RETIRING AND LIVING IN PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO

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By Puerto Viatra

Keep in mind to Retire in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, is one of the places most foreigners love to retire, and that is of the warm weather, the lovely places and friendly people.

Services and Cost of Living in Puerto Vallarta Mexico are cheaper, and Medical attention are high quality and more affordable as well as medicines and treatments, many Services are covered with US Medical Insurance making a great choice to Retire in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

RETIRE IN PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO BEST PLACES TO LIVE IN JALISCO

If you are at a point where you are planning your retirement, and you enjoy Living in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, a place like on the beach, this could be a good option for you, it is one of the best places to retire in Jalisco Mexico, and one of the few that still represents a good option to invest and make more of your retirement money.

One of the advantages of Retire in Puerto Vallarta Mexico is in itself the proximity to the United States, which, in case of any problem or contingency or unforeseen, one can make a short flight to the United States if necessary, when you really look for or need something that is not in place like Puerto Vallarta.

This great location may have many shortcomings, but that is why it is a good option at the time of retiring for its geographical location.

COST OF LIVING IN PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO

Puerto Vallarta is a good place to retire in Jalisco is located in the municipality of Jalisco close to Guadalajara, could be considered very similar to the other close cities although it is smaller and more visited by tourists, which represents a great attraction.

Part of Great attraction especially if you live in the southern part of the United States, is that the climate, it has some of the best weather in the world.

RETIRE IN JALISCO MEXICO

Jalisco represents a great advantage since in Mexico the cost of supplies, food, and things necessary for daily life are even cheaper than in the United States.

The advantage of lies on the one hand in how we continue aging the need for medical services is increased, and that is not a general rule but to take it into account. so if an emergency arises and requires more and better medical care, the services that can be obtained in the United States are very close.

Puerto Vallarta Retirement Communities to Retire in Puerto Vallarta Mexico with friendly people and the opportunity to acquire a property at a very good price for a fraction of what you would get in the United States is a reality.

If you retire in Jalisco Mexico, the daily life Cost of Living in Jalisco Mexico could be said to be reduced to one third of what would be spent in any city in the United States and that we are not comparing with cities like San Diego.

Given that these places live mainly from American tourism, most of its inhabitants speak fluent English, so if you do not have a good Spanish you will not have difficulty communicating with the people who live in this town.

In addition to the large number of veterans and retirees who have lived in this place for years, you will always have someone to talk to and maybe ask for advice and recommendations to live fully and comfortably in Jalisco.

Part of the advantages being close to the border is the proximity to major cities in which one can find entertainment, places to buy restaurants parks bookstores and much more, in case you want to leave a bit of the routine of a flown as small as It’s Puerto Vallarta.

BEST RETIREMENT PLACES IN MEXICO

There are many places retirees outside Mexico loves for retiring, from Loreto, AjijicPuerto Vallarta and Los Cabos just to name a few, because almost any place is great.

The food is great, the house is low (compared to US or Canada), cost of goods are far less expensive.

You may be asking yourself if Mexico is the place for you in the matter of safety and security, right?

Because living in gorgeous beach destination with a perfect weather for a fraction of your current cost is not an issue, right?

Well, you can ask for hundreds of thousands of people living across Jalisco. larn from their experience, and why not.

Puerto Vallarta is conveniently located that you can eat down and take a weekend to experience this place, watch the place and talk to expats by the malecon.

Look for rental properties, or even better some Real Estate opportunities as a investmentor more permanent stay.

ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO RETIRE MEXICO

Is Mexico a good place to retire? Not to mention that mexican loves foreigners, they treat them as friends or like family, they are very important as visitors and withdrawals form an important part of the local economy and they will be happy to give you a very warm welcome anytime.

PUERTO VALLARTA RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Puerto Vallarta is one the best places to live in Jalisco Mexico preferred by North Americans and Canadians to retire in Jalisco Mexico.

Not only are the towns and best Puerto Vallarta Retirement Communities in Bucerias and San Pancho, but it extends throughout the lake shore having the most preferred places for its beauty and its environment to live, as well as its climate and warmth of the people .

All the favorite or preferred places for Puerto Vallarta Retirement Communities are usually places where they have all the necessary services, or within a reasonable short distance, like is the purchase groceries, food and goods for daily consumption in a easily and conveniently maner.

The great Jalisco Living style in towns and cities near the border with the United States, retirees can easily come and go to buy everything necessary and at better prices and even better quality compared to Mexico.

While in towns that are far from the border, they usually have commercial chain stores such as Walmart and Costco with everything necessary at good prices to satisfy any need that may show.

