Living Healthy Naturally in Panama

In the last post I talked about a few of the great benefits you can get from the tropical fruit here, and how a diet rich in many of the fruits native to Panama can help you to live a much healthier life in Central America than you can in the US.

In this post I’d like to continue that thought, and talk about a few other natural ways you can lose weight, have more energy, and just overall improve your body’s health, all of which are completely accessible in Panama, and many of them free or dirt cheap!

Great Beaches for Meditation or Activities

beach walkingThe first way to immediately improve your life is also the easiest and the most fun: go to the beach!

I know it sounds odd, but many people who retire down here actually forget that they have some of the world’s most pristine beaches right in front of them! Getting out and spending a day on the sand and wading in the calm warm water can help you to relax and get rid of any remnants of stress you might have brought down on the plane.

Although the beaches closest to Panama City can often be crowded, the country has literally thousands of more remote spots where you can meditate in peace, or enjoy a waterside activity, from walking or hiking along the coastline to kayaking and swimming in the clean ocean water!

Tons of Natural Products

Next up is the bountiful array of natural products that are available when you’re living here. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of healthy fruits and vegetables, as long as you stay away from those fried patacones!

If you’re unsure about what products to use, just head down to your local market and start asking questions. Many of the vendors are more than happy to explain what that crazy looking fruit is, and how they like to cook it. They might even give you a few samples just to keep you coming back!

If you speak Spanish, one of my favorite sites with tips and ideas on healthy living in Latin America is tuvidanatural.org, which has some great articles on como bajar de peso naturalmente y productos naturales para adelgazar.

(That’s “how to lose weight naturally” and “natural products to lose weight” for those of you gringos who are still learning!)

Here’s a great list of juice recipes for you English-speaking folk!



Losing Weight with Tropical Fruit

For many Americans who decide to retire in Panama, one of the added benefits of the lifestyle down here isn’t just the incredible climate or relatively low cost of living, but the incredible health benefits you can appreciate as well.

Here are just a few of the great tropical fruits you can find that are great for weight loss!

Garcinia Cambogia

garciniaGarcinia Cambogia, also known as Tamarindo malabar, is commonly known for it’s seemingly magical weight loss powers. The main testament of this is the use of garcinia cambogia in weight loss pills across the US and Europe, include individually tailored pills that are an extract consisting entirely of this fruit!

Well, you don’t need to take a pill to appreciate it down here! Garcinia cambogia is a great, although slightly bitter fruit that is easy to get a hold of in Panama, and can be a great part of a diet plan you work out with your nutritionist.

Read more about garcinia cambogia on tamarindomalabar.org, or read this post (warning: it’s in Spanish!) on Dónde comprar la Garcinia Cambogia.

Fresh Citrus

maracuyaIn addition to garcinia cambogia, there are an absolute ton of creative citrus-like fruits in Panama.

These include fruits like the “traditional” pineapples and other tropical fruits you’re accustomed to when you think of living in a beautiful tropical resort, but also many that you might not have heard of.

Maracuya and grenadilla, for example, are two fruits that many Americans never try until they get down to Central America, and immediately fall in love with.

They are both high-metabolic fruits, which makes it easy to use them to help you lose weight. And, since they’re so GD delicious, you won’t have any problem sticking to that “diet” of yours!

So come on down, live the good life, and get in shape in your retirement, without ever thinking about dieting! I know that sounds too good to be true, but it really is just one example of how much i enjoy living in Panama!


Travel To Panama, The Gem of Central America

Travel to Panama, The Gem of Central America

panama travelOne of the most prized treasures of the Central American Continent is undoubtedly the magnificent nation of Panama. It is certain that even one trip might not be enough to take in and enjoy the wonderful experiences this paradise city has to offer! Tropical Landscapes, dense forests and overwhelming sandy beaches, make Panama an unparalleled holiday destination for couples and family holiday-makers.

The legendary Panama Canal and arrays of other natural attractions of Panama create an alluring invitation for travel lovers. Snorkelling, hiking, off-roading on the sandy beaches, or just peaceful bird watching, Panama has got the best of all!

The wonderful and stunning coastline of Panama opens up to the divine land of Panama country with palm fringed beaches to reveal an environment full of rich wildlife and tropical birds. The history of Panama goes a long way back to the late 1800’s, and tourists to Panama always seek to visit the regions of the Kuna’s; the vibrant natives of Panama, who have co-existed along with Panama’s rich history and heritage.

