Posted by: luisabaldwin | November 23, 2010

THE COST OF LIVING IN PANAMA

Photography by:
Luisa Baldwin
© All rights reserved

As of November, 2010

April 2012 update:  We had had a lot of inflation here in Panama.  The prices below are low for today’s cost of living projection.  Coffee, for example, has doubled in the three years that we have been living here.  Gas pretty much follows the US market and the basic food canasta has inflated quite a bit.

Some of you are in the process of weighing the pros and cons of an international relocation.  If Panama is on your radar screen, I would like to offer some critical information for your consideration.  You want to know if you will be able to save money on the cost of living. So I’ve put a few numbers together for you. These numbers are certainly not complete by any means, as there are so many variables, namely in real estate and food.  They will, however, give you a sense of the pragmatic.

FOOD: Top price for vegetables: $1.39 Top price for local fruit: $0.50 Rice: $2.20 for 5 lbs. Milk: $4.00 for 1 a gallon,  Butter: $3.59 for 1 pound ($8.00 imported),  Most cuts of beef: $2.29 Beef filet minion: $4.29, Chicken: $1.19- $2.50 Bread: $0.30 – $1.50
NOTE: The best savings when it comes to food is to eat like the Panamanians.  They eat fresh fruit and vegetables, rice, chicken, pork, beef, and fish.  The open-air markets are less expensive. These prices reflect regular grocery store prices and the prices vary by location.  Boquete, for example, is more expensive. The grocery stores carry just about everything American that we’re all used to but to buy American is expensive. If you find the same product produced by a Panamanian company it’s a fraction of the price.  My maid feeds her family of four on $45.00 a week.  I know an American couple who spend $115.00 a week.  Food is a big variable – you can spend a fortune if you don’t want to make any changes.

RENT: This is another huge variable line item in the budget.  You can rent a fancy condo in Valle Escondido, Boquete (an upscale gated community) for $1,300.00 – $1,800.00  or up to $2,800.00. for a house in this upscale gated community.  On El Salto Road, there is a lovely 2800 sq. ft. American style house that rents for $1,200.00.   We rented our small  house in El Salto for $600.00. That casita was of Panamanian construction and somewhat basic. You can rent a 3/1 Panamanian construction house in town in the $500.00 range.  My hair cutter rents a basic room in town for $200.00.  There are apartments in town in the range of  $300.00-$450.00.  There is a house for rent in Jaramillo for $200.00  If you are American and don’t know the price, the quoted price was $200.00.  (However, when ex-pats inquired, the price was $400.00!)  With that house, you would be buying all your appliances and furniture.  You would also be installing a hot water system, water reservoir and purification system.  Bit of an investment.  So, as you can see, it’s all over the map.  I have two words of caution for you.  If you have a Panamanian front person inquiring about rental prices it can make a huge difference.  They see an American coming and that justifies in their mind the doubling of the rent.

Also, the Boquete area makes a big difference monetarily.  Other places in Panama are much cheaper.  Secondly, Panamanian construction is very different than standard American construction.  You’ll find the oddest things in the oddest places.  You’ll also, as a matter of regularity, encounter bathrooms that only have a sink and toilet – no cabinets to store things.  Kitchens are the same in that there is precious little counter-top and cabinetry.  One would think that Panamanians don’t store food or pots and pans.  And one thing that’s interesting, you would think that a cement house is very soundproof but here, they aren’t.  It’s like living in a glass house.  And then there is the roofing.  Ah, most of these houses have either corrugated tin or tiles just sitting on top of wood framing.  Well, when it rains, and it does rain hard, you can’t hear each other talk much less hear the music or TV.  Boquete is very expensive, having been run up by Americans who came here five years ago when Boquete was ranked as the #1 retirement haven.  If you lived in Volcan, for example, the rents would be substantially less as would other less tourist areas. But there is a reason why retirees chose Boquete, namely the moderate temperate year round, the beauty of the place, the friendly people, and the ex-pat community.  Offered below are  four links to web-sites dealing in Boquete rentals:

http://www.viviun.com/Rentals/Panama/Boquete/
http://casasolution.com/properties/Rent.html
http://www.boqueteforums.org/index.php
http://panama.en.craigslist.org/search/apa?query=boquete&srchType=A&minAsk=&maxAsk=&bedrooms=

