Headlines - The Washington Post - "Sometimes Age Is a Bargain"

Sometimes Age Is A Bargain

By Martha M. Hamilton
Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page F01

Forget cheap movies and early-bird meals at Applebee's.

When it comes to age-related discounts, you can't beat Panama.

To attract more investment, the central American nation has eased immigration laws and set up a discount bonanza for expatriate pensioners that includes 20 percent off professional services such as those provided by lawyers, architects and physical therapists; no property tax for 20 years; no income tax on income earned outside Panama; and a 50 percent discount on real estate closing costs.

And that's only the beginning. The list of discounts goes on and on, including price breaks on telephone service, surgery and domestic airfares and a one-time waiver of duties on imported household goods up to $10,000.

All it takes to qualify is pension income of $500 or more per month -- at any age and from any source.

Although the law creating the discounts has been around since 1987, Panama only began to promote the discounts about two years ago, said Rafael C. Donado, commercial attaché at the Panamanian Embassy. "It's booming at this point -- and the most attractive program worldwide," he said. And Panama's legal tender is the dollar, making relocation even more painless, he said.

Well, we can't all move to Panama, although it does sound tempting.

Source: The Washington Post