Immigrants play big role in caring for elderly and disabled in U.S

Even as a shortage of U.S. workers who care for the elderly and disabled grows, proposed limits on immigration may worsen the situation, researchers say.

As of 2017, immigrants accounted for more than 18% of U.S. healthcare workers, researchers report in the journal Health Affairs. In nursing homes, nearly one in four workers who directly care for patients are immigrants, as are nearly one in three housekeeping and maintenance workers.

“We rely heavily on immigrants to care for the elderly and disabled, particularly in their everyday care,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Leah Zallman, an assistant professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and director of research for the Institute for Community Health at the Cambridge Health Alliance. “Therefore, any policies trying to reduce immigration are likely to make what is already a workforce shortage worse.”

Currently, Zallman said, “there are not enough people willing to do these jobs and we are going to need a lot more people in the future. This is an industry that needs people round the clock. And immigrants disproportionately take the night shifts. They are really filling the gaps.”

The issue becomes increasingly important as the elderly population grows, with experts predicting it will double by 2050, Zallman and her colleagues noted.

To take a closer look at the role of immigrants in healthcare, the researchers turned to the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the 2018 Current Population Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which collected data on 180,084 people in March of 2017.

Compared to U.S born healthcare workers immigrant workers were older; 51.6% were older than 44, compared to 43.8% of U.S. born healthcare workers. Immigrant workers were also more likely to have completed a four year college degree and more likely to be Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian or non-Hispanic Black.

Nearly one in three immigrant healthcare workers – 30.4% – were employed in long term care settings, compared to 22% of U.S. born workers. Overall, 1 million workers, or 23.5%, in the formal and non-formal long term care sector were immigrants.

Among unauthorized immigrant healthcare workers, 43.2% were employed in these types of settings.

Immigrant workers were also more likely than those born in the U.S. to be employed with home health agencies (13.1% versus 7.9%) – and in the non-formal sector (6.8% versus 4.6%).

The new study is “very important and timely,” said Dr. Albert Wu, an internist and professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “I hope it will encourage us to be more thoughtful about political decisions as they have an impact on all of us. The current proposal to restrict immigration to more skilled or professional applicants runs directly counter to the need for this category of worker.”

Those proposals are coming at a time when the U.S. birthrate is falling, Wu said. “Looking 10 years ahead, there’s a huge projected shortfall in people who do hands-on face-to-face caregiving for older and disabled adults.”

That’s exactly what’s already happening in Japan, said Dr. John W. Rowe, a professor in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “Immigration has been limited by Japan’s preference for an ethnically homogeneous society,” Rowe said in an email. “With the rapid aging of the Japanese, who have the longest life expectancy in the world, this shrinking population has yielded major shortages in the elder care workforce and in manufacturing.”

In response, “the Japanese government in December 2018 relaxed the long-standing immigration restriction and established a program of five-year visas for several hundred thousand workers, Rowe said. “This was seen as a major social change in traditionally xenophobic Japan.”

Original Source

Real Estate Opportunities in Tulúm, Mexico

Resultado de imagen para tulum

By Margaret Summerfield | International Living

The road is a little rutted track that winds its way through a screen of trees. A curious iguana watches our progress from his jungle hideout. We haven’t seen another soul for the last 20 minutes.

When we get to the beach, it’s serene. We have it all to ourselves. It’s gorgeous, with lofty palm trees overhead, baby-soft cool sand under our feet and neon-blue Caribbean Sea all the way to the horizon.

This is the Sian Ka’an biosphere. It covers 1.3 million acres of beach, mangrove, jungle and reef. It’s home to jaguars, shy tapirs and friendly manatees.

In Mayan, Sian Ka’an means “where the sky is born.” This is also where development ends. The biosphere is protected—a natural barrier to the fast-paced growth that is barreling down this coast.

That barrier supercharges the gains you can make buying the right real estate in this area.

The Sian Ka’an biosphere borders the edge of Tulum. This little town is being transformed from a rustic outpost to a boutique, eco-chic destination. It’s seen a phenomenal pace of growth over the last decade.

In 2007, when I first visited, there were some nice spots to eat on the beach side of Tulum. And some upscale (read expensive) hotels. But downtown was a different story. There was one decent café, one supermarket, an ATM (no bank) and only cheap hostel-level accommodation. Unsurprisingly, Tulum town was a backpacker magnet in 2007.