REAL ESTATE: Purchasing a home is the third huge variable in a budget.  The Boquete market is correcting and correcting significantly in certain areas.  While I’m no expert,  in my view,the bottom hasn’t come in yet.  It probably won’t for some time to come, although a few houses have sold this year in Valle Escondido. Everywhere else things seem to be at a stand-still.  If I wanted a lower elevation from Boquete, I could pick up 10 acres and a Panamanian home for $70K. If I wanted to buy in a Boquete gated community I would expect to pay several hundred thousand depending on what kind, size, and lot size of an American construction home I wanted.  I know a woman who just sold her fancy McDonalds mansion in Valle Escondido for $750,000.00.  If I wanted to buy a smaller lot (1/2 acre) I could find it for $20.00 – $40.00 a square meter.  If I built a modest Panamanian home in Boquete of about 1900 square feet (that includes the veranda and car port)  I could get into a home for around $100,000.00.

Building costs run from $45.00 – $75.00 square foot.   Jim and I don’t really like gated the community idea but if one were traveling part of the year, it would be great.  In other words, the range of pricing is across the spectrum.

If I wanted to buy a very well constructed custom built 2,000-sq. ft. home in Altos de Maria (on a very large lot) I have been quoted a price of $260,000.   Altos de Maria lots sell from $40,000.00 to $90,000.00. I know a woman who is selling her absolutely extraordinary and creative home for $450,000.00 in Altos de Maria.  The advantage of this area is that it is 1-½ hours from Panama City but considerably warmer even though it is up in the mountains.

BANKING: This is the really good part!  Straight savings account: 3.75% (This is with Global Bank) CD equivalent: 5.0%.  Panama does have an FDIC equivalent but if anything happened, I’m told they would pay out to Panamanians first.  Banking reserves: $0.68 cents on the dollar (Compared with $0.03 cents on the dollar for U.S. banks. The Panamanian Constitution prohibits the establishment of a central bank or the printing of fiat currency. NOTE: This is one of Panama’s greatest benefits. Panama is the stable banking center for all of South America and is the second largest offshore banking center in the world. Well, it’s not really offshore banking for x-pats.  It’s simply the bank near where they live.  It is extremely stable, very private, very conservative, never got involved with the sub-prime mess, and pays better in a risk-free CD than any U.S. Tax-free municipal bond (which used to be considered very safe but now? Well it’s anyone’s guess.  It seems the credit default swap derivative market has polluted tax-free muni bonds in the U.S. altering their risk-free status) Many of you don’t follow obtuse economic concepts such as banking reserves (that’s just about everyone, except boring me!).  Let me just say that if our U.S. banks had of had the same safe banking reserve practices as the Panamanian banking system they wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble when the sub-prime meltdown occurred and the credit default swap problems surfaced. Why is the absence of a central bank important? Because the simple truth of the matter is that all of the world’s central banks’ monetary policies are responsible for unnatural inflation, deflation, recessions, depressions, etc.   Inflation just happens to be the cruelest tax of all, well maybe the VAT will be worse but I’ll leave those macro-economic explanations for another day.  Since inflation descends upon the innocent consumer gradually, the consumer doesn’t really notice it unless unnatural inflation occurs, as it has in health-care and oil, when prices shot up. Inflation is one of the largest wealth-busters around and if you can get away from it, it’s a good thing.

RESIDENCE VISA: The Pensionado Visa is very attractive but you have to be on a pension and there’s a minimum income requirement, at least, US$1,000.00 monthly plus $250.00 for each dependent. Once you qualify, steep discounts from restaurants to utilities to airlines to tax status and hotels come along with the visa. The lead-time to permanent status is 7 months – 1 year but you get the benefits once you’re issued the temporary card.  Legal fees cost anywhere from $1,300.00 – $2,300.00.  Choose your attorney carefullyThere are quite a few other Visa options available. MovingtoPanama.com states, “the Pensionado Visa is considered to be among the best retirement programs in the world, the Panama Pensionado program offers excellent incentives such as:

Panama Pensionado Visa (Retirees Program) – Universal Information

* Import tax exemption for household goods
* Tax exemption to import a new car every two years
* 25% discounts on utility bills
* 25% discount on airline tickets and 30% on other transportation
* 20% discount on doctor’s bills 15% on hospital services if no insurance applies
* 15% off dental and eye exams
* 10% discount on medicines
* 20% discount on bills for professional and technical services
* 50% discount on entrance to movie theaters, cultural and sporting events
* 50% discount at hotels during Monday to Thursday, 30% on weekends”

