Cost of Living in Panama
Last updated on Feb 01, 2023
Summary: The cost of living in Panama is generally considered to be quite affordable. A nice one bedroom apartment in Panama can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per month, while a nice two bedroom apartment can cost from $700 to $1,500 per month. The cost of dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Panama is usually around $15 to $20 per person.
Is the cost of living in Panama high?
We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Panama, they wrote:
"The cost of living in Panama is generally considered moderate compared to other countries. Costs for daily needs such as groceries and services are relatively low, while housing and certain luxury items tend to be more expensive," explained one expat living in Panama.
"The cost of living in Panama is generally considered to be lower than in most other countries. It is possible to live relatively cheaply in Panama, with a good quality of life. The prices of basic necessities such as food and utilities are generally lower than in many other countries, while prices of luxury items such as electronics and imported goods are generally higher," said another expat in Panama.
Will I save money living in Panama?
"Yes, living in Panama can save you money. Panama has a lower cost of living than many other countries, especially when it comes to housing and utilities. Food is also relatively inexpensive, while the cost of consumer goods are not as low, but still more affordable than in many developed countries. Panama also enjoys a favorable exchange rate, especially when compared to the US dollar, which means that your money goes farther here," explained one expat.
"Met. Not everything is inexpensive, but once you decide what you do and don't need, it is very easy to live within a lower budget and make retirement stretch," said another person in Playa El Uverito.
What is the average cost of housing in Panama?
If you are thinking about moving to Panama, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"The cost of housing in Panama can vary widely depending on location, type of property and other factors. Generally, housing in Panama is considered to be quite affordable compared to other countries in the region. Prices for a studio apartment in a city can start at around $500 a month, while the typical three-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood in Panama City or other larger cities could range from around $1,000 to $1,500 a month. In more rural locations, housing is typically cheaper, with typical three-bedroom homes costing from around $400 to $800 a month," added another person living in Panama.
"About rents that is one big advantage of Panama. Rents have sky-rocketed in the USA but they are still reasonable here. You do need to do some looking. I would recommend staying in an airbnb place for a couple of weeks in the area that you like so you can take your time looking for a place to rent, If you are going to rent long term it is probably cheaper to buy your own furniture and rent an unfurnished place," explained one expat living in Panama.
What are typical rental prices for expats in Panama?
"There are homes available for lower rents in Gorgona but I'm in a condo on the beach and that is the market I’m familiar with. Furnished two bedroom, two bathroom rentals along the beach in a condo usually run from $900 to $2,000 and above. Many rents include WiFi, electricity, gas, water, trash collection. Be sure to know what is included," added another expat.
What appliances are typically included in a rental?
We asked foreigners in Panama what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:
"In the furnished condos along the beach, kitchens have all appliances.. these include refrigerator, stove and microwave, many even have washers/dryers, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. They are often furnished with toasters, blenders, coffee makers and other small kitchen appliances and table service too. Units usually have air conditioners too. It's a good idea to check the kitchen out thoroughly and see what is there," wrote an expat living in Nueva Gorgona.
About the Author
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.
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