Tropical Panama City and the pros and cons of living in this magical place as a foreigner can seem scary but maybe we can change your mind with this article.
First, let me introduce you to a couple general facts of this precious country I’m happy to call home. The Republic of Panama is located between Central and South America, having the Pacific Ocean on the bottom and the Caribbean Sea on the top while being the neighbors of Costa Rica and Colombia. This means that besides being one of the most popular options to migrate at the moment, it is also a paradise full of tropical nature.
This land that has 75,517 km² of area and about 4,279,000 inhabitants (according to the population test made in 2020), could be your most reliable choice when it comes to living in a civilized, joyful and modern country on your own or with your family.
Here I will tell you some of the basic points to consider at the time of seeing Panama as an option to live and then you can decide by yourself if it is worth it.
Economy and Living Cost
One of the things to focus on while pointing out the pros and cons of living in the tropical Panama is the economy and also the living cost.
According to the World Economy Forum, the tropical Panama is the third most competitive Latin American country and according to the 2019 Human Development Index is the fourth highest growth place meaning that it makes it the country with the highest economic growth in its region. All of this is because Panama’s economy is based mostly on the services sector, mainly in the Panama Canal.
The living cost here, of course, depends on the lifestyle you want to lead and what expenses we are talking about, for example, food, housing or transportation expenses. For me, Panama looks like a city in the United States, the purchases of electronics and clothing are very cheap as in the north of the continent. We can find incredibly cheap prices of things without a brand and even prices of recognized brands at very affordable prices; two of my personal favorite recognized brands to buy here are Michael Kors and Coach and in case you didn’t know Panama even started two years ago with its Black Friday and that day the deals are incredibly low.
Regarding rents, it is like in any country. Do we want to live in the center or in a house on the outskirts or a luxury apartment? Here you can have all of them. Let’s say that living in the Azuero peninsula (that it’s like living in memphis when we talk about lifestyle) would cost approximately 600 usd and around 700 to 1,000 usd to live in a modest apartment in the center of the city but if you want the best, this price can go up to 4,000 usd.
The city is large enough to find a place even lower than that. For example, as a single you can have roommates and you can pay around 300 usd for a room in a decent apartment with great social areas benefits and near everything or you can be like me and rent a whole house for 900 usd in Brisas del Golf, Villa Lucre or Cerro Viento that is only 15 minutes away from the center of the city and the amenities are amazing.
Like most countries in America it is better to use a car because although the use of a taxi is somewhat cheap, it is a headache to have to wait for someone who wants to pick you up and that is that taxis in Panama do not work like in others. countries, these are shared taxis and obviously we have to take the same address as the passengers who are going before, so it could be possible to wait a long time until someone wants to pick you up or take you to the same address.
I know that maybe you want to compare the costs of living in your current country with those in Panama and a good source of information is Numbeo.
As a local, I’ll tell you that tropical Panama City is the most friendly country for buying properties as a foreigner. Even though it is a small country, you have plenty of options to live in the best way you ever dreamed of.
Do you want to live in a modern and well developed city? Got it! Do you want to live surrounded by nature in the woods? Got it! Do you want to live at the beach or an island with the crystal clear sea at your door? Got it! And what about living in the middle of the city while having a panoramic sea view in one of the greatest areas of the country? Also got it! And this is probably one of our most proudly pros when it comes to making a list of pros and cons of living in Panama.
Here we have anything you want at a pretty affordable price (as an example, you can live in the middle of the city, near everything you need, for just $1000 or less).
I consider, one of the best things when it comes to investing real estate in Panama is that it does not matter your age, it’s popular because of its options for young people and also when it comes to retirement options, the benefits are awesome.
Also, when it comes to re-buying properties, the panamanian land has the best options in the Latin American market. There is a significant inventory of second-hand apartments, both in the city and in beach areas, there are a wide variety of apartment types and prices on the market, as well as repossessed properties.
Foreigners are more than welcome and this is one of the reasons why it is worth considering moving to the tropical Panama as an option to emigrate, if you have already looked for options to live in another country you will know that it is not easy, you always have to have a job and a contract to be able to obtain a residence visa or, you have to marry or have direct family as parents.
In here you should forget about the above, if you want to move to Panama this will be very easy, since the government offers a large list of visas to obtain residence, among them, work visas, for investment in real estate, retired or pensioner, visa from friendly countries and more.
A large number of retirees emigrate to the tropical Panama, given their opportunity by the visa that I mentioned above, as well as the visa of friendly countries, which is the most requested in Panama. If you are from any of the following countries you can apply for this resident visa in Panama: Argentina, Andorra, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay. The countries mentioned are Spanish-speaking, however the countries that can apply for this visa are around 50 countries.
This type of visa allows the applicant to be able to work legally, among the countries where the official language is not Spanish, but which can also apply, we have the United Kingdom.
Location and Weather
If you are a retiree who wants to travel from time to time, tropical Panama has flights to South America or if you are a businessman you can easily travel to the United States, Canada and Europe. Its climate is tropical and humid so this depends on tastes and the season, it can feel cool or hot.
In addition to being able to easily obtain a pensioner’s residence, another of the benefits offered by this country are discounts for purchases, trips, medicines and more, for all pensioners. On the other hand, you have to remember that the US dollar is used in Panama, so if you are a fan of this currency, you can have access to it and avoid headaches by exchanging your money. Another pro on our pros and cons of living in Panama list.
The tropical Panama City is a very beautiful city, its buildings are spectacular, its developed infrastructure will surprise those who emigrate from another third world country and moving to Panama will make you feel in a better country.
Let me tell you as a born and raised in the land of Panama, that have been working since 17 yeras old, and even with a salary of just 500 usd I lived good and stable so this is defenitely a place to live cheap, good, modern and perfectly fine.
On the other hand, our people are naturally used to foreigners. It has always been a place of a lot of cultures, races and that’s why their systems are also pretty non-local friendly so it definitely makes it one of the most common choices to migrate.
In conclusion, this country with diversity, modernity, accessibility and wonderful non touch nature is a little pandora box if you want to move into a new place with your family, your partner or even as a single.
If you want to know more about Panama and all the main cities to live in make sure you check this article about Living in Panama City.