Five Reasons To Retire In Cabo San Lucas Mexico

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By Tiffany McAdams  |  Escape Artist

Everybody dreams about what they are going to do for their retirement. Many of us dream of retiring abroad. It is frequent conversation among us all. Whether you have just won the lottery, are a dot-com millionaire, or have been working hard for the last forty years, there are innumerable reasons why you should consider retiring in Cabo San Lucas. Here we go over 5 reasons to retire in Cabo San Lucas.

1) Location, Location, Location

This is the first reason to retire in Cabo San Lucas. Many people are interested in retiring abroad. It is a great opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. There are so many great destinations around the world, but when you think about the practicality of actually living there, things get more difficult.

MexicoMost people enjoy spending the holidays with their family, attending graduations and other typical events. Nonetheless, the farther you go from home, the fewer of these things you can attend. Even if you can afford to fly back often, the logistics simply do not always work out.

For this reason, Cabo’s location is perfect if you are thinking about retiring in Mexico. With direct flights to cities across the U.S., you can be home in no time. Not only is it a regional hub, but you can also travel to anywhere in the world by connecting through Mexico City.


2) Choices for Everyone

Although we generally refer to Cabo San Lucas as Cabo, the area is comprised of two towns that are about fifteen miles apart. What people generally think of as Cabo is San Lucas. San Lucas is touristy, bustling, and filled with different nightlife options.

For some people this may seem a little too busy, but what’s nice is that it provides excitement to the area because of the selection of restaurants, bars, and shopping. It is also located on the harbor, so it is a great place to have an evening cocktail as the sun goes down.

At the other end is San Jose. San Jose is more relaxed, traditional, and quiet than San Lucas. It is the yin to the other’s yang. San Jose has a splendid little.

Downtown area that is great for evening strolls. It is also much more in touch with Mexican culture and is home to countless festivals and other types of celebrations.

Looking at these two different towns, it might be hard to choose between one and the other if you decide to retire in Cabo San Lucas. For this second reason, most expats choose to live in between San Lucas and San Jose, so they can choose where they wish to spend the evening depending on their mood.

3) Natural Beauty

Cabo is the desert on the water, which makes it a very unusual and stunning place to live. It is ringed by a series of mountains and cliffs that overlook the Sea of Cortez. Because of this proximity to the water, there a multitude of watersports you can do – from sport fishing to surfing. In addition, the desert provides all kinds of land activities like hiking and ATV riding.

Most of the year, the weather is very pleasant, and it is just hot enough to comfortably enjoy the ocean. Not only this, most of the nights are quite warm, so you can take a stroll through the downtown.

4) Incredible Food

Being perfectly situated in a coastal region, Cabo obviously has incredible seafood. Ceviche reigns supreme in both the fanciest restaurants and the humblest holes in the wall. In addition, since it is a resort destination, there is an incredible amount of fine dining options that can satisfy any palate.

Furthermore, many chefs predict that Mexican food is going to be the next big thing, and a lot of the innovation is coming straight out of Cabo. Restaurants like Toro and Habanero’s Gastro Grill are putting a modern spin on Mexican classics.

Finally, one absolute must is Flora Farms, which began as a small, organic farm and has expanded into an incredible restaurant and bed-and-breakfast. All their dishes and beverages are made with ingredients grown on site, which really brings new meaning to the term farm-to-table.

5) A Welcoming Place

Remember the feeling of being the new kid at school or a new employee at the office? Nobody enjoys that. One of the best things about retiring in Cabo San Lucas is that whether you are a local, a frequent visitor, or first-time tourist, people there make you feel at home. As the economy is mainly driven by tourism, some of this is to be expected, but a major part of the culture of the area goes way beyond this.

People there are simply friendly, and travelers from all over the world seem to agree on this. 94% of people said that traveling in Mexico had “exceeded their expectations,” while nearly 90% said they would like to return in the next six months.

This is the reason why everybody knows the traditional Mexican expression, “mi casa es su casa,” and Cabo is probably the best example of it. And this fifth reason to retire in Cabo San Lucas is maybe the most important.

What are YOU waiting For?

Planning for your retirement abroad is extremely important, especially when making sure that your money is in the right hands – so you can enjoy yourself without having to stress.  After you have taken care of these essential steps, you can move on to making sure you choose the right area to settle down in. The best thing you can do is visit some different places and see what you like and do not like. It is important to remember, however, that visiting somewhere is of course much different than actually living there.

