taxes, luxury shopping, deep discounts for retirees, and first-rate healthcare at extremely low prices, Panama vacation homes have been the darling of hot-spot seekers for several years. Now, Panama is fully emerging as the place to be for discerning Central American real estate buyers who want to stay one step ahead of the crowd, as vacation home destinations in Mexico and old hotspots like Costa Rica have now become overcrowded and overpriced.
In fact, Forbes Traveler claims that Panama has been long heralded as the next Costa Rica but “Panama is actually more culturally diverse.” In fact, Forbes magazine put Panama at the top of their list of desirable retirement destinations – and they weren’t alone. The Economist, BusinessWeek, USA Today, and CNN all reported on Panama’s emergence as a vacation haven for those looking to escape the recession and enjoy the good life.
Some of the many advantages of choosing to settle into the good life in Panama are:
Panama is the only Central American destination that is hurricane free
Panama sits below the hurricane belt, making Panama real estate the best bet for a storm-free Central America vacation home. Vacation homes for sale from Mexico down through Costa Rica have all experienced their fair share of hurricanes over the years but not a single hurricane has hit Panama since record taking began in 1851.
Panama boasts the strongest growing economy in Latin America
As reported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Panama is enjoying the strongest economic growth in Central America, and will lead all of Latin America through 2015. Panama President Martinelli’s five-year plan consists of a comprehensive investment plan with a focus on infrastructure. Road expansions, highway systems, hospitals, airports, and a metro system are already underway, giving investors even more confidence in Panama’s upwardly mobile trajectory.
The cost of living is substantially lower in Panama
According to the Global Property Guide 2010, luxurious beachfront properties in Costa Rica and Mexico are around 8% and 17% more expensive, respectively, than those available in Panama. Other perks? There aren’t any personal taxes on non-Panama income. For retirees, Panama offers one of the best retirement programs on the planet through its Pensionado Program, allowing qualifying retirees to save up to 50% on almost everything in Panama (discounts can be had for medical care, entertainment, dining, public transportation, and airfare). Plus, there are no tricky conversion rates to deal with for US expatriates, as the US dollar is widely accepted and goes a lot further in Panama!
Panama has world class healthcare and affordable health insurance
Panama is the only country in Central America where the medical tourism industry is flourishing. With reputable hospitals like John Hopkins Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Tulane University Hospital established in Panama, foreign nationals from all over the world are choosing to have their surgeries and medical procedures completed in Panama… at about half the cost of American institutions.