The other day I wrote a post entitled “Don’t Sell Panama Cheap” comparing the lowest priced home with a nice lot that I know of in Boquete, and then compared it to what is available in the US at the same price. My point: some things in Panama MAY cost less, but not necessarily so … it depends. Depends on what and where your comparison is located.
Yes, I get my hair cut for $3 at a traditional, local, barber shop in Boquete. Salon in Panama City … about the same as you’d expect to pay in most places in North America.
You can get a meal at a typical, Panamanian restaurant in Boquete, no frills, basic Panamanian cuisine … i.e. chicken, rice and beans, salad, and banana or for variety banana, salad, rice and beans, and chicken … for around $5. Or you can enjoy a fantastic meal prepared by a real celebrity chef [David Care] at Retrogusto for around $35 including tax and a drink. That same Retrogusto dinner in North America or Europe would run you around $50 … so, again, it all depends.
Yes, you can see a doctor for a few dollars. Not co-pay, but actual cost. And likely back in wherever you can see a doctor for a whole lot less that you are paying, even with insurance, but not a lot of folks moving to Panama are looking to wait in line at a public health clinic to see a doctor, regardless of the savings. And most people are rather fussy about choosing their doctor. So … you got it! … it all depends.
Yes, there are folks who live in Panama for $700 to $1,000 a month. Heck, Panamanian retirees manage to live on $200 to $300 a month! But the style of living is not going to be what most North Americans are used to back home. If you are willing to live like a lower middle class “local” [Just an observation: many “locals” in Panama are fabulously wealthy!], living in “local” style housing, eating “local” and not being dependent on all your fresh food being packaged in plastic and imported from elsewhere, you can do it, preferably without whining. But to come all the way to Panama just to struggle to get by? What’s the point in that?
So why move to Panama?
The lifestyle is better, healthier and more relaxed. Panama is rated as one of the happiest countries on earth. The people are warm and welcoming. For a tiny squiggle of a nation, Panama has a huge and affordable coastline, great variety, a fascinating history, great ecological variety and beauty. Where else can you find a New World country with seven living Indigenous groups that were here when Columbus arrived? It is a progressive democracy with a optimistic outlook and a booming economy.
Panama is a great place to invest. Foreigners are welcome and the “Friendly Nation Visa” throws out a welcome mat to foreigners who want to live, invest and work in Panama. Panama has always used the US dollar as its currency although it calls it the “Balboa.” Most of the world regards the US Dollar as the most stable and secure currency. David, for example, has grown from a sleepy city lost somewhere in the Province of Chiriqui to the second largest city in the country and is booming with new construction everywhere. Panama enjoys a unique geographical position in the world and for over 100 years due to the Panama Canal has been the crossroads of the world. It is being compared to Singapore and Dubai. And it is very easy for foreigners to purchase and own property in Panama.[Investment & Commercial Opportunities]
Panama offers more value for your money. It’s not that Panama is “cheaper” but that it gives you more value for your investment. The real future for Panama is not for economic refugees looking for cheap, but for people looking for a safe, secure, democratic country with a booming economy where they can invest and get greater return on their investment, while at the same time enjoying a better and healthier lifestyle. [Exceptional Properties]