Budget Snapshot

So, I’m sure you’re tired of trying to figure out where’s the best place to settle down on your particular retirement requirements. Right? Friends will tell you that Paris is the best place to be, but they’re riding high on a huge investment payoff while you’re trying to figure out where your pension funds will be most easily stretched. Somehow, you’ve decided that the place for you is Panama, but where?

The following budgets can also be found in the location reports, but only here will you see them all lined up, one right after the other, for your comparison. And we’ll keep adding these budget tables as we visit a new destination each month. Keep in mind that budgets are very subjective. You may spend more on electricity if you run your AC every day. Your entertainment costs will skyrocket if you go to a bar every night and order a bottle of Chivas. With that in mind, I hope these budget tables help shed some light on the cost of living in Panama.  

Monthly budget for a couple living in Volcan, Panama (Mountain)

Rent2 Bedroom house$850
ElectricityWon't need AC, only ceiling fans$75
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$300
Entertainment Dining out, bars, playing pool, not much else in town to pay for$100
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town (to David once a week)By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$1,590
 

Monthly budget for a couple living in Costa del Este, Panama (City)

Rent2 bedroom condo$1,400
ElectricityAC can make this higher if you're not careful$250
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment Most of this cost would come from dining out as there's not a lot else to do in the area$200
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,515

Monthly budget for a couple living in Aguadulce, Panama (Other)

Rent2 bedroom house$500
ElectricityMostly from AC usage$150
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$300
Entertainment Dining out, bars, playing pool, not much else in town to pay for$200
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of townBy bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$1,415

Monthly budget for a couple living in Amador Causeway, Panama (Beach)

Rent2 bedroom condo$2,000
ElectricityAC can make this higher if you're not careful$250
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment Most of this would come from dining out or going out to the local bars.$300
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$3,215

Monthly budget for a couple living in Cerro Azul, Panama (Mountain)

Rent2 Bedroom house$800
ElectricityWon't need AC, only ceiling fans$75
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment There's not much to spend money on in the way of ent. costs, other than dining out.$100
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townGas for your car, at least $50 as you'll be heading down the mountain quite often.$50
Travel outside of town By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$1,670

Monthly budget for a couple living in Condado del Rey, Panama (City)

Rent2 bedroom condo, houses start at about $1,700$1,000
ElectricityAC can make this higher if you're not careful$250
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$350
Entertainment Most of this cost would come from dining out as there's not a lot else to do in the area$200
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,065

Monthly budget for a couple living in Penonomé, Panama (Other)

Rent2 bedroom house$700
ElectricityMostly from AC usage$200
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$300
Entertainment Dining out, bars, playing pool, going to the movies$200
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of townBy bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$1,665

Monthly budget for a couple living on Isla Taboga, Panama (Beach)

RentMost vacation rentals charge per week, maybe $500 per week. $2,000
ElectricityUsually won't pay electric in a vacation rental. $0
GasUsually won't pay $0
Telephone/Internet/CableUsually won't pay$0
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment For eating out once a week on the island, $20 each per week. $160
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townYou'll walk in Taboga$0
Travel outside of town Roundtrip ferry for two, once per week, plus $5 each way by taxi to Albrook Mall. $38 per week. $150
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,860

Monthly budget for a couple living in Cerro Punta, Panama (Mountain)

Rent2 Bedroom house$1,000
ElectricityWon't need AC, only ceiling fans$75
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$45
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$300
Entertainment Dining out, bars, playing pool, not much else in town to pay for$100
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town (to David once a week)By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$1,740

Monthly budget for a couple living in Casco Viejo, Panama (City)

Rent1 bedroom apartment$1,500
ElectricityAC can make this higher if you're not careful$250
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$50
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment Most of this would come from dining out or going out to the local bars.$300
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of town By bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,720

Monthly budget for a couple living in Coronado, Panama (Beach)

RentSeems to start at $1,500
ElectricityMostly from AC usage$250
Gas2 Small propane tanks, for gas dryer and cooking$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackages for all three usually start at this amount$50
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment You'll probably eat out a lot$300
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis are affordable, everything is close$20
Travel outside of town To Panama City and back once a month by bus$20
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,700

Monthly budget for a couple living in Panama Pacifico, Panama (Other)

Rent2 bedroom apartment$1,800
ElectricityMostly from AC usage$150
GasFor cooking and dryer (2 small tanks)$10
Telephone/Internet/CablePackage deal$50
Phone card for calling the U.S. (if you don't use Skype/MagicJack)Telechip International, for 5 hours talk time$5
FoodFor 2 people$400
Entertainment Only a few cafes at the moment$200
Routine Doctor VisitOnce per month for each person ($25 each)$50
MedicationVaries, but for my monthly high blood pressure and diabetes meds this is what I'd pay just to give you an idea$45
Getting around townBuses and taxis$20
Travel outside of townBy bus$40
ExtrasOther things you may need$50
Total Monthly ExpensesFor 2 people$2,820

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66 Responsesso far.

