Kathleen - It does depend on just what you want to do with a camera. For Wildlife, you do need some reach - but how much can depend on how far you need to be from the creatures, for safety...
The FZ150 is one of the most advanced and well-equipped bridge zooms around, and that shows in the pricing. Are you going to need all of the features? 12fps (frames per second) Continuous Shooting is very good - that is, if you're ever going to use that, as one example.
Panasonic also makes the FZ47 - which has the same body and 24x zoom as the FZ150, but fewer advanced features. It has fewer video options, and doesn't shoot RAW images like the FZ150, so on. You can Google the 'Specifications' sheets of the two and compare the functions.
Ladies sometimes prefer light cameras for ease of carrying - but can also like a reasonable weight balance for holding steady. The FZ150 is just over 500-grams with battery and card, the FZ47, just under. At DCW the FZ47 is about $130.00 less than the FZ150.
If you'd prefer a 'flatter' more compact shape - also a lot lighter at 142-grams - Panasonic also makes the TZ20 - which has 16x (24-384mm) zoom - and is just over $400.00. It does do HD video, and 10fps Continuous.
Note, though, that unlike the cameras mentioned above, it doesn't have a Viewfinder. This is the modern trend for entry to midrange P&S cameras. You have to hold the camera out in front of you and aim with the LCD screen on the back of the camera. Or rest it on something to steady it.
Some people find that easy - others are used to a viewfinder and the "braced triangle" - camera to face, elbows firmly to sides - to aim and steady the camera.
Worth mentioning, particularly if you haven't bought a camera recently, as this trend to "no-viewfinder" on cameras up to quite high in the P&S price-range does catch some folk out... So if your earlier cameras - or family ones you were using - were the viewfinder type, and that's what you're used to - check carefully what you're buying.
Here in Oz - you can pay over $400.00 for a Canon S95 - or Nikon S9100 - and neither has a viewfinder... For the prices in some regions - part-equipped cameras might be a "bargain" - but not for the daft prices we pay here...
Must agree with you about suffering the prices here to get the Australian Warranty. With a camera that you'll want to use for 2 or 3 years, it can be well worthwhile asking about Extended Warranty pricing.