Why American baby boomers are retiring in Latin America

Christian Science Monitor

After 20 years in the US military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy’s request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently.

“After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by everything I saw,” says the ex-marine, who has lived in 35 countries. He spent the next four months selling two homes, three vehicles, two motorcycles, and one airplane. He put the money aside and decided to retire early.

Now he lives in a posh section of the mountain city of 3.8 million, surrounded by lush vistas. He married a Colombian woman, started a coffee export business, and seems to get goose bumps every time he thinks about his new life. “I tell you honestly I have had more fun here in the past four years than in the previous 50,” he says.

Mr. Cummiskey’s story is being repeated thousands of times – minus perhaps the sale of a personal plane – as more and more Americans retire to countries all over Latin America. Lured by sun-dappled landscapes and cheap living costs, they are settling in culturally vibrant towns in central Mexico, beach communities in Costa Rica, high-rise enclaves in Panama, and mountain retreats in Nicaragua.

Even Medellín, once the drug and murder capital of the world, has transformed itself into something of an urban showcase, attracting baby boomers to a place where cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar used to carry out his ruthless craft.

Read More

Recent Posts