By: Matthew Whelan| Cigna Global

As specialists in expat health care, we at Cigna Global know how important it is to monitor the needs of the globally mobile population we care for.

This is why we’ve recently enhanced our products for senior customers, with discounted premium rates and a fantastic 60+ Care benefit—so there’s really never been a better time to buy Individual Private Medical Insurance from Cigna Global.

If you’re 60 or over, you can benefit from reduced rates, as well as a new 60+ Care benefit, which provides outpatient coverage for five common pre-existing conditions:

  • Arthritis, joint, or back pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoporosis / Osteopenia
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Wherever in the world you are, making sure that your health is in good hands is very important, and more so in the later stages of your life.

Whether you are retiring abroad, or moving to another country for other reasons, Cigna Global can help protect your health with worldwide coverage as you start your new life overseas.

Our policies have no age restrictions, and we will help you create a health insurance plan that’s perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family, with the reassurance of comprehensive core coverage, and the flexibility of additional modules.


by / Eric Lindquist. |


Four years ago, Barry Weiss took a step few Eau Claire residents could imagine: He sold all of his belongings and moved to another country.

At age 70, the artist said adios to Eau Claire and hola to San Miguel de Allende, a colonial town of about 170,000 people in the mountains of central Mexico.

Since his life-changing decision to become an expatriate, Weiss has never looked back.

“It’s going great. This is a wonderful world down here,” Weiss said last week in a telephone interview from San Miguel. “It’s about 70 degrees today, and you can’t beat that. But it’s not only the weather. The quality of life and the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture has been an eye-opening, soul-searching experience.”

Mexicans, he said, love to have a good time. As a result, there is always an excuse to have a community celebration. The festive atmosphere often includes parades, outdoor concerts, dancing, fireworks and ringing church bells — a sensory explosion he finds exhilarating.

“More importantly, it’s just a thrill to be able to reinvent my life at my age,” said Weiss, now 74, who was a high school and college band director, real estate agent and production company owner before operating Hummingbird Pottery out of a home studio in Eau Claire.

With change a constant for Weiss since migrating south to Mexico, he is a living, breathing reminder that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks.

Beyond the expected challenges — overcoming the language barrier, making new friends and adjusting to a new culture — Weiss also has changed careers and gotten divorced from his wife, musician Lorelei Capell, since the pair made the big move together.

New passion

A career change was never part of the plan, but Weiss said he quickly learned after settling in San Miguel that his technique of using high-fired porcelain was impractical in his new home because of the cost of energy and limited availability of the necessary raw materials.

Besides, he said, the region has a plethora of indigenous potters using a low-fire technique whose work is “absolutely gorgeous.” Weiss wasn’t ready to dive into a whole new style of potting, so he decided to try his hand at photography instead.

“I had always done some photography, so I started experimenting and shooting and not necessarily tying it into a vocation,” he said. “Well, one thing led to another, and now I teach photography, print for other photographers, work with tourists who want prints made and have become the major go-to photographer for events in the city. That’s how I make my living now.”

Eau Claire artist Terry Meyer, who calls Weiss his best friend and still exchanges emails with him about twice a month, said he has always been impressed by Weiss’ ability and willingness to remake himself as needed.

“That’s one of the things I admire most about him,” said Meyer, who loved San Miguel when he visited Weiss a couple of years ago. “He never did one thing his whole life. I always think that’s his best trait.”

Such adaptability shouldn’t come as a surprise for Weiss, who along with Capell moved from Chicago to Eau Claire around 2002 because they had lived for years in a high-rise condominium and wanted to see what it was like living closer to the ground. Capell didn’t respond to emails seeking comment about her experience living in Mexico.

Home and away

Living abroad might be more common than many Americans think, however, as the State Department estimates that 8 million Americans are living and working in more than 160 countries. That means U.S. expats account for the equivalent of the combined populations of Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Mexico and Canada are believed to have the largest populations of U.S. expats, while Israel, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are among the other leading host nations, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute.