Today, downtown has had a radical face-lift. So much so, that the original backpackers would not believe their eyes. There’s a new gourmet supermarket, proper banks, fancy restaurants serving steak and pasta and organic salads. There are bakeries and ice cream stores. A bunch of little boutique hotels has popped up around town. The backpackers are now joined by middle-class and affluent travelers.

And everywhere you look, you can see construction. Tulum is a boom town. But fringed by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the protected Sian Ka’an biosphere on another, Tulum can’t sprawl. It’s the last stop on the Riviera Maya…and it’s the end of the line for development.

With all this growth, you can make serious money in Tulum, but only on the right real estate buy…

Tulum’s got a unique vibe. It’s a mix of natural beauty, yoga and wellness, finding yourself and escaping the rat race. It’s about getting on a bike to go downtown for your morning coffee…floating along the underground rivers with their cool, fresh, water… swinging in a hammock under the stars.

It attracts Hollywood movie stars, New York’s fashion set, Instagram stars and Grammy-winning artists. And, it attracts “ordinary” folks looking for the perfect Caribbean vacation.

When it comes to a place to stay, you can spend more than a thousand dollars a night for a hotel with no electricity or less than fifty for a “glamping” tent pitched on an organic farm. There are plenty of takers for both those options.

But many of Tulum’s visitors (like myself) want something in between…with modern-day comforts (electricity, air conditioning, internet, comfy beds). That’s why savvy folks in this area are already making $31,356…and $33,173…a year in gross rental income on their two-bed condos. And they still get to enjoy their homes (and Tulum) for as much as half the year.

Original Source

Cozumel, Mexico: Things to Do, Retiree Advice, Cost of Living & Lifestyle

Your Complete Guide to Cozumel, Mexico

If you’ve ever imagined yourself lazing on a tropical island, cold drink in hand, and wriggling your toes in the warm, clear aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Cozumel in Mexicocould be perfect for you.

Just 12 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen, along Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya, Cozumel is a well-established, world class vacation destination. Especially known for its warm, tropical water, snorkelers and scuba divers from across the globe enjoy exploring the island’s reef, teeming with aquatic life.

Average temperatures in the 80s F make for comfortable weather with breezes off the Caribbean providing some cool air during the hottest months—when temperatures can climb into the 90s F.

At 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, Cozumel is just the right size to get around on a bicycle or motor scooter, but taxis are abundant too. The island’s largest town is San Miguel. With some 100,000 permanent residents, San Miguel is a lively tourist town. With hundreds of small gift stores, restaurants, night clubs, and bars attending to millions of tourists each year, San Miguel serves its purpose flawlessly.

Tourism provides the high-octane fuel for the island’s economic engine. The bustling port in San Miguel accommodates between 4 to 5 million cruise ship passengers annually. Huge ships arrive each week (more during winter than summer), dropping their passengers into the central area of San Miguel, staying just long enough for passengers to enjoy the day, take an excursion, and rack up a few charges on their credit cards.

Cozumel also has a busy international airport and a regular ferry service from the mainland in Playa del Carmen. A small fleet of modern, fast catamaran shuttles charge $20 for a roundtrip ticket and the ride takes about 45 minutes each way.

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Retire in Cozumel

Cozumel
©iStock.com/Aneese

Those wanting to enjoy an active, lifestyle while also appreciating the pleasures of island life may wish to consider Cozumel for their retirement home. In addition to unlimited water-born recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking, Cozumel also provides modern infrastructure with a stable electrical grid and high-speed internet.

Warm, tropical weather throughout the year is a draw for many people and Cozumel offers that in ample supply. This is an area subject to hurricanes, however, and Cozumel took a couple of heavy hits in 2005 from hurricanes Emily and Wilma. And while they don’t happen often, residents pay close attention to the weather during hurricane season.

Shopping opportunities are abundant with modern grocery stores offering a large variety of goods. Residents can enjoy the benefits of a thriving tourist community with ample selections of restaurants serving all kinds of food from around the world. You can even catch a movie at a local theater, if you wish. As with all islands, prices for goods and services are higher than those on the mainland by some 20% to 30% on average.

