A few years before moving to Panama I bought a house on a private 500-acre lake in East Texas. It had been my dream to have a lake house so I could get away from the concrete jungle of Dallas Texas. I really thought I’d be at that lake house forever. But summers in Texas can be a brutal 115 degrees and winters, complete with ice storms, can get down in the 20s. A very high utility bill every month was the norm.
So, when I decided to move away from the United States, my number ONE criteria was to find a place where I could live where I’d never need an air conditioner or heater again. Beautiful scenery would be a plus.
I found both in Boquete Panama… plus many more benefits!
After doing more than 100 Panama Relocation Tours since 2010 and talking to thousands of people considering moving to Panama, these are their 10 top reasons for considering a move to Panama:
1. More affordable living. Many have said if they stay in the country where they live now they will need to work for the rest of their life. For most, their biggest expenses are health care and taxes (including property taxes plus Federal and State taxes). My international health insurance is $2200 per YEAR and it covers me in the USA, Panama, or any other country. I have zero property taxes in Panama for the house and property I purchased. Instead of $400 per month for electricity and $70 per month for water, I now pay closer to $20 per month for electricity and $100 per year for water.
2. Weather. No more snow to shovel. No more hot summers. Harsh weather plus soaring utility costs, including water bills, are causing many to look beyond their borders for a better place to live. Air quality is an important factor too. There is no snow in Panama. But if you don’t like the heat you need to stay away from Panama City and other towns close to the coast. In Panama, you can select your ideal temperature by changing the altitude where you live.
3. Get away from constant political conflict and tension. Panama has very little division or conflict. For the most part, everyone is on the same page to keep the economy moving in the right direction, create jobs, keep debt at a minimum, and encourage investments. There is no far-left or far-right agenda in Panama. Everyone has shared values! It is a very refreshing change!
4. A more stable economy. In 2018, Panama saw its GDP rise to 5.3 percent. The 2019 GDP was 6.3 percent. The International Monetary Fund is even more optimistic, calculating this year’s GDP growth at 6.9 percent, the highest in the whole of Latin America. According to BBVA Research, the main driver of the economy will be investment, together with private consumption prompted by all-time low unemployment, which was 2.9 percent both in 2017 and 2018, the lowest in the region. Of course, the pandemic of 2020 has hurt Panama’s economy but the World Bank estimates that Panama will rebound with a 5.3% increase in 2021.
5. Fewer government rules, regulations, and taxes which affect every aspect of your life. It’s easy to set up a business in Panama. You’ll need to get a business license, a work permit, and pay taxes if you earn money in Panama. But the taxes and rules are much less than the United States where I moved from. I had companies in the US too so I have something to compare business in Panama to. Capitalism is alive in well in Panama and welcome. Taxes, especially property taxes (if there are any) are very low. Panama is full of opportunities.
6. New adventure. Get away from the same old, same old. Panama is appealing because it is a small country with so much diversity. You can be at the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, and the Caribbean Sea all on the same day ….without getting on an airplane. If you time it right, you could drive to Costa Rica the same day too! There are so many social activities and charity organizations you can get involved in too – you will never be bored in Panama!
7. New opportunities. There is so much opportunity in Panama! Many of the conveniences you are familiar with in your country may not exist in Panama… which spells an opportunity to provide that product or service to a brand new audience in Panama.
8. Avoid racial conflicts. Apparently, this is a real problem in many countries. Luckily, in Panama, everyone just gets along regardless of race or religion. For hundreds of years, people from all over the world have been moving to Panama. Originally it was to help build the Panama Canal. Now it is for the tremendous opportunities available in Panama. Everyone is welcome in Panama!
9. Move to a country where there are personal responsibility and entitlement mentality does not exist! No one in Panama has their hand out for food stamps, free housing, free cell phones, and unemployment benefits. Panamanians are proud to work for a living. If they cannot work, their family helps them until they get back on their feet.
10. Experience a less stressful way of life. Tranquilo! This is a combination of all 10 reasons rolled into one. By removing the stress of high costs of living, economic instability, political conflict, racial conflict, government regulations, hot or cold weather, fresh air, etc. … combined with more adventure and opportunity… you can live a better quality of life in Panama with less stress.
There are many other reasons for moving to Panama, but these are the top 10 reasons my tour guests have given.
What’s your reason for considering a move to Panama?
August 2014 Tour Group at Mana Restaurant in Volcan