Lifestyles

October 8, 2011

Retirement in the Rio Grande Valley

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Written by: Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
Retirees of the Rio Grande Valley

 

The Rio Grande Valley is a very popular destination for retirees. Our weather and the friendly people are among the top reasons people relocate here to retire. Harlingen, Texas, was recently ranked as having the lowest cost of living in the nation. This ranking really applies to the entire Valley since cost differences between valley cities are minimal.

Two cities in the RGV have also been officially certified by the State of Texas as retirement communities; Harlingen and South Padre Island. Personally, I dislike the term retiree or retirement because I believe it is a time for active seniors to begin a new life, to relax, exercise and enjoy all the activities that were placed on hold while on the work force.

In the Valley there are plenty of opportunities to pursue and continue an education, to develop skills, to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, bicycling, tennis, bird watching, photography and so much more. We often see active seniors cruising on their Harleys, others driving around in a convertible or having a great time in neighboring Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.

Yes, Nuevo Progreso is tourism friendly and a safe place to visit while living in the Valley. Some retirees visit with a doctor or a dentist and buy prescription medication at very affordable prices.

There are retirees who relocate permanently and there are those who spend only the winter months in the valley; we call these retirees Winter Texans.  The Valley is a very diverse place therefore opinions vary when it comes to our Winter Texans. Some see the economic impact they bring to the area, others don’t believe they have any impact on our economy. Some consider them as people who are always looking for a bargain or as people looking for a “free” everything. Lots of Valley people dislike the way they drive, a funny thing because in a recent local survey, winter Texans mentioned how bad Valley drivers are when asked about the worst things in the RGV.   Regardless of personal opinions, the fact  is that over 200,000 Winter Texans visit the Valley each year and they do impact our economy.

Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting retirees who relocated and now live here permanently and those who visit during the winter,  all I can say is that the contributions they bring to our communities are very valuable and too numerous to mention in this article.  Volunteering is what they do best and volunteers are always needed everywhere, therefore I will continue to enjoy life with my active retired friends and I look forward to visiting with my Winter Texan friends soon.

 

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About the Author

Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts,nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most important, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .




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