What an eclectic mix the expats are in Panama! We have people from all over the world who have come to live here in Panama. Some of the Americans left the US because of the political situation and many also have come to Panama for a more affordable lifestyle.
Many people have only their retirement income to live on and they are not able to find work to subsidize their income, so it stands to reason that Panama is affordable country that offers a great climate and atmosphere and most of the time they are very glad to be here in Panama. I have heard of people not liking it here in Panama, but most of the people I have met have been here for years and there are lots of them, so I have to think that they like it here.
I met a man from Houston the other day who told me that he was downsizing. I said, “Oh wonderful!”
And he said, “Look over at that mountain over there to that big white thing – that building there.”
I said, “Yeah, is that a hotel?”
He said, “Nope, that’s my house.”
And I said, “How big is that house?”
He said, “Over 7,000 square feet.”
And I looked at him, smiled, and said, “You’re kidding. You said you were downsizing.”
And he said, “I am. My house in Houston is 11,000 square feet!”
But people like him are not the norm. Most of the people here are living on their social security income. We live in a comfortable condo, which we rent. We like renting. We are comfortable. We take little trips and we like our lifestyle here.
We have just normal, good neighbors; kind people, ready to offer help to anybody. They are just really good people. The rich are the rich ones, but they are still friendly to everybody. The poor are just not poor. They are moderate income people. It just doesn’t matter how much money you have here. We don’t have that big social thing that we have in the US. In a lot of places in the US, yes, how much money one has does matter. You would find that, in the US, you would not fit in well with that country club jet set people. But in Panama, people of different levels of income mix more readily. There are a lot of people here who have a lot of money but they do walk around and mix with people and they’re just an “Ordinary Joe”.