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A lot of businesses are allowing their employees to continue working from home despite that some offices are partially open again. All you need to be able to work from home is a good internet connection. You can use Zoom or Skype to stay in touch with the office.
Even after the Covid virus, some companies may decide to keep all their employees working from home so they can reduce the high costs of rent and maintenance for an office. If you’re working from home, why bother to continue to live close to the office? Or close to the city? Or the same state? Or even the same country?
You could live anywhere!
If going in to the office is no longer necessary, that means that you could work from a home in Panama. Many areas in Panama have fiber optics with 100-600 mbps internet!
You may be able to significantly reduce your cost for housing by moving to Panama even if it’s just for a year or two. You can get a nice two furnished bedroom condo facing the Pacific Ocean in Coronado for about $1500 a month. Imagine waking up every morning to talk a walk on the beach before you start your work day.
Or you could live on Balboa Avenue in Panama City with an Ocean view for about $1500 a month for a furnished apartment. There is so much to see and do in Panama City. You’ll find plenty of others who are working from home in the City too and they have frequent get-togethers.
The laid back lifestyle in the heart of cultural events in the Azuero Peninsula may be more your style. There, you can get a great furnished two bedroom house close to town for $600 a month or live in a beach community about 10 minutes outside of town.
If you prefer cooler Spring-like weather where you don’t need an air conditioner, you could live in Boquete which is surrounded by spectacular mountains ideal for hiking, for about $700 a month for a furnished two bedroom house. When Panama opens up the economy more, there will be plenty of social activities including live music at multiple venues. From Boquete, you’re only about 90 minutes to some of the best beaches and fishing in Panama!
If you love the beach, surfing, and diving, you may want to try living on the Caribbean side of Panama in Bocas del Toro. It has a bohemian vibe. Recently, I’ve seen cute furnished two bedroom houses close to the beach for about $600 a month.
Panama is a small yet very diverse country. So you may want to try several different areas in Panama instead of just picking one!
An added bonus, if you live in Panama for a year, you could qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion which means you pay NO TAXES in the United States on the first $107,600 of your income. And you would not owe any taxes in Panama. You get to keep every single penny you make! (check with your CPA or the IRS website for details about qualifications for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion)
Move To A Place Where You Can Reduce Taxes Too!
If you’re working from home in Panama, you would not need to get a work permit in Panama. But you would need to get a residency Visa to live in Panama full time. Or, as a tourist you can stay in Panama six months (if you’re not driving) then you may be able to take a little trip to Costa Rica or Medellin Colombia for a week so you can reset your tourists status in Panama thus avoiding the expense of getting a residency Visa. Miami is less than a 3 hour flight from Panama City but you need to be careful not to be in the United States more than 30 days or you will lose your Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
Once things settle down with the pandemic, you may be required to go back to the office. But while you have an opportunity to work from home, why not work from home in Panama! You can also reduce your cost of living, reduce taxes, and explore how amazing life is in Panama. It’s the best of both worlds.
Tocumen International Airport is scheduled to open July 23rd.
What are you waiting for?
Move to Panama so you can avoid the snow and cold weather this winter!
When considering a move to another country, one of the most important decisions you will make is how immersed you want to be. Some choose to move to a community full of Expats where they will feel a little more comfortable, while others wish to move to one predominately populated with locals/natives. One of the best things about Panama is its diversity and the fact that you can find either of these or even a combination of the two.
Because moving to a new country can be daunting, and even downright scary, many people feel more comfortable moving to a location with a higher Expat population. These communities have a tendency to be a little more modern and have more of the amenities that you are accustomed to having in your home country. Most of the restaurants, pubs, pharmacies, grocery and hardware stores you visit will have English-speaking employees and have a larger selection of “import” items. Visiting a spa or salon will be somewhat similar to what you are use to as many of the same services will be offered (albeit at a lower price). You will be able to share your experiences living in your new country with the other expats you meet while you are out exploring your new country. Some people only hang out with other expats when they first move to Panama. For some, this is the perfect place to start when first relocating because you are living in a different country yet surrounded by those who are more like you, which can make the transition easier.