The best time to travel to Panama solely depends on what you are looking for in your holiday. If you are intending to spend more time along the Panama coastlines facing the housing the Pacific Ocean, then the best time to visit Panama are during the months of December and January. This time of the year the temperate climate creates a rather pleasurable weather with little rainfall. Hiking trips in Panama are also more feasible during these months. However, you must note that airfares and hotel rates can get rather high in these dry-seasons, so it is best to plan and book your trip to Panama well in advance.

When in Panama, be sure to visit a number of must-see places the country has to offer:

panama cityPanama City- This vivacious city has lots to offer for travellers in terms of partying, music, dancing, recreation, and exotic food. Noteworthy festivals and events in the city include the re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

Colon: This metropolitan jungle town house modern engineering feats, unspoiled beaches, colonial grandeurs and low-lying rainforests. It is here the Panama Canal can be found. The canal extends from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and it is sometimes cited to be as the 8th wonder of the world.

Panama has a number of colorful festivals to offer for tourists traveling in and around magnificent Panama. These festivals manage to portray what Panama is all about, and draw huge crowds every year. Panama is considered to be one of the party capitals of the world, and if you are looking to have some unadulterated fun, then Panama is the right choice for you.

Visiting Panama City or Las Tablas during the Carnival season can really do well to travellers who intend to party and have a good time while in Panama. Everything and anything goes here. However, if you do plan to visit Panama in this time of the year, be sure to book in advance, as hotels are jam packed with holiday makers.


Interesting About Healthy Living in Panama

health panamaAs Panama is mostly visited by tourists as a developing country and one that is involved in trade, tourism, real estate, commerce, and banking, it can be observed that there are many interesting facts about Panama that may range from infrastructure, economy, politics and its culture. The interesting facts about Panama leave a trademark of what Panama is all about. There are several points that can be marked but we can just limit it to the six most common among many observations on Panama.

First, the most common interesting fact about Panama is the Panama Canal. Aside from real estate, the Panama Canal is one of the popular things when you talk about Panama. The canal is the waterway which joins the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It becomes interesting because of its complex engineering structure that makes it the most difficult and largest project ever undertaken Panama. Ships from the two oceans emerge in this canal making it a conduit of most international shipping. Travel time from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea is only two hours when you pass by the Panama Canal.

The second common interesting fact about Panama is its currency. Panama uses the US Dollar for bills but the coins are called Balboa. Yet, the official national currency of Panama is the Balboa, which is pegged to the US Dollar.

When it comes to population, there are also interesting facts about Panama. Although it is the most industrialized country in Central America, Panama real estate is really affordable, and Panama has the lowest population in Central America. Its population is composed of 70% mestizo that comprises a mixture of Europeans and Native Americans. Panamanians speak mostly Spanish although most can relate to English.

Again, one of the common interesting facts about Panama is that the place Boquete is one of the best destinations for retirees per Modern Maturity magazine. In other popular magazine, the International Livings, Panama is the number one place in the world to retire. Basically, there are many real estate buyers and investors in Panama that are retirees. They enjoy the affordability and tax incentives in Panama for real estate.

Another interesting fact about Panama is that it has large number of banking and financing institutions. Because banking forms part of its main economic activity, Panama has several banking laws that protect business from foreigners. The total number of these banking laws is 40 and this includes banking privacy law and foreigner to local equality laws.

Finally, for miscellaneous observations, there are also interesting facts about Panama. Baseball is the most common sports in Panama together with boxing and soccer. If Hong Kong has the largest duty free zone, Panama has the second largest. Also, it has the second largest registrant for offshore companies second to Hong Kong.

Of course there are still many interesting facts about Panama in other aspects in the society that you can observe or read from books about Panama, but the most common are the above. You can readily pinpoint other interesting facts about Panama when they differ from the current place and culture from which you live or when the certain facts are unique only to Panama.


Panama Real Estate Investing

panama condoThe time to invest in Panama real Estate is now. Panama Real Estate is experiencing and unprecented boom and there are many foreigners.

The real reason this Central American Country is attracting tourist is that panama real estate is at such a bargain compared to the US beachfront or mountain properties it provides the perfect opportunity for investment for retirement living. Panama beaches boast untouched pristine sand and gently curling waves.

Panama is also one of the best, if not the best, residency deals in the world today.