When you have narrowed down your choices, try to figure out a time when you can actually stay there for at least a month and get into an everyday routine. Usually when we travel, we go out more and do more exciting things. So it is important to see what it is like to live their under normal day-to-day circumstances.

Nonetheless, if you like good weather, a convenient location, friendly people, variety, and incredible food, then retiring abroad in Cabo should not be a difficult decision. So next time you have a chance, take a little trip down to Cabo – chances are you will not want to leave!

Why Ensenada, Baja California, Is a Great Place to Retire

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By Kaitlin Pitsker | Kiplinger


Nearest large city: 
San Diego

What $300,000 will buy: 
Loma Dorada home with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a rooftop terrace, a half-block from the ocean.

As you drive south from San Diego past the Mexican border, the nearly uninterrupted development of southern California and Tijuana quickly gives way to breathtaking coastal views of the Baja California peninsula. The well-maintained four-lane road hugs the rocky shoreline and passes through Mexican towns and small communities until, 65 miles south of Tijuana, you round one final bend and Ensenada stands before you.

Ensenada is often described as “Old Mexico,” but the downtown area also has an international vibe. Walking along the wide, brick sidewalks, you’ll find no shortage of traditional Mexican restaurants, bars showing soccer games and street vendors selling souvenirs, churros and fish tacos. In fact, Ensenada is reputedly where the fish taco originated, as well as home to the bar that invented the margarita. But you’ll also spot restaurants experimenting with lighter, Mediterranean-inspired Mexican fare, as well as French, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Cruise ships drop off passengers for a few hours four days a week, temporarily transforming the main thoroughfare into a much busier place.

Thousands of U.S. expats call Ensenada home. Retiring abroad appeals to Americans seeking a different culture and lower cost of living, and Mexico earned the top spot on International Living’s 2017 list of retirement havens abroad. The mild climate and warm, easygoing culture in which even new acquaintances often hug goodbye don’t hurt, either. Speaking Spanish is helpful but not necessary.

Ensenada’s proximity to the border makes it particularly appealing. Many retirees opt to use a mix of Mexican and U.S. doctors so they can continue to see their stateside providers while paying less for some procedures south of the border. “We live in the best of two worlds here,” says Tillie Foster, 85, who moved to Ensenada from Orange County, Calif. Retirees can live comfortably on $1,500 a month and still have access to most of what they’re accustomed to back home, she says.

Many expats in the area choose to live in communities a few miles away from downtown Ensenada, such as Bajamar to the north and Punta Banda to the south. Homes that would cost $500,000 or more in San Diego typically sell for $200,000 to $300,000 here, and people looking for an unimpeded ocean view can find property for about $400,000. Mexico limits the number of foreigners who can purchase coastal real estate, but you can still buy residential property in restricted areas if you pay the bank a few hundred dollars a year to hold the property in trust. Property tax rates are reasonable—usually about 0.1% of a home’s assessed value. And renters can find modest options close to the water for about $500 a month, or homes with an ocean view starting at about $1,500 a month.

A short drive north of Ensenada lies the Guadalupe Valley, known as the Napa Valley of Mexico. Informal Facebook groups of expats gather to practice yoga on the beach weekly; others volunteer with local organizations. Or you can just chill out and watch the sunset over the ocean while listening to the seals bark from the nearby fishing docks.

One cultural quirk that many Americans say takes some getting used to: Things run on Mexican time. It’s not unusual for people to be 15 or even 30 minutes late, because south of the border, people are more important than schedules.

Retired in Mexico: A Breakdown of Our Monthly Expenses

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Before moving to Mexico in 2015, I spent hours searching for information online about the specific costs associated with living south of the border — but I never found anything. The sites I stumbled across would only say that the cost of living was cheaper. Cheaper than what?

Words like cheap and expensive are very subjective and are worthless without hard numbers to back them up. That’s why I post my expenses down to the peso every six months online. My goal is to help other people who are thinking of making the move better plan financially.

It’s important to point out that Mexico is a large country and the cost of living varies significantly from one area to the next. We live in a popular tourist destination along the coast of the Riviera Maya, so the cost of living is significantly higher here than in many other parts of Mexico. Nevertheless, we think it’s worth it in order to be spend our days on a beautiful Caribbean beach.

