It’s always a good idea in Life to keep an open mind and be aware that your Plan A may need a Plan B and possibly a C and D sooner than you think. Finding the best place to retire is no different than any project in life. We all do our research and we forge ahead only to find out that we need to switch tracks. Job change, divorce, bad neighbours or a major mechanical issue with a new car all force us to re-evaluate our choices.
This article is about going with my intuition and accepting a huge change.
My choice of Mexico as my “best place to retire”, has recently forced me to take a step back and look at a few things. In an earlier article from about 2 years ago, I mentioned that there was no point in moving to a cheap place to retire if you do not feel safe in that same town. Well, in my mind, this is what is happening in San Miguel de Allende. Crime is up and so are the costs to live here. Double whammy!
This town, in just 2 years has seen a big change. In the summer of 2013 San Miguel was named, by the readers of the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’; A fancy highbrow magazine for the wealthier traveller, as the “top city in the world”. Say whaaaat? TOP CITY? First off, San Miguel de Allende is hardly a “city” topping out at about 120,000 inhabitants and comparing this pueblito with the likes of Venice, Rome, NYC and so on, is in my humble opinion, a load of rubbish. Yes, SMA is a beautiful town, maybe world class even, but “the best”.. nope. Anyway, this accolade has caused one major negative: demand is UP and so are the prices. We are not sipping an espresso on the Champs Elysee here folks, but nevertheless, the cost of a coffee and all other meal prices, sitting on a cobblestone street in Centro, has risen 30% in just 2 years. Circle back to my “fixed income” article and 30% cost of living increase becomes a BIG deal to most people reading this. Rents, hotel prices have all risen dramatically and frankly, owner and operators have just gotten greedy.
Second of all: crime. I have never been the recipient of any violent crime in SMA, but several of my friends have been, one was even murdered this past year. Home invasions, muggings, rape and robbery are all on the rise and dramatically so. There is much debate on the topic at this moment with the argument that San Miguel is still much safer than the average town in the USA. For me, this doesn’t say much! Personally I feel less safe here now and so I take more precautions now, than I ever have done while living in Mexico.
Which brings me to the voice in my head. Honestly, just a few weeks ago I had planned on moving to Cuenca Ecuador. I visited Ecuador for 3 weeks June 2013 and liked the place; it was less expensive, perhaps safer and the natural beauty was far superior than the area I was living in Mexico. One sunny calm morning in Mexico I was strolling alone on a quiet beach just north of Puerto Vallarta and a voice in my head whispered to me: “Go to Thailand. Move to Thailand”. Thailand??? Where exactly is that? Moreover, who said that? :). I knew absolutely nothing about Asia let alone Thailand. Thailand is in Asia right, I pondered. I was waaaay too tall for Thailand at 6’3″ (191cm) I would be a giant pink man strolling the streets.
For about 3 days, I researched the very idea that my subconscious, angel?, had presented to me that morning. Thailand…hhhmmmm. Tigers there, BIG snakes, Buddhism, short people and a culture and language that I knew absolutely nothing about. Zero, zilch. However, a funny thing happened in those few days. That voice, that thought quickly consumed me and within a few days, the idea was now a passion that I felt in my heart. I am moving to Thailand! Whoah. I would have never had guessed this twist in my Lifes Journey.
Has this happened to you? Are you also researching your plan B because your initial retirement spot is not so rosy anymore? Please let us know in the comments section below. Thanks