In a previous post “Why Panama” I didn’t go into depth about what Panama offers to retirees. At the time of my preliminary research Panama only required a person to receive a minimum of $500.00 per month from a pension, either from Social Security or a private fund. It has been raised to $1,000 a month, but still easy enough. My Social Security benefits were just slightly double what the country required. However, when I was doing this research I wasn’t yet receiving my SS benefits. I simply knew how much they would be so I couldn’t jump right in.
If you have the “Pensionado,” also known as a “Jubilado” you are eligible, by law, to the following discounts:
1. Discounts of 50% off the ticket price charged for movies, theaters and Panama sporting events like soccer, boxing, baseball etc. Charitable events would not offer this discount to the Pensionado.
2. 30% Discount for City Buses, Panama Trains and Boats (not cruise boats).
3. 25% on airfare if flight is in country or if ticket purchased with COPA airlines in Panama.
4. Hotels discount 50% from Monday to Thursday and 30% on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
5. 25% discount of food eaten in a sit down inside restaurant.
6. 15% discount in fast food establishments.
7. 15% discount services in hospitals and private clinics.
8. 10% discount in for prescription medicines in pharmacies.
9. Discounts in the following medical services:
o 20% discount fees for medical doctors
o 15% for dentist fees.
o 15% for optometric examinations.
10. Health Insurance shall adjust fees for Pensionados & Jubilados.
11. 20% discount on any professional services utilized in Panama.
12. 20% discount for all prosthetic devices.
13. 50% discount on the price of a Panama passport.
14. 25% discount on your electric bill up to 600KW’s and then the discount is gone if the usage is over this figure.
15. 25% discount to the basic residential phone service charges when the phone (one phone only)is registered in the name of the Pensionado
16. 25% discount on primary residential water bill if the bill is in the name of the Pensionado and the monthly bill does not exceed $30.00
17. A Pensionado can buy a car every two years free of import duty.
18. A Pensionado can bring in $10,000 worth of personal goods one time with no import duty.
In my most recent visit, which is ending tomorrow, I have been getting some of those discounts, and I even received them a couple of times without asking. On this visit when I went to buy my bus ticket for Santiago I received the discount. On my return to Panama City I’ve been staying at the home of an acquaintance who has the Pensionado and he said that the ID I received from Immigration was just as good as his, so we’ve been using them every time we go out to eat. The big advantage to this is that with 25% off already reasonably priced meals one can order “UP” and still get a deal.