Thursday, August 21, 2008

Americans Leaving in Record Numbers Where Are They Going?

With many of you telling me that you no longer feel safe here and that you are afraid to retire and become part of "The Retirement Nightmare" or a "Ward' of the State and and thereby losing your civil rights and have your property confiscated and your contact with your family restricted .Americans are moving out in unprecedented numbers I have done a little research to find out where a lot of you are going .

Mexico City - The day after the U.S. presidential election, Jim and Joan Marker left for a scheduled vacation in San Miguel de Allende, central Mexico.

Now they've decided they'd like to live there permanently.
The Alabama couple are among the many United States citizens who have been going south, for adventure or a new life. The decades-long trend has gathered steam in recent years, statistics show, and Mexico is undergoing a sustained Americanization, with Americans buying more property, seeking permanent residency and congregating in enclaves that seem like home abroad.

"The people who are buying here are three or four years away from retirement ... although there are also a lot of younger people coming - 38 to 40 years old - looking for a place to rest or get out of the cold."

Analysts say the influx of Americans is fueled by such factors as a lower cost of living, more affordable housing, warm weather, a more relaxed pace of life and a different political atmosphere.

More than 76 million American baby boomers are expected to reach retirement age in the next 20 years, and 25 percent of them have no health insurance or savings, according to an AARP report.

A significant number of those future retirees will likely be heading south, said Viviana Rojas, a researcher at the University of Texas in San Antonio.

"Mexico makes them feel younger, connected again and re-energized," Rojas said.
But expatriates in Mexico generally pay less for health care and medicine, housing and domestic help, according to experts and the expatriates themselves.

Rojas and a colleague, T.S. Sunil, are studying a sample of U.S. retirees in Ajijic, Jalisco state. She said more than half the 172 people surveyed said they were living on less than $1,000 a month. That money covered rent, utility bills and other costs such as maid and gardener service and regularly eating out.

"These are people who are looking for alternatives that will accommodate their fixed income," she said. "The key question here is, how many Americans can manage to live (in the United States) on less than $1,000 and have all those amenities?"

In Nayarit state, public officials are trying to lure Americans by hawking an affordable lifestyle. Ads for the fishing village of Sayulita assert that residents can live in the village for as little as $500 a month, gardener and maid included.

Some Americans have come to embrace Mexico to such a degree that they're becoming citizens.His attorney, Gilberto Pineda, represents 60 Americans seeking permanent residence.

Ethridge settled in Playa because, he said, it is younger and hipper than some other expatriate centers - and has topless beaches as well. He said that he could not imagine returning to live in the United States and that he does not miss the hectic pace and materialism of his native country.

Tereso Ortiz, of Dallas, is one of the estimated 24 million U.S. citizens He sees Mexico as the place where he will spend his golden years - to be closer to family and to enjoy a retirement that he could not afford in the United States.

For other Americans, Mexico is a refuge from what they view as a rancorous environment....

"I come from one of the two (places), New York and the District of Columbia, which were attacked on Sept. 11," she said. "And we don't feel any safer. If anything, I feel more scared and that's why I'm looking for a home here in San Miguel.

San Miguel de Allende may be the most American town in the country. About 10 percent of the residents are American. Most stores price their wares in dollars. English is heard everywhere.

Kentuckians in the Tropics?

"I awoke this morning to the soothing sound of Pacific waves lapping the shores of the Mexican Riviera's crown jewel - Puerto Vallarta. The cloud flecked sky changed colors as the sun journeyed from the mountains toward the sea. The scented air gently caressed my face."

By accident (or was it meant to be?) we were put in touch with a transplanted California realtor who just happened to have a beach side condo for us to see. Walking into that condo, the view of the sea, brilliant with millions of diamonds winking and blinking, took away our breath. Believing in love at first sight, at that moment we both knew this was it!

Life is still fulfilling and meaningful, but in different directions and dimensions. New friends - Méxicans of all ages and backgrounds, visiting tourists who, on their annual vacations, move in and out of our lives, and expatriates from many parts of the world - spice our lives.

Old friends who journey south of the border keep us grounded and give us delight as they sample our new and different world. We keep up with the USA via satellite TV (now high speed internet too,) and we vote by mail.

We revel in life in our condo nestled between the sea and el centro. We love the wonderful Vallartenses, the people who so graciously and warmly welcome us into their land and their lives. We savor the pace, the palms, the mountains, the language, the flavors, the sounds, the music, the colors, the climate, the children!

Polly G. Vicars and her husband of 57 years, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.

Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars.

What ever you do stay away from the border towns where corruption is rampant, according to studies Americans consume some 50% of the world's total cocaine production and than makes for some pretty nasty behavior, on the border towns where the trafficking takes place.

We would like to hear from any Americans living abroad, Please E mail us.

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