I see a lot of things here in Panama that irritate me and I see it day per day. I see a lot of older expats who move to Panama because it’s very easy for an older gentleman to find a very young and beautiful Panamanian female. That’s the norm here in Panama. To come here for that reason is, in my opinion, questionable.
I’m that person. I’m older and I have a very young Panamanian wife whom I’ve been with for 10 years and whose child I’m raising. But I didn’t come to Panama to find a young and beautiful Panamanian woman. I came to Panama for a host of other reasons. I see a lot of old gringos who are clearly here in Panama for that reason. It happens everywhere in the world. That’s what’s going on here in Panama.
I also see a lot of expats who come to Panama only because it’s much cheaper to live here by a huge factor. They’re here in Panama because it’s very affordable, but they’re always complaining about Panama. Why in the world are you here, then? Those are some things that irritate me as an expat.
I see other expats here in Panama who are enjoying the benefits of being here- the beautiful climate, friendly locals, and having everything as easy going, but as soon as they go to get their cars registered and it takes them half a day whereas in Arizona or wherever they’re from, it would have taken them only 15 minutes, they’d be upset because it took so long.
A lot of expats come here and relish the good, but all they do is complain about the things that don’t seem right. I see a lot of expats here constantly complaining, but they’re living their life. Those kinds of expats, as far as I’m concerned, probably shouldn’t be anywhere other than where they came from.
The cost differential is huge in Panama, and you can live very comfortably on less. If you had your own house and car paid for, for $500 a month, where I live would be a king’s ransom. My farm’s electricity costs about $25 - $35 a month. I go and buy a fillet tenderloin and pork at the local butcher and it costs me $15. I bought hamburger meat at the local butcher here in Río Sereno for $2 a pound. In Volcán Barú, that hamburger meat costs $4 a pound.
It costs less to live in Río Sereno by a huge margin. For example, my car insurance costs about $185 a year, which is the amount I used to pay monthly in the States. A lot of expats come to Panama to save money, but if you’re a guest in somebody else’s country, it serves you well to keep your mouth closed about things you don’t like.
(Road to off the grid living at Finca Cazador, Rio Sereno,Panama, pictured.)