News / Americas

    Mexico Attracts US Retirees Despite Crime Wave

    A Mexican beach
    A Mexican beach

    Multimedia

    Some 40,000 people have been killed in Mexico over the past five years as the Latin American country's police and military battle powerful drug cartels that are also fighting with each other over smuggling routes. In spite of the dire headlines, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens vacation in Mexico every year and many of them, especially those who are retired, have opted to buy property and live there. The warm weather and the lower cost of living are big draws.

    News from Mexico these days tends to be bad.

    Shootouts and grisly murders dominate media reports.


    But some Americans are moving to Mexico looking for peace and relaxation.

    Michael Baldwin and Stephanie Villareal spoke to VOA via Skype from their home near the tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula.

    “We have been here almost a year now. We came from Houston, Texas. We came down temporarily last summer and made the decision to make it permanent and we actually drove from Houston to Cabo San Lucas,” Baldwin said.

    Baldwin says they love the natural beauty and mild climate and that their improved lifestyle has also saved them money.

    “Houston versus Cabo, our expenses have been reduced by about 30 percent,” he said.

    Villareal says they also enjoy interacting with local people in a place where they have noticed very little crime.

    “We have lots of friends, they are very welcoming and that is one of our favorite parts of living here is the people,” she said.

    While resort areas have generally remained peaceful. other parts of Mexico have turned into war zones.

    The U.S. State Department notes violent incidents in 14 of Mexico's 31 states.

    But Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, chief operating officer of Mexico's Tourism Board, says the report does not take into account the vast areas untouched by major crime.

    “Out of the 2,500 municipalities we have in Mexico, the equivalent of your counties in America, 80 of those have witnessed episodes of violence,” Lopez-Negrete said.

    He says U.S. citizens living in the principal resort areas provide their own vote of confidence. "In the major time-share developments, the major fractional developments or full ownership, more than half of those purchases are from Americans," Lopez-Negrete said.

    In Houston, Chris Hill works with the Mexico Real Estate Coalition to help promote property purchases south of the border.

    He says activity has slowed in the past few years, partly because of the recession, but also because of news reports about violence that is generally not near tourist zones.

    “All of these crime-related stories that we are hearing, drug-related, they have very little impact on a tourist or someone going to live in Mexico," Hill said.

    Another concern for many home buyers from the United States is the legal process and the security of their investment in a foreign country.

    Hill says new procedures and legal guarantees make real estate investment in Mexico safer and easier. “If you use the tools, there is very little risk, just as purchasing a property here in the U.S," Hill said.

    The Mexican constitution prohibits foreigners from owning property within 50 kilometers from the coast.

    But foreigners can enjoy ownership privileges of a beachside home by purchasing part of a Mexican "real estate trust" through which they own a home indirectly.

    Chris Hill says Mexico provides a great opportunity for aging baby boomers in the United States to live better on their retirement funds.

    “We believe that, long term, Mexico is going to be a wonderful opportunity for retirees to live the cost of medical services and health-related issues, but also the overall cost of living in Mexico is far lower,” Hill said.

    And many Americans now living full time or even just part of the year in Mexico have found that to be true.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuela's Opposition-run Congress Defies Government Over Ban

    Conflict of powers heightened when three lawmakers facing fraud accusations were reinstated Thursday

    Peru's Kuczynski Takes Office With a Vow to Fight Inequality

    Oxford-educated former investment banker, deemed 'elitist' by opponents in last month's election, says he will modernize country with policies aimed at raising incomes of poorest

    Brazil's Lula Contends His Rights Were Violated in Corruption Probe

    Former leftist icon, being investigated for allegedly benefiting from Petrobras kickback scheme, files petition with UN Human Rights Committee

    JetBlue to Become First Airline to Operate US-Cuba Flights

    US budget airline says it will launch scheduled commercial flights from the United States to Cuba on Aug. 31, ahead of competitors that have also announced departure dates

    El Salvador Captures 120 Members of Mara Salvatrucha Gang

    It's part of a broad offensive to curb the escalation of gang-related killings in the Central American nation

    Rio Olympic Security Will be Monitored From Above

    'Eyes in the sky' — balloons carrying high-tech cameras — will help security teams in Brazil keep watch over Games