Retirement Detectives

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Helping you find your ideal place in the sun!

Authoritative, unbiased information about current and emerging retirement destinations.
First hand knowledge and experience.
The good. The bad. The bizarre.
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Boca Chica - Panama's fishing hot spot

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This article was written by Grayson Banner of Banner Real Estate, Chiriqui - Roberto

 Sunset in Boca Chica. Photo by Roberto Chocolat√©

The little fishing village of Boca Chica is the center for a number of projects, large and small, that are being initiated this year. 


Last Updated on Friday, 02 July 2010 22:21

Canada Day party in Panama

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 July 1, 2010 Farallon, Panama - Looked a lot like Canada to me!

by Roberto Chocolaté

A hundred plus Canadians jammed Woody's Beach Bar and Grill in Farallon, Panama last night to celebrate Canada Day in the true south, strong and free.

Your intrepid reporter was on hand to capture the moments and even played DJ for an enthusiastic crowd.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 05:21

Panama's Presidents popularity slipping

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Panama’s President Assesses His First Year

In an interview with local newspaper La Prensa, President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli voiced satisfaction with his first year in power while acknowledging setbacks.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:33

New Pool Finished

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 Our new pool is done! We hooked up the copper ion and ozone generator systems today, so we have bottled-water quality pool water with NO CHEMICALS!!!!

To see photographs, click on the Photo Gallery section on the left side of this page and select New Pool photo gallery

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 July 2010 03:58

My garden in Panama

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What does your garden grow?



Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 17:07

Medical insurance for tourists to Panama

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 Inexpensive Medical Insurance for Tourists to Panama

The National Assembly approved a measure to offer insurance to all tourists who enter Panama through Tocumen International Airport. The new law will provide tourists with up to $20,000 of coverage during the first 30 days of stay in the country. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 June 2010 14:34

Panama's new tax law

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 This article appeared in the Panama Realtor newsletter. Roberto

2010 tax reform law
The 2010 tax reform law, known as Law 8 of 2010, amended Panama’s fiscal code in several ways. The most important and popular was the reduction of tax rates on both corporations and individuals. However, the loss of these tax revenues will be recouped by an increase in the sales tax from five percent to seven percent.

This new tax reform law takes effect on July 1, but the reduction of corporate and individual income tax rates became effective from January 1. Individual income tax rate is now 15 percent for net income between $11,000 to $50,000 and 25% above $50,000.

 This is the second tax reform in the past year. Law 49 of 2009 took effect in September of 2009 which made the dividend tax apply to dividends paid out of foreign source profits and those paid by companies operating in one of Panama’s free zones.

Corporations are happy to see their 30% income tax rate lowered to 27.5%. It will will be further reduced to 25% in 2011. This applies to every corporation, limited liability company, partnership, and subsidiaries of foreign corporations. There are exceptions involving certain industries like insurance, banking, financial services, and casinos who will continue to pay the 30% rate for an additional two years.

Withholding dividend tax is now in effect. Companies operating within Panama having a “Notice of Operations” permit (which is a commercial license to do business in Panama) must withhold 10% of the dividends paid out from domestic profits and five percent from foreign source profits. Companies located in a free zone must withhold five percent of all dividends paid out.

There is an exception from paying the dividend tax. Companies operating here as a regional multinational headquarters, or working in the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Area and Panamanian companies operating abroad and not connected to the Panama market are exempt. Any tax treaty between Panama and another country specifying an exemption to these tax laws will prevail.

Deductions of business expenses are now limited. Presently, expenses encountered exclusively to generate taxable income or to conserve resources are deductible. The new law creates an allotment procedure where the percentage of the taxpayer’s domestic gross income to its total gross income will be calculated to allow deductions. This procedure will be clarified later by the government. Exceptions to this method include deductions for bad debts, charitable deductions, and the Notice of Operations permit fee, along with any other automatic deductions the government decides to grant at a later time.

The current system of making payments in advance will change. Presently, a company estimates the current year’s income tax based on the past year’s tax. Then the company makes equal quarterly advance payments. Any excess payments are credited towards the next year’s tax. The new law requires a one percent payment of the estimated gross yearly income every month. Adjustment for over or under payments will be made with the annual tax return. Excess taxes paid can be credited to the next month’s payment, or towards other government taxes, or be refunded.

Instead of raising taxes, the new government emphasizes lowering tax rates, limiting deductions, raising dividend and sales taxes, and requiring monthly advance tax payments which in the end is expected to increase the government’s revenues.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 June 2010 14:22

What Panama is to me

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Life does not get much better than this. Our Golden-Doodle, Lucky-Lucky has found treasure in the waters off playa Santa Clara. 


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 June 2010 17:23

Driving distances within Panama

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All distances are from Panama City. Roberto

 Panama - Condominium Pricing Comparison


Last Updated on Friday, 18 June 2010 17:52

Tax changes for importing cars to Panama

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 This was sent in by a reader from Western Canada. It was published in newletter. Roberto

New Taxes on Importing Cars to Panama

Written by Panama-Gringo 

As of March 15th, 2010 the new “Tax Reform Law” has been put into place in Panama and as a result the amount due for importing a car to Panama has changed. In the past retirees were able to bring cars into Panama tax free, but now they will be required to pay regular importation taxes on any vehicles brought into Panama. For retirees hoping to be able to bring over their car without any taxes, those days ended as of March 15th.

The new car import taxes are as follows:


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 07:26

Pedasi, Panama

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This article was published in Great Retirement Roberto

Tranquil Surfing and Fishing Mecca of Pedasi, Panama Boasts Gentle Charm, Crystal Clear Waters, Solid Infrastructure, Friendly Residents and Escape from the Hustle and Bustle of Modern Day Life

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 04:46

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