In a lot of people’s minds, Mexico is mainly seen as a desirable holiday destination, with its perfect sandy beaches and turquoise water, the hospitality of its people and a rich culture and history. For many years, people would come to visit and then dream of retiring in Mexico because they fell in love with the land and its people. In recent years, however, finances enter the equation, and people choose to retire in Mexico hoping to get more for their hard-earned dollar. As Mexico retirement is becoming increasingly more popular, it is questionable just how much of those people’s expectations are actually met once they move. So, what are the pros and cons of retiring in Mexico from the US or elsewhere?
Benefits of a Mexico retirement
Climate. This is perhaps an obvious advantage, but its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Mexico’s year-round sunny weather is often one of the first things that draw people to think about retiring there. This is especially true if you are coming from a place where sunshine isn’t such a common visitor.
Sunny weather means you will have the opportunity to spend a lot of your time outdoors. It will allow you to really enjoy your days in retirement. You might choose to plant and work on a garden full of flowers or spices. You may just want to make the most of your proximity to the beach. If you are planning an active retirement in general, Mexico is the place for you. You will have to alter your routine slightly to include applying sunscreen and wearing a hat every day. You will surely agree that this is but a small price to pay. The only downside of Mexico’s climate is the risk of hurricanes (in the South).
Keeping yourself active during your Mexico retirement
If you decide to retire in Mexico, chances are you have an adventurous spirit and aren’t quite planning to spend your retirement sitting on the porch reading or knitting. Mexico is an ideal place for those planning an active retirement. The beaches are an obvious spot for recreation and enjoyment, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Besides swimming, diving and snorkeling, Mexico also offers incredible opportunities for fine dining.
Not only that, but if you get sick of trying out the restaurants that are on the fancier side, there are plenty of street food vendors where you are likely to taste some of the best foods Mexico has to offer. Most Mexican towns also boast lively markets and there are also lots of historical sites worth visiting throughout the country. All of these activities hold ample opportunities for meeting like-minded people, and Mexicans are generally a people with a very sunny, friendly disposition.
Cost of Living
The favorable exchange rate between dollars and pesos means getting more for your money down south. On top of that, the cost of living in Mexico is much lower than that in the US, in most areas. As far as Mexican real-estate goes, beach-front properties can be on the pricey side because of their desirable location. In that case, experts suggest finding a property that’s slightly more inland but still close to the beach. This way your house won’t break the bank but you’ll still be close to the water. There is even a chance of actually saving money on your Mexico retirement if you keep your costs at an appropriate level, which shouldn’t be a problem.
The downsides of expat life in Mexico
Experts suggest being careful when making a decision to move. This is true in general, but especially when you are moving to a different country. No matter how close it is, Mexico’s culture is still a lot different from what you are probably used to. Even if you thoroughly enjoyed yourself and liked everything on your holidays there, this does not mean you would enjoy living there. People make the mistake of retiring in Mexico for its climate and the financial benefits and completely disregard everything else. Once they are there, they are in for a rude awakening.
Things function a bit differently in Mexico. Being prepared for unpleasant surprises and being flexible when making any plans is necessary if you are hoping for a happy life in Mexico. Having an adventurous spirit and genuinely admiring the people and their culture will also be a great aid. Just be ready to adjust and in some cases abandon what you consider your way of doing things. One of the main expat annoyances is bureaucracy. Not only is it tedious when it comes to immigration in Mexico, but it is present in almost every aspect of life in Mexico.
Proximity to the US
So, you have decided to retire in Mexico. You’ve packed the things you will need and are leaving the rest behind. Perhaps you needed to find affordable long term storage units in your area where you left the belongings you probably won’t need when you go to Mexico. But they’re still there, ready for you to come and get them when you decide to. While you can do this with your things, unfortunately, you can’t with your friends and family that stayed behind. One of the downsides of living in heaven on Earth is that everyone and their uncle will feel the urge to visit you. It would be one thing if you had decided to retire somewhere across the world, but you haven’t. You’re right there. However, a less cynical view of this would be that it’s a bonus. You can get anywhere in the US in about 2 hours by plane. In Puerto Penasco-Rocky Point, Mexico, it’s a 1 hour drive to the Arizona border, then 2.5 hours to either Phoenix or Tucson
While infrastructure is much better than it used to be, there are still some things to look out for. Many of the local roads have large speed bumps called topes that can damage the suspension on your car and even the tires. You may not notice them until it’s too late, especially if you’re driving at night. You should also bear in mind that the rules aren’t always what you would expect, so pay close attention to the signs.
“Mexican Beach Bum” (Robin Miller) Realtor® is the Designated Broker for Mexico Real Estate and Document Services in the beautiful resort city of Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point, Mexico, where the desert meets the ocean. Just 210 miles from Phoenix or Tucson and where income producing properties start at $75,000 and homes in town start at $30,000.
Being in the Mexico Real Estate Industry for over 13 years, I have been assisting clients with their Mexico vacation home buying and selling decisions in Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point, and Puerto Vallarta.
**License #442 (licensing required by the State of Sonora)
**Accredited Professional Broker in Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point
**AMPI member (Mexico’s Real Estate Association)
**Executive AMPI Board member of the local chapter 51
**NAR member (U.S. National Association of Realtors®)
**Member of the local MLS, Multiple Listing Service
**Have a full legal team, in house, to assist buyers with obtaining titles.
With my credentials and the support of my in house legal team, I am qualified to represent, and PROTECT BUYERS as they search for and purchase the perfect vacation home or income producing investment property.
It is important that a foreign buyer connects with a properly qualified licensed agent for their real estate search and purchase transaction. Licensed agents, AMPI and NAR members are held to high ethical standards; attend continuing education classes, and keeping up to date on current issues so they can help guide their clients through the buying and selling process in Mexico.
Ask me for my FREE guide to safely purchase Mexico real estate.
US Line in Mexico: (602) 539-3124
Mexico Cell: 011-521-638-109-0443
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