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When it comes to making decisions about where to live, there are a lot of things to consider. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to the quality of life—what environment makes you feel most comfortable and fulfilled?
These two countries come to mind for many people: Oregon and Panama. I’ve lived in both places and can offer some valuable insight into the differences between the two. So if you decide between Oregon and Panama, this article is for you.
We’ll compare living in Oregon vs. Panama on five main points: geography, climate, culture, cost of living, and safety. Once we go through all that information, you’ll better understand which option is the best option for you.
Outdoor Activities Living in Oregon and Panama: Hiking, Beaches, and More
After living in Oregon and Panama, I can say firsthand that the outdoor activities you can experience in each place are vastly different. Oregon is known for its lush forests, mountains, and dramatic coastline, making it an excellent spot for hiking and nature lovers. You can find local trails or hikes along the coast that boast majestic beach views on one side and towering trees on the other.
In Panama, the outdoor activities are centered around their beaches; you’ll find white sandy beaches of crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and indulging in watersports like snorkeling and paddle boarding. If you’re looking to get away from the traffic of city life, there are plenty of untouched islands you take a day trip to—all beautiful in their own right. Additionally, Panama has mountains like Cerro Ancon and Volcan Baru that offer picturesque views if you’re looking to get away from the city and into nature.
So when it comes to spending time outdoors, both locations have plenty to offer; however, if I had to choose one location over the other, I would pick Panama—the variety of activities is unmatched!
Cost of Living in Oregon vs. Panama: Comparing Rent, Utilities, and Expenses
Moving abroad is no small feat, and clearly understanding the cost of living in your new home is a must. When considering Oregon and Panama, it’s essential to realize that both locations have vastly different economies. This means that renters will pay different prices for similar items, often significantly lower in Panama than in Oregon.
Rent: Renting an apartment could cost around $1,800-1,900 in Oregon compared to $650-800 in Panama, depending on your chosen city.
Utilities: Gas, electricity, and water bills typically run between $50-80 per month in Panama and can quickly rise to $150 or more for similarly sized apartments in Oregon.
Expenses: Buying food at the local grocery store can be relatively cheap if you try to shop for local produce–as low as $40-60 per week for a single person. In Oregon, groceries, including organic options, can range from about $90-125 per week or more, depending on how many vegetarian and vegan foods you buy.
Overall, living costs are significantly lower when comparing Oregon vs. Panama–making it easy to see why so many people choose Panama as their next home destination!
Why living Panama Is More Affordable than living in Oregon
As much as I love living in Oregon, I had to realize that Panama was a much more affordable country for me. From rent prices to food, Panama is an excellent option if you want to save money.
For one thing, rent in Panama can be highly affordable. In one of my favorite cities, David, I found several apartments for $400-500 for my monthly needs. That amount of money would barely get me a bedroom in Oregon.
Plus, the cost of food is significantly lower too. So if you don’t feel like cooking, plenty of options out there won’t break your budget—you can find food from just $1-2! Not to mention, the grocery store prices here are excellent. You can pick up fresh fruits and vegetables (like pineapples or squash) for a pocket change compared to what it would cost in Oregon.
In short, if you want to save money while living a great life overseas, Panama is definitely the way to go!
Tax Benefits: Low Taxes living in Panama vs living in Oregon
Considering the tax implications of living in either place? One significant advantage of living in Panama is its meager tax rate. You’ll pay no personal income tax on your foreign wages or investment income you earn abroad, and non-residents have even more lenient tax rules than residents do.
Taxation laws in Panama are incredibly straightforward, and you can expect more predictable taxation rates than elsewhere worldwide. Panama also has one of the world’s best retirement programs, so anyone planning to retire to Panama will benefit from generous tax breaks.
Plus, if you’re worried about estate or inheritance taxes, don’t be: There are none in Panama! Even if you pass away while living in Panama, your estate can be passed on to your heirs without being subject to inheritance taxes.
However, In Oregon, personal income tax rates range from 5% to 9.9%, depending on your taxable income and filing status. In addition, Oregon also has an estate tax ranging from 10% to 16% and inheritance taxes ranging from 10% to 20%. Therefore, choosing Panama over Oregon regarding taxation could save many people significantly.
Climate and Weather: Living in Rainy Oregon vs. Living in Tropical Panama
Regarding climate and weather, Oregon and Panama couldn’t be more different. Oregon has wet seasons caused by the warm air from the Pacific and a more relaxed air from the east, whereas Panama is tropical all year round.
Living in Oregon, you must prepare for dampness all year because of its temperate oceanic climate. On the other hand, Panama is located in a tropical zone. Therefore, it has two distinct seasons: dry season (winter) and wet season (summer). Here’s a comparison of what to expect in each country:
- Cool temperatures
- Rainy weather (especially in winter months)
- Snow at higher elevations
- Hot temperatures throughout the year
- The dry season from December to April
- The wet season from May to November
In conclusion, while living in Oregon can be chilly and uncomfortable during winter due to its cold temperatures and rain, Panama offers an ideal environment with hot temperatures all year round that can’t be beaten.
