maryellen1952 is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

We went to Mexico to get ahead. We smuggled cheese to get back.

Everything in life has a price and a sacrifice. I have lived as a single 60-something female in Mexico (Tijuana and Rosarito) for the past 2 years and I definitely have more $$ in my pocket than when living in the U.S. (I have never lived in the San Diego area due to low paying jobs and high rent). I don't have Sentri and I have adjusted my mental state to accept the fact that it might take me 3 hours to cross at times. Because the San Diego area continues to have continuing low employment opportunities my job prospects have actually been worse this year 2012 than the past 4 years. Due to the fact that I am paying only $300/month for rent at a Rosarito beachfront property apartment, I have been able to survive on the occasional temporary job; I would not be able to survive anywhere in the U.S. much less San Diego. I have 3 small dogs in my apartment without paying a pet deposit and dogs can walk on any beach here in Mexico; that would never happen in the U.S. I feel I have more freedom here in Mexico without the excessive rules and regulations and laws that plague the U.S. And we don't know everything about this couple's lifestyle in terms of how much they spend on things other than rent. Most Americans I know who have adjusted to life here don't attempt to maintain their American lifestyle here in Mexico and shop at Mexican stores rather than stores such as Walmart (which is expensive in terms of Mexican prices). And the younger Americans seem to have the most difficult in adjusting compared with those age 50+ perhaps because they are too impatient. Also the border area has always been the most expensive part of Mexico to live due to proximity. Once I start Social Security in a year I definitely am moving on the Mexican mainland where it is cheaper and not so Americanized. All the retired Americans have caused the Baja peninsula to be more expensive and for me Baja is comparable to Florida in terms of the elderly population.
— December 20, 2012 6:18 p.m.

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