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Mazatlán: The “Pearl of the Pacific”

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By Janet Blaser | International Living

With a long history of welcoming immigrants, this mid-size city on Mexico’s west coast offers visitors more than the standard “golden trio” of great weather, reasonable prices, and a stunningly beautiful location. Mazatlán is one of Mexico’s few colonial towns actually on the coast, with miles of beautiful beaches, a thriving year-round cultural scene, fantastic fresh seafood, and a friendly community of local people and expats.

Recent renovations of the city have made it even more attractive, with two elegant oceanfront parks, a completely re-done Centro Historico, an easier-to-navigate path and glass-floored lookout at El Faro (the highest lighthouse in the world), and a beautified malecon, the 12-mile boardwalk along the glittering Pacific Ocean that now features Mazatlán’s first bicycle path.

Mazatlán also offers “user-friendly” healthcare, with two modern and fully-equipped hospitals as well as many smaller neighborhood clinics. Most doctors and dentists speak English, and the cost for a standard office visit is about $25. You’ll also find banks everywhere, along with familiar stores like Home Depot and Walmart (as well as a plethora of small neighborhood tiendas) and a myriad of flights operating year-round to the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere from the recently expanded Mazatlán International Airport.

The city is justifiably proud of its status of one of the biggest shrimping ports in the world, and that means you can buy fresh wild and farmed shrimp at incredible prices—and find them in omelets, burritos, pasta dishes, tacos, salads, and more. Fresh-caught tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahi-mahi, and snapper are abundant here too, and the local markets are full of a mind-boggling array of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, including mango, papaya, pineapple, and avocado.

The majority of expats live along the coastline, within easy walking distance to long stretches of beach. Each part of the city has its own style, and whether you’re looking for a stand-alone house on a shady tree-lined street, a high-rise condo with sweeping views of the ocean and mountains, a modern home in a gated community with an award-winning golf course, or a simpler apartment or casita in a more Mexican neighborhood, Mazatlán truly has something for everyone.

Retire in Mazatlán

Retire in Mazatlán
©iStock.com/DarienP

Yes, the beaches are beautiful, the weather is perfect most of the year, and the cost of living is low, low, low. But what makes Mazatlán really stand out as a retirement destination is the cultural scene: a refined, ever-changing, and exciting tapestry of entertainment, events, and fun things to do—many of them free.

An internationally known dance and music school in the Plaza Machado guarantees a constant stream of young energy and performances, and the Angela Peralta Theater, a gorgeous, 1,200-seat theater built at the turn-of-the-century, is home to a smorgasbord of dance, theater, music, and other events. These include the annual eight-week Cultural Festival (hundreds of free and ticketed events throughout the city), Dia de la Musica (10 stages set up in the streets of the Centro Historico with free music), and the José Limón Dance Festival (a week of contemporary dance from around the world). The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is celebrated for two days with family-friendly parades, theater events and costumes, and bystanders are encouraged to dress up, paint their faces like catrinas, and join in the fun.

The oceanfront malecon, or boardwalk, hosts marathons that attract international runners, as does the annual Ciclotour, a week of on-and off-road bicycle races. And of course there’s the annual Carnaval—the third biggest in the world—another week of parades, fireworks, live music, and more. Admission is always reasonable, with the most expensive tickets hovering around $15.

Sitting peacefully off the coast are Deer, Bird, and Wolf islands; all are environmentally protected and home to a variety of birds and reptiles. Visitors are permitted to hike and relax on the quiet shores, which afford a different perspective of the city’s coastline. Whales and dolphins migrate through these waters, and boat excursions are particularly popular (and almost always yield amazing photos). If you’re really lucky and it’s the right time of year, you may be fortunate enough to witness manta rays leaping out of the water during their annual mating ritual.

The big, vibrant expat community is welcoming and full of opportunities for volunteering, out-of-town excursions, and special events like the seasonal farmer’s market, Comedy Club, and music festivals on the beach. Of special note are the Mazatlán Tourist Aide Volunteers, or “blue shirts” as they’re known, who set up in busy areas of the city to give information to the thousands of cruise ship passengers and other tourists who come to Mazatlán each week.

There’s so much to do—but if you’d rather just relax under a palapa with a cold cerveza and a couple of shrimp tacos, Mazatlán’s got you covered there too.