While San Miguel is home to an estimated 12,000 American expats and even has gated expat communities with homes worth millions of dollars, Weiss lives in a diverse colonia, or neighborhood, that includes a mix of Mexicans and expats from the United States, Canada and other countries. He enjoys the neighborhood where common sights include mothers selling tacos out of doorways to make a few extra pesos and tortilla vendors chanting as they walk down the street balancing buckets of tortillas.

He said he has developed strong friendships with several Mexican natives, including some who moved to the U.S. illegally and were separated from their families after being deported.

Weiss, who said he has learned a functional amount of Spanish, is thankful for the affordability that allows him to pay $290 a month in rent for a two-bedroom apartment with kitchen, dining and living rooms, a fireplace and two terraces.

“Financially, I’m so much better off here at this stage of my life,” Weiss said. “I can afford to live a real high quality of life here, something I couldn’t afford to do in the States without working my tail off.”

Breaking barriers

Regarding safety, Weiss said the drug violence besieging parts of Mexico is mostly focused quite a ways north of San Miguel. As far as he knows, the drug cartels don’t operate in the city and haven’t affected the safety of his neighborhood.

Health care is another key concern friends have raised. Weiss, who has obtained permanent resident status in Mexico, has access to the country’s free national health system, which he described as providing “bare bones” care, or has the option of paying for high-end care at private hospitals.

Surprisingly, Weiss said the Mexican people he interacts with don’t spend much time talking or worrying about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We don’t get involved in politics to the extent we would back in Wisconsin,” Weiss said. “People here have a different way of thinking about life and what’s important: What will be will be.”

Looking forward

San Miguel, located about 165 miles northeast of Mexico City, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for cultural and architectural wealth reflecting the Mexican Baroque period and its key role in the Mexican struggle for independence, according to The tourism site calls San Miguel, known for its cobblestone streets, “arguably the prettiest town in Mexico.”

Weiss, who acknowledged emigrating was easier for Capell and him than many people because they didn’t have children or other financial commitments tying them down, credited his new hometown itself in part for his successful transition. He also has two dogs and a cat to keep him company.

“People come down to San Miguel not to die, but to live longer,” he said. “There is so much energy, so much culture, so many things for your brain to see and do. You can be whatever you want to be. That brings a new level of youthfulness to people and allows you to do the things you’ve always wanted to do in your life.”

Still, Meyer doesn’t hesitate emailing Weiss messages to remind him of the life he left behind. Meyer chuckled when he described sending Weiss photos this fall of Eau Claire’s first snowfall to show him of what he is escaping and photos of fall colors to remind him of what he is missing.

For his part, Weiss admitted he misses his Eau Claire friends but said he addresses that by visiting the Chippewa Valley once or twice a year. But he has no plans to return to his native country.

“I miss it, but at the same time I don’t,” he said. “You move on and just try to grab all the gusto you can out of life.”



Reports are that approximately one million Americans live in Mexico. While it’s hard to verify that number, it’s not hard to imagine that it’s true. Some are working, of course, for U.S., Mexican, or other foreign corporations. You’ll find them in cities like Mexico City, Queretaro, and Monterrey.

And some live in Mexico just part-time…spending winter months in vacation homes where the weather is always warm and the cervezas are always cold.

Many Americans in Mexico, however, have moved there to enjoy their retirement years. They live in Mexico full-time and enjoy better weather, a more relaxed lifestyle, and a host of other benefits—including affordable top-quality health care and a much lower overall cost of living.


The most popular retirement destinations for Americans in Mexico

First, let’s get something straight. People from around the globe are retiring to Mexico…and not just folks from the U.S. It just happens to be a close destination for those from the U.S. and Canada. From Canada or the U.S. you can easily drive to Mexico.

Several locations in Mexico stand out, of course, as retirement destinations for foreign expats. Some of the most popular are:


Lake Chapala: In the little towns along the north shore of Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, you’ll find the largest community of U.S. retirees outside the U.S. This lakeside area in the country’s central highlands, just 45 minutes south of Guadalajara, is already home to about 10,000 full-time expatriates from the U.S. and Canada (and nearly twice that many during winter months). The towns on the lake—particularly those along the north shore—are comfortable enclaves with cobblestone streets, Spanish-colonial architecture, and some of the world’s best weather. The average year-round temperature is a spring-like 68° F, and a tight-knit expatriate community provides all manner of comfortable amenities and support to retirees—from garden restaurants, to dog-training services, to bridge clubs and yoga classes.