  1. Leon says:

    Hi There
    Just want to say thank you for a superlative Blog all the way around.
    For me it’s not about when are you going to get more info for this area and that area of Panama. For Me, I am a serious internet researcher of Panama. Visiting in 2016 for 8 Nights. So glad to have found on YouTube and now on your blog.
    Again,
    Thank you for the Superlative Knowledge base!

  2. David Black says:

    I must agree. Your site is a great resource and a big help!

    Have you done a post on what’s required to rent a home or apartment? For example, a cedula or passport, and some kind of proof of income or would paying several months in advance suffice?

    • Chris says:

      Hi David,

      I know you asked this question well over a year ago (still catching up with old comments). I haven’t done a post on the topic, not a good detailed one. But it’s on my list of things to cover in future posts. Thanks for checking out the site.

  3. ROGELIO says:

    It s important to note, that like many other things in Panama, rents are usually negotiable. The asking price for our apartment was originally $1250, but our real estate agent was able to negotiate it down to $1100. The list price is not always the final offer. If you try to negotiate, you may end up saving yourself some money.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Rogelio,

      Yes, definitely. I’d say most things are worth negotiating here in Panama. I once watched my mother-in-law talk a salesman down on a washing machine at one of the major department stores here. So anything’s possible!

  4. dennis says:

    Big guy,

    When are you going to do a piece on David?

  5. Glen says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the great information on this site and your youtube channel.

    Being a family man, would you be able to give me an idea on how much it would cost to live in Cosca Viejo in a two bedroom apartment, school (a Spanish school is fine) and other family expenses? My wife and I have two boys 6 and 5 years old.

    I found a couple of apartments on http://www.encuentra24.com/ but there weren’t that many two bedroom apartments around the $2000 mark. Are there better sites to look? We are planning a one year trip, would you recommend renting furnished?

    Thanks in advance,

    Glen

  6. Scott says:

    Hi Chris, love the videos and articles. These are very informative. My wife and I are jumping in and committing to expat life in Panama soon. I have a few questions for you. We will have a combined monthly retirement income of about $7500 (give or take a few hundred) to work with. I would like to budget for about half that and save for possible business opportunities if they arise. We don’t want the big city life so Panama City is out of the equation. However, we would like to be close enough to cure some cabin fever from time to time. We would like a nice friendly beachside community that has a healthy mix of expats. Also, we are not looking to live extravagant but would like some of the amenities that we are spoiled with in the States. Air conditioning and hot water are a must. Is this rare to find when searching long term rentals or is it quite normal. Also, we are both retired law enforcement and don’t want to be near an area where there is a criminal element. I have learned to be very distrustful of people and really want to leave that all behind when starting our new adventure. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Koko says:

      I have recently moved to the Chiriqui prvinoce (the Potrerillos area) in Panama and have photos of some plants I can’t identify. How can I send these photos to someone to help me with identification and information about the birds, butterflies, etc that may be attracted to these plants. Also, we want to replant the farm we purchased with native trees and plants for the birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. I have done a lot of research on what Panamanian trees and plants would serve this purpose but now I can’t locate a place to buy them. I have checked viveros and MIDA in Conception. Any advice on where to find local fruiting trees specifically for attracting birds, etc.?

  7. Joan Humphries says:

    I love your blogs although they seem high to me. I lived in Mexico for 5 years, and I know how to shop in inexpensive places. (I would buy only veggies and meat at non-supermarket places). I’m 72 and don’t spend a lot on entertainment except for what’s on the Internet/Cable, etc. I don’t drink alcohol so that saves as well.

    I especially love your price comparisons for various locations in Panama and have copied them and redone them more in relation to what I spend for food and entertainment and for costs for only one person. I would also probably only spend a couple of months a year there. I had planned to move to Panama when I thought my daughter was going to move out of the U.S. with her children. Now that I moved to where she lives in the U.S., I just want to get away from the cold winters! I am also considering living in a hostel rather than renting a house.

