On Thursday, The Huffington Post has a great article about what to do if you are in love with Mexico and planning on retiring here, but your wife (or husband) does not. Here’s an excerpt with the main points of advice:
1. Involve them in the planning.
This is a big decision. And it deserves careful thought and planning by all involved. Talk, talk and talk some more about it. Make sure you’re both as informed as possible and involved in the decisions about where to move, how to live, and so on. Spend time together and separately, perusing online forums and other resources. If your motivation is economic, make sure you both understand what’s going on with your financial situation.
2. Compromise with a “no strings attached” test drive.
Nothing is scarier than cutting the ties completely. If your partner is reluctant to do that, consider giving the new life a test drive. Before you sell your house or buy that one-way ticket, rent an apartment in the new locale for three months or more.
3. Don’t sugarcoat the challenges.
Discuss the difficulties you’ll face along the way, and work together on solutions. For instance, you may want to take some foreign language classes before your move. Try out voice- and video-over-internet (VOIP) technologies so you can easily stay in touch with family and friends. If you’re retiring, do some budget planning. There will still be unexpected challenges, but by working together, problem-solving can be part of the fun.
4. Help ease the transition.
Once you’ve moved, take an active approach to learning as much about your new community as you can. Be sure your partner has an opportunity to meet other expats and locals with similar interests. These days, you can do this in advance of your move through online blogs, forums, and websites. And keep busy — this is the perfect opportunity for you both to try something new. Fortunately, in most expat communities, you’ll find your new social life is more active — and more enjoyable — than ever.
5. Remember that attitude is everything. When challenges do arise, maintain your sense of humor and look on the bright side: this experience will likely strengthen your relationship. (And it will give you great stories to tell later.) So support one another and make a point to have as much fun as possible on this adventure.
The writer than goes on to address the question; after all that, what happens if he/she doesn’t fall “in love with Mexico? Well, don’t think of your move as a one-way ride or as the last move you’ll ever make — if it doesn’t work out, you can always move on or even go back home.”
I would just add that you can always do the snowbird plan (winters here – summers there) or move back and forth. You’re retired after all!
-by Thomas Lloyd