Lifestyle in Mazatlán

Lifestyle in Mazatlán
©iStock.com/Gfed

Mazatlán has several distinctive parts of town where most expats live, each with many neighborhoods and different flavors (but all boast beautiful sunsets). Centro Historico and Olas Altas front a small bay with a sweet beach and feature more than a dozen blocks of gorgeous colonial homes, tree-shaded plazas, and a bustling cultural and culinary scene; this is where the Angela Peralta Theater is, and also where the annual Cultural and Music Festivals take place, as well as Carnaval. You can walk to everything: restaurants, the central market, the beach. Most homes were built at the turn-of-the-century and have a New Orleans-flair: charming interior courtyards, original tiled floors, and high wood-beamed ceilings.

Going north along the oceanfront malecon, next up is the tourist-filled hotel zone, with all the trappings—and noise—you’d expect. But go inland a couple blocks and you’re in tree-filled neighborhoods like Lomas and Sabalo Country, where houses, duplexes, and condos have yards and driveways. Sidewalks lead to parks, churches, and small tiendas (stores), and charming coffee shops and taquerias. The beach, with Mazatlán’s trio of islands just offshore, is a short walk away, as are a plethora of restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Major shopping—Home Depot, WalMart, Sam’s Club—is less than a 10-minute drive or bus ride, as is the biggest hospital in town.

Cerritos and the Marina areas are at the far north end of Mazatlán. The long stretch of beach, although lined with condos and hotels, is still quiet and home to a great surf spot. The marina is billed as Latin America’s biggest; shopping is easy with the new Galerias Mall, which flaunts a state-of-the-art movie theater and lots of U.S. stores; WalMart is across the street, and the new Marina Hospital puts doctors and medical services at your fingertips. Condos, houses of all sizes, and more affordable duplexes in gated communities offer choices for every budget. It’s a favorite area for families, too, with private schools, gyms and athletic fields, and more new restaurants and services cropping up as more people move here.

Cost of Living in Mazatlán

Cost of Living in Mazatlán
©iStock.com/mikesatx

While costs are less in Mexico, and in Mazatlán in particular, as time passes this is changing. Like anywhere else, you’ll pay more for beachfront property or a fantastic ocean view; that said, homes and condos can still be found for under $200,000. Depending on the part of town, a furnished two-bedroom apartment or small house can cost $500 a month, plus utilities.

It’s true that beer is cheaper than water, and a massage only costs about $25. An in-home visit from a vet costs about $10; a plumber or electrician a little more. Things like eyeglasses, lab tests, and taxis are so much less than in the U.S. it can be unbelievable, and if you’ve reached age 60 you can register for an INAPAM card, which gives seniors discounts at a myriad of places, including half-price for long-distance bus travel within Mexico.

Meals at restaurants run the gamut of $2 for a fresh shrimp taco at a neighborhood café to $25 to $30 for an elegant meal at an upscale, fine-dining restaurant where you’ll be expected to dress up. (That means closed shoes and no shorts) An average lunch for two costs between $5 to $8 at any number of small restaurants, cafés, or palapa restaurants on the beach. Delicious whole roast chickens, a Sunday tradition, can be bought at small rotisserie shops for about $3, with rice, beans, tortillas, and salsa included.

Here’s an example of a monthly budget for a couple living in Mazatlán:

Expense US$
Housing (two-bedroom apartment) $500
Utilities (electric, water, gas, internet) $50 to $60
Groceries $300
Entertainment (massages, theater, live events) $100
Housekeeping $60
Transport/Public $40
Total $,1050 to $1,060

Original Source

Moving to Mexico Checklist: Everything You Need to Know About How to Move to Mexico

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By Rachel Jones | Hippie in heels

Are you considering moving to Mexico? The weather is good, the cerveza is cold, and and the living is cheap, so you’ve heard. I moved to Mexico six months ago, after living in India for five years. I did it with legal residency and set up a life here. I’m going to share how to move to Mexico, a complete checklist of things to do before/after you move to Mexico, and the cost of living in Mexico (in general, as it can range just like any country).

There are a lot of Americans living in Mexico and it’s not difficult to move here as a resident at a young age, self-employed, or if you want to retire in Mexico. There are several types of visas that you can look at to see which one will fit your needs best.

Expats in Mexico often come here for six months of the year and then go back to their home countries. Because you can get a six-month tourist visa for Mexico, if that is what you are planning, you don’t really need to go through the legal hoops of living in Mexico. If you want a home here, to stay long-term, to buy a car, or open a bank account, you’ll want to look into residency. Let’s get started!

Moving to Mexico: How to Move to Mexico

There are several things to do to move to Mexico and once you get here. I’ll start in the order that I did things when I moved here.

