Monday, January 23, 2017

moving to mexico -- best place in the world to retire

Situation comedies have more begats than Genesis and Matthew combined. We call them spin-offs.

You know the drill. A situation comedy attains stratospheric ratings, and the producers decide it is time to let one of the ensemble prove his individual chops.

Thus, December Bride begat Pete and Gladys. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis begat Gilligan's IslandCheers begat Frasier.

Mexpatriate may have its own spinoff. Or, at least, a cousin program.

And cousin is the correct adjective. You have already met the author. My cousin, Dan (white like me). Dan, his wife Patty, and I took a month-long swing through southern Mexico two years ago.

They were looking for a place to alight in retirement. And they have found it -- in a small Gulf-side village north of Merida in Yucatan.

Dan played with the idea of writing a blog, but decided instead to keep us informed of his new life through a series of well-written and well-considered email. If I get his permission, I may share one or two with you in the near future. Even if it fails the full definition of a spin-off, any good situation comedy is always improved with a couple of episodes featuring a guest star turn.

Dan did provide me, though, with some fodder for this essay. He directed me to International Living's "The World's Best Places to Retire 2017." According to the survey, I made a wise choice in 2009. Mexico is this year's winner.

International Living's recommendations should be taken with a Siberian salt mine's worth of caution. The company is best known for selling a newsletter about the sybaritic joys of living abroad -- as well as being unabashed shills for flogging overpriced real estate to gullible Americans and Canadians. You can see how the two goals easily mesh.

And then there is the usual caution that any survey of "best places" is nothing more than subjective opinion crammed into an objective party dress. What I consider to be best is hardly what others consider to be best. The debate that goes on between coastal dwellers and denizens of the highlands in Mexico is proof of that.

But the methodology has the appearance of being comprehensive. A 100 point rating is awarded in ten categories: "buying and renting," "benefits and discounts," "visas and residence," "cost of living," "fitting in," "entertainment and amenities," "health care," "healthy lifestyle," "infrastructure," and "climate."

Even though Mexico did not come first in any of the ten categories, it managed to rate high enough overall to take away this year's best retirement spot.

And that just about sums up my experience in Mexico. The place has a lot of imperfections. But it is the imperfections that attracted me. I wanted some place that would present me with enough difficulties to make life challenging -- and worth living. And Mexico fits the bill perfectly.

Is Mexico the best place to retire? Not for everyone. But it certainly is for me. And for my cousin Dan.

And, as Calypso used to say: STAY TUNED. You may get to hear Dan's voice in the near future -- from his new home in award-winning Mexico.    

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