San Miguel de Allende: With its high-towered church and its cobbled streets, tidy shops selling carefully embroidered linens and hand-painted plates homes that belong in the pages of Architectural Digest, and lush courtyard gardens in bloom year-round, this city is like something out of a children’s fairytale book. San Miguel has other benefits, too—proximity to the U.S., an excellent climate, an affordable cost of living, an established expatriate community, local golf courses, and the kind of shopping (for everything from food to office supplies) that you’re used to back home.

Puerto Vallarta: When Liz Taylor and Richard Burton famously came here in the early 1960s, Puerto Vallarta wasn’t much more than a sleepy fishing village. A place where misty tropical mountains wrap arms around the crescent moon-shaped Banderas Bay.

Today, it is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, with an international airport, pro-tourney golf courses, designer shopping, world-class restaurants and beautiful people from around the world. Vallarta’s expat community is vibrant, too…you’ll find many activities to keep you busy, from outdoor activities to art galleries and charitable events to volunteer options and more.

Baja California Sur. The southern half of the long Baja Peninsula is a nature wonderland: a dry, sparsely-populated desert terrain blessed with two spectacular coasts: the Pacific to the west and the fertile Sea of Cortez, which separates it from mainland Mexico, to the east. Three easy-going destinations favored by expats are Todos Santos, Loreto, and La Paz. Artsy Todos Santos, on the Pacific side of the Peninsula, has a well-established little expat community. Loreto, on the Sea of Cortez, is the gateway to the UNESCO-designated and –protected marine park just offshore. With world-class kayaking, snorkeling, diving, fishing, and dolphin- and whale-watching available, Loreto attracts nature- and sports-lovers. Laid-back La Paz, four hours south of Loreto on the Sea of Cortez, is the capital of Baja California Sur and a low-key favorite that feels much like Southern California 60 or 70 years ago.

Mazatlan: One of Mexico’s oldest and most famous vacation and retirement destinations, Mazatlan is built on the reputation of the world-class deep-sea fishing to be found along the coast, and the 16 miles of beaches running north from town. Other fancier Mexican beach resorts may have stolen a bit of its thunder, but make no mistake…Mazatlan still has what it takes to charm the visitor’s heart and pique the interest of the potential part- or full-time resident. It’s a wonderful blend of resort beach town with a distinctly Mexican flavor…something the mega resorts have largely lost. And reasonably priced real estate is still available.

Huatulco: A resort community planned by Fonatur, the Mexican government’s national trust fund for tourism development, Huatulco is spacious, green, and well-maintained. You’ll find fabulous homes tucked away on high cliffs overlooking the picture-perfect bays. (There are nine gorgeous secluded bays to choose from here.) And even though Huatulco is a resort destination, it doesn’t feel like one. It’s quiet, laid-back and waiting to be discovered…the “Cinderella” of Mexico’s Pacific resort towns.

Puerto Escondido: Puerto Escondido is a little fishing village and a world-class surf zone—a longstanding favorite with surfers worldwide. The downtown area is small, colorful, and crowded, and the front beach is like a picture postcard, truly gorgeous. This is still a fishing village at heart, and its front beach is one of the cleanest and prettiest we’ve seen on any coast. You can still buy a whole, fresh tuna or dorado from fishermen’s children on the main street if you get there before 10 a.m. But the little town is growing, so get there quickly while you can still find the bargains.

Merida: Sidewalk cafés, tree-lined streets, and fresh paint…Yucatan’s best-kept secret is cosmopolitan Mérida. Just a half-hour from the Gulf-coast beaches, this city of 970,000 is a center of commerce and home to universities, hospitals, friendly locals, and beautiful colonial homes that would cost you twice as much in central Mexico’s discovered enclaves. The expatriate community maintains a well-equipped English-language library and hosts monthly get-togethers. The kinds of goods and services you’d expect to find in a comparably-sized city back home are available here, too–from Office Depot to Sam’s Club, Costco, Sears, all the familiar fast-food chains, and several high-end shopping malls.

