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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    World Anti-Doping Agency Suspends Rio Olympics Testing Lab

    WADA says lab has committed 'procedural errors' and is in 'nonconformity with the International Standards for Laboratories'

    Displacement in Colombia to Persist Despite Cease-fire, UN Says

    Organized crime involved in drugs, illegal mining, extortion will keep displacing Colombians, a UNHCR official says

    OAS Chief Blames Maduro Government for Venezuela Crisis

    Meeting by Organization of American States on Thursday leads to majority voting to invoke organization's democratic charter on Venezuela, which could lead to country's suspension

    Argentina at UN Renews Call for Falklands Talks; Britain Rebuffs

    There will be no dialogue without permission of the Falklanders, says spokesman for Britain's UN mission

    Colombia, FARC Rebels Sign Cease-fire Agreement

    Cease-fire is last major step before both sides sign a final peace agreement that would end 52 years of guerilla warfare and terrorism

    Brazil's Cunha Indicted on Money Laundering, Currency Charges

    It's the second time charges have been accepted against Cunha in probe of kickbacks paid to politicians by construction companies working with Petrobras