It is debatable if Mexico is cheaper than Panama but they do tax offshore income in Mexico so it is probably more expensive for this reason alone and the crime situation makes it hazardous. Costa Rica is not really cheaper and has a serious crime problem plus there are no longer benefits for Expats and you would have to pay income tax on your offshore income like retirement, social security etc in Costa Rica. Unless you open a business that does business in Panama within the local economy or take a job in Panama you can plan on your income being tax exempt as offshore income.


The real estate investment in Panama is increasing because of the natural beauty of ocean view property in Panama. Don’t let your real estate agent tell you where to buychances are, they’ll be pushing you into the investment where they get the biggest or fastest commission check. As more and more people discover the Azuero Peninsula Panama investment in this area continues to increase. Everyday more and more people are making an investment in Real Estate in the Azuero Peninsula of Panama. The Azuero Peninsula Panama should be on the list for all those seeking excellent investment opportunities and a tranquil, beautiful living environment. The coming year is looking good for recent investments in Panama’s real estate and tourism industries. Here are a few reasons why Panama real estate is a boom in investments: Panama has a stable government and an economy growing greater with time.

Panama Beach Property

The beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and just relaxing. Real Estate Values in Panama and primarily in these Pacific Coast Beach areas has been appreciating very steadily, and as interest and growth increases so to do the real estate values. Real Estate in the Azuero Peninsula have unimaginable views, access to unspoiled beaches, and all for very affordable prices. This Azuero Peninsula Ocean View Real Estate is only a distance to many excellent beaches.

The arrival of Nikki Beach may attract a new crowd to Panama. However, the concept of Nikki Beach is quite distinct from these other groups. Nikki Beach is focused towards an exclusive market: People over 30 with purchasing power that want to have a good time in an exotic, unique environment. Nikki Beach is exclusive property of Michael Penrod and his family, though at some of their clubs and hotels they do maintain strategic alliances with local investors. Regarding waterfront property, by law all beaches are public hence all beach-front properties must provided a right of way, starting from the highest tide line to the property line.


Panama has one of the lowest costs of living in all of Central and South America. When thinking of the best places to retire, it is important to understand that Panama has a very low cost of living combined with amazing beaches and scenery that propels Panama to the number one spot to consider for those wishing to retire abroad. There are numerous benefits to living the Expatriate lifestyle. Town Living – There are nice neighborhoods that offer convenience and proximity to shopping and restaurants.


Factor in obscure Panamanian laws, crafty scam artists, andthe newcomer’s relative inexperience to Panamanian culture, and thefirst-time investor is faced with a troublesome and confusing puzzle. A lot of legal problems arise with use rights and this includes litigation. Once your attorney has confirmed the property title is legal and free of liens or other restrictions, the final closing is scheduled and the buyer/seller signs the final Buy/Sell Contract. The law does not require a Buy/Sell Contract to be in Spanish to be legally enforceable.


There is something for every taste in retirement living in panama real estate. A welcoming community, safe environment, low crime statistics, excellent incentives for retirees, together with the natural beauty and ethnic diversity that is Panama, all appeal to the increasing number of baby boomers from North America and Europe who are looking for a different option for retirement. During the past several years Panama has been consistently rated in the top ten for the best retirement locations worldwide. With a little homework and due diligence, you will find that Panama has all the criteria for a solid investment or retirement destination.

Impacts of the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is also about to undergo an expansion. Now Panama a country of 3 million people has an annual income of one billion dollars from the Panama Canal revenue. The Canal expansion, another major boost to the economy, is expected to bring tens of thousands of new jobs along with long-term incremental revenue for the country. With the expansion of the Panama Canal there are a lot of high paid executive coming through for a short time. Panama is a hot tourist destination for many reasons, least of which is the Panama Canal, though it’s certainly still a popular visitors site. If the project of building the extra canal goes through it is expected to result in an apartment shortage due to extra workers being sent here by their companies which of course means you could buy an investment unit furnish it and rent it out for big bucks for many years while the new canal is being built, not kidding about this.

Panama Real Estate is a great investment. Panama is currently one of the most considered and researched locations with many investors. Panama could be the new destination for this exclusive market of “jet setters. Panama’s modern amenities are similar to that of North America, making life a bit easier day to day. Panama has one of the lowest costs of living in all Central and South America. Panama real estate is hot right now…don’t wait to stake your claim.


