The Cost of Living in Panama for Expats


The cost of living in Panama may not be the cheapest in Latin America, but when you consider all the positive factors that lure lots of expats there each year, it comes out high on the value scale.

You’ve got good air connections, a dollar economy with low inflation, easy paths to residency, good retirement incentives, and year-round beaches to enjoy. There’s terrific health care at attractive prices,廉价酒, and low tariffs on imports. If you don’t like the heat, you can just go up to a higher altitude to find a more temperate climate.

Kris and Joel Cunningham were living in Sarasota, Florida, the kind of place many northern Americans dream of retiring to. They had no idea how they were going to make it on their earnings, however, when retired. They were paying $1,200 per month on their mortgage and taxes. Selling it and renting wouldn’t help much. “The house next to us, similar to what we have now in Panama, was renting for $1,500 per month,” she adds. They’re not paying anything close to that though: their rent in the city of David is $385 instead. With lower utility bills, food bills, and medical costs, they are very happy with their new life and feel much more confident about their finances.

巴拿马永远出来顶部在每个月写这个题目的出版​​物世界上最好的退休天堂。大多数这些出版物都有谁住在这里或在那里他们拥有的股份商业利益的编辑,所以采取了一些怀疑。不管你怎么看它,虽然,这是一个赢家几乎在每一个类别中,除了成本,而那些下去急剧如果你没有在首都安顿下来。它的pensionadaprogram for retirees is superb and the threshold to earn those perks is low from a proven income standpoint.


American Jim White worked in IT for many years, rising up the ranks in management. About four years after his daughter was born he discovered the retire early movement. He and his wife Lisa eventually realized they could speed up that process if they moved somewhere cheaper. They eventually went on “an exploratory recon mission” to Panama in 2017 and hit a few different locations that sounded interesting. They ended up in Boquete, where they loved the climate, the driving distance to the beach, and the expat community.

Two years later, after putting some more money away, they sold everything and headed south. Now they live in style on around $3,500 per month for the three of them including expat health insurance and a small storage unit back home. (See more on his expat life。)

Thehealth care系统在巴拿马是优秀的,到这是一个医疗服务的目的地很多外国人谁不生活在这里的地步。在获得手术很多苍蝇,有重大牙科工作完成后,或花时间在医院一个季度的价格,他们不得不以其他方式支付。

You’ll make fewer sacrifices here than you will pretty much anywhere in Latin America if you want what you had at home. There’s fast internet, good prices on electronics, reliable electricity, a competitive cell phone climate, and a lot of the shops and services you’re used to. Of course you also get some of the same side effects of all that: consumerism, strip malls, and a culture that revolves around the automobile.

你永远不会太远这里虽然当你想要去放松的海滩。在这里,您可以畅游在加勒比海的早晨,在汽车跳,和午餐时间游泳在太平洋。这也是观鸟,自然的探索和冒险的天堂:哥斯达黎加没有拥挤的人群,并在rates that are not such a splurge


Panama has a relatively wide array of places to choose from to live in, each with a different personality. The specific spot can impact the cost of living in Panama a great bit.

您可能不得不采取巴拿马城出来混的,如果你是一个严格的预算,但如果你是一个双薪夫妇或者你是一个愿意与他人分享的大型公寓可以更容易。罗西贝尔is a British freelance writer who has covered Panama a lot for major publications. “Overall, I rarely spend more than $1,200 a month on my living expenses, even though I live in the capital. My rent is a quarter of what it would be back home and every condo I’ve lived in has a communal gym and swimming pool included.”

There are multiple places with Americans living in Panama and a sizable population of retirees and expats from other countries as well. Here are the main ones, but there are plenty of other beach and mountain towns to check out if you don’t need to communicate in English only.

Panama City– The closest thing you’ll get to Miami after heading south (good and bad). No need for your own car here and there’s even a metro now.
Coronado- 海滨度假胜地小镇资本的一个小时南部。一个在巴拿马原有的外籍人士社区。
Valle de Anton– Just 120 kilometers from the capital, this highland interior area has cool evenings, hot springs for soaking, and relaxed living. A safe and upscale option.
David——第二大城市,但在alt稍高itude and not as congested as the capital.
Boquete- 花卉,咖啡,探险活动,冷空气一个流行的高原地区。的首选谁想要在巴拿马退休。
Bocas del Toro– A string of islands popular with tropical paradise seekers, rebels, and outcasts. You won’t need a car, but you’ll probably need a boat.


