Retirement Living In Mexico

retirement living in MexicoSource: Why Is Mexico Such A Popular Retirement Destination? | Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher

Retirement Living in Mexico

I thought you’d appreciate a very interesting article appearing on HuffPost.com today.  The post takes a look at why Mexico is such a popular retirement destination for US and Canadian citizens.  Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher from InternationalLiving.com report on why Mexico is so enticing for folks that are planning their retirement.

Today, more U.S. and Canadian expats live in Mexico than anyplace else in the world — as many as a million of them, it’s said. There are many reasons for that, including the vibrant culture, an affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare. –Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher

A few of the most popular Mexican cities include Puerto Peñasco, Baja Norte, and Baja Sur.  Mexico offers a great climate, friendly communities, beaches, and plenty of food options for snow birds or full-time retirees.  After spending a week down in Cabo last year, we’re looking forward to returning and doing some more exploring!

If you’re looking for an overseas retirement destination that’s conveniently close to home, and that offers a high quality of life, a rich culture, and a relaxed atmosphere … put Mexico on your list.  –Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher from InternationalLiving.com

If you’ve been exploring retirement destinations south of the border, give us the scoop in the comments section below!

Best Places To Retire 2015

Best places to retireIn January International Living published their list of best places to retire for 2015.  It wasn’t just their personal favorite places, the “best places to retire list” was based on a set of metrics that looked at the housing market, cost of living, entertainment, healthcare and climate.  They also factored in some other metrics, but these seemed like the biggies to us.

The list is very interesting because what it allows you to do is focus on what means the most to you.  For example if climate was important to you, you might want to take a good look at Ecuador, Colombia or Mexico.  If having access to excellent healthcare was important to you, you’d want to consider Malaysia or Costa Rica.  And if it was cost of living that you were most honed in on, well Nicaragua and Vietnam are good bets.

Retire in Ecuador

Best places to retireRight now International Living says Ecuador is the worlds #1 retirement haven.  World class medical facilities, great weather and low cost of living make it highly desirable.

A doctor’s visit will set you back around $10, while a main course in a restaurant can be had for as little as $2.50. The bus trip from Cotacachi to Otavalo will cost you 25 cents. For big-ticket items like real estate, you can get a lot more for your dollar here than in the U.S. A couple can live well here on $1,400 a month, including rent. – IL Ecuador Highlands Correspondent Wendy DeChambeau

Retire in Colombia

Best places to retireAnother great place to consider retiring is in Colombia. Sure we’ve all heard stories of drug cartels and the like, but Colombia boasts one of the finest healthcare systems in the region.

You can get health-care treatment comparable to that in the U.S. in any large or mid-sized city,” says Michael. “In a 2014 survey, 18 Colombian medical institutions ranked among the top 45 in Latin America. According to the World Health Organization, Colombia actually has better health care than the United States or Canada. – IL Colombia Correspondent Michael Evans

If you’re considering retiring abroad, or have tips for our readers – Please give us a shout in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!  Extra: List of Travel Discounts for Seniors

Must Have List For Cruise

List for CruiseNorwegian Cruise Lines posed a great question on their Facebook Page today. They asked; “What’s on your must-have cruise packing list?” Some of the answers are very funny, and some are very practical! Since many of you may be planning cruises this year or looking for other travel deals, we thought we’d post our favorites from that Norwegian Cruise Lines must-have list for cruise. These items (not necessarily in this order) are important to remember when you take to the high seas!  Are you planning a cruise this year?

  • Passport
  • Sun Glasses
  • Reading Glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Flip Flops (sandals)
  • Extension Cord/Power Strip (adapter and/or 3 plug outlet)
  • Swim Suit
    • A “Cover Up”
  • Cash
  • Book Bag
  • Baseball Hat (sun hat)
  • Cell Phone
  • iPad or Kindle
    • iPad or Kindle Charger
  • Cross Body Purse (or backpack)
  • 2 Dressy Outfits (formal dinners or excursions)
    • Dressy Shoes
  • Running or Athletic Shoes
  • Work Out Gear
  • Binoculars
  • Hair Clip (for the curtains if you want to take a nap during the day)
  • Anti-Nasea Meds (dramamine?)
  • A Good Book (books)
  • A Camera (could be your phone)
  • Your Prescription Medicine(s)
  • Coffee Creamer (a lot of folks mentioned this – there’s no creamer aboard?)