Visit Mexico: Choose a City to Live in, What Are the Best Places to Live in Mexico?

You need to come to Mexico first! Plan a trip, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks. You can look up the best places to live in Mexico, research them, and choose one or two to visit at a time.

Consider why you are relocation to Mexico. Are you looking for retirement communities in Mexico? Are you looking more for a laid-back beach town? Do you want a place with local vibes that is very different from home, or somewhere that is touristy and will have the amenities you love from your home country?

For me, I wanted somewhere that was safe, I could think about starting a family, a place I could buy affordable land or a home, and that had stores that I could get things I missed from the USA. I had been living in the jungle in India for years and was moving to Mexico to have a more “westernize” life. Not so much so that I wanted to be in Cancun or Puerto Vallarta which I had visited previously, and I didn’t want the tourism of cute beach towns like Tulum of Sayulita which I also visited, so I chose to live outside of Merida in the Yucatan. I am not a big city person, so ruled out Mexico City. Merida is a safe city, is hugely popular with expats (mostly retirees), and since it’s not too touristy, you can the real Mayan vibes here. I can live in the jungle in a village outside Merida (eventually, right now I’m in a rental in town while we look for land), and have the complete jungle vibes but still be to a Costco or Sephora in 15 minutes. The beach is about 30 minutes away as well. Many people like San Miguel, Guanajuato, Morelia, and San Cristobal.

I don’t know a LOT about Mexico. I haven’t had a chance to travel much here except 5 major towns so I have a lot more to see and am really happy with Merida as my base. It’s okay if you don’t know Mexico that well – you’ll have so much time to explore once you move here.

You’ll want to consider the temperature you can deal with here. It gets VERY hot in Merida, for example, and many people simply can’t bear it in the summer months when humidity also soars. I was used to this from India and didn’t mind it. Others will want a place that cools off a bit with more nature and mountains like San Cristobal de las Casas. You’re going to want to visit because sometimes online isn’t enough and you need to feel the place out a little bit. I use this website for weather comparison.

Other then temperature you want to consider how modern the place is, internet speed if you work online, if there is an expat community (if that is important to you), the crime rate, and the cost of living. You’ll spend more on rent in Mexico City and Tulum for example than Tijuana or Guadalajara.

 

 

 

 

Consider the Cost of Living in Mexico: If You Can Afford It and If You REALLY Want to

Want the real examples of the cost of living in Mexico? This website puts all major cities in order of cost of living and Mexico’s cities start at around the 400’s. While it’s absolutely going to cost you less in Mexico than the USA if you live how Mexicans live, you can still end up spending a lot in Mexico if you want to.

I live in Merida which is a big city in Mexico with 777,000 people but nothing compared to Mexico City’s 8.8 million. I pay $1,200 for my house here per month. Sound high? That is because it is, for Mexico. Most expats I’ve met here are renting for a quarter of that – but they don’t have a house as nice as mine. Some live in apartments, in small beach houses, or in colonial homes in Centro. I have a large 3 bedroom 4 bathroom house, with a huge yard a pool, that is dog-friendly, and in a very nice neighborhood of Benito Juarez. My rent includes a house-keeper once a week for a 8 hour day at $17 USD, a groundskeeper twice a week for $14, and a pool cleaner once a week for $14. Keep in mind, well these seem low, they are the normal rates here (which was built into my rent) and not something negotiated down. The minimum wage here for a full days work is under $5.

Friends in Tulum pay less in town and some pay more on the beach. Friends in Playa Del Carmen pay similar for a small two bedroom condo. The rent varies greatly in all cities and towns in Mexico just like in the USA. I lived in India before this, one of the cheapest places in the world for expats to live, and I paid $1,000 for rent while my friends paid $200 because I had an amazing villa and didn’t mind paying it. You get more for your buck in India and Mexico, both and it’s up to you if you want a cheap rent or the same rent and a kickass place you couldn’t have afforded in your home country. Do you want to clean your own house since you wouldn’t pay $120 a month back home for someone to clean? Or do you think $120 is a steal to not have to clean again? In India, a monthly cleaner would make closer to $60-70 a month to clean six days a week. In Mexico, it was basically double for ONE day a week – so we aren’t ready to splurge to have someone come daily, but still, it’s nice to have someone come once a week when in the USA it would probably be $50 for someone to come clean for the day if not more.

When it comes to food, something like McDonald’s or Texas Roadhouse is going to cost the same, while a street taco could be .50 in some towns. You could live on cheap restaurants and local food on a budget or you could go to fine dining places that are $100 per person.

