Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Thoughts on Places to Retire

I have been thinking a lot these past couple of days about living here and if I should maybe try to find another place. My biggest concern is the health care situation. Now I see the handwriting on the wall about IMSS. It isn't a viable option. I either have to move to where I can get national medical insurance,  pay for expensive private medical insurance or resign myself to paying all my medical bills out of pocket. Every place I have researched has major things that I don't like. Further south, into S. American countries, the weather gets bad. I have friends in Granada, Nicaragua. I looked up the weather. Eight months of rain. I couldn't handle that. 

The question is this: How close to perfection does a place have to be in order to be happy? How much of happiness is based on the external environment and how much is an internal affair?  I was thinking of adding up all the good things about living here. Number one is the beautiful weather. Then comes a long list of other advantages. If I were to put the pros on one side of a piece of paper and put the cons on the other side, I would have probably 20 pros and 3 cons.... That is pretty good. I doubt if I will manage to get anywhere near that distribution in any other place in the world. If health care is my main concern then maybe I should shell out the money for private insurance in case of major medical problems. My friends have a policy like that. It costs 1200 dollars a year plus a percentage of the hospitalizations. I don't think it covers normal doctor bills. When I find out more about it, I will put it on my blog. I know I am not the only person considering this problem. 

Back to the original question. How much of one's happiness is dependent upon the environment and how much is based on things within each person?  Since there is no such thing as paradise here on earth, how long do we search for our ideal place?  What things are essential in order to be happy? That is a personal issue too.  We all have to sift through our needs and our wants. We may want certain things in our lives but we can do without them if the basic needs are met. We could wander around the world and never be happy if our internal lives are not fulfilling.  I guess it is a balance between looking inward and looking outward to the environment. I wonder if it is easier to move to a new place or change a bad habit? What is happiness anyway? Most of the time I am contented. Maybe that is enough.


  1. it sounds to me like where you live is just right for you. i do think that happiness is an inside job though. some factors may affect us, like you said 8 months of rain would not be for you. we moved to the nw 20+ years ago and we have about that much rain but i am a very happy person. however, a lot of people don't like the rain or get depressed, so it's not worth living in a place that gets you down if you can afford to live elsewhere.

    what a precious little boy in your previous post!

    teresa in lake stevens

  2. Hi Teresa, Good to hear from you again. My son and daughter-in-law love the Portland area but it has too much rain for me. I think I suffer from SAD. You are right. This place for me is about close to perfect. I should just think of other places as vacations from my vacation. Thanks again. Patricia

  3. The weather in San Jose,Costa Rica is just as nice or better than Lakeside. Yes it rains for 8 months a year but usually just for an hour around 3PM. Any resident can and indeed must sign up for health insurance. The public health care service(equivalent of IMSS)cost is about $45 a month for a couple. This fee gives you access to their fine health care system without regard to age or preexisting conditions. The link below will give all the info you need.

  4. Hi Gil, Thank you for writing and for that interesting information. That 8 months of rain a year is what put me off from going further south. But if it were only one hour a day, that would be okay. Good to know about the health care system. I will check it out. Patricia

  5. Seems to me you live in just the right area, beauty and good weather. I have lived in Santa Cruz Ca, Eugene Or and Maui most of my life and now for now i am in Fl with my 91 year old Mom. I wonder where I will end up after she is gone? For me my faith is important and would want to be around some place with like minded folks. I know without it I would be not in a good place anywhere Ii lived. Glad your ankel has healed. I have had TKR on both knees and know what it's like to be in a chair! Thanks for your blog! Susie H.

  6. Hi Susie, Thank you for writing. I raised my son in Santa Cruz Ca. And now he lives in Portland, Or. I have never been to Maui. Well, my ankle is healing but not healed yet. It is a long slow process. I am glad you are reading my blog. Maybe I will see you here one day? Patricia