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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May 24, 2007 — My friend Beverly recently emailed me about the retirement choices she and her husband are considering . From their present home in Plano, Texas, they traveled to the McAllen region, which is right on the border with Mexico. With her permission, I’m quoting her thoughts. That list of advantages to the US includes virtually every reason I’ve heard for people leaving here and returning to the US or Canada. (I would comment that FDIC banking is widely used here, since many of us keep our bank accounts in the US and use the convenient ATM machines.)

Thanks, Beverly, for letting me share this with others. It makes it really clear that Mexico is not automatically cheaper than the US.

We went to the Texas Valley (actually McAllen area) last January to research retiring there, as opposed to Mexico. This is where the R.V. Snowbirds come in the Winter, but there are a lot of 55+ communities that are made up mostly of permanent Mobile Homes. About 1/4th of them stay year round in some of the parks. The price of comfortable housing that we would choose, is cheaper than Mexico. But taxes run higher at $500-$1,000 yearly on properties, with Home Owners Assoc fees of $600 that pays for water/ trash/ pool/hot tub/rec room and maintenance for common areas. The park we like the best, so far, is Gated, VERY well kept, and there is an armed guard at night that roams around. This is the type of park where you buy your own lot. There are many Parks where you own your Mobile Home but rent your lot. I understand that they have raised the rent so high that people have to move, to get to less expensive parks. This would not be cheap and if you have carports and sun rooms, it can be quite expensive.

EXAMPLE at the park we are looking at:

Lowest priced 1 bedroom /1 bath 14’X40′, owning your lot was $33,500.

Highest priced 3 bedroom/ 2 bath/carport/ garage and sun room 18’X70′, owning your own lot was $75,000. I was told that a really nice one, with many improvements and on corner lot had gone for as much as $99,000. This of course buys the use of the pool and all amenities.

There are so many planned activities that you can take advantage of in the parks, with your peers, from October to April. Or you can choose not to. We are the kind of people that enjoy friends being around and group activities.

These are a few of the things that we feel would make life better for us in the Texas Valley, than being in Mexico.

  • Price and availability of electricity
  • The water/ cable/ telephone service being more dependable
  • Cost of appliances/clothing
  • Police that are not AS corrupt
  • Laws that can be enforced for property standards
  • Chemical and burning laws
  • Animals treated better
  • Laws about noise
  • Better food sanitation
  • Better prices on foods that we enjoy
  • Driving not as dangerous
  • Do not have to speak Spanish
  • Postal service that you can depend on
  • Can use Medicare at hospitals (where they speak English)
  • FDIC Insured Banking
  • Cheap Southwest Airlines several times daily to Dallas where our family is.

Being just on the other side of the Border, we could take advantage of the Mexican Dentists/Doctors/Hospitals/Prescriptions Etc if not covered by Medicare. For those that like a “nip” every once in a while, you would be able to take advantage of the price of liquor there. You read the stories of “Border Towns”, it did not appear any more dangerous than walking or driving through most parts of the Dallas area. I wouldn’t walk around there with much jewelry on, but I wouldn’t do it here either. The towns themselves are not pretty like the Interior towns we have visited but I do not plan on spending much time there.

The fruits and vegetables we eat are grown in this area and are close to as inexpensive as Mexico. We would be within an hour and 1/2 to the ocean so the seafood is abundant.

We loved vacationing in Mexico and when we choose to vacation in Mexico, we can take an Executive Bus directly from McAllen . We really enjoyed doing our traveling on them last year. I am sure we would choose to leave during the warmest months here and come to the cool areas there. That would be your low Season and easier to find inexpensive rentals.

Comment from the old blog

  • Anonymous said:

    Some things I have learned to love about Mexico: I have banked with Banamex for over 12 years, since right after the famous Dec. peso crash. During that time my investment have increased in value nearly 300% (tax free!) with us living on the interest for 8 years!!! The bank has never lost or misplaced a centavo. The electric bill is lower if you live in the country, instead herding up with the other ex-pats. Spanish is a beautiful, easily learned idioma. The people are marvelous, loving, polite and generous. The traffic is somewhat different, more free-form with fewer rules. I have never paid a bribe to la polica, although I have taken pictures of several running away from my camera. We have learned to love MEXICAN FOOD and our cholesterol is way down as is our blood pressure. Fruit & veggies are a gift here on sale days (martes y jueves aqui).

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