Retire on Social Security at the Beach in Panama

YES! There are affordable places to retire at the beach in Panama!

With the average Social Security check only $1767 in 2024, it isn’t easy to retire in the United States, even if your house is paid for. Inflation has caused the price of groceries, medications, taxes, utilities, and almost everything else to increase.

Living at the beach in North America, on only Social Security or a pension, would be almost impossible.

The solution is to move to a place that is more affordable…. like beautiful Panama!

In Panama, some beach areas are more expensive, like Coronado, Gorgona, or Boca Chica, but there are many beach communities in Panama where a single person can live well on $1000-$1500 a month and a couple can enjoy a fantastic lifestyle for about $1800-$2500 per month… including rent!

These are some of the more affordable beach communities in Panama:


Bocas del Toro province is on the Caribbean side of Panama. The island of Isla Colon is the most popular place to live in the Bocas area. Isla Colon has grocery stores, a hospital, many excellent restaurants, beautiful beaches, fishing, surfing, and lively nightlife. In Bocas, you can rent a furnished one-bedroom house in a tropical setting with a pool for about $500-$800 a month. On the main island, Isla Colon, there are many grocery stores, restaurants, and a public hospital.

The beach communities listed below are in the Azuero Peninsula on the Pacific side of Panama. The Azuero gets less rain than other parts of Panama, and it’s less humid than other Pacific beach communities. The very affordable beach communities are between Chitre and Las Tablas.

Here’s a map to help you visualize where Chitre and Las Tablas are located. Notice that Bocas del Toro is on the upper left, too. The Pacific Ocean is to the south, and the Caribbean Sea is to the north.


El Rompio is a beach community in the Azuero Peninsula about 15 minutes from Chitre. Chitre has a mall, 24/7 grocery stores, hospitals, many excellent restaurants, and other shops that line the streets. You can rent a furnished two-bedroom, two-bath house in El Rompio for about $600 monthly. See the house below. Several other furnished rentals in that area are in the $500 to $600 range, and they all have an ocean view! Playa El Rompio is a short 15-minute drive to Chitre, which has many grocery stores, restaurants, a large hospital, and an airport for quick flights to/from Panama City.

el rompio panama rental
$600 furnished two bedroom two bath with ocean views

Between Chitre and El Rompio there is a small beach community at Albina Grande where a couple rents a furnished two-bedroom house for $400 monthly. That does not include utilities, which run about $80 monthly for internet, electricity, and cable TV. It’s on an acre of tropical land and has a pool, too. See the photo below.

rental in la villa panama for 400
$400 a month


Guarare is a cute beach community on the Azuero Peninsula. It’s about 15 minutes from Las Tablas, Which has a hospital, grocery stores, hardware stores, great restaurants, and more. You can rent a furnished two-bedroom, two-bath with the view below for $600 monthly. Guarane is about 10km from Las Tablas, which has grocery stores, restaurants, a hospital, and all the other amenities you would need.


Playa Uverito is about 10 minutes away from Las Tablas. As you can see from the photo below, several houses are along the beach. There are also a few hotels and restaurants. You can rent a furnished two-bedroom house for about $700 monthly. Some rentals do not include electricity, so add an extra $50.


Unlike what you’ve read in popular international publications, Pedasi is NOT next to the ocean. The town is about 10km from a beach. Some houses are near the beach but are more expensive. If you rent a furnished house a few miles away from the beach, you should be able to find a furnished one-bedroom for under $600 a month. See a sample below of a two-bedroom, two-bath for $950. This price will not work for a single person who hopes to live on Social Security, but a couple may be able to afford the Pedasi area living on only Social Security. It’s much more expensive in Pedasi than in other beach communities in the Azuero. Most people in Pedasi go to Las Tablas or Chitre for shopping. Pedasi is about a 5-hour drive from Panama City.

San Carlos is another affordable beach community where you could live on Social Security and still have access to hospitals, grocery stores, and social activities.


San Carlos is west of Coronado. The map above shows San Carlos. If you are a few blocks from the beach, you can usually find a furnished rental for under $600. It’s a great location with a 24/7 hospital, restaurants, grocery stores, and more. San Carlos is not far from Coronado, which has 24/7 grocery stores, amazing restaurants, and many social activities.

Many other beach communities are not included on this list because they are more expensive, not close to basic amenities like a grocery store and a hospital, or because there is more crime in that area. It’s essential to research an area before you move there.


Playa Blanca is an affordable beach community about 30 minutes west of Coronado. It has an all-inclusive resort and a residential area with condos and single-family homes. A furnished two-bedroom condo is $850 plus electric. Playa Blanca has many social activities, so you’ll meet many people quickly. About a half mile down the road is a nice shopping center with a large grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, and a few restaurants. There is a shuttle service to/from the grocery store. Because you’re so close to Coronado, you also enjoy even more shopping there.

Playa Blanca Panama
Playa Blanca Condos
playa blanca panama
Huge saltwater pool at Playa Blanca


Social Security or your pension might not go far in North America, but you have plenty of affordable places to live in Panama.

If you know you want to live at the beach, you have 1500 miles of coastline in Panama. Of course, the weather will be warm at the beach. Other things to consider are your budget and how close you want to be to amenities like a grocery store, hospital, and social activities.


Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Private Panama Relocation Tour to see some popular BEACH communities in Panama! You’ll get to see rentals every day during your tour! You might find the perfect beach house during your Private Panama Relocation Tour! Plus, you’ll learn all the important information you need to know to have a smooth, hassle-free move to Panama. See Details HERE


Watch these videos for a few examples of how people are living at the beach with just their Social Security:

Robert Lives in Pedasi for $1000 a month (including rent)

Lenore Lives at Playa Blanca for $1850 a month (including rent)

Carol Lived in Guarare for $1200 a month (including rent)

Chuck and Jennifer live in El Rompio for $1800 a month (including rent)

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. George Herr says

    Sounds great, but not sure if maybe to old too move. My wife is 75 and am 77. What u think? Need to be close to VA care.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Unfortunately, there is NO VA hospital in Panama.

  2. Beth says

    Hello Jackie, I have ben receiving International Living for bout 3 years. I am ready to go. Plan change as now i will travel as a single retiree. I like the idea of Costa rico, and a costal location, not necessarily a “Jaco” party town, but somewhere i can meet expats and may not need a rental car. Thinking about a month staring in Feb 2022

    • Jackie Lange says

      It sounds like Bocas del Toro would be a good fit!

  3. Pat Caballero says

    Best choice is Boquete without a doubt!

  4. Bryan Bowlby says

    Hey Jackie!

    Looking for to my wife and I visiting for a scouting trip to Panama in Sep. If we like what we see, we will be contacting you for one of your tours! Be well!

    • Eleanor Queja says

      How about living in Panama City and spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Pearl Islands? Is there a place to rent for 3 days in Pearl islands?

      • Jackie Lange says

        There are hotels, airbnb’s in the pearl islands

  5. Cristina calin says

    Good morning Jackie,

    I’m considering taking the group tour on August, but I also would like to add a private tour to Azuero to see Guarare, Pedasi, and playa el Rompió. Do you recommend taking the private tour before the group tour or after the group tour ends?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Christina. Thanks for your interest in a Panama Relocation Tour. It would be much better to do the Private Tour after the Panama Relocation Tour. We only require a $500 per person deposit to reserve your spot for a tour. See August dates at

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