"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Moving to Mexico: Was that wise?

By on August 28, 2018 in Columnist with 0 Comments

Mike CassidyBy Mike Cassidy


After our cover article about Bill and Cindy Rietveldt moving to Mexico came out in July (“One more adventure: ‘We felt like kids again’”), I’ve had readers ask questions.

One emailer actually went beyond asking a question, and said not only were the Rietveldts making an error in moving to Mexico, but we should have warned readers about how dangerous the country is. He attached news articles about the violence there.

Another reader thought the Rietveldts were awfully brave, perhaps foolishly so, in giving up — at their post-retirement age — the safety of U.S. health care, considering U.S. Medicare coverage doesn’t apply to people living outside the country.

So, I asked Cindy now that she and Billy have been living in Mérida for a while what she thought about these opinions.

Her reply:

As to safety here — Billy and I had been visiting Mérida for seven years and knew it to be a very safe city to live in. And we are well aware that not all of Mexico is safe…

I wrote about how we decided we were at a point in our lives when, if we were ever going to experience living outside of our comfort zone and in a different culture, it was now or never…

I never worry about the other people out and about; I’m too busy watching that I don’t trip on the uneven and frequently broken sidewalks. This is an old city and, while there is a lot of work being done to renovate its historic center, there is nothing much that can be done about the narrow streets that cannot accommodate the growing amount of automobile traffic.

I worry more about staying out of the way of speeding cars and buses than I do about crime.

As for health care — Even at our age, Mexico has affordable health insurance.

As I wrote in that article, my husband had a heart attack and bypass surgery last year (while still in the U.S.).

We are (now) living in a house just blocks from a major hospital with a staff of top notch cardiologists and we have found access to a specialist is fast and inexpensive.

Billy likes his new, bilingual, doctor and has had an EKG and blood work that show him to be in very good health. But this is OUR situation. I’m not saying the same good level of care exists everywhere in this country.

Should everyone retiring consider moving to Mexico? Of course not! Life is different here — not better or worse — different. And, one day, I will write about that.

Cindy did add a crime statistic that like most statistics could probably be debated, but still is interesting:

The murder rate per 100,000 people in the state of Yucatan (home to Mérida) is 2.12.

The rate in Washington is 2.7.

The rate in Oregon is 2.8.

The rate in Idaho is 2.9.

I should add that here at The Good Life, we don’t tell people what to do, we show readers what others have done to find new experiences in their lives.

Safety is dandy, but it takes new experiences to really enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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