Culture and Lifestyle: How is for Locals Living in Oregon vs Panama
As I’ve been exploring the differences between living in Oregon and Panama, cultural and lifestyle factors are essential to the equation. So how do locals really live in each of these places?
You can find a mix between metropolitan city life and rural, small-town life in Oregon. Portland is one of the best cities to live in if you’re looking for a hip place with lots of art and culture. But it also has its laidback side since Oregon is often regarded as chilled-out.
The state is full of green expanses, making it great for hiking or spending time outdoors. There are even hot springs scattered around the state, which locals visit all year round!
Now let’s compare this to Panama. Panama City has more hustle and bustle compared to many cities in Oregon—it’s grown leaps and bounds economically over the last few decades, which can be seen in its new buildings, luxury stores, modern restaurants, etc. But at the same time, it’s got plenty of historic parts with streets lined with colorful colonial buildings that will take you back in time.
The rainforest is just a few hours away, so nature lovers can easily escape civilization for a while. Meanwhile, beaches like Bocas del Toro are prime spots for surfing near Panama City, attracting many local and international surfers daily.
Finally, suppose you want to get away from modernity altogether. In that case, plenty of traditional villages still have much more traditional lifestyles, like indigenous communities living off fishing or farming—these provide an exciting glimpse into how people used to (and still) live in this part of Central America.
Outdoor Activities Galore in Panama
Having lived in Oregon and Panama, I know Panama offers more options for outdoor activities. From jungle treks to fishing trips to lounging on one of the many stunning beaches, the recreational opportunities in Panama are near-endless!
The rainforest is teeming with plant and animal life—a great place for a jungle trek. Plus, you won’t need too much for supplies—some water, sturdy shoes, a guide, and a bit of sunscreen will do—and you’ll be able to explore far from the nearest town. The rich wildlife includes sloths, toucans, and even jaguars—so make sure you come prepared!
The Caribbean Sea is full of tuna, snapper, and grouper—just waiting to be caught! The fishing is always great here, whether you go trawling, trolling, or using simple handlines or drop lines off a boat or dock. I’d definitely recommend an experienced captain if you want to maximize your catch.
There’s nothing quite like soaking up some sun on one of Panama’s many beaches. With their white sand shores fringed by lush palm trees and turquoise waters filled with sea turtles (and plenty of fish!), you can easily spend a whole week lounging alongside the waves here.
Welcoming Ex-pat Community in Panama
I didn’t just choose Panama as my new home because of the beaches and climate but also because of its thriving ex-pat community. This was incredibly important to me—I wanted to feel at home and part of a culture that welcomed me.
When I arrived in Panama, I immediately felt a sense of community, and it wasn’t much longer before I made new friends. And the beauty of living here is you can be as social or solitary as you like—there’s something for everyone!
Having an ex-pat network is a great way to learn about Panama and its offerings. For example, it’s a great way to get advice on where to find the best restaurants, shops, medical care, and other services; plus, many ex-pats know all the secret spots for outdoor recreation. Additionally, plenty of organizations host regular events for ex-pats, which provide great opportunities to meet other people from around the world living in Panama, such as myself.
In short, ex-pat life in Panama has been really great so far! It’s easy to feel like you belong here quickly – making this an attractive destination for people looking for a fresh start.
Healthcare living in Panama vs. living in Oregon: High Quality and Low Cost
After living in Oregon and Panama, I’ve experienced firsthand the differences between their healthcare systems. While the quality of healthcare I received was excellent in both locations, Panama offers a variety of options at a fraction of the cost I’d pay for similar care in Oregon.
Specifically, I found a few critical differences between healthcare in Oregon and Panama:
- Cost: Healthcare is much more affordable in Panama than in Oregon. For example, when I had a routine checkup in Oregon, it cost me over $200 out of pocket. In contrast, the same visit cost me only $20 in Panama.
- Accessibility: More medical facilities are located throughout Panama than in most areas of Oregon. Access to multiple facilities means getting faster care when you need it—essential if you’re dealing with an emergency or chronic illness.
- Quality: The quality of care was excellent during my visits to medical facilities in Oregon and Panama. From speaking to acquaintances who have also used the services of medical facilities throughout Panama, they reported similar experiences—high-quality care with quick wait times and friendly staff members.
Overall, if you’re looking for high-quality healthcare at a low-cost price point, Panama might be the place for you!
Want to know more about living in Panama?
Check out therse reasons to move to Panama
When deciding between Oregon and Panama, there’s no contest: Panama is the clear winner. The cost of living in Panama is much lower than in Oregon, allowing you to save money and live a more comfortable lifestyle. But it’s not just the money that makes Panama great; the weather, the people, and the opportunities make Panama an attractive place to live.
Your experience living in either Oregon or Panama will be different. Still, if you’re looking to escape the cold and get a taste of a new culture, Panama is the best option. Whether you’re looking for a new adventure, a career move, or just a change of scenery, Panama is the perfect place to start. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to explore all that Panama has offerings.