Chapter 10MexicoThe Top Foreign Destination for U.S. and Canadian Retirees

IN 2000, MARVIN GOLDEN CONVINCED HIS WIFE, Barbara Mercik, to take a work sabbatical. Just for a year, he told her. His plan was to travel from their home in Toronto through the United States and to Mexico.

Down the length of the Baja Peninsula, they went, towing their 31-foot travel trailer. They headed south along the Mexican mainland and the Sea of Cortez through Guaymas, Bahía Kino, and Mazatlán. On the Pacific coast, they spent time in San Blas and Sayulita before heading east into the mountains. When they arrived at Lake Chapala, the deal was sealed. They were staying in Mexico.

“We’re no different than other baby boomers,” Marvin says. “Mexico has all the amenities that we’re accustomed to, like high-speed Internet access, satellite TV, newly released movies.”

Plus, Barbara adds, “there’s an emphasis on friends and giving back to the community—and a richness in learning about a new culture and language. And, of course, there’s the fabulous food and a much lower cost of living.”

Today, Marvin and Barbara live in a large mountainside home with panoramic lake views, a garden, and a casita.

“We have a life we could never afford in Toronto,” ...

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