For several years in a row, the Republic of Panama has ranked No. 1 in Gallup’s Global Well-Being Index and named as one of the top-rated destinations to retire.
The capital city of Panama for retirees remains a good destination. The City has a modern infrastructure and plenty of restaurants and entertainment. With that, we have seen the cost of living in Panama City increase over the past few years. For those who still want to enjoy the benefits of retiring in Panama, there may be a good alternative: Pedasi.
Up until a few years ago, Pedasi was another sleepy little town in the Isthmus of Panama. Pedasi is a four and half hour drive from Panama City. Here you will find locals sitting outside their houses, chatting, and watching the world go by. You will also find surfers from all over the world who practice their craft in one of the best surf spots in the region.
What type of people will you find here? Couples and families from the United States, Europe, and Canada! All who enjoy a simple, yet comfortable life in a thriving community surrounded by nature.
So what makes Pedasi so interesting? And what makes this small town in the Azuero Peninsula a great destination for retirees? Here are our top 7 reasons why Pedasi is the ideal destination for retirees. Panama for retirees
1. Atmosphere in Pedasi
Though Pedasi has been growing in the past few years, this fishing town hasn’t lost its charm. The serenity of this little town is very different from the hustle and bustle of Panama City. The atmosphere is laid-back and people are warm and friendly.
Pedasi is one of Panama’s most traditional towns. Here you will be able to many folkloric celebrations throughout the year. The area is popular amongst both locals and foreigners. 150 expats permanently reside in Pedasi and another 150 spend part of the year here.
2. Amenities and Facilities
Pedasi has seen a rise in foreign investment as well as in young people, families and retirees calling Pedasi their new home. As a result, new hotels, restaurants, bars, bakeries and other amenities have been emerging and facilities are improving.
More services and amenities are becoming available in Pedasi. However, the town has luckily kept its original character and charm. Since Pedasi is a small town and amenities such as supermarkets, restaurants and bars are located within a few mile radius.
You will also find that biking is an easy way to get around. Many retirees living in Pedasi leave their car behind. Unless they need to go to bigger cities such as Las Tablas or Chitre. Panama for retirees
3. Safety in Pedasi
Panama is known for being one of the safest countries in Latin America. Pedasi happens to be one of the safest places to live, with crime levels that are lower than in the rest of the country.
For this reason, it doesn’t take long to notice the strong sense of community in this small town. Or to see that Pedasi is the kind of place where people still look after each other. This is what makes Pedasi a pleasant and safe place for families and retirees to live.
Panama City is characterized by a hot and humid climate. Foreigners often have a hard time adjusting to the city’s high temperatures and humidity. Luckily, the Azuero Peninsula, in which Pedasi is located, enjoys a drier, more favorable climate much of the year.
While rainy season runs from May to December, this season is often seen as a refreshing and welcome change in the region that is known as the “Arco Seco” or Dry Arc. Showers usually only last for a few hours at a time and you will still be able to enjoy temperatures between 24° and 34° Celsius (75° to 93° F).
5. Activities in Pedasi
While Pedasi is a small town, the area offers a plethora of activities. The Azuero region is known for its spectacular Pacific beaches. You can even go whale watching and turtle watching.
The idyllic and protected island Isla Iguana, for example, is only a short boat trip from Pedasi. It is also one of Panama’s most popular surf beaches.
Playa Venao is only a 30-minute drive. Playa Venao is also perfect for those who enjoy hiking or fishing. You won’t be disappointed with the ‘tuna coast’ of Panama. Panama for retirees
For those who wish to connect with other retirees, expats, and locals, there are many community activities and community groups. There are book groups, animal advocacy groups, a tourism chamber, golf lessons, a proper gym, Zumba, Pilates, fishing clubs, and more. This means you can be as busy or as “not busy” as you’d like in Pedasi!
6. Real Estate in Pedasi/Property prices
Pedasi has gained popularity in the last five years. However, property prices remain attractive and are lower than in other popular cities and beach towns in Panama.
Simple, charming, comfortable 2-bedrooms houses in or close to the city center can easily be in the low $100,000s. Rental prices for a 2-bedroom range anywhere between $500 and $1200.
7. Cost of Living in Pedasi
One of the main reasons Pedasi is popular among retirees is the cost of living. Retiring in Pedasi will allow you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle for a cost of living that is vastly lower than the United States or Europe.
Giving an accurate estimation of the required budget for a (retired) couple is difficult, as this very much depends on the kind of lifestyle you have. The good thing about Pedasi is that there are many places where you can find local food and meals that can be as cheap as $4. But, you also find a variety of American and European restaurants where you can have dinner for $10 – $25 dollar p.p.
Utilities are low, as well as transportation in Pedasi. Overall, prices in Pedasi are fairly low especially in comparison to other cities in Panama. It is safe to say that a couple can live comfortably in Pedasi for about $1,500 to $2,000 per month.
8. Additional Benefits
The information below applies to all foreigners who are considering retiring in Panama. Yet it is not limited to those that are only interested in moving to Pedasi. Panama for retirees
In the Republic of Panama, it is relatively easy to obtain residency as a foreign retiree. Any foreigner can apply for the Programa de Pensionados in order to obtain a residence permit.
The Panamanian Law states that any foreigner with retirement or pension income from either a foreign government, private company or international institution can obtain a visa.
Alternatively, having enough income to take care of your expenses and your dependents, will make you eligible to obtain a visa under the Programa de Pensionado. The minimum monthly pension is $1,000 and it must be a lifetime pension. However, the minimum income accepted could be $750 per month, if the applicant proves that they have made property investment in Panama of at least $100,000
9. Panama For Retirees: Benefits List
Once you have joined the Pensionado Program and have obtained your residency, you will have access to a number of benefits. All discounts are available to both national and foreign retirees as shown below.
(incl. movies, concerts, sport events, theater)
|Bus, boat, train fares
|International and domestic airlines
||30% – 50%
||15% – 25%
|Doctor visits and surgery
||10% – 20%
|Closing costs for home loans
In addition, foreign retirees are entitled to two major benefits :
- A single tax exemption on the importation of household goods (up $ 10,000).
- A tax exemption every two years on the importation or purchase of a car.
The benefits of the Program are significant and the process of applying is fairly easy, so it is certainly recommended for any foreign retiree who decides to come down to Panama to join the Pensionado Program.
Living in Pedasi
Overall, it can be said that there is plenty to like about this little treasure in the Azuero Peninsula.
The authentic, charming town of Pedasi boasts a diverse community and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Though small, Pedasi has a strong community and the region provides a plethora of outdoor activities from hiking to turtle watching and from surfing to whale watching.
You will find a nice range of restaurants that will increase as newcomers continue to drive demand for services and amenities.
Though Pedasi has gained popularity in the past couple of years, it is still relatively undiscovered, making it a great location for investment and an ideal retirement destination.
Few would argue that Pedasi is a beautiful, friendly and fairly inexpensive place to retire and that now is a good time to find out what the buzz is all about.