Medical care on the island is provided by three hospitals and a number of clinics for routine care. And of course, the mainland is only 12 miles away, so access to larger hospitals in Playa del Carmen and Cancún is readily available, as well.

Lifestyle in Cozumel

Cozumel
©iStock.com/mikolajn

Cozumel is a great choice for expats looking for island-life. It’s large enough to offer many conveniences without going to the mainland, but its proximity also allows residents to quickly catch a ferry and spend some time in Playa del Carmen, Cancún, or even to explore the historic Yucatán Peninsula.

Permanent residents on Cozumel can choose to live in San Miguel or several smaller communities on the island. Las Fincas, Kilómetro Cuatro y Medio, La Estrella, San Lorenzo, La Esperanza, and Huerto Familiar are all smaller villages primarily occupied by locals of Maya and Mexican ancestry.

Cozumel’s primary draw is the surrounding, clear Caribbean water and the easy access to shallow reefs for divers and snorkelers. The island offers a choice of many beaches. Some are rocky limestone, perfect for snorkelers, while others are covered in powdery white sand and are just right for lounging and reading a book.

Hundreds of dive boat operators compete for business in the harbor while several private access points along the shore permit divers and snorkelers to enter for a small fee. Public beaches, of course, have no fees.

If you’re looking to get away from the water, plan a trip to the El Museo de la Isla de Cozumel (The Museum of the Island of Cozumel). It provides an insight into the history of the island and its ancient Maya inhabitants.

Afternoons allow time for catching a movie at the modern theater or even visiting the local library. The very active night scene offers live music and dancing in clubs and bars, as well as free performances in the central park.

Spanish is the official language; however, many restaurant and tour employees speak some English.

Cost of Living in Cozumel

Cozumel
©iStock.com/YinYang

Cozumel offers good value for dollars spent, even when it comes to housing. However, it can be hard to find an apartment as the market is geared toward short-term vacation stays. You will most likely have to rent a place, short term, while you search for a long-term rental. Also, most long-term rental properties come unfurnished. Those advertised as “furnished” may be sparsely furnished, at best.

With limited land available, condos are the most popular housing option on Cozumel and good deals can be found in the range of $150,000 for one-bedroom units. Two-bedroom units can run upwards of $180,000.

Here are some examples of regular monthly expenses for a couple living in Cozumel:

Expense U.S. $
Rent – one-bedroom condo $450 to $700
Rent – two-bedroom condo $500 to $800
Internet $20
Utilities $70
Lunch for two $10
Dinner for two – mid-range restaurant $25
Dinner for two – upscale restaurant $65

Original source

The Best Places for North Americans to Retire in Mexico

Resultado de imagen para playa del carmen

By Kathleen Peddicord | US News & World Report

More Americans have retired abroad in Mexico than any other country. The low cost of living, sunshine, accessibility, established expat communities and diversity of lifestyle options draw many retirees south of the border.

From relaxing beach towns to cosmopolitan cities, the challenge is deciding where to retire in Mexico. Consider these potential retirement spots in Mexico where you can seek adventure overseas, but don’t have to give up all the comforts of home.

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a little beach town an hour south of Cancún on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Once a sleepy fishing village, the port was inadvertently put on the map by Jacques Cousteau in 1954 when he filmed an underwater documentary on the Great Maya Reef just offshore. Today Playa is home to more than 10,000 foreigners, including young couples, families with small children and retired folks. At the center of it all is La Quinta Avenida, the pedestrian street that runs parallel to the beach. All along 5th Avenue, music rolls out of the open storefronts, including Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Buffett, salsa and Latin ballads.

Mazatlán

Mazatlán is one of the few places in the world where you can walk for miles on an uncrowded beach within the city limits. Mazatlán has beautiful beaches and a walkable colonial center that manages to be both a popular expat choice and an authentic Mexican resort town. Located midway along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Mazatlán’s historic center has undergone an impressive face lift. Mazatlán lies about 720 miles south of the Arizona border, making it a 13-hour drive down highway 15D. What a luxury to be able to throw everything you need in the car and drive to your new life overseas.

