Moving to Panama from Canada

Good Morning

My husband & I have decided to retire in Panama in the spring of 2012. I am 50 & my husband is 65. We have some things to take care of before we can move & we are giving ourselves a year to do that. We have researched alot of information but we seem to get mixed information. Is there anybody out there that can give us the heads up on moving from Canada to Panama from start to finish and how long does it take. Our destination is the outskirts of David. We plan on going to Panama in December and purchasing a home then. We would just like to have the majority of the paper work done. Thanks

Aleczandria

Welcome on the forum Aleczandria ;)

You are making the right choice. Chiriqui is a bit far from more modern and cosmopolitan Panama City (about 6 hours driving). But if you are close to Volcan, Boquete or Cerro Punta, you will be in one of the most amazing places in the world. The beauty of nature is just ovwerwhelming in that area. The rugged lush terrain provides a feeling of infinity and purity. There are so many corners and and layers to discover. With this post year 2000 immigration of well to do people from developed countries, this place has unlimited potential Visit our blog for the story from a Panamanian and a Californian. panamahaven.com/blog

If you are planning to visit panama, you need to think again as this country is no longer a paradise for tourists. It is noteworthy that visitors have to shell out large amounts to police officers in order to ensure hassle-free travel throughout panama. If you refuse to bribe officers out there, you are likely to be taken under custody on false pretexts. If you are eager to read a first person account on the harassment of travellers in Panama, visit blackpanama.blogspot.com/

We too are from Canada (Calgary) and are planning on moving to Panama, hopefully in the Fall. We went a couple of years ago to Bocas del Toro and enjoyed our time. I have 3 main questions I was hoping to get some help with:
1) My wife found Bocas a little too humid for her arthritis. Are there areas of Panama not quite so humid? Boquete, El Valle, ???
2) Immigration options... this reforestation option ($40,000) looks interesting. Does anyone have any experience or advice about this as an option for residency?
3) Not that we set on socializing with only Canadians... otherwise why move to Panama... but are there communities in Panama which have more Canadians than other areas?

Thanks all

Hi gnixon55

All we know is that the pacific side of Panama is less humid than the caribean side. You might want to check out Pesadi (it is a popular area)
We have heard about the reforestation but have not looked into it further.
From what we have heard there are alot of Canadians & Americans spread out throughout Panama, the best place to look for them is to look at the gated community's (not saying that all of them live in gated communities, but they feel safer there)

Cheers
Aleczandria

Cerro Azul is a pretty nice place. Los Altos de Cerro Azul is a housing community located there. I went there last week to look at houses and I absolutely loved the temp and humidity levels. The temp in the daytime was about 75 degrees with no humidity which really surprised me. The homes there were really nice with prices from 179K up to 190K if I remember correctly.

Aleczandria :

Good Morning

My husband & I have decided to retire in Panama in the spring of 2012. I am 50 & my husband is 65. We have some things to take care of before we can move & we are giving ourselves a year to do that. We have researched alot of information but we seem to get mixed information. Is there anybody out there that can give us the heads up on moving from Canada to Panama from start to finish and how long does it take. Our destination is the outskirts of David. We plan on going to Panama in December and purchasing a home then. We would just like to have the majority of the paper work done. Thanks

Aleczandria

Did you make the move? How is it going? Considering the same thing as you, so dying to know!!!

Dear Canadian citizens, I guess that you already know that it's difficult to obtain non-resident tax status in Canada since the definition of residence is much wider than that existing in many other countries. Even though you leave Canada you might be liable to pay taxes on your world income to revenue Canada. Please contact a professional before moving to Panama.

Tell me about it. I was just set to go to Abu Dabi to teach for two years. That is until I found out I would have to pay $22k a year extra in taxes at home. Now i'm going to UK where there is an agreement that if I pay taxes there, I don't have to at home.

Why would you have to pay $22K more in taxes for living in Abu Dabi?

AuntieFlo :

Why would you have to pay $22K more in taxes for living in Abu Dabi?

Teaching there would add about 60k to the 55k I am getting in Canada for my pension. Even though my earnings are tax free in Abu Dhabi, I would have to claim those earnings in Canada

Hi, my wife and I are moving to Panama in 2015.  Going to Boquete next month to check out a few places. If you check the Canadian govt. website , they tell you there is a 25% withholding tax on your income if you move. You have to revoke your Canadian citizenship to avoid that, and that's not an option if you want to return . I figure we will still be better off than 30% income tax rate and 13% on everything we buy if we stayed in Canada. Once in Panama, you can obtain a Pensionado visa to help reduce costs. Of course that's not the reason we are moving. We also don't want to move to an area that is too hot or humid.

