Thinking of Retiring Abroad? Listen to the Expats
Chuck Bolotin - The Street
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January 24, 2016

In Mexico, seniors are traditionally cared for in the homes of relatives. But a boom of foreign retirees, many of them Americans, have begun moving to Mexico to live out their years, paying much less for independent and assisted living than in other countries. Special correspondent Kathleen McCleery reports. (PBS NewsHour)

One of the most important factors that will determine whether or not you are happy somewhere is the quality of the people already there. Will you fit in? Will you make friends? Will you have the type of social life you want?

The website Best Places in the World to Retire posts over 7,000 answers from more than 500 expats to the most often asked questions about moving abroad. One of the questions: "What are the expats like where you live?"

Among the common themes were that expats tended to have more of a desire for adventure than others. This was especially true for retirees. They were also more likely to develop wide-ranging networks of friends and to be receptive to different cultures and experiences.

Sandi Vandiver, who moved from Texas to Mexico seven years ago, contrasted the more stimulating life she chose in Mexico with what she imagined she would have encountered in the U.S. "If I were in the U.S., I would have had to buy a little condo and hope to be invited for dinner on Sunday," she said. "Here, I could be doing something eight nights a week. If I were to live in the U.S., I would just waste away."

Jason Waller, who moved from Canada with his young family and now lives in a well-known expat beach community in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, said that people who move to Mexico are experiencing different cultures" and meeting "new people."

"A lot of people back home think we're crazy for moving to Mexico," he said. "But the people saying that never go anywhere. They don't experience life."

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