When you start searching where to retire the idea of going south starts to dance in your head but which Mexico destination fits you best.
Thinking on Retiring?
The alarm clock goes off, and you say to yourself, “Another day. Another dollar”. While driving to work, or maybe I should say stuck in traffic, an ad comes across the morning radio talking about retirement. It captures a thought for a brief moment, but you continue with your tedious drive into work. Once you arrive, the mind and body switch to autopilot. You punch in, perform your morning rituals, and begin your typical day’s tasks or assignments. Then, you periodically say to yourself, “Same old thing, different day.”
Finally, you finish up with the morning meeting. They talked about some senseless company changes in policy and how it’s going to affect you. As the day goes on, you look up at the clock, and it tells you it’s lunchtime. You punch the time clock and then sit down in a company-provided room with your bagged lunch in front of you. You overhear employees talking about their woes, some are surfing their phones, and others are staring off into space. It goes on day-in and day-out.
You ask the question, “When is it time to start considering retirement?” More-and-more people are finally deciding to hang it up! With the pandemic causing many businesses to close and the unemployment rate to climb, it might be a good time to retire. If you’re not quite at retirement age but have enough money saved up to take some time off, then maybe an extended vacation could be what the doctor ordered.
Now you start thinking, “Where to go? What makes good sense? Is there someplace close that has a lower cost-of-living than where I am now?” As a matter of fact, there are numerous towns south of the border that will fit that bill. Mexico is a perfect choice when wanting to have a second or permanent home. We took the opportunity to select seven popular cities that possess various lifestyles and activities so you may choose a Mexico destination.
To the south of Mexico
Bacalar has a population of approximately 11,000 full-time residents. This smaller and laidback town located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo is 25 miles northwest of Chetumal and about 45-minutes from Corozal, Belize. Bacalar has a tropical climate, which provides for near-perfect weather year-round. The city sits on a beautiful elongated freshwater lake with unique blue tones. The surrounding terrain is full of a variety of vegetation that includes palm trees and flowering foliage. There are white sand beaches that brush against the Caribbean Sea just minutes away.
Bacalar has all the conveniences of home. Speaking of homes, property prices start at around 65,000 USD. Finding great restaurants, local cantinas, and shopping venues are no problem. Grocery stores and mercados provide you with all your dietary needs. The cost of living is much less than what it is in America or Canada. The lifestyle is very laid back and, at the same time, community-oriented. Spend a relaxing day fishing on Bacalar Lake or Laguna Mariscal. There are also plenty of trails to explore and cenotes to take refreshing dips. Life can be so easy here in Bacalar.
Playa del Carmen
This city is the epitome when wanting to be around a lush landscape and a perfect climate. This renowned destination is a stronghold for Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The weather here is 100 percent tropical. The daytime temps can reach the mid-90s, and the Caribbean Sea breeze brings it back down into the low 80s in the evening. The lush jungles, colorful foliage, and swaying palms make for some fabulous surroundings. There will be no snow to shovel in Playa del Carmen whatsoever. Did I say ever? I meant to say never!
This once small fishing village has grown up to be a retiree’s paradise. You can choose to live like a full-time tourist enjoying all the festivities or relaxing on the beach working on that perfect tan. Playa del Carmen has all the conveniences of home and more. There is a plethora of shopping venues, various eateries in town or on the water, and about every outdoor activity imaginable. Choose to go diving or snorkeling around the second-largest living reef in the world or go sport fishing in the clear turquoise Caribbean Sea. Maybe exploring several ancient Mayan ruins is more your style! The choices are endless.
It is the capital for the state of Yucatan, therefore, is the most populated metropolitan area on the Peninsula. The city possesses the ability to hold on to multiple cultures that blend evenly together. The terrain is considered somewhat arid, but at the same time has a tropical feel. It’s hot, rainy, and very humid in the summer months and then becomes relatively mild in the winter. The city has a wide variety of vegetation, including various trees, colorful foliage, and flowering plants.
When living in this colonial city, you will discover its layers of history that began with centuries of Mayan civilization and finishes with Mexico’s ultimate independence. There are plenty of daily activities to enjoy, such as bazaars, festivals, and open-air markets. There are countless eateries throughout the city. Begin your day with a light breakfast in a quaint café. When lunch rolls around, enjoy your meal curbside. Dinner time holds too many options to mention. Each street represents a different era in time. The cost of living is far less than similar cities in the US and Canada. A pretty nice home in Merida is around 249,000 USD. This is a must-see destination!
On the Pacific Coast
A.k.a. PV, is a city that sits on Mexico’s West Coast in the state of Jalisco. The town is in the shadows of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains to the east and the deep blue water of the Pacific Ocean to the west. This town has a population of approximately 222,000 residents. Furthermore,The weather is ideal for people looking for highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s. The climate is considered tropical in the summer and dry in the winter. The mountains are draped with green vegetation, and there are swaying palm trees aligned on the beaches. It’s a great combination having both mountains and water!
Puerto Vallarta offers an exciting and active lifestyle. There is so much going on that you never know what day of the week it is. Your choices range from hiking around the mountains to playing on the beach. The activities are endless. Since PV is a thriving city, there is no lack of great restaurants and shopping opportunities. The cost of living in this Mexico destination is a bit more expensive than other cities but still cheaper than the US and Canada. Home prices start around 195,000 USD, and condos begin at 200,000 USD. Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport provides plenty of flights to and from the US and Canada.
La Paz is the capital of Mexico’s California Baja Sur state. It has a population including nearby communities of approximately 291,000. Situated on the curve of a bay and alongside the Sea of Cortez makes an ideal place to retire. The desert terrain, tundra-covered hills, and vast blue water create a contrasting landscape. The average daytime temps reach into the 90s and, depending on the time of year, in the mid-60s during the evenings. There is hardly any measurable rainfall, but again, the weather is considered tropical because of its high humidity.
The full-time expat – retirement population in La Paz is impressive. It is estimated to be approximately 10,000 strong. And why not! There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. You can bike, hike, or motor around the trails that cover the hills surrounding the city. If water sports are on the day’s agenda, the Sea of Cortez is right out your backdoor. Go fishing, jet skiing, or diving, to mention just a few of the activities available. A nice condo starts around 83,000 USD. La Paz has all the conveniences to make living here extremely comfortable.
On the Center of Mexico
San Miguel de Allende
It is one of Mexico’s popular retirement destinations. This rugged terrain surrounded by majestic mountains and serene valleys has an altitude of approximately 6,200 feet. The climate is somewhat arid but does have a varying landscape. The summer months will hover in the mid-80s, where the cooler ones will reach in the upper-50s. For people who like a change of seasons, you will definitely notice the temperature variations. However, you won’t have to deal with the extreme elements that come along with it.
Several travel publications have announced that San Miguel de Allende is the ‘Best City in the World to Retire.’ This alone speaks volumes when considering either to relocate part-time or to retire here permanently. The city offers plenty of modern conveniences that will make life easy. Living in San Miguel de Allende would be like living back home but with less stress, a lower cost of living, and better weather. There is a large expat community that hosts a variety of social gatherings and neighborhood events.
These are just a few suggestions when looking to retire in a Mexico destination. There are other popular places to consider, including Cabo San Lucas, Tulum, and Lake Chapala, to mention only a few. Any one of these towns could click any or all of your boxes. With all the information provided, the only thing to decide now is which Mexico destination fits you best?