What’s the best place to retire in the U.S.? A recent slide show at Marketwatch.com visualized and summarized the findings of a recent Bankrate survey.
You can go take a look at at, but a quick glance will show you that the results are … surprising. The empty badlands and sprawling wheat fields of the Dakotas, the plains of Nebraska and the hills of the Appalachians – beautiful places, to be sure, but not exactly the sunny retirement that most people imagined.
So, what happened in this rating? Is Bankrate just trying be counter-culture and shock people? Actually, if you read the stats, they are just being realistic. The classic favorites in the Sunbelt are simply too expensive for the average (or even above average) American. To find a good balance of cost of living, health care, low crime and good services you have to look northward.
In my opinion, a much better solution would be to look southward – to Mexico that is. Of the factors Bankrate considered, many locations in Mexico excel:
Cost of living – Mexico tends to be about half that of the U.S. on average. I’m sure this means that most nice places in Mexico are noticeably less expensive than the states on that list.
Health care – Mexico’s healthcare has modernized significantly, and now has hospitals on par with private hospitals in the U.S.
Modern services – Banks, supermarkets, transportation, etc. – these will be well run, modern and comfortable.
Crime rate – Surprisingly, many parts of Mexico are safer than many parts of the U.S. Yucatan, for example, has a crime rate as low as Wyoming, one of the safest states.
Sunshine & warm weather – Many parts of Mexico enjoy sunshine over 300 days a year. This includes beachfront areas and small lakeside towns in the hilly central highlands.
And … we can’t forget that with all this, you can still be on a beautiful beach, or perhaps a charming lake front if you prefer. So, you can go digging up nice retirement towns in South Dakota, if you like. I’m sure the people will be friendly and the landscapes will be beautiful … during the 3 months of summer, at least.
Or you could come down to Mexico and enjoy even lower cost of living, sunnier weather with most of the same benefits. The beach will be much, much closer.
-by Bea Lozano