Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It doesn't seem real. Retirement seemed so abstract through the years...something "old people" did. And yet...
Those of you who read this regularly may have noticed I don't use this blog to air my deep personal thoughts or musings. No one would care to read them, nor should they. Instead, falling back on my years as a news reporter, I try to convey the experience of day-to-day living here in the Yucatan, throwing in some humor to spice it up a little bit.
That said, I do want to share some things on a personal note today. The other day one of my co-workers remarked on my retirement and told me I was "lucky". "Not so fast", I thought and informed him that putting in 44 years of labor did not constitute "luck".
But further reflection caused me to concur that there has been some luck involved in me being here. First of all, I've lived long enough. I have friends who didn't, due to war, accident or illness, so even though the odds are stacked against all of us, here I am.
Secondly, I would not have made it to this wonderful life-style had I not met my partner Indra. She and I shared this dream together and without her, it would have remained just a dream for me.

Now. I have been asked many times in the past few weeks just what it is I plan to do with myself. We've all seen the stories about those poor souls who retire only to find their lives meaningless without their workaday routine. That is not me. What do I plan to do? Well, you're looking at one of the big ones. I will be spending more time submitting articles to this blog and for that, I need your help.
Do me a favor: down at the bottom of this, click on "Comments". Then, please, let me know what kind of stories you'd like to see. Day-to-day living? Navigating the beauracracy? Mayan ruins? Let me know. And further, let me know where you are. I'm always curious who reads this thing and were you are living. Are you planning a vacation here? Are you planning a permanent move here?
And finally (and this goes under the heading of Long Term Plans), let me know if you think a book detaling retiring in the Yucatan specifically, would be useful.
That's your assignment, friends.

More later,


Margie Moss said...

I like to read the day to day life and the trips you take. I also like to keep up with your animals and the ones who wander into your yard from time to time. :-)
I think that a book about living in the Yucatan is right up your alley and would be one that I would enjoy reading just as much as I enjoy reading your blog.
Congrats on the retirement!!
Can't wait to read more. :-)

your friend always
Margie from the beautiful state of Washington

On Mexican Time said...


Absolutely would a book on Yucatan living be useful! I know many ppl who are always considering the "move", and are always looking for more resources!!

Furthermore, when it comes to blogging - I like the day to day stuff! Life is different here in Cancun, than in other places such as Merida. Not as much culture, etc... So I personally LOVE photos, and stories of what's going on in other parts of the country!!

Felicidades on making it "this far"!!!

Lauren in Cancun

popsbeal said...

Hey Larry,

I didn't know you had a history in news reporting. It's obvious to me now in the way that you write such interesting articles. I love reading your posts. I like the "human interest" items about the local people in the area where you live. Things like the demolition crew you hired that showed up with a pickup truck & sledge hammers. Also, "The Great Coconut Harvest" and the article about the Yucalpeten Marina. The local celebrations and history of the area. Those types of stories are cool to read about. I'd like to know more about local arts & crafts & traditions handed down through the generations. I think your book is a great idea. Looking forward to hearing more from "Larry, reporting live from Yucatan for the Baker News Network." Your amigo, Mike Beal

SHARON said...

Larry, I'm in South Florida waiting impatiently for my Merida purchase to close. And, of course, making the mental and physical 'to-do' lists prior to moving and renovating. What I think would be useful, as well as entertaining, is relating people's experiences where what they found was NOT what they expected. Yours and others'. Whether positive or negative. It could help align people's expectations more closely with reality. And put your reporting skills to good use in interviews.

Congratulations on reaching the Big R!

Sharon in South Florida

ADO said...

I enjoy occasionally popping over to your blog, and discovering a new article.

I appreciate that you have no agenda, just tell us life in Merida is it is.

What you write has to first of all be about something of interest to you. But thanks for being open to suggestions.

I'd like to see material on village life in Yucatan, as well as what, if anything, makes each of the colonias somehwat distinctive. whether for its architecture, a rare spark of civic pride, some greenery, a special school...

Thanks for your writings. I'm 1-2 years away from retiring, and work is progressing on the foundation to our future Merida home, which will be built cement block by cement block as we have funds!

Anonymous said...


I like to hear about the little places and day-to-day pecularities that run across your experience. I'm not sure about the book, tho. if you write about Merida, you'll sound so much different than if you were in Progreso (or out in San Crisanto, where we're at part of the year)

But we;re mostly up in Michigan, so for the next 5 years we'll just live vicariously through you.

Keep up the writing, it's great stuff.

Henry and Erika

Joanne said...

Since we live in Progreso too, I like things like the story on the coconut "harvest" and the photo of the melting candles. I think a mix of facts and your observations about your life are interesting.

And when did you retire? Yesterday?

Anonymous said...

I will really like to read your day to day experiences in Yucatan,
My husband and I will be moving there in the near future, I am
from Mexico but have lived in the
US most of my life, California
Hawaii Florida and now we live in
Texas, can not wait to be in Yucatan. thank you for your wonderful writing

norm said...

