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Old 10-16-2020, 12:10 PM
 
12 posts, read 26,466 times
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Hello Forum!

We are a family of 4: mom, dad, daughter 14, and daughter 12. We are considering relocating for a year from the Sacramento area of California to either Puerto Rico or Panama. I know we would not be expats in Puerto Rico, but for ease of discussion, I will use expat in my questions.

Dad works remotely and needs reliable fast internet. We are not super interested in being right in San Juan or Panama City. We will need an international school or will need to do accredited online homeschool to keep our 14 year old current with University of California A-G requirements. We would be paying for school ourselves so our cap is $8K per child or so including fees and enrollments.

Our motivation to go is to be able to give the family the experience of living outside of the mainland US and we want to give the the kids the opportunity to be surrounded by a different language and culture in day-to-day life. We would be renting. Mom lived overseas in Manila as a young adult after college, so I have a little experience…but obviously not in these places!

We would more than likely pursue permanent residency in Panama since it is on Dad and Mom’s short list for retirement. We have all the visa and residency information as well as the details on the new work visa for the US that was just released by Panamanian immigration.

We are not eligible for Act 20 or 22. We likely would be eligible for Foreign Earned Tax Credit.

Both locations have advantages and disadvantages (cost of relocation, visas/residency, hurricanes in Puerto Rico).

Where would you go and why? Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,412 posts, read 2,349,117 times
Reputation: 1677
10 years ago I might have said Puerto Rico.

I would say now, without the slightest doubt, do Panamá. It hurts me to say it, because I lived in PR for two years and have the fondest memories of the place. But simply put, things just aren´t going well there. You´ll get much more for your money in Panamá. Think the northern part of the country, places like David, Boquete or Chiriquí.

I don´t know much about the internet situation in Panamá, but for example Puerto Rico still has issues with the electrical grid. The power doesn´t go out all day, but it´ll go out several times a day for a few minutes, which obviously isn´t ideal if you´re working and studying online. Since the pandemic started I am working all online, no issues, with a 30 Mega plan here in Colombia; I have to imagine that Panamá is similar in that regard.
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Old 10-16-2020, 11:51 PM
 
Location: DMV Area/NYC/Honolulu
21,829 posts, read 10,129,925 times
Reputation: 21340
Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
10 years ago I might have said Puerto Rico.

I would say now, without the slightest doubt, do Panamá. It hurts me to say it, because I lived in PR for two years and have the fondest memories of the place. But simply put, things just aren´t going well there. You´ll get much more for your money in Panamá. Think the northern part of the country, places like David, Boquete or Chiriquí.

I don´t know much about the internet situation in Panamá, but for example Puerto Rico still has issues with the electrical grid. The power doesn´t go out all day, but it´ll go out several times a day for a few minutes, which obviously isn´t ideal if you´re working and studying online. Since the pandemic started I am working all online, no issues, with a 30 Mega plan here in Colombia; I have to imagine that Panamá is similar in that regard.
All other things equal (safe environment, good weather, good food, etc.), cost of living plays a huge role in determining where I'll live.
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Súðavík
168 posts, read 76,619 times
Reputation: 177
I worked in Panama for a number of years - it to me is a far better place to raise my children than when I lived in Wyoming.

FETC?

U.S. citizens and residents compute their U.S. taxes based on their worldwide income. This sometimes results in U.S. citizens having to pay tax twice on the same income: once to the government of the foreign country where the income was sourced and once to the U.S. government.

The foreign tax credit was created to help taxpayers avoid this double taxation. It allows taxpayers to take a tax credit for taxes paid to a foreign government on foreign source income that is subject to U.S. tax. For Puerto Rico residents, the foreign tax credit reduces a taxpayer's tax liability by some or all of the Puerto Rico taxes paid or accrued during the tax
year.

https://www.ustaxhelp.com/do-you-qua...gn-tax-credit/
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4696pr.pdf

How good is your Espanol?
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:34 AM
 
2,960 posts, read 1,516,733 times
Reputation: 5552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exwyocowboy View Post
I worked in Panama for a number of years - it to me is a far better place to raise my children than when I lived in Wyoming.

Why?
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:55 AM
Status: "177th Anniversary of Freedom!" (set 14 days ago)
 
6,741 posts, read 9,487,262 times
Reputation: 5193
Weatherwise during the rainy season, which lasts months, Panama can be quite cloudy and humidity levels feel higher. This is something that doesn't exist to the same intensity in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Heck, even during the rainy season most days tend be sunny with scattered clouds and the rain doesn't lasts hours and hours (unless there is a hurricane nearby). The other difference is that while in Puerto Rico its noticeably cooler during the winter months (though still warm), in Panama is the temperature hardly dip between the seasons.

Panama City will also feel hotter than San Juan. The fact that its further south and the trade winds doesn't blow that far south could explain this difference. This is without adding the extra effect of city island heat due to the asphalt and cement in tropical cities, often making the daytime heat linger well into the night. This becomes very noticeable if you take car and with the windows down drive into the country, you will notice that the air feels cooler and drops suddenly as you leave the built up area.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Súðavík
168 posts, read 76,619 times
Reputation: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
Why?
Well, for one thing, they got bilingual teachers and the pay was far better than in the states.
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