Gone fishing — for good

fishing

LOTS OF PEOPLE dream of early retirement, and some even plan for it — giving the middle digit to The Man.

The traditional age is 55 because lots of corporations will start a pension at that point just to get rid of you. Retiring before 55 is possible, sure, but only if you’re fairly rich and have planned well.

Due to the aging of the Baby Boomer Generation, magazines and newspapers frequently run articles about retirement in general and even retiring early. These articles often say how difficult it is, that you gotta have 10 million bucks under the mattress. Baloney.

Even though I did little dreaming of early retirement and even less planning (think zip), the stars aligned, and I bailed at 55.

It was the best move of my life. The year was 1999.

And I’ve earned nary a penny or a peso since. At least, not from any effort on my part. Capitalism is a godsend. You stick five bucks in an account, and later you have seven bucks — or sometimes four, depending on which way the wind blows.

Lots of those magazine and newspaper yarns tell you the best towns in America to retire. And they can be great places, but not if you are living on my income, which is about $24,000 a year. That’s just $8,000 over the 2015 official poverty level in America for a two-person household.

Living in the United States these days on $24,000 wouldn’t be much fun.

Doing it in Mexico, however, is easy as pie.

So here is my recommendation if you want to leave the workforce at 55: Have no debt and enough money to make it to 62, praying that Social Security will not increase that age before you get there.

Probably won’t.

When you hit 62, start Social Security payments, which will likely be more than enough to live sweet in Mexico. An additional corporate pension, even a puny one like mine, is even better.

So come on down. The fishing is good.

* * * *

P.S.: Contrary to what’s been hammered into you, living in Mexico is safer than today’s United States of America. Plus, Mexico doesn’t do Big Government, disruptive diversity-worship, #brownlivesmatter, high taxes, and you’re not called racist every day by stupendously silly people.

We’re mellow. Bring a hook, line and bait.

40 thoughts on “Gone fishing — for good”

  1. I stopped working for money Labor Day weekend 1993 and have not looked back. And second the notion – Viva Mexico!

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  2. I keep hearing that the US dollar is done for. Supposedly, on October 20th, the IMF is going to change rules about reserve currencies. Of course, those sending me this information are trying to sell me gold and silver. But if gold and silver are the best investments, why don’t those people just keep them rather than try to sell them to me?

    The US government can print all the dollars they want, but they cannot print a jar of peanut butter. I think food stuffs is the best investment. I cannot eat gold and silver.

    Mexico is a nice country, but it is no place to be poor.

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    1. Señor Gill: Rumors of the dollar’s demise are quite premature. A related issue is the current puny state of the Mexican peso, leading to a lovely exchange rate, at least for those of us who get cash from above the Rio Bravo, less so for Mexico in general. In the last year or so, we’ve received a fat pay raise.

      Speaking of peanut butter, getting a jar in the supermarket that isn’t loaded with sugar is next to impossible. It has become the sole remaining thing I want that I cannot find in Mexico.

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      1. We buy peanuts in the shell – peel them and blend in the Vitamix – nothing else but perhaps a teaspoon of peanut oil – makes great peanut butter sans that dose of sugar that seem to feel is necessary. Not a difficult job at all.

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        1. Señor Calypso: I imagine that might work, but you don’t realize how utterly shiftless I am. Plus, I’m not convinced I would be really happy with the results. There’s a street market every Saturday outside our Mexico City place. One stand sells peanut butter that, I would bet, is made in that manner. Don’t much care for it. What I want is jars of the high-end stuff you see in places like Whole Foods. The ingredients list has just two things: peanuts, salt.

          It has oil floating on top, a result of the process, not added, and you have to mix it up. Now that’s the stuff I call peanut butter, and I can buy it, not make it. You mistake me for a hippie.

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            1. Jeez, first Jeff, some time back, called me politically correct, and now you call me a hippie. I am appalled!

