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Are you wondering if you can retire in Mexico? Has the idea of retiring south of the border been planted in your head?! Is it safe, and can you really do that? You can! In the Americas, foreigners choose Mexico more than any other country in the world for retirement. For many retirees, it is possible to reduce living expenses by half, while not sacrificing the conveniences found back in the USA or Canada. Very likely , you will raise your standard of living. This is true for most areas in Mexico.
In 1519, the native civilizations of Mexico were invaded by Spain, and two years later in 1521, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was conquered by an alliance between Spanish and Taxcatecs (the main enemies of Aztecs) led by the most important of the early Conquistadores, Hernan Cortes. Because of constant rebellions, attacks, and continued resistance against the Spanish, it would take another two centuries, after the Siege of Tenochtitan, before the Conquest of Mexico was completed. The colonial period, when Mexico was known as "Nueva Espania" or "New Spain", lasted to 1810,
In 1807, Spain was occupied by Napoleon and became powerless to control its overseas possessions. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Spanish Catholic priest with progressive ideas, supported by Spaniards who wanted to reinstate the Bourbon King in Spain, declared, in 1810 in the town of Dolores, Mexico independent from Spain. This act started a 11 year war, that ultimately led to the official recognition of independence from Spain in 1821, when the liberating army entered Mexico City. The Treaty of Cordoba recognized Mexican Independence.
Following Mexican independence, many Spanish possessions in Central America, which also proclaimed their independence were incorporated into Mexico from 1822 to 1823. The exception were Chiapas and some other Central American states.
In an attempt to populate "empty fringe areas" the Mexican government awarded extensive land grants in remote areas such as the northernmost state of Coahuila y Tejas (Texas) to thousands of immigrant families from the United States, on the condition that the settlers convert to Catholicism, did not keep any slaves and assumed Mexican citizenship.
Because of personal ambitions of various Generals, the First Republic was quite unstable, until Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna took office in 1832. His abolition of the federal constitution, caused insurgencies in Yucatan and Coahuila y Tejas (Texas). Both areas sought independence from the Mexican government. Santa Anna's army eventually brought Yucatan to recognize Mexican sovereignty, Texas, led by relatively recently-arrived English-speaking settlers, declared independence from Mexico, with the Texan militias defeating the Mexican army and winning independence in 1836.
After accepting Texas's application for statehood in 1846, the US government sent troops to Texas in order to secure the territory, ignoring Mexican demands for US withdrawal. Mexico, despite having ignored Texas for ten years, saw this as a US intervention in internal affairs by supporting a "rebel" province.This led to the Mexican-American War (1846-48) during which Santa Anna was in and out of power. It ended in Mexico's defeat and the acquisition, partially through purchase, by the USA of vast territories north of the Rio Grande.
New Constitutions in 1856 and 1867 did little to establish stability and the constant confrontations between liberals and conservatives, the latter supported by a wealthy Catholic Church, continued. A short and bizarre intervention by the French and Napoleon III led to the Second Empire (1864-1867). But the Austrian born Habsburg Emperor Maximilian wanted to institute a liberal democratic Monarchy. This was opposed by the conservatives who abandoned him and he was ultimately executed.
Porfirio DÃaz, a conservative General came to power in in 1876. This brought relative stability for a period of more than thirty years (18761911). Massive voter fraud on Diaz's re-election led to his resignation and the Mexican Revolution. The Federal Army was defeated by the revolutionary forces which were led by, amongst others, Emiliano Zapata in the South, Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco in the North, and Venustiano Carranza.
While the civil war may have subsided after 1920, armed conflicts did not cease. The conflict continued as a battle between forces favoring a secular society with separation of Church and State and those favoring supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church and social conservatives. This developed into an armed uprising by conservative supporters of the Church that came to be called "la Guerra Cristera." It is estimated that between 1910 and 1921 the country lost about 900,000 people in this struggle.
The constant struggle and changes of Presidents led to a deterioration of the economic conditions and in 1929, the National Mexican Party (PNM) was formed by the serving president, General Plutarco ElÃas Calles. The party later became the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) that ruled the country for the rest of the 20th century.) The PNM succeeded in convincing most of the remaining revolutionary generals to dissolve their personal armies to create the Mexican Army. Its foundation is considered by many to have been the real end of the Mexican Revolution.
After it was founded in 1929, the PRI monopolized all the political branches.The party is typically referred to as the three-legged stool, in reference to Mexican workers, peasants and bureaucrats. Its power base continued until the year 2000. The PRI brought stability to the country, but its long reign also brought endemic corruption.
The PRI did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989. It wasn't until July 2, 2000, that Vicente Fox of the opposition "Alliance for Change" coalition, headed by the National Action Party (PAN), was elected president. His victory ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 71-year hold on the presidency, though it did not end the PRI's significant hold on power in the legislative branch and the bureaucracy.
Before you decide to move to Mexico it is advisable to spend as much time as possible getting to know the area, where you want to settle and which you intend to call home. Try vacationing there, as often as possible, Maybe you want to rent a few months, prior to making a life changing decision. A little preparation can go a long way. You may also want to check with other expatriates in Mexico. You can do so online (though, we were actually disappointed about the general ignorance, even in specialized chat rooms for residents in Mexico). But local clubs and English language newspapers in the area, where you want to settle are a good source about the pros and cons of retiring in Mexico.
Where you decide to live depends, besides personal preferences, on a number of factors. An important one is how immersed you want to be in the Mexican culture. Another is how inexpensive you want your life to be. Areas with a higher concentration of foreigners tend to be more expensive than more remote areas.Though, even in the Lake Chapala area, where there are about 55,000 retired Americans and Canadians, a comfortable lifestyle for two people can be had for about $1,500 a month.
reports suggest that you can live in most of Mexico,
comfortably on about $1000 to $1600 a month. This includes
your cost of housing, food, local transport or gas for
your car, insurance and occasionally dining out.
|Something about the Geography of Mexico|
|As well as numerous neighboring islands, Mexican territory includes the more remote Isla Guadalupe and the Islas Revillagigedo in the Pacific Ocean. Mexico's total area covers 1,972,550 square kilometers, slightly less than three times the size of Texas, including approximately 6,000 square kilometers of islands in the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of California. On its north, Mexico shares a 3,326 kilometer border with the United States. The RÃo Bravo del Norte (known as the Rio Grande in the United States) defines the border from Ciudad JuÃ¡rez east to the Gulf of Mexico.|
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|A series of natural and
artificial markers, soon supplemented by an impregnable
artificial wall delineate the United States-Mexican
border west from Ciudad JuÃ¡rez to the Pacific Ocean.
On its south, Mexico shares a 962 kilometer
border with Guatemala and a 251
kilometer border with Belize.
Mexico has a 10,143 kilometer coastline, of which 7,338 kilometers face the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, and the remaining 2,805 kilometers front the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Mexico's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which extends 200 nautical miles (370 km) off each coast, covers approximately 2.7 billion square kilometers. The landmass of Mexico dramatically narrows as it moves in a southeasterly direction from the United States border and then abruptly curves northward before ending in the 500-kilometer-long YucatÃ¡n Peninsula. The capital of YucatÃ¡n State, MÃ©rida, is farther north than Mexico City or Guadalajara.
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