We moved to Panama mainly because we needed a more economical place to live. We have learned that the benefits and joys of Panama are so much more than money, but it’s still nice to live within our means without worry.
Coming back to the USA always involves sticker shock. This is what we bought yesterday – 6 sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, 3 onions, 2 bunches of asparagus, 2 yogurts, box of EmergenC, $41.75 (an onion, a yogurt, and few stalks of celery are missing from the photo). Without my daughters store membership it would have been $49.17.
The sweet potatoes were excellent! The other grandparents are came over for dinner so I decided to get six more.
Yes, that says $10.03, 6 sweet potatoes, $1.99/pound.
This is just a small example of what it costs my daughter and family to live in Northern California. You don’t even want to know what one Costco run cost, but it was equivalent to our monthly food budget. They have a nice 4/2 house in a good neighborhood, nothing big or extraordinary, just a middle class single family home and the appraised value is almost half a million dollars. Both my daughter and her husband have good professional jobs, and even then they stretch to cover daycare and all the other costs of a young family. There is no way either of them could afford to stay home. They are still trying to recover from the few weeks she was home on maternity leave a year ago.
There are cheaper places to live in the US but I don’t think we could afford anywhere with the excellent quality of life we enjoy now. I’m thankful for our life in Panama for a whole lot of reasons!