Retirement has happened – and travel/moving plans

Hi everyone,

It is official.  I am retired.  This past Friday was my last day of work.  Yeah, I may do a little time in December/January helping to orient/onboard the two new research analysts that will be hired, but in the meantime we are off for 3.5 weeks in the Yucatan.  Here are our plans in a few areas:

Vacation
Isla Mujeres:  We’ll fly into Cancun with friends and spend a few nights on Isla Mujeres for the initial decompression.  Isla is a nice island about a 30 minute ferry ride from the mainland.  This will be our fourth visit there.  Good beach time, good food and a nice condo on the beach.

Playa del Carmen: From Isla we will go to Playa del Carmen for a few nights.  We have friends who live there and we will enjoy seeing them and other vacationers we know who will be down there then.  Our trip will end up in Playa for a few more nights – to celebrate Kathy’s birthday and spend some beach time there and in Tulum, but first…..

Mérida:  This is the city we will move to, a largish city with a population of around one million people.  Nine nights there to explore some additional neighborhoods, spend a couple of days with my already retired brother and his wife (who are flying down to see the city we have chosen), see folks we know who live there and enjoy some of the cultural happenings that are daily occurances there.  Big band and dancing at Parque Santiago on Tuesday, the Serenata Yucateca at Parque Santa Lucia on Thursday, Noche Mexicana on Saturday (I think it is Saturday, could be Friday, though), and Sunday in Mérida, a weekly event with many food vendors, musical and folkloric events.

Progreso:  This is a city 45 minutes from Mérida on the Gulf Coast.  We have done a couple of day trips there, spent mostly on the beach.  This trip we are going to spend 3 nights there.  It is far closer to Mérida than our beloved Caribbean coast (3.5-4 hours away), and we think we will probably get more of our beach time along that coast than on the Caribbean side of the peninsula.

Moving Plans

When we return to Portland an early stop will be at the Mexican consulate to begin the process of applying for a longer term immigration status.  There are two we will qualify for based on income and assets – Resident Temporal and Residente Permanente  It is possible (likely, perhaps) that we will need to do four years on Temporal status before applying for Permanente status.  We’ll find out.

There is some pre-processing that happens at the consulate in our home country.  We would then have six months to move and 30 days after moving to check in with the local immigration office and basically go through the process again.  We are not sure how long the pre-move consulate part of the process will take, but we anticipate being ready to move by the late January to early February time period.

Moving household goods:  We plan to move a few things – not a lot, but some things.  We are exploring both overland moving and moving our things by sea.  Not too many details on this yet.  We have an initial estimate of the overland cost and have made contact with a shipping line.  In case of by sea, we would ship overland from Portland to Florida and then from there to Progreso on a ship.

Retirement Finances

A lot of folks do not seem to write about this.  It is the type of topic that Grandpa said to keep private.  We will have pensions, Social Security, and income from investments.  SS and pensions will make up about 89% of our monthly income – in about equal portions from each.  Income from investments will start out at about 11% – all from dividends.

I started investing as a hobby in graduate school.  It has grown to be what I consider a part-time job.  I enjoy it, having been a research analyst in higher education for a couple of decades. Those research skills come in handy.

At this time I fall into the subset of investors commonly known as dividend growth investors.  What this means is that I invest in individual companies rather than mutual funds or ETFs.  I focus on companies that pay dividends and that have a habit of increasing those dividends on at least an annual basis.  If any of the companies cut, freeze, or greatly reduce their dividend growth rate, I tend to sell them and replace them with companies that don’t do those things. I will probably write more about this side of my life after getting moved, and may start another blog for that.

The goal is a reliable, growing income from financially strong companies.  The pensions and SS have cost of living increases, though the pensions are capped at either 1.25% or 2% a year.  The dividend growth portfolio should grow its income by 6% or more a year.

That is plenty on finances for now.  We will have an adequate amount to live a good if somewhat modest life in Mexico.  That is how we have lived when we were working and are comfortable with that.  We are going to require a swimming pool, though 🙂