Panama Private Interest Foundations

ppif“Foundations are the favored tools of the Super Rich such as the Rockefellers and Rothschilds”
A Panama Private Interest Foundation is sort of a combination of a will, a trust and a corporation best of all, in a sense. Panama Foundations are more versatile and can accomplish more than Trusts plus they are anonymous. It only takes 2-3 business days to form a Panama Foundation. Panama Corporations can be formed in the same 2-3 days even if the Corporation is to be owned by the Foundation. No one owns a Panama private Interest Foundation, so you are not the owner of the Foundation, no one is. A Panama Foundation can own the shares of a Panama Anonymous Bearer Share Corporation, thus removing you from being any sort of owner of the Corporation. Now since the Corporation is owned by the Foundation and you own neither it creates a most beneficial scenario for some people. Add to this you are not the founder of record of the Foundation (we supply a founder), you appear in no public registry or database in regards to the Foundation and the Foundation can even be so created that you are not even a beneficiary, you can just be the protector which is a private position never appearing in any database or public registry. You are not a beneficiary of the Foundation which some governments could view in a similar way to the beneficiary of a trust, not an owner of the Foundation and not really a true person of control, just a protector who protects things to make sure the wishes of the foundation are fulfilled. Foundation protectors do not initiate transactions just oversee them to make sure they are consistent with the wishes of the Foundation thus they are not persons with true control over the Foundation, they just have veto power. Read below to learn more and questions are always welcome. This is serious material that needs to be studied before one can truly appreciate all the thought that went into the legislation creating the Panama Private Interest Foundation with all its subtle and not so subtle advantages that make this the most outstanding asset protection tool in the world today.

Summary of Panama Foundation Benefits:

Protects assets (real estate, , stocks, bonds, art and collectibles, corporations, boats planes, cars) from financial enemies and potential financial enemies. A Panama Foundation can own one or more Panama Corporations. This means you can operate an anonymous Panama Corporation which is not owned by you, it is owned by the Foundation. Foundations have no owners. A Panama Private Interest Foundation is a court tested method to keep assets immune from the personal debts of the person starting the Foundation. It prevents forced heir ship. The Panama statues relating to Foundations are based on the Lichtenstein model – “Stiftung”.

According to Panama law, the assets of a Panama Private Interest Foundation are not considered to be subject to sequestration or embargos. This means that the assets can not be frozen as a protective measure before a full trial is gone through. The meaning of sequester is as follows from the legal dictionary: a legal writ authorizing a sheriff or commissioner to take into custody the property of a defendant who is in contempt until the orders of a court are complied with, or a deposit whereby a neutral depositary agrees to hold property in litigation and to restore it to the party to whom it is adjudicated to belong to. The exception to this rule would be if the Foundation itself (not the founder, not the protector, not the council members, not the beneficiaries) did something illegal like for example it illegally broke a lease on a real estate transaction and refused to pay the rent owed, then the Foundation assets could be frozen to the extent of the amount owed under the contract if a judge so ordered and a bond was posted. If the Foundation itself does not directly commit the illegal action then the assets of the Foundation are not subject to freezing or seizure. This gives one great peace of mind when funding their foundation and we suggest to our clients that the Foundation never do anything that could lead to any litigation, think of it as a holding entity. Welcome to Panama.

The foundation can have instructions to dispose of assets in a certain way in the event of you encountering serious legal or other difficulties like being sued, being forced into , being kidnapped and held for ransom, being blackmailed or the victim of extortion, or if in any way you are incapacitated or your ability to function freely is inhibited in whole or in part, etc. There can be secret instructions for a specific person to deal with assets in such an event as the founder sees fit. These secret instructions can appoint a temporary protector in the event you are under such duress with specific instructions as to how he should proceed with the foundation and its assets. This would remove the ability for you to move the foundation assets around, period. This is now something you can not do until you can demonstrate to the person inserted as the temporary protector that the conditions acting as the trigger for the empowerment of the new protector are no longer in place or no longer operative and you are no longer under duress and then as per your instructions you will be the Protector again with all the power returned to you.
Panama Foundations have no owner thus there is no registry in existence that records Foundation ownership in Panama. The Foundation can be a shareholder or owner of a corporation. Thus your Foundation could be the owner of an anonymous Panama bearer share corporation which you use to conduct business. Then you could say you are not the owner of the corporation. Since a Panama Foundation really has no owner you would be telling the truth and in the unlikely event the Foundation came up you could also say you do not own that as well.

Foundations can be used to provide for the financial well being of family members according to your explicit instructions. Once could say my foundation income will go to my surviving spouse but in the event the spouse remarries then the foundation proceeds will go to my eldest child. This would be enforceable in Panama. The Foundation can protect closely held businesses, providing for continuity into second and third generations by preventing property-splitting; to protect and provide for minors or disabled persons or those incapable of managing their own assets; to manage payments of income or distribution of assets to family members or to provide for their education, housing, or maintenance.

