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Cost of Living in BoquetteWould like to communicate with American Expats currently living in Boquette for real life info on living there. From cost of living, healthcare, to safety. My wife of 25 yrs is from Philippines and I was considering retiring there, but Panama is so much closer to Florida where we have family.
A real life monthly budget for 2 retirees would be much help.
This post has a total of 45 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Cost of Living in Boquette archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.
This forum post has messages dated from 02/07/08 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 If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.
|"Cost of Living"|
We just got back from Boquete last week. We were checking on our building process. I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can.
1. Food: If you buy from the local markets for veggies and meat and that sort of thing, it is very reasonable. They have farmers markets and road side markets that are very reasonable. You can pay 75 cents for a dozen eggs and a gallon of milk runs around 2 to 3 dollars. If you buy imported name brand cereal you will pay 2.50 to 4.00 a box. If you buy generic cereal (not Kellogg but made by kellogg) you can get a box for 1.50 to 2.50. Local brand named food is a lot cheaper and sometimes the local brand is actually made by the well known brand. Local coffee is very cheap and very very good. One person could easily live on 50 dollars a week or less on food.
2. Gas: runs around the same as here in the U.S. 3.75 to 4.00 a gallon.
3. Phone: most everyone has a cell with prepaid card. Once you buy your phone, you can put as much as you want on prepaid. If you are calling out of the country, it will be more. If you are calling local. I would expect 20. per month.
4. Internet runs around 40. per month. yes some places in town have wifi.
5. Cable: extended cable w/sport channels and movies can run anywhere between 30.00 to 50.00 a month.
Hope this helps a little. These prices are for the Boquete area. I know that two people can live ok for less than $2, 000 a month. That's for everything, (food, clothes, household hookups, medical insurance and auto insurance, and going out to dinner several times a month.)
I am looking to leave the US in a year or so, and Panama seems to be the best choice for a retiree. Could someone give me some info on the best places to live in Panama, cost of living and other information that would be helpful. Me and my wife will have $2000 a month + 401K income to live on.
Please check out the messages in this forum. I have written several things on this issue.
I will touch on just a few of your questions. Yes you can live on $2, 000 a month. Will you be buying or renting? Have you been there? Please make a trip and stay for a couple of weeks and travel the country. Our first trip was an eye opener. We knew after 2 days that we did not want to live in Panama City (PC). So we rented a car and drove up the Panamerican Hwy to David. Hot and humid along the way, but a very nice trip. If you decide to rent a car, make sure it's an automatic and has air. Most of the cars are manual transmissions. We have never had a problem getting an automatic, but be sure to secure one before arriving. Thrifty is the cheapest.
When we arrrived in David we took a trip up the mountain to Boquete. As soon as we turn up the road and started our way to Boquete, it was like going into a different country. Lots of trees, flowers and birds. We loved the area in and around Boquete and decided this is where we were going to retire. Good people, good restaurants, great coffee and lots and lots of Expats. Look at Montanas De Caldera this is where we bought. Email Jane Davis and tell her Mike and Darlene sent you. She will send you what ever you need to look at their project. Lots to choose from in and around Boquete. Google: Pensionado Visa in Panama to get info on what it takes to retire there. If you have specific questions, I check this site a couple of times a week. Hope some of this helps.
I spent 2 weeks in Boquete, took Spanish lessons, lived 1 week with Panamanian family and 1 week at local hostal, and found all in the area very friendly. Taxi anywhere in town $1.Food is good(local eateries run you $@2.50 to $3.50 per meal)Nicer places available but--you can spend as much as you want.No stop lights anywhere in town--several stop signs. Drink the tap water, clean air, rent furnished 2 br. Apt for $300 to $700(some houses also around $700 furnished 10 min out of town.Coffee plantations everywhere, movies and casinos 45 min away in David, down the hill. Love it, going back soon and stay 3 mo, then if ok I will retire there and learn Spanish, travel to Costa Rica(45 min flight from David), Ecuador, etc. talked to many local ex-pats and $2000 per mo. is more than enough. Small town 4-5 thousand with ex-pats all around, in town and in area--10-20min. away.
