Olivia Cole, Award-Winning ‘Roots’ Actress, Is Dead at 75 in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

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By CHRISTINA CARON | The New York Times

Olivia Cole, an actress best known for her Emmy Award-winning role in the acclaimed mini-series “Roots,” died on Jan. 19 at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She was 75.

The cause was a heart attack, said Linda Cooper, the executive secretary of the cremation and burial association that is handling Ms. Cole’s remains.

In 1977, Ms. Cole won a supporting-actress Emmy for her portrayal of Matilda, the wife of Chicken George (Ben Vereen), in “Roots,” the eight-episode ABC mini-series based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1976 book by Alex Haley. The series followed his ancestors’ journey from West Africa to the United States as slaves, and many generations beyond.

More than 28 million viewers watched the first episode, and by the time the finale arrived more than 100 million people had tuned in, breaking ratings records. That year, The New York Times reported, “people everywhere, even those who had not seen it, were talking about ‘Roots.’ ”

“I thought ‘Roots’ would be a boon to all black actors and actresses,” Ms. Cole told United Press International in 1977. “But that didn’t prove to be the case. At least my telephone didn’t start ringing off the hook afterwards. And I don’t think it helped many others.”

If “Roots” did not make Ms. Cole a star, she nonetheless continued to work for decades. She had roles in the mini-series “Backstairs at the White House,” which earned her an Emmy nomination; another mini-series, “The Women of Brewster Place,” produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey; the movie “First Sunday,” starring Tracy Morgan; and numerous theater productions.

“Backstairs,” seen on NBC in 1979, was a behind-the-scenes look at the White House as told by the people who worked there, based on a best-selling memoir. Ms. Cole played the role of the first black maid to be employed on “the presidential floor.”

“The wonderful thing about ‘Backstairs’ is that it offers a challenging role for an actress, not a black actress,” Ms. Cole told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1979. “If only people would stop thinking in terms of black and white, and think only of who’s the best in terms of ability!”

In 2016 Ms. Cole appeared in a production of the 1995 play “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years” at the Long Wharf Theater and Hartford Stage in Connecticut. The play, written by Emily Mann and based on the book of the same name, explored the bond between two elderly sisters who grew up in the Jim Crow era. Ms. Cole played Sadie Delany, who became a high school teacher; Brenda Pressley played Bessie Delany, who became a dentist.

“This is the sort of theater that feeds you,” Ms. Cole told The Harford Courant at the time.

Ms. Pressley, who had known Ms. Cole since the 1990s, described her in a phone interview as eccentric, spiritual and devoted to her craft.

Original Source: http://nyti.ms/2FcIJga

2018 Mexico Immigration Guide Published

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By Mexperince

The Mexico Immigration Guide has been fully revised and updated for 2018.

The new edition includes updated application fees and economic qualification criteria for different visa types, as well as various enhancements we added by listening to our readers’ feedback over the last year.

Mexico enacted root-and-branch changes to its immigration law in November 2012, the rules of which affect people planning to reside in Mexico—temporarily or permanently.  This latest edition of the Mexico Immigration Guide encompasses the current immigration rules (as well as minor amendments that were enacted since 2012) and also provides practical advice based on real-life experiences of applying for and obtaining residency status in Mexico.

This fully revised and updated edition provides you with a road map that carefully spells-out the various ways that you can legally reside in Mexico, and how to go about obtaining the visa you need, whether you plan to live, work, retire or start a business here.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2ocTkSW

Want to Retire in Mexico but Not Sure How Much Money You’ll Need? This Might Help

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By: Q-ROO Paul | Two expats Mexico

One of the ways to know if you’ll have enough money to live in a particular country is to look at the average salaries in that country.

It’s a simple economic truth that if the salaries are lower across the board, the cost of living will be lower too. It also stands to reason that if your monthly retirement benefit is similar or even higher than the average salary for many professions, you’ll be just fine.

I created a list showing the median monthly income for 15 randomly selected occupations in Mexico. The data was obtained from misalario.org, a non-profit organization that provides information to both workers and employers in Mexico concerning salaries, labor law and careers.