Monthly Household Expenses

Entertainment Budget

We didn’t move to Mexico to just sit inside and watch the ceiling fan spin around — we came to enjoy every moment of it.  As a result, we spend an average of $20,300 pesos ($1,122 USD) a month on traveling, eating out, staying at hotels and doing a wide range of other activities that we find “entertaining”.

Annual Expenses People Ask Me About

After the last budget that I posted, a few readers asked me about property taxes, property insurance and vehicle registration. I figured that I would beat them to it this time:

What About Your Mortgage/Rent and Car Payment?

These are normally the two largest reoccurring expenses in a anyone’s budget. Prior to moving to Mexico, I knew that we would be more successful if we could find a way to eliminate them altogether.

Although we had a mortgage and a car payment in Florida, after selling everything and eliminating our debt, we were able to afford a small condo and a car here in Mexico. We now live 100% debt free for the first time in our adult lives.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Readers often ask me how much money they’ll need a month to live in Mexico. That magic number depends on three important factors: 1) location, 2) the amount of debt you have, and 3) the type of lifestyle you want. As you can see, the amount can vary quite a bit.

In this article, I showed you how a couple could live on less than $2,300 a month in paradise while still enjoying a very active lifestyle.

We could easily live on less each month by simply cutting money from the entertainment budget and staying home more — but where’s the fun in that?


7 Steps to Retire in Your 50s

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By Jeff Rose | U.S. News

Early retirement rarely happens by chance. Like any other big goal, early retirement requires intricate planning, serious dedication and a whole lot of work. If your goal is retiring before age 50, the time to start laying the groundwork is now. Here are some steps aspiring early retirees should implement right away.

1. Make as much money as you can. Retiring early on your regular salary may not be easy if you don’t earn a lot. It helps to find ways to make as much money as you can. By boosting your income through investing, part-time work or some other means, you can increase the amount of cash you have and put it to work for you.

Of course, your early retirement goal will come easier if you start investing as early as you can. If your goal is retirement at 50, you need to start saving with your first paycheck. “One factor that makes early retirement much more difficult is the fact you have a lot less time to save,” says Taylor Schulte, a certified financial planner for Define Financial in San Diego. “While it may not seem like it now, those extra ten or 20 years in the workforce can make a huge difference.”

2. Build up non-qualified assets. Earning more and saving more will help you retire early, but where you stash that money matters, too. The biggest hurdle for early retirees is to effectively bridge the income gap, according to Joseph Azzopardi, a certified financial planner for The Well Planned Retirement in Orange County, California. “Before clients can tap into Social Security and other sources of retirement assets, they’re going to need a plan to bridge their income in the early years.”

This is where assets held outside of retirement accounts come into play. Non-qualified assets can include an array of options, such as taxable brokerage accounts, cash investments and certificates of deposit. “If you plan on retiring before age 50 you will need to build up your non-qualified assets,” says Alex Whitehouse, a financial advisor for Whitehouse Wealth Management in Vancouver, Washington. “Qualified assets, such as IRAs or 401(k)s, have a 10 percent penalty if you withdraw funds prior to 59 1/2. In order to avoid penalties, enough should be saved in non-qualified accounts to provide adequate income until the qualified accounts can be accessed penalty-free.”

3. Invest in a Roth IRA. Early retirees shouldn’t overlook the Roth IRA. These accounts are funded with after-tax dollars, so you can withdraw your contributions from your Roth IRA at any time without penalty or taxes. If you plan to use your Roth IRA for the goal of early retirement, aim to max out your Roth IRA from now until you’re ready to leave the workforce. However, keep in mind that you can’t withdraw your earnings without a penalty until you’re age 59 1/2 or older unless certain specifications are met. You can contribute up to $5,500 to a Roth IRA in 2017, provided you meet the income requirements. By taking advantage of these accounts, you can build up tax-free money you can access at any time.

4. Reduce your mortgage payment or pay it off completely. If you have a 30-year mortgage and plan to retire before the end of the term, you can also consider refinancing your mortgage so its end date coincides with your ideal retirement date, says Anthony Montenegro, founder of Blackmont Advisors in Orange County, California. “This way you have more liquidity to use towards other necessary expenses in retirement.”

If you’re unable to refinance or don’t want to for any reason, you can also pay extra toward the principal of your loan to pay it off early. While it’s possible to retire early while you still owe money on your house, it’s a lot easier to afford early retirement when you don’t have a mortgage hanging over your head.

