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Man breaks down how living in an all-inclusive resort is cheaper than his average apartment

"I just might find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT."

Representative Image from Canva

Are resorts the new retirement homes?

Don’t know if you heard, but the cost of living is pretty high these days. Prices for groceries, restaurants, gas, and other necessary items just to, you know, live in the world, reaching an all time high is already making what used to be a decent wage barely enough to get by.

And let’s not forget the biggest financial whammy of all: rent prices. According to Zillow, the average rent price in the US was $1,958 ( recorded in January 2024). That a whopping 29.4% price jump since pre-pandemic times. And of course, that not even taking larger, more expensive cities into account.


It’s enough to make you wonder: “Is it actually cheaper to just live in an all-inclusive resort at this point?”

This question was certainly on Ben Keenan’s mind. In a now-viral TikTok, the 31-year-old compared the cost of living in a resort to that of his Seattle apartment. And let’s just say…it sparked a conversation.

Keenan broke down how much he spent each month on essentials like rent ($2300), utilities ($300), WiFi ($40), car/insurance ($320) and groceries ($400), plus nice-to-haves like dinners out ($300), drinks ($300) and his gym membership ($40). All totaling to $4000.

The first all-inclusive resort that Ben showed, located in Mexico, was priced at $4,500. For a little more, Ben could get everything he was used to having, minus any chores.

"Yes, that's $500 more than what I normally spend on rent, but bear in mind, I'm not paying the most expensive rent out there compared to, like, what other people in Seattle might be paying, for example. Also, is that $500 worth me never having to do a single ounce of laundry or any of my cleaning or whatever?" he said in the clip.

The next resort in the Dominican Republic would be $3,100, already cheaper than what he currently pays. And if he were to, say, split a double room with a roommate, well…you don’t have to be good at math to know that’s a lot less.

In the video's caption, it seems pretty clear that Keenan might be tempted to abandon it al fo that sweet resort life.

"I just might find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT," he wrote.

@ivebentraveling Honestly, kind of a joke but kind of serious - I might just find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT 😩 #allinclusive #allinclusiveresort #resortlife #livehack #mexico #dominicanrepublic #travel #travellife #travelmeme ♬ Funny video "Carmen Prelude" Arranging weakness(836530) - yo suzuki(akisai)

Down in the comments section, Keenan’s video struck up a conversation about another affordable alternative lifestyle: cruises. A few even referenced Nancy and Robert Houchens, the retired couple who famously began living on cruise ships because “it’s cheaper than a nursing home.

Not to mention…it inspired some pretty funny (if not a little bittersweet) jokes from millennials.

“New retirement plan” rent our house and live at an all-inclusive resort with a butler til I die,” one person wrote.

“All inclusive resort aka millennial assisted living,” another quipped.

And perhaps the most millennial joke of them all: “‘Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ got it right all along.”

It’s no secret that many working adults can’t foresee a future where they’d be able to afford the same “American Dream” that their parents achieved. And if having a forever home isn’t a possibility, traveling the world or enjoying a relaxing retirement very well might be the next best thing. And even if finances aren’t an issue, this kind of lifestyle just might align with current values a bit more.

via Brandt Witt / Twitter

via Brandt Witt / Twitter

The vaquita is an innocent bystander that may go extinct as Mexican cartels battle for the "cocaine of the sea."

Less than two dozen of the smallest porpoise on Earth exist due to gill net fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico trying to catch the endangered totoaba fish. Totoaba are falsely believed to have medicinal purposes and China and can be sold for up to $100,000.

Cartels in Mexico purchase totoaba from poachers and then sell them to Chinese traders.

In 2016, the Mexican government banned gill nets from most fisheries in the Gulf of California, but they haven't done enough to hold the poachers accountable.

The gill nets used by the totoaba poachers are anchored to the sea floor floor so when the vaquita are snared they are unable to get to the surface to breathe. "These nets are anchored to the seafloor and so they can't pull those nets up to the surface to take a breath," Cynthia Smith, executive director of the National Marine Mammal Foundation told "Nightline." "So, a marine mammal or a sea turtle — they're going to drown really quickly."

via NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

Today, less than two dozen vaquita live in the gulf. The species is experiencing an 8% to 19% decline per year.

The vaquita or "sea cow" in Spanish, is the smallest species of porpoise on earth at about five feet in length and they live for around 20 years. It has a distinct body shape and a dark eye rings and lip patches on its face that resemble goth makeup.