The Foundation can manage profit sharing or pension plans for employees, to hold shares, participate in or have an interest in private or public companies; it is a vehicle for the collection of royalties. It can engage in commercial transactions where the proceeds of such are dedicated exclusively to the non-commercial purpose or objectives of the Foundation. Very useful point.

You could have a formal written agreement appointing you as the investment manager or business manager for the Foundation. This agreement would be signed by the Nominee Council members and would be notarized and apostilled if needed. The agreement could spell out your compensation including benefits like use of foundation auto, travel expenses, general expense account, use of foundation apartment or house, use of foundation boat, medical benefits to be paid directly by the foundation to the health care provider or doctor including elective surgery like plastic surgery, paid legal expenses direct from foundation to law firm, etc.
According to Panama law, the assets of a Panama Private Interest Foundation are considered to be “non-embargable”, and “non-sequesterable”, which means that the assets can not be frozen under any circumstances.
The Panama Foundation needs no business license.
The annual tax for the Foundation is fixed at $300, which is included in total subsequent year fees of $695 starting in year two.
The Foundation can serve as a last will and testament.
The Foundation can effectively guard against disputes amongst heirs.
The Foundation can carry on scientific, philanthropic, religious, humanitarian or educational purposes.
The Foundation can have bank accounts.
The Foundation income is tax free under Panama law.
Royalties, copyrights, can be assigned to the Foundation.
You can assign assets to a Panama Foundation in return for an annuity.

The Foundation can be an investment vehicle for real estate, stocks and bonds. It can hold bank accounts, boats, planes, artwork, collectibles or other assets with highly specific instructions as to how such assets should be dealt with under varying circumstances, all custom designed to meet your specific needs.
Restrictions – In general, Private Interest Foundations may not engage in commercial activities like a corporation but they may carry out commercial activities like owning corporations that are actively engaged in commercial business activities, as long as the profits of those activities are used for the purposes for which the Foundation exists. The Foundation can of course engage in passive investments like stock market investments, mutual funds, bank deposits bearing interest, Forex, bonds etc as long as the proceeds are used for the purposes for which the Foundation exists – for the benefit of the beneficiaries and you can of course be a beneficiary of the Foundation. You could also have an investment manager agreement with the foundation signed by the nominee council members, notarized and apostilled stating your compensation and benefits for managing the investments of the foundation. This agreement would be private and would document your role as an employee with the foundation.

Cast of Characters in a Panama Private Interest Foundation – The Foundation has a Founder, a Council, a Protector, and Beneficiaries.

Founder: The Founder is the person or entity that establishes the Foundation in the Public Registry of Panama. Our law firm provides a Founder for you since the Founder appears in the Public Registry. We provide a Founder who does not know you for your privacy, protection and anonymity. The Founder has no control of any sort over the Foundation and its affairs, and is only recognized as the individual who presented for filing the Foundation articles in the public registry when the foundation was originally registered.

Council: The Foundation’s Council can be thought of as being similar to the board of directors of a corporation. The council members are each recorded in the public registry with their names and identification as council members of the Foundation. Our firm appoints a Nominee Foundation Council to fill the council positions like we provide nominee directors for a corporation. The nominee council members do not know who you are to provide privacy and anonymity for you. Along with each nominee council member comes an undated letter of resignation enabling you to replace the council at any time. Nominee council members have no control over the Foundation assets, can not go to the bank and take money out since they are not bank account signatories. If the nominee council members tried to add, change or delete the bank account signatories the Panama bank would directly contact the existing signatories on the account for permission in which case the signatory would call the police and the nominees would go to jail. The nominees know this, Panama banks understand nominees and this is not a scam that will work. Being a nominee does not come with bank signatory privileges or any other form of asset control. A Panama Corporation can take the place of the nominee council members.

