Is Mexico Still a Safe Retirement Haven for Boomers?

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Mexico has several attractive communities where thousands of American Boomers have found low-cost, comfortable retirement. However, those considering retirement there have a real concern about security in the midst of the country’s ongoing drug violence. Has Mexico become a narco country controlled by drug lords?

In fact, a 2015 Congressional Research Service report estimates at least 80,000 people have been killed due to organized crime related incidents since 2006. Despite this figure, several leading publications still endorse Mexico as a retirement haven for Boomers living on a tight budget:

According to AARP: A quick word about crime and safety in Mexico: Yes, it’s extremely dangerous in the cities bordering the United States and a few places elsewhere. Mexico, however, is also nearly three times the size of Texas, and most of the country is reasonably safe and secure, especially resort areas and tourist destinations.

This assessment is echoed by other knowledgeable authorities about retirement in Mexico. Yes, there are areas of Mexico one should avoid. And when traveling within Mexico, it is best to read the U.S. travel advisories first. Otherwise, as Kathleen Peddicord notes: “Mexico is, perhaps, your best [retirement] choice if you seek an adventure overseas with all the comforts of home.”

I discussed the issue of security in Mexico with a friend recently who has spent considerable time there. He feels that the expatriate communities are safe from the drug violence. In fact, he felt that retirees are physically safer there than in most U.S. cities. However, caution when traveling inside Mexico is urged, especially to avoid certain areas known for violence. There is also crime – mostly theft – and government corruption (“la mordida,” the bite, aka bribes). Moreover, since Americans have so much more than most Mexicans, one must be careful to avoid being scammed. But that’s just comes with the landscape south of the border.

For Baby Boomers, there are lots of good reasons to evaluate Mexico for retirement. Over one million expats live there, English is almost a second language, one can live well on a tight budget, they have an outstanding low-cost healthcare system, and many expat communities are almost like living in the U.S. One just needs to be safety conscious and exercise caution, much like we do in the States.

eBooks are a Great Value for Boomers

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To all you Baby Boomers who haven’t discovered ebooks yet, boy are you in for a treat! I’ve been using a tablet to read Kindle ebooks for years, Now when I occasionally read a paperback novel, it feels restrictive and outdated.

What’s so great about ebooks? Oh, let me count the ways:

  • Any laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone can be turned into an ebook reader (“eReader”) by simply downloading and activating a free application like Amazon’s Kindle.
  • Electronic screens are readable in bed at night without turning on a lamp and disturbing your mate’s sleep.
  • Don’t have anything to read? It takes just minutes to find an ebook online, conclude a transaction (if any) and then download it. Believe me, this is wonderful when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to read yourself back to sleep.
  • Public libraries now carry volumes of ebooks which can be “checked out” for FREE! No more having to drive to a library and then spend time browsing the aisles hoping someone else hasn’t already checked out that book you really want to read!
  • Major vendors, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, have inexpensive plans that make access to ebooks very affordable.
  • eBook formats and ereader devices offer many amenities not found with paper books. For example, font size adjustment, easy page swiping, bookmarks, content highlighting, optional audible narration, and immediate access to a dictionary.
  • Taking a trip? Just download one or more ebooks before leaving and you’ll have immediate access to reading material without having to search for a wifi connection.
  • You don’t have to deal with “What do I do with this book after I’ve read it?” No more accumulation of hard-copy books around the house or in the garage. No more trips to the library to donate them. Nope, purchased ebooks can be simply deleted to free up device storage or even loaned to a friend.

What Kind of eBooks are Available?

Everything from romance novels to textbooks! If it is in paperback or hardback, there is usually an ebook version of it. And typically sold at half the price (or less)!

eNewspapers and eMagazines Too!

I love reading a newspaper, catching up on local community and world news in a leisurely fashion. It’s a morning ritual with my coffee and toast. Well the coffee and toast are still there, but now I get my morning paper delivered to my tablet. The digital version is less expensive, more environmentally friendly and so much easier to read and navigate. I could never go back to a paper version on the morning newspaper!

Ditto for subscriptions to magazines.Why wait for the mailman to come through? Have your magazines automatically delivered to your ereader as soon as the latest edition is published.

Should Boomers Buy a special “eReader?”

A variety of devices beyond ordinary tablets and mobile phones have been developed especially for ebooks – various flavors of Amazon Kindles, the “Nook” from Barnes & Noble, and other devices from independent companies like Koba. They offer several advantages, such as compact sizes (6″-7″), more lighting options, more internal memory, longer battery life and less eye strain. There are even waterproof versions for fearless reading in the bathtub. And some have 3G as well as wifi connectivity.

Apple offers ereader software for the iPad to read their “iBooks.” Not wanting to miss a market, Amazon also offers a free version of their Kindle software for the iPad.

Typically, dedicated ereaders start around $50 and run as high as $300. If having a device devoted to edocuments appeals to you, these fast reads provide great advice:

Maybe someday I’ll make an investment in an ereader. Right now, my 10″ tablet serves me just fine. Most tablets have the Google Android operating system which supports a variety of free ereader software for ultimate flexibility.

The Bottom line for Baby Boomers

Once Boomers discover ebooks, they rarely go back! eBooks, enewspapers and emagazines offer superior reading experiences and enhanced convenience. Plus they cost less and even save forests! Moreover, they provide easy access to literature – Boomers can download digital documents at home from a public library or an online vendor while sitting in their favorite easy chair. In short, ebooks, enewspapers and emagazines open a whole new world of enjoyable reading during retirement without crunching a Boomer’s pocketbook.

Boomers Consider Ecuador for Low-Cost Retirement

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Recently, everyone is talking about retiring in Ecuador where Baby Boomers can live quite well on just Social Security alone! For cash-strapped Boomers, Ecuador can be a godsend. But like everything else, it has its pluses and minuses. We’ve done some research on Ecuador to help you see its retirement possibilities.

Major Pros:

  • Low cost of living!
  • Great, low-cost healthcare in cities.
  • Lots of expatriates to help new arrivals acclimate.
  • A secure society.
  • Modern infrastructure and good services in cities.
  • Four-hour nonstop flights to Miami.
  • Senior discounts.

Major Cons:

  • Americans are starting to generate a native backlash by driving prices and real estate values up.
  • The best retirement experience requires learning Spanish.
  • A “manana” attitude and lots of visible poverty.
  • Rains a bit!

Learn Before You Go – Recommended Sites for Interested Boomers

The Bottom Line for Boomers

If you are a Baby Boomer whose finances are tight, retiring in Ecuador may be an ideal answer. But do your homework first by visiting the above sites that offer a wealth of “real world” information. If Ecuador looks interesting, we suggest starting by taking a trip there to gain onsite experience and advice. Better yet would be to arrange meetings with expats already settled in Ecuador. Then you can make an informed decision.

Boomers, Need Cash Fast? Where Can You Get It?

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Let’s admit it – There are times in our lives when we need to get our hands on some cash…FAST! This is especially true for many older Baby Boomers living on a fixed income.

Sometimes Boomers need cash FAST!Well, stop and think about it. Just how can Boomers come up with money in a short period of time? It turns out there are a surprisingly large number of ways to legitimately get cash quickly. So many, in fact, that we are just going to list a few online sites that have already thought this through:

A word of caution – Stay away from payday loan outfits. They are loan sharks not subject to usary laws and it is easy to rack up ongoing debt at high interest rates. And hopefully you are not living from one financial crisis to the next. Life presents Boomers with financial hiccups every now and then – use the information here to overcome them!

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