              One must look at motivation. Yes, I ordered a soy burger (for those who have no idea what this is about, it came up in a previous post), and I invariably order soy burgers if they are available and I’m ordering a burger, which I rarely do.

              But I do not eat soy burgers to be one with Mother Nature, nor to commit an act of symbolic tree-hugging, or anything whatsoever to do with guarding the Earth or climate change, or other such goings-on. No, I do it for one reason only: cholesterol control.

              So there you have it. Hippie indeed. Never been a hippie in my life. or anything resembling one. I take umbrage!

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          1. Premium peanut butter is easy to make. Put peanuts alone (we prefer honey roasted) in a Cuisinart and grind away. It takes a few minutes but it is much better than store bought and cheaper too. No need to refrigerate and you need to mix if it sits around a while and gets oil on the surface.

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            1. Wesmouch: You are not the first to mention making it myself, and perhaps one day I will do it. Not sure where I would get honey roasted peanuts in quantity in these parts. And, of course, I’d have to buy a Cuisinart.

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      2. You can get peanut butter in the US if you live in a community that has a Winco. Go to the bulk food section and there is a machine that grinds roasted unsalted-blanched peanuts while you hold the container under the chute. Divine!

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        1. Judy: That sounds a lot like the routine Señor Calypso recommended in an earlier comment. I’d have to try it to know for sure, if it’s right up my alley. Of course, the primary problem is that I am not in the United States, haven’t been there in almost seven years and very likely never will set foot there again, so …

          Alas.

          But thanks for the suggestion.

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      3. I have wondered about exactly that question: peanut butter, as I like the no-sugar, no-stabilizers variety myself. Have you checked a health-food type place in Morelia? Inquiring minds want to know.

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        1. Kim: I have never checked a health-food outlet specifically for that, but I’ve been in such places frequently and browsed about a lot. Never seen any decent peanut butter at all. It’s a tragedy.

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  3. Well said, Felipe. We have about the same cash flow as you do and live quite comfortably. As you mentioned, the NOB liberal media has completely distorted the safety issues, so come on down, folks.

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    1. Jeff: Gracias, señor. I sure would not want to live on that quantity in the United States.

      One point: I urge you and all other right-thinking people to stop referring to left-wingers as liberal and progressive because they are anything but. That they are called that is a classic example of how they have successfully twisted language in their favor, something they excel at. Let us not fall into their trap.

      They are lefties, left-wingers, collectivists and socialists. A spade must be called a spade.

      And as for urging people to come on down, though this topic does give me something to write about now and then, I really don’t want many Gringos to come on down, and if they do I want most all of them to go to San Miguel de Allende or the Chapala area. As the United States blatantly demonstrates now, multiculturalism leads to doom. Don’t want no doom in my new nation.

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      1. I figured another semantics lesson was coming. To me, your Felipeness, liberal = lefties, left-wingers, collectivists and socialists.

        As to the gringo havens you mentioned, I agree it might prove to be difficult to live on 24K a year (which I thought was a major point in your posting).

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        1. Jeff: Don’t write it off as a semantics lesson. Words affect how people think. This kidnapping of “liberal” and “progressive” by the left has large and important consequences in the real world.

          The left excels at verbal twisting. We, on the other hand, are pathetic at it.

          I’m not clear on your second point. One can live fine in San Miguel and Chapala on 24K a year, I wager. One can do better, however, in other areas of the country. The peso would stretch further.

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      2. The seeming inability on the part of 95% of gringo expats to learn Spanish would seem to keep the bulk of them away from your parts, no? I don’t imagine that many natives there speak English at all. Do they?

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        1. Kim: Good question. Since I never speak to any of the natives here in English, I really don’t know if many speak English. I imagine not. Now and then, someone will brag about their knowledge of English, but when I respond in English I discover they are pretty clueless. They think they know it, but they do not.

          As far as Gringo language laziness keeping lots of my former paisanos away from my mountaintop, I pray so. But more and more come every year. It is disturbing.