    Keep up the good work–I have also watched your videos and enjoy them.

  8. Twila says:

    Hi Chris! My husband and I, as well as two of my sisters and their husbands want to retire to Panama. Our dream is to find a mountain area where we can buy some land and each have our own houses, and work a small home farm for our own purposes. and with preferably, some mature fruit trees. Is this doable? We all are modest middle income families and from the research I have found, land is almost impossible to come by (that has water/utilities and within our income limitations) We want somewhere close to town where we can purchase organic fruits/veg/meats (not in town, but where we could drive a relatively short distance) We don’t have to have it Americanized, as that is why we want to “get away.” Some amenities would of course be great- doctors, and maybe some shops but we don’t care about McDonalds and Subways. Any input you can give would be appreciated. We don’t have 1/2 million dollars to spend but want to own. Thank you so much

  9. Yves Laurin says:

    Hi Chris
    I had seen your video on yuutube before, but never went to your website before, I was relying on a magazine from you know who to find out where I want to go for retirement only to fing out that if I want more info, I have to pay more (I do not have a problem with that as they are paying their peoples).

    I should have gone to your web site before, honest info, as neutral as one can be and you are attracting peoples on your site to sell something.

    Keep up this excellent work, am going to Panama on march 10 and thought I was going to Boquette, but not sure anymore after seeing your excellent video

    • Chris says:

      Hi Yves,

      I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this comment. Honestly it just got buried in so many spam comments. Yes, I’m very familiar with “you know who” and all the tactics. Sorry you ran into that. In truth, they provide good info…if you want to pay for it. By now I guess you’ve visited Panama. I’d love to hear how it went.

      Chris

  10. Mal says:

    Excellent site Chris, I am among those looking to move out of the US as a retired person. I would like to rent a place on or near a beach. Also want to live cheap, so I can save and travel. My income is $2,500 per month, I am single and do not need the extras.

    I do plan to visit and look around. Can you tell me a good place to stay while I look around?

    Thanks

  11. John Fisher says:

    I’m glad I stumbled upon your site. I have been considering between Panama and Ecuador for retirement, and the information you have provide her is very helpful.

  12. James Staub says:

    I too am a bit concerned about the seemingly high rents in Panama. Im presently in The Philippines where i rent a gigantic home on a quiet street, 7 bedrooms 3 baths maids quarters and a big yard for under $400 a month.
    I’ve lived in Cuenca Ecuador but found it way too quiet for my taste.People there were not very friendly as i was told. However rents were very affordable.
    I’m all full up with the Pinoy trying to scam me at every turn and all the while with a wide smile.
    My aim is to get a bit closer to the USA now that i’m getting older….
    I have monthly income of just over $2200 a month and would like to live well on it.
    1. i play tennis….are there courts?
    2. i like American TV…can i get it in Panama?
    3. are these electric costs the norm?

    Thanks Chris

  13. Sandy says:

    Hi Chris:

    I just discovered you on YouTube. It’s so nice to see a really down to earth fellow and his family doing such a wonderful job giving great advice to retirees and others. I’m a 75 year old single woman in very good health, possibly looking to live near the ocean in Panama. My income is rather meager… Only $1400 a month. I prefer not to share. Is there any apartments or condos that I may be able to afford near, for example, Coronado? Thank you so much!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks so much for your sweet words. You might be able to find something in Coronado that falls in your budget. I’ve heard of people finding a house for rent for as low as $500. The key is getting your feet on the ground and searching. I’d definitely visit and maybe stay in one of the hotels for a little while as you do your searching. If you don’t find anything in Coronado you might be able to find something nearby. Click on the Try Panama ad in the sidebar and reach out to Sarah. She might be able to help you with your search (or point you towards someone else who can help). You could also try one of the other beach areas like Pedasi. Rentals are a little less in Pedasi, the community is awesome, but I have to warn you that finding an available rental can be tough. I’d reach out to Karen at http://indacampo.wordpress.com/. She’s there in Pedasi and writes about it on her blog. Coronado and Pedasi are my two favorite beach towns right now. I say right now because I still haven’t hit them all. I’ve also heard that Puerto Armuelles is nice.

      Well, Sandy, thanks again for reaching out and I hope you find what you’re looking for here in Panama. Keep us posted.

