What if you could live somewhere where the cost of living is a third of what you pay now…where you don’t have to shovel snow anymore…and you can live the lifestyle you want, working only a few hours a day.
I get all this living in Panama.
With Panama’s discounts for seniors, on top of its already low cost of living, excellent climate, and wide range of amenities for expats, for many it’s a no-brainer. Living an easy, stress-free life and working at something you love is the perfect combination for happy living.
And plenty of people agree with me. Panama has become a very popular destination for people who work online. Digital nomads are arriving here in their droves—continuing to earn their North American wages, with all the benefits of being located in a Central American country.
Panama has one of the most reliable internet services in Central America. Most cable companies can provide up to 300 mbps throughout the country. Except for a few places in the mountain areas, service is generally good, and WiFi is widely available countrywide. If you are planning at least a six-month stay, there are several internet companies to choose from. Most internet providers will require at least a six-month contract to set up an account. But a simpler option is to rent or stay where WiFi is provided, if you can’t commit to a contract.
I have met expats and travelers in Panama who are bloggers, affiliate marketers, writers, medical research assistants, editors, photo journalists, website developers, and one couple who started an online dating service for Latin America. There are so many ways to make a living working online as either a freelancer or an employee.
If you are living in Panama as a full-time resident, most residence visas do not allow you to obtain a work permit, so you are limited as to how you can make extra money. However, working with a foreign company or working online is an easy way to bypass the hassle, avoid Panama income taxes, and have your payments directly deposited into your account back home.
Although I am a correspondent for International Living, I also have found work through Upwork and Flexjobs. There are thousands of job opportunities online. You can easily choose how much you want to work and if you want a dedicated time to work or a flexible schedule. So, you can work part-time or full-time and do short-term or long-term projects. I love the flexibility that is available with working online, and being older than the average digital nomad hasn’t been any disadvantage to me. I can work as many hours as I want and take my job with me if I choose to travel.
Being a digital nomad in Panama has worked out great. I am working to live, not living to work. After all, I moved to the tropics for sun and fun. Some days I just sit on my front veranda with my laptop, with a backdrop of blue Panama skies and white puffy clouds. Other days I work inside in my computer room, which looks out at palm trees and Volcán Barú. It is just a completely relaxed work environment without any stress. Nothing could be better.
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