Living in Panama offers a multitude of advantages and a few drawbacks that are worth considering. As an expat destination, Panama stands out for its solid infrastructure and First World amenities, all conveniently located close to North America. Whether you’re looking for value, variety, or a comfortable lifestyle, Panama has it all.
The cost of living
One of the biggest advantages of living in Panama is the cost of living. With a monthly budget of $1,300, including rent, utilities, groceries, and outings, you can find affordable places to live with plenty of pros, such as beautiful views and friendly locals. Whether you choose to settle in the picturesque Azuero Peninsula or opt for upscale areas that offer a Californian lifestyle, Panama provides options for every budget and taste.
Panama’s exceptional growth over the past two decades has led to the development of robust infrastructure, including golf clubs, beach resorts, shopping plazas, grocery stores, restaurants, and clinics. The country offers high-speed internet, reliable power, clean drinking water, cable television, and cellular service. Its pro-business and foreigner-friendly government, along with a strong and growing economy, provides stability and freedom for residents.
Geographically, Panama is incredibly diverse, offering a range of landscapes from long coastlines and uncrowded beaches to mountain hamlets with cooler climates and tropical rainforests. The country’s tourism industry has been growing, attracting expats and foreigners alike. Panamanians are accustomed to interacting with foreigners, creating a welcoming environment without racial tension or envy.
Healthcare and the pace of living
In terms of healthcare, Panama boasts top-notch medical facilities. The Punta Pacifica Hospital in Panama City is affiliated with Johns Hopkins International, ensuring excellent care. Healthcare costs are significantly lower compared to North America, making quality medical services affordable and accessible.
When it comes to the cons of living in Panama, some expats may find the “mañana” principle and bureaucratic processes frustrating. The slower pace of life and bureaucracy can take time to adjust to, but once you embrace the Latin culture and adapt to the local way of doing things, these cons fade away.
Panamanians love to celebrate and enjoy life, often leading to parties that go into the early hours of the morning. While this can be annoying for some, integrating into the community and embracing the social aspect of Panama’s culture can make these gatherings enjoyable experiences.
Ultimately, living in Panama offers a unique and fulfilling lifestyle. The country consistently ranks among the top retirement destinations globally, offering benefits and discounts for retirees. The use of the U.S. dollar simplifies financial transactions for expats, and the favorable cost of living allows couples to live comfortably on $2,600 a month or less, including rent.
With its year-round sunshine, pleasant climate, affordable real estate, and diverse landscapes, Panama provides options for everyone. Established expat communities in cities like Panama City, Coronado, and Boquete make it easy to connect with like-minded individuals and find support when needed.
In conclusion, living in Panama offers numerous advantages, including safety, a low cost of living, high-quality healthcare, modern infrastructure, and a welcoming community. While there are minor challenges to navigate, adapting to the local culture and embracing the lifestyle can lead to a fulfilling and enjoyable experience in this beautiful Central American country.