November 8 — One of our favorite radio show talk hosts, Diane Rehm, recently had a great program called U.S. Expatriates in Mexico and Beyond. Use this link to listen as she and her fascinating guests discuss this topic that interests so many retirees.
Diane’s November 6, 2007 show explored how reverse migration appears to be on the rise as more Americans relocate and retire abroad. She and her guests took a look at what drives their decision and what life is like once they take the leap.
Her guests included: Caren Cross, who made the documentary “Lost and Found in Mexico” about her experience in moving to San Miguel de Allende;
Debra Lattanzi Shutika, professor at George Mason University and author of the forthcoming book, “Beyond the Borderlands: Mexican Transnational Lives, New Destinations, and The Sense of Place”; and Lee Harrison, roving Latin American editor, “International Living” magazine.
The guests indicated, not unsurprisingly, that Mexico is the most popular retirement destination for U.S. expatriates. Costa Rica and Panama also attract many U.S. citizens. The exact number of Americans living abroad is difficult to determine, since our government apparently doesn’t track that statistic. About 1 million U.S. citizens are estimated to be living in Mexico. Two of the towns with the most Americans are San Miguel and Aijic (in the Lake Chapala region). One of the guests estimated that up to 16,000 Americans reside in San Miguel during our winter season.
– Second home buyers who can’t afford what they want in the U.S.
– People who want to change of their lives or start a new career
– Retirees driven by economics; they either want to improve their life style on a fixed income, or they want to retire earlier
One of Harrison’s most interesting points was in response to Diane’s question about what types of retirees are happiest abroad. His reaction was that although many people start out with money as their biggest motivation, the happiest people tend to be those who embrace the new lifestyle they find abroad.
Other guests explored broad-ranging topics such as culture, how they happened to come to live abroad, finances, impact on the local environment, friends, etc. If you are contemplating retiring abroad, we recommend listening to this podcast!
For more information see these Topretirement resources:
– Buyers Guide to Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica (Part I)
– What itâ€™s Like to Retire in Mexico