My wife Kris tells me that she gets inquiries concerning the prices and cost of living here in David every day from her blog, The Panama Adventure. I sometimes read on other blogs that someone says that it is as expensive in Panama as in the U.S. That may be so for where they lived, but compared to Sarasota, Florida we are paying SO much less for food and housing. Granted, our house in Sarasota was bigger, nicer and had whole house a/c but I sure paid much more for it. The mortgage was $1100 @ month, PITI, electricity ran about $150, water $100, cable/internet $115, total of somewhere around $1500+-.
Our rental house here is smaller, no A/C and not quite as nice, but quite acceptable for us. $385 pays the rent. Landlord pays the water (8 bucks a month). Electric runs $45+-, cable/internet is $54, gas $5. The total is somewhere around $450+-.
Sooooo, for starters it’s Sarasota $1500 vs Panama $450 for housing/basics. I think you can see why we feel like Panama is cheaper than Sarasota. And I haven’t even included car insurance, cell phone, or food.
In Sarasota we spent about $600-800 for food, car insurance was $125, cell phone $150. In David food is around $400+-, car insurance is $xx, cell phones and Skype about $20. I’m not going to get specific, it’s broken down in more detail here Cost of Living.
Sarasota living was costing us about $100 a day, or $3000 a month.
David living costs us $38 a day, or $1100 a month. Much more affordable!
I like that my monthly Social Security check pretty much covers the bills. Savings and investments provide a safety net. Kris will be eligible for Social Security next year.
Both Kris and I have been fortunate to have been brought up by parents who experienced the Great Depression and taught us the value of thriftiness and self sufficiency. But for us the great kicker is that we are eating so well, with fresh fruit and veggies available YEAR ROUND, all while paying FAR less than we did in Sarasota or in Santa Rosa, California. The veggies were great as was the rest of the food but MUCH more expensive.
I don’t know what food costs are where you live, but if you are in the USA and are wondering if you can stretch your housing and food dollar here in Panama, you may just be right!
PS Kris and I say Hi to the folks from Denham Springs LA who will come to our area in August to see for themselves what it’s like here. Don’t take my word or anyone else’s, come here and see for yourself.