What’s the cost of living?
That’s the question on nearly everyone’s mind when they think about retiring overseas.
Even if you’ve got a big budget, you still want to know the sorts of expenses you might run into in a new place.
Naturally, your expenses and mine will never line up perfectly. You might be happy in a smaller, less expensive house. Or maybe you like to eat out five nights a week. But after tracking what we spent over eight months here in Las Tablas, Panama, I can give you a realistic cost of living picture.
This is always a big chunk of the expenses. In the US, it’s usually the biggest expenditure, but not here! We’re renting a fully furnished and equipped three-bedroom, two-bath home in a subdivision on the edge of town. When I arrived, the only thing I had to purchase was towels.
Along the way, we’ve spent some money on the house. Our biggest expense was a washing machine.
We’ve also bought some pots and pans, dishware and glasses because what was here was pretty basic. We fenced in the back yard to keep our dogs from wandering off. We bought materials to make window screens. These were all optional expenditures but they’ve made our lives here easier.
This is actually our biggest living expense. Food is one area where there’s a huge amount of variation, depending on what you like to eat and how often you eat out.
We enjoy a varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. We eat out a couple times a week, and we purchase a few higher-cost imported items. My husband likes imported beer, for example, and I have a weakness for chocolate.
Our food budget also includes the food for our three small dogs. There’s not much selection in prepared dog foods here, so we’ve been mostly making our own.
Our electric bill is very reasonable, exceeding $40 only once since we moved in. We run air conditioning only in the master bedroom. The other two bedrooms have ceiling fans, and we have several stand fans we’ve purchased for other spots. We don’t watch much TV but the computer’s on most of the time.
The landlord pays for the water, so it’s not included in the figures below, but it runs about $7/month.
Cable and internet are the biggest expense. The package we have gives us basic cable and high-speed internet for $56 monthly.
Phone service runs about $30/month. That includes $17 for our Vonage VOIP service so we can talk with friends and family in the US and prepaid cell phones that we pay by the minute for calls and text messages.
Until last month we relied on cabs, buses and our own two feet to get around. We haven’t had the car long enough to have good numbers on what it costs to run it, but I’ll give you those in future updates. I did average in the cost of renting a car for a week while we looked for a car to buy.
Locally, taxis generally cost $1.25 around town, the bus to Chitre is $1.50 and buses to various local barrios are dirt cheap.
Postage and Shipping
We have an account at a nearby Mailboxes, Etc. store. We receive a small amount of mail forwarded from the US each month, as well as shipping for a few online orders. It’s not a practical solution for shipping heavy items.
This is a small category for us. No doctor visits as of yet. My husband has a couple of inexpensive prescriptions he gets from the VA back in the US, and I buy some vitamins and supplements.
This is another zero category for us as we haven’t really needed to replace any of the clothing we brought from the US.
What this Budget Doesn’t Include
This budget doesn’t include medical insurance, entertainment expenses or travel to and from the United States. Everyone’s expenditures are so different for these items I didn’t feel it was worthwhile to include them. It’s strictly a snapshot of what we’re spending for daily life here in Panama.
Without further explanation, here’s the breakdown.
|Postage and Shipping||$46.00|
Yes, You Can Live for Less — or a Lot More
This budget is a little bit higher than we had hoped when we came here. If we wanted to lower it, we could.
If we looked, we could find a less expensive rental, and we could also spend less each month on rent if we were willing to buy our own furniture. We could cut back on eating out and on some of our more extravagant grocery store purchases.
But for two people and three dogs living quite comfortably, it’s pretty good.
I’ll be coming that way in April on a scouting mission … perhaps we could get together for dinner and you can give me some advice on where to look for rentals, areas to stay away from etc?
Send me an email and we’ll try to work something out 🙂
Mikkel & Connie Moller says
We just arrived in Pedasi to live, wanting to connect with others in the area. If you are interested in connecting please email and we can meet. I am 71 and my wife is 61, retiring from California to begin our “Third Life.”
HAL MCKINNEY says
Hi Mikkel & Connie,
I am single & retired. I am looking for a two bedroom/two bath condo or a single family home on a nice clean beach close to Pedasi to lease or buy. My budget is up to $2,000.00 a month to lease or up to $250,000.00 to buy. Any information and/or suggestions would be appreciated.
8281 DOUBLE EAGLE COURT
OOLTEWAH, TN 37363 USA
Well, first of all, I’m not Mikkel or Connie… they run a completely different website.
