Why Is Panama An Expat Magnet?

Panama, best known for the Panama Canal which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, has a lot to offer and those are ready to retire or just find a better place to live.  Panama offers a lower cost of living and an affordable healthcare system. Panama has a stable government, and a strong economy plus Panama uses the US dollar. Perhaps the best features include the natural beauty, miles of beautiful sandy beaches, modern amenities, and hurricane-free tropical weather.

So why do people from all over the world flock to Panama? The answer is quite simple. Panama has something for everyone. Here is a look at what Panama has to offer:

Couples Live the Good Life on As Little as $2,000 a month

The strong stable economy in Panama is ideal for people living on a fixed income. The culture here is rich, and many of the cities are beautiful. There is such a large population of retired North Americans and Europeans living in Panama,  that it’s not hard to find someone who speaks English. 

There are many nice restaurants where a meal for two is less than $20… including a glass of wine or beer!   Groceries are affordable.  Fresh produce is super affordable and available all year.  This is the tropics so fresh fruits are available every day and affordable too.  You can enjoy fresh fish from two oceans.

Some areas of Panama are more expensive than others and they will require a larger monthly budget.  But if you are on a tight budget, there are certainly many places where a couple can live a very comfortable lifestyle in Panama for as little as $2,000 per month.   Less stress!  I know many singles who live the good life in Panama on less than $1500 per month.  Just today, a couple from a Panama Relocation Tour rented a beautiful fully furnished 2 bedrooms 2 bath house for $650 with all utilities included.

Beautiful Beach Communities and Mountain Towns

Panama is a nation that has it all. There are two oceans, mountains, miles of coastlines, jungles, culture, and modern cities. Panama City, the capital of Panama, sits along the shores of Panama Bay along the Pacific side of the nation. Panama City has a population approaching 2,500,000, it is the largest city in Panama. Also on the Pacific side is Coronado, which is west of Panama City. Coronado, Gorgona, and San Carlos are perfect for people who want to live in close proximity to Panama City but with sandy beaches and a relaxing lifestyle. Panama City.

If you want to live close to the beach but have a tight budget, Panama’s Azuero Peninsula has everything you need for a fraction of the cost of the Coronado area.  How about a two-bedroom furnished house on a large lot facing the Ocean for only $500 a month?!

Those who prefer cooler weather will enjoy Boquete, Volcan, or El Valle.  These mountain towns enjoy spring-like weather year-round with average temperatures around 76 degrees.  Boquete is home to thousands of expats which makes the transition to an expat lifestyle a soft landing.

The Cost of Living is Much Cheaper Than North America or Europe

Panama is a magnet for retirees because it is much more affordable than in other countries. In Panama, a domestic bottle of beer costs 65 cents. You can rent a one-bedroom house or apartment for $200-$500 per month (depending on where you live in Panama)  — in comparison to an apartment in Los Angeles which costs $1,621 per month. Domestic beer in Los Angeles runs $5. When it comes to comparing Panama City to London, UK the savings are profound. People save 35 percent off mid-range meals in Panama City and 56 percent off of the rental of an apartment in the city center.

Panama has modern hospitals, well-trained doctors, and outstanding health insurance, all at affordable prices. Even in smaller cities, modern health care is available, and most of the medical doctors in Panama go to the US for training. Expect to pay $10 to $20 for a routine doctor visit and $40 – $50 for a specialist… without insurance.  Four hours in the emergency room at a hospital will cost about $150… without insurance.  At the public hospitals, you can save even more because a general doctor visit is only $2 or a specialist is $5.

Reduce Taxes

An online business can be run from anywhere.  This is one reason expats are flocking to Panama. If you do not sell any products or services IN Panama, you won’t owe any taxes in Panama.

Taxes are much lower in Panama than they are in other countries if you do sell products or services in Panama.

If you are from the United States, you can earn about $108,000 per year (per person)  tax-free with the Foreign Earned Income Exemption.  Luckily, most other countries do not tax you on the income you earned outside of your home country.

Panama is Safe

Panama is not a country divided like North America.  Everyone just gets along.  There are strong family values that keep moral values and respect high.

There is no military.

Crime is rare is most of Panama.  There are a few areas in Panama City, Colon and Paso Canoas that have high crime rates but it’s easy enough to stay away from those areas.  In most areas in Panama, crime is almost unheard of.

Panama reminds me of what growing up in the 60s was like.  You see children walking or riding their bikes in town (safely).  You see families sitting in lawn chairs on their front lawn while kids are running through a sprinkler.  People stop to talk to their friends when they see them in town.  But be warned that you could be driving behind someone when they see their friends walking and they will just stop to talk to them.

The Panamanian people are super friendly.

Panama For Retirees

Panama is an opportunity to live a better life for less money, and many Americans are cashing in on that opportunity.   Panama is a safe country and Panamanians are very friendly towards foreigners.  Panama welcomes retirees by offering their Pensionado visa with even more savings, including:

•    50% off on recreation and entertainment such as movies, theaters, sports, etc.
•    50% off hotels Monday through Thursday (30% off on weekends)
•    30% off public transportation like buses, trains, and boats
•    25% off airfare
•    25% off restaurants (15% off fast food)
•    25% off electrical, telephone, and water service
•    20% off doctors and specialists
•    20% off prosthetics and other personal assistance devices
•    15% off hospitals and private clinics
•    15% off dental and optometry services
•    10% off prescription medications

Plus banks have a special line for retirees so you rarely have to wait in line!

