Relocating to Panama can be a great experience, both financially and from a quality of life standpoint. However, it’s important to budget correctly for the move. Panama is a great place to live if you’re looking for a more affordable lifestyle. The cost of living is generally lower than in North America and Europe, although prices do vary depending on which part of Panama you choose to live in. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of the average prices for some common items in Panama, as well as some tips on how to save money while relocating.
How much does relocating to Panama cost?
There is no fixed price or even a fixed price range for relocating to Panama because there are so many options for so many budgets. In general, however, you can rest assured that relocating to Panama will be cheaper than relocating to many other countries, particularly in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. This is especially true if you’re relocating from North America or Europe to Panama, where the cost of living is notoriously high. Relocating to Panama will take some careful financial planning, mostly because an international move is a big deal. It won’t, however, break the bank if you are diligent and realistic about your budget.
The first step in assessing how much your Panama relocation will cost is to decide how much “stuff” you want to bring with you on your move. Though it may seem like a great idea to bring lots of your furniture, clothes, and other belongings with you, it’s important to consider the cost of shipping these items overseas. In many cases, it’s cheaper and easier to simply sell your belongings before relocating and then buy new ones when you arrive in Panama. This is especially true if you’re relocating on a tight budget. Bring only things that you truly cherish and need, and let the rest go. You’ll not only save money, but ultimately it will be less stressful as you transition to a new place.
Next, you’ll want to consider the cost of your actual move. If you’re relocating from North America, you’ll likely be able to find direct flights from most major cities. Prices will vary depending on the airline and the time of year, but in general, you can expect to spend between $500 and $2000 for a round-trip ticket. If you’re relocating from Europe, this cost can get significantly higher, so be aware of it, as well as the time it takes to travel from one place to another. Panama has many international direct flights, which makes relocating here a bit easier and cheaper than relocating to some other countries.
The true cost of living in Panama
The cost of living in Panama is relatively low, but it’s not as low as in many other Central and South American nations. This is important to remember while budgeting for your relocation to Panama. Rent and sale prices on real estate are lower than practically all of the United States, Canada, and a great number of European countries too. Food costs, however, get a bit trickier, and it’s all relative to what you buy. For example, quality beef is cheaper in the United States, however chicken in Panama is cheaper. Local veggies, local dairy, and any other locally-sourced products in Panama are always going to be cheaper than imported ones, and generally cheaper than local prices back in North America.
Electricity, gas, and cable in Panama are all cheaper than average when compared to the United States and Europe. This is good news, as these are some of the most expensive items in many people’s monthly budgets. Clothing is also relatively cheap in Panama, as long as you stick to local brands and stores. If you want imported designer labels, you’ll pay a premium, but for everyday clothing, you will find great bargains in pretty much every part of the country across the board. You will find that for the price, you can live a very fulfilled, happy life in Panama regardless of your budget.
Be honest when you budget for a big move
One of the issues many people have while relocating to Panama is the tendency to overestimate what they can spend. This is normal and part of human nature, as it’s easy to get carried away with what we want to spend vs. what we can actually spend on a big move like this. It’s important to consult with your bank, or your financial analyst, as well as with your spouse/family about the realistic expectations on what you can spend on your move, and how much you can spend while living in your new location. A good rule of thumb is to over budget a bit, just in case you run into expenses you weren’t expecting.
So, for example, if you think you can realistically spend $2000 on your move, budget for $3000 instead. This will give you a financial cushion in case something comes up, and it will also help to alleviate any stress or anxiety that can come from relocating to a new place. The last thing you want is to be worrying about money while trying to enjoy your new life in your new home. Also, prepare for luxuries that you may not experience at home, but may want to experience while in Panama. This is particularly important during the first few months or first year. After all, you’re moving to an entirely new country, so you’ll want to splurge a bit and see/do as much as you can.
Consult us before you start your plan for relocating to Panama
The great news about relocating to Panama, budgeting, and handling all of the paperwork, is that you don’t have to do it alone. At International Relocation Firm, we’ve helped people from all walks of life relocate to Panama, and we can help you too. We’ll assist you with every step of the way, from budgeting to finding the perfect place to live that meets your needs and expectations. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you take the stress out of relocating to Panama.