Protector: The Protector is the person or entity who has the real control over the foundation and all of the foundation assets. The Protector is appointed by the Foundation Council at the time the Foundation is created. After the Protector is put into position, the Protector is free to remove and replace the nominee council members whenever they chose to do so without any further permissions or steps needed to be taken. The Protectors appointment can be kept private through a notarized Private Protectorate Document, signed by the nominee foundation council members. This document is not registered or recorded anywhere thus the position of protector is quite private or just about anonymous, not to be found in any government database or registry. As protector you can maintain complete control over your foundation and its assets while maintaining serious privacy. A protector is not mandatory, and one can always use a nominee protector as well. It is possible to insert in the foundation charter or in its regulations that in order for the nominee council members to actually be able to exercise their powers they are required to obtain written authorization from the foundation protector. This means if they tried to do something on behalf of the foundation like enter into a contract they would be required to present the document that names them as foundation council members and this document also limits their ability to act requiring written permission from the protector. In the case of a bank, the bank contacts the existing signatories in the event there is a request to add, remove or change signatories. Same would apply regarding a request to close the bank account.

Beneficiaries: The Panama Private Interest Foundation does not have owners, it has foundation beneficiaries. The Foundations Beneficiaries are appointed by the Protector through either a simple private written set of instructions which will keep your beneficiaries private out of any registry or database. One could instead use a more formal set of Foundation By-Laws. Either way, the privacy and confidentiality of beneficiaries can be assured. This is important to protect against kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, identity theft, frivolous litigation (if ones assets are concealed they are not so much of a target). The Panama Foundation may be set up so that the protector (that would be you) is the sole beneficiary of the foundation until death, at which time the foundation continues but its purpose alters for the benefit of the other beneficiaries you so designate. You could insert instructions that are highly specific like if a certain beneficiary (say surviving spouse) remarried their benefits may shift to another beneficiary (children). Foundations can continue for 120 years. Panama Foundations restrict the ability for the beneficiaries to fight with each other over the estate and wind up not speaking to each other for the rest of their lives.

Letter of Instructions: The Letter of Instructions is a simple letter, written by the Protector, which specifies exactly how the Foundations assets should be handled or distributed upon a triggering event such as the death or incapacity of the Protector. The Letter of Instructions should also state whether the Foundation should continue existing, and have a new Protector appointed, or if the Foundation should be dissolved and how the assets should be liquidated upon the death of the Protector. There is no specific format for the Letter of Instructions, and it can be written or changed at any time after the Foundation is formed, per the Protectors wishes. The Letter of Instructions can be held privately with no filing requirement so there is non-disclosure of details with serious privacy for all concerned. Generally, most people prefer to maintain the Letter of Instructions privately, so that the Beneficiaries and Protector remain anonymous and private.

Foundation By-Laws: The Foundation does not need to have By-Laws, since a Letter of Instructions is legally sufficient for fulfilling the Protectors’ requested testamentary instructions or wishes. However, one could have a more formal Foundation testamentary document, written and signed by an attorney from our law firm, and notarized by a Panamanian notary. The Foundations By-Laws essentially handle the same function as a Letter of Instructions since the By-Laws specifying how the Foundation should respond upon a specific triggering event such as the death or incapacity of the Protector. The By-Laws should also state whether the Foundation should continue existing, and have a new Protector appointed, or if the Foundation should be dissolved upon the specified triggering event(s). There is a legal precedent that the By-Laws must follow. By-Laws content can be modified at any time at the discretion of the protector. The By-Laws can be held privately for anonymity, or can be registered publicly which is not suggested normally.


Offshore Panama Bank Accounts – Open in 5 Days

moneyPanama Banks – Panama banks do open bank accounts for foreigners. Panama asides from being the number one retirement haven in the world is also the world’s foremost tax haven. Offshore bank accounts in Panama are the most coveted in the world today. All the banks we use have online banking including the ability to send international wire transfers, check balances, history and other information. You can get an ATM Debit card that is good worldwide for ATM withdrawals and it works for some Point of Sale Purchases. We work with several different banks and savings and loans in Panama. We do not discuss names of banks until after a person becomes a paid client, and all the required documents have been provided, please do not ask. Same applies to sending out bank forms, signature cards, etc. We have a list of banks that we have a working relationship with where we are able to have accounts opened without the need for the parties to come to Panama. Some of these banks are large multi-national conglomerates with assets in the 100 Billion Dollar Range and others are small Panama only Banks that offers a more personal touch and banks with everything in between. We have never had a customer leave us because we could not get them an account with a bank or savings and loan they felt was not suitable. We can normally have an account opened within 5 working days of the receipt of our fee and the required documents, some times faster.

