LATINO VOICES
12/02/2013 09:51 am ET

Why U.S. Baby Boomers Are Retiring In Latin America

Real estate listings have proliferated in Ajijic, Mexico, a retirement haven for foreigners, amid a spike in violent crime. (
Real estate listings have proliferated in Ajijic, Mexico, a retirement haven for foreigners, amid a spike in violent crime. (Tim Johnson/MCT via Getty Images)

After 20 years in the US military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy's request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently.

"After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by everything I saw," says the ex-marine, who has lived in 35 countries. He spent the next four months selling two homes, three vehicles, two motorcycles, and one airplane. He put the money aside and decided to retire early.

Now he lives in a posh section of the mountain city of 3.8 million, surrounded by lush vistas. He married a Colombian woman, started a coffee export business, and seems to get goose bumps every time he thinks about his new life. "I tell you honestly I have had more fun here in the past four years than in the previous 50," he says.

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