My wife & I are considering retirment in Boquette and are considering a visit. We will have to live on $1, 800 a month for the first 2-3 years.
Is that realistic if we rent? Also wondering about the sizes of the apts. or houses? I have seen numerous rents quoted and am trying to get a realistic estimate on renting a 2 bedroom apr. or house.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
|"Plananing a Trip to Boquete"|
Have been reading the postings and getting more and more excited about the possibility of retiring in Panama! We are really interested in the Boquete area and were wondering if anyone would be so kind as to recommend a place to stay in the area. Unfortunately our first trip will be only for a few days and probably over the Thanksgiving week, but we really want to start the process to find a place to buy. We really would appreciate any input.
What do you mean by expats?
|"Ready to retire"|
Want information on cost of living etc to retire in Boquete, Panama
Several years ago, I was considering a move to Panama, and got an awakening when I started to look at real costs. You can't do anything there without an attorney. So think about the following as well as the cost of living after you get there.
Cost of packing and shipping if you are planning on bringing more than your suitcase. Costs of duties and taxes on the import of household goods and vehicles. Cost of hiring a customs broker.
Cost of buying a car if you don't ship. Contrary to what you see on the net, you will pay about $10, 000 more than you would in the States.
Attorney fees for long term visa (Pensionado, Person of Means, etc).
Attorney fees for property contract review, due diligence, and closing.
Attorney fees for helping you set up a corporation and foundation to protect your assets from BOTH governments.
Attorney fees for helping you get bank accounts. (You really did believe they want your money in their bank? Think again.)
My advice is to plan on $30, 000 just to get here. And maybe, just maybe, you can live on your social security and disability pension.
I have been reading (very intently) all of the comments throughout this forum because I am planning my retirement in Panama within the next 12 months. Now don't get me wrong, some of the negative comments should give us cause to re-evaluate some things but... if I wanted to leave the northeast and move to warmer climate what might the move cost me there? Maybe $30, 000, maybe less, maybe more? How about renting until the house is ready? and I can go on but my point is that in the end, once the move is made the cost of living is dramatically less than in the U.S. and isn't that the point? I'm guessing that the folks reading and writing in this forum are old enough, with enough life experience, to know that you have to do your homework before you do anything as important as moving to start the next stage in your lives. If you don't do your homework then shame on you. Everything in life has it's pitfalls and something can always go wrong..."even the best laid plans of mice and men" but if you prepare well enough the end result will turn out nicely and you will get over every hurdle. After all, don't we American's believe that we are resilient...
I agree with all you say. But do you think that someone who asks if they can live on $1500 a month has any idea what they are getting into with respect to other issues of relocating?
I am not poor, nor am I wealthy. But I was definitely shocked that I would have $10, 000 of attorney fees to make a change. I don't think I was naive. I just think that I didn't have all of the facts. And now I am trying to inform people who have read all the glossy things on the net that there may be more to a relocation than they had thought about.
Maybe we're both saying the same thing... all I am trying to communicate is that everyone must take the time to gather all the facts, then and only then can they make an informed decision. Anyone looking for paradise or perfection will probably be disappointed no matter what. For me, the truth is that staying in the USA would be a bigger disappointment and Panama is an alternative to staying here. Rest assured that we will do our homework and make the best decision for us People like you and Dar have been very helpful when you share your experiences - thank you for that - keep the communications going. By the way, where do you live?
Have a great weekend John
Yes we were saying the same thing. I see the desperation some people have after having their 401Ks and home values obliterated in the last few years. Now they are asking themselves how do we live on what is still left, and so then they start searching for somewhere with a cost of living that is much lower. 99% of the sites on the net would make you believe you can just pick up and move to Panama and solve all of your problems. But, as you succinctly said, reality is quite a different thing.
We do own a very small vacation condo in Farallon, but don't get down there often. We are still planning on a permanent relocation someday if the economic situation here in the states gets better. We live in Scottsdale, and it's not easy to sell houses here these days. There are too many foreclosures to liquidate before anyone who still owns will be able to sell.
|"Facts vs Experience"|
"gather all the facts, then and only then can they make an informed decision"
I think with respect to a place to live or retire to, facts are much less important that one's own personal experiences.
