|Patricia, like other Americans, finds joy in working after retirement in Mexico.|
She wanted to retire to a place where she could have a relaxing life, live comfortably for less. and yet continue to work in something she loved. She didn't want to spend her life at cocktail parties and playing tennis.
That was three years ago. Today, she is the proud owner of Abrazos (hugs), in the downtown of San Miguel de Allende, a popular and folkloric town northeast of Mexico City. The store sells aprons, handbags, clothes and kitchen accessories with Mexican themes.
Americans have come to Mexico for the weather, the beaches, the colors and the food. But now, they are staying, thanks to lower costs of living, the affordable health care and a fulfilling working retirement.
It's not that these Americans have to earn a living, but living in Mexico allows them to open business or work in an area that they're passionate about. With the help of technology, freelancers are able to work with their usual clients and employees from Mexico too. There are often positions for English teachers and translators.
But again, many Americans retire to work in Mexico because they want to dedicate themselves to something they enjoy doing. Many of them become artists, painters, dancers, educators, designers, bakers, restauranteurs, life coaches or some other profession that allows them to express themselves or just have a social, satisfying life.
Also, unlike in the US, in Mexico, older people don't get discriminated against, but they are actually treated with respect.
So, how much did Patrice spend in order to get her new life?
Her house, which has a fabulous vista of San Miguel de Allende, cost $105,000 US, and she invested an extra $35,000 to get it in working condition and make it look gorgeous.
Getting her store running cost $12,400. This included inventory and raw materials, lights, decorations and computers. She pays a $600 dollars rent, which she claims is much smaller than the $8,000 she paid each month for the rent of her book store back in California. Abrazos Her store measures 650 square feet.
But then again, it's not about the money. In Patrice's own words:
"Yes, it (moving to Mexico) has to do with affordability and having your retirement income be expanded. But like other expats working here, I wanted to be adventurous and have new learning opportunities."