Click screenshot for ABC webpage and video
It’s not just the sun, sand and cultural offerings of Mexico that draw people here. ABC World News ran a spot this week about elderly Americans who are moving south of the border to stay in affordable “assisted living” homes. The program profiled a couple called Margie and Homer, who have moved to such a place in the town of San Miguel de Allende.
The issue is timely since many retirees are being forced to modify their future plans as their retirement portfolios take a heavy hit from the economic downturn. The report notes that in Sayulita (of Nayarit state), 10 projects for assisted living homes are being built. One place in Ensenada, Residencia Lourdes, serves patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Costs for assisted living programs in Mexico seem to range between $500 and $1,500 a month.
I couldn’t find any recent independent media reports on retirement communities in Baja California, though there are plenty that are put out by realtors. A 2007 article by Chris Hawley in USAToday noted that Tijuana’s Economic Development Council was at that time seeking funding from the Mexican government to build more retirement homes for U.S. baby boomers
As these news reports note, however, there are no systemic regulations in place to monitor the newly-developing industry. Hawley also writes that Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most U.S. insurance companies won’t cover health costs for patients outside the United States.
Marg(i)e and Homer seem to be pleased with their place, though I had to wonder what it must be like to go through life with the same name as The Simpsons couple.
The Dallas Morning News ran an article by Laurence Iliff about the growth of assisted living homes in Mexico that was published November, 2008.
David Warner, a public affairs professor at the University of Texas has also studied the issue.
Screenshot of retirees living in Mexico from ABC World News