Cost of Living In Panama


Living in Panama may be more than just a dream for you. This country located in Central America is one of the best places where you can choose to live. This country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. This will give you an idea on how beautiful this place is. The location of Panama is quite interesting as it forms an isthmus that creates a sort of bridge connecting the Northern and South America. Let us learn about the low cost of living in Panama compared to the United States.

When it comes to the economy, Panama is a successful country. It is one international business center that has a fast growing economy in Central America. Thanks to the strategic location of Panama, the economy has greatly benefitted from this. The success of the economy is based on commerce, banking, tourism, trading and private businesses.

Panama uses the Balboa (PAB) and the US Dollar (USD) as their currencies. You may get the idea that these are different currencies but the value is actually the same. The Balboa currency is just used for coins which has the exact same value as the US Dollar. When it comes to bills, it is better if you come with US Dollars in Panama. The exchange rate is at 1 PAB to 1 USD and 0.69 EUR.

Panama remains as a popular place to live in because of the low cost of living. With the cheap prices set for you, you will surely find it a great place to live. Plus, the low crime rate here makes it such an attractive place to live in. Everything that you need, you can find it in this country.

Housing Costs

Prices for real estate in Panama is quite cheap. You can find houses which are sold at $1000 per square meter. You can get a decent-sizes home for around $150,000 if you want your own. Renting an apartment is still the best option hat you have here in Panama. Expensive apartments may cost around $1000 per month, fully furnished. Depending on where you live, you will find apartment rentals as low as $200 per month. It is all about finding a great location here, but not necessarily the most expensive one. You can get the best deals for your housing when you are here.

Transportation Costs

Transportation is not a problem here. If you have a car, the gas will cost around $3 per gallon. Whether you have a car or none, you can get around Panama. Taxi rides are generally cheap because for $2, you can get anywhere you want to. For the public bus, you just have to pay $1 for the fare. For a monthly pass, you will spend around $15 for unlimited rides on the bus. This is very convenient when you live in Panama. Public transportation will not be problem for you when you live here. Practically, you just have to spend $50 at the most per month for your travel.

Average Cost of Monthly Utilities

The monthly utilities in Panama may be a little expensive for some but some it is not. Electricity here costs somewhere from $45 to $100. If you plan to turn on the air condition 24/7, your bill may reach up to $90. Choosing to have cable TV is a no-brainer; it costs around $40 per month if you want this. Internet costs around $30 to $80 depending on what you get. For your monthly utilities you can set aside $150 to pay all of them. If you find a way to pay less, the better it is.

Cost for Maid Services

Maid Services in Panama is quite common. It is somewhat expected in every home to have at least one full-time maid. The cost for maid services is actually cheap in Panama. The monthly salary of full-time maids is around $200 per month. This includes housing for the maid, 6 days of work and 1 day off. The job of maids in Panama includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries and iron. Drivers are also available in Panama with the same salary rate. It is very convenient to hire household help when you stay here in Panama.

Cost of Food and Drinks

Food in Panama may not cost you a lot. You can get by with $100 to $150 per month for groceries when you live in Panama. This will already cover the cost for all the groceries that you need for the month. When you eat out, you do not really spend as much as in the United States and especially in Europe. You can pay for meals around $5 or less when you eat out. You can even find expensive meals at the most at $30 each. Drinks are very cheap. Beer can cost as low as $1 per bottle. Food and drinks will not be so much of a problem when you stay here in Panama.

Healthcare Costs

Panama has one of the best healthcare services in the world. If you are looking for excellent healthcare services, you can get it here in Panama. You can trust that doctors here will provide you with the best treatments. As for the equipment, Panama has one of the most advanced treatments for you. Hospitals are abundant here is Panama and most accept healthcare insurance, international and local. If you plan on getting health insurance, you need to pay for it starting with $150 per month.

Clothing Costs

Clothes in Panama are both expensive and very cheap. If you are looking for branded clothes, you may see that these are practically prices the same as when you shop in the USA. But there are a lot of retail stores here in Panama where you can get as much as 70% off the original prices. It is up to you on how much you are going to set for your monthly costs for clothing.

Learn More About Living In Panama:

Panama Travel Guide

Panama Official Tourism Site

Panama CIA World Factbook