I was reading a Yahoo group posting about moving to Panama City, they were not discussing Boquete Panama but it is close enough to exploit the thread.
The theme of the debate was that there is no longer an economic advantage to moving to Panama City from the US. Although both sides made points I will make mine succinct. If you are considering a move to Panama just for economic reasons, do not come here.
Not everything is cheaper here, it never was. With the decline in housing prices in the US you might be able to buy well there; if cheaper is your goal, stay there. Electricity costs more per kilowatt hour in Panama, ignore the fact we in Boquete do not need heat or cooling. If the cost of electricity is the deciding factor, stay there. Imports of all kinds including cars cost more here, fuel costs more here, so if those are the factors stay there.
If you like second class healthcare at the highest prices in the world, stay there. If you need to go to see a doctor in Boquete expect to pay $7 for a consult, if you need health insurance expect to pay less than in the US. If do need a hospital the closest is in David with a new clinic being built in Boquete. If you need a world class hospital you need to go to Panama City. We do have LifeFlight Panama for medical evacuation. If you want to wait in an overcrowded emergency room, stay there.
Much of our food is grown in this area so if you don’t like fresh vegetables but prefer food designed for shipping not flavor, stay there. If you prefer your beef with hormones and antibiotics, your chicken grown in a cage, your pork never having had the room to walk, stay there. The farm animals here are content until they reach the slaughter house.
Laws are different here, they are enforced differently and nothing is more frustrating than dealing with the government here, it moves like frozen molasses. If you prefer to deal with your Federal, State, County and Municipality, stay there. Here in the wild west of Panama we rely more on our neighbors than the law. If you prefer government in your life everyday, stay there.
If your goal is to come to Panama so you can live like you do there, stay there! Half the people that move here leave, half stay. Marriages fail, new relationships are born. Unless you are ready for major life changes, stay there.
Those who thrive here are those who have decided to make their new life a different adventure. Come here to explore a new culture, make new friends, be part of a community, enhance your knowledge, share your life experience, enrich your life and most important do not feel that you come from a superior culture consider Boquete. If those are not your goals, you know the refrain, stay there.