On the other hand, many people, myself included, chose to move to a different country to be able to experience a different culture and live amongst those who are not just like us. Moving just a couple of blocks from downtown Boquete, into a predominately-Panamanian neighborhood, was exactly what we were looking for. Although many of the employees in the businesses we frequent speak some English, the people and houses around my apartment are mostly Panamanian. Because of this, I am forced to step out of my comfort zone and try to use my rudimentary High School/College Spanish. At times it is downright painful because I KNOW what I want to say and can do so in my head, but actually verbalizing it is another story! Thank goodness for my Panamanian friends who know some English as well and are more than willing to help!
When we first moved to Panama and knew no one, we would go to the same places every weekend to do something we love: sing karaoke! Music unites everyone! It was here that we began to make a lot of friends, not only with the ones who sang, but also with the employees and owners of the restaurants. Some of these have become our closest friends and are actually more like family. 99.9% of these are NOT expats and I consider my life a lot richer because they are part of it. We have learned about some amazing Panamanian traditions and have been included in many celebrations. We have loved being part of a community that is so willing to share their traditions and culture. It has also allowed us to reciprocate and teach them a little about the U.S. and some of our traditions and interests including college football. While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, it has been one of the best experiences of my life.
Even if you initially move to a neighborhood that has many expats, you should make the effort to get to know Panamanians too. Panamanians are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
Panama is so very diverse and offers so many choices for those thinking about relocating here. While not one choice is right for everyone, you definitely will be able to find the right “niche” for you. It may even be that you want to start in a more Expat area and then transition to a different part of the country once you feel more comfortable. Perhaps you chose just the opposite and decided to become more immersed at first only to discover you miss being around others a little more like you. Thankfully, Panama has something for everyone and once you find that perfect balance, you will know, and feel like, you are truly HOME.
Health care costs are out of control in the United States. Even with health insurance, your out of pocket expenses can eat up your savings. But in Panama, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the more affordable lifestyle including more affordable health care!
Panama has a two-tier health care system. There are public hospitals and private hospitals.
Public hospitals have no monthly fee. At a public hospital it’s about $2 to see a doctor or $5 for a specialists. Public hospitals are subsidized by the government to keep the costs low. You may have to wait longer to see a doctor. With prices like this, you can see why many foreigners who relocate to Panama decide to not pay for health insurance. With the public hospitals there are no age restrictions and no pre-existing condition restrictions. If you get admitted to a public hospital it is a no-frills situation as you’ll learn when you listen to the replay of Carol’s call talking about her experience having surgery and being in the hospital for 6 days. Her total cost was $150
Private hospitals are for-profit hospitals but even their the costs are very affordable. It’s $15 – $20 to see a doctor at a private hospital. A specialists is $40 to $50. You can usually make an appointment and be seen within 24 hours. If you need to have surgery or be admitted to the hospital it will cost much more than the public hospitals and they will usually want at least part of the costs paid up front. The private hospitals are nicer than the public hospitals. Those who prefer to use private hospitals usually get health insurance to help defray the costs just in case there is an emergency.
Many doctors have a private office outside of the hospital too.
Doctors who work at the private hospitals are required to work a certain number of hours each week at the public hospitals so that’s a good chance you’d see the same doctor regardless of which hospital you go to.
In Panama you can significantly reduce your costs for healthcare. Affordable healthcare is one of many reasons that people want to relocate to Panama!
Listen to the replay of the conference call with Carol who had surgery at a public hospital during the pandemic.
After coming on a Panama Relocation Tour, Carol moved to Guarare Panama where she rented a furnished two bedroom house next to the beach for $550 a month. Recently, she moved to a larger house close to the beach which she rents for $600 a month.
During the call, Carol will discuss why she likes living at the beach area between Chitre and Las Tablas in the Azuero Peninsula. This area is much more affordable than other beach communities in Panama. There are many cultural events in this area. And there many amenities close by in Chitre and Las Tablas.
If you’d like to learn how to relocate to Panama the EASY way, check out the Online Panama Relocation Guide. It has all the same information that you’d get during a Panama Relocation Tour plus details about the best places to live in Panama, reliable immigration lawyers, honest real estate agents and property managers, how to get your pets in to Panama, how to save 40% on health insurance, and much much more.
Since 2010, Panama Relocation Tours has been helping people, like Carol, relocate to Panama. We make the whole process EASY and help you avoid costly mistakes.