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Thinking About Living in Panama? Here Are My 10 Tips!

It is best to be prepared before making the move to Panama.

The Hilarski Family at Ft. San Lorenzo, Panama.

Wow, I am closing in on my 13th year in Panama. Twelve of those years I have been married to Anabell and five of those include our semi-feral kiddo Maximus. I like to think that I have made some amazing decisions here and some blunders. Overall moving and choosing to live in Panama has been the best decision of my life. A few months back I began my naturalization to become a Panamanian citizen, which I am quite proud of. I think this journey I have been on deserves an newsletter article that includes my 10 tips to be prepared before making the move to Panama.

This week I put out an article entitled, “What is The Cost of Living in Panama? An Insightful Overview.” If you want an idea about how much it costs to live here, this is the article for you.

My Ten Tips for Making the Move to Panama.

  1. Always visit before making the move!

  2. After you move here, try living in different parts of the country for a few months at a time.

  3. Never buy real estate before renting in the area or building first.

  4. You do not need a relocation tour in Panama. Network, Network.

  5. Get to know people in your segment of the population. If you have kids, talk to people with kids. If you are retired, talk with retired people.

  6. You do not need a residency carnet immediately, no lawyer needed.

  7. Learn some Spanish!

  8. Do not come here looking to do business upon arrival or come here looking for a job.

  9. You do not need a car if you live in Panama City, or Bocas del Toro.

  10. You do not need to go to Punta Pacifica Hospital. There are plenty of other quality lower cost options. We prefer Hospital Nacional. If you need a pediatrician, let me know.

Bonus- If you have kids, homeschooling is the way!

Now, I understand that many expats will disagree with my above statements. The difference between us is that I do not have any financial incentives to recommend particular lawyers, real estate agents, projects, or any other type of incentive other than to drive attention to my No Permissions Patreon. Where we discuss expat living, healthy living, cryptocurrency, as well as sticking it to the man.

‘Here Comes The Rain’, in Panama City by Randy Hilarski

Panama is Not for Everyone!

The sad truth is that many people who move here decide to leave after a few short years. We have seen so many people come and go and it is disheartening. They were sold a bag of lies, or they had expectations that were unrealized. Just in the last year I have helped just over ten people come here open bank accounts, a few are looking to get residency, and a large group of people are looking to buy property here as a back up solution to their main residence.

Like I mentioned in the 10 steps for making the move to Panama, I think everyone should live here for a bit as an extended stay tourist before making the commitment. I also have to say that I would prefer that not many people make the move to Panama. I kind of like it the way it is!

So remember, Panama is a dangerous place, you can’t drink the water, the mosquitoes will eat you alive, the earthquakes will rock your world, China owns the Panama Canal, the Americans will take over the country again, the towers are made of cocaine, and god forbid a prostitute winks at you. Cheers!

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