One person might find Panama easy to live on for $1, 000 a month, while another might struggle on $10, 000 a month. It all depends on our expectations, and our actual experiences.
I think many that rely on other people's experiences from reading online, and especially those relying on the publications of those with something to gain (publication sales, real estate sales, etc) are even more likely to be disappointed.
|"Facts vs Experienc"|
Jim, I'm not sure why you singled out my comment about facts but obviously it invoked a response from you, which means that it helped keep the discussion alive. I don't think anything else I could say about "facts vs experience" would sway you nor would anything else you could say sway me - but that's not the point (at least not the point I am trying to make). My point is that I have read a lot of good and bad things in this forum and except for a couple of contributors who seem to have a more self-centered reason for commenting, I believe that everyone is trying to help others make an "informed" decision and mean well. Maybe that's naive but I prefer to believe I'm correct in my assumption. I am firmly committed to making Panama work for me - that it is the best place for Me to retire. If that works for others, then great; if not then I hope everyone finds their "paradise".
I hope everyone else continues to throw in their two cents... that makes it much more fun :-)
|"Cost of Living"|
Good Day Good People
WOW great comments. I would like to touch base on the Attorney issue. Yes you should hire an attorney to do most things in Panama. I also believe that here in the states if more people did that, the better off they would be. First let me start, you need to find a good attorney. Just like here in the States, they have good ones and bad ones. The best way to find a good attorney is "Word of Mouth" from Expats living there. The cost can vary greatly. Stay away from the big firms as they are usually twice the price. Also get a local attorney near the town you are moving to as they know who to talk to in the town, and can recommend business people, car dealers, Doctors. As well as the Expats.
Let me tell you, you DO NOT NEED an attorney to open a back account. I just opened one at ScotiaBank and it took me 10 mins. You will need to have the proper paperwork to do that. 2 bank reference letters, 2 picture ID, police report from your home state that says you are not wanted for anything. You will need more paperwork if you are apply for a mortgage loan.
We started a corperation for 750.00, plus an annual fee if you want the attorney on your board of directors. yearly filing fees of around 200.
I have to get back to work, so if you have any questions, just ask.
|"cost of living"|
Sorry about the spelling errors. "Bank Account" and "Applying" and "Corporation"
Can you tell I was late for a meeting???? I know better......
|"moving to bacas del toro"|
moving to bacas del toro next month as a retiree. how do i transfer my social security check down there?
|"Eager to Retire"|
We are in the processes of researching various countries where we might purchase land/house.Boquette sounds interesting.
Please let us know about your blog.
I will probably do the same where ever we land. Making it easier for others is the way to go.
|"glenda from davis"|
well i dont have a blog but im renting or selling a house on chiriqui exactly in puerto armulles not in boquete unfortunatelly i dont have contact in boquete to give more info but i do know several places in panama specially in puerto armuelles that you can deal with
There is a link in the menu at the top of the page here that says "Real Estate for Sale" anyone can post a listing there with photos, map, video all for free. Let's see all the great details on your house for sale.
iam retired like no if you can rentfurish appt. my income is ss.
I have some health issues (diabetes, heart condition) and I am wondering if I can get reasonable health insurance.
|"Grocery Stores in Boquete"|
Any supermarkets in Boquete online with their prices so I can work out my exact monthly budget? I am so tired of average prices for an average expat when they think all we do is drink beer, coca cola and eat at mcdonalds!
|"Pet vets in Poquete"|
We have two very expensive dogs that we must bring with us. They are quiet, but need lots of medical care. Price is not an object, (within reason), and I am wondering if there is a good vet in the Boquete area.
We have a healthy cat too, so this vet should be able to take care of both.
Also, how about pet foods? Can dogs run free or is it illegal for dogs to run around. Can they bark or do people complain. Ours are quiet, but I was just trying to see if the expat areas are dog friendly.
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This post has a total of 45 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Cost of Living in Boquette archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.
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