5. Reduce your spending and learn to live on less. Retiring early requires savvy investing, but work needs to be done on the spending end, too. In other words, if you want to retire early and stay retired, you must keep your spending in check. “Get clear about what actually brings you joy in life, and avoid spending money on everything else,” says Brian Hanks, an Idaho financial planner and author of “How to Buy a Dental Practice.” “If you can keep your monthly budget low, not only will you need a smaller pile of money to retire with at age 50, but you’ll have the discipline to keep spending low when you are ready to walk away from your job.”

6. Build multiple streams of income, including passive income. Most people save a certain amount in their work-sponsored 401(k) accounts until they have enough to retire. Early retirees know they need more than the income from their jobs to get by.

One way to set yourself up for retirement is to create multiple income streams, including streams that are passive, according to Jude Wilson, founder and chief financial strategist of Wilson Group Financial in Orlando, Florida. With passive income, you can set up a system once and collect checks effortlessly for the long haul. Passive income streams to consider could include peer-to-peer lending, a taxable brokerage account, buying rental property or investing in real estate investment trusts. The more streams of income you have coming in, the better off you’ll be.

7. Hire a fee-only financial planner to help you achieve your goals. Most people who retire early have a carefully crafted plan that took decades to execute, often with the help of a qualified financial planner. “One step that must be completed to retire at age 50 is to hire and develop a trusting relationship with an independent fiduciary-based retirement advisor who can create a retirement plan using the best from the securities world and the best from the insurance world,” says Matthew Jackson, a financial advisor for Solid Wealth Advisors in Fort Collins, Colorado. “Don’t get fooled into thinking the tools and strategies you use to retire at age 50 will be the best tools and strategies you will use to stay retired for, hopefully, many decades.” While you can do it on your own, having professional help can help you get there faster.

Prudent saving and investing are essential to retire early, but it’s equally important to know the purpose of your early retirement. “Retiring at age 50 is a great goal, but knowing and affirming the purpose of it all is what will help you make early retirement a reality,” says Morgan Ranstrom, a financial planner for Trailhead Planners in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Whether its traveling the world, spending more time with family or transitioning into volunteer work you really care about, knowing your ‘why’ will make all the difference.”

Those who do the best retiring early have a great sense of purpose in their lives other than a life of leisure. “Money is a great tool to fund a purpose, but it cannot help us find a purpose,” says Don Roork, a financial planner for AssetDynamics Wealth Management in Toledo, Ohio. “Once you have the cash, but before you pull the retirement trigger, take the step of finding a retirement purpose that matters just as much as having the money.”


The Best Destinations in the Riviera Maya


By Thomas Lloyd |

You have asked, we have listened… Here are our 5 favorite destination spots in the Riviera Maya to retire.

Please read below, as to why we choose these specific places in the Riviera Maya! We hope we made your retirement decisions a little easier for you!

Playa Del Carmen:

We have voted Playa del Carmen as our top best destination spot to retire in the Riviera Maya because it has everything. From miles and miles of white sandy beaches, to Brazilian steak houses and some of the best Mexican cuisines you can find. Most importantly, it is well equipped with fantastic medical care, dentistry needs, among other health care practitioners. Salons for those who like to get freshened up every now and then. Wonderful cafes scattered around the town, with free wireless internet access available to their customers. Playa del Carmen at one point was the fast growing city in Latin America. It is located in the perfect spot. Only 45 minutes away from Cancun International Airport, which is convenient for friends and family to come for a visit. It is also only 20 minutes away from some amazing eco-parks. Akumal and Tulum are only minutes down the highway. If you are looking for a perfect place to retire, Playa del Carmen is highly recommended. You want a gated community, with access to the beach and a common pool area to use on your own time? Well, Top Mexico Real Estate can find you a place that meets all your needs.


Let’s talk about the beautiful-serene town of Tulum. The distance between Playa del Carmen and Tulum is only 45 minutes and 1.5 hours from Tulum to Cancun. Making it very accessible to reach a bigger city for your different needs. Tulum is famous for their turquoise waters and white sand beaches, but on top of that… their Mayan archaeological site from the 13th century. Tulum’s national park is situated to overlook the beautiful Caribbean Sea. This archaeological site is one of the most fascinating Mayan walled cities in the world. Although Tulum is not as big as Playa del Carmen, it still has all the main necessities you will need such as: Doctors, Grocery Stores, Salons, Restaurants, Beaches and more. The real estate marketing in Tulum is growing every day! This eco-friendly, hippy loving beach town will surely put a smile on your face as long as you are here!