Compared to the USA, movies here will be $4-$6 with VIP seating, gas is the same price, used cars are the same price, Uber is a LOT cheaper, in general, local restaurants are much cheaper, groceries are about the same, booze is cheaper in restaurants but about the same in grocery stores. Novelty items, for example, a beach chair, pool float, Kitchenaid mixer, throw blanket, decor items, are MUCH more expensive. I tend to bring these types of things from the USA. I haven’t lived everywhere in Mexico, so this is about as much information as I can give in terms of cost of living. I know that I spend a lot here in Mexico, but that is because I choose to have a higher quality of life than I would have in the USA at the same price rather than the same quality of life at a lower price. You get to make that choice too, or fall somewhere in between.

Moving to Mexico is a process that takes some time in terms of residency, so really think it through and make sure you’re really up for a new culture that YOU have to fit into. Don’t just move somewhere because it’s cheap – you need to love the food, the people, the atmosphere, the holidays, the temperature, everything about your new home!

Remember that in your budget, you should put aside money for a couple of round-trip flights home to visit family, go to weddings, funerals, or anything else you might want to come home for. It’s an added cost of being an expat.

Tie-up Loose Ends at Home Before You Leave

Ready to make the move? Chosen your dream home? You need to make sure you are ready to leave your old one behind.

  • Sell or rent our your house
  • Sell or put your things in storage
  • Cancel memberships: Anything you’re getting charged for monthly that you’d only use in the USA like that Cosmo subscription or gym membership
  • Cancel your phone bill and unlock your phone
  • Sell your car and cancel your car insurance or keep the car in storage and change your insurance to storage insurance
  • Re-route your mail to someone else’s home or cancel it
  • Get your banking in order (does your bank know you’ll be abroad?, does your card charge huge fees to withdraw money abroad, do you want a new bank?
  • Taxes: make a mental note if you are still earning in the USA or online, you need to pay taxes still in the USA unless you give up citizenship.
  • Do some last minute preventative health check-ups before you leave and while you have that $10 co-pay and great doctors who know your history. This is invaluable! Mexico does not focus on preventative care and you can pay $50 and up for a good English-speaking doctor for a check-up or dental cleaning.
  • Say bye to family and friends

I go into more detail in a blog post I wrote about moving abroad when I moved to India you can read here.

Find a Long-Term Rental & Sign a Lease: Somewhere to Stay on Arrival & Choose a Date

Now that it’s real, and really while you’re doing all that, you should be looking for a place to rent out. I really like Airbnb and that is how I found my place now. You can also look at sites like Vivanuncios, Segundo Mano, or Mercado Libre, Inmuebles 24, among others. Usually, you can message through the website and sometimes they sneak a phone number in there you can message them on WhatsApp.

This article was one I wrote one month after moving to Merida, where I look back at finding my rental property, rates, places I looked, and more. Check that out!

You will want to find a place and either take it for one month online then meet in person to take a longer lease you can sign for – OR you can take a long lease online but keep in mind the realtors who set this up often take a ONE MONTH rent fee for themselves. This is why I found a place and booked just a month on Airbnb but then had an agreement with the owner that when we arrived, we would sign a long-term lease.

You will find the prices are set as “monthly” when you search by month on Airbnb.

Why take a lease? You need a lease with your name on it, which will be signed in front of a lawyer or notario. You will need this to later get a bill in your name so you can have “proof of address” which is very important to becoming a resident here.

Start Learning Spanish

rosetta stone learning spanish

Once you find a place and are just waiting for that flight out, things are pretty chilled, and it’s time to start learning at least basic Spanish. I used the free app Duolingo for six months to practice and bring out my high school Spanish that was hiding away. I later got Rosetta Stone, you can read my review of it here and get a discount code.

Are You Bringing Pets? Family/Kids?

 

If you are bringing your kids, you’ll have to find them a school here. I don’t know much about that except for the fact Mexico has great international schools that can cost around $200 or more per month even for little kids. You can’t put them in public school if they aren’t fluent in Spanish – well maybe legally you could, but then how would they learn anything?

For pets, I brought two dogs and a cat through the Cancun airport from India. Vets here are great and there are Petco’s and all kinds of pet shops to get anything your little one needs!

Get a SIM Card

Upon arrival, you’ll want a SIM card. You can pick them up in shops all over, even an OXXO. I recommend Telcel. It’s cheap and you can top-up credit yourself on your phone with an international bank card without issue. You need an “unlocked” phone to put in an international SIM, but most are these days.