Ajijic, Lake Chapala

The Mexican government estimates that nearly 20,000 expats reside full time in the state of Jalisco. The area around Lake Chapala is home to an organized and developed expat retiree community. The Lake Chapala Society reports about 4,000 American and Canadian residents. Moving here, you could set up a lifestyle that isn’t dramatically different from the life you left behind in the U.S. You don’t have to worry about learning the local language if you don’t want to, because this is an entire community of non-locals. Retiring to Ajijic, you could make a comfortable life for yourself in a place that’s beautiful, safe, affordable and also exotic. Over the past four decades, Ajijic has attracted such a volume of foreign retirees that it’s become very friendly to foreign residents.

Puerto Vallarta

Until the 1950s, Puerto Vallarta was a small fishing village along a spectacular bay on the Pacific that was modestly popular among Mexicans as a beach resort. Then, in 1963, John Huston filmed “The Night of the Iguana” in Mismaloya, a seaside village just south of Puerto Vallarta. The film’s star, Richard Burton, was involved with actress Elizabeth Taylor at the time, and the paparazzi tracked them both. Suddenly, Puerto Vallarta was in the American newspapers. Around the same time, the Mexican government began to invest heavily in infrastructure in the area, including highways, roads and public utilities, which made Puerto Vallarta a more accessible and attractive destination. Puerto Vallarta is now one of the most sophisticated resorts in Mexico. You will find cosmopolitan cultural activities including plays, films, jazz and classical concerts, gourmet restaurants and gallery openings.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is both the geographic and cultural heart of Mexico. About equidistant from Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Ocean and Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, San Miguel is also just a day’s drive from the Texas border. At an altitude of 6,200 feet, it’s warm and dry during the day and cool at night. Founded by the Spanish nearly 500 years ago, San Miguel was an important town on the route for transporting Mexican silver. Wealthy businessmen and ranchers built beautiful Spanish-colonial homes on the cobblestone streets of this picturesque hillside town. This well-preserved Spanish-colonial city is now home to one of the biggest communities of foreign retirees in Mexico.

Álamos

This small colonial town of fewer than 25,000 is nestled in an inland valley surrounded on all sides by mountains and wild countryside. Álamos was founded in the late 17th century after silver was discovered in the area. The huge wealth generated by the mines allowed residents to build dozens of colonial mansions and hundreds of colonial homes throughout the downtown. The city is walkable and safe, and there are many opportunities for volunteering. The expat community is cohesive, active, welcoming and artistic. Newcomers stay in touch with each other, hang out together and support one another when they need it.

Morelia

Built in the 16th century, Morelia was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. When you’ve seen it, you’ll wonder what took them so long. Adding to its architectural charm, Morelia’s beautiful Spanish Renaissance buildings are all colored the region’s trademark warm pink, thanks to the locally quarried cantera stone. This is a center of music and home to the oldest music conservatory in the Americas. This picturesque town is the capital of the central Mexican state of Michoacán. Few foreign tourists visit Morelia, but Mexicans are frequent visitors. The few expats and foreign retirees who have discovered Morelia try to keep the secret to themselves. The quality of life available in this city of 600,000 is special and unique.

Tulum

Just 20 minutes south of Playa, Tulum feels a world away. This tranquil area is home to about 18,000 people. The location of important ancient sites and natural attractions, the focus in Tulum is more on preservation than development. The path of progress is rolling down this coast, just a bit more conscientiously in Tulum. Thanks to the long-standing tourism industry, English is commonly spoken. This part of Mexico is decidedly first world. The infrastructure is as good as the best of the United States. If you’re not up for immersing yourself in another culture, the Riviera Maya could make for a welcoming place to retire.

Hualtulco

Huatulco is situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. It’s about an hour south of Mexico City by plane. This master-planned community has a total area of about 50,000 acres, with 90% protected for ecological conservation and the remaining 10% used for tourist and residential development. Compared with other Mexican hotspots such as Cancún and Los Cabos, Hualtulco has a more small-town feel and offers a more authentic experience. The area boasts 36 white sand beaches that span 20 miles of Mexico’s Pacific coastline. Just inland from the beach areas is La Crucecita, Huatulco’s main town, where you find grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants. Hualtulco has been awarded the Green Globe certification as a sustainable tourist area. Much of Huatulco’s energy is wind-driven, and hotels, restaurants & nightclubs operate on renewable energy.