Bacalar is known for it’s seven color lagoon pictured above. It is located 40 km north of Chetumal, which is the closest big city. Chetumal is where you go if you want to take a boat across to Belize. From Playa del Carmen it takes roughly three hours. Bacalar is one of our top destinations because it is the epitome of pleasure. You feel like you’re in the jungle, mixed with this incredible lagoon. It is a hidden paradise off the beaten path. There is vacant land for sale around the area if you are looking to build.


Have you heard your friends or family members talk about that cool little fishing village, where you can snorkel with large sea turtles for free? Well yes, that would be Akumal! This amazing small town has a great coral reef, where you can see lots of colorful fish, big turtles and other interesting sea creatures. Akumal is only 25 minutes away from Playa del Carmen, making it very easy to commute back and forth when needed. It is a small, beachfront neighborhood in Mexico. There are a lot of North Americans that have property in this area.


Yes, we can’t forget about Cancun. A great city with all the amenities you would ever need. Not many big cities are surrounded by some of the top rated beaches in the world. Not to mention restaurants with world-class chefs, and some of the best shopping in the world. Of course Cancun has a wide selection of medical care and real estate. Being the big city like it is, makes it easier for you to find the best places and necessities for the best price. If you are into golfing, Cancun is a golfers dream. If you like culture and history, Cancun is filled with it. Although it is a big city, it is still enriched with Mayan civilization. Cancun is also known for it’s fishing. There are way too many things to do in Cancun to include everything, but it is definitely a place to enjoy if you like having all your necessities in walking distance from you as well as the beach.

We hope you enjoy one of our top five best destination spots in the Riviera Maya for your retirement, and you see for yourself just how amazing life here in Mexico really is!

Locations in Mexico for Living and Retirement

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By Mexperience

Mexico offers foreign residents plenty of choices in regard to locations for living and retirement

Many factors are likely to influence your decision about where exactly in Mexico you want to retire. This guide highlights some of the questions you might consider as part of that decision-making journey and offers some suggestions about places in Mexico to explore so that you can begin to make a short-list of viable options.

Expatriate Scene or Local Community Scene?

There are two broad choices in terms of choosing where to locate for retirement in Mexico:

you can live in a community where many other foreign residents live—around people who could provide support and company— and live in locations or planned residential enclosures that have been designed for “home away from home” living; or

you may choose to live in a local Mexican community, which means that services and facilities will be those generally available locally (and in many places are excellent) and you will need to make a greater effort in terms of speaking Spanish and integrating into local community life.

The choice is a personal one, and may depend on how well you know Mexico and what your priorities are in terms of lifestyle and activities you intend to take part in.

It’s quite hard to live in Mexico and operate effectively on a day-to-day basis if you don’t speak some Spanish. Living in or near a community of foreign residents will provide you with an immediate support network and there will be people there who can ‘show you the ropes’ and interpret for you if you are new in Mexico and speak little or no Spanish to start.  Some people begin by living in or near an established community of foreign residents, and later on move out into a local Mexican community.

You will enjoy Mexico a lot more if you take some time to learn Spanish; you can find excellent language schools in many places across Mexico and you can even begin your learning with an online course. You can find details of both options by reading the Learn Spanish section here on Mexperience.

For those who choose to live within the heart of a Mexican community; the chances are that you will know Mexico already and your choice of community will come about either through knowing the location where you’ve chosen to retire, or perhaps through having rented a home locally for a while, and explored the local options before deciding.

If you need help finding a place in Mexico that suits your needs and plans, a good Real Estate Agent in Mexico will help you enormously with this process.

Choosing the right neighborhood in any town or city is important: read Home Security: Knowing Your Neighborhood in our real estate guide for more details. Mexican people are very social and warm: they will make you feel at home and, if you are open to being so, ‘adopt’ you into their neighborhood and local community.

Choosing the Climate to Live In

The next consideration with regard to location is climate. Higher altitude areas have spring-like conditions all year-round, although some can still get quite hot in the summer months especially. Mornings and evenings in these areas tend to be cool, bordering on chilly during the winter months. Fireplaces and heaters will banish any chill in the air during cooler spells.

Coastal areas tend to be hot and humid most of the year, and will be prone to the rainy season (May through September). Rains tend to be short, fierce and happen in the late afternoon or evening, leaving the night cooled off, although they can persist at times. The Yucatan peninsula, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific as well as Baja California can be susceptible to hurricanes, which occur mostly between July and October.