HEALTH-CARE: We know a couple in their late-fifties to early sixties who have major medical insurance for $125.00 a month with a cancer rider. That’s for both of them.  Most people just pay out of pocket for every day issues and insure for major medical. A one-hour visit with a doctor and yes, he’ll spend that much time with you if you need it, is $5.00. For $30.00, doctor’s also make house calls if need be. According to our insurance agent (and therefore pretty accurate), if you come down with a cancer, the cost from start to the finish of your treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy is $20K.  Radiation will be more.  A knee replacement is 2K each.  Eye surgery is 2K each.  A hip replacement is up to 3K per hip.  We have had comments by ex-pats that they would never go back to the U.S. for any health care services. In fact, a friend in Panama had a quadruple by-pass in South Africa.  He is completely comfortable with any future health care he may need here in Panama.  Panama has every diagnostic tool that the U.S. has and caring doctors and nurses who aren’t in a rush. The doctors aren’t as “money-focussed”. Panama is much better and dirt-cheap. In fact, everybody we have talked to about this subject has concurred. Panama has better health care. Go figure. Many Panamanian doctors are educated in U.S. and South American medical colleges but come back home to do their internships.  If you want to be particular, there is a John Hopkins hospital in Panama City with a satellite facility in Coronado.

DENTAL:  Here are some quotes given to me by a local Boquete dentist (so we know they are the correct prices): Crown: $350.00, Root Canal: $200.00, Post with Restoration: $150.00.  Here is a quote by a dentist in David (1 hr. away from Boquete) X-ray $25.00, Deep cleaning: $75.00, Regular cleaning: $40.00, Root canal molar: $300.00 – $325.00, Root canal pre-molar: $225.00, Root canal front: $200.00, Post: $75.00, Crown: $325.00 (including temporary crown), Implant: $1,700.00 (including local), Partial prosthesis: $500.00, Consultation: $10.00.  What is that?  About 25% of U.S. prices?  I’ve had dental work done here and been very satisfied.  As with everything else, you have to do your homework and find out the good dentists.  But I’ve also had bad ones in the U.S.  Really bad US dentists who have cost me teeth.

BEAUTY PARLOR/BARBER:  Pedicure: $8.00  Barber hair cut and beard trim: $3.00

CAR/AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE:  Automobile insurance is a lot cheaper.  We just paid $242.00 for an annual premium including roadside assistance (towing, gas, etc.)  We bought a 1999 Toyota 4 Runner limited edition.  In mint condition, this car came loaded with just about everything including leather interior and skylight, this car cost us 10K + registration, sales tax, etc.  This was a little under U.S. Blue Book value.  We just paid $48.00 for an oil and lube.

MAID/GARDENER:  Maid’s wages are $1.25/hr. The gardener makes a little bit more.

CABLE/SATELLITE TV:  $67.00.  Sky is the best for us.  They have more English speaking channels and cable news outlets than Cable Onda.  Just a note of interest on TV.  It’s just not quite as good as U.S. TV.  They do have a lot of the weekly series that we all like but they’re a little behind the production release curve.  We do download programming to our computer and watch it.

WATER: $10.00 a month

ELECTRICITY: $49.00 a month average.  If you run a dehumidifier, electric stove, and electric dryer it will cost you a good bit more.

GARBAGE: $5.00 a month

PROPANE: $5.35 a 25 lb. tank (hot water, stove, gas dryer) You’ll use about 2 a month if you don’t run a dehumidifier, electric dryer, or stove.  It’s cheap because the government subsidizes propane.

BUSES: The buses are really cheap. If my memory serves me correctly, it cost us $12.00 to get from Panama City all the way to David, which is up by the Costa Rican border. The buses run frequently and are efficient.

TAXI: The taxis are cheap in Panama. It will only cost you $3.00 to get all the way across Panama City, which is 20 kilometers wide. That’s the good news. The bad news is you have to know the prices or they’ll get you.

HOTELS: That lovely casita at Isla Verde in Boquete that we rented for a week was $60.00 a night based on a 10 day stay in low season. Our hotel in Bocas, Bocas Paradise Hotel was $50.00 but we rented it for a week. The Chinese Mausoleum close to Altos de Maria was $38.00 And the Marriott Courtyard in Panama City – well don’t ask. American prices but a gentle segue into Panama.  Prices increase during the tourist season.

