26 Nov Coronado: A Popular Destination For Expats in Panama
If retirement is coming up and you’re considering moving to Panama to live out your days, there are a lot of things you need to know before making the leap. There are plenty of expats in Panama, so the first decision you need to make is if you want to immerse yourself in Panamanian culture or if you want to live in an expat community. This is your retirement, so you do you! If you decide you’d like the colony-like lifestyle of Coronado, just an hour from Panama City, keep reading to learn more about the lifestyle, cost of living, and real estate so you can better make your retirement decision.
Coronado was Panama’s very first resort community and now is enjoyed as not only a place to retire, but also a weekend getaway. One of the best things about Coronado is that it has many more options for residents and visitors than in many other beach towns along the Pacific Coast of Panama.
History of Coronado
In the 1940s Coronado was nothing like it is today. Just a few sleepy ranches, the black and white swirled beaches, and some sunbathers is all you might see back then. Today it’s a bustling expat community, and one of the best beach towns close to Panama City.
Retiring in Coronado
There are many reasons one might want to retire in Coronado. First off, the place is eminently suited to retirees: malls, beaches, Mahjong, tennis, the Pacific Ocean, golf, 24-hour supermarkets, and a growing expat community.
The climate couldn’t be any more ideal: the temperatures are usually around 85F and there isn’t a whole lot of rain.
Also, you will find that the pensionado visa gives you discounts of up to 50 percent off at theaters, movies, and other public events, and 10 percent off of subscriptions. This is where people with lifetime pensions may qualify for the Panama retirement visa called the “Panama Pensionado Visa” that allows them to obtain legal residency in the country with the condition that they have a pension income guaranteed for life. There’s no minimum or maximum age, and you have only to submit the proper documents to qualify.
Below is a summary of the benefits you will enjoy on a Panama retirement visa: • duty exemption for importing a new car every two years;
- one-time duty tax emption for household goods up to $10,000;
- 50 percent off entertainment anywhere in Panama;
- 50 percent reduction in closing costs for home loans; • 25 percent reduction on utility bills;
- 30 percent off of train, bus, and boat fares;
- 25 percent off airline tickets;
- 25 percent off at restaurants;
- 15 percent off at fast-food restaurants;
- 15 percent off of hospital bills if you have no insurance;
- 20 percent off medical consultations;
- 20 percent off of technical and professional services;
- 15 percent off dental and eye exams;
- 10 percent off of prescription medicine;
- 15 percent off of loans taken in your name;
- 1 percent off on home mortgages used for personal residence.
Most of Coronado is within a gated area called the Coronado Es Vida development. If you buy new property here, and some of the older properties, you get a membership to the Coronado Gold Country Club. For an activation fee plus $200 a month in dues, you gain access to the beach club and all activities as well as unlimited greens fees. You also have access to the hotel bars and restaurants, gym, spa, and tennis courts.
If you pay your $200 bill on time you also get a 20 percent discount off all beach rentals, retail, and food at the resort.
You’ll find a lot of property available to purchase in Coronado. No matter if you’re looking for a small condo to luxury accommodations, you’re sure to find it. There are also vacant lots of every shape and size available for purchase.
Cost of Living
Expats consider the cost of living in Coronado is low, especially thanks to the ensionado visa. Eating out is a decent price: a good meal for two in a local restaurant will cost you around $15.
Many expats hire local maids to clean their homes. For as little as $15 you can have your whole home thoroughly cleaned. A landscape gardener costs $20 a visit.
Most of the expats you’ll speak to budget around $2,500 a month including all entertainment and household expenses, including cell service, rent, utilities, and high-speed Internet.
The lifestyle in Coronado is pretty relaxed; it is, actually, a resort. The amazing weather and access to anything you could want makes life pretty comfortable in Coronado.
Many of the locals speak English and they are friendly. Then you have the settled expat community who will make you feel immediately comfortable in your new home.
For those with medical concerns, there is a 24-hour San Fernando Clinic that opened in 2008 that services Coronado with modern medical equipment and services. There are English- speaking doctors on staff as well as a full-time ophthalmologist and dentist.
The best part of retiring in Coronado is how easygoing it is, yet there is always something to do. There are a lot of people there with a lot of money, but there are also people there with not a lot of money. Everyone fits in.