A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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July 31, 2006 — Bill Jones sent me this email, with permission to post it.

Question: Love your web site/the blogs/we are retired and live on an island near Tacoma, Washington. High taxes/ rainy weather have us ready to move. Wife says Mexico, I say maybe. Cheaper, better weather for sure. Friends say Chapala area, others have told us of Queretaro. I grew up in Miami, so the tropical area sounds great, so does San Miguel/I paint/ but pricey. We both worked for airlines that went bankrupt, so the budget is tight. Don't want to be in a walled-in all american compound. Any ideas/ thanks.

One thing extra, we will have to sell the house here, and house prices are high, so we will have a good bit of cash, but only social security for income and investment money. we plan to rent for 6/12 months and see if like the area.

Kelly and I lived in Olympia, WA, not so far from where Bill and his wife are, for several years. I found the short rain-filled days during the winter quite depressing. The rain here near Lake Chapala doesn’t get to me nearly as much… partly because there is a lot less of it in an average year.

San Miguel is drier than here, as is the city of Queretaro. None of these places are tropical in the way that Miami is, as the Lake Chapala area is at 5000 feet and the other two cities are even higher. There are sea-level places you could consider. In fact, there are lots of places in Mexico you could consider!

The places that have “walled-in American compounds” also have more Mexican areas where you can live. Even in areas that are expensive, if you are willing to live a ways away from the center of foreign activities, prices drop.

My suggestion to Bill and his wife would be to make a trip down here. It can be done relatively economically, either getting a cheap flight out of Seattle or driving down. Once in Mexico, come to these areas with a Lonely Planet or other guidebook, stay in the modestly priced hotels, take the excellent long-distance buses between cities if you flew, and just get a feeling about whether you would want to live here. There are so many intangibles in another country that just can’t be conveyed online.

Bill didn’t mention if they’d been to Mexico before or if they know any Spanish.

So those are a few ideas. I think it’s a really good idea to rent for a while, or even permanently. As I’ve mentioned before, in Mexico you can often rent a house at a much lower price in relation to the price it would sell for than you can up north.

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