It is no secret that sunny Panama is a popular country to retire in among people all over the world. It has been published in the media lately, CNBC, Forbes and International Living, as one of the best countries in the world to retire in, for many reasons. You might be wondering is retiring in Panama on a budget possible? The answer is absolutely yes! Let’s take a look at how you can make this happen and some of the benefits on spending your hard-earned rest time in this beautiful country.
Retiring in Panama on a Budget

Why Panama?

Panama is actually a location where many people go to retire including ex-pats, retirees and even younger people who work from their laptop. Life in this Latin American country is fun, the locals are welcoming and there is lots to do during the day and nighttime. Many people see it as quite a peaceful location and that is what the majority want as they get older and don’t need to work anymore. It is also know as one of the safest countries in Latin America.

How Much are Living Costs in Panama?

The great thing about being mindful of where you are going to retire is that you do not need a whole bunch of cash to retire somewhere like this. Unlike many retirement destinations, in Panama, for most people, you can attain permanent residency for a little as $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the visa you choose. There is no 6 figure investment required.
Panama is a beautiful country but for several reasons, the costs to live here are much lower than in other places. The currency in Panama is actually the Panama Balboa, which is pegged to the US dollar in regards to value. Making the economy here very stable.

In terms of how much it will cost to live in Panama, well it really depends on a few factors including what city you are looking to live in, what luxuries you might want to enjoy, do you need to be on a beach, and others, In general however, it is possible to live comfortably in Panama for as little as $1,200 a month for one person, or $2,000 a month for a couple. The cheaper places to live in Panama are some of the smaller towns and cities including Las Tablas, Valle de Anton, David and many more

Retiring in Panama on a Budget
The breakdown of the average costs of living in Panama are as follows.
Rent can be anywhere from $300 – $2,500 monthly and it does depend what area of Panama you are looking to stay and what kind of place you get. This will definitely be your biggest expense in the country so you need to be sure you can afford it before you take that plunge.
Groceries will cost you approximately $250 a month per person but this can be less or more depending on how often you eat out, and restaurant dining costs will depend on where you eat of course, lunch as a local Panamanian restaurant will be $3, where a higher end restaurant could cost $15 for lunch
Utilities will cost you between $50 – $200 a month depending if you use air conditioning all day. In the mountain towns, there is no need for heating or air conditioning, so your utility, electricity/water/gas will be the lowest. Your cell phone and high speed internet will run you about $50 a month.
Remember that these are just rough figures as there are so many life style options available in Panama, as you can see there is a budget for almost anyone here.

Pros of Retiring in Panama

Ease and affordability of attaining Permanent Residency with the Pensionado Visa or the Friendly Nations Visa. Click here to read more about these Visas.
  • For the most part, Panama is a really welcoming country and locals and expats alike get along really well. The people who have resided in Panama their whole life are used to people from all over the world retiring in their country so the atmosphere is really good wherever you choose to go.
The weather in Panama is quite varied and this depends on where you choose to retire. The climate is cooler in the Chiriquí mountains, Boquete and Volcan and the Anton Valley and Santa Fe Area. If you like the hot weather however, you can definitely get this if you choose to set up home along the west beaches from Coronado to David. Here is a detailed look at the weather in Panama
  • Food in plentiful in Panama and you can count on the fact that you can probably find exports of all your favorite foods in all major grocery stores. Or you can stick to the local food grown right in the country, and there are a lot of organic food available also.
  • Panama is small, but an extremely diverse country, which makes it ideal no matter what type of atmosphere you enjoy. Panama City is quite a busy location with hustle and bustle or tourists/locals alike. It is often referred to as a mini Miami, if that is the lifestyle you are looking for. If you prefer to spend most of your time unwinding, you can do so at a beach resort like Coronado. There are many other towns and cities to explore and this will all be possibly before retiring in Panama when you take a tour of the country.

Cons of Retiring in Panama

  • The culture in Panama is very different to that in the North America and other countries so might take a while to get used to.
  • Panama is a Spanish speaking country, unless you move to a large expat community, it is advisable to learn some Spanish before you get here.
  • Moving away from family and friends can be difficult for some, but making new friends here will be easy, and it is a great place for family to visit.
Retiring in Panama on a Budget

How to Retire in Panama

If you have no experience of what it is like in Panama, then obviously it is not somewhere you will want to go without exploring it for yourself first. At Retire in Panama Tours, we specialize in helping you discover the whole country. You can book a tour of Panama to help you decide what area of the country could be a perfect retirement spot for you.
Our tours are reasonably priced and popular with all kinds of people who are looking to move to the country. A tour can make retiring in Panama on a budget much more of an option for you, as you will learn everything you need to know, and you will have access to the right people that you will need, so you don’t make any costly mistakes moving here. Having access to the right immigration lawyers, insurance contacts, bank managers, and rentals people is essential to a successful move.


There is no doubt that Panama is an amazing country and that is why it is so popular with those looking to retire in new surroundings. Hopefully this article has told you everything you need to know about retiring in Panama on a budget. It’s definitely possible and Panama has actually gained a reputation of one of the best places to retire in the world. Put steps in place for a happy and frugal retirement in this country and you’ll never look back!
It’s more than a tour . . it’s an experience.