Second of all, condos aren’t exactly thick on the ground here. Have you actually visited the area?
Third, those figures are much higher than you need to spend. Please, do your research and find out what realistic costs are – otherwise you drive up prices for everyone if you agree to something exorbitant.
Hi my name is penelope castanos I have planes to go to las tablas in Nov 2 looking for an apartment for few days can you help me I will just love to talk to you hope to here from you soon thanks for your work
Murdena MacDonald says
Hi, Love your very informative blog! Thank you.
I am a single female in my fifties, and am looking to winter in Panama. Looks like Las Tablas may be the best choice for me.? I live in Canada and would like to spend Dec/Jan till mid April in that area. Looking for affordable, safe and quiet area. Do you have any info you can offer me?? Would like to find a contact person as it is a bit daunting to achieve this on my own.
Thank you for your time.
Compared to the US and Canada, EVERYTHING here is safe and affordable! As to a quiet area, you have to understand that the culture here is noisy. If you’re living in a neighborhood, you’ll have some noise. If quiet is really important to you, look for something out in the country and not in town.
Best thing to do is come down and stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks while you look. Check out this article for suggested places to stay.
Jill Parisi says
Hi, thanks for posting the real cost of living in this town, will be going on a scouting mission within the next couple of months, maybe we could have dinner and you could advise us on some good rentals? We would very much appreciate your advice. Thanks again, please contact me.
Would certainly love to meet you when you’re in the area if our schedules mesh. Send me an email! As to rentals, it’s a very disorganized rental market. . . pretty much all word of mouth.
Linda Luna says
Im so happy to find your website,the fact that you aren’t selling anything ie property,tours etc makes it feel like you are giving an honest account of your life as an expat.
I noticed on one of your You tube videos that you were talking about food and your health issues and I was wondering about local farmers markets and health food markets in your area?
By the way you look like you have slimmed down in the more recent video!
Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Nope, no property tours here, although I do plan to occasionally write about interesting new property developments in my area 🙂
Getting fresh vegetables and fruit from local growers here is very easy. There are plenty of roadside stands, and even in downtown Las Tablas there are fresh vegetable stands. Health food markets?? Well, the Rey store in Chitre has one small shelf area devoted to “health” foods. For them it means artificial sweeteners and whole wheat flour. . . not exactly what you’re used to in the US. There are some supplements I can get here, others I order in from the US.
Hello, I am so glad I found this site.
I live in the Dom.Rep.right now. I am German, but lived almost 20 years in South Florida.
Because the Dom.Rep. is pretty expensive I am looking for another country where I can live only from my pension from Germany which is 1250 dollar a month.
I am a single woman, do you think I could live on this amount in Las Tablas pretty good?
Renting an apartment, groceries, cab rides 1 to 3 times a month eating out, maybe saving a small amount?
Thanks for your time
This is very helpful information. We are several years away from retiring but Panama is high on the list. We will plan to make vctn visits to the spots we are looking into. I wonder what the costs wiell be in 5-10yrs.
Glad you’re finding it helpful. I have no idea what costs will be down the road, but I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be higher than they are today. 🙂
Mary Hubbard says
We are flying to Panama City on April 24-27 and then we will rent a car to see more of Panama. After doing some reading and looking at the map of Panama, I am hoping you can direct us to a central location so we can have a home base and do day trips. I’m thinking the Azuero district may be the area but if you have a better area to see more beach and mountain areas for retirement please suggest them to us. Also, are there any hotels you could recommend in the Azuero district?
If you want something that’s really central, look at Penonome or Santiago. But if you’re only here for 3 days you won’t have time to see much. If you’re in Penonome or Santiago you can easily visit Coronado, El Valle and some of the areas closer to Panama City; the Azuero Peninsula, including Chitre, Las Tablas and Pedasi; and Chiriqui Province including David and Boquete. Keep in mind that roads here are probably not like the roads you’re used to, so if you think you can drive 100 miles in 1-1/2 hours you’ll be sorely disappointed.
If you do decide to stay in Las Tablas, I always recommend Hotel Don Jesus. They have a website.
Mike, S. Oregon USA says
Is there car rental in Las Tablas, also how many expat retirement developments have sprung up so for for those choosing to expat. in around 7 years to that area? How can a person find details of these before taking a factfinding trip to the area?
Can a person get by but should learn Spanish.
Does Las Tablas/Pedasi have a lot of most needed conveiniences for everyday living without tripping to Chitre’ all the time.
Looking into just such a factfinding, area touring vacation to that area soon; perhaps one of the Tripadvisor recommended B+B places or hotels.
