Why Should You Relocate to Panama?
Living in Panama for as little as $1,000 a month is possible. However, this is only available in a few cities. It’s not a country where living costs are as low as they are in Thailand or even Mexico. The weather and simplicity of living are two factors that draw many visitors to Panama. Furthermore, unlike other nations, Panama provides a specific discount program for people who choose to retire there; the Pensionado program offers discounts ranging from 10% to 50% on everything from food to hotels to entertainment to plane tickets. You only need to show $1000 in monthly income to qualify as a retiree, which is a lower hurdle than in many other countries. Despite the fact that Panama is not the cheapest area in Central America, many ex-pats prefer it for its many other advantages.
Panama City Beach, Florida Housing Costs
Panama City Beach, Florida Transportation Costs
Transportation costs can be a considerable part of the overall cost of living. 90.10 percent of commuters in Panama City Beach drive to work, compared to 85.5 percent overall. An estimated 65.20 percent of workers commute to jobs outside of Panama City Beach, a higher percentage than the 43.7 percent of commuters who live and work in different locations across the country. The average commute time in Panama City Beach is 22.7 minutes, compared to a national average of 26.6 minutes. Taking into consideration the cost of gas, public transportation, and automobile maintenance, the EPI estimates that a single person in Panama City Beach spends $9,573 on transportation per year, which is similar to the national average of $9,760.
Panama’s Health-Care Costs Florida’s City Beach
Costs of Child Care in Panama City Beach, Florida
Costs of Food and Beverages in Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida taxes
Additional Costs and Benefits of Living in Panama
Retirees are entitled to the following (often absurdly excessive) discounts:
You can also bring in up to $10,000 worth of home goods duty-free. The best part about it all? If the legislation changes, you’ll be able to keep the benefits on a grandfathered basis, which means they’ll be guaranteed for life as long as you’re a legal resident. Aside from the main bills, the Cunninghams spend $46 per month on a combined internet and cable TV package, $10-$20 per month or less on prepaid cell phones, and roughly $45 per month on electricity. However, if they kept the air conditioner on all the time, that number could triple.
Living in Panama in a Nutshell
Expat Life: The majority of ex-pats in Panama are retirees, according to the country’s pensionados program, which provides discounts and a more simplified visa process for retirees. Panama City has a younger ex-pat community, and you can often find digital nomads or long-term travelers settling down for three to six months in the Bocas del Toro islands.
Internet: Cities such as Panama City, Colon, and David all have high-speed internet. DSL, cable, and satellite internet are available in rural locations.
Average Local Wage: In Panama, a middle-class salary averages $1,200 USD. A monthly income in smaller cities is around $550. These vary by area and city.
Pet-Friendliness: Although Panama is somewhat pet-friendly, the process of transporting your pets can be a little daunting. Consider employing a local agent or fixer to assist you. Also, begin well in advance of your planned move to ensure that you have all of the necessary vaccines and papers.
Visas: Citizens of the United States do not require a visa to enter Panama. You’ll need a passport that’s valid for three months following your departure date from Panama to get access. You will be given a 30-day tourist card upon entering Panama, which can be extended to a 60-day tourist card. If you want to retire in Panama, check out the documentation requirements on the website of the US Embassy in Panama.
Issues that Could Arise: Outside of big cities, water and electricity disruptions are widespread.
Security: Relatively secure. In big cities like Panama City, petty theft, opportunistic crime, credit card fraud, and muggings are all widespread.
Water is Quite Safe: In most of Panama, you can drink tap water. In Bocas del Toro and Comarca de Guna, tap water should be avoided.
In Panama, the Best Places to Live
There are numerous sites in Panama where Americans live, as well as a substantial population of retirees and ex-pats from other nations. Here are the big ones, but if you don’t need to talk in English, there are lots of smaller beaches and mountain villages to visit.
Panama City – After traveling south, Panama City is the closest you’ll get to Miami (good and bad). There’s no need for a car here, and there’s even a metro.
Coronado – It is a coastal vacation town about an hour south of San Diego. One of Panama’s oldest ex-pat communities.
Valle de Anton – This highland interior location, just 120 kilometers from the city, boasts chilly evenings, hot springs for soaking, and a laid-back vibe. This is a secure and upmarket alternative.
David – The capital’s second-largest city, but slightly higher in altitude and less congested.
Boquete – It is a renowned highland destination known for its flowers, coffee, adventure activities, and cold climate. For those looking to retire in Panama, this is the place to go.
Bocas del Toro – It is a group of islands renowned among tropical paradise seekers, outcasts, and revolutionaries. You won’t need a car, but you will almost certainly require a boat.
With the low cost of living in Panama, there are certain to be some drawbacks, no matter how many glowing stories you read about it. This is still a developing country, with many of the same issues in terms of public services, pollution, traffic, rubbish, and inefficiency as the rest of Latin America. You’ll still have to deal with inconvenient bureaucracy, and the local press is tightly controlled.
Unless you enjoy suffocating tropical heat, humidity, and insects, you might not enjoy the majority of the country’s coastline. You have the reverse problem at a greater elevation. Some people believe that Boquete, in the highlands, is ideal. Others believe it is far too chilly. “We never, ever leave the flat without our umbrellas because you simply never know,” Jim explains when the rainy season arrives. Visit during the most inconvenient time of year to form your own opinion. Overall, though, there are more benefits to living in Panama than drawbacks. Its convenient air connections, low taxes, good health care, sound banking system, simple visa process, and dollar economy make it a no-brainer for many retirees who don’t want to cope with a more difficult adjustment in Guatemala or Ecuador. If you’re considering migrating to Panama, we always recommend performing a trial run to determine if the country is right for you.