By Linda & Arne Jensen
In December we sold our home and left our wonderful neighbors of 11 years in Mineral Wells. Our children live in Houston, Mansfield and North Carolina. We didn’t get to see them as much as we wanted because of the high cost of fuel, along with the rising cost of living eating into our meager means of support. During the last few years I had researched many places in Texas looking for a comfortable community with a lower cost of living than Mineral Wells.
We searched high and low. Stephenville was about the lowest cost of living during 2011; but time has a way of changing things. Then it was Waco, Eastland or far South Texas. Honestly, we wanted to stay in Texas, but with the cost of everything rising, especially medical insurance and medicines, we were always worried.
Mineral Wells is a nice place to live on North West Mountain. Scenic and quiet, a place to enjoy a long walk, to say hello to neighbors and friends as they walk by, too. It was a difficult decision but we decided to move to Panama, Boquete, in fact.
We can live here for less money than we can in the states; a couple can live comfortably on $1,500 a month. Instead of taking every dime just to get by we have money left over at the end of the month. That takes away a lot of stress, at least for us it did.
We live in a nice two-bedroom, two-bath condo in what they refer to as Alto Boquete. We can see mountains all around, tropical flowers everywhere. We are a 20-minute downhill walk to the small town of Boquete. In town there are grocery stores, a nice department store, pharmacies, doctors, labs, several banks and tourist businesses. Many restaurants, bars, bakeries and hotels are located in town. There is a large population of ex-patriots from the US, UK, Germany, Scandinavia, France and other places.
Cabs and buses run regularly; the square downtown is an easy place to find a taxi or bus. From downtown to our condo the price for one varies from 75 cents to a dollar, it depends on whether they take you inside our gated community or not. A bus to downtown is 60 cents. The legal tender here is dollars.
There is no heat or air-conditioning in the homes for the most part. We use ceiling fans occasionally. In the rainy season you need a dehumidifier, we have been told. It is basically about 62 to 72 degrees here all the time.