Thanks for this Forum!
S. Oregon USA
No, there’s no car rental in Las Tablas – closest is in Chitre. Expat retirement developments? In Las Tablas? None.
You’ll need some Spanish. Forget everything you’ve read on other websites about English being common. That may be true in Panama City or Boquete, but definitely not true on the Azuero.
In terms of everyday items — groceries, etc., you can find what you need in Las Tablas if you eat what the locals eat. If you want foodstuffs from the US you’ll have to go to Chitre from time to time.
Mike, S. Oregon USA says
Is it pretty mach always Greenery in that area?
What I mean to add previously; is there pretty much continuous greenery on the Azuero?
And, are there reasonable expat housing developments (overly pricey to stretch ones income on?) opp’s in Pedasi, Chitre, or even just abundant rentals in your…..Las Tablas?
Las Tablas appears very nice indeed.
Thanks for elaborating!
Mike, it’s very green during the rainy season. During the dry season it gets less green, and this last one was particularly dry so everything got quite brown. The amazing thing is, just a few drops of rain and it greens right up again. 🙂
There are no “expat” housing developments in Las Tablas, although there is at least one on the drawing boards. There are some in Chitre, and of course Pedasi has quite a few in various stages of completion and occupancy. The developments designed for expats are much pricier than the ones marketed to local people.
I’ve finally gotten time (in the USA) to read all you’re topics here,
Now that you’re in country and can look back, do you think it might be recommended that an expat first land themselves in say larger……….David; where there might be more to initially accommodate and steer from?
I’m not being critical of YOUR journey, just thinking of a starting place that might be initially more facilitative of MY journey to the Panamanian interior as an expat.
I sincerely admire what you’ve accomplished; pretty inspiring!
I too, hope to escape this constant turmoil here in the US for the a much less stressful, keeping up with it all, Panama!
I hope this post makes sense.
Mike, S. Oregon USA says
Sorry, a bit off the Azuero but…..have you been around and what do you think of Santiago; as a place to land an steer from?
Bob L says
I am starting to hear about some real difficulty in opening a bank account in Panama.
I was thinking of going, staying in David.
If a bank account is so hard to get, how do you pay your rent, etc. ? Auto deposit of
Social Security from the States ?
Bob, we had no trouble at all opening a bank account. We had a current account holder bring us in and introduce us (this DOES make a difference here!). We had our reference letters — one for each of us — from our US bank. We had a reference letter from our landlord and from a Panamanian friend of my husband’s. We filled out the paperwork, waited a few days for everything to be approved in Panama City, and had our open account the following week. We don’t bother with Soc. Sec. direct deposit in this account, it still goes into our US account and we just transfer the funds.
It’s not the same process as what you’re used to in the US, but it’s not the big deal some people make it out to be.
Wondering about transporation from Panama City to Las Tablas. Also, can you rent for a month at a time in a secure area without spending a ton. We can afford about 1200 per month for everything. Is the even hopeful?
Bus service from Panama City to Las Tablas is inexpensive, frequent and easy. Less than $10, and buses leave every hour.
As to renting in a “secure area,” if you’re looking for gated communities here there aren’t any. But renting furnished for a month is no problem, especially if you come during the off season, May 1 – Nov. 1.
Do you know of a good site to look for long term rentals?
You’re not going to find any good Las Tablas rental information on a website. If anything’s listed online, it will be priced very high — gringo pricing. Your best bet is to plan on spending a little time in a hotel or B&B while you look. Everything in Panama’s interior happens by word of mouth and personal contact. Check out these articles…
As a retired Canadian, I may lose my pension if I am out of the country for more than six months. Do Americans not face a similar issue? Because of that my travel is during the winter months.Naturally I want to go somewhere warm ( Jan to March). I am looking at Panama as a possibility. Are you aware of any short term rental situations? Is renting a car the best way to get around, or is the expense too prohibitive in comparison with local transportation options? Open to sharing with another non smoking female heterosexual. What legalities should I be aware of that has impacted you?
US citizens don’t have the same rules re: Social Security that you do with your pension, so we don’t have to do the 6-month shuffle.
There are plenty of furnished rentals available for varying lengths of time. You won’t find them online, though. Best thing is to come and plan to spend a couple of weeks at a hotel while you look. It’s all done by word of mouth here, and for that you need to be present.
Check out Where to Stay in Las Tablas, Panama, for suggestions.
