People keep asking me what is the cost of living in Panama. So, let’s do a sort of monthly expenses so you can decide if expatriation in Panama is an option and if you want to invest in Panama.
First of all, I am going to state that the costs I will further enumerate are MY expenses. It doesn’t mean that you will spend the same. Maybe more or less, you should try!
We are a family of 2 adults, 2 kids (14 and 20 years old), 1 dog, 1 cat, and 2 birds. That’s a big family 🙂
We live in Punta Barco, 5 minutes away from Coronado, Pacific beaches area. This is still in the nest of the expat community with all expected amenities.
Punta Barco Village, gated community with pool, gym, concierge, and elevator. This is a 3 beds 3 baths apartment with maid quarter (1 bed-1 bath), laundry room, terrasse and balcony. 5 minutes away from the beach. The apartment is approximately 200 square meters. Gas and water are included) – Monthly rent: $1,500.
Second: Food expenses
A normal week cart with food for 4 people (including expensive kid favorite “stuff”!) is around $200, with meat, veggies, carbs, wine, and Rum! And of course, pet supplies! So, let’s say $800 a month.
Our electricity bill is approximately $120 per month. A/C in the 3 bedrooms at night, sometimes in living room during the day. Washer, dryer, oven, and microwave are used on a very regular basis!
Internet is $60 for 15 meg. It includes phone but we do not use it. We do not watch TC neither so we do not have cable.
Fourth: Car expenses
Buying a car is around 20% more expensive than in the States.
Gas is less than a dollar per liter, putting it at the same rate than some US states. Compare to Europe, however, this is significantly cheaper. Insurance is incredibly cheap here! I have a 2009 Hyundai Tucson that costs $300 a year for full coverage. Repairing a tire is around $10 here! Count about $120 per month for regular car expenses.
Fifth: School expenses
International schools are private schools that cost at the most, $5000 per year and per kid, even in high school. They are all located in the Coronado area (except Five Starts in Santa Clara 30 minutes away). Courses are all in English and recognised by oversea systems. For a 1 kid family, that would be $500 a month.
Last: Everything else expenses
Going out in regular not too fancy restaurant is around $15 per person including wine. Movie theatre is approximately $5 for films in English with Spanish subtitles. Clothing is the same than in the States or Europe (I mean regular clothing…). I would say to have a $500 ready for this “all and nothing” expense category.
I did not add anything about health because I do not have health insurance, so no monthly cost. A doctor visit (regular) is $15, a cleaning at the dentist is $20, etc. Health is definitely cheaper here than anywhere else with a very good service.
Let’s do the counting now! Monthly regular expenses for a typical French family is: $3,600.
You can check my previous article about everything you can find in the Coronado area.