      Chris

      • Wendy says:

        Thank you for this response to Sandy! I am bringing my mother on Thanksgiving Day (if we can get out of CT..snow!) as she is also looking to possibly retire in Panama. We will be there for 9 days and making a stop in Pedasi. I will check out your links and also make contact with Karen.

        Again, thanks so much for the honesty and the great videos of Panama!

        • Chris says:

          Hi Wendy,

          Yes, definitely get in touch with Karen. She’s a great person to know in that part of the country. I hope your trip is lots of fun!

          Chris

  14. Bob Stanistreet says:

    Great site..keep up the great reporting. Waiting to read about Chitre and Las Tablas. May come to Panama this winter. Canada very cold.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Bob. I can’t wait to get to the Azuero. I need to cover Chitre, Las Tablas, and Pedasi. I’ve been to all of them and researched them all before, but not for my Panama For Real reports, so it’s time to do them all again. Thanks so much for reading and for commenting, Bob.

      Chris

  15. Chris Massey says:

    Hi Chris:

    Did watch most of your videos on Panama location. Very impressive indeed. I liked your honest and straight forward information on the location you visited.

    I happened to visit Panama City in early March and just fell in love with the cities infrastructure and night life, though did not get a chance to visit outside the city.

    I have hired an immigration consultant to work on getting me a friendly country visa. I am in real estate and was wondering if you know good real estate company I can hook up with to sell Panamian real estate

    With best regards,
    Chris Massey

    PS: keep up the good work your doing!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Chris!

      Thanks for your kind words. You definitely need to plan another trip to Panama and get out of the city for a little while. Panama is a stunning country. To be honest with you, there are so many real estate companies operating in Panama, but I don’t work side-by-side with any of them, so I’m not sure if any are hiring or even which would be the best to work with. I’d just search online, contact a few, and see which ones actually respond in a courteous manner. The ones that are assholes I’d steer clear from, lol. Good luck, man.

      Chris

  16. Kim Aubin says:

    Wow this website it totally awesome !!! My family is in the phase 4 years from now or sooner to move to Panama and having this great info helps a lot..Thanks you so much for this great website..Now its gives us an idea or how much things cost a moth and other interesting info that will come in handy !! We are visiting Panama in January and wanting to talk to people so we can plan our move.. Thank you
    Kim

    • Chris says:

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your kind words and for checking out the site. Panama is a great place. Check out the Facebook Panama groups for tons of great info about Panama, keep reading this site, and also check out the bloggers listed in our “Other Panama Blogs” section of this website. Learn as much as you can cause January will be here before you know it.

      Thanks again,

      Chris

  17. Russell Taylor says:

    Absolutely awesome dude, I’m sharing this site with everyone. I’m planning on moving to Panama when I retire in 10 years but wanted to get a condo in the very near future. Can you recommend a repeatable Real Estate agent. Also I will be in Panama in July from the 3rd to the 14th, I would to take you and your wife out for some cocktails and pick your brain. Let me know if you will be available anytime during that time frame. Thanks again brother this is awesome!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Russell, that’s awesome man. Thanks for sharing. We’d love to get together with you when you come to town. Thanks for the offer. As far as a reputable real estate agent, we’ve been working closely with a great attorney named Gary Matteo. He handles Immigration issues for our readers and offers our readers a discount. I called him right after reading your comment because he’s mentioned to me before that he has a real estate service in his network of partners. He’s provided such great help for our readers that I think it’s a good idea to contact him regarding real estate as well. He can tell you what he knows (from a legal standpoint) and also get you in touch with whoever else you need in his network. His email is ematteo@kmgroupcorp.com. He speaks English and is very helpful. Just tell him I sent you 😉

      Thanks again, Russell.

      Chris

  18. cyndi says:

    These do not seem like very good(or budget friendly) rents. The more research I do, the more I realize, Panama is a mini America. Is there anyplace in Panama that offers the feel of a small town and holds less touristy complications? I like this blog and appreciate the efforts to show people the “real” Panama. I’m almost tempted to look at another country to settle to. If I want Americanized, I have that in America-already. Sad,because one of my own parents was born and raised in Panama more than 60 years ago.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Cyndi,

