Move to Mexico?

Here’s a look at a remote community high in the hills of Mexico – where a realtor says you can get a nice house for $200,000. Medical, prescriptions, and assisted-living all run about one-third of the cost in the U.S. Hat tip daytrip:

Correspondent Mike Kirsch recently traveled to one of the country’s most eclectic melting pots of foreign citizens along the shores of Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara, to explore a unique expat community.

Quitting California

From the

A report from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office earlier this year confirmed the obvious: People are leaving California. Between 2007 and 2016, we lost 6 million residents to domestic migration. Our population still grew overall, gracias to out-of-staters moving in and our ever-impressive (though declining) birthrate. But the fact remains that many people don’t think staying in California is worth the hassle anymore.

The drop was “low in historical terms,” according to the LAO, but the political right pounced on the findings as proof of the decline of Taxifornia. Conservative pundits and politicians have claimed for years that state policies push our best and brightest to move away; indeed, they hail those who leave as new pioneers who deserve applause for taking their dreams and tax dollars elsewhere.

Those eggheads, however, never seem to check in with the folks on the receiving end of the California exodus. I do, and I bring a message from them. If you’re thinking of decamping, please don’t.

This summer, I drove on what has become an increasingly popular corridor for California’s quitters: I-15 to I-70. It runs through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado — four of the seven most popular states for expat Golden Staters. Nearly half a million of them relocated to these four states in the past decade, according to the LAO. All along the way I saw the chaos that ex-Californians have wrought.

I sped through Las Vegas, where housing subdivisions now stretch out to the hills and canyons in all directions. A third of the driver’s licenses surrendered at Sin City’s DMV come from California. Henderson nowadays is basically Mission Viejo with worse heat but slightly less snobbery.


U-Haul Top Destination Cities

Hat tip to Rob Dawg for sending in this article on the top destination cities for U-Haul users.  Because it’s just one company, it isn’t the comprehensive list, but we can probably assume that these towns are where people move who are more budget-conscious, and do their own move?

Link to Article

Houston is the No. 1 U.S. Destination City according to the latest U-Haul migration trends report, continuing its run atop the list for the ninth consecutive year.

Houston saw a 5 percent year-over-year increase in one-way U-Haul truck arrivals in 2017 to maintain its status as the busiest locale for incoming traffic among do-it-yourself movers.

“We are an international city with a strong housing market,” stated Matt Merrill, U-Haul Company of West Houston president. “The cost of living remains relatively inexpensive. The average paycheck goes further in Houston. Many companies are relocating here and bringing jobs to our communities. With U-Haul helping move people to the next chapter of their lives, I’m not surprised Houston is the top destination city again.”

U-Haul Top 50 Destination Cities

1. HOUSTON, Texas

2. CHICAGO, Ill.

3. ORLANDO, Fla.



6. LAS VEGAS, Nevada

7. AUSTIN, Texas



10. COLUMBUS, Ohio

11.  TAMPA, Fla.

12.  SAN DIEGO, Calif.

13.  PHOENIX, Ariz.


15.  SACRAMENTO, Calif.

16.  DALLAS, Texas


18.  LOS ANGELES, Calif.

19.  TUCSON, Ariz.

20.  ATLANTA, Ga.

New Zealand

We’ve been exploring other towns around the West as alternatives for San Diegans who want to downsize.  Heck, let’s pick it up a notch!

Years of doomsday talk at Silicon Valley dinner parties has turned to action.

In recent months, two 150-ton survival bunkers journeyed by land and sea from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New Zealand, where they’re buried 11 feet underground.

Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers from Rising S Co. and planted them in New Zealand in the past two years, said Gary Lynch, the manufacturer’s general manager. At the first sign of an apocalypse — nuclear war, a killer germ, a French Revolution-style uprising targeting the 1 percent — the Californians plan to hop on a private jet and hunker down, he said.

“New Zealand is an enemy of no one,” Lynch said in an interview from his office in Murchison, Texas, southeast of Dallas. “It’s not a nuclear target. It’s not a target for war. It’s a place where people seek refuge.”

The remote island nation, clinging to the southern part of the globe 2,500 miles off Australia’s coast, has 4.8 million people and six times as many sheep. It has a reputation for natural beauty, easy networking, low-key politicians who bike to work, and rental prices half those of the San Francisco Bay Area. That makes it an increasingly popular destination not only for those fretting about impending dystopia, but for tech entrepreneurs seeking incubators for nurturing startups.