So that’s the list so far.  What did we forget?  Help our readers make their first cruise a good one by sharing your cruise experiences with the group.  What’s on your must-have-list-for-cruise?  Tell us in your comments below!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Best Cruises To Consider In 2015

Best Cruises to take in 2015Thinking about taking a cruise this year?  Ya, we are too!  If you’re interested in the best cruises to consider in 2015, you might first start with the top cruise ships.  We found a handy website that just published a top 10 list of the best cruise ships to consider this year.  Cruise Critic boasts that it’s the leading cruise review website in the world.  They also hosts the largest cruise “community” of it’s kind.  Cruise Critic is easy to navigate, and there is a lot of great information to glean from the consumer ratings to cruise news you can use.

What I most like about cruise critic is that there is a robust community contributing meaningful content to the site.  For example, take a look at the below screenshot to see the user contributions for the cruise ship “Disney Dream“.

Best Cruises to take in 2015

With 398 reviews of the Disney Dream Cruise Liner, you can do some interesting trending analysis to see if this cruise is for you.  This looks like a great ship, and sure enough the Disney Dream tops their list of best cruises to take in 2015 (for big ships).

Cruise Critic has ratings for all of the best cruises you can take this year.  They even look at the size of the ship for those folks that might want a smaller cruise ship to consider this year.  For those of you that love the big cruise liners, here is Cruise Critics’ top 10 (Big Ship) best cruises for 2015:

Cruise Critics Best Cruise Ships for 2015

  1. Disney Dream
  2. Disney Fantasy
  3. Nieuw Amsterdam
  4. Celebrity Equinox
  5. Celebrity Reflection
  6. Celebrity Eclipse
  7. Allure of the Seas
  8. Carnival Liberty
  9. Jewel of the Seas
  10. Carnival Valor

Do you enjoy cruising?  What ships have been your favorites over the years.  Do you stick with one cruise liner, or mix it up a bit?  Fill us in using the comments section below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Tips For Those Considering Retiring Overseas

Retiring Overseas - Expert Tips

Ever thought about retiring overseas? If you answered yes, you need to read this great article by Kathleen Peddicord (of Live and Invest Overseas fame). In Kathleen’s HuffPost write-up, David and Cathy Thompkins tell their story of how a rock-solid western US couple moved from Northern Idaho to Cayo, Belize just a year ago.

Retiring Abroad

Retire Overseas

If you’re going to consider retirement overseas, you should probably make a few test runs first.  Spend some extended-time in the locations you’re considering.  This is a good rule-of-thumb even if you’re considering a domestic move right here in the good ole USA.  Just a few of the big challenges that David and Cathy faced included; What to do with all their stuff back home, where to find food, and how to build new relationships.

As you can imagine, the people in Belize are great – and things seem to be working out swimmingly (pun intended) for the Tompkins’.  If you’re looking to retire in Belize, or anywhere else for that matter – Do your homework. Click here for a direct link to the article or find it on our Facebook page where you’ll find all kinds of great boomer/senior related resources.

Making The Best Of A Delayed Flight

A delayed flight with the Port City SoundYou know the drill… You hop on your flight and get buckled in when the captain comes on the intercom with this announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen we’ve been placed on a weather hold because of storms rolling across the greater Chicago area.  The tower has asked us to hang tight here in the gate area while this weather moves through.  Current estimates put our hold at around 30 minutes or so.”

Naturally, a delayed flight is anxiety inducing and uncomfortable for all.  This is usually the case, but on a recent US Airways flight to New Orleans a flight delay got you a free ticket to hear the Port City Sound, an award winning barbershop quartet!  Kari Mann a flight attendant for US Airways captured the moment and the smiles that went with it.  Hats off to these guys for making this a flight to remember.  They’re incredibly talented and get 2 thumbs up from The Senior List!  Watch the video below.

Movie Review: Land Ho!

