View Full Version : Panama?

4-28-11, 12:11pm
Hi, just a quick question I would like to post.....I have been doing some research and am thinking at some point down the road of working towards permanent residency in Panama.....What do you'all think of Panama as an idea? I know there are some issues involved here - there are some narco-problems and some violent crime I don't like the idea of, I'm not sure about the climate, either.....Basically the cost of living is a bit lower there and I worry a great deal about access to health care in the future, these would be my primary motivations. Smart idea would be to visit someday and see what I think. Health care in Panama City is up to US Standards from what I have read (and much much much cheaper), housing much cheaper (though it is quite cheap for some here now due to the housing collapse), and food is quite cheap too. I also like that the government controls pharmaceutical prices and does not let the market run amok this way.....Rob

4-28-11, 1:52pm
I've heard good things about Panama, but since everyone's mileage varies, were it me, I'd plan on renting for at least two months and doing it during the hottest/wettest part of the year to see if I could handle the heat...the best weather must be lovely and there are mountains where it's not steamy during the hot season I hear...

Data and research and participating on ex-pat forums will give you the statistics, but how will the country, people and culture seem to YOU? Do you speak Spanish or plan to learn?

4-29-11, 3:58pm
Plan to come down and live for at least 6 months. I'm living in Honduras and working for a US installation. Reality is not as romantic as I always thought it would be. There really isn't much to do. The reality of that is hard to really understand until you live it. It is also 'different'. Not so much 'bad', just different. The differences may not matter to you. I didn't think they would to me. I will be ready to leave in 5 mo. when my contract is over. The flip side is that I will be much more inclined to travel down here as a tourist in the future.

5-1-11, 10:23pm
There have been some visa changes last year that complicate "living" in Panama. They were not directed at NA Expats but a collateral effect. There are many expats there and prices have fallen considerably as PC had its own condo/expat home building bubble.
I agree with above posters, live at least two months in a place for many reasons. You will save on rent longer term once you know what are true market rates vs tourist ones (Comps to home prices are useless other than for personal entertainment purposes). What is in your imagination as a perfect place could need to be tweaked after you have experienced it, An example for us was DS and DD wanted beach... and I mean BEACH, when we moved to first island. So after a month they discovered why expat homes are all on the ridges above the beach areas.

IME no where is perfect but many places are truly wonderful... for most of the year. Also most places change over five years away from why you chose the place, not necessarily go bad, just away from what you wanted (for me it was the appearance of golf courses and attached communities).

There is a big and interesting world out there... do have fun.

5-16-11, 4:38pm
Hey Rob - you might want to check out Belize. They have a really good set up for ex pat Americans that allow for dual citizenship and passports, the ability to own property and have a larger sum of money to use in country every year. It's a bit more hot and humid and tropical than Panama probably and the ethnicity is more African than Hispanic or Indian, but it sounds like a nice place to live and not as over-americanized at Panama or Costa Rica. I've never been there but have been to Honduras while in the Coast Guard and all that area is beautiful but very impoverished. Check out some of the ex pat websites too (www.escapeartist.com is one of my favorites and has lots of info - including an article on Belize as Hell) for more info. Also, for interesting jobs, check out www.coolworks.com sounds like some jobs you'd be interested in.

Poco Pelo
5-17-11, 3:14pm
Rob, Being from the service industry and how you have worked away from homebase. And maybe you have thought this already.... but have you considered looking for a job there with a resort or something like that ?

Adventure awaits, J