Renting a car here is fairly expensive, but public transportation is cheap and reliable. Between taxis and buses you should have no trouble getting where you want to go for a reasonable cost.
Norma …why would you lose your pension .. I am a new retiree in canada ,I think IF YOUR BORN in Canada …then you can collect from anywhere in the world . The only part you cannot keep is your Guaranteed Income Supplement . which is usually just a cost of living top up. I hope I’m correct about this , otherwise I should stop looking for a place like Panama to retire to . thanks K
how would I go about becoming acitizen of panama
Do you mean a citizen, with a passport and voting rights? Or do you mean a legal resident?
Either way, it starts with residency. Some types of residency (Jubilado, for example) do not lead to citizenship. Others do. Your best bet would be to consult a Panamanian lawyer who specializes in immigration.
Hello I am a single female in my early sixties trying to decide where I should retire to? How long have you lived Las Tablas? Do you you of any singles that live in Las Tablas? When I read anything about living out of the US it seems like everyone has a partner. What are would you recommend for singles wanting to move to Panama?
Jenny, Las Tablas is a great place for single retired ladies! Three of my best friends there fit that description. It’s extremely safe, people (both local folks and expats) are friendly and helpful, and it’s reasonably easy to get around even without a car. It’s also very affordable.
I got a little taste of the single life there when I first arrived. My husband had stayed behind in Florida to wrap up some loose ends while I scouted for a place to live. Once I found a house to rent he and the dogs joined me, but I was there for about a month on my own. “Pas de problema,” as they say. . .
How does banking differ from the states.
hi just reading Jenny’s post about being a single female looking to retire somewhere?? Searching Panama , Costa Rica , Mexico . I too am in 60 s. And single. It is good to know that Las Tablas is safe.
John Rees says
My wife (age 66) and I (age 68) are considering moving from Chicago, IL to a town as yet undetermined in Panama. We enjoy a healthy banking account and have a significant amount of equity in our 3 level home. With Soc Security and several pensions our monthly cash flow exceeds xxxxx [edited for privacy!] per year. With that said, I would think that we would be able to afford a fairly comfortable lifestyle in Panama.
I subscribe to International Living (IL) magazine and they say very nice things about the expat communities available in Panama. However, I’m somewhat of a skeptic (born and raised in Brooklyn, NY) and I would appreciate the “real truth” about moving to Panama so any observations, comments or advice would be appreciated.
You’re right to be skeptical about what you read in IL. They’re in business to sell magazines, conferences, etc., and I find them time and time again misleading people about the realities on the ground. I have written a couple of articles for them, but do not plan to do so in future.
What you see throughout this site is the “real truth” as I experienced it. This budget is for 2012-2013. It did go up a bit, mostly for groceries and eating out.
With your income (which I removed in your question above!), you can live like a king outside of Panama City, and probably like a prince inside the city. In Las Tablas and Chitre you’ll find enough expats to have an active social life if you choose that direction, and local people are friendly and welcoming. We developed close friendships among both communities.
Your best bet is to take a few months, and visit. Rent for a couple of months in one area, then in another and another until you get a good flavor for the different parts of the country. After that you’ll be much better equipped to make a decision about where to settle.
J. Michael says
Hello and thanks for all of the interesting and pertinent information. My name is J. Michael and I plan on retiring to Las Tablas, Panama in Jan. 2016. My Social Security income of XX/mo. seems as though it should be enough. Coming there solo so will only need a nice 1 Bdr. Apt. Food expenses should be much less, of course! I don’t drink so no need for bars and such. At 64 then, I will want to fish and beach, mostly. I’m a Landscape Architect by profession and might want to work some and selling my car, would like to know where I could buy a nice, 200CC Motor Scooter like a Kymco? Could you, possibly, let me know where, locally or if I could pick one up in Panama City upon my arrival? And about working as well?
Yes, you should be able to live comfortably on your Social Security income (I redacted the exact amount for your privacy).
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to work as an employee for a Panamanian company unless you get the “Friendly Nations” visa, which includes a work permit. However, you could set yourself up in a consulting business and not have any issues if you do it properly.
As to buying a scooter, they’re everywhere. You’ll have a better selection in Panama City, of course. You’re smart to sell your car and not bring it into the country — everyone I’ve known who’s done that says they’ll never do it again.
We are a retired couple living in a condo in Florida. Would [t be better to ship furniture or buy there. Our car is clear. How about cost (or transportation? Would you do it again? Hate to bother you but we are too old to make a mistake. Does my being in a wheel chair blow the whole thing? We would be extremes grateful for your view
Bill and Florence
Hi Bill and Florence,
First of all congratulations on your willingness to make a change! Panama’s a beautiful country, and we were happy there. So yes, we’d do it again.
