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Forum Post
05/11/05 12:35


could I live very comfortably in panama, not in the city, on $1000 a month inc. rent. plus car prices a modest 4 door.
Archived Replies

This post has a total of 67 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: living archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 05/11/05 through 12/27/12, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

Comment 43
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richard danielsen

"retired but do some hunting on my ranch . love to fish ."

thinking of moving to panama to live 7 will plan a trip to check out housing & etc.
Comment 44
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Mike Molesworth


Want to move from Costa Rica to panama. Looking for a rental 2/bd house long term un-furnished in Puerto Armuelles for about $250.00 to $300.00 per month. Is this possible? I'm 65 with $1, 000.00 a month SS Check. I own very nice furnature & appliances and own my car. Should I sell everything or ship it to Panama from Costa Rica? I have been living in Costa Rica for 2 years but the laws and cost of living here is starting to be like the USA. Can I live on my $1, 000.00 in Puerto Armuelles? Thanks For Your Reply Big Mike
Comment 45
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Costa Rica
Thank author of this post/comment"Retired"

I want to move to Panama. Been living in Costa Rica for 2 years. My income is $1, 007.00 a month from #SS. Can I live in Puerto Armuelles and find a 2/Bd rental house for about $250.00/$300.00 per month? I have very nice Furnature & Appliances. Should I sell here or truck it to Panama? Answeres from anyone would be welcome. I will be trying to drive down their about mid April to look for a long term rental house and open up a bank account down their. If you would like to call be and give me your phone # I will call you back on my skype acct. so you won't be paying for our conversation. Thank you so much. Big Mike H/506-22-65-41-25 OR Cell/888-4-1947
Comment 46
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"looking to retire"

I am interested in retiring to Panama. I am single and have a ss of over 1500.00 plus other liquid assets. Would I feel very isolated or is it easy to make friends and become a member of a community?? Would I be able to find comfortable rental accommodations?
Comment 47
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"Living in Panama"


If I were you, I would make sure that I find a community that has lots of Xpats. Try the retirement areas of Boquete, David, Bocas there is way too many to list. Try to go on different Blogs and get acquainted that way. We have met a lot of new friends in our travels and will be moving down there for good at the end of this year. We love Boquete, lots of pensioners and very friendly people. You only live once!!!! Take the plunge....

Comment 48
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Nery Mejicano

"Retiring in Panama"

I am planjning to retire with my wife to Panama. Our SS income will be about $4, 000/month. We will keep our house in Florida and actually rent it weekly to South American tourists, that will give us at least another $1, 000+/month. We would like to move to Bocas del Toro and bring a 45 ft sailboat. Can we charter the boat in Panama if we are "pensionists" and hire a couple of Panamenian deck hands and a couple of other to help with the boat and home? We will also advertise the boat charter internationally, therefore bringing more tourits to Panama. Are there any problems or limitations that we need to become aware of?
Comment 49
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Sounds like you know what you want to do. Have you made a trip to Bocas? You have enough SS income to qualify. Remember if you buy property in Bocas be sure it is lien free. I have heard several people say that they bought in Bocas thinking they had deed, come to find out, the natives owned the land (historically nothing in writing) and they dictate who lives there and when. Sometimes they will let you build or buy than they come in and say, "We want our land back." This happened to a couple who had put 250K into their purchase and had to leave and sue to get their money back. The courts could not intervene. If it were I, I would purchase a condo rather than land in Bocas. Also I read on line about a couple who had lost quite a bit of money buying in Bocas, they were going to set up a business on one of the many islands. They went into a partnership and lost a ton of money. If I remember correctly, they were going to build a B & B.

With all that being said, Bocas is beautiful and you can have a life there, just use extreme caution when making a purchase and only go through a reputable attorney in Panama City. I would not use a local attorney. (Just my opinion)

I am not trying to scare you, I just want to give you a little knowledge of what can happen. Try to find the article on the web regarding buying in Bocas. I wish I could remember the site address so I can send you there, but it was a while ago. Just do a search using different words in your search and you might find it. I will try myself and if I find it, I will come back to this site in a few days and report back.

Good luck and you will love Panama.

Comment 50
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"safe move for single gal?"

I'm 49 and was wondering how safe it is for a woman to live there alone ?on a 650 dollar budget should I live with a local family?
Comment 51
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Donna from VA

"Panama wannabe"

My husband and I wish to retire to Panama. We are over 50 but too young to collect Social Security. We have a substantial amount of documented cash which totals over 700K, but we don't receive a pension. Is there any way we can quality without the pension?
Comment 52
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"Panama Wannabe"

Yes you have several options. Here are some of your options.

1. Panama Investment: Invest a minimum of US$300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand US Dollars) in a three (3) year time deposit (or "certificate of deposit" or "CD") at any Panama bank. Rates are pretty good.

2. The Panama Retired or Pensioned Program allows foreigners to obtain legal residency in Panama under the condition that they are retired or pensioned. According to the Panama Immigration Department, there is no minimum or maximum age required to qualify (you only need to provide the requirements / documents below).

The applicants' retirement income (or pension income) must be at least a LIFE TIME US$1, 000 per month. Another option is to purchase at least $100, 000 in Panama real estate, which reduces the lifetime monthly income to $750.

The applicants' income must be proven by providing documentation such as a letter from the institution or company that pays the retirement or pension income. This certification must be notarized and authenticated by the Panamanian Consulate nearest you (or by apostile).

