According to Kathleen Peddicord of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group, one country that attracts a lot of American attention is Panama.
Panama Uses the U.S. Dollar
Among the appealing features of Panama is the fact that the U.S. dollar is also Panama's currency. That makes it easy to handle your finances, even though you are in another country. There is no need to worry about exchange rates, which can sometimes have a detrimental effect on the lifestyle of people living in other countries.
High Quality Medical Facilities
Another attraction is that Panama has top-notch medical facilities and it is very affordable to purchase health insurance there. While Medicare does not work in foreign countries, many people go ahead and purchase a basic Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan, which is then available to them during visits to the U.S., especially for major surgery, or to use if they should decide to return to the U.S. later in life.
Wide Choice in Lifestyles and Climates
Panama also has a variety of lifestyles and climates to offer. If you want to live in a big, busy city, you can move to Panama City with a population of around 900,000 people. If you want to live in a smaller community, you can move to one of the beach towns that dot the Panamanian coast, or to a cooler mountain location.
Cost of Living in Panama
Although prices in beach communities close to the capital of Panama City can be quite expensive, there are small towns further away where it is possible to rent a two-bedroom home on the private market for as little as $600. Some Americans have found it possible to live comfortably near the beach in a small city like Las Tablas, Panama, for as little as $1500 a month. This means an American couple living on $2500 a month, about average, could life a very comfortable life in Panama, and have money left over for trips back to the U.S. once or twice a year.
Communities like Las Tablas will not leave you feeling as if you are cut off from the rest of the world, either. You will find many other Americans living in the area. In addition, this region has reliable cell phone and internet services, as well as cable television. Of course, if you want to travel, or live in Panama City, your monthly expenses will be higher. On the other hand, if you have always dreamed of retiring near the beach, it would be hard to find a better place to spend your Golden Years.
Affordable for the Average American Retiree
Since the average retired American currently receives about $1250 a month in Social Security benefits, many American couples will find it well within their means to live a quiet, relaxed, and comfortable life in Panama. Even if they each pay $120 a month for a Medicare Advantage plan in the U.S., they could still afford to live a comfortable lifestyle in a small town in Panama.
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Photo of Panama City from Cerro Ancon was taken by Dirk van der Made in April, 2004, and was obtained courtesy of Wikipedia.com/commons.