Your being in a wheelchair is problematic, though. Panama does not have the infrastructure in place that you’re used to the US. Navigating around the streets of any city – from Panama City to Las Tablas to a tiny village – you’ll find uneven sidewalks (when you find any at all). Wheelchair access ramps are few and far between as well, but I believe they are less of an issue than the uneven sidewalks.
Getting on and off buses would also be extremely challenging.
My best advice to you would be to visit and see for yourselves. Until you do, discussing whether to ship your furniture and car down is premature. (Although everyone I know who’s brought in a car says they wouldn’t do it again.)
Hope this helps!
Brian Cosier says
My wife and I have recently arrived in Pedasi. We are exploring Azuero area as part of our retirement reconnaissance. Most of your comments are really dated (2013, 2014) which leaves me wondering how accurate are your cost of living numbers. Las Tablas may indeed be cheaper than Pedasi, but with Carnaval in full swing, we couldn’t find any room. Probably just as well from what I’ve heard.
So far, I’ve not found anything near the costs you’re quoting. We leave for Ecuador March 13/16. Maybe that will be better?
Brian, you’re right, the numbers are from a couple years ago. However — and this is an enormous HOWEVER — you absolutely cannot possibly think the prices you’re seeing for short-term rentals at Carnaval time are indicative of what it would actually cost to live there. At Carnavan, the population of Las Tablas increases tenfold. People sleep on the beach, they cram several families together on the floor in a small house, they rent out rooms, people move in with relatives and rent their houses for more in 5 days than they earn in 6 months working. It’s like assuming a swanky New Year’s Eve party including champagne toast at midnight and a 5-course catered dinner should cost the same as a Happy Meal at MacDonald’s.
While Las Tablas, and Panama in general, may not be the super low-cost destination it was a couple years ago (and what place is, after all?), please don’t make any assumptions based on visiting at the highest of high seasons. It’s very affordable for long-term rentals. Best time to look? In late April or May, after the visiting snowbirds have left…
Great information! Thanks.
Chris Crawford says
Hello: My name is Chris and I am seeking advice on retiring in Panama. I am taking an early retirement (age 62). My income including Social Security will be $ about $1000.00 dollars a month. I was wondering if this would be enough to live on. I am in good health and have no issues that would cause me to have major expenses I would appreciate input and advice. Thank You.
When I first moved to Las Tablas, the answer to your question would have been YES. Today I’m not so sure. It would really depend on how you want to live. $1,000/month is probably not enough for you to eat out frequently and buy imported US groceries, or keep a car in Las Tablas. However, if you’re looking for a quiet life and are willing to go into a smaller town, it could be quite manageable. Or, find someone to share a house or apartment with to keep your housing costs down.
To find an affordable place to live, plan to stay temporarily in a hotel or B&B while you look for something that will work for you. You will not find affordable rentals online — those are for gringos and you definitely want to pay the same price that a local would pay.
Wilhelm Platzer says
Hi, here is Willi Platzer and we plan on renting from Walter Amedee ther first floor of his beach house. We found it on line for US$1493.00 for two months. I cannot get in touch with on-line. So do you have any idea if this is a steep price. The house is furnished.
I thank you very much.
$750/month for a furnished house at a popular beach? It’s a good price. I’m familiar with the house – several of my friends have stayed there. It’s known in the area as “casa blanca.” Your living area is extended by enormous wraparound porches, furnished with plenty of hammock hooks. Sadly, what used to be an unobstructed beach view is now blocked by another building… but it’s still a good deal for a stay at the beach. It’s an easy 15-minute drive to Las Tablas for shopping. Internet is lousy, though, but that’s the case all up and down the beach, there’s not much you can do about it.
Wilhelm Platzer says
Thank you very much and in the mean time I was able to connect with Walter.
You are a precious human being, may you enjoy life to the fullest – always.
Wilhelm Platzer says
Hello my new-found friend, I am so grateful for your insights.
Now since we are going to be there for almost two months with maybe
some friends joining us later in January, are there any German speaking
expats there with whom we also could get acquainted – just for fun.
I was an entertainer and could, if it would make sense, bring some music
with me for EVERYONE to enjoy. I don’t want to wear out my good fortune with you though, but thank you for your reply already in advance. We came from Austria in 1964 with two children.
