Retiring overseas is becoming increasingly popular among North Americans…and with good reason. With excellent, affordable healthcare, a lower cost of living, and better weather just some of the benefits of a retirement abroad, you really can enjoy a better quality of life if you look beyond U.S. shores.
Ten years ago, Internationalliving.com correspondent Linda Card left the U.S. in search of a new adventure with her husband, Al—a decision that led them to the city of David in the province of Chiriquí, Panama.
Panama has some of the best infrastructure in Latin America, friendly locals and stunning scenery… And one of the biggest benefits for retirees living here is the Pensionado (pensioner) discount program.
With Panama’s famed Pensionado Visa you’re eligible for a host of price reductions. A pensionado is simply someone who receives a pension; that is, a guaranteed monthly income from a government or private source. There is no age requirement, so anyone who meets the income and other requirements can qualify.
Here are some of the discounts retirees can benefit from:
- 20% off medications—and at the doctor’s office, clinic, and hospital, you save 15%.
- 50% off entertainment, such as movies, theater, concerts, and sporting events
- 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
- 30% to 50% off hotel stays
- 25% off airline tickets
“Most of us travel to the U.S. or Canada at least once a year and we get 25% off airfares from or throughout Panama. That means a difference of $50 for domestic flights and as much as $200 on international travel. For one friend who goes to see her grandkids twice or three times a year, that’s a sweet deal,” says Linda.
“It goes past the fun stuff, too. One friend who lives in the highlands says her electric bill is reduced from $35 to $26 per month, and the electric company calculates it automatically. You can also save 25% off your monthly water bill and home phone bill,” Linda says.
The cost of living here is already more affordable than many places; with the pensionado discount, you can really stretch your monthly income and enjoy a comfortable retirement in Panama.
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