They tend to live in groups of three and live on small fish and squid.

According to ABC News, the vaquita may only last for another six to eight months.

While the odds are stacked against the vaquita, a new documentary "Sea of Shadows" chronicles the two-front war being fought for its survival. The film chronicles the work of conservationist Andrea Crosta as he fights the cartels and traffickers on land and Smith's battle to rehabilitate them at sea.

"From the outside it looks like an environmental story, right? But if you dive in, you understand the role of transnational crime, the narco trafficking, working with Chinese traffickers," Crosta said. "They form what we call Totoaba cartels because they work in the same way, with the incredible power to corrupt, all over the place."

For more information on how you can help fight to save the vaquita from extinction, please visit vivavaquita.com.

True
The Kresge Foundation

15 years ago, Hilda Villegas' family was counting on her: She needed to find both work and child care, and it couldn't wait.

Hilda was a single mom with two daughters — the oldest was 4 and the youngest only 3 months old. Their father wasn't providing the support they needed, so Hilda had to drop out of college to care for them. The problem was that she had very little work experience, so it wasn't easy to find a job. But her family was depending on her.

Thankfully, her daughter's teacher told her that a local organization called La Mujer Obrera provides great child care and could pick up her kids for day care. She jumped at the chance to sign up.


But La Mujer Obrera is a lot more than just a great child care service. The El Paso, Texas, organization is committed to looking out for members of the surrounding community and helping them in any way it can.

Children of La Mujer Obrera attend the spring festival at Tierra es Vida Community Farm. Image via La Mujer Obrera.

Despite having limited work experience, La Mujer Obrera gave Hilda the chance to work as a receptionist; and that, in turn, helped her learn new job skills.They even helped her secure an apartment that was a five-minute walk from the day care center and in the neighborhood where she'd lived her entire life.

"Being able to live in the barrio and having a job here was ... the best thing for me in terms of a safety net," Hilda says.

La Mujer Obrera took a creative approach to giving this single mom the support she needed, and it's a wonderful example of how it empowers working women.

Founded in 1981 by female garment workers and Chicana activists, La Mujer Obrera focuses on basic human rights for women of Mexican heritage. It hosts community organizing programs to help local residents stand up for their rights when it comes to economic and environmental issues.

La Mujer Obrera leaders also recognize that residents like Hilda can't show up for community organizing unless they have some of their basic needs taken care of. After all, juggling work and family responsibilities along with community involvement isn't easy.

So by providing things like child care, nutritious food, and job training, La Mujer Obrera is helping community members attend civic meetings and get their voices heard.

That's also why the nonprofit's programs include a community farm and farmers market that provide jobs and fresh, healthy food. It operates these programs thanks to a grant from The Kresge Foundation's Fresh, Local, and Equitable initiative, known as FreshLo.

The grant is especially important to La Mujer Obrera because the funding comes from an organization that also focuses on multiple aspects that revitalize a community — like arts and culture, health, and community development — rather than just one of those aspects.

An educational workshop on nutrition and fresh food preparation. Image via La Mujer Obrera.

At La Mujer Obrera, fresh food goes hand-in-hand with empowering the community. By maintaining the farm and market, the leaders help local immigrants stay connected to the food that helps them feel at home, such as nopales, a nutritious type of cacti that’s common in Mexico. This also gives residents a chance to connect with nature and green space, which is all too rare in the area.

For the garment workers who once helped establish the organization, being exploited in dehumanizing conditions like concrete factories was the norm. So now, La Mujer Obrera sees reconnecting with the land in nourishing ways as a form of resistance.

A children's march for education, led in part by Hilda's daughter, Katherine, on the left. Image via Hilda Villegas.

With the organization's support, Hilda didn't have to stress as much about providing for her family — which, in turn, helped her focus on the needs of her community.

"They gave me the opportunity to learn how to speak, how to define myself," she says. "A person can actually grow to their full potential, knowing that you have this organization that cares, not just about you, but about your kids … and they actually care about the community."

Hilda went on to participate in several of La Mujer Obrera's community organizing programs — including community outreach, educational workshops on local government, and environmental studies — to learn more about the effects of the area's poor air quality. In the process of learning community organizing strategies, she also uncovered the history of how immigrants built her community and how her ancestors survived.

