Retirees Flock South of the Border for Savings

Nadine Ruskin, an 83-year-old Alzheimer's patient, lives in San Miguel with her daughter. She doesn't have to go to a facility because she receives 24-hour private nursing care at home. It costs $1,000 a month, including weekly visits from a doctor.

But this retirement option needs to be approached with caution. Assisted living is such a new concept in Mexico that it is not yet regulated. For now, the standards of care are set by the development owners. The newly formed Mexican Association of Retirement Communities is working to set industry standards that would be recognized in the United States.

But it's a growth industry. There are 10 assisted-living facilities catering to Americans open or under construction in Mexico and another 10 are being planned.

"Maybe we won't be like Miami or Tucson in five years, but in 10 years, believe me," said Javier Godinez, director of the Mexican Association of Retirement Communities. "More than 4 million people will come to live in Mexico."

Margie and Homer Hill love their life in Mexico. And they know that if they need more help as they get older, all they have to do is move next door.

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