Panama is renowned as one of the premier expat, digital nomad and retirement hotspots due to its low cost of living. You can comfortably subsist on just $1,000 – $1,200 per month and rent an apartment for around half that price if you avoid popular tourist destinations like Panama City. Additionally, by getting your groceries at local stores not only will it save you money but also give you access to delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables!
For budget shoppers, sourcing groceries from local markets is a great way to save money; produce at these spots is often far fresher and more affordable than supermarket items. Plus, many household items cost 50% less in comparison to US prices!
However, keep an eye out for air-conditioning bills as this is one of the biggest expenses that comes with living in warm climates. If you need your AC running full-time then be prepared for it taking up a considerable portion of your monthly costs.
Panama’s not well-known merely because it’s inexpensive. Potential expats and digital nomads might find comfort and familiarity here. Panama has far more developed infrastructure and services than a first-time tourist may anticipate. If you look at the sparkling towers that make up Panama City’s skyline, you’ll wonder if your flight accidentally landed in Miami.
Despite all of its achievements, Panama still provides outstanding value for money. It’s really one of the finest places in the world to retire in terms of total value. You’ll discover exactly how far your dollar goes if you go to Panama. Take the metro across town for less than a dollar, spend less than $7 on a fine bottle of South American wine, or pay $20 to have your hair cleaned, styled, and treated.
You may find it impossible to resist hiring a maid, as many expats do, and it’s simple to get help in Panama. You may hire a live-in, full-time housekeeper for as low as $250 per month, while part-time assistance typically costs $15 every visit.
You’ll have more free time to enjoy Panama since so much of your cleaning will be taken care of. Therefore, it’s fortunate that the cost of eating out and participating in other enjoyable activities is still so cheap. Pay only $2 for admission to local hot springs and other attractions. A first-run movie ticket costs $6 or less. Take a swift boat for about $24 roundtrip to Taboga, the Island of Flowers, or drive to a nearby beach that is free.
Naturally, not everything in Panama is inexpensive. Your electricity bill might be above $100 if you use air conditioning often. However, a lot of expats discover they don’t require air conditioning, particularly in cold mountain towns like Boquete.
Additionally, imported foodstuffs from the United States, Europe, and other countries may be costly—in some situations, much more so than in the United States.
On the other hand, local food is both plentiful and astonishingly affordable. Many expats are eating more fruit than ever since it is easier to get sweet fruits like mango, papaya, pineapple, and bananas than fast food.
Local meat and fish go well with tasty local tomatoes, eggplant, squash, greens, and herbs. From cleaning liquid to laundry detergent, household products marketed for the local market are sometimes 50% less expensive than their American equivalents.
The greatest news is that your total cost of living in Panama will likely be far cheaper than it was back home even after factoring in all of the money you save on healthcare and taxes, regardless of how much you spend at the grocery store and big-box retailers. Whether you decide to reside in Panama Metropolis, the Coronado beach area, the Boquete highlands, or super-cheap locales like the developing city of David, the historic town of Las Tablas, and the mountain hamlet of Volcán, this will be the case.
Panama has something to suit everyone, regardless of taste or price range.
The budget for a two-person home in Panama is shown below as an example. Take note of the broad variation of prices for expensive things like house rentals. This is due to the wide range of lifestyle alternatives available throughout the nation, and the decision of how much money to spend is entirely up to you.
Costs in the most desirable areas in Panama have been considered. places where you can visit stunning national parks or beaches (or both!) and where locals are kind and welcoming to tourists like you.