Housing Costs for Expats in Panama

如果您在巴拿马城拉公寓价格在网上,你可以做双重考虑。大多数的这些5000 $一个月在水面上高楼顶层是不是针对你虽然。他们的目标市场是人们喜欢的企业副总裁工作的国际公司,或逃避委内瑞拉人,巴西人,阿根廷人和制作银行存款人次。对于许多“游牧资本家”谁漫游全球寻找商机和税收优惠的投资,巴拿马被看作是必杀技。它拥有低税率,限制法规,强大的银行系统,和有限的官僚机构(只要你聘请一些法律上的帮助)。因此,有很多考生昂贵的公寓,无论是租用或购买。

That’s just one side of the city, however. After all, $1,000 to $1,250 a month for a local is a good white-collar salary, so they’re certainly not paying $2,000 per month for an apartment. They are living in less ritzy neighborhoods outside the central business district, with more than two people in a big apartment or house with multiple bedrooms. If you live on the outskirts of the capital it’s not difficult to find a nice apartment for less than $600. Crowdsourced site says rent prices in Panama are half what they are in Miami.


罗西贝尔took her time and got the word out each time she was looking, however, ending up with good deals. If you just search the listings geared to expats, it’s hard to find a nice place to rent in a good part of the city for under $1,000 per month. Check Craigslist or start surfing the web in Spanish to see more realistic options.

一旦你获得超出资本和黄金沙滩的发展,价格大幅下降。克里斯和乔尔坎宁安每月支付$ 385的大卫,巴拿马的边缘一个很好的中产阶级社区一所房子,他们喜欢它。“我们有树林和我们后面的河流,加上所以感觉真的安全有到附近只有一条路。我们通过本地专业人士谁,只是可爱的人包围“。

A cursory look online at housing rental prices around Panama turned up plenty of affordable places. I found a few one-bedroom places and large furnished studios in Boquete for $450 or less per month including utilities and a large two-bedroom furnished townhouse in the same city with a gourmet kitchen for $900. A three-bedroom furnished apartment in Volcan was going for $650.

在波多黎各Armuellas(靠近哥斯达黎加)一套两居室的海滨别墅被列入了$ 450,而与在科克莱一个带游泳池的门社区的美式风格的房子,大约距离海岸15分钟,上市提供每月$ 650。我发现2100平方英尺大卫去为$ 300 3BR房子。我也发现了多种在$ 1,000或每月少巴拿马市黄金地段的公寓。威廉希尔篮球投注

Former Texan Richard Kongable lived in a few places in Panama before settling in a rural area near Volcan, on the side of a mountain. “I like that I never need heat, I never need air conditioning, and there’s always a gentle breeze. I’m on the edge of a valley, with a volcano on the left and two rivers. I can see islands in the ocean even though it’s an hour and 20 minutes away.”

理查德租他的房子多年一个月$ 300,并认为他将不得不当美国老板把它出售给最终离开。相反,业主陷入健康问题,需要在匆忙卖出,所以,看不到买家,理查德得到了半价的1600平方英尺的房子:$ 25,000。

在黄金地段的价格不断攀升,虽然巴拿马经济继续以较快的速度增长。“很多你读什么International Living而这样的出版物是日期的价格了,说:”理查德,“或者他们只显示你的异常情况,让你在未来的会议大呼过瘾。在大多数情况下,你只会被来这里了一会儿,环顾四周寻找一个了不起的交易。在这样的Boquete地方有来自谁是回国或外籍人士移动大量未公开的租金,不想离开自己的房子是空的。你只是通过口耳相传,以了解这些。”

When Jim White moved to Boquete from Ohio, his family first secured a short-term rental in a nice complex for a month to stay in while they looked around. They thought they would end up in a house, but they couldn’t find one they liked. Eventually they found a fully furnished three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in a gated community for $1,100 a month. Water and internet are included, plus the complex has a great gym, a racquetball court, and two swimming pools. They pay $80 for a propane tank that lasts for months, around $80 per month for electricity.


“We have beautiful grounds, the mountains beside us, and some other expats to talk to in English,” he says. They’re close enough to town to walk, so they don’t need a car. “We’re paying on the high end for here though,” he says. “The average cost of an apartment in Boquete is probably more like $700 to $900 for a nice-sized place.”

If you are looking to buy in Boquete, prices are creeping up again after hitting a wall and dropping during the housing crisis in the U.S. a decade ago. You can build a piece of land you buy from $40 to $100 per square foot depending on how fancy you get. When purchasing a condo or house, most fall in the $80 to $200 per square foot range in and near town.

