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- espaņol

Sarasota, FL

Posts: 2
Responses: 1

Cost of Living in Boquette

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 08:11
Post rated 5.00

Would like to communicate with American Expats currently living in Boquete 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.

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Sarasota, FL

Posts: 2
Responses: 1


Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 08:30

I guess I should request same info from Bocas Del Toro, Chiriqui, or any other location out of the Metro area.

jewels (22331,34121)
sunny south

Posts: 0
Responses: 1


Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 10:38

Since Dar Comment # 7 from last July... how has the prices for retirement, medical, housing been effected with the the global recession?

We also are seeking to retire to Panama in the very near future. Our income would be one SS and

a Federal Disability check. We have a 401k.

Look forward to feedback.


Posts: 245
Responses: 468

Spend some time there...

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 13:12

It is easy to make any place look PERFECT in an article.


It may be.

It may not be.

Spend some time there... 3 months... better 6 months... in a rental apartment not a hotel. Get a real feel for it before you make a commitment.

New England

Posts: 2
Responses: 2

Plananing a Trip to Boquete

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 16:58

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.

Heaven on Earth

Posts: 0
Responses: 6

Sticker Shock

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 17:29

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.

Heaven on Earth

Posts: 0
Responses: 6

No Argument

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 18:38


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.


Heaven on Earth

Posts: 0
Responses: 6

The Facts

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 19:06

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.



Posts: 245
Responses: 468

Facts vs Experience

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 19:35

"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.


Posts: 5
Responses: 3

glenda from davis

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 21:58

well i don't have a blog but I'm renting or selling a house on chiriqui exactly in puerto armulles not in boquete unfortunately i don't 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


Posts: 245
Responses: 468

Selling Property

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 22:04

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.


Posts: 0
Responses: 1

Health Insurance

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 22:43

I have some health issues (diabetes, heart condition) and I am wondering if I can get reasonable health insurance.


Posts: 6
Responses: 12

Grocery Stores in Boquete

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 22:43

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 McDonald!

Nancy Livingston

Posts: 16
Responses: 69

Pet vets in Poquete

Thursday, February 07, 2008 at 22:58

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.

Emma Bean

Posts: 22
Responses: 372

Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 09:37

It is a big decision and how well your Filipina wife will fit in and like Panama is a big part of it too. You are selling your retirement short if you will just spend a couple of days there before making a decision!

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