      Yes, there are plenty of places in Panama that are not Americanized at all. If you haven’t already, take a look at the Aguadulce and Penonomé reports on the site. Neither of those places are Americanized (except for the Subway and McDonald’s in Penonomé). Las Tablas is another small town that is not Americanized. Even some of the bigger places like Chitre and Santiago, have larger supermarkets and some stores and fast food chains you may be familiar with, but the rents will be lower and you won’t find such a large expat community. There are a lot of towns I haven’t had the chance to cover, but I plan to get to them all at some point. I wouldn’t give up on Panama until you’ve visited and checked it out yourself. Don’t let Coronado and Boquete and El Valle (some of the most popular retirement spots in Panama) scare you away. One of my favorite places in Panama is Pedasi, out on the Azuero Peninsula. It has a small expat community (but not all American, expats from all over life there) and it’s not Americanized at all. You won’t find a single fast food chain there and there’s no shopping mall or movie theater. Thanks for reading and keep checking the site for new info.

      Chris

  19. Lindsey says:

    Chris, THANK YOU!!! We’ve been targeting and I’ve been researching the heck out of Costa Rica for our retirement place next spring. A friend mentioned Panama and I started the research process all over. I just found your site this morning and I’m thrilled to know that Panama may now be an option for us. We LOVE the beach, not so much big cities, we want to use buses for transportation (or taxis), be close to farmers markets for our fruits and veggies, and just be able to ENJOY living 🙂

    Thanks for your insight on Panama and it’s locations. I’m going to search for Las Tablas now……

    • Chris says:

      Hi Lindsey,

      I’m so glad to hear you’re considering Panama now and that you’re finding our site to be useful. I wish I had some info on Las Tablas for you. I’ll definitely head that way soon, but as of right now I don’t have a report on that area. Thanks again for checking out the site and for commenting.

      Chris

  20. Laureen MacDonald says:

    Thank you for creating such an information packed website. Your time and efforts are very appreciated by those of us in the exploratory ‘homework’ stages.

    Laureen

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Laureen. I’m glad it’s helping you with your homework, lol. Thanks so much for checking out the site and for commenting.

      Chris

  21. Lisa Pereira says:

    THANK YOU so much for this post and your site. My husband and I are looking to relocate from NYC to Panama with our 7 year old within the next year or 2 son and your website has been such a help! Now if I could just find the best area to move to that is not far from Panama City and has a great school system, then I’d be golden. Thank you again for all of your helpful information.
    -Lisa

    • Chris says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks so much for checking out the site and for your comment. I hope the site comes in handy while you research your move. If you’re wanting to live close to the city, but outside of the city, the best school system you’ll find is in Coronado. That’s the most expat-friendly area with international schools, that’s still relatively close to Panama City. If you’re talking about wanting to be in a suburb of Panama City, but not in the actual downtown area itself, I’d consider Costa del Este, Albrook, Clayton, maybe even Condado del Rey. If you check the PFR Location Reports tab at the top of the website, you’ll see written reports and videos on Costa del Este and Condado del Rey. I should be headed to Coronado as soon as possible. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

      Thanks again,

      Chris

  22. jerry reidelbach says:

    Hi Chris, I practically thought that I was there with you on some of these towns, but we plan on retiring to David, so if you explore that area I would like to get a feel on cost of living for two if possible. Thanks Jerry

    • Chris says:

      Hey Jerry,

      Thanks for writing. I’m definitely planning to explore David. It’s a big area though (the 2nd largest city in Panama) so it’s kind of special and will need a little more time dedicated to it. I PROMISE I will definitely do David though and tell you all about it. I should be headed out there fairly soon.

      Chris

  23. florin says:

    Hey Chris, I am interested in a relocation tour also….keep me posted pls. Thx

  24. Nellie Barbagallo says:

    Hi Chris,
    I stumble on your website and I think it is awesome.

    You mention a relocation tour (friend of yours)that I would like to participate in. Can you e-mail me their website?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Nellie,

      Thanks for checking out the site and for taking the time to comment. I’ll email you with her contact info.