Chuck Holton eventually settled in Valle de Anton at 2,500 feet in altitude with his wife and two kids. He was in the military, then worked as a stockbroker for 10 years and realized that all his older wealthy clients had one regret: they didn’t spend enough time with their kids. So he started looking for ways to restructure his life. He became a writer working at home,a book author, and since 2004, a war correspondent and videographer. He realized he could be based anywhere with good air connections and reduce his tax bill significantly by移居国外, so the family of seven moved to Panama. “I save more in taxes compared to what my U.S. bill was than what we spend here, total,” he says.

“我们曾在巴拿马花了一年时间,当我研究了一本书之前,但我们想在某个地方有点凉,我们并不需要空调所有的时间。巴耶 - 安东是一个步行城市和文化上它仿佛回到20世纪50年代,一种安全而乏味。无犯罪可言,孩子们可以无后顾之忧遍布骑自己的自行车。”

他们租了一年,以确保他们有良好的市场感觉。然后,他们买了一个固定器,上自当地市场,其装修,美国标准。他们卖了,买的,这是布展准备中心另一栋房子的权利。查克称自己的区域“巴拿马的阿斯彭,”一个地方的精英有自己的避暑山庄。所以,他们更多的5000多平方的房子是$ 330,000。“你可以买一个地方一个半小时的路程的三分之一,”他解释说,“但我们在高转售价值的黄金区域。除非你愿意做一些升级,还有这里不多低于$ 300,000。”威廉希尔篮球投注

One big advantage of Panama is that this is one of the few Latin American countries with a banking system that will extend mortgages to foreigners. It takes some patience, but you can finance a home with as little as 20 percent down and interest rates are not as high as in most of the region. Also, many developers have set up the financing for new projects and they will have an interest in guiding you through the process.

伟大的Panama Healthcare and Hospitals

Expatriates in Panama rave about the health care they receive. From the time they book an appointment (or get a same-day house call) to the invoice they receive after a hospital stay, it’s all a pleasant surprise, especially for Americans. You get the good parts of the American system—well-trained doctors who speak English, the latest equipment, and gleaming clean hospitals—but without the for-profit incentives and layers of insurance executive riches that come with all that up north. If you have any health issues, this aspect is a big reason the cost of living in Panama will seem like a great bargain.

The four largest hospitals in the capital are all affiliated with major U.S. ones, including the Punta Pacifica one with John Hopkins. By most measures, it’s the best hospital in Latin America. “But at 1/10 the cost for a lot of procedures,” says Chuck Holton. “As one example, I got a gall bladder treatment in the USA that was basically a sonogram and some pain meds and counting the emergency room visit fee, it was something like $2,500. My wife had the exact same treatment here later at the best hospital in the country, same sonogram and pain meds, and it was $139. Plus she got much better service, with more personal attention.”


一般去看医生 - $ 20到$ 40(不是共同支付,整体成本)
专家访问 - $ 30至$ 60
Doctor house call – $50
Dental cleaning – $35 to $45
Tooth filling – $50
烤瓷冠 - $ 350
Hip replacement surgery – $12,500 total

You will get far better care than you’re used to with all this as well. The doctor or dentist won’t be in a rush to move on to the next patient. There will be more nurses around. You won’t have to worry they’re going to charge you $5 for one Q-tip or an Advil. People will actually take the time to explain what’s going on and make sure you understand.

When Jim, his wife, and daughter went to the best dentist in Boquete the first time, the total cost for their cleanings, checkups, and his daughter’s panoramic dental x-ray was $170. The adult cleanings took around 25 minutes each—very thorough and done by the dentist herself. A follow-up appointment for his daughter to have an orthodontist look at a crooked tooth was $25.



There is a national health care program legal residents can tap into, but it’s too low-grade for most. It entails longer waits at public clinics and few choices. Another alternative is a private insurance program, especially good to avoid catastrophic care charges, or a discount program where you pay a monthly fee to get deep discounts across the board when you need care. Those retirees in the pensionada program also receive discounts automatically of 10-20 percent by showing their ID card.

请记住,但是,各大医院都在最大的两个城市:巴拿马城和大卫。博克特和博卡斯 - 德尔托罗不是从后者太远,但如果你在是在海滩上遥远的北方,或者在圣布拉斯群岛一间小屋,你可能要很远的非日常护理旅行。


You can drink the water from the tap in most of Panama, so that means you’re less likely to get sick from the food here than you are in many other developing countries. Unfortunately, the food is definitely not the reason you’re going to move here. While there are good gourmet restaurants at the high end, especially in areas with lots of expatriates, the everyday cuisine is boring and uninspired. Expect lots of fried plantains, beans, rice, and meat stews.