Great Weather

The great weather is present 365 days per year, and the unique geological makeup of Panama makes it naturally hurricane free. No snow!

You can literally pick your ideal temperature based on the elevation. It’s about 90 degrees at the coast. The temperature drops 4 degrees for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. Where can you move and find a better deal? Not very many places offer as much as Panama.

Panama Relocation Guide Your EASY Button – How to Move to Panama Faster

If you want to discover for yourself how wonderful Panama is for you, join us for a 1-3 day PRIVATE Panama Relocation Tour of the most popular places to live. The itinerary is fully customized to see and do exactly what you want to learn. See favorite neighborhoods, rentals in your budget, where to go shopping, meet a Panama doctor, ,check prescription prices at a pharmacy, and more.  Private Tours start at just $250 a day for a couple.

If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, you can get all the information you need to know to have a smooth move to Panama with INSTANT ACCESS to the same information with our Online Panama Relocation Guide.  The Online  Guide is ideal for those who want to reduce their costs on getting the reliable information they need to know to move to Panama AND who want to get the information about how to relocate to Panama as fast as possible.

We’ve been helping people relocate to Panama since 2010 and have the experience you can trust, and need when making a decision to relocate to Panama. Our Tours and the Online Panama Relocation Guide come with our ongoing support before and after you arrive in Panama.

A Private Panama Relocation Tour or the Online Panama Relocation Guide will give you the information you need to have total confidence to relocate to Panama. 

When you see Panama you will discover, like I did, that you already feel at home as soon as you arrive.

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

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. Michael J says

    I’ve read and reseached various blogs, international websites, news letters, books and a host of other materials on living and relocation to Panama & Costa Rica, most which is outdated, false and hasn’t been updated in years, never mind months..
    I have to say this website has captured my interest and respect for the author and/or writes.

    The information is clear, to the point and most of all, it’s on point. It’s detailed as to what expats need to know before making this leap and most of all, the right places to visit. Every location mentioned on tour is where we’re looking to relocation.. NOT Panama City… If I wanted the city I can stay here in the states.
    You’ve identified and targeted the right audience, not sales talk, but a view of the places and a change to speak with expats already established in the country. Theirs no better knowledge than first hand
    experience.. Should we decide to come to Panama, you’ll be the first person we contact.
    Also important you’ve included cultural diversity in your photos.. hint!! hint!!!

    • Panama Relocation Tours says

      Thanks for the kind remarks. You’re right, many websites and books about Panama are very outdated. It is important to get CURRENT information about about life in Panama. Information about what it was like 5 or 10 years ago does you no good.

  2. Debbie says

    Thanx for the update & scads of excellent info. I just read a 1/20/2020 MoneyWise article on the 20 top affordable countries to retire to. I had to read thru 20 pages as they did a count down from 20 to 1. NO SURPRISE Panama listed as the #1 most affordable & most attractive country in the world to retire to! We look forward to relocating with less stress, better health & a simpler more rewarding lifestyle. We made a valuable investment purchasing your Online Panama Relocation Guide. I read a little bit each day & it’s so enlightening. So far, I’ve only had question which you quickly answered so what more could I ask for? Again, thank you for making our relocation all the more easier with the countless resources and advice your Guide provides us.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Thanks Debbie! Panama is absolutely the best choice! We’re so glad you enjoy the information from the Online Panama Relocation Guide. We’re happy to help make your relocation to Panama as easy as possible! See you in Panama soon!

  3. Gerri says

    Yes thank you for all the helpful information and the conference calls. Look forward to taking it to her in the future when travel resumes!

    • Jackie Lange says


      Thanks so much. We’re glad you enjoy the information and conference calls. We’re hoping we can resume doing tours soon.

  4. Christine Staddon says

    I’ve enjoyed reading about living in Panama. Canada is a wonderful country in many ways, however it has three big drawbacks: a high cost of living (rent and housing costs through the ceiling, high taxes, etc.); a long and trying winter (6 months of cold where I live), and the lack of a warm and accepting social life. (The people, while generally pleasant and helpful are private and it’s difficult to make friends.) I’m a single mature woman, well educated and travelled, and I dream of living in a place of natural beauty and human warmth, where I can swim in the ocean and don’t have to worry so much about money. Perhaps Panama is that place.

    The only thing holding me back is that I have two cats who are my beloved companions. Could you please tell me if its possible to relocate with my pets. Would they have to be in quarantine?

    Thank you.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Christine. It sounds like Panama will be perfect for what you are looking for! Affordable, good weather all year, social activities and more. PLUS, you can bring your fur babies with you. See this article to learn how ( the process is a bit different for Canadians but very similar) https://panamarelocationtours.com/bringing-your-pets-to-panama

  5. John & Karen says

    One of our considerations is rational Covid policies…can you give us an update on what is happening in Panama in 2022?

    • Jackie Lange says

      I don’t know what the Covid policies will be in 2022. Currently, vaccines are voluntary. Masks in public are mandatory.

  6. Jose Gabino says

    Getting all documents for the pension retirado hope to see you soon

    • Jackie Lange says

      Jose, that’s so exciting! You will love living in Panama!

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