Durango

Durango is not an expat destination, but a large, sophisticated Mexican city with great weather and a high standard of living. Nestled in a valley high in Mexico’s western Sierra Madre range, the city’s surroundings look like what we think of as the Old West, and many Hollywood movies have been filmed in the surrounding mountains, valleys and deserts. The city boasts clean, safe streets, good infrastructure, a thriving central market and architecture reminiscent of Europe. The almost complete absence of foreigners means no tourist pricing and a low cost of living. However, you’ll find almost no expat community and few English speakers. Spanish lessons should be a priority for those planning to relocate to Durango.

Original Source

The pros and cons of retiring abroad

A couple at a lake.

By Jaimie Seaton | The Week

After working as an environmental engineer for nearly 40 years, Ann Kuffner had had enough of corporate politics. She and her husband, Michael Brunette, who owned a contracting business, were overworked and burned out.

“We made good money, but worked like dogs. We had little free time for family, friends, or hobbies,” says Kuffner, 68, via email from her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. “Once we figured out that we could retire early due to the low cost of living overseas, we took a risk and went for it.”

While still in their 50s, the couple left California and retired to Belize in 2008, where they pursued their passion for scuba diving and other water sports. They decided to relocate to Mexico last year because they wanted more cultural stimulation, and Kuffner says the health care in Belize was not adequate for people their age (Brunette is 69).

The couple is among a growing segment of Americans opting to retire abroad. As of April 2019, the Social Security Administration was sending 685,000 payments to beneficiaries overseas — a 40 percent increase over the past 10 years — but that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg.

“Most people continue to bank in the U.S. and have their Social Security checks deposited at home, even if they themselves are physically abroad,” says Jennifer Stevens, executive director of International Living, a website and publication that advises people on living, working, and retiring overseas.

It’s impossible to know exactly how many people retire abroad, but Stevens — who has been at International Living for 23 years — says the numbers are increasing. And not just for Baby Boomers or those who retire completely.

“We’re definitely seeing more people retiring part-time abroad, in part because they want the flexibility, and also because they have older parents they need to attend to,” Stevens says. “The other trend we’re seeing is people retiring earlier. People are saying, ‘I’m not going to wait until I’m 65; I hate my job. My accountant is saying I have to stick it out for another 8 years. No I don’t. I’m just going to retire now and go overseas.'”

In many of the hot retirement spots around the world, the cost of living is substantially lower. Food, housing, and domestic help is often cheaper. Plus, many other countries boast excellent health care at a fraction of the costs found in the U.S., which makes retiring abroad sound awfully appealing. But how is it done? Can you really just pack up and move to a different country?

Looking at a globe and choosing where you want to retire can be overwhelming, particularly if you’ve not traveled extensively. Stevens recommends making a list of priorities, such as: proximity to the U.S., language, and climate. The dollar will buy an extremely high standard of living in southeast Asia, for example, but it’s far away and can be scorchingly hot.

“The first order of business is to profile yourself and be really honest about it,” Stevens says. “If speaking English is important, if you do not under any circumstances want to learn a new language, that needs to be on your list.”

Next, do your research. Look at published lists of retirement destinations and match them to your priorities. Go online, but be mindful of the sources you use. A country’s tourism site is naturally going to give a slanted view. Stevens recommends joining expat Facebook groups, where you’ll get honest information and can ask questions.

You’ll also want to visit the U.S. State Department’s website, which has information on the legal logistics of retiring abroad. Each country has its own visa requirements, which can be found through their embassy or consulate’s website. Some countries have a special visa to encourage foreigners to settle. For example, Malaysia’s My Second Home Programoffers 10-year visas for individuals over 50 who have at least $84,000 in liquid savings and a monthly offshore income of $2,400.

When you’ve narrowed your choices down, hop on a plane.

“Go and check out the places that are on your short list, but don’t just go for a week,” Stevens says. “Go for a month or two or three and see if you like living there. You may be surprised that the place that intellectually checks all your boxes, doesn’t speak to your heart.” She adds that one inexpensive way to explore is through house-sitting.

When Chip Stites, 72, and his wife Shonna Kelso, 59, decided to retire overseas, they visited three of the nine countries on their short-list, and settled on Italy in 2015.