RESTAURANTS: This varies a lot. If you eat the local Panamanian food, the cost is about $2.50 for a complete meal.  If you eat in a middle of the line restaurant it can run you $7.00-$13.00 (but the upper price is for a fillet) Expensive restaurants? Well you’ll have to ask someone else!

CAR RENTALS: $45.00 a day! Actually the car is $25.00 a day but they get you with mandatory insurance which makes up the difference.

GAS:  As of 11/2010, $3.08.  Unfortunately, the price of gas is determined on the worldwide futures market.  What goes up in the U.S. goes up everywhere gas isn’t subsidized.

MAIL:  No mail delivery as there really are no addresses!  We took out a mailbox at Mailboxes USA.  It’s around $30.00.  Getting parcels is a problem.  It takes about 2-3 weeks and they tack on all sorts of charges.  You only get around 4-5 lbs. a month allocation and then they start charging you by the measure of a gram (which is just about nothing) if you go over weight.  You can end up paying in the $100s if you’re not careful and go over your allocation.  Better to get a big suitcase and bring what you need when you go back to the U.S. for a visit.

THE POSITIVE ASPECTS OF PANAMA:

It’s absolutely gorgeous!
The currency is the US dollar – so no conversions (this is a big deal)
The infa-structure is in tact. The Americans built it. So electricity is pretty dependable and the same as the U.S. It goes out with the big storms but they get it up and running pretty quickly.  Same thing happened where we lived in California.
There is no recession in Panama.  2009 GDP growth was 4%.  Projected 2010 GDP growth 2.5%.
The water is pretty good with the exception of Bocas del Toro and some parts of Boquete. We brush our teeth in it and wash our dishes, etc. but drink bottled/filtered water, which is what we did in Los Gatos. Most people who build put a triple filtering system and ultraviolet light on their water delivery (about $1,000.00).  That’s what we have in our new house.  Al also has installed three water holding tanks.  We never run out of water.  By way of comparison, if you do get a little bug, it is nothing compared to Mexico and Montezuma’s revenge. All who have traveled to Mexico are familiar with that issue
The banking system is so much better, more conservative, and stable than the US banking system.
The people are genuinely friendly and have a positive attitude towards Americans.
Once you get a feel for the real-estate picture – there are great deals and, in some places, much better prices than in the U.S.
It’s a much freer country. In other words, there isn’t a regulation for everything you do.  And you don’t feel like the government is in your living room 24/7.
There are just a few surveillance cameras.  I only have identified one in Boquete.
Panamanians have very respectable family values. They love, honor, and respect their elders and love their children.
There is a rising middle class in Panama. In Boquete, for example, I know there is poverty but it’s not easy to find except with the indigenous Indians, who, by the way, are not suffering because of it.  They are very joyful. The Panamanian people can thank the Americans and Europeans for their relatively newfound prosperity. When Americans showed up the local people sold their land for development.  Panamanians were then able to finance new businesses and gainful employment.
Panama is pretty safe. If we were to compare US figures (which I don’t have) vs. Panama figures for violent crime we would probably see Panama come in way behind the US.  I feel totally safe in the streets during the day.  I never fear that someone will run by and snatch my purse.
There is no identity theft that we have detected in Panama.
President Martinelli (center right) has a very good reputation and is working hard to get the cycle of corruption reversed, including putting the corrupt government officials from the previous administration in jail and firing current corruption where he finds it.  He’s raised the Social Security payments for the poor.

THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF PANAMA:

Until you know the prices, buying things is a big hassle. They see a Gringo coming and like to up the ante by quite a bit. Once you know the prices, that problem goes away. Jim didn’t like this part at all!  But, for the most part, the problem has gone away now that we’ve been here for a number of months.
If you see it in the grocery store and want it – buy it!  It may not be there when you need it.
The tropical humidity and heat along the coastline is too hot for us.
Husbands love to go out and play, if you know what I mean. It’s the Latin way and it’s hard on the women.
There has been an unnatural but localized inflation in the cost of housing (but it’s correcting). Inflation can be defined as too many dollars chasing after too few goods. This inflation is totally influenced on a local level in the areas where ex-pats have settled and in Panama City where building has been going on like crazy.
When you get out of the tourist areas, inflation is normal.
Latin cities are not that great looking. But the country is where it’s at anyway, so it doesn’t make that much difference. With the exception of Panama City, most people are just using the cities to gain access to goods and services.
Sometimes you just want to get on the plane for the U.S.  Frustrating things happen, like having to wait in line at the grocery store for a long time.  Or taking your car to a repair shop and no one speaks English.  You have to stop and ask yourself, “OK, what do I really have to get done today?”  And usually it’s just cook dinner.  So you shrug your shoulders, chat with that other x-pat standing in line (you meet a lot of them in the grocery stores), and patiently resign yourself to living in a third world country.
And speaking of third world countries, while a whole lot of Panama is looking good, with a thriving middle class emerging, the look of poverty is still there, particularly with the native Indians.  They’re not unhappy, nor are they suffering but the look is evident in localized area pockets.
There is no mail system and no addresses.  Even our checks don’t have addresses.  X-pats take out a mailbox at Mailboxes Etc.  It’s expensive.  There are General Delivery services however, and mailboxes that can be rented – if they have any left.
The way petty theft was described to me by a resident is, if you leave a nice pair of tennis shoes out, someone may come onto your porch and lift them. While most wouldn’t come into your home, they are capable of checking your windows to see if they can reach something inside. So you have to have an awareness of this and keep the outside clear of your stuff.  Here in Boquete we have been having a series of break-ins.  They won’t break glass but if you leave a window open they will climb in.  This is probably the worst aspect of life in Boquete.  However, the new Chief of Police is very good.  Break-ins are now rarely heard of.
If you are jumpy about bugs this isn’t the place for you.  It’s the tropics.  There are scorpions, (not a lot but we’ve gotten rid of about one a month) spiders, and the occasional poisonous snake.  Many ex-pats fumigate with an oderless organic pesticide inside and around the permimiters of their homes.  It pretty much takes care of the propblem.

WHERE WE STAND:

We have noticed that we are happier here than we were in the U.S.  A sense of hopelessness seemed to have taken over where we lived. It seemed like every day we got one phone call and e-mail after another of yet another casualty high-tech lay-off. Life changing and wealth-busting lay-offs in Silicon Valley became entirely too casual with companies getting rid of people just to make the numbers in a given quarter.  Those that survived this terrible cycle of lay-offs complained bitterly about the abusive and insecure work place, particularly those over the age of fifty.  It was tragic to have highly experienced and educated MBAs bagging your groceries or renting you your DVDs.  We started asking ourselves how could we thrive in an atmosphere where just about everybody we knew was experiencing the economic destruction of job-loss?  Every time we turned on the news or read the paper we found out that millions of American’s life savings were being destroyed by the financial calamities. For caring people, this was extremely hard medicine and certainly didn’t set the stage for the “golden years”!  Being free from that burden counts for a lot when it comes to quality of life.  While politics may not prevail in certain areas in the U.S., they did in the Silicon Valley area where we lived.  Perhaps it was because of the dire economic straights the state of California found itself in.  Here in Panama, the only people talking about American politics are the newcomers.  Most of the rest are just living their lives and enjoying them.

We feel more financially secure here.  We know our retirement funds are safe.  We don’t feel like we’ll go broke if some vital medical or dental situation arises. We feel uncertain about health-care delivery of services under the new Medicare cuts but we know we’ll get the critical medical services here, should we need them.  We’ve cut our living expenses in half and yet we live pretty well.  We are both just about able to live on one Social Security income!  What’s not to like?

Both Jim and I are hounds for good views and we certainly have a feast for the eyes where we live.  It’s a great way to start each day and the view never grows old.  So many places in Panama are truly beautiful.  The climate is great here in the mountains, 72 degrees year round and we actually enjoy the afternoon storms during the rainy season.  We’ve made some really good friends here.  Everybody helps each other out.  Boquete is a very supportive community with many services available for the x-pat community.  We haven’t been lacking for anything.

While poverty is always hard medicine to see you have to realize that the poor in Central and South America really aren’t suffering as much as you may think.  There’s a Social Security safety net for them here in Panama and they enjoy their families and native traditions.  I can honestly say the poor in Panama are a great deal happier than most Americans.  They are more self-sustaining in a tropical rural setting.  It’s just that it’s hard to look at it.  We do try to help out when we can.

The language is a barrier for Jim and causes him frustration as he learns to speak.  Customer service is somewhat lacking, although they do have a helpful attitude, as nobody here is going to rush for anything!  You have to loosen up on your expectations and learn patience.