I found a site called retirementwave.com and it was full of information that I found very helpful in my situation.  Check it out.

That site is outdated by at least five years.

If you want reading on what it's really like to live in panama read this site;

http://www.chiriquichatter.net/blog/201 … -yes-o-no/

This is current and so is the issues with water that continue;

http://www.chiriquichatter.net/blog/201 … on-update/

I don't know the author of this blog, never met him, but we agree with what he has to say. 

Yes, if you want to learn more about Panama talk to the expats but you still need to live in the country for 6 months.  Don't move bank accounts, don't start paying for the pensionado, don't move furniture, just rent for 6 months and see if you can really live in Panama.

Hi Aleczandria:
We were wondering if you have already move to Panama? If so, we appreciate any tips as we are planning to move there next year.
Thank you & Happy New Year!
John & Amira

This post is old.. Did someone bump it?

Yes we are planning to move there also you live in Canada Calgary so do we like to talk to you

Hi everyone,
I have seen several doubts about Panama and about moving here. I am a Panamanian Lawyer and would love to give you some general information I think it would be useful for you. First of all there is now a much expedite and easy way to obtain a Permanent Residence with the right of obtaining a Panamanian ID and Work Permit if you need it, the Residency is provided in approx. 3 months, and you only need a bank account and a corporation (in case you do not have a job offer), besides the police records. Actually there is no need no to purchase any property and the costs do not reach the US$5,000.00, including corporation, visa and work permit. You also have the option of a Retiree Visa, that do not need much of an investment either.

As for the taxes, we have a couple of mechanisms that are used worldwide for this matters. You have first the corporations, that can be used to do business offshore and you do not have to pay any taxes in Panama and the Foundations, that are used to protect you properties and monies, no one can sue you and go after the properties you have under the Foundation (stated by law). Both figures maintain the owner under anonymity.

There are lots of options our beautiful country can offer  and if you have any other doubts please let me know and I will be happy to answer.

Janice Becerra
jbecerra[at]bglegalconsulting.com

Hello Everyone, we plan to move to panama by November 2015 and we are trying to get a budget together. Can you give us a better idea of how much we can expect to live on? Any information you want to throw at us, it is welcomed. We are in our early thirties and would love to hear from others that have made the move. We don't expect things to be perfect and wouldn't mind learning from others' mistakes.
Cheers
Jocelynne & Ruy

Hello everyone - this is my first post but I feel compelled to address the wrong info in this thread concerning Canadian income tax liability. I am a Canadian lawyer.  Although Canada taxes on the basis of world wide income, liability for Cdn income tax is based strictly on residency, NOT on citizenship. If you cut the important financial and property ties with Canada and do not spend more than 180 days in Canada  in the year, it is fairly simple to avoid liability for Canadian income tax. If you maintain bank accounts, investments and real estate in Canada, you will have difficulty showing that you have actually gone "non-resident."  Citizenship has absolutely nothing to do with taxation in Canada.  However, CPP and OAS is subject to a 25% withholding tax for non-residents residing in a country with no tax treaty (eg, Panama). Filing the appropriate return might result in a partial rebate of this tax.

See Non-resident info

Hello;
I read your post and very much appreciate your information.
I was hoping you could answer one question: if you give up Canadian residency, is you're private pension subject to withholding tax? My husband has been an employee of the federal government
(He is a member of the National Parole Board).
I understand the withholding tax on the CPP and AOP, but do not know about his work pension - can you possibly clarify? I have been trying to research this and have not been at all successful.
Thank you,
Katrina

As a non-resident of Canada, you pay tax on income you receive from sources in Canada. This includes pension income.

see cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/ndvdls/nnrs-eng.html

That's what I figured.
The way it looks to me, we are better off taking advantage of income splitting (I don't have a private pension). With 25% off the top - I would pay more tax "taking advantage" of non-residential status in Panama (especially when you take health care costs into consideration).
Maybe better for holidays?
Is you and your wife's situation different? I am wondering what would make the situation more advantageous to take the Panama deal? If you do not have a pension, but private investments?

There are visa options available other than the pensionado which may be more applicable to you and which offer similar benefits. They are discussed elsewhere on this site.

I will definitely take a closer look.
Thank you

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:)

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My husband and i are also planning to retire in panama. We are Canadians and would love some info as well.

Me too. Would love some info from a fellow Canadian

This thread is several years old. You would do better by posting your own new topic and begin by asking some specific questions - not simply "give me info".

New topic