Friday, September 20, 2013

We become pensionados

Progress on the home front gives us both a great deal of pleasure. Many readers will remember the struggles we have had with Scotiabank Panama - well, they will soon be over. Shorty after the bank refused to make the final payment to our builder, I frustratedly asked a friend if there were other ideas re financing options. She did! She introduced us to a private financer, and we came to an agreement to proceed with a loan. All with one interest level, no penalties, and according to our requested terms. Couldn't be better. Papers are now signed, sealed and delivered. We now have a single monthly payment as of October 1st, and no insurance required. That insurance payment was the last straw at $417 per month! Such relief.

We now have the means to move ahead with the pool and the storage building we desire. Having met with Steve Japp of  'Paradise Construction', a firm in Coronado, we are going to contract for a pool and its requirements, plus a 10ft x 10ft casita/shed to store outdoor tools etc. Both of us are delighted. Steve and son Curtis are personable, knowledgeable and prompt. If all goes well, the pool starts next month and all will be completed in 4-6 weeks. Landscaping our back 40 will truly complete the house and its appearance (and value) will increase. Having useable outdoor space is a necessity in this climate! Maybe our luck has turned?

We spent 2 days and nights in Panama City this past week, arranging the bank payout and collecting our pensionado visas which are for an indefinite time period. The total cost for the immigration lawyer and the various fees have reached approximately $3000 US for two of us. We are now fully eligible for shorter lines in banks, discounts on almost anything, including loans, interest rates, movies, local airflights, electricity, restaurants and so on. Next up - Panamanian drivers licenses...blood tests required! They'll find me a vampire at heart, if I had one!

Friends Don and Connie fed the cats while we were gone. Boy, did these two have it good - lots of food, and attention too! Mitzi raced around for over an hour when we arrived home, and Cagney followed me for most of that time, even to the bathroom. Back to normal  today.

Our social life continues to purr along also...almost every weekend there is a get-together of most of the crowd which is steadily growing larger. Next up, we will need to rent a facility! Such great folks, all different and interesting, with stories to share, lives to describe, mostly retired or on the way. So far, we are the only Brits. Some live in our development and others in town (Pedasi) or nearby. I think this weekend there is a lull in activity.

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