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          1. You’re going to have to move to remoter places. Or tolerate more Gringos. The latter doesn’t seem so bad, especially as they’ll likely never reach San Miguelian proportions.

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      3. Quit sending people to Chapala. However, I am currently watching the clouds gather around the mountains in Tapalpa – what a beautiful place. I could move here if Chapala becomes too crowded for me.

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        1. Bonnie: Don’t steer folks to Chapala? But it’s one of the swellest places — it and San Miguel — here in Mexico for Gringos to come and settle. I would be remiss were I not to bring that to the attention of one and all. And no need to speak Spanish!

          As for Tapala, never heard of it. I had to go internet searching. It looks like a great place. Enjoy. It seems like every place you visit outside of Chapala strikes you more favorably than Chapala does. What does that tell you?

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          1. I just like new places. Every place is interesting to me and I can imagine myself living there. Tapalpa is at 7000ft and a magic pueblo. Our hotel room has a working fireplace. There is no need to speak Spanish in Chapala, but we take private lessons and teach ESL to Mexican children to help us improve our language skills. I think it is arrogant to not at least learn enough to get by in the native language of your host country.

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  4. Felipe, you’re exactly three months older than me.

    I lived in Mexico for just over two years beginning in 1978. I then returned to the U.S., and after three or four years decided I wanted to go back to Mexico — forever. With some careful financial planning I was able to move back to Mexico in 1989 (I was 44 years old). I spent a lot of the early years in your Mexican town.

    I’m still “gone fishing,” but no longer live in Mexico. I agree somewhat with what you say about the U.S., but for me there’s still some options in the U.S., and other countries.

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    1. Glenn: Thanks for weighing in. I wish now that I could have moved to Mexico when I was 44, but it was not possible, plus it never occurred to me back then. You must be doing something very right. And, sure, there are options in other countries, but in the U.S. you’d need a good deal more money without fail.

      Anyway, the culture there has gone off and left me, sadly.

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  5. ahh felipe-i just enjoyed a peanut butter banana as i was reading your post. too much sugar is right and i should stay away from the stuff since i am prediabetic. however, i’m nursing a very nasty cold and just had to treat myself.

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  6. Great post! However, it would seem that most people want “stuff” more than they want to be free of “the man,” so they continue to work and work and work. I know plenty of people in this category. I think it takes some travel to less-prosperous places like Mexico to pound home the idea that new cars, new kitchens, and designer clothing aren’t what’s going to make you happy. Sadly, few people ever really “get” this idea.

    I also think that learning Spanish puts up more of a barrier than you’d imagine, though many of the bloggers in our little corner of cyberspace seem to have amply demonstrated that you can live fine in Mexico with virtually no understanding of Spanish. Of course, they’d live better if they understood Spanish, but don’t seem to be suffering too much from the lack.

    Me? I’ve got everything I need to live there successfully, except the gumption to actually get on with it.

    Maybe in 2016…

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where indecision reigns supreme.

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    1. Kim: Gracias for the kind words. Yes, folks do live here without speaking Spanish. I doubt they are doing “fine,” however. To varying degrees, I submit they are merely muddling along. I know of one guy who’s lived here 20 or more years, a good bit longer than I have, and he cannot carry on a conversation in Spanish. My eyeballs roll.

      As for you, maybe in 2016 indeed. I won’t hold my breath, but as I have mentioned in the past, I cannot really see any good reason for you to move down here. You’ve got it made where you are, and you can come visit whenever you wish. Why muck up a good thing?

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  7. I retired at 59 and it was the best decision I ever made. In retrospect I should have quit earlier. We have enough to live comfortably up North but if my portfolio heads South I will likely head South also. Given the sorry state of affairs in the US we try to keep income low to avoid feeding the beast. Perhaps the Great Satan may die due to low revenues or at least the parasites milking the system may get hit up for some “investments” in the USA’s future. That would be sweet justice: the voters getting what they want good and hard ala Mencken.

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