Even where there are a lot of restaurants, like in Boquete where there are at least 75 for a city of 35,000, the variety can seem rather limited. “For some reason, Italian food is all over the place here,” says Jim White, “but there’s only one Mexican place and not much Asian food.”

如果你自己做饭,但并有更多的想象力,你会发现新鲜的食材与工作赏金。在巴拿马不同的高度意味着你可以买到既热带水果和浆果山,椰子和新鲜的咖啡。In the Chiriqui province of David and Boquete, you’ll be very close to where much of the country’s fresh food is produced. I saw people beside the road there selling ten-kilo bags of mixed fruit and vegetables for $5 and it would take you quite a while to get through them all without a big family.


According to, costs for groceries in Panama City are about 60% that of New York City and roughly half the price for restaurants. Both will be far less in other areas. Expect to pay $3-$5 for a meal of the day in a place where working-classlocals eat, up to $30 for a nice non-hotel restaurant. “We might spend $45 or $50 for three at a pretty nice place in Boquete,” says Jim, “which is not bad compared to the States. You can easily spend that much at Applebee’s. But last week three of us went to a local Panamanian food place and stuffed ourselves with giant portions for $11 total.”

Kris Cunningham says she has been pleasantly surprised by low costs in Panama, particularly groceries. “Food is definitely a great deal, especially fruit and vegetables. If you spend $20 on those it will be more than you can carry. We paid two or three times more for almost everything at home, including meat and fish. If you buy what the locals buy and cook, living here is very cheap.”

You won’t pay much to have a drink with your meal. This is one of the few countries in the world where alcohol isn’t taxed at a higher rate than other items. Since taxes are so low here anyway, prices in Panama’s liquor stores and supermarkets beat out the lowest duty-free prices you’ll see anywhere in the world. This is one of the few countries where I’ve seen Chilean and Argentine wine selling for less than I could buy it on sale in a low-tax USA state. Across-the-board liquor prices are the lowest I’ve seen anywhere on the planet in my travels.

“我经常在吃饭glittering rooftops with obligatory sea views, which sets me back $20,” says Rosie. “A mixology masterpiece at a cocktail bar ranges between $5 and $12.” Last time I was in Panama City, I found my own rooftop spot in Casco Viejo and we sipped two mojitos for $8.


Panamanian Transportation

Maybe you can blame it on the USA’s long domination of the country, but this is not an easy place to get by without a car. The good news is, it has the best roads in Central America. When there are bus connections available between cities, they’re not very expensive. The two-hour trip from Panama City to El Valle is less than $5 and an express bus from the capital all the way to David is around $15. Transportation will not be one of your big cost of living expenses if you can get by on public methods.

The big Panama City infrastructure change in this new century (besides在塔卡纳升扩展)是首都新地铁。它是在2014年按时完成,大概在预算之内,并且运作良好。第二条线在2019打开,运行13英里,更线在工作。票价是每趟一个非常合理的35美分你买公交卡后。See more on that here

There is only one train in the country, plying the route between Panama City and Colon along the Panama Canal. It’s not of much use for residents except to hit the duty-free mall.


Domestic flights are relatively inexpensive, with the one from the capital to David being $120 or less. Because Copa Air is based here, you also have lots of options for getting to other countries, including in Europe and Asia.

The smoke-belching city buses are mostly phased out, replaced by more efficient ones. Taxis in the capital are supposed to run $1-$4 depending on distance in the central area, but you’ll have to ask about the fare before taking off if you don’t see a meter in use. Uber is my main form of transport,” says Rosie Bell. I usually pay around $3 for a 30-minute journey, less for short hops.” Jim pays $3 to $8 for a taxi trip in Boquete.

罗西也喜欢从首都岛度假的选择。“过夜旅行,美丽的圣布拉斯群岛可能会花费在$ 100和$ 150,其包括食品,环岛游,世界级的潜水,门对门运输的4×4”。您还可以得到公共巴士到沙滩上科罗纳多为低至$ 3

beaches are never farafter moving to Panama


Thepensionada计划在巴拿马退休年龄外国人在大多数方面在世界上最好的。外国人谁可以显示每月$ 1,000的收入(或购买的财产,并显示出每月$ 750)获得津贴,不论年龄。威廉希尔篮球投注你可以提前退休,并得到什么似乎像“资深折扣”已经和买车的少。威廉希尔篮球投注你只可能需要购买年金或在巴拿马的银行存钱显示什么样子了养老金。


