In 2021, Panama ranked second on Forbes’ “Quit Your Job And Live Abroad In 2021: 9 Places So Cheap You Might Not Need To Work” list. (Costa Rica came in 1st, Colombia 3rd, Mexico 4th and Portugal 5th)
Colombia has amazing medical care, Mexico seems to go a long way towards not acting like a “real” government, Costa Rica is the best-looking, and Portugal…well…it’s in Europe!
As an entrepreneur working and living in Panama for the past 10+ years, I can think of only one reason why this country, with a population of only 4 million, is second on the list and not first:
Honestly, it’s because Panama is not that cheap – unless you choose to live a very minimalist life.
100 Reasons To Plant Your Flag
However, considering that here we pay in US dollars and not pesos, I can also guarantee that Panama’s ranking is number one every time in terms of personal and financial safety! Besides that, it has great weather, it’s below the hurricane belt, and the internet access is good.
Another advantage to Panama that sets it apart from its LATAM best-places-to-live counterparts is the Panama Canal which ensures economic stability and growth. In fact, the Panama Ship Registry has reached 230,577,081 GT with 8,516 vessels, a growth of 6.22% compared to 217,083,822 GT in December 2019, according to IHS MARKIT. In difficult times, it is the first time the Panamanian flag has attained the 230M GT mark and the best growth [6.22%] since the end of 2011.
Not Only For Retirees!
Panama is often touted as the “Best Place in the world to Retire”. However, this is increasingly a misnomer, with more and more freedom-minded location independent entrepreneurs and remote workers who want a home base moving to the only place in the world where you can see the sunrise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic. (With a quick dip in the Caribbean in between)
The reason? Panama is actively wooing foreigners with tax breaks and other incentives.
The country has a territorial tax system, which means you pay zero income tax if you earn revenue in other countries! What’s more, real estate taxes are really low, and some properties come with a tax exemption of five to 20 years.
And they make it easy to become a Panama resident through either the Friendly Nations visa or the Pensionado — both of which provide affordable permanent residency without too many hoops to jump through.
There’s another reason, though… Watch as I explain Panama’s easy and cheap path to a 2nd passport, which is available to almost anyone with a little patience.
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