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Beat Inflation: Retire in Panama

So, you’d like to retire but it’s hard to pull the trigger when there are so many uncertainties about the economy if you stay where you live now? Inflation is skyrocketing. Gas prices, grocery prices, property taxes, all are going up. You’re probably concerned about being able to live on a fixed income with prices going up so much. It’s hard to enjoy retirement if you’re worried about money all the time.

Inflation is especially hard on those living on a fixed income, like Social Security or a pension. Let’s say that you spend $100 a week on groceries and you can usually buy 4 big bags of groceries for that amount. You get everything on your list. But as inflation continues to rise, you can only buy three bags of groceries. You will have to decide which things you need to give up on your list or start spending more. As inflation grows even more, that $100 will only buy two bags of groceries, then one.

Are you doomed to work for the rest of your life? No, absolutely not! There is a much better solution.

Retire in Panama! The cost of living is much lower than it is in North America. A couple can live well on less than $2000 a month in many places in Panama. The pace of life is slower. Many towns have a high concentration of English speakers. The weather in Panama is delightful all year. There’s a perfect climate for everyone!

Are you a beach person? We have the warm winds coming off either the Pacific or the Caribbean depending on which beach community you choose to live in.

bocas del toro panama

Or maybe you would prefer the cooler weather of living in the mountains. Panama has that as well. And the best part of Panama; if you rent; you can have both worlds. Rent for a year at the beach, and when your lease is up, go up to the mountains and rent there for a year! The possibilities are endless.

boquete panama clouds

Let’s discuss the pricing difference you will find if you retire in Panama. Prices for a 2-bedroom apartment around the Phoenix area will cost you around $1800.00 a month or more. That’s an unfurnished rental that does not include any utilities or a gardener.

In Boquete Panama, you can rent a 2-bedroom house for as low as $700.00 a month. But one thing to consider, in Boquete, your rent includes is completely furnished with furniture, pots, pans, dishes, cookware, sheets, and towels. It also includes internet, cable, electricity, all appliances, garbage, and many times even a weekly gardener! There are no high electric bills in the mountains, there is no need for either air conditioning or heat.

Boquete Panama House

In Coronado, you can find a furnished 2-bedroom, 2 bath high-rise apartment directly on the beach for around $900.00 to $1,200.00 a month. And that comes with several pools and an exercise room. Electricity is much more affordable here because each room has its own air conditioner, so you don’t have to cool down the whole house if you are only in one room. It is rare to find Central Air here. It is just not cost-effective.

Panama Gorgona Bahia

When you retire in Panama, you’ll also qualify for the Pensionado discounts on just about everything you buy. You’ll get 25% off your electric bill, 25% off airfare to anywhere in the world, 20% off at restaurants, 50% off at movie theaters, plus many other discounts.

When you retire in Panama, you’ll save on everyday items too! In the States, pineapple in a store could cost you $2.50. In Panama, you can buy a large pineapple for a dollar, and sometimes the vendor will sell you 2 for a dollar! Keep in mind, the fruit and vegetables you buy in Panama are grown around the area that you are buying them from. They are not shipped in, so you do not have to pay for that extra cost. Plus, let’s face it, a pineapple grown in Panama taste so much better! You are most likely buying it just a few days after it was picked! The same goes for bananas, papayas, mangos, and oranges. In Panama, bananas are being sold for around 10 cents apiece. Any fruit or vegetable that is grown here in Panama is going to be much cheaper than buying it in North America. They are not only less expensive; they are more nutritious plus they are tastier. Now that is a win-win combination!

pineapple panama

The price of chicken breast in the States is around $3.40 per pound. In Panama, it is $1.58. Seafood is also more affordable in Panama due to the proximately to both the Caribbean and the Pacific ocean. Most towns have fresh seafood brought in to be sold to consumers daily at a very low cost. I recently purchased fresh tuna for about $4 a pound. Sea Bass is less than $2 a pound in Panama.

panama tuna

There are many affordable options for eating out too! Some restaurants in Panama charge just as much as restaurants in North America. But there are excellent Panamanian restaurants where it’s $4 to $5 a meal for a full plate of food including a drink. You have affordable choices in Panama!

Panama Relocation Tours Coronado

When you retire in Panama, you’ll learn that Panamanian brands are usually less than half as much as name brands that were imported into Panama. You can save money by switching to local brands. It pays to experiment with different brands to find one you like. A can of tuna (12 oz) for example in Panama is $1.50. In Florida, a can of tuna is $2.27. Examples of everyday items:

  • A liter of gas at this date in the Calgary is $1.33. In Panama it is $0.88.
  • Grilling out is a big past time especially for retirees. In the States, a bottle of propane is $25.00 or higher. In Panama, it will cost you $5.35 to fill your BBQ propane tank!
  • Cell Phone Plans: In the US, your phone bill per month could run you as much as $100.00 a month. For unlimited calls and unlimited data, here in Panama, you will be paying $25.00 a month. – Housecleaning: For a housekeeper to come to your house in Dallas, the average is between $120.00 to $220.00 per visit. In Panama, the average is between $15.00 to $25.00.
  • For medical expenses, without insurance, an office visit in Panama for someone over 60 is $12.00. And that is without an appointment. First come, first serve. And the waiting times are not long at all. The average wait time is somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes.

Most of your medication, except for antibiotics and controlled substance, require no prescription in Panama. Albuterol, (inhaler for asthma) in the States could run you around $50.00. The same medication here in Panama is around $11.00. You can go to any pharmacy to buy blood pressure and cholesterol medication without the need to go to a doctor first to get a prescription.

You can order your own labwork without a prescription. There is no need for doctor’s note, you just walk in. And the cost for a complete cholesterol check is around $25.00. Plus, you get the results in around 2 hours.

Retiring in Panama offers you a better, less stressful lifestyle.

Panama is an expat’s dream! Lower cost of living, beautiful weather, a fresh cup of coffee, tons of activities, and a slower pace of living! Isn’t that what you always dreamed retirement could be?

Your retirement dollars will go further in Panama. You can live comfortably on your Social Security or pension in Panama, you don’t need to worry about dipping into savings.

Speaking of savings…

Is your savings keeping up with inflation? Bank of America is paying .01% interest rate on a savings account. In Panama, a regular savings account pays 1.50% to1.75%! Some banks have a special savings account (not a CD) that pays 3% compounded annually but paid DAILY. You can earn interest on your interest – every day! You can learn all about them in our Online Panama Relocation Guide and we discuss this miracle of compounding during an all-inclusive 6-day 7-night Panama Relocation Tour too. We have tour dates available in 2021.

Come and see how you can LIVE BETTER for LESS when you Retire in Panama!

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa says

    Do you know if Ivermectin is sold otc in Panama without a prescription?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Yes, Ivermectin is sold over the counter in Panama. No script needed.

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