Finally, and I’m not going to brush this issue under the table; there are occasional robberies occurring here in Boquete.  Most of it centers on those fancy American-style homes that are cropping up around Boquete.  If you build Panamanian style the odds of an event diminish somewhat.  We have a neighborhood watches with walkie-talkies and foghorns and a loyal well-treated native caretaker (the best defense) behind a gate helps too.  But the best news is the new police chief.  He’s very good and just about brought the crime rate to zero.

All in all, as long as things in the U.S. continue to be dismal and hopeless in terms of jobs and cost of living, Panama is better, much better.  I will say this; leaving family and friends behind is really hard to do.  Going through the business of re-establishing yourself in a third-world country is often tedious and frustrating and a big deal.  But you just deal with each challenge singularly and then when the task is accomplished, it’s over.  However, although an international move is complicated and takes a lot of effort and ability to adjust to changing dynamics, for us the benefits definitely outweigh the liabilities.  Sometimes in life you have to think out of the box and we did.  We ran for quality of life, a shot at happiness, tranquility, and beauty. Our goal was to figure out how to live well on one Social Security income so we could save our principal for unexpected expenses.  We got it!  For us, this has been a successful solution in making lemonade out of, sad to say, U.S. lemons!

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Responses

  1. Thank you for your hardwork and research. Excellent and informative website. I have been waiting nearly two years for my pensionado visa which was granted under the old law. Because it took so long (not the lawyer’s fault, highly recommend Beth Gray & Co, but changes in the new laws and immigration training staff on those laws, know one’s fault, just circumstances), I started to wonder if I was doing the right thing. As you say, “less to worry about in Panama, than back home”. I live in the UK and American friends who have visited can’t understand how we manage to live here with costs, taxes, fuel ($8.50 gallon). Now I know I am making the right decision. My only regret is friends I am leaving, but I have already made a great deal of friends in Panama.

    Thanks once again.

    -=ray roscoe

    • Hi Ray,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. What you are experiencing with your visa application is not uncommon. These kinds of things happen with some frequency. Our favorite saying is, Welcome to Panama!) You referred to the price of gasoline in the UK so I would like to refer you to an article I wrote some months back entitled, “Is Inflation Coming to Panama?. Jim and I are anticipating some inflation here in Panama because Panama is on the US dollar. Just scroll back on the website to find the article. And stop by for a visit on your next trip!

  2. Thank you for your article. As I write this, I am 4 days away from moving to Panama with my wife and dog. I am moving from Canada and as I write this the temperature is -20c outside.

    I will be moving to a gated community called Costa Pedasi, which is in Pedasi, Los Santos province. It is our dream home built to our specifications located on an ocean front lot (Pacific side). It has been hectic to say the least. I did do my planning well because the total cost of the move including the house has been within 1% of my calculations. This is over almost two years of planing. If anything, my advise to anyone planning on moving to Panama is plan well in advance and always have a plan B, C and D to cover the unexpected. Things are done differently in Panama and one has to adapt to it. I have already applied for the pensionado visa and it has been approved and is ready for final processing when I get to Panama. It took 9 months to process with no hassles. We did obtain a temporary 1 year stay document so we were not subject to any 3 month limit stay. Some places also accepted this document to give us the pensionado benefits.

    Like you, yes it is hard to leave family and friends but we have already made many new friends. Winter has become very hard on us and we, like you, want, quality of life, a shot at happiness, tranquility, and beauty

    About 60% of the gated community will be from Canada. We have already met many of them and yes it is important that we all support one another and help one another out whenever needed. My wife and I are looking to integrate into the community in Pedasi and like you we hope to help those that are needy in any way we can. Regardless of our financial position, we feel we are guests in their country and integrating into their culture including learning Spanish is a good way to show our appreciation.

    Once again, thank you for your inspiring words. I have learned much from people who have gone before us and like you and them will probably post my own experiences to add to those who will come after us.

    • Hello Pierre,
      Thank you for your kind words. Good research, good planning, and good actions! I hope you enjoy your new life. Maybe, when the dust settles, and you want a coffee capital of Panama adventure up in the mountains, we can do a house exchange. You for a more temperate experience and we for a beach experience. I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed in our home!

  3. Hi,
    Your photographs are beautiful. I am an ex-pat considering about retiring and living in Panama. Your article is very good and very helpful!

    • Hello Mayra,
      Thank you for your kind words. I aim to please!


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