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Dear Emma,
I am retired and on a limited income. I am considering moving out of the country to a more affordable place, one of the options being an ex-pat town in Mexico, or a town in rural Italy. I have done my homework and have visited and chosen these places for cost of living, culture, and medical services. My dilemma is that it feels like it would be isolating. I have a son and grandson nearby but  I don’t see them often (enough).  I have many friends here, but when I travel I don’t seem to have a problem meeting people. How do I make the decision whether or not to move?

– Ex-Pat Wannabe

Dear Ex-Pat Wannabe,

Well, there might be a lot of people thinking of leaving the country after November. Seriously, it sounds like you might be feeling isolated – and a little abandoned by your family – now; maybe leaving them is an unconscious way to have them feel what you have been feeling?
In any event, Here are some questions to think about: 1) If money weren’t an issue, would you be thinking of moving? (If that’s the case, is there any way to either lower your expenses or pull in extra income?) 2) If neither Mexico nor Italy is screaming “this is the place”, maybe neither of them are right? 3) Have you lived overseas before? Do you speak either of these languages? 
I have a good friend who moved to Mexico to save money, but developed cancer and moved back where she had better medical care and a support system. My own sister and mother are ex-pats and it has been working out well, but they have each other, and they both lived there before and speak the language. Even so, they have sacrificed their relationships with their grandchildren and (for my mother) great-grandchildren. If you’ve considered all of these possibilities and moving feels more like starting a new adventure and a new phase of your life, I’d say “Go for it!” The worst that will happen is that you’ll have some years living in another wonderful culture and you’ll come back, hopefully when American politics have regained some sanity. 

– Emma