“We have other connections to Spain and France but we loved Italy,” writes Stites from his home in Reiti, about 90 minutes outside Rome. “The pace of life here, the Italian love of living, a different way of thinking, and living in a culture that is more than 3,000 years old is incredibly appealing to us.”

Stites, who spent 40 years as a certified financial planner, notes that there are downsides to such a dramatic move. As much as he loves Italy, he says dealing with the bureaucracy is tough, and that he had to learn new ways to do basic functions like making a phone call and drying clothes without a dryer.

“Retiring overseas isn’t for everybody,” cautions Stevens. “No place is America-light. If you are looking for a place that’s just like where you live now, only cheaper, you’re not going to find that and retiring overseas may not be for you.”

For those with an adventurous spirit (and kids and grandkids who don’t mind traveling), however, retiring abroad can be transformative.

“I am so happy that we did this,” writes Kuffner. “We are still quite healthy today, now in our late 60s. But I doubt we would be so healthy if we had continued to work so hard in the USA, under such stress.”

Original Source

Best Countries To Retire 2019

Resultado de imagen para Mexico

By World Population

Retirement is a really exciting stage in life, especially for people who are not absolutely in love with their jobs or the work that they do on a daily basis. The reason retirement is so exciting for people is that it’s a golden opportunity to live on your own time and play by your own rules. If you are used to working a conventional job that takes up at least eight hours of your day, you get to look forward to never having to show up to a desk job or an office building at nine in the morning every day.

Other perks of retirement include…

  • Benefits from social security payments
  • Receive the savings in your 401K account
  • Empty any of your accrued money in a personal retirement bank account
  • Eligibility for applying for Medicare
  • Only work if you want to, not because you have to
  • Less to no work-induced stress
  • The ability to alter your priorities
  • The ability to focus on yourself and nobody else
  • Freedom to travel wherever you want

mapa.png

The last benefit of retiring from a job you held forever is the one that we are going to focus on today. The majority of people take retirement as the perfect moment to explore the world and move to a location far away from their current home. Now that the work-related responsibilities that people used to have are no longer there, people suddenly feel a travel bug and they act on their dreams of exploring new places.

Are you close to retirement and wanting to start making a list of places you’d like to travel to? Or have you retired recently and you are eager to escape your current city in favor of a brand new place to live? No matter your specific situation, it can be a lot of fun to look into the best countries for retirement. If you are thinking about how your life might change once you retire, then this conversation is for you. Even if retirement is not in sight any time soon, you can still humor yourself and start brainstorming what you want to do when the time finally arrives.

Some of the countries that are considered the best places to retire in include…

Let’s focus on the top three best countries for retirement!

Mexico

Mexico is a country in North America. Located right below the southernmost border of the United States of America, Mexico shares borders with four US states, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas — from the western coast to the eastern coast of Mexico. The population of Mexico is 132,083,878 people. This makes Mexico the tenth largest country in the world, but the fact that a lot of people live in Mexico is no reason to not move there once you retire. If anything, it’s even more of a reason! Mexico is an absolute beauty for the most part, and you should definitely experience the country at some point in your life.

Mexico City, Ecatepec de Morelos, and Guadalajara are the busiest cities in Mexico, so consider moving to the suburbs or regions of the countries where fewer people live. You can get the best of both worlds by traveling to the coastal cities and bustling urban areas every once in a while, but retreat to your rural neighborhood to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

If you end up retiring in Mexico, you will want to get familiar with the system of money and exchanges in the country. Mexico operates by way of pesos, rather than the dollar, like the USA, or the euro, like European countries use. The most common language in Mexico is Spanish, but you can probably get away with not being completely fluent in Spanish before moving there after your retirement date.

If anything, you will definitely begin picking up on common phrases and eventually you might take the time to teach yourself the dominant language in Mexico. Now that you are retired, you’ll surely have the time to tackle a new language and become fluent in no time at all!

Portugal

Portugal is up there on the list of some of the best countries to move to after you retire. As one of the most traveled to countries in eastern Europe, Portugal is also a main tourist attraction, which is something to keep in mind. If your goal of moving somewhere abroad once you retire is to get away from the world and spend time in a peaceful environment, then Portugal might not be the best place for you to relocate.

