When It’s Time for a Change: Panama is the Answer!

When I made the decision to move to Panama, I could feel in my bones that it was time for a change. The United States I grew up in was nothing like what the US had become or what it’s like today. People from other countries tell me the same thing happened where they live.

The cost of living in North America is unsustainable, especially for retirees on a fixed income.

The average Social Security payment in the United States is $1907, which is not enough to live on in most areas, even if your house is paid for. You’ll need to supplement your pension with savings. But, a new AARP survey finds that 20% of adults ages 50+ have no retirement savings, and more than half (61%) are worried they will not have enough money to support themselves in retirement.

It’s not just the budget-minded; wealthy people are also looking for a change.

In a recent article GoBankrate article, it says that “affluent Americans — like so many others — are disturbed by the political and cultural climate in the States. Rising crime, intense political polarization, terrifying gun violence, and increasing cultural tensions, in general, are driving the rich to do what so many others would like to but can’t: Get out while they can.

You may be feeling the same way.

Do you:
● yearn for a better way to live?
● want to stop stressing about money?
● need a more affordable cost of living?
● want to get away from politics?
● want to live in a safe environment?

Well, Panama could be the answer for you.
It certainly was for me. After I moved here in 2010, I haven’t looked back for a moment!

boquete panama

One of my favorite things about living in Panama is that it reminds me of what life was like back in the 1970s when people hung out on their porches and talked to their neighbors. (remember those days?)

But don’t panic! I’m not telling you to return to a world without the internet. Panama still has the advantages of modern technology, such as computers, cell phones, and high-speed internet. This makes it easy to stay in touch with loved ones who are far away.

video chat
Video Chat

Panama is a BETTER way to live!

Panama has a slower pace of life. At first, it may irk you that things are done differently. It may even seem, dare I say, less efficient. However, it’s part of the charm.

Patience and flexibility are necessary for Panama.

Things won’t get done on your time; they’ll get done on Panamanian time. Slowly but surely, you’ll learn to SLOW DOWN, too, and enjoy living in such a beautiful country.

After the first few months of living in Panama, you’ll discover that you can breathe easier and deeper as you start to RELAX. You’ll feel the tension melt away!

You probably didn’t even realize that you’ve been practically holding your breath for years.

Relax on the beach

Many people who move to Panama have been able to get off their medications for high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression after making the move. Why? Well, a calmer and simpler way of living can do wonders for your health.

But, of course, there will be adjustments when you move to Panama.

You will be stepping into a life of learning new ways to do things, adjusting expectations, and expanding your experiences. If you want to live a stress-free lifestyle, you’ll have to surrender a little more and stress a lot less.

You’ll need to let go of your always-busy mindset. But if you can embrace the idea of “doing less” but enjoying more, then you’ll thrive in your life in Panama.

After moving to Panama, you can learn a lot from the locals. You’ll notice how incredibly patient most Panamanians are. They rarely get upset in public. If there’s a long line at the grocery store, instead of complaining, they will take advantage of that time to visit and talk with the other people in line.

Panama is a place where you will learn to go with the flow.

Yesterday I was driving to my house when the car in front of me suddenly stopped in the middle of the road to talk to a friend they saw walking. This can happen anywhere in Panama. I did not honk my horn. I just went around him.

There will be power outages sometimes and low water pressure sometimes. But they eventually get fixed.

You learn to love living in Panama! All of its imperfections and inefficiencies may become unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

Panama City Panama
Panama City, Panama

You may wake up with a list of things you planned to do today, but it can change in a heartbeat – if you let it. This evening, for example, I planned to work on bookkeeping, but a friend sent a message inviting me to dinner, so I jumped at the unexpected opportunity.

Spontaneity is undoubtedly one of the many gifts of living in Panama. Let your checklist take a backseat to living when you move to Panama. Embrace community over “productivity.”

Even when you move to Panama, you may decide it’s time for a change to try out a different area for a while. You may want to live at the beach for three to six months and then in the mountains for three to six months out of the year. Perhaps you’d like to live in Bocas del Toro for a month or two. It’s all possible when you move to Panama.

san carlos panama
San Carlos, Panama

Or, you can take short in-country vacations to experience new areas in Panama. This may lead to discovering a new area where you’d like to live for a few months. I did that recently. After spending some time in El Valle de Anton last year, I decided to move there for a few months to see what it’s like to live there. Boquete is still home, but it was nice to experience a new area in Panama.