Get a Bill in Your Name

You can go to the electricity bill office, which for us (and maybe everyone, actually, I’m not sure) is CFE, and get the bill changed to your name. Take with you the following:

  • The original bill in your landlord’s name
  • You lease
  • Copy of your lease
  • Passport
  • Copy of your passport

They will change your bill over to your name and it takes a minute or two. Now you have proof of address. It can only be in one person’s name.

Shop for your home: memberships

how to open a bank account in mexico

Hopefully, you have rented a furnished home, but if you need to do some shopping and have stores like Costco or Sam’s Club nearby, you can go get memberships at a little lower cost than they are in the USA. Stock up on what you need there, Sear’s, Walmart, Chedruai, or Soriana and then chill out in your new home! You can even shop online from most of those places.

Tip: If you see something on Amazon MX compare that price to Amazon USA with the global search on and customs and shipping added in – if it’s a USA product, it’s often cheaper to buy from the USA. Example: I only found crappy $5 pool rafts here in stores, and on Amazon MX nice ones were over $50. I could get one from the USA for $20 with the customs fee sent here and it took three days. They deal with customs and estimate the fee. If the fee is higher than they have to pay, you get reimbursed.

You can get out and explore but if you’re dead tired, download apps like Uber Eats and Rappi if they are available in your town and get food delivered.

Original Source

 

 

More and more Baby Boomers are moving to Mexico for retirement

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By Yucatan Times

A new “Expats In Mexico” online survey of people who are considering moving to Mexico found that 81 percent of Baby Boomer respondents said they will retire in Mexico, nearly 52 percent within two years.

“It’s not surprising that so many Baby Boomers, primarily from the U.S. and Canada, are considering retiring in Mexico,” said Robert Nelson, Expats In Mexico co-founder and author of Boomers in Paradise – Living in Puerto Vallarta. “I discovered this trend 11 years ago while researching my book and it has just continued to pick up steam.”

The Mexican government reported over 1.2 million expats were living in Mexico through 2017, the latest figure available. The 2000 Mexican census data showed just under 540,000 expats in Mexico. Americans represented over 80 percent of all expats living in Mexico two years ago, nearly 900,000.

Retirement is the main reason why Boomers and all respondents want to move to Mexico. Both groups also rated cost of living and better climate as top reasons to move.

“Mexico as a retirement destination for Baby Boomers makes sense,” Nelson said. “According to a recent report by the Stanford Center on Longevity, U.S. Baby Boomers hold less wealth, are deeper in debt and will face higher expenses than retirees a decade older than them. Why not live better in a nicer climate?”

But all is not perfect south of the border. About 45 percent of all respondents and Boomers say security issues in Mexico might be a concern for them. Lack of Spanish language skills and quality of healthcare were less important considerations.

Both Baby Boomers and all respondents selected Puerto Vallarta as their destination of choice, followed by the Lake Chapala area and Los Cabos. About 38 percent of all respondents and Boomers chose a wide variety of other locations in Mexico.

The self-selected online survey was completed by 337 respondents in January and February 2019. Respondents were primarily Americans and Canadians.

You can find more survey results at ExpatsInMexico.com, an online magazine designed for both expats currently living in Mexico and aspiring expats considering moving to Mexico.

Original Source

Best Assisted Living Design of 2018: Brightview Sets the Bar for Urban, Mixed-Use Senior Living

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By Tim Mullaney | Senior Housing News

While on their way to grab a bite or run an errand, some patrons of Maryland’s Rockville Town Square are pausing to admire a piece of public art: a six-story mosaic called “The Tree of Life.”

That mosaic adorns an exterior wall of a senior living community, Brightview West End, that is part of the mixed-use Town Square development. The Tree of Life was created in partnership with a local arts organization and includes tiles and other contributions from diverse cross-section of people from the area. In this, the mosaic reflects how Brightview West End fosters intergenerational connections between its residents and the community at large.

“There’s been a move in the last eight to 10 years for providing senior living in more urban, walkable, downtown areas so seniors are more integrated with the rest of the community,” Cynthia Shonaiya, principal at architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht, told Senior Housing News. “Looking at this Rockville site, we had to challenge ourselves to take an established suburban model and compress it into an urban site.”

The project stakeholders succeeded in their mission, making Brightview West End an exemplary model of urban, mixed-use senior living — and winning the 2018 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Award for Best Assisted Living project.

The concept

Rockville Town Square — located in the Washington, D.C. metro area, about 20 miles north of the Lincoln Memorial — has been constructed in phases. The first phase included multifamily housing as well as shops and restaurants and opened in the summer of 2007. The senior living project began to take shape during the Town Square’s second phase.

