I’m a single, 72 year old woman living strictly on my Social Security income of $1,400.00 per month. I’m currently renting a Section 42 studio apartment for $443.00 per month. It’s a decent apartment that isn’t rundown but it’s decidedly very small and plain.
Your literature indicates that one should be prepared to pay $650.00 per month to rent an apartment in Boquete. Such an apartment , I’m quite sure is much larger and nicer than the one I’m presently renting. But I don’t want to pay that much for an apartment in Boquete. I wouldn’t mind a simple studio apartment like my present one but, preferably, at a rent lower than $443.00.
Could I find such an apartment in Boquete?
Boquete is where I want to live. Panama, as you consistently indicate, is the best country to retire to. However, I don’t like a hot and humid climate so Boquete is clearly my choice in Panama. I wouldn’t want to retire to a small town in the mountains of Panama where there were few or any expatriates and where the amenities of Boquete were lacking.
Linda Card – Panama Correspondent
Hi Mara and thanks for your inquiry. Boquete is one of the most desirable expat and retirement destinations, as you point out. The downside to that is that it makes prices a bit higher due to higher demand. You may be able to find an apartment for around $400 a month, but it will probably be small and plain also.
To give you an idea what’s available you can check these links, both of which are for realtors who handle rentals in and around Boquete: http://www.rentboquete.com/ and http://www.mcpanamarealty.com/ You may want to write to them and tell them what you’re looking for.
There are also some local sites that have listings by individuals and where you can post an inquiry if you like. Here are a couple for you to check out: http://www.chiriqui.life/ and http://boquete.ning.com/group/rental.
If you haven’t already visited Panama and Boquete I suggest that you do before you make a move. It’s always wise to explore your potential new home in person to see if it feels right to you.
Best of luck with your research, Linda.
Jessica Ramesch – Panama Correspondent
Thanks for visiting the IL website. Linda makes some excellent points here, so I’ll just add that the type of home one can rent in Panama for less than $450 tends to be very simple and small, probably less comfortable or attractive than your average middle class dwelling in the U.S.
Houses often rent for as little as $350 in more remote locations than Boquete. (Las Tablas, for example.)
A good way to save on rent and still live somewhere nice is to find yourself a roommate and each pay half the rent. Websites like Craigslist and the living in Panama group in Yahoo Groups can be helpful for this…Boquete is so small you might even just ask around, a lot gets passed on via word of mouth.
Also, note that while there are more than a few expats living in Panama on similar budgets, most allocate a bit more toward rent. You may find you’re also able to do that as well, since certain things in Panama—like healthcare—are cheap and may thus save you money in other areas of your budget, if that makes sense.
Finally, though you indicate that you like Boquete, you may want to browse the IL website and read about Panama’s other cool mountain communities. Though they are smaller and have smaller expat communities, places like Santa Fe, Volcan and maybe even Cerro Azul can be even cheaper than Boquete. You may find the expat communities to your liking as they’re close-knit…and you’d still have solid infrastructure and amenities like internet, reliable water, etc.
Hope some of the above helps and best of luck in your search. Where there’s a will there truly always is a way.
IL Panama Editor Jessica Ramesch