Monday, December 8, 2008

Baby Boomers in Puerto Vallarta - Pt. I with Jenny McGill

If you could retire to anywhere in the world, where would that be? Most boomers opt to stay put in the U.S., but for Jenny and Howard McGill, they had set their goals higher - in sunny and sultry Puerto Vallerta, Mexico.

Puerto Vallerta is a great vacation hotspot, but what can it give retirees in the U.S. who might not want to cross the border?

Jenny is here with us today to explain why Puerto Vallarta happens to be a fantastic place not only for vacationers, but retirees, also.

Baby Boomers in Mexico by Jenny McGill

Before the world economy fell on its nose in late September 2008, Baby Boomers were dreaming of retiring in Mexico. “Why would anybody want to live in Mexico?” you ask.

My husband & I have lived in Mexico thirty-five years. I hate the word ‘ex-pat’, and I’m not one now. Nobody gets more patriotic that I, especially when I hear patriotic music and see Old Glory flying. And I’ve hosted many 4th of July parties in Puerto Vallarta and in Talpa de Allende, where we now live.

For those coming from the harsh cold, Mexico offers the best year-round climate of anywhere in the world. Granted, costal towns can be on the hot side in the summer, but it can get pretty miserable in the U.S and Canada in July and August also. You won’t find snowmobiles on any of our streets. It actually snowed for about thirty minutes in Guadalajara a few years back. It was a great photo-op. I’ve seen frost in December and January here in the mountains. It is a wonderful opportunity to huddle a little longer by the kitchen fireplace.

We’re into the holiday season, but there’s no scurrying back and forth like you might be doing. There is plenty of time for baking and decorating the house. My fruit cakes are already getting their daily dose of liqueur, but we haven’t done our major shopping yet.

Guadalajara and Lake Chapala areas have been popular spots for retirees since shortly after World War II. Disabled or retired veterans could live much better on their pensions than anywhere else. And the Mexicans were friendly and helpful to them.

Times have changed, but some things never change. The number of zeros after the dollar $ign may have changed, but the friendliness, the temperate climate, fresh vegetables, delicious fruit and fish caught this morning are good reason to keep dreaming. You can’t call Mexico primitive or a third-world country anymore.

You would have to go deep into the jungle or to a remote corner of the country not to find electricity, telephone and telegraph service, television and Internet hookups, medical facilities, good transportation, financial institutions and schools from mandatory kindergarten to optional universities.

Very few private homes have central heat or air conditioning. We don’t need them; therefore, our utility bills are low. Property taxes and water bills are low.

I still think Baby Boomers can see their dreams come true.

...continued tomorrow

Jenny McGill is the author of the memoir, DRAMA & DIPLOMACY: IN SULTRY PUERTO VALLARTA. You can visit her website at

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  1. Jenny,

    Your article rekindled an interest my husband and I have had in retiring to Mexico. It really sounds wonderful and since I'm fluent in Spanish, it wouldn't be a huge jump for me. I'll just have to buy hubby a dictionary and hope he's a fast learner. Love your pictures--look forward to your next article.

    Marta in icy Indiana

  2. wonderful article there is a blog that I read about a family that travels/lives in a RV and they are now in Paa Mul Mexico and her stories and pictures are wonderful and enlightening. I'll be checking back for the rest of this article :o)

  3. Oh Queen Hot Flash, I'd love to read that blog...if you check back here, can you tell me what it is?

  4. Marcy in Icy Indiana,
    Come on down, the weather is delightful where I live. Right now I'm 2 1/2 hours from the coast(up in the mountains). It is cool and I'm wraped in a cozy reboza, gazing at a million stars overhead. Your husband will learn the language quickly, and if not, he will find many friends who get along quite well with English. thanks for chiming in.
    Jenny in Mexico

  5. Queenie Hot Flash. I would also like to read that blog. I know of no city/town/area by that name, but I know many people who have traveled the roads of Mexico in RVs and their lives have been exciting. Check out and look for a writer named Teodoro. He and his wife did it for about 15 years before they settled in Puerto Vaqllarta.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Jenny in Mexico aka Little Beaver

  6. Dorothy dear,
    Thanks for the cup of tea. I enjoyed my visit with you. The UK contact is true. We will talk about that in days to come. small world, isn't it?
    LOL Jenny in Mexico aka Little Beaver

  7. Whoa...listen everyone...National Geographic UK got in touch with Jenny! Did they want to set up an interview?

  8. I still worry about Montezuma's Revenge or whatever they call it. I don't think I could cope with that.

    Morgan Mandel

  9. Here you go enjoy

  10. Wow, thanks Queen!


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