Since starting the blog less than 10 months ago, over 1,500 readers have contacted us directly to ask questions about moving to Mexico. That’s a lot of people.
Linda and I personally responded to every email; however, the ones from AOL email addresses would always bounce back. Sorry AOL users.
The majority of the questions that we receive on a daily basis deal with the logistical, financial and/or legal aspects of starting a new life in Mexico. Once those are answered, a large percentage of the readers – and this is the interesting part – share with us that they have reservations about retiring because they’re afraid they’ll be bored.
Seriously?! You slaved away for decades at a stressful job counting the hours each day before you could go home and now that you have the opportunity to leave it, you’re choosing to stay voluntarily?
This type of attitude is akin to a prisoner being institutionalized to the point that he or she feels more at home in prison than on the outside making their own decisions. You have to break that mindset.
Speaking from Experience
Prior to retiring in 2015, I was a lieutenant with a large sheriff’s office in Central Florida. I was a hard-charging, workaholic that came in two hours early every day to finish administrative paperwork so I could spend more time in the streets with the deputies assigned to my platoon.
Even on my off time, I would often do something related to my profession. For example, I started a legal database for law enforcement officers across the state. I dedicated a significant amount of my free time to maintaining, updating and expanding that resource.
In other words, I was very institutionalized.
When I first mentioned retiring and moving to Mexico, none of my coworkers took me seriously. Many told me that I would never be content sitting on a beach in the Caribbean doing nothing all day. The consensus was that I would return to work within a year — they were wrong about that last part.
I have to admit that I shared their concerns when I first retired. Although drinking a cold beer on a hot beach is one of my favorite pastimes, I knew that I would have to find other activities to keep my mind working and my liver healthy. I just didn’t know what those activities would be prior to moving down.
Once we were actually living in Mexico, we discovered a rich, fulfilling lifestyle that keeps us very busy. Between traveling, blogging, volunteering and spending time with a lot of new friends — we haven’t had the chance to be bored since we arrived.
Linda and I agree that these have been some of the best times of our lives and we’ve never regretted our decision to move down.
Needless to say, I won’t be going back to my old job anytime soon — or ever, for that matter.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Retirement is not the end – it’s a new beginning. It’s a time to redefine yourself and create a life on your own terms.
I believe that the key to feeling fulfilled and happy in retirement is to completely change your surroundings. If your life is basically the same except for the lack of a job — you’re more likely to feel that loss of purpose. That won’t be a problem if you move to Mexico. There will be new things to experience and new friends to make.
Don’t worry about what you’ll do to stay busy once you arrive. Just focus on getting here and the rest will work itself out naturally.