A Mexico book by Karen Blue
Baby Boomers: Reinvent Your Retirement in Mexico
By Karen Blue
Available from Amazon Books: Paperback
Book lovers, especially those contemplating retirement near Lake Chapala, will enjoy Karen Blue’s conversational interviews in Baby Boomers: Reinvent Your Retirement in Mexico. But my guess is that the book may be more attractive to people who have already moved south and want to know what makes their fellow expats tick, and maybe pick up a few nuggets of practical information in the process.
Each short chapter in the 215-page softcover focuses on one person or couple who, in most cases, use only their first name. Yet, with only that thin cloak of anonymity, the interviewees pretty much pour out their hearts, divulging details on their love life, taxes and the like. In the process, the author gets in a fair amount of personal details about her background and her nearly 20 years living the expat life in the Lake Chapala region.
All of this is very interesting. But “Baby Boomers,” as the author admits on her back cover, is not for people who want indexed and easily located hard facts on residency permits, starting a business, buying a house, and so on — although there is information scattered through the book on these topics. No, “Baby Boomers” will appeal more to avid readers who wants to sit down with a margarita or coffee and a muffin, as the author and her subjects often do in the book, and savor each smidgen of practical information along with background on the subjects’ past lives and careers, their hobbies, pets and so on.
There is an introduction about the author’s intentions (in which she pledges to tell it all — the good, bad and the ugly) and a first chapter that sociologically describes the boomers. There is also a final chapter that gives an overview of retiring in Mexico, a list of pros and cons and a wrap-up of some practical matters such as learning Spanish, although it doesn’t delve into the new and highly frustrating topics of securing permits for residency and foreign cars.
The book is tirelessly upbeat, and what would you expect from an author who has made such a grand commitment to living in Mexico? The interviewees or the author occasionally mention something negative — “the latest murder,” a divorce, the noise, bureaucracy and altitude — but generally everyone is positive, a quality very necessary in a small community.
Another positive facet of the book is that there is little, if any, reference to the rampant, north-of-the-border notion that Mexico is a dangerous place — an idea that most foreigners living here view as a product of media machinations, although all of us know there is at least some basis for it, while at the same time we recognize that Jalisco is blessed with more tranquility than elsewhere.
Karen Blue should be applauded for producing not only a book that is enjoyable to read, but also free of typographical errors, a major feat in this era when few books receive the in-depth treatment that used to be given by major publishing houses.