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Panama Expat Blog with Cost of Living
Old 08-02-2016, 08:56 AM   #1
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Panama Expat Blog with Cost of Living

Here is a great blog if your interested in Panama. The latest post includes a cost of living analysis. I lived in Panama for many years and found the people to be amazing. The expat life is not for me but if I were to consider it, Panama would be towards the top of my list.

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Old 08-03-2016, 06:36 AM   #2
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Panama was once my Plan B. It is still is on the list but further down. DW will not leave the US again.

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Old 08-28-2016, 03:14 PM   #3
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I went to Panama earlier this year mainly to see the canal and the expansion also. I stayed in the Canal Zone between Panama City and Colon and didn't venture further. While the trip was enjoyable, as a retirement base it just wasn't a good fit for me. The cost of living and the general "vibe" didn't click. Maybe if I'd travelled further in country to say, Boquete or Bocas del Toro, I'd feel different. That would have meant no international airport nearby. One of my requirements.

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Old 08-28-2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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We spent the first year of our retirement in Boquete, Panama. Our Panama budget was about 50% of our US budget. The big savings areas: didn't need a car in Panama, health (international policy for hospital care, paid cash for everything else), food (groceries and eating out), utilities, and rent. Also our hobbies in the US are more expensive (skiing).

- great expat community in Boquete. Lots of activities, speakers, volunteer groups.
- healthy fruits, veg, and fish are cheap
- constant pleasant temperatures, and 12 hours of daylight year round
- great hiking, birding
-easy access to Carribean beach holidays (Bocas Del Toro)
- uses US dollar

- water and power outages much more common than in US
- unreliable internet in some areas
- if you don't speak some Spanish, it limits your interactions with locals, and can make setting up services and paying bills a bit challenging
- you need to have health insurance. While private hospitals and doctors are good, the public system is very limited.
- police/fire/ambulance dispatchers don't speak English. We joined a service that provides a bilingual emergency operator for a fee.

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Old 08-28-2016, 06:41 PM   #5
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The expat life looks like a fun challenge. Last month I went to Mexico (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel) and had a blast. I'm thinking Cozumel or Playa are a better fit for me. Cozumel checked the most boxes for me and Playa is a short ferry ride away for a town with more action and amenities. Cozumel is medium sized and very walkable. It was a little warm and while I was there, so the plan now is check out Chapala for a summer hang out.

I had thought that Panama using the dollar was an advantage, and it is from the convenience aspect. The Mexican peso has been weakening against the dollar, so in essence, dollars go further. I read somewhere that to stretch money in retirement it's wise make money in the first world and spend money in the developing world. Panama using the dollar negates that to some degree.

I was under the impression most Panamanians spoke some English, that wasn't my experience. If the SHTF I want to be able to be able to speak English to someone. I think I need somewhere more gringofied, at least to start.

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central america, expat, panama

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