At 65 I have been looking into various Latin American countries with a view to retiring. Cost Living, Climate and at least a smattering of other expats around seem to be my main criteria. I need something "half way up the mountain" - like Boquete or maybe a few degrees warmer. We spent a month in Boquete in January and found it to be very nice, but long-term rentals are difficult to find and somewhat pricey. Loja Ecuador seems OK but so far way from family.
That is by way of introduction. I am familiar with the ins and outs of the Pensionado Visa but have recently been looking at the "Favored Nations" Visa. It seems to me when comparing the two that with the Fav. Nat. Visa you can simply pay $5K into a Panama bank account (which I understand can be difficult to set up?), set up a corporation (an additional $1.5K or so?) and then receive your visa, which allows you to carry on some kind of business to earn a little money. (As a lawyer I will not be able to enter as a "professional." ) However you do not get the Pensionado discounts.
With the Pensionado Visa you get the discounts but are not permitted to work (except some self employment?)
As well, am I right in thinking the Fav. Nat. Visa is processed more quickly? That actually be an insignificant factor though.
And comments most welcome!