What quality of life can I expect
Most realize after just a short while that they feel
better, breath better and are just all around healthier.
It is thought to be due to breathing air no longer filled with
pollution, eating the fresh food that is grown locally and the
slow pace and stress-free lifestyle. When someone tells you
they will do something mañana, which means tomorrow in
Spanish, you might not see them for two or three days. That
can take a little getting used to, but people in Latin America
have been voted to be the happiest people in the world.
What kind of healthcare is available?
It is the opinion of many expatriates that the
healthcare is better in many Latin American locations
than in the U.S. Most clinics have many doctors with
different specialties under one roof. You are able to get x-rays,
lab work and other services done at the same location. Also,
healthcare is amazingly inexpensive and health insurance is
extremely low. However, most people forgo insurance, because
of the low cost of doctor’s visits and medications. Many U.S.
citizens travel to Latin American countries to have medical,
dental, and cosmetic procedures as well as major surgeries performed, because of the quality of care and huge savings. For
instance, a full set of dentures in Mexico can be a third the
cost in the U.S. or cosmetic surgery about half the cost.
How will I be affected by taxes?
Are there any special incentives
Many Americans have watched their retirement
savings and housing value plummet. This situation
has made it necessary to find a safe haven for their
assets. In many areas of Latin America, taxes are almost non-
existent. One of many examples is Belize, which is a tax shelter
haven. Property taxes are very low and there is no inheritance
tax or capital gains. There is also no income tax on income
made outside of Costa Rica. Personal income tax is very low
if you own and run a business as well as the ability to deduct
many of your expenses. Corporate taxes are very low as well.
Panama has the Pensionado program which
is considered to be the best retirement program
in the world. To qualify you must be able to show a monthly
pension of at least $500 a month. Some, but not all of the
discounts included are:
• Tax exemption for importing household goods
• 25 percent discount on utilities
• 20 percent discount on airline ticket
• 20 percent off doctors’ bills and 15 percent off hospital
• 10 percent discount on medications
• 50 percent off movies and sporting events
• 50 percent discount off hotels during the week and
30 percent on weekends
It’s easy to see why Panama is one of the favorite destinations
As you can see, there are many things to consider. By asking
yourself a few questions, doing some research and communicating with boomers that are already living the life, you
will make the right decision for you. Best wishes for living in
paradise for the next and best part of your life.|