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How many retirees return to their home countries?

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It used to be said that at about year five years plus or minus one or two years, those who came to Mexico would finalize there decision and either settle down here in Mexico as long as health would allow it or go back up north.  And that still often seems to be the case.

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I guess I am suggesting that folks like RV went back because of breathing problems at this altitude and I still carry Medicare Medical Insurance up north and should it be possible I would use my Medical Air Evacuation insurance to go back up north to get help.

However there are many who choose to move here 100% percent and die here. And that is OK too, and that might happen to me. I am prepared for either option, should I not have a choice.

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We have known maybe 20 people to return in the time since I came in 1999. Reasons were : grands, violence/cartels, health, just being tired of Mexico. For ourselves, we just find that spending more time in God's Country NOB suits us a lot better than being here more. Still need that few months each year here, but each year we are ready to go back NOB sooner. Life seems to be a lot more to our liking NOB now than the previous 20 years. My guess would be that about 25-40 % of those who "settle" here will some day return to their home country.

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I made a big mistake in 1996, after haven been here one week, I made an offer on a home at the top of Ajijic with only forest behind me. It was the best stupid mistake I ever made. I started coming down 4 months per year and I came down a little more each year. Now I go back three times per year for a month at a time.

What helped me stay here more was that on Feb 21, 2001 Star Choice, now Shaw Direct, started broadcasting my home town stations via satellite which I could watch down here. I now get ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, & PBS from Seattle and CBC, Global Etc from Vancouver. And with Facebook, something I do not like that much I can keep in touch with most of my relatives. Therefore less need to go back to what I used to call home.

Today I call Ajijic home. And it sure  helps being able to speak Mexican Spanish. Thank God my Swedish parents taught me that I had to try to learn the language of the country I was either stationed in when in the Military for 8 years (NL and Germany) or living in now Mexico.

Really, when you are younger and think you have to learn a second and then third language it was relatively easy. Sadly learning Spanish was a bitch, because my previous languages were Germanic and not latino based, and I was/am older and I was/am lazy. True Europeans learn second third etc languages much faster than I did.

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We came.   

We left (parental eldercare issue in US). 

We came back.  

Will we stay forever?  Quien sabe.  

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Whatever the reason for returning, some folks will find themselves minows in a big lake and will surely  miss the elevated status they achieved whilst living in Payton Place

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We know well over 100 people who have left over almost 15 years.  If you have been involved in a major single activity here for over a decade you can easily know 250 couples as acquaintances to know when and why they leave. Most people don't just disappear all at once.  Sometimes it was just a bad fit all the way around.  Those people last less than 18 months or so.  Then are the few people who come and everything goes wrong for them from the minute they step in country - trouble at the border, car troubles, bad rentals, crappy real estate agents, loaning money to con men, making the wrong friends and some how pissing off enough people from both cultures.  Those people just have a black cloud over their whole Mexico experience.  They usually try to 'fix it' and it just gets worse until they leave.  And predictably there are the usual reasons of health and family whether parents need care or missing the grandchildren growing up the desire to go is strong.  However there was an exodus with the economic downturn in 2009ish and those few years.  People went back for monetary reasons.  Not only their own economics circumstances changed but that of family members.  Several couple friends said they had to return because their adult children had lost jobs, were losing houses and their social security and retirement monies were necessary to maintain those households.  Dreadful situations.  And of course not too many houses were being sold then so that illiquid asset was also a drag.  So I think over 10 years there is a 50% turn around.  We see a LOT of new faces everywhere however we also see those 200 friendly faces we've seen since the early 2000s that comprise a group of longtimers.  

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(Solajijic) " Those people just have a black cloud over their whole Mexico experience.  They usually try to 'fix it' and it just gets worse until they leave. "

I'll wager that those folks have had a black cloud over their entire lives,  and which will continue to shade them after they return "home".  

I'll add that the number of people who moved here for solely economic reasons is probably far greater than those who will admit to it.  If that's the only reason they moved to Mexico, the culture shock would be likely to hit them harder than for those who welcomed a change in their retirement years and don't mind living as "strangers in a strange land" where life priorities and choices are sometimes subtle, but very, very different. 

 

 

 

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Also, don't underestimate the appeal and rapid growth of senior living complexes all over the U.S. and Canada. Many of them are like landlocked luxury cruiseships. The one Ms. Chillin was manager at had an executive chef, a bakery chef, cloth tabletops, bus excursions on their own bus. There was also a "care floor" that enabled them to still live there if they needed nursing care. The one my mother is in has the same level of dining and care, she has made many friends there. Their facility also has a home theatre setup for big screen movies. Computer Guy once wrote that he visited one in Ontario that had its own petting zoo, an inducement for the young ones to visit grandma I guess.

I still think the "dark horse" for Lake Chapala is not baby boomers, but rather British people who are facing exit from the European Union, and will no longer have the right to work, live and access healthcare in retirement dense sunspots like Spain and Portugal.