“I started working on it back in 2011,” Andrew Teeters, Brightview Senior Living’s senior vice president of development, told SHN. “We bought the site from JBG [Smith], a local D.C. developer.”

Based in Baltimore, Brightview Senior Living builds, owns and manages about 40 senior living communities in eight East Coast states. Brightview’s parent company is real estate development and management firm The Shelter Group.

“At that time, and still, we felt that seniors would want to be in walkable environments,” Teeters said. “We loved the walkability [of the site]. There’s a village square, a library, a nonprofit arts organization, retail, restaurants, a movie theater. We thought that would be attractive to seniors.”

But while Teeters and his Brightview colleagues were confident that the site would meet growing consumer demand, this would be their first project of its kind. They turned to Hord Coplan Macht, a longstanding architecture partner, to help bring it to life.

“A typical Brightview would be on a 10-acre site,” Shonaiya said. “We took that 10-acre program and repurposed it for a one-acre urban infill site.”

The design called for underground parking, ground-level reception and amenities, secure memory care with its own amenities on the second floor, and independent living and assisted living units on the higher floors. In all, the building would have 195 units.

The concept went far beyond creating a more vertical version of a typical senior living community, however. Rockville Town Square planners and Brightview leaders all wanted the ground floor to be open to the public at large.

“What made this different was that a lot of the amenities became dual-purpose,” Shonaiya explained. “What normally would be a senior living cafe became a corner coffee shop. What normally would be your beauty salon became a commercial spa. What normally would be your therapy space became a street-level gym.”

While access was a guiding principle in designing the street level of the building, exclusivity became a focus for the top floor. On this “club level,” there would be penthouse units with a concierge to handle resident requests such as calling for transportation or ordering room service. Amenities on this floor would include a common area for breakfast, a wraparound balcony, a lounge that could be used for events, and an art gallery.

And — befitting a building ornamented with a “Tree of Life” — Brightview West End also was designed to be eco-friendly, including a green roof.

The construction

Construction began in 2015, led by CBG Building Company. The process went smoothly, although there were some logistical issues to resolve. The building process also involved materials that are uncommon in senior living.

One challenge was creating open access to the ground-level amenities and fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all ages, while maintaining security for the senior living residents.

“Families were a little nervous because it is a downtown area,” said Shonaiya. “What it needed … was to look at zones within the building that were open access [versus] restricted access, and to make sure through the use of electronic locks and key fobs that we could limit, either by time or by zones, who could come in and who had access to certain areas.”

The parking garage needed special focus. As an enclosed area, it could be an attractive place for unauthorized individuals to seek shelter, so cameras, security devices and locking mechanisms all had to be installed.

The use of these mechanisms throughout the building then raised some concerns from a fire safety standpoint.

“The fire marshal wanted to make sure that in securing the residents, we were not impeding egress,” Shonaiya said. “Most of the locks are tied to fire alarms, so in the event of an emergency, everything that is shut down … will open.”

Fire codes are generally stricter in urban areas than suburban areas, creating some design and construction pressures, but there are also opportunities here to forge community connections. The project stakeholders had multiple discussions with the local fire departments to make sure they understood the building and the resident population. The building has even held fire drill parties, with hot dogs and balloons in the courtyard.

The urban location also influenced the building materials. Because the structure exceeds three stories, vinyl siding was not an option, and masonry was used instead. Some decisions were driven by the need to fit into the look and feel of the master-planned community and attract the business of Town Square patrons.

“From an exterior standpoint, it’s a really, really nice use of different materials and effects,” said SHN Architecture & Design Awards judge Chris Frommell, who is an architect and managing partner at Direct Supply – Aptura.

In particular, the use of glass and awnings gives the building an inviting, “human scale” on the ground level, Frommell said. Higher up, mixing brick and metal panels, along with wood detailing and balconies, creates visual interest and prevents the building from seeming too blocky or imposing.

The interior design, by Aumen Asner, similarly blends warm wood, vegetation and home-like lighting with details and colors that create visual interest and a “high-energy vibe,” Frommell said.

Overall, the building succeeds in being a functional senior living community while also being appealing to a wide range of ages, said Jeff Anderzhon, senior planner and design architect with Eppstein Uhen, and a judge for the awards.

“People drive by this and, whether they’re 21 or 81, they’re going to say, ‘That’s an attractive building, I’d like to live there,’” Anderzhon told SHN.

At $38 million, the project budget was higher than for a more conventional senior living community. However, construction costs were locked in as of 2015, so Brightview did not take a hit from a surge in construction costs over the last few years, Teeters said.

