Wanting to retire in Panama

Now that we have put our house up for sale, we have been pondering the question, “what should we bring with us to Panama”?  We have communicated with people who have brought just about everything to those who went with only suitcases and started anew upon arrival.  We know that we are allowed to bring $10,00o.oo worth of  “stuff” tax free.  For the most part, we will be “getting rid of” most of our furnishings and buying new in Panama and don’t intend on bringing either of our vehicles.  However, we would love to bring our quads!  Question here is, how will the government of Panama value these and for that matter, all possessions we bring to Panama?  Do they take into account depreciation?… because in the big scheme of things, it does not take much to amass $10,000.00 worth of stuff …. and if we go over the $10,000.00, how much will we be taxed and at what rate?  These are questions we have been having a hard time trying to find the answers to.  A person takes such a loss when selling used goods, that it is hard for us to imagine that these items would be valued based on being “new”.  So I am turning to you, my blogging community, for any advice or internet links that we can read which may help us to find the answers to these questions… and ultimately help us in making the decision of “what we should bring to Panama”?


Comments on: "What to Bring to Panama?" (8)

  1. indacampo said:

    We used the rule; “If we were to sell it at a garage sale what would we get for it?” You likely won’t be questioned undervaluing your items and we tried to keep our contents at the lower end of the 10k rather than the upper end. I think we ended up at about 7k. Our friends were on the higher side and were told to do some adjustments and lower their estimates of value.

    We did a general listing of our boxes and didn’t itemize the value of each item. I did a spreadsheet with the box number, contents, and value and a check box for destination purposes. i.e. Box #5 Linens $10.00 (that would be for a larger box used linens aren’t worth much). Anything that we bought new we removed from it’s original packing and repacked in another box.

    I’ve heard horror stories of people bringing cars and paying more duty than the vehicle is worth. There is no longer an import exemption with the residency. 🙂

    • Thanks Karen. This information was very helpful. Dan and I were wondering if there is anything you want us to bring you from Canada? Think about it and let us know.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. indacampo said:

    Forgot to tell you that the value for customs and the value for insurance can be two different numbers. The value for customs is what it is worth now, the insurance value it what it would cost to replace it.

  3. What are quads?
    My $.02 worth, bring as little as possible. I also believe you have to have your residency stuff done. My husband shipped things and didn’t have his done, and had to get a letter from the lawyer that it was in progress. Otherwise the movers said they would have had to open each box and inventory it for value so they could determine customs charges. What a total pain for everyone! I came a month ahead of him with just a suitcase and a credit card. It was so simple. For what my husband and his mother paid to ship stuff I could have outfitted two houses! But, keep in mind also that I’m in David where there is excellent shopping and it was easy to get everything delivered. It may be more difficult farther from a city.

    • Thanks Kris… I didn’t realize you needed your residency stuff done before moving. And to answer your question …. What are quads?…. They are four-wheeled all terrain recreation vehicles… Would these be considered regular vehicles?

      Sent from my iPad

      • Ahh, I don’t know. They have them here though. Some of our neighbors have some and the teenagers ride them around the neighborhood sometimes.

  4. Susan F. said:

    We brought very little with us as the house we bought near Boquete is small with great views and perfect weather. So far, most everything we have have a need for, we have found in David including furniture items. It is kind of nice to unburden ourselves and live more simply.

    • We are starting to think that this might be the better way to go as well. Easy for me to say now, but will have to see when push comes to shove, whether I am going to experience “separation anxiety” or not! Thanks for all your input.

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