While the majority of Americans and Canadians prefer Mexico retirement in the most popular locations, where there are already a large number of expat retirees, some prefer to be a little more off the beaten track, trading off convenience and a large expat community for something quieter, in many ways opposite to the lifestyle back home.
Then there are always a handful “caught in the middle,” finding difficulty in choosing between the two.Â Â Â If you are one of these, consider the following contrasts.
- Size of the Expat Community. Some places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta or Lake Chapala have very large expat communities, with liberal estimates at 5,000 or more; many of these are retirees who have already chosen these locations as their permanent or winter home.Â Other places, like Costa Maya or Campeche have an expat community numbering in the hundreds, or, if you choose the right town, even dozens.Â While it is always nice to have a community of folks from back home around, this is completely a matter of personal choice; some retirees prefer the smaller group of expats, where everybody knows your name.
Some markets, like Yucatan real estate, offer both, with a large expat community in the inland colonial city of Merida and the beachfront town of Progreso, and a number of small towns out along the beachfront where the community would be smaller and closer-knit.
- Distance to Services. The more established expat communities offer the most in terms of services, with golf courses, shopping malls, state-of-the-art hospitals and many kinds of stores and restaurants.Â The off-the-beaten-track communities always offer the basics (although you may have to visit several stores for grocery day); while good local clinics are usually around, better hospitals can usually be found within about an hours drive.Â For some retirees, this arrangement can work just fine.Â Others may need to choose according to proximity of top-of-the-line medical service.
- Pace of Life. Living in Mexico is relaxing; but there is relaxing, as in beachfront tourist area where everyone combines enjoying life with a day to day rhythm of work, and then there are the places where relaxation is everything.Â Work and schedules take second places to enjoyment and a laid-back lifestyle.Â While this is ideal for some people who really want to “get it away from it all,” it can also be frustrating for those who need to get things done.Â Again, the choice depends entirely on your own needs.
- Property Prices. One of the big attractions for the off-the-beaten-track options is the prices.Â Prices in Mexico are already much lower than similar properties in the U.S.; prices in these places are even lower and amazing deals can be found.Â A good balance sometimes is an up-and-coming tourist area that still has low prices, but is very promising to have more services in the near future.Â One example is Tulum real estate, just south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which is on its way to getting a new international airport, but still offers very well-priced land.Â Another example is Campeche, on the other side of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is still in the earlier stages of taking off as a tourist location.
If you are one of the retirees wondering which option is best for you, these contrasts should help you choose. Remember to contact an experienced Mexico agent, and let them know which points interest you; they will be able to suggest areas.
Thomas Lloyd graduated from Purdue University Krannert School of Management with a degree in Management/Financial Option Investments. He has been living, investing, and working professionally in Mexico for over 15 years. In the summer of 2009, he received the first federally applied Mexico Real Estate Degree and Mexico Professional Real Estate License S.E.P. #5978657. He is the current president of TOPmexicorealestate, you can contact him at (512) 879-6546 or through the company’s web site www.TOPmexicorealestate.com NETWORK
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