Median Salaries

Mexico is a large country, so just like in the United States, salaries can vary quite a bit from area to area.

The chart below reflects the nationwide median salaries for someone with 10 years of experience in the listed position.

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Data collected from misalario.org on 01/22/18. Exchange rate used 18.6

Whenever I include salary data from Mexico in one of my articles, the salary that surprises people — especially Americans — is the one for doctors. In this case, I chose a gynecologist, but the salary range is similar for most doctors, regardless of their specialty.

Just to be clear, these are only the median salaries for the positions. In the case of the gynecologist, the top end of the pay scale is $42,559 pesos a month, or about $2,288 USD.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Although this salary study is useful to demonstrate that the cost of living is much lower in Mexico, how much money you will actually need in retirement depends on three factors: 1) where you want to live, 2) the lifestyle that you want, and 3) how much debt you have.

In our case, we sold everything to eliminate all of our debt and used the money that was left over to buy a condo outright in the Riviera Maya. We live debt free for the first time in our lives and our quality of life is superior to what it was back in the States when we were both working.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2Bv95I0

How to Retire in 2018

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By Emily Brandon | U.S. News

The year you retire is a pivotal time to make final adjustments to your finances and a plan to spend down your assets. You also need to make important decisions about Social Security and health insurance. Here’s what you need to do if you plan to retire in 2018.

Set up health insurance. You don’t want to have any health insurance gaps when you retire. You can sign up for Medicare beginning three months before your 65th birthday, and coverage can start the month you turn 65. If you plan to retire before age 65, remember to enroll in a plan through your state’s health insurance exchange or purchase health insurance through another source. “Individual health insurance policies are pretty expensive, and the premiums are an expense that is coming out of your pocket if you don’t qualify for Medicare just yet,” says Rianka Dorsainvil, founder and president of Your Greatest Contribution in Lanham, Maryland. “You want to understand how much that is and add that as a line item in your budget.”

Decide when to claim Social Security. You don’t necessarily need to claim Social Security in the year you retire. Determine how much your monthly payments will decline if you start benefits before your full retirement age. There’s also an opportunity to increase your monthly Social Security payments if you delay claiming between ages 66 and 70. “Getting an 8 percent increase on your Social Security benefit without really taking any risk is a good return,” says Danny Michael, principal and founder of Satori Wealth Management in Los Angeles. “There are a lot of people who may not be getting 8 percent in their portfolio.” You can get a personalized estimate of your Social Security benefit at various sign up ages at ssa.gov/myaccount.

Tally your income. In addition to your Social Security benefit, calculate how much income you will receive from pensions, retirement account withdrawals and other income sources. “If you plan to retire this year or even within the next couple of months, you have to figure out your income,” Dorsainvil says. “Look at your various income sources, whether that is a pension, a 401(k) or 403(b) and also Social Security.”

Create a spending plan. Take a close look at your current expenses, and which costs might change in retirement. Compare your expenses to the cash flow you expect to have in retirement. “In the months leading up to retirement, think about what you are going to need to replace your paycheck and where that is going to come from,” says Eric Nelson, a chartered financial analyst and managing principal at Servo Wealth Management in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “Some of that is going to come from Social Security, you might have a pension, but the rest of that is going to come from your investment portfolio. How much of that nest egg are you going to have to take out on an ongoing basis, and are you going to be able to do that?” Some people need to take steps to boost their retirement income by working a year or two longer or taking on a part-time job in retirement. You can also reduce your monthly costs by downsizing to a less expensive house or apartment or eliminating conveniences you paid for while working that you won’t need in retirement.

Roll over your 401(k). Decide whether you want to roll over your 401(k) balance to an IRA upon retirement. An IRA maintains the tax benefits of a 401(k) plan, but gives you more investment options and allows you to consolidate multiple 401(k) accounts into a single IRA. “If you have 10 different accounts, it’s a nightmare to try to start pulling from all these different places,” Nelson says. “Start to develop a plan for consolidation.”

