A few years before moving to Panama I bought a house on a private 500 acre private 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. But summers in Texas can be a brutal 115 degrees and winters, complete with ice storms, can get down in the 20s. A 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 Panama Relocation Tours for four years now and talking to hundreds 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 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 $2460 per YEAR and it covers me in the USA, Panama or any other country. I have zero property taxes in Panama for the next 14 years on the property I purchased earlier this year. Instead of $400 per month for electric and $70 per month for water, I now pay closer to $50 per month for electric and $60 per year for water.
2. Weather. No more snow to shovel. No more hot summers. Harsh weather plus soaring utility costs, including water, 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. (unfortunately some expat blogs are still full of it – but at least you can opt out of their mailing list). Panama has some conflicts too but 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. It is a refreshing change!
4. A more stable economy. In 2013, Panama saw its GDP rise 5.57 percent, a feat that will be repeated in 2014, according to Trading Economics. The predictions for 2015 and 2016, however, are much higher, at a little more than 9 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 an all-time low unemployment, which was 2.9 percent both in 2013 and 2014, the lowest in the region.
5. Less government rules and regulations which affect every aspect of your life. During my last tour, we met with a couple who just finished building a house in Panama. After getting their building permit no inspectors came to the house until it was time to get a certificate of occupancy. That would never happen in most countries. Starting a business is easy too. In Panama, there are not hundreds of agencies with alphabet soup titles to watch over everything you do. Capitalism is alive in well in Panama and welcome.
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 Caribbean Sea all in the same day ….without getting on an airplane. If you time it right, you could drive to Costa Rica the same day too!
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… that spells opportunity to provide that product or service to a brand new audience in Panama.
8. Avoid growing 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 it for the tremendous opportunities available in Panama.
9. Move to a country where there is 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 for many years, etc etc etc.. Many tour guests have said they feel the entitlement mentality in the USA has destroyed the country.
10. Experience a less stressful way of life. Tranquilo! This is a combination of all 10 reasons rolled in to one. By removing the stress of high costs of living, economic instability, political conflict, racial conflict, government regulations, hot or cold weather, 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