Life is good in Puerto Vallarta

I’m living a charmed life. When my last column came out on Nov. 30 I was on a plane to Puerto Vallarta ($435 round trip with direct 2.5 hour flights). I now sit on my bed in my little oasis writing this column.A week from when this column comes out we will hit the dreaded Mayan 12/21/12. I don’t see any evidence of anyone expecting a change in their lives. Quietly and beyond our immediate understanding things will be going on spiritually, but that’s for another forum at another time.

My oasis. I love it here. People always ask if I love to fish because of the great fishing down here. I just say no. I went instead to Steve’s Bar on Sunday and laid out the game to another Charger fan who was there with me watching the carnage. But when the game was over and the Chargers lost another one, we both just looked around at all the other Americans watching their beloved teams, looked at each other and smiled.

At home I would be looking for the antacid. Life is good even when the Chargers lose. Let’s all root for San Diego State in the Holiday or Poinsettia Bowl. The Aztecs had a heck of a team this year and their coach, Rocky Long, is outstanding. He should be coaching the Chargers.

The first day I arrive here I ask myself, “What am I doing here?” By the second day there is a peace that just starts enveloping me. I have my work materials, which are a phone and a computer and I leave an HP printer and scanner in my condo. I am still well connected and for the most part, people don’t even know I’m physically not in Encinitas. But I do have to say it is definitely harder to stay focused on work. Every day this week has had low 70-degree nights with daily highs in the low to mid 80s with a wisp of breeze.

Because there are no bugs here, I keep my double sliders open all day and night. Sleeping to the sound of rushing tidewater against the small jetties is so soothing. It is nature’s Feng Shui and sleep aid.

Even though I live in the Hotel Zone, my humble condo is still ownership despite my feeling like I’m living in a resort. There are a ton of time share resorts that make my place look like a typical Holiday Inn, but I’m not into time shares and where I live is just fine.

I meet people here every time I come down. Two doors down are visitors from San Diego. He is a head coach at a local school in the East County of San Diego and he says the seven-day stay is just too short.

Mid-way through the week the thoughts of the usual grind start preparing the mind and body for return to normalcy. I personally found a way to get debt free and then figured out a way to live nearly free. With the rental income I get from renting my condo on VRBO, I get anywhere from seven to nine months of free living here after expenses.

I boast as I do not out of boasting but out of encouragement to other Baby Boomers. You’d have to know me. Most would think I’d have to be grinding the ax day after day for the rest of my life.

Now especially, with the new taxes we’re all getting hit with both in state and federal taxes, gas and food going up, rental rates rising rapidly, underwater mortgages and a general sense of being stuck is good reason to reassess what you’re doing. That’s what I did and I have a forum to express and encourage it.

The grocery stores down here including Wal-Mart and Costco are pretty much the same at home in size and variety of food. I like buying the little ready-made ham sandwiches for 8 pesos. The exchange rate is about 12 to 13 pesos for a dollar.

I bought three nice avocados for 10 pesos and the bananas are close to free. I had to fill my car with gas and I like to use premium. The car just runs better. The cost was about $2.50 a gallon. Because my little 2003 A-190 Mercedes, which cost me $7,500 used, gets about 35 miles to the gallon, cost of living is pretty low.

My annual trust fee to have ownership costs $400 American but my property taxes are only $75. That’s correct, $75. The trust runs out in 50 years and for a few pesos you renew it for another 50 years. By then this life will have been long over and heaven will be ready to throw me back for another go at this crazy world we live in while trying to find peace.

And, speaking of peace, I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a safe lead up to the new year, the New Aztec calendar and whatever adventurous turns await you in the coming new year and era.

 

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