Published On: Fri, Nov 3rd, 2017

Expats in Mexico– Expectations, Worries, and How It All Turned Out

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In a SMT Exclusive Interview, the Publishers of the Research Study ‘Expats in Mexico—Expectations, Worries, and How It All Turned Out’ Share Some of Their More Surprising Findings

SMT: We’re very excited to be talking today with Chuck Bolotin, of Best Places in the World to Retire, about the groundbreaking research study they just published and co-sponsored by The Yucatan Times, “Expats in Mexico—Expectations, Worries, and How it All Turned Out.” Our first question, Chuck, is, quite simply, why did Best Places in the World to Retire do the study?

Chuck Bolotin: Best Places in the World to Retire presents balanced, credible information to people doing research about moving to Mexico. We already have more than a thousand answers provided by expats to the most often asked questions about moving to Mexico, and more than 50 stories about expat life in Mexico, but we wanted an additional perspective to present to our visitors. We looked for a comprehensive study about expat life in Mexico to give to them, but we couldn’t find one. That’s when we decided to do our own.

SMT: Doing a research study in a scientific, non-biased way that at the same time asks the questions that can present usable information to those reading the study is not easy. Tell us about your methodology.

Bolotin: First off, I should mention that this isn’t the first study we’ve done. We did three studies over the last two years on expats in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua, so we put a lot of what we learned previously to use in order to do the Mexico expats study. We interviewed more than 1,100 expats currently living in Mexico, with a resulting margin of error of + / – 2.9%.

Expats in Mexico-- Expectations, Worries, and How It All Turned Out 051017-a


SMT: What topics does the study cover?

Bolotin: We will eventually release four studies in total. The one we just released asks questions to expats such as “Why did you move; what were you hoping to accomplish?” and, “Did you find what you were looking for?” We then compared the results of “why they did it” with “what they found” in order to draw some conclusions about the expats’ level of success that could be used by others who were thinking about doing the same types of things. The results were fascinating. We consider our study to be a “must read” for anyone considering moving to Mexico.

SMT: You also asked what the expats were most afraid of and if their fears came true, right?

Bolotin: Yes; that was the second set of questions. There is so much information, misinformation and unfounded opinion out there about what expats in Mexico should be scared of that we decided to ask the people who genuinely had the firsthand experience to know— those who were actually living in Mexico. Who better to ask, right? Like the first set of questions, first we asked what they were afraid of, and then we asked if their fears came true.

SMT: Did their fears come true?

Bolotin: For the most part, no. The study discusses this in pretty good detail.

SMT: You also asked the study participants fairly broad-based questions such as if they enjoyed their life in Mexico compared to where they came from, if they were more or less stressed, if they were generally happy with their life in Mexico, etc.

Bolotin: Right. We asked these types of questions for two reasons. The first was to provide more context to the reader, so the reader could get a general sense of how things turned out for the expats. The second reason is to correlate back to the other answers to see if, taken together, any of the answers weren’t consistent with the other ones, which would cause us to question the validity of some of the other answers.

SMT: Were the answers the expats gave consistent?

Bolotin: Yes, very much so. Then we asked what we believe to be the ultimate question: “If you could do it all over again, would you move to Mexico?”

SMT: What were some of the study’s more interesting findings?

Bolotin: We broke out the answers as per which country the expats came from, where in Mexico they moved to, their age, men vs. women, etc. This way, the reader could see if they might be happier, for example, in Yucatan as opposed to Puerto Vallarta, or if Americans reacted differently than Canadians. A good amount of the results ran counter to what we expected.

SMT: Can you give us some examples of which results ran counter?

Bolotin: Sure. Here are some of the high-level ones: The number one and two reasons for moving to Mexico were not a surprise: a lower cost of living and better weather. However, the third reason—to “lead a simpler, less stressful life”, is not something a lot of people would have guessed. We also uncover if the expats in Mexico were able to find that simpler, less stressful life.

In many situations, women were less afraid of what they would find in Mexico than were men, which surprised pretty much everyone.

The biggest surprise our respondents reported for themselves had to do with the quality of healthcare they experienced in Mexico.

SMT: Tell us about the follow-on studies.

Bolotin: Our next Mexico study will center around cost of living, then the one after that will be on healthcare, and the final one will provide our respondents answers to questions based on inter-personal relationships and personal freedom.

SMT: How can our readers get a copy of “Expats in Mexico—Expectations, Worries and How It All Turned Out”?

Bolotin: Just go to https://bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com/download-free-ebooks It’s completely free.

SMT: Thank you, Chuck. We look forward to your company’s next studies.

 

Interview by Alejandro Azcárate for San Miguel Times

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