Despite what many media reports might have you believe,the numbers don’t lie and clearly show that more people are moving to Mexico from the U.S. than vice versa,according to Pew Research Center census data from 2005 to 2010. In addition,the Houston Chronicle recently quoted Bill Clinton,who stated that “between 2010 and 2014,there was no net in-migration from Mexico.”
“Given the way immigration is covered in the media,this may be a shocker. Not for me,” penned writer Deborah Charnes for the Chronicle. “My thrifty depression-era father talked about retiring in Guadalajara. I’ve long considered Mexico my seguna patria [second home]… My antennae are attuned to the many expats in Mexico.”
Charnes writes about Nancy,a retired healthcare professional who is originally from Arkansas,but has also lived in Venezuela,New Orleans and Houston. Fluent in Spanish,she ultimately decided to settle down in the artsy surf-and-sand community of La Paz and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico,because it offers an excellent quality of living and favorable exchange rate,after taking a close look at Panama,Costa Rica and Columbia.
“I had realized some years ago that my retirement income would stretch much farther in the Latin American economy,” Nancy told the Houston Chronicle. “I could not afford to live full time in the United States on my retirement income even though I had planned and saved diligently.”
Another great thing for U.S. expats living in Mexico is its close proximity to home,which makes it easy and affordable to make frequent trips back and forth. Communities like Puerto Vallarta,the Riviera Nayarit and Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Pacific Coast,as well as Cancun,Playa del Carmen and Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula along its Caribbean Coast,offer a long list of activities,plenty of bilingual residents,safety,fantastic cuisine,endless entertainment options and – of course – a fabulous tropical beachside lifestyle that simply can’t be beat.
“I like Todos Santos because it is small,not pretentious,authentic,safe for a female on her own,” Nancy shared. “Many women are business owners or independent. For the most part,there is an emphasis on simple living,spirituality and organic,wholesome and abundant fresh produce,and the climate is perfect for nine or ten months of the year. People are friendly and welcoming.”
Charnes also spoke with Rocky,a Vietnam veteran who hails from Boston and now lives in Cabo San Lucas,Mexcio. After Vietnam ended,he served at a post in freezing-cold Alaska until 1971,when he made his way gradually south through California and ultimately wound up in Cabo,where he got hooked on the “Baja lifestyle.”
“After three years,I decided to move for good,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “No graffiti. No wise guys. Very friendly. These people would give you the shirt off their back. It’s a dream place to live.”
Sam,a 20-something expat and artist who moved to Puerto Vallarta from Utah,told Charnes she packed up everything and moved south to set up a new home and business,creating a beach resort that offers the ideal environment for creative types. Individuals and groups come here to work with various artistic mediums,including clay,metal,paint,glass and mixed-media,in a gorgeous location that is just a few short blocks from the beach.
“Just watching the butterflies,hummingbirds,whales and iguanas is entertainment enough for me,” Sam told the Chronicle. “People here are so willing to help their neighbor. The people here are happy and helpful. They actually do sing or whistle while they work!”
In many of Mexico’s best expat communities,residents can easily walk everywhere,including to the doctor,dentist,hairdresser,accountant’s office,bank,pharmacy,vet and countless restaurants and boutiques. The quality of life in Mexico is ultra-rejuvenating and beyond compare,thanks in large part to the weather,local cultural traditions and delicious culinary offerings.
“Mexico fills my soul like no other place,” stated Ellen,a retired university professor who lives in Texas but spends lengthy visits in Mexico each year. “I have traveled the world over,and Mexico would be the only place I would consider relocating. I feel safe,I feel creative,I feel the stories,I just feel.”