      Chris

  25. Stephaña says:

    Greetings Chris,
    It’s such a joy to have been referred to you’re website by a pen-pal on ExpetBlog! As with most of your site visitors I along with my family are taking 2014 to plan our move to Panama in 2015. We are young with two young children, at from retirement! We are in search of a place in Panama where we could purchase a parcel of land to live sustainably on. At the very early stages of our search, your knowledge of the areas and your honesty is exactly the kind of help we need. Currently in CO, I am a massage therapist and my husband a stone fabricator. We also have a wood lathe shop which my husband runs his FunctionArt business. What,if anything can you tell is about working there. Any info you can throw at us will be most appreciated! I haven’t watched your vids yet; waiting for husband to get home to watch them all together.
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Cheers and Much Love!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Stephaña,

      I’m so glad you found us. Thanks for checking out the site. Please, look around and check out all the site has to offer. I’m trying to give all the “Real” info I can about living here. Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you about the “working here” topic. It’s a complicated subject. Are you talking about actually holding a job here or opening a business? Please watch the videos. If you haven’t yet, check out our Youtube channel too, where you’ll find all the videos in one place. The link to that is: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6N7Ih2bjD0FjOBnDg_-Flg

      I hope you find them helpful!

      Thanks again,

      Chris

  26. Jeff Curtsinger, Pryor, Oklahoma says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for your website. It is great.
    My wife and I are coming to Panama in April, 2014 for a scouting visit. We plan on retiring to Panama in May, 2015. We have been looking at the Santa Fe area, east of Santiago. Do you have any info about that area?

    Thank you again,
    Jeff

    • Chris says:

      Hey Jeff,

      Nice to meet another Okie and thanks so much for checking out the site. I haven’t personally been to the Santa Fe area, but I’ve heard it’s really beautiful. From what I understand it’s very local though, meaning it’s pretty basic Panamanian living, with stunning views. Don’t expect to find modern shopping. I can’t wait to get to the area and check it out. If I don’t get there before you do, please write and let me know how you liked it.

      Chris

  27. Mike, S. Oregon USA says:

    Thinking Chitre might be a decent size town in he lowlands/interior to do such and expose’ over. Thanks again for all this inspiration, yur a busy man with this site.

    Mike,
    age 44+

    • Chris says:

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, Chitre is definitely worth visiting and reporting on. I’ve been to Chitre before and I like it a lot. I love how Chitre has a mall, small movie theater, and large supermarkets, while all the areas around it don’t. So it’s kind of an escape for those living in Las Tablas and Pedasi, but it’s still small town enough that you don’t feel like you’re stuck in a city.

      Are you here in Panama yet, or in Oregon? And is Chitre an area you’re considering here in Panama? Just curious. I’ll be hitting Chitre this year for sure. I can’t wait to get it all done. 2014 will be a very busy year! Thanks again, Mike.

      Chris

      • Mike, S. Oregon USA says:

        Have ’bout 6 more years (for workin’ 4 30 & pension) until I can feasibly jump off this hamster wheel in the US; gets more tempting with each election, and year of escalating taxes etc……. I think you get the idea Chris, and before I get on a soapbox that so many more else feels same about. I will be voting with my feet and passport relatively soon!

        Chitre is one of several larger towns in the interior that I might consider. Maybe not as big as David but if it still has alot of the ammenities….it’s right about in the center of the interior it seems. There might be “better” towns but really looking for the best place to initiate, and branch/explore from at start as a renter. We’d like to travel and get around, live frugal, drink wine and be natural-ourselves. Chite could be the place to start out this way, yes?

        Cheers,
        Mike

        • Chris says:

          Yes, Chitre could be right up your alley. I like how Chitre has an older part of town, but then as you branch out a little bit you find these nice, quiet, pretty suburbs. Chitre is kind of in the center of Panama, just down the Azuero Peninsula in the area that’s considered the dryer part of the country (not as much rain). You might want to escape during carnaval though, as that whole area gets crazy. Chitre and Las Tablas are the main two carnaval hotspots.

  28. David Hunt says:

    This information is helpful to have but a bit depressing. It doesn’t look like rents are any lower there than where I am in the US.

    When are you going to do Boquete, since International Living is always pushing that location.

    • Chris says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment. Which budgets are you most interested in? The city destinations I’ve done are quite similar to many places in the States. I’m working on the Penonomé report, which I should have out on the 15th. I like that area a lot and just to give you a heads up, I set the rent at about $700 for a 2-bedroom house. I’ll definitely get out to Boquete. I haven’t rushed out there because of the fact that IL and LIOS are always pushing that area. It’s a very cool area, full of expats, but it’s not all that affordable anymore. I’ll be getting to the really popular areas like Coronado, El Valle, and Boquete soon. I wanted to do some of the places that aren’t as popular first. I’ll email you separately so we can chat.

      Chris

      • Mike Carlson says:

        Yes,

        Many will hold that anyplace in the interior is “in the middle of no-where”. I beg to differ. These places may not be very close to big things but are likely decent places for most trying to make the escape; but I sure hope we all don’t over-run Panama like we’ve done in the US.

