Panama is top of the retirement haven league table as revealed by the newly released Annual Global Retirement Index for 2019.

A firm fixture in the ‘retire to the sun’ shortlist, this year marks the 10th time the country has reached the coveted No1 spot - climbing from third place to scoop the top prize.

The Central American gem packs a lot into its small area - a fast-paced eclectic capital city, palm-fringed beaches, and forest valleys where the temperature is spring-like all year. And what makes it truly special is its Pensionado programme. To entice retirees to the country, the Pensionado visa is available to anyone with a lifetime pension of over $1,000 a month. The programme also grants discounts to seniors on a wide range of goods and services, from medical consultations to movie tickets.

"Panama City is a world capital that's coming into its own," says International Living’s Jessica Ramesch. "It's a well-established business destination, with top-notch infrastructure--especially when it comes to cellular and internet connectivity. It's the region's busiest flight hub, the only city in Central America with a metro line, and the only city in the region with its very own rainforest.

But what few people know is that the destination is also something of a cultural hub. Panama City is home to active, vibrant communities from all over the world, and every art form is celebrated.

It’s also a cosmopolitan capital where you can rent an ocean view property for as little as $1,500 a month. Access to the US and Canada is easy - Miami is just three hours away by plane. Warm and tropical, it’s nevertheless outside the hurricane belt. The tax burden is low plus there's a large English-speaking population- including a cadre of excellent doctors.

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