This is merely because the country experiences an influx of over twelve million tourists per year as of 2017, and that statistic has surely risen since the data was collected in this report by Reuters. Tourist season tends to last all year long, and on top of the 10,260,617 people who already permanently reside in Portugal, the streets of the main cities can get crowded in no time at all.

But it’s usually a good sign if the population of a country is pretty massive, right? It tends to mean that the area has an abundance of advantages to offer those who live there. Many people speak English in Portugal, so that’s wonderful news for anyone who is fluent in English and English alone. Other commonly spoken languages in Portugal include Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

The country of Portugal is also a very contemporary place to live, with many modern technological advancements and buildings arising throughout the country. The cultural aspects of Portugal are impossible to pass up, and the charm that the European country naturally exudes will make you feel like you’ve found heaven on earth.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in a part of the world known as the Central American isthmus. For clarification, an isthmus is a thin stretch of land that just so happens to fit perfectly in between two larger land masses. In the case of Costa Rica, the country is positioned in between Nicaragua to the northwest and Panama to the southeast.

Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest places on Earth, primarily because the country operates in many ways that oppose the modern way of living. The use of technology is minimal, and people in Costa Rica spend a considerable amount of time in nature. Costa Rica makes for a prime country to retire in if you are in search of a relaxed, lowkey country with an abundance of natural beauty and scenery for miles upon miles.

The current population of Costa Rica is approximately 4,992,208 people. With a total area of 19,714 square miles, there are just about two hundred fifty-four people per square mile of land in Costa Rica. The ratio of people to land is comfortable and livable. If you are convinced that Costa Rica is the country you want to spend your post-retirement life in, then you should look into moving to a city or town near the coastline, like Jaco or Tamarindo. The beaches in Costa Rica are worth visiting over and over and over again. You can never tire of the natural beauty of Costa Rica’s beach shores.

Flag Name Area Population 2019  Growth Rate
Brazil 8,515,767 km² 212,392,717 0.72%
Mexico 1,964,375 km² 132,328,035 1.20%
Japan 377,930 km² 126,854,745 -0.26%
Spain 505,992 km² 46,441,049 0.09%
Australia 7,692,024 km² 25,088,636 1.28%
Portugal 92,090 km² 10,254,666 -0.35%
Costa Rica 51,100 km² 4,999,384 0.93%
Slovenia 20,273 km² 2,081,900 0.03%

Original Source

Mérida Yucatán, is quickly becoming one of the most fashionable destinations in the Americas

By San Miguel Times

According to author and FODORS.COM collaborator Teddy Minford, Mérida is Mexico’s Chicest Weekend Getaway, as the Yucatán’s biggest city is quickly becoming one of the most fashionable places in the Americas.

The colonial city of Mérida, in the middle of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, is one of those magical places that has somehow stayed under the radar despite gorgeous architecture, fantastic restaurants, and some of the most stylish hotels in the world.

Mérida is popular with Mexican and European tourists, but it’s not really on the itinerary for most Americans visiting Cancun, Tulum, or Chichen Itza. The city is the cultural hub of the region, with historic haciendas, art and history museums, and a location near some of the most fascinating Mayan ruins, colorful villages, and incredible cenotes in the country.

Casa de Montejo, Mërida, Yuc. (Photo: MEL)

But while Mérida would be worth a visit just for its location alone, the real reason this city has topped must-visit lists in recent years (including our own 2019 Go List) are the shops, boutique hotels, and hidden bars that are shockingly hip, incredibly stylish, and packed with more fashion than any other town of its size in this hemisphere.

The city is the perfect size—it’s big enough to keep you interested for at least a few days and small enough that you can get your bearings quickly and learn to navigate the genius grid system (odd streets run north to south, even streets run east to west) within minutes. The city center revolves around the cathedral, which is open to visitors. On weekends and holidays, you’ll find live music and street vendors in the town square, while horse-drawn carriages click-clack through the cobblestone streets.

Paseo de Montejo, Merida, Yucatan. (Photo: Top Mexico Real Estate)

The joy of Mérida is in aimlessly wandering from shop to cafe to bar to restaurant and finding something new hiding behind a crumbling facade. It’s a city where some of the best places are hidden in plain sight, waiting to be discovered. From secret speakeasies and hip hotels to cool cafes and chic boutiques, we have the ultimate guide to the Yucatán’s most fashionable weekend getaway.

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