The Riviera Maya: The stretch of Caribbean coastline that runs from Cancún to Tulum is known as the Riviera Maya. Arguably, this area is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. There are several intriguing towns along this coast, including Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and Tulum. Playa del Carmen is one of the fastest-growing cities in Mexico. Cruise ships dock here regularly and the beachfront is wall-to-wall hotels and restaurants. Fifth Avenue is just a block or so off the beach. This pedestrian walkway is flanked by sidewalk restaurants and small boutiques selling a myriad of exotic items. This is a fun place with a relaxed, bohemian ambience. If Playa is too “busy” for you, check out laid-back Tulum, an up-and-coming destination that attracts fashionistas and movers-and-shakers while still paying homage to its backpacker roots. And Tulum’s beach regularly figures among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.


Which one is for you?

There are many other locations in Mexico, of course, where you will find U.S., Canadian, and other foreign residents–from small towns like Pozos de Mineral in the central highlands to large cities like Cuernavaca, near Mexico City, and the Pacific Coast resorts of Manzanillo and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.

So be assured…no matter what kind of lifestyle or climate you are looking for, you’ll find it in Mexico.



By:Northwest Retirement Magazine.

When we think about retirement in Mexico we consider these issues: Climate, accessibility for family and friends, affordability, safety, good medical care and a community of English speaking residents.

In a series of articles about retirement in Mexico, Northwest Retirement Magazine will look at various locations and the advantages and disadvantages of retirement in these Mexican regions. In this issue, we will examine Baja California, Mexico and specifically Ensenada and La Paz.

Ensenada is located in the State of Baja California, Mexico about 75 miles south of the California border. It has been popular with U.S. expatriates retirees for years. The cost of living is roughly one half of the U.S. average and that is why there are nearly 20,000 expatriates living there currently. Within a protected inlet, it is a leading seaport and popular cruise ship stop. Home prices in Ensenada start around $65,000 USD but expect to pay in the low $100,000 USD for a two to three bedroom home in town and less outside of town. Buyers will find high-rise condos, condo-hotels and small condo communities as well as hillside homes, beach front homes and ranches.

Gated communities are not as prevalent as in Rosarito, 50 miles north, but there are a few in Ensenada including Chapultpec, Estero Beach and Punta Banda. There are some American developers in Ensenada and a few developers offer title insurance. Affordable financing has also become available using Mexican property as collateral, although seller financing is the most common way to purchase there. Property taxes on an average $200,000 USD residence will run about $100.00 USD per year.

Renting a home is always a popular option since many of Ensenada’s expat retirees are “snowbirds,” and split their time between Mexico and the U.S. Home rentals start around $600.00 USD per month for a 12 month lease; shorter leases are more expensive. Rental homes often come completely furnished and the services of a maid or gardener may be included.

Ensenada has a large RV “snowbird” population. The quality of RV parks varies from just a patch of land to ones with ocean views, boat ramps, full hook-ups, restaurants and more.

La Paz is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico near the Cape of Baja, a 2 hour direct flight from Los Angeles or a 2 ½ hour drive from Cabo San Lucas. It is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur. The population has swelled in the last twenty years from 36,000 in 1985 to 300,000 in 2007. It still has small town character and is not a typical tourist trap that other Mexican destinations can be. Galleries, piano concerts, shows and ballets abound. Arts, crafts and pottery are in abundance and the prices are much lower than in the US or Canada.



By: Kathleen Peddicord.

In Latin America:
Cayo, Belize. Belize is one of the quirkiest countries in the world. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City’s roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand.