For hot and dry weather you’ll need to go inland, on the Baja California peninsula, to Mexico’s colonial heartland, or into its northern deserts. Most places in Mexico where retirees settle have excellent year-round climates.

Mexico’s Climate Zones: Choosing a climate you can feel comfortable living in is important. Read our article, Land of Three Lands, to get useful insights about the different climate zones in Mexico.

All of the location guides on Mexperience have climate summaries. Connect to the guide to Weather and Climates in Mexico on Mexperience for more information about the weather around Mexico’s regions.

Locations for Living and Retirement in Mexico

Detailed Guides: Places to Live in Mexico

This section outlines popular and up-coming locations throughout Mexico which are popular with foreign residents in Mexico. They are organized by location type.

Each location has a brief introduction and background; clicking on the location name will take you to the corresponding travel guide on Mexperience where you can find detailed information as well as picture galleries, location map, climate information.

Big Cities for Living and Retirement in Mexico

Popular big cities for foreign residents in Mexico include:

Guadalajara and Chapala & Ajijic

Guadalajara (including Lake Chapala and Ajijic) which has an enormous expatriate scene that has been established there for decades. The lakeside villages of Chapala and Ajijic are where most of the expats live, and it’s an easy drive (about 40 minutes) to Guadalajara which offers all of the amenities you would expect from Mexico’s second-largest city; including direct flights to the USA.

Mexico City

Mexico City remains a strong favorite with some expats and retirees. If you know the capital and you have fallen in love with it, you stay: and most people who stay can’t quite articulate why they do, they just do; and they adore being part of the vibrancy, the vast size and complexity and contrasts of this remarkable historical center that has been a major inhabited settlement of civilization for nearly 600 years. Besides the colossal selection of amenities, Mexico City also offers some of the world’s finest museums, parks, restaurants, markets and shops and, being the center of economic and political power, has the best connections to everywhere you’d ever want to travel to inside Mexico and internationally.  read our article, The Big Pineapple, for an insight into big city living.

Colonial Cities for Living and Retirement in Mexico

Popular colonial cities for foreign residents in Mexico include:

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende was a quiet artisan’s hide-away in the 60’s and 70’s; since the mid 90’s its popularity has rocketed and is today one of the most sought-after colonial cities to live in. People who have known the city for decades say that its quaint roots have been forever altered by the influx of investment and people in recent times; it does, however still rate as one of the top places in Mexico for living and retirement.


Guanajuato, a short drive north of San Miguel, is also experiencing an influx of foreign investment. It is, without question, one of Mexico’s most beautiful and breath-taking colonial cities.


Queretaro, north of Mexico City, is a thriving colonial city within an easy drive of the capital. The center is beautiful and kept pristine. Many people who leave Mexico City find a new home in Queretaro. It’s an ideal place to consider if you want to be away from the capital but close to it, and want a vibrant city with good amenities and a beautiful colonial environment.


Cuernavaca was an escape pod for capital dwellers back in colonial times; and even today, the road to Cuernavaca from Mexico City gets near grid-lock on holiday weekends. It is a beautiful city with a lot going for it: its proximity to the capital, its magnificent climate, its colonial feel, and while it has undergone some difficult times in recent years, it will continue to be a popular choice for foreign residents and retirees.


Tepoztlan is a vibrant mountain town is one of the most unique places in Mexico’s colonial highlands: foreign residents here love the natural beauty, the peace, tranquility, and sanguine atmosphere. Most people who visit Tepoztlan remark on its tranquil serenity, and some speak glowingly about its mystic allure and how it compels them to keep returning. It’s close to Cuernavaca and Mexico City and is one of the true ‘hidden-gems’ of Mexico’s colonial heritage.


Puebla is another beautiful city, and within easy reach of the capital by road. You need to be living in the heart of the old city to enjoy the charm and splendor because the built-up outskirts belie the true heart and soul of this historical gem.


Oaxaca has, in recent times, experienced some political unrest that has tarnished the location; nonetheless, the people and ambiance of Oaxaca remain as true and sincere as ever (not to be confused with the political jockeys who do not represent the true heart and soul of this beautiful place). Notwithstanding its recent issues, Oaxaca remains a popular place for foreigners especially those seeking out an authentic Mexican experience in one of the most culturally-rich regions of Mexico.