The Process – Making a trip to Panama is not necessary. Panama Banks never accept cash to open an account. Some customers wish to come to Panama to meet the bank, etc. This is fine but we will NOT introduce a person to any bank until after they are a paid up client and we have done our due diligence having their reference letters, passport copy etc. The banks rely on the law firm to do the required due diligence in the area of know your customer which is the same as required by the banks. The banks in Panama have no shortage of customers since a Panama Bank Account is the most coveted in the world right now. The banks do not wish to have potential customers contacting them directly before the law firm has completed their due diligence. The banks are not fond of foreigners calling on the phone about opening up an account. If you are coming to Panama which again is not necessary, we suggest you do the formation of the corporation or foundation before you come and we can get the bank account approved by the new account committee before you arrive so basically you just meet the bank manager, sign the forms and signature cards and then are free to depart and your account should be functional the next day. We can assist with corporate rates on a hotel; get you an English speaking driver with a car, etc. You can have a checking account or a savings account. Time locked deposits for higher interest rates are available. Minimum deposits tend to run between $500 and $2000. Some banks will provide an ATM card with the account immediately. Some banks will issue direct from the bank a Visa card that is a secured debit card. It is good for ATM machines, internet purchases etc. The bank will generally require a security deposit which goes into a special interest bearing account. If your Visa card had a $10,000 credit line they would probably request a security deposit of $12,500. At the end of the billing cycle the money to pay your card balance down to zero would be deducted from your regular account. If a need arose you could ask the bank to clear the balance before the end of the billing cycle freeing up your credit for travel. There is the option of a third party ATM card that has numbers only, no account name at all on the card. There is also the option of having a third party MasterCard or Visa debit card (not credit card) for an extra fee. The Visa or MasterCard debit card also can function as an ATM card.

Documents Required – A notarized copy of the picture page of the Passport, letter of reference from a recognized bank, and a letter of reference from an attorney, accountant or company you do business with on their letterhead. Any bank in the modern world using the international wire system will require at least this much documentation from a foreigner opening up a bank account in their jurisdiction.

panama city bankingStock Trading – The savings account can also be directly tied to a stock trading account. This allows one to trade online around the world. There is a $50,000 minimum to open such an account. The clearing agent is top drawer. We can also arrange for you to have a separate brokerage account in Panama with minimums as low as $20,000. USA passport holders can not have a personal stock trading account corporate or foundation only.

Type of Account – Offshore bank accounts in Panama can be opened for a corporation or a foundation. Accounts can be opened for personal, corporate or for a foundation. USA passport holders can not open personal bank accounts unless they actually reside in Panama and can document this. We always suggest the offshore bank account in Panama be opened using a Panama corporate structure. This way when wires are sent or received it can not be seen that you are the person(s) behind the corporation. When you use an anonymous Panama Bearer Share Company the ownership of the company is not recorded in any registry or public record database so no snooping entity can determine who is actually receiving the funds, and this makes for very private personal banking. Recently there was a scandal in the media where it came out that the USA was monitoring SWIFT wire transactions for some years. Monitoring a wire transaction to an anonymous corporation is fairly meaningless since nothing is known about the ownership of the corporation. If the sending entity was also an anonymous corporation that would be a good working definition of a dead end both ways. We always advise against personal offshore bank accounts in Panama for these reasons in addition to the fact that a corporate or foundation bank account greatly enhances but will work on personal accounts at the client’s request. We can not get personal bank accounts for USA residents/citizens. As an additional option one can open an offshore Panama bank account using a Panama Foundation which is also anonymous.

Bank Account Signatory Verification You or your designated signatory(s) will be the only person(s) with access to your offshore Panama bank account. What we do is have the bank opened up as a zero balance account; no money is in the account. Before you load the account with any funds we will show you how to securely contact the bank by phone and verify that no one else can sign on the account or otherwise access the bank account. After the account is funded online banking information will then be emailed to you directly and you reset the password securely online immediately upon receipt. ATM card will be sent by courier directly to you.

Number of Bank Accounts – You can open up more than one Panama offshore bank account in different banks using different corporations or same corporation or a corporation and a foundation. Sending funds from one corporation or foundation to another for payroll, purchases or other reasons can easily be accomplished using the ACH system in Panama which 30 large banks use. This is not a wire transfer and the data is covered by Panama Bank Secrecy laws and only entities covered by these laws have the data. It takes one to two days for the ACH transfer to be completed and the cost is about $1.00 per transaction.