Independent Film Land Ho!I’m jaded when it comes to movies.  Throughout an entire show, I’m waiting for something to go wrong, or a twist in the plot I never saw coming.  A movie can be rolling right along with a feel-good story line, everything is hunky-dory and then- BAM!  Someone cheats, dies suddenly or the aliens descend to take over the planet.  So, I don’t watch many movies, except for the 8-10 year old boy genre that my kids like.

So, I take great pleasure in sharing the movie review for “Land Ho!”, directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens.  It is one of the best “grown-up” movies I have seen in quite a while.  Set in picturesque Iceland, former 60 year old brothers-in-law Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) set off on a journey to explore new frontiers and reconnect to their youth (and each other).  Mitch is a loud and unabashedly female-approving older man.  Colin is a reserved and soft spoken Australian gentleman who is more interested in a person’s intelligence than her assets.  The audience is privy to intimate conversations about aging, marriage, divorce, kids, and of course, women.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfathers, getting a fly-on-the-wall view of things they would say if I were not around.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but I’ll let you in on a secret, I was smiling the whole time. And giggling and laughing out loud. And sometimes embarrassed to be hearing such intimate thoughts from two older men I had come to love in a grand-daughterly sort of way.

The Icelandic setting is gorgeous- filled with ocean cliffs, geysers, and natural hot springs, I’m ready to purchase a plane ticket.  The film is able to relate to audiences from mid-20’s to the golden years with its honest insight and celebration of the two.  There is even a dance club scene with glow sticks for the truly young at heart.  The film is set to be released August 1, 2014 in major cities and I give it two “Senior List Thumbs” up.

Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Looking forward to retiring in the same community you slaved away in for 40+ years?  If not, you may be dreaming of life in a cozy beach community where the idea of fresh air, fresh fish, and fresh adventures await!  If that’s the case, here’s a list of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Enjoy your golden active years near the many relaxing beach communities we have right here in our own backyard.

Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#1 Manzanita (Oregon)Best Beach Towns in America: Manzanita Beach

This sleepy little community boasts a wonderful mix of full timers and part time residents.  With 7 miles of sandy beaches, Manzanita offers lots of room to run, walk, surf, or chill out.  The Oregon Coast Visitors Association maintains that “Manzanita possesses the third most photographed scenery in Oregon”.  Add in a local golf course, and a few nice restaurants/pubs and now you’ve got a full plate!  Located just West of Portland (and south of Cannon Beach) Manzanita has less than 1,000 full-time residence and at the time of the 2010 census just 315 households.  If you’re looking for a simple living this qualifies as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Median age in the city is 59.9 years young.  –photos courtesy of jamesonf via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Manzanita Beach Walk

 #2 Santa Cruz (California)

Best Beach Towns in America: Santa Cruz CA

Santa Cruz is a throw back town.  Having just spent our spring break there this year, we loved every minute of this surfer’s paradise.  Looking for something a little laid back and dog friendly?  You just found it.  Add in a mix of fine dining, and local eateries (where the food is fresh and affordable), you won’t go home hungry.  2011 census pegged Santa Cruz at just over 60,000 residence with 32.1% of the population between the ages of 45 and older.  Median age in Santa Cruz is 29.9 (wikipedia).  Beach dwelling, wine tasting, museums, and a university add to the cultural appeal of Santa Cruz, and it’s a sure draw for those looking for an active retirement.  –photos courtesy of Thomas Hawk & Hudheer G via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Beach at Santa Cruz CA

#3 Beaufort (South Carolina)

Best Beach Towns in America: Beaufort SC

Beaufort SC was named Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2013.  This alone should qualify it as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement!  Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands.  Water, history and culture surround this area, and it’s about as friendly a town as you’ll ever come across.  “Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city’s population was 12,361 in the 2010 census.  It is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area.” (Wikipedia)  As of the 2010 census there were just over 12,000 people residing in the city of Beaufort.  A full 30% of the people in Beaufort SC are over the age of 45.  –photos courtesy of scarter392 & Henry de Saussure Copeland via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Beaufort SC

#4 Friday Harbor (San Juan Island WA)