“It’s become one of the places for people in Silicon Valley, mostly because it’s not like Silicon Valley at all,” said Reggie Luedtke, an American biomedical engineer who’s moving to New Zealand in October for the Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship, a program created to lure tech innovators.

Link to Full Article

Are Small Towns For You?

Hat tip to daytrip for sending in this article, though it somewhat contradicts what I believe – I think you should move somewhere!

Yes, many retirees are looking for a version of Mayberry, the fictional North Carolina town that actor Andy Griffith called home in his 1960s TV show. But even the best Mayberrys, like most communities, have drawbacks.

So, before you pull up stakes, here are some cautionary tales about small towns that retirees have shared with us through the years:

• “I’m here! Hello?” The ideal town is easy enough to envision: a cozy, safe and picturesque spot with—perhaps most essential—a sense of community. It’s important, though, to be realistic about your chances of fitting in with your new surroundings. While you certainly could become part of the inner circle, many transplants find themselves instead joining the ranks of other retirees in the area.

Consider, for instance, this bumper sticker seen in Florida: “We don’t care how you did it up North.” You get the idea.

• Character traits. Along these same lines, and at the risk of overgeneralizing, retirees who relocate often are more assertive, more aggressive and more likely to have been managers or decision makers than those who stay put. (After all, starting a new life in a distant locale isn’t for the faint of heart.) But a strong personality that might have been a big help in the business world might not work as well in an unhurried environment.

In short, ask yourself if the temperament of a possible retirement destination—and, in particular, a small town—is comparable to your own. “I think new arrivals are more concerned about immediate productivity and less patient than those who have been retired 10 or 20 years,” Ms. Carlson says.

• Small—but for how long? Unfortunately, the chances of any small, attractive community staying that way are increasingly slim, as word about such places gets around much faster than before. (Indeed, Ms. Carlson asked us not to identify her new home.) If you do find your Mayberry, the best place to settle—even if you find yourself paying a premium—could be in a historic district, where future development likely will be kept to a minimum.

• Health care. Here’s what Ms. Carlson told us about relocating to a small town: “We were assured, primarily by our real-estate agent, that medical care was excellent. What we weren’t told was that there was a yearlong waiting list for an appointment with most internists. We discovered that there’s an unfavorable ratio of physicians to residents because many younger doctors aren’t interested in an area with limited opportunities for working spouses and a small school system.”

In hindsight, she says, she would have done more digging about health care, as well as asking about emergency care. “Had we asked some questions at the visitor center, instead of just picking up maps and using the restrooms, we might have received more-accurate information,” she says.

“Once we arrived and discovered how hard it is to get into a [medical] practice, I asked at the local fire district: ‘What happens if I have to call the medics?’ I was told that patients with heart problems who must be hospitalized are sent two counties over from us, and that other problems requiring hospital care mean a trip 15 or 20 miles west of here.”

• Transportation. Again, some digging is needed here. A small town is likely to have fewer public-transportation options than a larger community. And remember: You could be living in your new home for a long time. With all that in mind, what happens if you’re forced to cut back, or eliminate, your time behind the wheel? Do volunteer organizations or local government agencies offer transportation programs for older adults?

Says Ms. Carlson of her new town: “Our county has some door-to-door bus service for the disabled, but there appear to be long waits to be returned home. A carwash/gas station operates a single cab. There’s no Uber and no car-sharing rentals.”

And be aware, she adds, “that many small businesses—I’m thinking, in this case, about our local dairy that sells composted manure for gardens and yards—don’t deliver, and may not be able to refer you to delivery services.”

Link to Article

Sierra Vista, AZ

Reader AI mentioned Patagonia and Sonoita in southern Arizona as two good places to consider, but both are really small – about 1,000 people each. Because most of this audience is made up of city-slickers, I picked a bigger town to feature as an introduction to southern Arizona.

Described by “Where To Retire” magazine as a “four-season Arizona gem”, Sierra Vista is the ideal retirement location. With a year-round temperate climate, low cost of living, affordable housing, and spectacular natural beauty, Sierra Vista has it all. To find out how you can come and sample our beautiful community for $199 for 2 people over 3 days, visit

Here’s what $325,000 will buy you – 2,670sf built in 2002 on 1/4-acre:

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