Not everyone that relocates to Panama comes with a pension or a huge “stash of cash” to live off of.
If you need to fund your new life in Panama or just want to earn a little extra money to do some traveling or other fun things, there are options available for you.
Keep in mind that if you plan to sell a product or service in Panama, you will need to get a visa which will allow you to get a work permit.
If you move to Panama on a Pensionado Visa, you will not be allowed to get a worker’s permit or be employed here. That includes your own business, unless it is a “hobby business”. Some retirees make crafts and items to sell at their local Farmer’s Market in Panama. This may give you enough “play money” to make your life in Panama even more enjoyable. As long as you are in compliance with the laws, you are fine selling your personal creations on a small scale. Any other visa has an option to get a work permit in Panama, though getting a job can be tricky.
First of all you need to be aware of a few things about employment in Panama. The minimum wage here is very low, around $2.40 per hour. That said, skilled labor is difficult to come by and the competition among companies that are hiring leads to much higher salaries. Exploit any skills you may have! Another important note; without written consent from the government, companies in Panama are only allowed to fill 10% of jobs with foreign employees. Multi-national companies can hire unlimited foreign workers. Getting a job can be a challenge, but not impossible. It is best to start your search online before you make the move, and attempt to secure a position in advance, if your income in Panama will be dependent on it.
Another consideration is that most jobs will require at least some very basic Spanish skills. There is a recent push by the government to teach English to locals in the schools here, so an English teaching job may be a good option right now.
My personal favorite is to create your own income opportunity! Be aware of your surroundings and the needs of your new community and you will be sure to come up with one, if not several, entrepreneurial ideas that you can implement. Panama is growing by leaps and bounds and that means people have more money and want more things. Whether it is a product or service, find something you will enjoy and go for it!
- One expat couple in Pedasi started pet-sitting for a few neighbors while they were traveling. Before long, word got around and they had a full-fledged business caring for other people’s pets!
- I know of quite a few expats who have blogs and other internet businesses that bring in a little extra, or in some cases, completely fund their lives here. Even a retiree can run an internet business, as long as it is based in their home country and they file the business taxes back home!
- Another expat in Bocas del Toro, started a quaint B & B in the spare rooms of her home and it has turned into a steady business that provides a decent income today.
- Do you have musical skills? Teach others how to play a musical instrument of give singing lessons. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve noticed many needs in my own little community. There is no re-sale consignment store for furniture, which would be popular with new expats on a limited budget. There are more and more adult Panamanians with a desire to learn English. You could become a private tutor. A delivery service would probably be successful, since there are a good number of people who don’t own cars. Home delivery of groceries, take-out meals and maybe even bill-paying services would be a huge convenience that many people would gladly pay someone to do for them. And of course, there is always a need for a good restaurant with affordable prices.
As a special gift to you, I have included a link H E R E , to download a free copy of my previous eBook called “Fund Your Freedom Overseas”. It contains many more creative ideas to earn additional income overseas…without getting a job.