Relocating to Panama: 6 Reasons to Consider the Crossroads of the Americas
At some point, most of us have daydreamed about picking up and relocating to a tropical paradise. In recent decades, many North Americans and Europeans have actually done it, and have made locations in Costa Rica and Mexico popular areas to consider for retirement, a vacation home, or simply an adventurous mid-life move.
One such destination is Panama. This small country on the Central American isthmus boasts a welcoming culture, striking natural beauty that ranges from 12,000-foot mountains to picture-perfect tropical beaches, and government policies that encourage people to move here. There are many reasons to consider relocating to Panama, and first among them is…
#1: A Long Tradition of Welcoming Foreigners
Given its location, at the narrow bottleneck of land that connects Central and South America, Panama was a natural meeting point of transportation routes and cultures long before any Europeans arrived on the scene. That only intensified as time went on, as the Panama Canal was built, and as the nation pushed back from economic decline and political unrest to create one of the region's strongest economies. It's the nature of the country, and of its warm and friendly people, to create communities that welcome many cultures and ethnicities. Spanish is the language here, but in many areas, most of the locals speak at least some English.
#2: Latin American Affordability
Although prices are no longer at the rock-bottom levels of decades ago, or that they are at today in countries such as Nicaragua, Panama is still an affordable place to live. An annual income of about $20,000, which would leave an individual barely scraping by in the U.S., generally provides a comfortable lifestyle here.
#3: Thoroughly Modern Amenities
Many visitors are surprised when they get their first view of the Panama City skyline with its steel and glass towers – it's not what they expect when visiting Latin America! It gives the impression of a cosmopolitan city that's technologically up to speed. And that impression is accurate. Panama is one of the Latin American countries where you don't have to worry about the tap water, and where roads and communications infrastructure are generally up to U.S. standards. Health care is great in Panama, with the same technology and accessibility as in the states, only at a significantly lower cost.