Panama Bank Secrecy – Panama has strict banking secrecy laws better than any jurisdiction we know of. Panama has no tax treaty with any other country. This is not the case with tax havens like Switzerland, Belize etc. who do get into tax treaties with numerous countries. Tax treaties are the legal basis for government fishing expeditions. Fishing expeditions do not happen in Panama. If a bank employee or officer violates the bank secrecy laws they can go to prison, get fined and of course you can sue the daylights out of the offending bank. The bank secrecy laws are statutory in Panama. A question that frequently comes up is if a Panama Bank that is operating under the name of a chain of large international banks is able to maintain true Panama Bank Secrecy. Let us say the Bank is called Bank Two (no such bank in Panama) and Bank Two operates in Europe and North America with 68 bank branches in different countries. The Bank Two banks in other countries can not go into their computers and see account holder information about Panama Bank Accounts. This would violate Panama Bank Secrecy, expose the bank officers to criminal prosecution and enable you to sue the bank and its responsible parties for millions of dollars of damages. In spite of this some people prefer a bank that operates only inside of Panama and we can accommodate this sort of request.


Casco Viejo Investment Incentives

Incentive Law for Casco Viejo

cascoviejoThe Decree-Law N° 9, by means of which incentives special rules were established for the restoration and revaluation of the Casco Antiguo of Panama, was issued on August 27, 1997. The due date for this Decree-Law was August 2002. However, in December 2001, the National Assembly of Panama approved a modification proposal to the above mentioned Decree-Law, by which the expiring dates are extended for the majority of the established incentives. A summary of the Decree-Law N° 9 of August 27, 1997 as well as its more relevant aspects follows:

Former laws in force in Casco Antiguo are modified in order to extend the protection area, so it could include part of the neighborhood of Santa Ana, Salsipuedes, and part of the Terraplén.

The classification of the protected properties is developed in detail, together with the usage and type of restoration that will be permitted to carry out in such properties, depending on their architectural, historical, and environmental characteristics.

A system of mortgage loans with preferred interests is established for the restoration of real estate in the area of San Felipe.

The property owners in Casco Antiguo will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax owed at the moment of the transfer (sale) of the property.

The profits derived from the transfer of real estate will be exempt from paying the Income Tax.

The land and improvements of restored buildings will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax for a period of thirty (30) years counted as from the restoration of the property.

The first sale or sales that take place after the completion of the building´s restoration will be exempt from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.

The profits generated by commercial, professional or industrial activities which are carried out and have their effects in the Casco Antiguo, are exempt from the Income Tax for ten (10) years counted from the restoration of the occupied property.

The equipment and materials used in the construction, restoration, and equipping, will be exempt from the Import Duties.

The tenants of the properties in Casco Antiguo can deduct from their Income Tax the rates of rental for a period of five (5) years.

Those buildings destined for public parking will be exempt from the Income Tax for a period of ten (10) years.

An indemnity payment is established for those tenants of apartments in Casco Antiguo who must vacate the property because of a restoration project. The restoration project developer will receive a transferable fiscal credit with a value equivalent to the payment done.

In order to benefit from these incentives, the investments must be made during the ten (10) years following the establishment of the Decree-Law.

Read more about Why You Should Purchase in Panama.


Why Purchase in Panama?

Why purchase in Panama?

panama retirement• US dollar-based economy

• Low inflation and zero foreign exchange risk

• Total absence of exchange controls

• Equal treatment of foreign and local citizens

• One of the most flexible company laws in the world

• No restrictions on 100 per cent foreign-owned companies

• No restrictions on mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures

• Excellent tax holidays for specific investments in sectors such as tourism, maritime, real estate, mining,

• High percentage of labor force is bilingual making it an attractive desitnation for Europeans and South Americans

• Panama has been ranked first in the region for low cost of living, operational cost and index of labor by the Tripartite Committee, which consists of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). Panama has full coverage from OPIC, MIGA, IDB and other multilateral entities.

Political Risk Services (PRS) placed Panama in the top three countries of the hemisphere with the best risk-investment qualifications. Moody’s and Standard & Poors have both granted high ranking to Panamanian bonds.

Panama has also showed no signs of change in its upward progress. In its annual Report, Moody’s Investor Service says, “the country’s (Panama) split ratings and stable outlook reflect a manageable fiscal position. Free Trade Agreements, such as the recent accord with Taiwan, will also help to benefit the Panamanian economy by encouraging foreign investment into the nation’s financial and communications systems, the report added. In total, Panama has Bilateral Trade Agreements with over 20 countries throughout the world. There are numerous reasons to view the Panama Property Market as stable and viable – especially now that the second Panama canal is under way for construction which will add greatly to this regions properity.