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Old 10-16-2020, 12:21 PM
 
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Hello Forum!

We have a family of 4, mom, dad, daughter 14, and daughter 12. We are considering relocating for a year from 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, but will 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 wanted to get the kids surrounded by a different language in day-to-day life so they can increase their Spanish skills. We would be renting. Mom has lived overseas in Manila as a young adult after college, so I have a little experience…but obviously not in these places!

We would likely pursue permanent residency in Panama since it is on Dad and Mom’s short list for retirement.

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 10-24-2020, 11:07 AM
mym
 
632 posts, read 911,167 times
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i think the schools you want will cost more than your budget in PR.

i would chose Panama cuz i have never lived there but i'd still want to do a quick pre-visit first.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:30 PM
 
435 posts, read 102,112 times
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I never lived in Tonga. You should live there.I would choose a place for you that I have never been from the couch in my house. It looks so nice watching HGTV "Building Off the Grid".Yeah, that makes sense. LOL.


I was stationed in Panama. Living there is not the same thing as being in the military on base or a tourist in the comfort and protection of hotels. Living in the real Panama is different than a state or U.S. territory. You have to deal with the local politicians, laws and police that are super corrupt. They make Puerto Rican police look like Disney Land security.

Local purchasing power is 110% higher in Puerto Rico than Panama. If you know about economics you will know what that is. It's the financial ability to buy products and services and goes hand in hand with salaries which Puerto Rico is 145% higher in average wages than Panama. Buying property or renting is more expensive in Panama. Since the wages are way lower in Panama that makes their food and local services cheaper. It's great as a tourist bringing the American dollar over there but not good if you have to work there or your family because its a few steps down where you come from.

The CDC recommends Americans going to Panama take vaccinations for: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

If you are going to be in private communities and private schools then you have spend money in both places but remember, Puerto Rico is under the full jurisdiction and protection of the U.S., Panama isn't. I want to be in a place that my property and investments are protected and not from one revolution away of losing it all. Hurricanes in PR are pretty rare and category 4-5 and even rarer. A hurricane passes in the vicinity of the island, on average, every 11 years. Only 2 Category 5 hurricane has struck the island since 1851 and it was 1928 and in 2017 (once in a lifetime and the last one was 3 years ago, so you are safe for around the next 85 years or so). Also, there are areas in Puerto Rico, like the central mountain regions that essentially don’t need to worry about the hurricanes.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Súðavík
157 posts, read 70,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
The CDC recommends Americans going to Panama take vaccinations for: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
As we now know the cdc is full o'krap. There's no such thing as a rabies preventative. You don't get a rabies shot unless you've been bitten by a rabid dog or cat. Polio hasn't been seen in 40 yrs - even down there.

When I worked in the CZ - none of those were required. Most children already had childhood shots before age 8. Pneumonia shots are pretty much, like influenza shots worthless. There's no cure for influenza. Nor is there a shot for SARS - All viruses repeat every 12-13 yrs, which is why SARS is on us now. Swine to follow next year and Avian the year or two after.

Last I checked mainlanders weren't allowed into PR or VI.
COPA is only flying from certain east coast cities into Panama.

There are BIG discounts for those willing to stay more than a year in Panama. I doubt PR could match them.
Plus PR-VI gets hit alot during 'cane season which is just winding down now. I can't remember the last time Panama was ever struck by one. Food and electricity and rents are much less in Panama. It just depends on where you are. Higher in Boquete and lower in Santiago.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:54 AM
 
435 posts, read 102,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exwyocowboy View Post
As we now know the cdc is full o'krap. There's no such thing as a rabies preventative. You don't get a rabies shot unless you've been bitten by a rabid dog or cat. Polio hasn't been seen in 40 yrs - even down there.

When I worked in the CZ - none of those were required. Most children already had childhood shots before age 8. Pneumonia shots are pretty much, like influenza shots worthless. There's no cure for influenza. Nor is there a shot for SARS - All viruses repeat every 12-13 yrs, which is why SARS is on us now. Swine to follow next year and Avian the year or two after.

Last I checked mainlanders weren't allowed into PR or VI.
COPA is only flying from certain east coast cities into Panama.

There are BIG discounts for those willing to stay more than a year in Panama. I doubt PR could match them.
Plus PR-VI gets hit alot during 'cane season which is just winding down now. I can't remember the last time Panama was ever struck by one. Food and electricity and rents are much less in Panama. It just depends on where you are. Higher in Boquete and lower in Santiago.
Ignore the CDC and go to Panama or any foreign 3rd world country. I hope the government there pays your healthcare bills down there. They found the Corona cure in Panama? amazing!!! they have no security at the borders and airports???? anybody can walk in Panama? My friends in Venezuela will sure love it since Colombia doesn't want massive immigration of them breaking in their country.

I already cover hurricanes. Let me repeat, hurricanes in PR are pretty rare and category 4-5 and even rarer. A hurricane passes in the vicinity of the island, on average, every 11 years. Only 2 Category 5 hurricane has struck the island since 1851 and it was 1928 and in 2017 (once in a lifetime and the last one was 3 years ago, so you are safe for around the next 85 years or so) Also, there are areas in Puerto Rico, like the central mountain regions that essentially don’t need to worry about the hurricanes. Again, I lived there and didn't just stay in San Juan. In my opinion the central mountain part of the island is the best to live. It's a lot higher and cooler and surrounded by mountains and lots of green.
Of course, food is cheaper in Panama. Local purchasing power is 110% higher in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico has a 145% higher average salary than Panama. Puerto Rico is a USA territory, they are bound to American standards and federal laws. If the salaries are higher then it goes to cost of living to food and services. The higher the salaries in a place the more purchasing power you have. In Cuba, the food and services are cheaper than Panama but I wouldn't want to work there unless I go there as tourist with the American dollar not to live under that system.