Peggy shuffler says
Thanks for all your info, just like everyone else we are coming to panama in 3 weeks, to look at the possibilities of finding a place that speaks to our heart, for retirement.
any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated, we have picked the cities pedasi, boqeute, to explore, we are doing it by car, but have taken your advise to travel only by day time! I understand it is rain season now, would that slow us down?
Looking forward to more info from you, btw may we take you to lunch or dinner while we are there?
Hi I enjoyed reading your post on everyday costs of living in Las Tablos / Los Santos area. I am looking to purchase and must choose between Las Tablas area and Bocas del Toro area. Are you familiar with Bocas? I like to be not far from beaches, and a quiet town that has fresh produce markets, and I like to hike in natural areas.
No, I’m not at all familiar with Bocas. My suggestion would be, spend several weeks in each place before you make any long-term decisions. It seems like Bocas is one of those places you either really love or really hate. You won’t know until you get there.
I went to look on Airbnb for a rental in Las Tablas and the monthly average is around $1300! I see you only pay $400 for what sounds like a lot of space. I know Airbnb rentals cost more per day/month than a traditional rental where you sign a contract, etc… but could it be that the spread is that wide? Do you know of site where I could search for furnished sublets? My husband and I are planning to stay in Panama for 3-months for starts. Thanks!!
I’ve said this a bunch of times — see, for example:
You’re not going to find a good deal online. Most of Panama, and all of Las Tablas, works through personal contacts and word of mouth. The only rentals you’ll find online are gringo priced.
I know you’d like to have the certainty of having something lined up before you arrive, but doing that will cost you a lot more than it needs to.
My advice: contact my friend Bonnie at Casa del Puerto, or book yourself into Hotel don Jesus, for 1-2 weeks, then look for a furnished rental once you’re there. You’ll save a lot of money.
Let me know how it works out.
Thanks for the helpful info!
Sandy Suide says
Hello, we just returned from Las Tablas – Uverito Beach area and are looking for a longterm rental at the Uverito or Playa Estero for minimum 6 months rental – starting November 2017 thru April 2018 or longer. We would appreciate any leads or contacts you can provide. Would like to pay $500 -600 monthly. Thanks for any help or suggestions.
Sandy & Ptah Suide
Erick Wisler says
Great site really. Different. Direct. Honest. Real. Great value. I really like the approach.
I am Swiss and could possibly enjoy “early” retirement in the next year or so hence looking like so many at maximizing my pension while discovering new horizons and keeping myself as fit as possible. Simple and enjoyable life suits me perfectly. Gated properties definitely a no go 🙂
I am wondering if over the course of the last 4 years you noticed significant changes related to expats attracted by your region and driving prices up? or is your region still too far from Panama to really be impacted? no plan from some investors to develop some village into the local Boquete (for example Pedasi) ?
I did not read your entire site and you may have provided an update to the 2013 figures above? or did prices remain more or less stable and those figures are still valid?
One more question – sorry to be so demanding – you mention the air conditioning in your room. I guess that is a necessity (for me it sure would be 😉 but is it pretty much needed every month at least during the night or that is more from May to December?
Again, thanks for your site. Very informative and I like your style 🙂
Hi Erick, I’m glad you’re finding the site helpful.
Let me see if I can answer each of your questions.
1. Yes, prices are higher now, especially rents and food. Sadly I’m no longer speaking from personal experience – we returned to the US to be closer to my husband’s elderly parents. But I’m still in close touch with friends in Panama, and this is what they tell me.
2. You’ll want air conditioning in the bedroom year-round. Temperatures in Panama only fluctuate a few degrees from rainy to dry season, and the humidity is high all the time. (Rainy season is a degree or two cooler but more humid.)
I was able to adjust fairly easily to the daytime heat, but having the cooler air at night definitely helped me to sleep better.
If heat is a problem for you, you might want to consider living in the mountains where it will be cooler. Even a change of 1,500 feet makes a noticeable difference in the temperature.
All the best,
Erick Wisler says
Thank you so much for the answers and the advice. According to you would el valle de Anton be a reasonable choice? I understand all is a matter of personal choice though 🙂
Sorry to read you had to go back to the US but I understand this was driven by good reason. Family should certainly be the best we have.
I wish you, your husband and your families all the best,
Erick, El Valle is a great choice, and I know several people who are very happy there. Before you write it in stone, though, you need to visit and spend a little time in each place.
The next step would be to find a long-term rental, say 6-12 months, to try it on for size. Only then should you consider buying.