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Expat cost of living

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After almost three years of expat living in Panama, we still hear two questions pretty frequently: 1) Is the cost of living really lower there than in the U.S. or Canada? and 2) What are your actual living expenses there? We’ll get to the second one in a minute, but as to the first — it’s highly subjective. Where are you coming from? Where in Panama do you want to live? How fancy do you want your lifestyle to be, and how important is “stuff” to you? Will you rent or own your home? How much do you travel? And thoseĀ are just a few of the factors that come into play. Everyone’s situation is different, but here are a few facts about us. We’re not wealthy by any means, but we’ve both worked hard all our lives and planned carefully to secure a comfortable retirement. We came from Southern California,…