Retirees say adios to U.S. healthcare system

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Vive el México! That’s what a lot of U.S. retirees are saying these days.

It appears that, increasingly, older Americans are moving to Mexico to live out their later years. To see, the story, click here.

It certainly sounds lovely. Heck, when can I retire? (Unfortunately, I’ve got a ways to go.)

But it’s also sad that Americans think they have to emigrate to enjoy their retirement. If you want a statement about the quality of healthcare in the U.S., this says it all, doesn’t it? People are willing to risk moving to another country—a newly industrialized one at that—to live out their last good years.

There is without a doubt wonderful care available here, but who can afford it? I don’t know which is closer to paradise: The climate and culture of Mexico or the cost of assisted living care there (about one-third that of the U.S.).

And we all know that the concept of the 'golden years’ is largely a myth here at home. For many people it means being stuck in their houses, their children far away, haggling with Medicare, and dealing with a healthcare system that doesn’t know which doctors are treating what.

If that is retirement, I’d gladly leave my country for some sunshine, pleasant surroundings, and a friendly housekeeper to keep me fed.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.