Panama: Abroad, what a joke ??

by Norman

I retired at the age of 62 y.o I moved abroad (Panama) due to thinking I could do better economically with my retiree's check.

The first yrs. of living here it was ok regarding house expenses, even though culture wise this place could not be any lower in the culture's rank.

Now I can see there is no more sense of spending my time in living here any longer, due to rampant inflation, very high crime rate, insecurity all over especially for foreigners.

One thing I can say for sure, DON'T move abroad unless you have a deep reserve of $$$ & like all the nonsense that exists South of the Border foreigners think been a 'gringo you own the banks in the US.

I'll move back to the States sometime within 1 yr. I really learnt my lesson here.

I, originally from Philadelphia, (Pa) suburbs I'll like to move to Southern West Pa.

My question is this :

*****how much will I (roughly) need monthly for living in the States today ??

I'm familiar with costs of buying a small home there, since I already contacted the usda for all the whereabouts of a home mortgage.

I also checked about Vehicle & its Ins.

But I'm not certain about life in general, even though I checking the Internet for food prices, etc.

Will any body take a bit of time to help me in relation to this matter ??

I"ll appreciate any idea,

Thanks. EOG

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Living abroad
by: Lynn

Norman you didn't mention (but I'll bet it's true thereIsI ) the lack of people to get things done. My sister in law lived in Honduras for a while, she said the people in general were friendly and kind. But it was almost impossible to get anything fixed or anyone to come to the house to repair problems in the home.

Is that true in Panama too?

Also for specifics: homes in the Henderson-Las Vegas area in the best neighborhoods are around $350,000 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath home (well built).
More for bigger less for smaller.

Electricity is about $200 a month (our smmers are hot so A.C. is on all summer) gas around $k35, I use Ooma from my computer for phone that's only $4 a month (cell phones are whatever you decide to get) and tv and internet (I have Century Link) cost about $125 a month. Garbage around $15 and water/sewer varies with your use but about $70 for a 3 bd house with front and back yard.

Medical is getting messy as the "affordable care act" has made it less affordablbe. Foor, probably you can eat on $600 a month for 2 people. Car insurance around $60 a month with a good record, more with accidents in your past.

There are some really nice places to eat out for only $25 for 2 (Sweeet Tomatoes salad buffet) or $40 for 2 (Elephant Bar very good menu, service and food,)

Good luck wherever you decide to relocate to.


More of the joke !!
by: Norman, Panama

Hi to all,

I want to thank to Rose from Arlington, Wa
Lynn & Ray Atlanta for they consideration & time to answer me.

Offering advice to a retired person regarding living abroad is sometimes complicated due to life style of every one, but I'm very sure of one point, it ISN'T the way you think its going to be abroad (or someone told you) unless you have reinforced pockets today, if you know what I mean.
The wealthier you are the more you have to look after yourself.

South of the border is just another world, believe me.

Here in Panama you have one thing on your favor the mighty American dollar, no exchange, no wises guys eating you alive in black markets about the yesterday up/down changes !! that is a big plus.

Property's value went up around 150-200% in the last 5 yrs, but these AREN'T the american style built houses, these are cinder/blocks shoe-box like, cheap windows & doors, etc.

Here we are talking about properties for a retiree (2 persons) that can have a retirement check of $ 5,000 monthly (both), that's the minimum amount you must receive in order to apply for a retiree visa in Panama.

This property may cost around $200/300 grand in Panama City, no even close to American quality.
In the interior of the country same house may cost 30% less.

An apartment in center city (this is **NOT** NY , Phila, Miami or the like) can cost a way over a 1 million plus.

Water, electric, internet/phone Services are interrupted almost daily ALL OVER THE COUNTRY due to the WHOLE country is services OVERLOADED due to the coming of foreigner in recent yrs. plus Panamenians somehow are living over their means, so these people are buying properties as hot bread.

The food is very expensive in Panama City, can't find everything that you looking for.

I live almost 400 mi away from the capital, food in here is terrible plus there isn't variety at all of nothing & it triple its price in the last 2 yrs.
Medical in general in the capital cost 50% than in the US, but !!!! it ISN'T as great as most of people are mentioning.

Outside of the capital you are a patient of your Dr. for the longest he needs your money, then your find out he did nothing for you.

I really hope I helping people to be aware of moving out of the US, make sure you GO TO VISIT the place you'll like to move & MAINLY you understand the language of the place about 30 50%, so nobody will take you for granted.

A lot of dishonest people out there !!!


Thank you for advise on Panama
by: Ray Atlanta

South east Pennsylvania is beatuiful, cleaned up rivers, housing , living cheap, try Union Town or Maryland across the state line......

Keep posting on your experience, I had a feeling it would be bad to move out of the country with things like they are.

Expenses are relative
by: Lynn

Thanks for your message, I was wondering about living abroad, people make it sound so great. Your experience does not sound so great. (I do know a person who moved to Mexico and one who moved to Dominican Republic and both seem to like it).

It's very difficult to tell someone else how much it will cost to live. People are so different in their wants.

I'd say for needs only, you can probably live on $2000 a month but in N.Y. that would barely get you an apartment to rent and in Jackson Mississippi you would live just fine with funds left over for luxuries.

So it's up to your own lifestyle.

Good luck.

my experience
by: Rose, Arlington Wa.

I have lived for the past 15 years in Washington State and would not live anywhere else.

I am a retired RN and retired 3 years ago on just my SS, though I have good one. I paid cash for a single wide mobile home in a 55+ mobile home park and pay lot rent of 510 a month, I have budget billing and total electric which runs me 97/mo, I pay for internet and cable at just about 120/mo and my car insurance 110 a month. My food runs between 250 and 300 a month. My car is paid for and while I live modestly am quite comfortable. I have no debt other then living expenses and am better off then many my age.

I lived in the south for many years but the heat and humidity I could not take anymore. I love Washington State but more North of Everett is your best economical choice, going into Seattle becomes costly. I am not sure what you demand for comfort but for me I love where I live.

Best of luck to you

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