Dec 7, 2007, 11:02 AM
Post #1 of 32
Since Carol and Norma (from "Falling in Love with San Miguel") just returned from their trek to McAllen Texas for Medical and Car reasons, I thought I would tell you our experiences in McAllen. Carol and I have had a conversation, via Email, about the difference in the way we both feel about McAllen.
Cheap Living in Mexico vs Cheap living in McAllen Texas
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We had thought about moving to Mexico for an inexpensive retirement and have made a couple of trips there for research. There were friends in the Dallas Texas area that had been to McAllen several Winters for the more temperate weather. We decided to go and check it out. Compared to Mexico this is what we found:
1) Very cheap Real Estate, we preferred the 55+ gated mobile home communities, for the activities, amenities and no families w/children * see list below
2) Very good Medical care, that allows you to use Medicare
3) Every kind of restaurant you could ask for with very reasonable prices and Sanitation Laws
4) From Sept to April, tremendous amount of inexpensive entertainment (similar to Branson) while the Snowbirds are there.
5) Public services and safety net in case of emergency
6) Tremendous shopping with every American item we are used to having, with no duty and import costs .
7) Property standards/ Noise control/ consistent controlled Electricity/Potable Water/Good Telephone Service/Animal Control/Real Postal Service/less corrupt Police.
8) Mexican Dentists, Prescriptions and cheap Liquor are about 3 miles away, over the Border. Retirees go across for inexpensive Haircuts & Permanents too.
9) You do not have to speak Spanish in order to handle any business . There is not the red tape and bribes involved in getting services.
10) The Ocean 1 hour and 15 minutes away
11) You can work full or part time if you need the extra income.
* activities and amenities in the park we liked were: pot luck suppers, pancake breakfasts, ice cream socials, cards, dominoes, movie nights, bingo, all kinds of arts and crafts, water aerobics, libraries, exercise rooms, woodworking shops, pool rooms, horseshoes, shuffleboard, all types of dancing (polka, salsa, Line Dancing, Square dancing, Round Dancing, ballroom, 50's music, Country and Western etc), Spanish lessons, Bible classes, Book Clubs. You can also join others in volunteering in different Charities. They have beginner lessons for all of the types of dancing.
Also the area has the McAllen Civic center, Weslaco Visitor Center, Harlingen Municipal Auditorium, Mercedes Showgrounds, just to mention a few. From Sept to April they have all kinds of shows from groups that appear in Branson and Las Vegas. The prices are very reasonable.
These types of things interest us. Carol and Norma have been there, done that and hated it. Some people are into the more Cultural activities and love it. There is always going to be people that have different interests and thank goodness we are all different. It would be too crowded if everyone went where we like to go.
I know that the people in Arizona are having high Crime due to the Illegal Aliens crossing there. We did not see or hear of high crime in McAllen. They do have the same amount of car theft that we have in the Dallas area. The Retirees use the Mexico crossing at Progresso rather than the Reynosa because they say it is set up more for the Americans. I can't explain that.
Our plans, when my Husband gets to retire in 2009, are to buy a place in McAllen, stay there Sept - March or April. Close it up and go to Mexico during what will be the low season, to rent there. We will stay in higher altitudes April and May (until the night rains come) and then go to areas like Lake Chapala and or San Miguel Allende for the rest of the Summer.
We do not even have to drive if we choose not to. You can take an Executive Bus to any town in Mexico directly from McAllen or you can take a cab over the Border and catch an Executive Bus there. We really enjoyed the Long Distance Buses when we travel Mexico. They are as nice as a First Class seat on most Airlines and have small restrooms and Movies. This would keep us from having to buy Mexican Car Insurance and the possibility of getting involved with the Police for an accident or them just needing a bribe. We feel as safe on the Buses as anyone is, on the highways and streets in Mexico.
Of course all of these plans are contingent on us not winning the lottery. If we win the lottery then we will move to SMA the next week and buy a beautiful Hacienda.
McAllen will never compare to SMA for ambiance or Cultural Activities but it is what we can afford at this time.
If you have any questions about McAllen , you can Email me at email@example.com
(This post was edited by macmember on Dec 7, 2007, 2:00 PM)