For example, the La Mujer Obrera Community farm serves as an educational hub for workshops. While cooking workshops teach participants how to prepare healthy food like nopales,they also provide history lessons on how the ancestors used different types of cacti over the course of their lifetimes. In the process, participants get a chance to discover how cultivating fresh food plays a role in keeping families and communities united.

As she has learned and recruited more residents to participate, she has also developed leadership skills. In fact, she's now the community organizer for a project called Familias Unidas del Chamizal.

A display at La Mujer Obrera's 2017 Ancestral Health Fair. Image via La Mujer Obrera.

Hilda is helping Barrio Chamizal, the neighborhood where she grew up, keep its schools open, address environmental hazards, and secure vital resources such as fresh food for the underserved community. Her knowledge will help her neighbors continue to lift up their neighborhood for many years to come.

From being a struggling resident in need of opportunity to becoming a community leader, Hilda has come full circle.

It's a remarkable transformation, but Hilda points out she's far from the first to uncover her power and use it for good. La Mujer Obrera is simply building on the wisdom that's been present in her community for centuries.

Hilda with her daughter, Mary Ann. Image via Hilda Villegas.

Hilda tears up when she thinks about how her work will help the next generation. She has four children now, and the two daughters she first brought to La Mujer Obrera's day care center are now 16 and 19 years old. They've been empowered to make positive change too.

For example, through La Mujer Obrera, Hilda's 16-year-old daughter, Katherine, is learning about an environmentally sustainable practice called water harvesting that her ancestors actually used. She helps collect rainwater to grow the community farm produce, such as dark leafy greens, multi-colored peppers, and fragrant herbs.

Every day, Hilda and her family continue to learn more about the environment, their health, and the role that food plays in community wellness. Hilda still considers herself new to healthy eating, but she's so inspired by ancestral practices like water harvesting and cultivating edible plants that her attempts are turning into habits.

While these practices improve her quality of life, they just might help save the planet, too.

"[Our ancestors] respected the earth and what it represented. The earth is life for us," Hilda says. "The only ones that can defend the earth are the people — the people that live here."

More

To save their moms, these girls skipped Santa and wrote to Ellen instead.

'All I want for Christmas is to know that she'll get to stay in the United States.'

Santa can't bring Gabriela and Abigail what they want this year, so they're taking their Christmas wish to someone equally jolly and warm-hearted: Ellen DeGeneres.

In a new video from MoveOn.org, Gabriela Zuniga and Abigail Escobar read a letter they wrote to the queen of daytime talk shows, asking her to host a DACA recipient for a discussion about why passing the DREAM Act matters. As DeGeneres is a supporter of the DREAM Act and undocumented immigrants, the girls thought she might be up for the task.

You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. #DreamAct


A post shared by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Without the DREAM Act, both girls might soon have to say goodbye to their moms, who could be deported to a country they've never really known.

Both Gabriela's and Abigail's mothers are undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. For them and other Dreamers, America is the only home they've ever known. In 2012, after Congress refused to act on granting any sort of protected status or path to citizenship for these immigrants, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

GIFs from MoveOn/Facebook.

Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who met specific criteria would be allowed to stay while Congress (hopefully) found a long-term plan. That plan never came, and in September of this year, President Trump announced plans to rescind the DACA program, leaving Congress until March 2018 to either pass the DREAM Act or leave people like Gabriela's and Abigail's moms vulnerable to immediate deportation.

As long as Congress won't act, Dreamers' futures remain very uncertain. No family should have to experience this.

After all, it's hard to make any long-term plans when you don't know whether you'll even be allowed to stay in the country or be separated from your children and sent to a country you can't even remember living in.

"My mom says everything is going to be all right," Gabriela says to the camera with a brave smile on her face. "I wish I knew that were true. Ms. Ellen, I need your help to make sure my wish comes true."

While neither you nor I have the kind of reach Ellen does, there are things each of us can do today to help Gabriela's and Abigail's wishes come true. For one, consider calling your member of Congress and letting them know that you support passing the DREAM Act. Another easy thing you can do is to share the girls' video on social media to help spread the word. Time really is running out, but we can't give up.

Watch the heartwarming video below and help these girls get a Merry Christmas in the process.

Dear Ellen, These Girls Have a Letter for You

The best thing you'll watch today: These young daughters of Dreamer moms skipped a letter to Santa this year and instead wrote to Ellen DeGeneres.Watch then show your support for a #DreamActNow: MoveOn.org/DreamAct

Posted by MoveOn.org on Thursday, December 7, 2017