Adjust your investment portfolio. You might find that you have less appetite for investment risks as you enter retirement and begin to take withdrawals from your retirement savings for living expenses. Many retirees sleep better at night if they keep enough cash to cover several year’s worth of living expenses in safe investments. “Maybe you don’t have the same willingness to ride out stock market declines as when you were working,” Nelson says. “Have at least two years of your income set aside in short-term bonds or cash.”

Look for lower fees. When you are making changes to your investment portfolio, look for low expense ratios on the funds you select. “High fees eat away at your performance,” Michael says. “Look at passive vehicles and exchange-traded funds that keep your fees low.”

Strategize to minimize taxes. Your retirement tax rate will vary based on the type of accounts you take withdrawals from in retirement. Traditional 401(k) and IRA withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income, while Roth distributions in retirement are often tax free. Investments that generate long-term capital gains are generally taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income. “If you have an IRA and a taxable account, you want to put the stocks in your taxable account to take advantage of the preferable tax rates on stocks in your taxable accounts,” Nelson says. Retirees who maintain all three types of accounts will have some control over which accounts to draw from each year and how much tax they will owe.

Plan your new lifestyle. While it’s important to get your finances in order in the year you retire, make a little time to dream about how you will spend your days. Retirement provides opportunities to relax, travel and volunteer in your community, but retirement can also be socially isolating if you don’t make plans to join an organization or meet up with friends. “You are used to going into work Monday though Friday, and sometimes people retire and have absolutely nothing to do,” Dorsainvil says. “This is the perfect opportunity to start looking up classes that will get you out of the house for a few hours a day to learn a new skill or to go on that vacation that you always wanted to take. Now your time is your own.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2DlLL10

GETTING UP OFF THE COUCH AND EXERCISING After Retirement in Mexico

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By Terry L Turrell | Retirement before the age of 59

Retirement in México is bliss. The weather where we live is perfect all winter and spring, really most of the year. We throw the doors and windows open each morning and…get lazy. Jon settles onto the couch, reading a western novel and doesn’t move for hours. I sit down at my desk to write until I realize hours have gone by and my Fitbit is nagging me to get moving.   

We walk a lot more in México than we did in the U.S. Every other day we walk at a good clip to town for dinner, and then we kind of stroll home after sharing a small garden salad and shrimp Alfredo, one order of flan, and each drinking two Margaritas. Our bathroom scale tells on us when we have been too lazy and eating too well the day before, reporting that our weight went up two pounds from that delicious dinner the previous night. I guess walking to and from dinner isn’t enough.

We realized pretty quickly after retiring that we had to make ourselves get more exercise or we would turn into blimps, living the good life here in México. So, we started attending yoga classes. We put two exercise classes per week on our calendar as a minimum and then shoot for attending a third. That has helped a lot! If it’s on our calendar, we make it happen. We enjoy yoga with Jim Gallas in the Don Pedro palapa, a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean. Walking a mile each way to the class, uphill both ways, of course, gives us an extra workout. For variation, we have attended yoga classes at Hotelito Los Sueños and at Heart Shala Yoga Studio, both a pleasure. We find that yoga classes help us stay physically stronger and more flexible, as well as improving our mental health.

But what about aerobic exercise? Those of you who know me or have read my previous books and blogs know how hooked I am on Zumba® Fitness classes, a great cardio workout that is based on dance, making it so much fun you forget you’re exercising. (Sounds a bit like an ad, but it’s true!) Sometimes we couldn’t find a Zumba class in Sayulita, so Jon suggested I take the training to become a Zumba instructor. At first, I didn’t think I could do it, but he continued to encourage me, so I enrolled in my first Zumba training class over a year ago. I’m so glad I did. Now I teach Zumba classes two days per week, which Jon faithfully attends with me. When I’m the instructor, there’s no skipping classes. Plus, I have to give it more energy when I know my students are following my example. That has really helped Jon and me stay fit. I have included a short clip of a video from one of my Zumba classes.

