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Panama, the Country with the Cost of Living that Best Fits the Needs of Expats

Panama is considered a country with a lower cost of living than the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Housing in Panama varies depending on location, property type, and amenities. In downtown Panama City, where Expats typically live, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment starts between $600.00 and $1,000.00 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs between $800.00 and $1,500.00 per month. Outside the city, rents drop significantly; a one-bedroom apartment can start at $300.00 per month.

Basic Services Are Very Accessible

Electricity, water and gas bills are not very expensive in Panama. The monthly cost for electricity, water and gas is around $50.00 to $100.00 combined. However, if you use the air conditioning excessively, the cost can increase considerably.

Groceries and Eating in Panama

Generally, a couple’s monthly grocery budget can range between $200.00 and $350.00. When eating out in Panama you can expect to pay between $5.00 and $10.00 per meal at a street vendor or small restaurant, between $15.00 and $20.00 for a fast casual meal, and between $20.00 and $40.00 for a meal at an upscale restaurant.

Affordable Health Care

Panama has public and private healthcare options available. Private healthcare can be expensive but offers better quality services. Most expats prefer international health insurance as it provides comprehensive coverage worldwide. A visit to the local hospital can cost between $25.00 and $40.00, while the fee for a regular doctor’s visit ranges between $40.00 and $60.00.

Living in Panama City

Like anywhere else in the world, Panama has expensive and cheaper areas. Condos in Panama City tend to have all the modern amenities you could ask for (pool, gym, sauna, covered parking, barbecue area, security). There is also excellent access to top-notch healthcare, shopping, and dining.

The Beach, the Golden Dream to Live

Panama beach communities are very popular and known for their beautiful coastlines and islands. The most popular area is Coronado, where you can expect to pay city prices for housing, food, and transportation. However, the quality of life is as high as that of Panama. English is spoken in many businesses, the beach is clean and not crowded. Coronado is luxury living at a cheaper price than the US, but with a higher standard price in Panama.

Other areas are less expensive such as Gorgona, San Carlos or Pedasi in Los Santos province. However, these locations tend to be more remote. No matter which coastal town you decide to live in, having a car is essential.

The Mountain, the Most Popular Place to Retire

Panama’s most popular retreat location is located about a 6-hour drive from the capital in the province of Chiriqui. In Boquete or Tierras Altas, renting or buying a house is cheaper; often up to 70% less than its equivalent in the city or on the beaches. Food prices are similar in the markets, however, standard restaurants cost about half of what they cost in the capital.

Altos del Maria Mountain Community: https://altosdelmaria.com

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