Seniors Flock to Mexico for Sun and Savings

The hot sun, less expensive nursing home costs and better service is compelling many seniors from the USA to move south to Mexico, writes USA Today. An Oregonian now living in Mexico described her feeling: costs are a quarter of the Oregon average nursing. He gets a studio apartment, three meals a day, laundry and cleaning service, and 24-hour care from conscientioius staff, many of who are English speakers. Every morning a glistening mountain lake awaits, and an average annual high temperature of 79 degrees.

The low labor costs and warm climate is making Mexico an attractive alternative for Americans in need of nursing homes and assisted living. Experts estimate 40,000 to 80,000 American retirees already live in Mexico, many of them in enclaves like San Miguel de Allende or the Chapala area.

American residents in Mexican nursing care residences find substantial savings and excellent meals. Satellite TV keeps them in touch news and favorite programs from the USA. Business is good. American companies are investing in assisted-living facilities in Mexico.

On the downside, Mexican residences are not as thoroughly regulated or maintained as in the USA. Many Americans expressed greater trust in states-side medical service and would return for significant surgery.

American independent living developers are building on Mexico's Pacific coast, especially the Baja. "With the right facilities in place, Mexico could give American retirees a better quality of life at a better price than they could find in the USA," Flavio Olivieri, a member of Tijuana's Economic Development Council, told USA Today. "We think this could be a very good business as these baby boomers reach retirement age," he said.