Moving to Panama taught me, slowly but surely, to trust life more and learn to follow my intuition.

Life in Panama will be exciting…and, some days, it will be frustrating too. But don’t worry, you can do this!

Moving to a new country comes with many challenges, but just remember your reasons for making the change. The challenges are nothing compared to the daily stress where you live now.

Most importantly, take time each day to enjoy the life that Panama offers you, one that you weren’t able to have before.

With all the windows open in my house this morning, I woke up to the most beautiful blue skies and a gentle breeze. I took a deep breath, excited for whatever the day could bring, and realized how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful country.

While sitting on the back patio, drinking freshly made green juice, I saw six colorful birds—even a mot mot! A basilisk lizard appeared to munch on papaya in the yard. It’s like living in the Garden of Eden in Panama.

Mot Mot
Basilisk Lizard

Come see how you can LIVE BETTER for LESS in Panama!

Panama has the kind of change you’re looking for!

Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour to discover where to live in Panama and how to have a smooth move to paradise.

Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of people make a hassle-free move to Panama. We can help you too!

If a Panama Relocation Tour is not in your budget or the dates don’t work out, check out the Online Panama Relocation Guide! It has all the information you need to move to Panama, reliable contacts, and details about how to have a smooth transition to life in Panama.

Whether you go on a Panama Relocation Tour or buy the Online Panama Relocation Guide, you’ll have access to our ongoing support before, during, and after your move to Panama.

Panama Relocation Tours has the experience you can trust.

complete panama relocation guide

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. JOSEPH SIMMS says

    Hi Jackie, I have a question/situation about health care when traveling/living in Panama. We have traveled to Panama 4 times and we love it and eventual plan to ove to Panama. When we were in Panama for a month last January, my wife broke her arm. She received emergency surgery at Santa Fe Hospital in Panama City, the healthcare was excellent. The concern is we had to pay over $8000 out of pocket.
    Luckly we had credit cards make to the payment. The issue is what if we had other serious healthcare issues ? I would like your opinion on what can be done about health care as we spend more time visiting and living in Panama. By the way we had an excellent time visiting and exploring , many areas in Panama; Colon, Santa Fe, Valle Anton, Playa Blanca and more. We enjoy all of your helpful information. Thanks Joe Simms

    • Jackie Lange says

      When traveling, it’s a good idea to get travel insurance. Some hospitals in Panama will accept certain travel insurances as payment so you don’t have any upfront expenses. And when you move to Panama, get health insurance. I’m really surprised that Santa Fe hospital charged that much for a broken arm. A neighbor broke her wrist recently, and it was $250 for xrays, cast sling and pain meds.

  2. Peggy Mackey says

    Just curious, what is Green Juice? you have mentioned it a few times.

    • Jackie Lange says

      I have a cold pressed juicer and make fresh juices every day. I like to start the day with a green juice made of celery, cuces, kale, remain lettuce, kiwi, green apples, ginger. And also make juice out of oranges (or pineapple), carrots, tumeric, etc etc. And I make many other kinds of juices. The juices are loaded with vitamins and minerals that keep me healthy.

  3. Cinthya Calderon says

    What can you do in Panamá for a job? I am Costa Rican and World like to know more

  4. Lilia George says

    I am a US citizen, Panamanian by birth. I would like to move back to Panamá. I am also retired.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Lilia, come back to Panama soon! You will love living in Panama!

  5. Linette Dutari Rodriguez says

    Hi Jackie, like Lilia I’m a us citizen Panamanian birth, I’ll be 65 this year already retired so as my husband so we are confused regarding getting the Medicare or not. My husband (also us citizen-Panamanian birth) will be 65 this year, are planning to move back to Panama this year some time. Can you give us some advice on this. Thank you

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Linette.. Congratulations on moving back to Panama! You cannot use Medicare in Panama. But, if you have the right Medicare Advantage plan, you can use it for medical emergencies in Panama. see this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPW9jurozPM&t=140s

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