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Posted by Maria Arias on May 17, 2016
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Our friends Chris and Rose Jones live in Minneapolis, the capital twin city of Minnesota in the American Midwest.

Every Winter, the front door of their house and out of garage become small mountains of snow that Cris should shovel, sometimes with the help of a neighbor, to leave for his work at the University of Minnesota, while Rose waiting for spring return to replant the flowers in her beautiful garden.

Now is the time of retirement of Cris. The children have grown. After the winter of 2013-2014, when they had to withstand -31 ° C and spent two days locked in the house by the wave of cold, this couple decided to seek a warmer place for the next winter season.

After several consultations, Jones decided to know Panama.

Their experience two years after comes to Panama has been the best. Rose  insisting on staying a little longer each time. They have rented a house in Boquete and are thinking of buying a property that will rent when they return to Minneapolis.

“It’s wonderful to change the cold Minnesota by this permanent spring,” says Rose. Meanwhile Cris has a group of friends, also expatriates who have come to Panama to enjoy retirement and show to Jones, benefits and discounts that are obtained with Visa – Pensioner.

“We rented a furnished house in Boquete just for over $ 500. It is best to have a beautiful garden that has given much joy to Rose who sows flowers and some herbs.

Panama is very affordable, we paid an average of $ 1 per month water service and garbage collection service costs us $ 0.75 to $ 1 three times a week.

Electricity bills are around $ 50 monthly without turning on the air conditioning because this area is fresh, this price we get a discount for being retired.

Our landlord has told us that the tax on the ground is less than $ 200 a year and that as a newly built, has exonerated the property tax for the next 15 years”, says Cris who is preparing to leave for David to meet expatriate friends for coffee while Rose goes to the beauty parlor.

“The food here is very economical – say Rose. Freshness foods, there are markets where farmers bring their produce themselves. Very sweet fruits and vegetables are of high quality and crops are organic, not industrial agriculture with high levels of pesticides- says Rose. A dozen bananas can cost $ 1 just like a pineapple or a large papaya.

If you find it pleasant walk the growing areas, can approach the market there Cerro Punta and get a bag of mixed vegetables 20 pounds for just over $ 7-continued the enthusiastic Mrs. Jones.

I love going to the hairdresser in the city of David, which is just over 15 minutes from Boquete (27 miles). There I can cut my hair and comb for $ 10. If I get the pedicure and minicure  payment between $ 9 and $ 15. If I want a body massage will pay about $ 40. Leaving the salon I always find Cris to go eat something, ” she told us.

And do not rise much the cost of living here when dining out? We asked Mrs. Jones. “Eating out is also very cheap in Panama. It depends on where you go. There are many options for all budgets.

Local inns are simple menus with fresh and delicious food. Beans, pork or chicken or beef, rice and salad or Patacones (green bananas sliced and fried in cornmeal) cost between $ 4 and $ 8 per plate. Take a local beer costs $ 0.75 to $ 1 as well as a glass of wine costs about $ 1.50. A full meal can cost $ 10 or less. To make matters worse there are restaurants which offer a discount of up to 25% to pensioners. It really is under the cost of living for us here in Panama.”

While Rose finished preparing to leave, Chris came with us and told us that helping Rose in the garden felt a strong lumbar pain and had to find a chiropractor graduate who attended him at home for just $ 20.

“The health care is also very cheap in Panama. The professionals are well-trained, good universities graduates with specializations in the United States. There is also a 15% discount on health services for pensioners. The cost of dental visits is $ 20 and large works are exceptionally cheap, can cost up to 50% less.

Buy some prescription glasses also very cheap relative to the price at which the lenses in the United States and have 15% discount for pensioners in this service- followed Cris.

If I need a specialist physician trained first, very close to here is the “Rafael Hernandez Hospital” on Chiriqui serving many specialties, whether it’s a case of importance can go to John Hopkins in Punta Pacifica in Panama City, which is about few hours by car or a few minutes on a plane I can take at the airport in David.

Actually we are planning to spend more time here in Panama, we really improves mood and felt safe. It is very economical and investing in real estate, we can pay for the property for as long as not occupy “completed Cris.

We said goodbye to the Jones with a clear vision of why Panama, is considered the best place in the world to retire.