Panama's Cost of Living has Risen
"Panama is no longer cheap, though not expensive. In most places you can live without a car if you want. Utilities are cheap, except electricity-keep this in mind if you want to live at low elevation. Real estate is slow now and deals can be had on rentals and purchases (but rent to try out before buying) A couple can rent and live comfortably, but not extravagantly, on $2000 a month," wrote one expat.
"It's not as cheap as I thought it would be. Food is the same or more. Restaurants are cheaper. Transport much cheaper. Clothing and appliances are probably cheaper in US. We have better sales in US," wrote one American who decided to retire in Panama City.
Rental Housing Prices
"A 2-bedroom, 2 bath in a new-build building would run about USD 1500-1700/month, furnished. Apartments in older buildings cost less. Many apartments, such as mine, are much larger - 3 or more bedrooms, family room/den, service quarters, etc. My apartment here is as big as a small house would be in Montreal. Let's compare amenities with Montreal: staffing levels are higher here, so service, cleanliness and maintenance are better than in places where salaries are higher. For example, here there are 2 janitors on duty 8 hours/day, 6 days/week. In Montreal my building had 1 janitor on duty 7 hours/day, 5 days/week. There is security/doorman 24/7, Common areas, gym, pool, party rooms are better. Just nicer for your money. You'd have to come check it out yourself. Suggest you look at the website Encuentra24 to get an idea of what is on the market in your chosen areas. PC is a big city," said one expat.
Cost of Typical Monthly Expenses
"[The cost of a] Used car depends on model, type, age, miles, you can always find a expat ready to sale one cheap because they are moving back. 5k to 10k ins. well that is cheap, about 200 dollars per year on a used car. Power bill 100 to 200 per month. Water 6 dollars. Gas a large 100 lb tank should last you a year at about 75 dollars. Cable and wifi the more you buy from them, like tv internet, phone - cheaper the bill. I get their fastest package for around 65 dollars per month. House rental is 500 and up. Food, again depends on your taste," explained one expat.
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Low Cost of Living Doesn't Always Equal Happiness
"In my experience economic migrants who move to Panama ONLY to reduce their cost of living wind up bitter and disappointed because life in a developing country with a different culture and language has challenges that aren't erased by lower costs," commented one expat.
Deciding Where to Live in Panama
If you're thinking about moving to Panama and haven't narrowed down where you would like to live, consider taking a tour with our partner, Panama Relocation Tours.