By the way, rent and buying property is higher in Panama. Interest rates for loans and gas prices are higher in Panama by a little more.
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Old 10-26-2020, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Súðavík
157 posts, read 70,582 times
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Half of what you write is borderline. When we were there, there were and still are HUGE discounts on just about everything.
https://panamarelocationtours.com/pa...less-in-panama

Panama has the BEST medical care facilities in LATAM. Doctors come from as far away as Houston to practice tropical medicine. My Father was one of them at Pacifica Salud, Punta Pacifica - a Johns Hopkins affiiated hospital there.
https://www.pacificasalud.com/home/en
The only other hospital of equal value is Clinica Biblica and CIMA in San Jose, CR.
As far as hospitalization costs - it's far cheaper in Panama and Costa Rica than anywhere else in the Caribbean. You know in advance what surgeries will cost you and these hospitals work out a payment plan.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:00 PM
 
435 posts, read 102,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exwyocowboy View Post
Half of what you write is borderline. When we were there, there were and still are HUGE discounts on just about everything.
https://panamarelocationtours.com/pa...less-in-panama

Panama has the BEST medical care facilities in LATAM. Doctors come from as far away as Houston to practice tropical medicine. My Father was one of them at Pacifica Salud, Punta Pacifica - a Johns Hopkins affiiated hospital there.
https://www.pacificasalud.com/home/en
The only other hospital of equal value is Clinica Biblica and CIMA in San Jose, CR.
As far as hospitalization costs - it's far cheaper in Panama and Costa Rica than anywhere else in the Caribbean. You know in advance what surgeries will cost you and these hospitals work out a payment plan.
I said and let me repeat myself. I was station in Panama. I was in the base under the full protection of the U.S.A. and under their jurisdiction. That is NOT living in the real Panama. Just like going to Panama as a tourist with the American dollar in private hotels. My friend went to Cuba and said it was great as a tourist but he won't move there to live under their system. I was trying to make a point about living there versus going there on a temporary basis as a tourist in private hotels and eating cheap because you are using the U.S. dollar.

I find the salaries in Puerto Rico a lot lower than the states but when P.R. average salary is 145% higher than Panama, I really doubt they have better government services. Where do they get the money to have the best government services in Latin America as you state?

Do you understand that not only Puerto Rico has higher salaries than Panama but they are under the social protections of the United States? You really want to go into details that Panama doesn't come anywhere near that? Do you want me to list the federal programs that Puerto Rico gets from the U.S. that Panama doesn't from education, health, business and housing and the rest of the federal aid they get?

When I move to a place I look for salaries, purchasing power, security, protection and the government services. Again, I'm talking about living not vacation or station in the military. I like Mexico as a tourist not to move my family there and take a pay cut and live under inferior government services.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Súðavík
157 posts, read 70,582 times
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I worked at Howard AFB and came back later to work in the Zone ten years after. I didn't live on the base or in the zone but in the old city and then in Patillo. PR has income taxes on top of Fed
https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/puerto-...ersonal-income
And you pay taxes to the Fed based on your world wide income.
And HUGE amount of poverty 43.5%!!!
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/PR
An island that small is packed with people. At 9,104 km2 with a density of 438.74/km2

Panama has a territorial tax system, meaning that it exempts all income earned outside Panama. This zero taxation policy of foreign income applies to resident individuals residing in Panama as well as Panamanian companies. Individuals are subject to tax only on their Panamanian-source income, irrespectively of their residence. As a consequence, foreign-source income is not subject to tax. Because of this, the concepts “resident” and “non-resident” is not defined in the Tax Code. Individuals are subject to income tax at progressive rates on their taxable income.

Further as I have noted - Panama has not had a destructive earthquake in decades. Those that are in the area in recent years, occur offshore along the west/south fault lines. Unfortunately, a day doesn't go buy when PR has one or more.
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthqua...&settings=true

As to SARS - Panama has 2638 deaths out of 126k cases - mostly escapees coming from Madro's commie govt in Venezuela.
PR, like most island nations has better control over who comes and goes, currently has 804 deaths but only 612 are actually confirmed to have had the virus.

The island I'm on had 11 deaths - and yet it had open airspace most of the Spring and Summer. There's only 450,000 people living on an island 12x the size of PR (103,000 km2). There are three (3) inhabitants/km 2 . Do you know why? It's cold here except for July and August. People are not packed onto the island like sardines. They are healthier, because they eat mainly fish and shellfish. Very little dairy and meat. WHO says Iceland is the healthiest nation in the world. They are blessed by good water, good earth, no air/water pollution. Pesticides are banned. Ag waste is recycled. Hot water coming from the steam vents of twenty volcanoes heat the homes.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:40 PM
 
448 posts, read 637,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post



I was stationed in Panama. Living there is not the same thing as being in the military on base or a tourist in the comfort and protection of hotels. Living in the real Panama is different than a state or U.S. territory. You have to deal with the local politicians, laws and police that are super corrupt. They make Puerto Rican police look like Disney Land security.

What was it like being stationed there?
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:59 PM
 
1,161 posts, read 375,591 times
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Puerto Rico is in pathetic shape,your children wont learn much from them except hardship,very depressing,and they do get hit by hurricanes.
They dont have much local industries,,tourism and rum.
Many young and able have left to come to seek jobs on mainland.
I would go to Costa Rica instead,Malaysia is another place to consider,Singapore is good,some medium size Mexican towns can be fun and away from drug war.
if you want your kids to learn SPANISH,how about Spain?
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