Medellín, Colombia. Twenty years ago Medellín was drug- and crime-ridden, but the city has been cleaned up. Medellín is no longer unsafe or unsavory, but it is establishing a name for itself as one of the world’s most progressive cities. Almost every building is constructed of red brick and topped with red clay roof tiles, and the city is full of parks and flowers.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Mexico is a big country with coastal, mountain and colonial city living options. There’s also Mayan ruins, rivers, lakes, jungle and rain forest. Mexico is the most accessible overseas retirement destination from the United States. You could drive here if you wanted to. Mexico is home to the biggest established populations of American expats in the world, making it a great choice if you seek adventure with the comforts of home. Mexico is no longer cheap, but it does provide a luxury coastal lifestyle to retirees on a budget in Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta is more expensive than other places where you might consider living or retiring overseas, but you’re paying for the high standard of living. This stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coastline has been developed to a high level.


By: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the developed world, older people often leave the formal workforce in their later years, although they may continue to contribute to society in many ways, including participating in the informal workforce, volunteering, or providing crucial help for their families. There is no physiologic reason that many older people cannot participate in the formal workforce, but the expectation that people will cease working when they reach a certain age has gained credence over the past century. Rising incomes, along with public and private pension system, have allowed people to retire based on their age rather than any health-related problem. It is ironic that the age at retirement from the workforce has been dropping at the same time that life expectancy has been increasing. Older people today spend many years in retirement. In OECD countries, in 2007, the average man left the labor force before age 64 and could expect 18 years of retirement. The average woman stopped working at age 63 and looked forward to more than 22 years of retirement if they adopt similar concepts of retirement. Many high-income countries now want people to work for more years to slow escalating costs of pensions and health care for retirees, especially given smaller cohorts entering the labor force. Most middle- and low-income countries will face similar challenges.

Other than the economic incentives of pensions, what would make people stay in the workforce longer? To start, misconceptions about older workers abound and perceptions may need to change. In addition to having acquired more knowledge and job skills through experience than younger workers, older adults show intact learning and thinking, although there are some declines in cognitive function, most notably in the speed of information processing. Moreover, there is some evidence that staying in the labor force after age 55 is associated with slower loss of cognitive function, perhaps because of the stimulation of the workplace and related social engagement. Even physical abilities may not deteriorate as quickly as commonly assumed. Although relatively little is known about the relationship between age and productivity (which takes wages into account), one study of German assembly line workers in an automotive plant of workers increased until age 65.

Whether older people spend more years in the labor market also will depend on the types of jobs available to them. Many jobs in industrialized countries do not require physical worker, but they may necessitate acquiring new skills and retraining to adjust to changing work environments. Evidence is needed on the capacity of older workers, especially those with older people with limited mobility or other schedules or adapted work environments. Considerations may need to be given to the value of building new approaches at work or institutions that will increase the ease with which older people can contribute outside of their families.


By: infobae

The Human Rights Secretariat of the province of Buenos Aires spearheaded the final of the first contest “Our Rights in the Scene”, where older adults represented in short theatrical works the rights and guarantees that the State assigns them, and thus were able to obtain tools to spread them Through their participation in the public space. The initiative is unprecedented at national and international level, and strengthens its capacity to ensure its recognition in society.

The La Plata Comedy Theater was the stage where the final of the contest was held, with the presence of Buenos Aires Secretary of Human Rights, Santiago Canton, who said that “the dignity of all people and non-discrimination are the essence of “Our rights on the scene” is an initiative to strengthen the rights of older adults in a society that often turns their backs on them.With this initiative we put them on the scene and we make them main protagonists.

The four amateur finalist theater groups participated in the event, of which two represented works by Roberto “Tito” Cossa, “Gris de Ausencia”, who won the competition, and “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” by Federico García Lorca; And the other two presented collective creations of the groups themselves: “Pensión La Dragonfly Empachada”, and “El Témpano”.

The contest was organized by the Undersecretariat for the Promotion of Human Rights of the province of Buenos Aires; The Provincial Council of Independent Theater, under the Ministry of Culture of the province of Buenos Aires; And the National Institute of Social Services for Retirees and Pensioners (PAMI); And was intended for those older adults who participate in the theater groups of different Retirement Centers in Buenos Aires.

The proposal seeks to address issues related to active aging from a human rights perspective, and to make visible the valuable contributions of older people to society as a whole.