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Living in Panama: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Panama | Expat Exchange
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Panama City, Panama

Living in Panama

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Apr 26, 2024

Summary: People describe life in Panama as vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity. Expats love the warm climate, the friendly people, the low cost of living, and the abundance of outdoor activities. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month, depending on lifestyle. The population of Panama is estimated to be around 4.3 million people, and the largest cities are Panama City, San Miguelito, David, and Colón. The cons of living in Panama include the high cost of imported goods, the lack of public transportation, and the high crime rate in some areas. Additionally, the infrastructure is not as developed as in other countries, and the healthcare system is not as advanced.

Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

What do I need to know about living in Panama?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Panama, they said:

"So what is it about Panama that makes it such a retirement haven for retirees all over the world, especially American and Canadian retirees? Is it that Panama is one of the safest countries in Central America, or is it the all-year-round tropical climate? Is it the abundance of American expat retirees, or its lucrative senior citizen programs? The answer is, all of the above and more. Panama is one of the few countries that brings almost everything to the table when it comes to a comfortable life for retirees," wrote Business Panama from Business Panama Group.

The Business Panama Group (“BusinessPanama”) is a well-established group of companies, professionals and alliance partners promoting and facilitating business, investments, real estate, immigration and tourism in Panama by providing information, business, legal and investment services to individual and corporate investors.

Click connect to have our partner, Business, contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

The Business Panama Group (“BusinessPanama”) is a well-established group of companies, professionals and alliance partners promoting and facilitating business, investments, real estate, immigration and tourism in Panama by providing information, business, legal and investment services to individual and corporate investors.

Click connect to have our partner, Business, contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

"Do not be surprised by the most modern technological society living in a first class environment," said one expat in Panama City.

"We see service dogs all the time here in Panama City in the malls, restaurants and bars. They accept them inside and some even offer them a water dish," said one expat who made the move to Panama.

"Before retiring in Panama, consider visa requirements, cost of living, healthcare system, climate, legal and financial aspects, housing options, activities for retirees, and familiarize yourself with the language and local culture. With proper planning, you can enjoy a successful retirement in Panama,"

"When I first developed an interest in moving to Panama the possibility of owning beachfront property was the big attraction. After spending a few years looking around I decided that I would rather not live in a beach community, although I love to be near the ocean and, in fact, have spent much of my life at sea. One of the best things about Panama is that you are never far from the sea. In my opinion the Coronado area is overdeveloped and excessively expensive. The area around Pedasi is much cheaper and less crowded. It appeals to surfers for obvious reasons. There are many islands on the Pacific coast, and they are fun to visit, although it would be quite inconvenient to live there. There are also hundreds of miles of unspoiled mainland coastline that are nearly inaccessible by land. You probably want to be somewhere that has a road to it, which further limits your options. Look at a good map and you will see what is accessible. If you don't see a road it's because there isn't one. There probably won't be any utilities either. I found that there are some significant drawbacks to living close to the beach and few native Panamanians choose to do so unless they are in the fishing business. You should look for yourself, though, and after visiting Coronado and Pedasi you might look at Las Lajas, Boca Chica, Puerto Armuelles, and the Boca del Toros archipiélago on the Caribbean coast. They're all beautiful in their own way but don't forget to look at the negative aspects including weather, services, access, and increased maintenance requirements. If you find a place you love you should rent for at least a year before you consider buying anything," mentioned one in Panama.

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Explore Panama Legal Business for a full suite of legal services tailored to your needs. From obtaining residency and visas to opening bank accounts, obtaining apostilles, conducting background checks, setting up businesses, and navigating real estate transactions, trust our experience and dedication to guide you through every step of the process in Panama.

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Explore Panama Legal Business for a full suite of legal services tailored to your needs. From obtaining residency and visas to opening bank accounts, obtaining apostilles, conducting background checks, setting up businesses, and navigating real estate transactions, trust our experience and dedication to guide you through every step of the process in Panama.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Panama City, Panama

Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)
Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)

Discover a full range of legal services in Panama, from residency and visas to bank accounts, company formation, and real estate advice. Trust Panama Legal Business.
Get Quotes

Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)

Discover a full range of legal services in Panama, from residency and visas to bank accounts, company formation, and real estate advice. Trust Panama Legal Business.
Get Quotes

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Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

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