"Article 201.(4): If the pension or retirement fund is from a private company, the following is required:

a. Letter from a foreign company that administrates pensions, a trust company, a mutual fund company, an insurance company or a bank, that certifies that the funds exist to guarantee a lifetime pension for the applicant.

b. Certification of the existence and validity of the private company that issued the pension and administrates the funds.

c. Copy of the proof of payment or statement of account from the bank."

This is important because now applicants can use an Annuity issued by a bank, an insurance company, or even a private company to meet the Panama Pension Visa requirement.

Applicants didn't use to be able to use an annuity. Now they can.

Hope this helps a little.

Comment 53
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"Additional info"

P.S. to above post

They have other options as well, but some are not very inviting. You can contact a local Attorney by email and he can give you more options.

You do not have to be retired by U.S. standards. You can be 18 and if you meet the above or additional programs, you can be considered retired by Panama law.

Let me know if I can be of any help. I know lots of Expats down there. We will be retired down there next yr.

Comment 54
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Carole Selin

"Ms. Carole Selin"

IMy husband and I are interested in retiring in Panama. So many of the expt links I have found are come-ons to buy real estate. We just want to find out if Panama is for us. What's the best way? I know that we must vist . But how? Where?

Comment 55
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Just like Caroline I am also interested in learnign more about the best destination to be in Panama. I have to say that this country really attracts me and so me and my wife decided to retire there too. I am looking for some good links to where we can research more on this matter. I would be waiting for all of your posts in here. Thanks a lot and good day to all.
Comment 56
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You will get many blogs and sites if you google things like: Retire to Panama, Living in the country of Panama, places to live in Panama, Retirees moving to Panama, Expats in Panama, Pensionado's in Panama, benefits of living in Panama.

Do you see what I mean? Just change your words around and different things come up. Make sure its the country of Panama, not Panama City, Florida.

Just keep plugging in different phrases. Thats how I started my search almost 4 years ago. Hope this helps. I would have sent you to some websites, but no time today. If you still are having problems, I will check back in a few days with some sites for you.

Good Luck

Comment 57
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New York
Thank author of this post/comment"Google Search Tips"

It can also really help if you add -florida and/or -fl ie:

Put the google search box:

living in panama -florida -fl

Make sure you don't put a space after the -. This should exclude results with florida or fl in it. That will help avoid a lot of the Panama City, Florida stuff.

Of course, it would except this forum post as well. So there is no perfect search phrase.

Comment 58
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United States
Thank author of this post/comment"Planning on retiring to Panama"

Hi, I'm Bob 62 yo widower with $1300 to retire on the pennsianado program in Panama, I've read alot about it and have a pretty good idea of where I would like to be but I would love it if some of you expatriots would correspond with me by email so I can get a little more sense of the day to day please lets become email friends now and maybe real friends when I move down there, thanx. Bob
Comment 59
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"would like to correspond with someone"

I live in the Seattle area and would like to correspond with someone up here that is thinking of moving or is moving. I can't get on this blog too often because I am not suppose to be online at work. looks like you are from up here? Can we email? Or is there someone else out there? Thanks! Ruth
Comment 60
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Alpharetta, georgia
Thank author of this post/comment"panama "

where is the Costco located in Panama? is it a good place to live. how difficult is it to start a busniess in Panama?
Comment 61
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So very sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I have been very busy lately and not had time to look at this site. yes I live near Seattle. If you would like to give me your email address or phone number I will email you or call you.

I have talked to people all over the U.S. Our home is being built now and we will be moving in the summer. If you want to tell me a little bit about yourself I can put together some things we can talk about.

For now,


Comment 62
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They have Costco in Panama City and David. If I remember correctly it is called PriceRight or PriceMart something like that. I have been to the one in David and it's like walking into Costco in the states. They even sell the Kirkland brand. I guess Costco owns it.
Comment 63
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"Maurice from Georgia"

I will respond to your email address and answer any questions you might have. Also, retiring to Panama is a big step. Please make a trip down there and see if you like it. Panama City IS NOT for everyone. Panama City is very busy and lots of traffic and bad drivers. That is why we decided on Boquete, Panama which is laid back and quiet.

You can retire nicely on 2200. a month in Panama. Would you be renting or buying a home or condo? Will email you in the next few days.

Comment 64
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"Mrs. "

I don't have a title so I just put Mrs. I am currently on medicare and have some retiree benefits from my former employer. I wanted to ask someone if they have had experience with medicare claims from panama. Is there any coverage at all, reduced coverage or the same as if you were in the states. This is key for us.
Comment 65
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Thank author of this post/comment"rent in panama answer"

Rent in PC center in a decent area will cost you around $750 for a single 1 rm. apartment, and for a 2 bedroom will cost around $1200-1500. Decent areas in the city include El Cangrejo, San Francisco, Avenida Balboa, Paitilla. Excellent, more high end apartments are in Punta Pacifica and Costa del Este. One website, which you can find in google, is encuentra24, which includes listings of apartments, real estate, furniture, cars, etc. here in Panama. I have had some people say that they didn't really have great luck with the cars they purchased from the site, but with cars it really is luck of the draw.
Comment 66
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ellensburg washington
Thank author of this post/comment"Exploring"

What about traveling in the country side is it fairly safe as I live in the mountains and love to explore the surrounding areas.
Comment 67
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Arlington, Va
Thank author of this post/comment"Living on a boat"

Who is living on a boat? I want to live on a boat, in the harbor, with internet and cell phone, and electricity.

Anyone have any costs for the slip?

Anyone doing this in Panama? Is it safe?

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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 67 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: living archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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