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San Carlos, Panama

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 02, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in San Carlos, Panama: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know about living in San Carlos?

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

"San Carlos is a popular retirement destination for expats due to its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and affordable cost of living. Before retiring in San Carlos, it's important to understand the local culture, language, and lifestyle. Firstly, while English is spoken in many parts of Panama, the primary language is Spanish. Learning basic Spanish or being open to learning the language will greatly enhance your experience. Secondly, the cost of living in San Carlos is generally lower than in many Western countries, but it's important to budget carefully. Healthcare is affordable and of high quality, but it's recommended to have a good health insurance plan. Thirdly, Panama uses the US dollar as its currency, which can make financial transitions easier for American retirees. However, it's important to understand the local banking system and tax laws, which may be different from your home country. Fourthly, Panama has a friendly and welcoming culture. Panamanians are known for their hospitality and warmth, but it's important to respect local customs and traditions. Fifthly, Panama's Pensionado program is one of the most attractive retirement programs in the world, offering significant discounts on a range of services from healthcare to entertainment. However, there are specific requirements to qualify for this program. Lastly, while San Carlos is generally safe, like any place, it has its share of crime. It's important to take standard safety precautions, such as not displaying wealth openly and being aware of your surroundings. In terms of climate, San Carlos has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. It's important to be prepared for this, particularly if you're from a cooler climate. Finally, it's recommended to visit San Carlos and spend some time there before making the decision to retire. This will give you a better sense of whether it's the right fit for you," remarked one expat who made the move to San Carlos.

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What do I need to know before moving to San Carlos?

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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.

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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