Retiring to Paradise or Just a Vacation – Mexico

This is the first of our regular ‘trips’ to those wonderful places to which we all dream of retiring.  Be they tropical beaches, snow-capped mountains or country meadows, we all have our favorite- and, often, more than one. But are they quite what we imagine them to be?  Do the pluses outnumber the minuses?  And, in a worst case scenario, is it worth a fortnight’s holiday?

Today, we are looking at Mexico; a country that, surely, has it all.  According to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018, Mexico is the third best place on the planet to retire to. In fact, more Americans retire to Mexico, than to any other country.  Of course, the fact that they are joined together, with a common border, might have something to do with that, but Mexico offers many attractions to retirees from much further afield.

Mexico’s climate is pretty mixed; from tropical, and very hot, on the coasts, to more mild temperatures moving inland to higher altitudes- the bulk of the country is, actually, like an enormous plateau.  Further south, on the Caribbean coast, summers can be wet, though still hot.  For New Englanders, all that sun will take some getting used to, but a good air conditioner will help the job along- and that summer rain will certainly be very welcome!

One of Mexico’s great attractions, of course, is the country’s low cost of living.  The weekly grocery shop for a couple would come in at around $80, with all utilities totaling about $130 a month.  Restaurant and bar prices are a fraction of what they would be in the US, except, of course, in the main tourist areas.  As soon as you land in one of those, prices multiply considerably.  But, if you can’t resist the lure of a bunch of happy drunks on vacation, then they might be worth an occasional visit.   As anywhere, the secret is to shop locally.  Fruits and vegetables are, particularly, cheap- and really good!

Property prices, too, are incredibly reasonable.  If you’re looking for something on the coast- and Mexico has an awful lot of coast- then you can get a beachfront apartment for around $100,000.  If you go a few rows back from the beach, you can get a house for about the same.  Inland, properties are even cheaper, but, as everywhere, location can add and subtract from that to quite a degree.

Health care in Mexico is, at least, very good and, in some areas, excellent.  Obviously, the nearer you are to a decent-sized city, the better your chances of getting that ‘excellent’.  But, it will cost you.  On the whole, it’s far cheaper than you would pay in the US, but, still, you will pay.  There are a number of international health insurance providers, and many offering travel insurance.  As in all insurance, balance the cost of premiums with the size of exemption- plus the likelihood that you will need to call on them.

So, yes, Mexico has, surely, got it all.  From tropical white sandy beaches to mountains with snow; arid deserts to exotic jungles; the west’s largest city to Mayan and Aztec ruins; there really is something for everyone- and every mood.

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