The completion

The building opened in October 2017. In its first year, Brightview West End proved a success, with lease-up ahead of the pro forma, Shonaiya said.

Rents range from about $4,000 a month in independent living to $8,000 and up for memory care, according to Teeters. Brightview also worked with the city of Rockville to revise an affordable housing ordinance, with senior living in mind. As a result, about 12% of the independent living apartments are designated as affordable, in three different price tiers.

Brightview partnered with Moorestown, New Jersey-based Bayada Home Health Care, which operates the physical and occupational therapy room of the fitness center. A third-party operator also runs the salon and spa. Brightview itself operates the street-level cafe, Mingle, which has proven to be a hotspot for intergenerational connections.

“There’s a Bank of America that’s behind the senior living community, and I hear that a number of bank workers, on their way to work, stop at Mingle, get a coffee, get a pastry, say hi to residents,” Shonaiya said. “The residents have started to recognize the regulars.”

Brightview is already at work on further urban developments in this mold, with projects under construction or in permitting in the D.C. and New York City metro areas.

In moving ahead on these other projects, Brightview can draw from the success of this one, as can other senior living developers and operators eyeing the mixed-use, intergenerational opportunity.

“It advances the design knowledge base of assisted living,” Anderzhon said of this building.

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Half of Boomer homeowners plan to age in place

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By Jessica Guerin |Housingwire

More than half of Baby Boomers plan to age in place, electing to renovate in order to meet their changing needs, according to a new survey released by Chase and Pulsenomics.

The Housing Confidence Index surveyed 3,000 heads of households, 753 of which were Baby Boomers.

Among this group, 52% said they will never move from their current home, and 88% said they plan to make improvements to their home, with bathroom renovations topping the project list.

At the metro level, Boomers in San Antonio expressed the greatest desire to stay put at 62%, while Boston-based Boomers scored the lowest at 28%.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they think home values are rising in their area, which provides incentive for homeowners to tap their equity in order to age in place – and enhance their investment.

Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing officer for Chase Home Lending, said Boomers are likely to explore loans that grant access to equity in order to fund home improvements.

“With home prices generally healthy across the country, two-thirds of these homeowners are turning to financing options like home equity lines of credit or cash-out refinances to complete their upgrades,” Bonitatibus said. “On average, homeowners are financing about $18,000 per household with more than half saying they intend to start remodeling within a year.”

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3 retiree havens where you can stretch your dollar the most

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By Darla Mercado | CNBC

Retiree discount programs are available, for example, in a number of Central and South American countries. These programs offer senior citizens a range of perks, including affordable health care, reduced costs on travel and lower taxes.

There’s a catch of course: Countries that offer these senior programs have requirements that applicants must meet in order to qualify.

Generally, this means you may have to be a property owner or legal resident of that country (as opposed to just a part-time visitor) with a minimum level of income from a stable source — via a pension, for instance.

“Every country is going to be different, but in macro, countries want you to show that you won’t be dependent on their largesse,” said Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living.

“Be aware of these requirements before you buy your ticket and head out, or you may find that you’ll have to come back,” she said.

You should also hire a lawyer who is familiar with the visa and residency requirements of your destination country, Stevens said.

Here are the locales with the best senior discount programs, according to an analysis by International Living.

Panama

This Central American nation won the top spot in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index, largely because of the special benefits it offers retirees.

The Panamanian pensionado program offers a 50 percent discount on entertainment costs and reduced rates on airline tickets and hotel stays, as well as lower prices on energy bills.

Though you don’t need to own real estate in Panama in order to qualify, you do need to draw a pension of at least $1,000 each month. If you have a spouse or children under age 18, you’ll need to have an additional $250 per month for each dependent.

Mexico

American retirees like Mexico because they can easily drop by for up to 180 days at a time on a tourist visa, said Stevens.

“There are a lot of people who go part time,” she said. “It’s close and you can stay for six months without going through any visa rigmarole.”

Once you decide to become a legal resident, however, you become eligible for the same discounts Mexican retirees may access. That includes reduced prices on theater tickets and museums, as well as lower costs on medications.

Retirees hailing from the U.S. can apply for a temporary resident visa in Mexico and maintain it for up to four years.

Ecuador

Retirees can apply for a pensioner visa in order to become residents, but they must show proof of income of at least $800 a month from a stable source, according to International Living.

Residents who are over age 65 can enjoy relatively affordable health care (compared to the U.S.), breaks on certain municipal and utility taxes, and steep discounts on transportation across the country.

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