• 50% recreation and entertainment activities, such as movies, theaters, and sports and other public productions
• 30% off inter-city buses, trains (well, the train route), and ferry boats
• 50% off the rack rate of hotels from Monday to Thursday, 30% on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
• 25% discount of food in licensed sit-down restaurants
• 20% off doctor consultations
• 25% discount in monthly electrical consumption up to 600 kilowatts

您也可以带来高达家居用品$ 10K进入该国的免税。这一切的最好的部分?如果法律的每修改,就可以继续享受的生活保障,只要你仍然是一个合法居民一个祖父的基础 - 它们的福利。

countryside near Volcan Baru

As for monthly living expenses besides the big ones, the Cunninghams pay $46 a month for a bundled internet and cable TV package, $10-$20 a month or less on their prepaid cell phones (“Everyone seems to use WhatsApp here” she says), and around $45 a month on electricity. If they ran the air conditioning constantly that could triple, however.

米尔·索普,谁运行外籍钱播客I’ve appeared on before, sent me his electricity bill for a 4,700-square-foot penthouse in Panama City. He gets enough breeze up there that he rarely uses air conditioning, but his electricity bill averages $45 per month.

理查德·蒙特估计他花约160美元h on utilities, including a satellite TV package with lots of English channels, then spends $300 a month on a son’s private school. “All in, counting car and gas expenses, the three of us probably spend around $1,700 a month,” he says.

“凡是是劳动密集型便宜得多这里,”查克说。“因此,家庭的工作人员是一个讨价还价,说每天$ 20一个管家或园丁。伟大的事情是,如果有什么事,你不想做,你可以雇用某人做:让汽车固定或去排队等文书工作。我们付了某人露营了一夜是在移民局排在第一位,并得到我们的居留手续整理出来。他被控我们15块钱。”


Panama is one of the easiest countries in the world to get a retirement or residency visa and it’s a big reason the destination is so popular with expatriates. You only need an income of $1,000 a month to qualify, plus $250 for each dependent. Or show $750 a month coming in if you own property in Panama worth at least $100,000. Alternatively, you can meet this qualification with a letter from a Panama bank stating you earn at least $250 a month in interest from your deposits with them. If your pension/social security is low and you want an easy path to residency, it’s hard to beat Panama.


如果由于某种原因,这个选项是不是一个很好的匹配,你仍然可以申请从一开始就获得长期居留签证,与其他选项的参赛资格。你必须在当地银行存入$ 5,000,但是这对于大多数人来说较低的障碍。然后,你有三种选择。最复杂的方式来获得居住权是成立当地法人的业务。另一种方式是有来自巴拿马公司,一般需要技巧当地不具备就业的正式报价。最简单的办法是买一块地产。这不要紧,如果这是一个建筑很多你从来没有管理的基础上或最便宜的公寓,你可以找到可能。当你是一个业主,你是容易轨道上居住。

甚至还有解决这个低杠一种廉价的方式。你可以在柚木农场情节投资$ 17,000,然后用小投资你是一个业主。做对,这甚至可以通过自我导向的爱尔兰共和军完成。查克·霍尔顿和他的家人都在一个“友好国家”商务签证,需要启动一个本地的公司。

如果你有兴趣在这里生活,做一些戳到处找签证/许可证是适合你的。另外有一些人在那里你可以通过投资$ 30万买你的方式,成为一个完整的公民,企业投资者签证的规范要求的$ 60,000的六年居留许可投资的$ 160 000投资和雇用当地人,或农业签证。

因为它相对容易的居住在这里ne way or another, the government doesn’t take too kindly to foreigners trying to stay permanently on a tourist visa. “They have tightened things so you can’t cross the border for the weekend and come back over and over, actually living here as a tourist,” says Kris Cunningham. “Now you really need residency to live here.”

生活在巴拿马的成本相对较低,你自然有一些美中不足的地方,不管你有多少滥情文章读到它。这仍然是发展中国家,有很多相同的问题,你会发现在别处Latin Americain terms of public services, pollution, traffic, garbage, and inefficiency. You’ll still deal with frustrating bureaucracy and the local press is kept on a tight leash.


总体来说,生活在巴拿马有超过弊更加号。它的easy air connections, light taxes, good health care, good banking system, easy visa process, and dollar economy make it a no-brainer for many retirees who don’t want to deal with a tougher adjustment in a place like Guatemala or Ecuador. As always, if you’re thinking of moving to Panama, I strongly suggest doing a trial run so you cansee if the place speaks to youor not.

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One Response

  1. 杰伊 05/27/2020