Morelia and Patzcuaro

Morelia and Patzcuaro have been tucked away for years but recently, they have become popular with a new generation of foreign visitors as well as foreign residents and retirees. Direct flights from the USA to Morelia have helped to make this mountain region more accessible, and there is also a fast road between Morelia and Mexico City that cuts the road trip to just under four hours. Morelia and Patzcuaro are well worth exploring if you love mountains, lakes, forests and the true fusion of indigenous and colonial Mexico.


Merida is another relatively ‘new kid on the block’ as a location choice for foreign expats and retirees. Although in the height of the summer months the temperatures here soar (40-45 degrees centigrade / 105-115F is common), the last few years have witnessed an enormous influx of foreigners to this city. Merida is one of Mexico’s most remarkable and culturally-rich provincial cities in Mexico and, notwithstanding the hot summers, will continue to draw certain types of people with its excellent infrastructure, modern amenities and great connections by air to the USA and Mexico City.


Campeche is a picture-postcard colonial city on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Relatively unknown, even by travelers, this city has a huge potential. Real estate investment has already begun here in the form of foreign projects creating high-end housing and condo communities along stretches of beautiful coastline. Campeche is well served with air connections to the USA and Mexico City and is a potential future ‘star’ of Mexico’s in regards to popular locations for foreign expats and retirees.


Veracruz is an industrial port city on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Although it may not strike you as a place for expat living or retirement, the city has certain charms of its own which are particularly attractive to people who know Mexico well and enjoy a fusion of Mexican and Caribbean culture.

Beach Locations for Living and Retirement in Mexico

Popular beach locations for foreign residents in Mexico include:

Puerto Vallarta and Environs

Puerto Vallarta has a history and reputation all its own: this is one of Mexico’s fastest-growing cities and the influx of foreign residents of working age as well as retirees has been unprecedented. The reasons are clear: Puerto Vallarta has an authentic colonial city feel to it and a wonderful ocean-side seat on Mexico’s Pacific coastline, and it’s a contemporary and forward-looking region of Mexico. The climate is idyllic (July through September can be stifling with heat but some people leave for those months to visit people elsewhere), the amenities are extensive and getting better every year, it’s readily accessible with good road and air connections, and it is, for many, a wonderful place to be. In recent years, Nuevo Vallarta and other towns northward towards Sayulita have also become popular and about 20 miles north of Vallarta you’ll also find the more exclusive area of Punta de Mita, where development is ongoing.

Los Cabos and Baja California Sur

Los Cabos is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and it’s also one of the biggest destinations for foreign residents and retirees (or semi retired) expats to go and live in Mexico. The fabulous climate (especially in the winter months), access to a whole host of amenities that retirees look for in a destination including excellent medical facilities and some of the world’s top rated golf courses, well developed local infrastructure and easy access via an international airport, and very active foreign residents communities are just some of the reasons people choose Los Cabos as a place for living or retirement. Some choose to spend only the winter months here, and rent out their homes in the summer when they are away. Los Cabos is not for everybody, and it is more expensive than some other coastal resort towns, but for the many foreigners who choose to call this place home, full or part-time, they love it.

Also situated in Baja California Sur, La Paz and Todos Santos are popular locations for living and retirement. La Paz offers a laid-back, relaxed pace of life with plenty of water-based sports and eco-activities on tap. Todos Santos is the bohemian arts-center in Baja California Sur and is ideally suited to people who want a town away from the more commercialized feel of Los Cabos.  Further north is Loreto, which is well-known for its planned residential communities—mostly retirees—enjoying a fine climate on the shores of the Gulf of California.


Mazatlan, the northern-most ocean facing city on the Mexican Riviera, has long been a favorite vacation spot for Mexican families. One of the location’s key attractions is that it offers excellent facilities at great prices; thus is acknowledged as one of the best ‘value for money’ options on Mexico’s Pacific coast. In recent years, a number of real estate developments have begun to evolve as foreign residents look at Mazatlan for living, working, retirement and second-home investments. The port city’s excellent air/road connections and proximity to the USA, coupled with affordable living and great climate are making Mazatlan an increasingly attractive option for people who want ocean-side living without the ultra-commercialization associated with some of Mexico’s more widely-known beachfront locations.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo – these are two contrasting cities which sit side-by-side with each other; situated on the shores of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, about 200 km (120 miles) north of Acapulco. Most foreign residents and retirees will choose the ‘village’ feel of Zihuatanejo instead of the modern ‘vacation city’ of Ixtapa: although the latter offers some stunning property opportunities. There is a fast road connecting the two locations, which are only a few kilometers apart and the local airport offers connections to Mexico City as well as the USA. Estrella de Oro’s Diamante bus line connects Ixtapa to the capital on an executive-class bus; the bus journey time is approximately nine hours.