Then one day, the Sayulita ejido threw a monkey wrench into our Zumba class schedule. The ejido (community) owned the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture) where I held my Zumba classes and we paid a small fee to use the space. Without warning, a representative came in at the end of my Wednesday class and informed us that the building had been sold and we could no longer hold classes there.

I wasn’t going to let this glitch put a stop to our fun Zumba classes! I was in a panic for a few days, trying to find a space large enough for eight to twelve of us to dance, with a floor that was either wood or tile, and available around 9:00 in the morning when my students like to have class. Jon and I walked all over Sayulita for several days looking at yoga studios, the Amigo de Corazon Senior Citizen Club, the elementary school, a church, and several hotels. Whew, did we rack up the miles on our Fitbits! I had one of my best Fitbit reports ever. I lost those two pesky pounds, too.

Finally, after researching seven possible sites, we held a trial class at two of the yoga studios and put in a request for permission to have our classes at the Amigo de Corazon Senior Citizen Club. I decided to put my Zumba class on hold until the right room became available. Jon and I began having our own private Zumba class on our patio, just the two of us. We decided whether it was a week or a month before the right space and time slot became available, we would wait to start offering Zumba classes again (hopefully soon). For the time being, we are still getting our aerobic exercise with Zumba twice a week, just at home.

Jon got some unplanned bicycling exercise one week recently. Another flat tire on our golf cart (we nicknamed Carlos), this one from a nail we picked up, required a trip with the tire to the llantería (tire repair shop). I suggested he call a taxi to take him the four miles round trip, but he decided he could strap the tire on the back of his bike, ride to the tire repair shop, wait to have it fixed, and then ride home with it.

Whenever Carlos is out of commission, we end up riding our bicycles on bumpy cobblestone roads to town to buy groceries and take laundry to the lavandería, a somewhat treacherous means of getting exercise. We were both happy Jon was able to get Carlos going again in one afternoon. The cost was 100 pesos ($5 US). We not only get extra exercise living in México, we save money on repairs.

One of the reasons we chose to live in Sayulita is the abundance of exercise opportunities. Living in a beach town, we enjoy boogie-boarding and Stand Up Paddle boarding in the warm weather and temperate ocean water year around. Golf is something we like occasionally, but we aren’t willing to pay the high prices most golf courses charge, so we find the public 9-hole Field of Dreams (Campo de Ensueños) Golf Club in El Monteón to be a lot of fun and inexpensive.

All of this physical fitness makes us thirsty at the end of the day. Just writing about all of this exercise makes me realize it’s time for a margarita or a glass of wine. Which one of the 120 restaurants in Sayulita shall we walk to tonight? Maybe one on the beach with a view of the sunset. So many decisions, so much to do… glad we retired while we are young enough to enjoy all of them.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2EUQYgH

Greece, Ireland, and Mexico: My Roving Retirement in 2018

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By Diana Davis | International Living

One of the best things about a “roving retirement” is that I can define what it means for me. When I began my living-abroad journey, it was difficult for me to commit to one place to move to, even with all the research I had done. I had a list of places that I wanted to “try on” first to see which one fit me best.

And I had a long list. I also wanted to stay in a city long enough to learn what it’s like to live there…the culture, the people, the food, the history, the unique ways of doing things. In some countries, for example, just buying food at the market is different. In many markets I’ve shopped, the clerk selects and bags your order—the buyer doesn’t touch the produce. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to stand back and watch the locals—a great way to learn and honor their customs.

With the goal to stay in each place longer than a nice relaxing vacation, I would also reduce my travel budget. Staying longer in each place would mean fewer trips and airfares.

So, my international roving retirement meets my objectives. And that’s what I love about it. It is flexible not only in where I choose to live, but how long. No rules. Except of course, the visa requirements for each country that determine how long I stay.

Sitting on my balcony in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, listening to the rhythmic, steady pound of the waves, I just completed my “international living” plan for 2018. Each of my new homes meets my monthly rental budget of $1,000, which usually includes all utilities and cleaning service. At that price, I get a very nice one-or two-bedroom apartment or condo in a city center or on the beach.