        • Chris says:

          Mike,

          You’re absolutely right. Some of these towns in the interior are great to live in. I like Chitre, which actually has a mall, movie theater, and several large supermarkets. And since it’s so close to Las Tablas and Pedasi, you have great options for getting to the beach quickly. I’ve heard Santiago is great. I like Penonomé a lot and of course, Coronado has a lot going for it. El Valle is an awesome mountain town. Panama has so much to offer. If you’re willing to go outside the city, you can definitely find affordable retirement locations. And yes, Mike, I have the same fear. Already, at most of the great beaches, it’s hard to even get to the beach without booking a room at a resort. Hopefully, if we spread out a bit, instead of all gathering at one popular location, it’ll be a long time before we over-run Panama.

  29. Phil says:

    I’ve been researching Costa Rica and Panama for early retirement for my wife, child and I. I couldn’t find much on Panama until I stumbled onto your website. It’s great! I’ll definitely spread the word to other future expats looking for a Panamanian paradise.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Phil. I’m glad you’ve found some of the info useful. I don’t know much about Costa Rica, but I’ve heard the water is drinkable, the roads aren’t in great condition, and that it’s expensive. At least here the water is drinkable from the tap (in most places), the roads are getting better, and there are sill some very affordable places to live. I don’t know the age of your child, but if you haven’t already, check out the Kidpats section of the site. We’ll be adding more videos soon. Thanks again for checking out the site and for your great comment. And please do spread the word. We can use all the help with that we can get.

  30. Mike says:

    K, thanks….will consider as questions pop up.

    Take care!

  31. Mike says:

    This site is a breath of fresh air

  32. Mike says:

    I’d severely be looking forward to that!

    Seriously contemplating a boots-on-ground Panama Relocation Tour in next few years, as part of her/I vacation plans. Retire after 30 years here in the states August 2020!

    Is this a place to contribute more of my personalized and pointed questions that arise (you may/not be able to clear-up)to you on relocating to the country? Or can I e-mail you; these comment areas could get long & cluttered; is this what you expect?

    You live in Panama City, right?

    Thanks again Chris.

    • Chris says:

      A friend of mine is starting a relocation tour business here in Panama. I can get you in touch with her if you want. If you want to email me with personal questions, you can at chris@panamaforreal.com. Sometimes I use the questions and answers for our Monday Q&A on the blog.

      Chris

  33. Mike Carlson says:

    Wow! I admire the openness and up-front, up to date information you’re willing to release on here; nothing binding on you of course, just…..exactly what YOU have experienced. Keep going please, There are folks out there who wish to see places outside of Panama City and what it could be like there (the other towns).

    Me and wife are so ready for Panama. it has a system that the US has strayed from with soooooo many people here, bad policy, politics and ever changing demographics that make common sense living and practicality absurd/expensive.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Mike. I really appreciate the awesome comment. I’ll be publishing the Condado del Rey written and video reports today (probably later this evening). Condado del Rey is a Panama City neighborhood, kind of on the outskirts of the city, that’s really nice and most people have never even heard of it. So check back for that. Thanks again for your kind words. Every time I read that someone is appreciating the content, it just keeps me wanting to add more.

      Chris

      • Marco Ardon says:

        Hola Chis. Me, my almost 9 year old hija and I are sooooooooo thankful for all the wonderful and useful info you have gathered and posted on this web site. It’s been a blessing for us. We have plans on moving to panama, and Condado del rey is where we wanna settle down. Thanks to your Condado del rey post we are very exited to visit sometime soon. We are from Venezuela, but we would like to know if there are any elementary bilingual international schools within the county of the king.
        Dios te bendiga

        • Chris says:

          Hi Marco,

          Thanks so much for your kind words. Glad we could help. There is a school in Condado del Rey. I think it’s mostly Spanish though. Here’s the link to the school’s website: http://www.colegioreal.edu.pa/.

          Hope this helps. Thanks again for checking out the site and for commenting.

          Chris

  34. sheryl says:

    I can’t thank you enough for your amazing website. My husband and I are beginning the exploration phase of moving to Panama and your website is a dream come true. Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Chris says:

      Thank you so much, Sheryl. Whenever times get rough, it’s comments like these that remind me why I started doing this in the first place. It really means a lot to me. Thanks for checking out the site and for your wonderful comment.

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