Best Places in the World to Retire, the popular website dedicated to providing credible information about living overseas, recently polled over 500 contributors asking “is safety a concern for expats?” to determine how safe areas like Mexico, Belize and Panama (popular destinations for retirees) really are for foreigners living there.
Overall, the response was that while petty crime can be an issue, it isn’t much different than in the United States. They also said that serious crime isn’t nearly as rampant as reported by American news outlets and that overall, they felt safe in their new communities.
The expat contributors divided the subject into two categories: property crimes and/or petty theft and violent crimes. Most expats reported that they felt that rates for property crimes where somewhat higher in Latin American than in the United States, however they felt that violent crimes were overall less likely to occur.
Most expats feel that these petty crimes (stolen smart phones or snatched purses) could generally be avoided with more vigilance and attention to detail, but that their actual safety concerns in Mexico were no more (and often less) than they reported feeling in the USA.
Of course, living in another country will always have its challenges. Adapting to a new culture, learning a new language, and getting used to the way things work outside of Western culture is always a very demanding task – but it’s just as rewarding.
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