I like the ruins, the back water places we pass getting about in Yucatan, building, local geology, anything with history, Maya art-old and new, strange customs,laws and rules, boats, and the coast between Celestun and Campeche. The Isla Jaina is on my list of places in Maya Land that I want to visit. The art from Jaina is worthy of a book. The Western coast of Yucatan looks like a remote unspoiled place to fish, what are the rules and how tos for camping and fishing? I like what you write about now.
I retired from a steel mill here in Ohio this past spring.

Nancy said...

We live in Mazatlán, and enjoy reading blogs from people living elsewhere in México. I like mostly everyday experience kind of blogs but of course if you visited a ruin or something like that I would love to hear about it.

When we moved to Mazatlán we bought "Mazatlán is Paradise" by Charles Hall. It was invaluable at the beginning, perhaps something like that would be useful for Mérida. It might be helpful to check out books like this to see what others have done.

Keep it up, I enjoy reading your blog!

Susan said...

I think a book about retiring to the Yucatan would be useful. I know Bruce (setfreemexico) just wrote a book about Merida. So it seems a book encompassing Yucatan beach life and its many surrounding diversions would be good, too. Or, you could just keep on blogging (which I really enjoy), and end up with enough material for a book in a few years! As for what I like to read, I like your insight on the bureaucracy of living in MX, but your random observations of day to day being are some of my favorites.

PYR, we live in Houston and we are planning a vacation in Sept. with a permanent move to Merida in about 5 years.

Ron said...

I would like to hear more thoughts on the process of moving to the Yucatan and the transition from working to retiring to moving - the day to day stuff and the reflection on your experiences.

Thanks for asking

We'll join you in a couple of years

rummy said...

If only to add another banana onto the scales - I echo the main points of: daily living / trips / food / impressions.... I especially like detailed blogs on buying / constructing / decorating / furnishing your Meridian home. The wordier the better, with pictures - bestest. I'd like to be there one day myself.... from southern Ontario, Rummy.

Larry said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments. My retirement date was June 30. First Social Security deposit goes into my Mexican bank account next week. Then it will feel official. That monthly payment will offer a comfortable living here. Back in the States it would have meant "keep working".

Jay and Marie said...

Hi Larry,
We enjoy your blog and like to read everything you write, like the pictures too, any and all information is appreciated and needed to us.
We are retiring in Merida early next month, will rent at first until we decide between Merida or Progreso to buy our home and settle down.
We are CubanAmericans and for the last 4 yrs, living in the Dominican Rep., would love to meet you and Indra when we get there (with our 2 dogs). :)
Keep up the good work! See you soon,

Jay and Marie

Larry said...

Jay and Marie,
Make sure to let me know when you get here so we can get together.

Anonymous said...

Again I am sitting at my desk and have taken a few minutes to research the Yucatan - just don't tell my boss.

We purchased a home in Santa Clara last year and I am always trying to learn more. We really enjoy the time we have spent in Mexico. Yes I would buy your book. Some facts I have researched in the past and some things I have still not figured out.

Past things I would like to have known before the experience:
how long does it take to actually receive title
how to pay for your home(do not bring a bank draft)
how to locate insurange agents
difference in insurance costs on beachfront and off the beach
where to buy furniture custom made and store ready

Things I am still trying to find out
how to arrange for internet in beach communities and what kind of cost and I looking at
how to arrange for TV cable
buying a car and arranging insurance
arranging an FM2 or FM3, which one do I need, should I start arrangement in Canada and complete in Mexico or should I start and end application in Mexico
cell phones - what are the differences between the different providers
banking - how to open an account, wiring funds etc
we normally purchase local beef etc - do I need to worry about parasites?
How to look after a home in a humid climate (remember I live in Canada)
looking after banana trees, coconut trees

We plan on building a pool and wall soon and we will need to find out about permits, arranging labour, surveying our property etc etc.

I actually could go on and on with questions. It is difficult to find answers on the internet. I really enjoy and appreciate your articles and that of Yucatan Living.

Write your book as if you were arriving in Mexico from the frozen north with no knowledge about the culture, climate or finances.

Best wishes and I hope this project goes well.

Donna Grobell
future Santa Clara resident

David said...

Did not see this until 7 Dec 2009. Yes, a book specifically on retirement living in the Yucatan would be great. Those of us trying to glean information from outside Yucatan have a devil of a time.

Thanks for writing,


Anonymous said...

My wife and I are planning on a ten day vacation in the beginning of February 2010 to the Yucatan. We will be staying in Chelem and taking little trips to the usual places.
This is not just a vacation but a first hand look at the area for retirement. I am presently retired and my wife will be in about seven years.
Your articles are of interest to us as we have been corresponding with other expats down there.
Our objective is to find a dwelling that is not in shambles but could use some TLC.
The other possibility is building a small custom home on a lot. I am extremely handy and can build a house from scratch if needed.
The question I pose to you is due you have any experience in the local building codes.
I have been looking into the earthship concept but don’t know what the local authorities might say to such a concept.
Thank you
George from Cleveland, Ohio

Larry said...

The key to refurb and new building is to get a good architect. They can inspect buildings and offer an opinion as to whether or not they are worth the cost and effort as opposed to a new structure. Also, once hired, they make all the building permit arrangements. As to DIY construction, some do it, but make sure you know Spanish because the workers don't know English as a rule.