Want to Live Longer?

Life! Ah, there’s nothing we’d rather have! If only the condo salesman would have known that extended life was included in the selling price of the condo back in 1984. Thirty five years ago, while visiting Mismaloya, just south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we were approached by a super condo salesman. His pitch was that after making the original deposit, the rental income would virtually pay for the condo. We fell for it and bought the full ownership of two condos, joined them together to make one really nice large condo.

We returned to Puerto Vallarta, known as PV or Vallarta by the locals, a couple times a year for many years while still working in Houston, Texas. We found that the week or ten days during each visit was so relaxing and stress free that one could totally recharge his batteries before returning to the hectic, high stress business life back in the States. After a week or ten days of sleeping like a baby, it was difficult returning to the routine grinding mill with the associated sleepless nights. The pace of life in PV, where everything can be done manana, was like being on another planet when compared to Houston. We always looked forward to the next trip to Vallarta and hated to see it come to an end.

We retired in 1995 and sold the condo in 1997 when we bought a luxurious newly constructed villa on the mountainside overlooking Banderas Bay and El Centro, the downtown area of Vallarta. Oh yes, the condo never did pay for itself! In 1998 we decided to make PV our home during the seven month “high season” of November through May and travel or cruise during the balance of the summer months.

During the 22 years that we’ve resided in PV, we’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of retired North Americans. These successful Americans and Canadians have retired to Vallarta in order to enjoy the many activities such as golf, tennis, fishing, etc. under ideal weather conditions. They are all active in the nightlife where dining is world class and parties are too numerous to count. These retirees range in age from 55 to 90 years old but they all have certain things in common. They are all very active, young at heart, and here to enjoy life to the maximum. For the most part, these retirees have the financial wherewithal to live almost anywhere, have traveled throughout the world, and have found Vallarta to have some of the finest weather anywhere, especially during the “high season” when the average daily temperature is 73°F with 0.6 inch of rain per month, which if it does occur, will do so in the evening. The majority of our friends spend the “high season” in PV and then return to the US or Canada for the summer months.

Now, to relate the interesting part of the story; these retirees never seem to get sick or even catch a cold while spending their winters in Vallarta. Year after year for 22 years, they return for another seven months of fun and games under glorious weather conditions. All too often, they talk about all the health related problems they had during the previous summer and the hospitalization required. Serious problems including heart attacks, angioplasties, by-passes, tumors, hip and knee replacements, etc. as well as less serious problems including pneumonia and all the other health related problems associated with aging. The odd thing is that there are about a half a dozen beautiful, new, modern, high tech hospitals in PV staffed with highly educated, experienced, and qualified English speaking doctors and very rarely do any of our friends ever need these services. We seldom hear complaints of ailments for seven months as these folks just seem to keep on going like Eveready batteries. It’s not until they return home, that bad things seem to happen.

During the 22 years that we’ve lived here, we have had only a couple of friends die here. One was 93 years old and had just returned from a cruise following his summer in Seattle. We have had numerous friends die during the past twenty years, but all the rest of them passed away during the summer while back home in the States or Canada.

We have no idea what happened to that condo salesman, but if our paths cross again, we’d like to thank him for the gift of life. We feel better and some say look younger than we did when we retired to Vallarta 22 years ago. Our personal experience tells us that due to the pace of life in PV, one has no excuse for losing sleep. With plenty of sleep, activity during the day under ideal weather conditions, and optimistic, fun loving friends all around, ailments are seldom seen in Vallarta. In fact, a number of our friends are not just hoping to see tomorrow, but they are hoping to shoot their age on one of the dozen magnificent golf courses or catch a record setting marlin, tuna, or sailfish tomorrow! Although there is no empirical proof supporting our case, we suggest that anyone interested in having fun, feeling better, and living longer, give the Paradise, known as Vallarta, a try for retirement.