There is no doubt I could live for much less with a 12-month lease, but I am not ready to settle down yet. I have too many places yet to see. And at approximately $33 per night, it is still hard to beat.

I will begin the year in Greece, spending the first month volunteering at a refugee camp just outside of Athens. I will then spend two months exploring Greece, all from the apartment I have rented in Athens. It’s centrally located so that I can walk to supermarkets and restaurants, and to the city center where many of the ancient monuments and museums are, but it’s also a short walk to the bus for trips to the beach.

After Greece, I will take a quick trip home to the states to visit family, and then I’m back across the pond to a country I have always wanted to visit. Ireland had seemed too expensive for me to visit on a vacation, but with some research I have found an amazing apartment in a small seaside village southwest of Dublin—out of reach of the tourist areas, but close to a marina, coastal hiking trails, and amazing Irish pub music.

I had little knowledge of Ireland other than, of course, Dublin, so it was an ideal time to try a recommendation I had read about in International Living. A roving retiree had shared her strategy for finding accommodations. In her Airbnb searches, she would set her search criteria to include the entire country, rather than an individual city. She pointed out that this had allowed her to discover smaller towns, gems that would never have been on her radar otherwise.

After my two months in Ireland and another quick trip to the States, I will head back to Puerto Vallarta, as I’ve done for five to six months a year the past two years. My stay in Puerto Vallarta is in the “off” season, the hot, humid season for Puerto Vallarta. But with that comes lower prices, an even greater appreciation for my stay by the locals and, sometimes, the swimming pool to myself. And I love it there.

With my “international homes” reserved and secured for the next year, I can really relax. I can head to the city center and malecón (boardwalk) to experience the many fiestas that take place; take an early morning walk on the beach in beautiful Banderas Bay; treat myself to an amazing lunch for under $10, which, of course, includes a glass of wine; and absorb the beauty of the breath-taking sunsets in Puerto Vallarta.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2DwD9rK

Why retiring abroad can change your life for the better

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By Finglobal

Your working life is complete, your children have fled the nest and you have money in the bank and time to travel. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Retirement is filled with advantages – and one of the biggest is that you can move to a country where you don’t have to be dependent on your work, your location to big cities or your distance from local schools. The world is literally your playground. So if you’re thinking of becoming a retired expat, here are some good reasons to give it a go:

Improved quality of life

For many people, moving to a country where you can make your money go further with a lower cost of living makes great financial sense.  The added advantage is that many of these countries offer wonderful climates and a high standard of living. So it’s not surprising that, according to the Telegraph newspaper in the UK, almost half of Britons with an income of more than £60,000 are planning to retire outside the UK where their pounds pack a punch – in countries like Spain, Malta and Portugal.

Better health

Why stay in a country where the climate negatively affects your health? One of the reasons you feel happier on holidays is as a result of the warmth and the sunshine. Vitamin D is being increasingly recognised as an important and very necessary vitamin in maintaining our overall health – and the best and most natural source of it, is the sun! Before you move, do your research and choose a retirement location based on your ideal overall climate – based on your lifestyle and your favourite hobbies.

New interests

Moving to a new country enables you to pursue new interests. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to sail, or dance the Flamenco. Retirement is often the first time in your life where you can put yourself first. So if your current location is not offering you everything you want – plan your move abroad around your passions, hobbies and interests.

Financial benefits

Retiring abroad can give you greater control over your personal wealth. Offshore accounts allow you to invest in currencies and opportunities you may not have exposure to locally. In addition, becoming non-resident for tax purposes through financial emigration can also open up a great many benefits including the transfer of the following assets abroad:

  • The proceeds of your retirement annuity, even before the age of 55, which you may then use as you please
  • South African source inheritance
  • The proceeds of assets declared in your emigration application
  • Passive income i.e. rent, dividends, director’s fees, salary for services rendered in South Africa and income from discretionary or vesting trusts
  • Proceeds from a third party life policy

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2AWHHlD