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A good thread. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the sharp increase in real estate and rental prices in the past ~2 years, aided and abetted of course by scads of newbie groups on Facebook, dubious Youtube videos and so on. Affordable rentals (even if one knows the ropes and has "boots on the ground") are hard to come by everywhere and buying, if you have less than 200K to spend and don't want to be out in the boonies, is also challenging. Those realities are what drove us back N.O.B. - along with the overcrowding and traffic gridlock. The established expat community is still great (newbieville can be another story) and other key expense items (grocery shopping, local food, in-country travel) are still great bargains but the days of living in popular expat havens in Mexico on a quasi-Social Security budget do seem to be over. 

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14 hours ago, Kevin K said:

A good thread. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the sharp increase in real estate and rental prices in the past ~2 years, aided and abetted of course by scads of newbie groups on Facebook, dubious Youtube videos and so on. Affordable rentals (even if one knows the ropes and has "boots on the ground") are hard to come by everywhere and buying, if you have less than 200K to spend and don't want to be out in the boonies, is also challenging. Those realities are what drove us back N.O.B. - along with the overcrowding and traffic gridlock. The established expat community is still great (newbieville can be another story) and other key expense items (grocery shopping, local food, in-country travel) are still great bargains but the days of living in popular expat havens in Mexico on a quasi-Social Security budget do seem to be over. 

Also short term high priced AirBnb rentals.

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On 11/25/2018 at 2:40 PM, crynoutloud said:

I think a fair guess would be 80% return home eventually. Don't see to many around in their 90's. Lifespan is 80.

Actual you do not see many around because. 1) they are a rare species, 2) they are living in the various nursing homes....I would have to guess that % wise we have the same numbers here as NOB

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I have just heard that a Canadian couple who bought a house about 10 months ago, in a Fracc on the west end.... has now put their house on the market , reason ...feeling insecure ..fear....go figure 

(edited by moderator to remove off topic reference)

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Seems that some of those who leave Mexico are the same ones who are obsessed with trash talking Mexico and Mexicans on the local forums.  I wish them the best wherever they are.

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12 hours ago, ibbocat said:

Also short term high priced AirBnb rentals.

It will be interesting to see how many of these remain once they realize that AirBnB is ratting them out to Hacienda.  :)

The growth of assisted living here may make it easier for those who can't live independently to remain.  

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HA!  I think we haven't really left, since our first shopping expeditions have revealed that there are more Mexican items in the supermarkets here, in Alamo, TX, than there were in most Mexican ones in Guadalajara; even Mega!  It is amazing! However, we did notice that tortillas are not at controlled prices, with a stack of 36 costing $1.69 at HEB. Ni modo, we make our own and Masa is readily available.

Every time we have stopped to ask directions anywhere south of Rt. 83, Spanish was required. This area is more like Mexico than Ajijic; maybe even than Chapala.

We feel right 'at home' with a carneceria on one corner, and a taqueria on the other end of our block.

"Lakeside" was the best of both worlds in Mexico, and the Rio Grande Valley seems to be that way here, but with Medicare and VA facilities. The necessary bonus, for me, is that it is only 77' above sea level, and I can breathe.

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Thanks for the update RV. I am glad you and yours have found a home that meets most if not all of your needs. I had no idea that the area you are in is so Latinized and the Spanish is the first language. 

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1 hour ago, Ferret said:

It used to be part of Mexico. Why wouldn't it be?

Quote

This was an extraordinarily remote area of the Mexican Republic. In those days, the population centers were actually the reverse of the way they are today. In 1821, when Mexico became independent of Spain, California was sparsely populated with something like 3,200 Mexicans. New Mexico, on the other hand, had a population of about 40,000 and was the dynamo of the northern frontier. Texas was also sparsely populated with about 2,500 Mexicans. The folks who lived in this frontier zone essentially lived in islands — enclaves unconnected to one another. There were no horizontal lines of communication across the Southwest. People who lived in San Antonio were more apt to think of Saltillo, Monterrey, and Mexico City than they were Santa Fe. People who lived in Santa Fe were unlikely to communicate with people living in San Francisco. The gulf between them was enormous.

https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/war/borderlands_on_the_eve.html

2500 Mexicans in the entire state of Texas.

They didn't populate it.  The gringos did.  The rest is history.

Now history is being made again as the Mexicans actually are populating the southwest and if the trend continues, at some point they will be in charge again.  The future belongs to the people who have kids.  Those are not the gringos now.

 

 

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2 hours ago, johanson said:

Thanks for the update RV. I am glad you and yours have found a home that meets most if not all of your needs. I had no idea that the area you are in is so Latinized and the Spanish is the first language. 

I guess there are a number of places in the US that Spanish is the first language, add Miami to your list. If you cannot speak Spanish job opportunities are limited!!!

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3 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

https://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/war/borderlands_on_the_eve.html

2500 Mexicans in the entire state of Texas.

They didn't populate it.  The gringos did.  The rest is history.

Now history is being made again as the Mexicans actually are populating the southwest and if the trend continues, at some point they will be in charge again.  The future belongs to the people who have kids.  Those are not the gringos now.

 

 

To quote the movie "Dances with Wolves"... "How many are coming?"... "As many as stars in the sky".

And the caravans of covered wagons moved west, looking for a safe place to homestead and raise their families.

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