Best Beach Towns in America: Friday Harbor WA

Friday Harbor is a gorgeous little island community available only by ferry service (or float plane).  With just over 2,000 residents, it’s not easy to get lost around Friday Harbor.  Census data notes that 44.8% of the city is 45 years old or older.  Lots of things to do on San Juan Island including hiking, biking, fishing, walking, kayaking and sampling the many local eateries and coffee shops around town.  Summertime brings in quite a number of tourists, but everyone is interested in fresh air and the active outdoor culture that abounds here.  –photos courtesy of Chase N. & Mike Kelley via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Friday Harbor ferry

#5 Steilacoom (Washington)

Best Beach Towns in America: Steilacoom WA Sunset

Located 45 miles SW of Seattle, Steilacoom (pronounced “still-a-come”)seems to move in slow motion and that’s just how the 6,000 or so full-time locals love it.  The 4th of July celebration brings in over 18,000 visitors, and all come for good eats, good conversation, and fireworks over Sunnyside Beach.  This Puget Sound community boasts a median age of 45.4 (as of the 2010 census) and 39.3% of folks are 45 years of age or older.  –photos courtesy of L-M-E & camknows via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: festival in Steilacoom WA

Report: Prescription Drugs In Water Supply

prescription drugs in water supplyThe Huffington Post published an article today highlighting a study by the School of Freshwater Sciences (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).  That study aptly titled “Pharmaceuticals and personal care products found in the Great Lakes above concentrations of environmental concern” reported that PPCP’s (pharmaceutical and personal care products) were evident in much higher concentrations than previously thought. Are reports of prescription drugs in water supply an overreach? Maybe… but maybe not.

In the Huff Post article the authors report that “The environmental risk of PPCPs in large lake systems, such as the Great Lakes, has been questioned due to high dilution; however, the concentrations found in this study, and their corresponding risk quotient, indicate a significant threat by PPCPs to the health of the Great Lakes, particularly near shore organisms.”

Interesting to note that the most commonly detected PPCPs in Lake Michigan were metformin, caffeine, sulfamethoxazole, and triclosan.  The list of other PPCP’s found in the Great Lakes contained many additional pharmaceutical type medications like Acetaminophen, Codeine and Ciprofloxacin.  What can you do today?  Learn how to properly dispose of expired medications in the home.  Think before you flush these drugs down the toilet.  The damage we’re doing is only going to get worse if we don’t take action today.

This study should cause concern AND create awareness for environmental issues that may result from exposure to these chemicals in our water and/or sediment.  It’s high time we start talking about measures to protect our planet folks, it’s the only one we have!

Photo: freedigitalphotos.net

Postcards From The Edge: September 30 1909

Today marks the first in a series we’re publishing called “Postcards From The Edge“.  These postcards are a from a collection which has been cared for by my in-laws up in Western Montana.  Rather than keep these hidden away in a box, we thought it would be fun to share some of these with our community members here on The Senior List.  The postcards are circa early 1900’s and are written by Francis Clark (1857-1950), my husband’s great grandfather. Frank was a railroad conductor and traveled around the country manning routes for The Northern Pacific Railroad.

Postcards were Frank’s primary means of communication back to his family back in Tekoa Washington, Kellogg Idaho, and Spokane Washington.  They are addressed to several members of his immediate (and extended) family including his children.  The postcards a turn-of-the-century “time machine”, and take us back to a time time in history when our country was changing ever so rapidly.

Keep in mind back then there were few telephones and very limited communication methods other than by post.  I hope you enjoy the series.  These postcards are very personal, and we’re happy to share them with you.  **Note the 1 cent stamps… The actual postmark itself… The addresses on the cards (just a name and city in some cases)… and of course the story that each postcard reveals.

Postcards from the Edge: Mt. Hood Postcard

Postcards from the Edge: Mt. Hood Postcard

In this postcard featuring Mt. Hood (Oregon) Frank writes a personal note to his son Kenneth (my husbands grandfather):

Well Kenneth do you miss me? Very much wish you were here – We would have a fine time seeing the city and going to shows – 9 am enjoying myself very much but it will be nice to be home again.  Be a good boy – love to mama and sister – Love Daddy.” — Frank Clark to his son Kenneth — September 30th, 1909