Acapulco continues to attract a certain type of foreign resident; usually those who know Mexico well and enjoy the old-world charms of Mexico. Some head to the ‘old town’ of Acapulco — on the south side — where, in the 1950s and 1960s (and for most of the 70s) the rich and famous had homes. Those properties, now looking dated and some in need of love and attention, may be acquired at value-prices. If you want something more modern and up-scale (with prices to match), head to the north side of the bay-city: to Diamante. On the road north, you’ll also find houses overlooking the amazing Acapulco Bay (only Hong Kong can better it for style), but you’ll need deep pockets for those mansions, if one happens to be for sale when you’re looking.  Acapulco has suffered in recent years with the drug-related violence flare-ups, although foreign residents who have called Acapulco home for years continue to live there.  

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido definitely a ‘niche’ location for foreign residents and retirees, this Pacific coastal enclave attracts surfers and the bohemian-set looking for rustic, authentic — often remote — Mexico. If you’re a surfer, an artist, a romanticist and ocean waves-lover at heart, this may be the ideal place for you, although if you don’t know it, a reconnaissance visit is essential to get to know the town and the area.

San Felipe

San Felipe in Baja California, has been a favorite stopping point for travelers exploring the Mexican peninsula for years: today, San Felipe is a retirement boom-town: massive investments have created new infrastructure, services, amenities and high quality retirement homes. Land prices here are still low and ocean-front property is affordable. The town is just a two-hour drive south from the US border (Mexicali) and, facing the Gulf of California offers wonderful climate and attractive waterside living.

Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya is one of the most sought-after places for foreign residents and retirees coming to Mexico. Playa has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade; at one point, out-pacing even Puerto Vallarta. Not too far by road from Merida (see Colonial cities, above), Playa offers a beautiful Caribbean lifestyle with less of the commercial hype of its neighbor, Cancun (although in recent years, Playa del Carmen’s development has created a much more commercialized feel than was here fifteen years ago). With Cancun just 30 miles away, you can enjoy the excellent infrastructure and facilities it offers as well as access to a major international airport with direct connections to the US, Canada and Europe.

Cozumel and Isla Mujeres

Cozumel and Isla Mujeres: Although small island life is not for everyone, each of these islands, off the coast of Playa del Carmen and Cancun respectively, offer charms of their own. Cozumel is particularly popular with divers and is a larger island with more happening and more amenities. Isla Mujeres is small, with very little traffic, but has beautiful calm beaches on one side and a rugged, dramatic coastline on the other (some houses overlook the latter, also). Cozumel has an international airport of its own and both islands are well-served with frequent ferries to the mainland.

Is Mexico the New Haven for American Retirees?

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How Assisted Living in Mexico is luring American retirees to the country because of their affordable rates.

More and more older Americans are heading to Mexico to spend their retirement years. Whether if they say it’s because of the sunny beaches, the warm weather, or the welcoming people, one thing is undeniable, assisted living is way cheaper there than in the US.

According to Peter Fowler, a resident of a community assisted by Serena Senior Care, health care cost is much affordable in Mexico than in the United States.

Before moving to Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, Fowler had difficulties paying his health care services in the US. Aside from health care bills, he had a hard time covering all his expenses because of the high cost of living in America.

Assisted living in Mexico is more affordable. Fowler pays about $1500 a month in Serena Senior Care, which is 70 percent cheaper than average full-time care in California.

According to Mike Wise, a 70-year-old retiree and former resident of Minnesota, even the quality of assisted living in Mexico is better than in the US. In his six years of living in Puerto Vallarta, he observed that doctors are more accessible, surgery and dental care costs less, and there are more health care options at much more affordable prices.

Although moving to Mexico for retirement sounds very appealing, Brenda Shorkend reminded older Americans that they shouldn’t decide to move there without giving it much thought. The Los Angeles Senior Care consultant explained that there are a lot of things to consider in moving from one country to another. Adjustments to food, language, culture among many other things can be upsetting to a lot of people. Also, Medicare doesn’t cover health care expenses in Mexico, Shorkend adds.

At present,  there is an estimated 1 million Americans living in Mexico and an estimated 300 to 400 thousand of those are older Americans.