116: How To Move To Panama Or Use It As Your Plan-B Residency – Mikkel Thorup

How To Move To Panama

Today’s guest on the Expat Money Show is, well Mikkel Thorup. Who better to talk about the Expat life and How to Move to Panama, than someone who has lived and worked in 9 countries over the last 21 years, and who moved his family 2 years ago to Panama?

In today’s episode, Mikkel will talk about all of the things you might be thinking of when trying to decide if Panama is the right choice for you.



  • Mikkel’s story about moving to Panama
  • Why did he move here?
  • Facts about the country
  • Cost of living in Panama
  • Standard of living
  • Medical facilities
  • International Insurance
  • Tax
  • “Free Trade Zones” In Panama
  • Banking and Financial sector
  • Residency
  • Lockdowns
  • Mikkel’s opinion of Panama
  • Popular places to live
  • Learning Spanish
  • and more!



110: How To Move To Ecuador Complete Master Class – Marcos Chiluisa

093: Why Are People Leaving The USA – Travis Luther

089: Is Costa Rica The Perfect Place To Be An Expat? – Gill Phelan



Feel free to reach out to me here if you want to move forward with your visa and come to Panama, I will do my best to help!

Please, continue this conversation at ExpatMoneyForum.com



If you are looking for a backup residency, Panama is a good option because it is affordable and you only need to visit the country one day every two years. It’s a tropical country, with warm weather all year round. Taxes are almost nonexistent, no standing military, lots of expats, lots of freedom (outside of covid), a high standard of living, and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. These are just some of the reasons Panama might be a good option for you, listen in to the episode for everything you will need to know to make it a reality.


About The Host, Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup; the host of The Expat Money Show, has 20+ years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran.

His goal now is to help Expats just like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again.

Follow Mikkel Thorup on Social Media:


  1. Mark Peter Robson on 01/26/2021 at 5:29 PM

    Hey Mikkel,
    Great to hear your episode about Panama, really informative, to the point and you covered a lot of ground in one shot…well done! I’m from Vancouver / Victoria BC here in Canada so it’s great to connect with a fellow Canadian. Looking forward to more information from you and your team.

  2. Dave on 01/28/2021 at 9:00 AM

    Mikkel, thanks for the interesting podcast.

    You mention that if you want to go on to seek citizenship after 5 years, then simply visiting one day in 2 years would be insufficient.

    Can you describe what the minimum type commitment that woud typically be necessary to successfully apply for citizenship?

    • Mikkel Thorup on 01/31/2021 at 4:29 PM

      They are going to want to see very strong ties to the country, that this is your home. Unfortunately, it is a subjective measure in most cases as they must manually approve or deny applications, it is untimely the president’s decision and he has to sign off on it

  3. Alex on 03/02/2021 at 1:57 AM

    In regards to setting-up a corporation in Panama prior to applying for Panama Residency Visa; should the corporation be in existence for a certain period of time prior to applying for residency (or can it be immediate beforehand) and does it need to be a valid, revenue producing corporation with/without a certain amount of revenue? Basically, I am a daytrader/investor, which is why I ask. Thanks in advance.

    • Mikkel Thorup on 04/22/2021 at 6:13 PM

      The company formation does not need to be used for anything and does not need to show any revenue, also there is no need for a certain amount of time the company needs to be in existence

  4. Alexandra on 04/14/2021 at 2:05 AM

    Question. How about relocating as a gay couple? Like a life partner. Is there a way to bring the partner with you? Asking for a male friend.

    • Mikkel Thorup on 04/22/2021 at 6:10 PM

      I would have to look into that for you, please send me an email on the contact us page at the top of the website

      • Cristina on 05/17/2021 at 7:50 PM

        Thank you Mr. Thorup.
        I’m a 61 year old woman and unfortunately I found out about you very recently. I been working since I was 10 years old helping my family and I am very tired. I wants to retire ASAP but maybe that’s a dream for me . Anyway, Panama has been one of my choices or Costa Rica. I’m originally from Colombia but US citizen for the past 35 years. I been having a hard time choosing where to retire. Any advice? Thank you in advance for any help that you can give me.

        • Mikkel Thorup on 05/24/2021 at 8:54 PM

          Hi Cristina, both Panama and Costa Rica are great options for retirement I believe. Panama is an easier visa and is less expensive than Costa Rica, and in my opinion, just as beautiful. But Costa Rica is better at marketing itself as a retirement destination and steals a lot of the lime lite.

  5. Car on 04/29/2021 at 8:38 AM

    Hi Mikkel,

    Re: Financial Services from Panama

    I am looking for Credit Card Processing Services for the North America Region, then Central and South America.

    We will sell product 80% online and 10% direct sales and 10% call-in’s.

    I can open bank account in Panama.

    Is this something you can help me with?


    Carlos Ramirez

    • Mikkel Thorup on 05/14/2021 at 8:34 PM

      Contact us via email and we will see what we can do

  6. Greg McLean on 05/08/2021 at 3:59 PM

    Thank you so much, Mikkel! I’m 59 and will have a us pension. I was born in Panama, and would love to see how living there would be beneficial to me.

    • Mikkel Thorup on 05/14/2021 at 8:38 PM

      Glad you enjoyed Greg, thank you for your support

  7. Clyde on 06/14/2021 at 10:18 PM

    Great information here…I got an email from The Dollar Vigilante suggesting I sign on to a podcast on June 15th (tomorrow) on getting a residential passport and possibly saving 178k.?.Their is an expense of 21,780 to get into a Teak farm I believe…not sure as I hadn’t listened yet….tomorrow 1500 o’clock.
    I thought I would run that by you to see what you think of Jeff Berwick and his outlook on Panama 2nd residency and the offer he is presenting. Thanks Mikkel.

    • Mikkel Thorup on 06/15/2021 at 9:59 PM

      Not how I would go about it, Panama residency should cost around $5000 in legal and government fees and doesn’t need to be paired with any type of teak investment.

      • Michael on 10/04/2021 at 8:53 PM

        Where is the documentation to get the ball rolling on Panama residency?

        • Michael on 10/04/2021 at 9:00 PM

          also proof of income. How does someone who is unemployed but has money saved up prove this? What are the options there. I just want to travel but have a homebase in Panama

          • Mikkel Thorup on 10/05/2021 at 5:16 PM

            I have emailed you.

  8. Sophia on 07/24/2022 at 9:50 AM

    Hello Mikkel,
    Very kind of you to share your information.
    I continue to follow two on lone groups for information about living in Panama.
    I have asked this question to both, they claim thousands of followers yet no one had any experience with or information about going to University there.
    I was hoping to hear something bad or good about the collage years.
    These groups are lean towards retirement, but there can be families as well just have had no feedback about this topic.

    • Mikkel Thorup on 07/26/2022 at 5:24 PM

      Hi there Sophia, I also do not have experience with this and it’s not something we would look at, we bring lots of families here but kids would go to university somewhere else if that was their path. Personally, I push the opposite of higher education as in 99% of the cases it doesn’t make any sense. We work more on the entrepreneurship and investor side of things and building businesses to help people. Best, Mikkel

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