Retirement in the Riviera Maya: What’s to Know?

Retirement in the Riviera Maya – what’s to know is a guest blog by Betty White, whose bio you can find at the bottom of this article.

In the modern era, we are living faster than ever and working much more than relaxing. When we are young and full of ambition, we even find pleasure in the adrenaline that this lifestyle brings us. But as the years go by, we become tired.  Continue reading

Don’t Miss the Super Bowl Between the Patriots and Rams in Playa del Carmen

February 3rd will be the 53rd annual Super Bowl to pick the NFL’s champion this year. The New England Patriots will be facing off against the Los Angeles Rams for what might prove to be a rematch from when these two teams met back in 2002.  Continue reading

All the Reasons to Consider Retirement in Mexico

When time for retirement starts closing in, it’s time to consider a place to retire to. Many people stay home and carry out their retirement there. But others are keen to spread their wings and fly. They consider heading out somewhere new, where that new breath of life is waiting. That is why so many people place the Riviera Maya in Mexico at the top of their list. It might be the weather, the lower cost of living or even the fulfilment of living abroad. Mexico has everything, which is why it is the perfect place to seek retirement. Take a moment to write down all the elements that you and your partner will want and need in selecting a retirement destination. Then start a shortlist of places that will satisfy the criteria. We bet that Mexico is at the top of the list!

Retire in Playa del Carmen

When living in North America, you have several choices to live out the best years of your life. You could select Europe, Hawaii, or somewhere in the Orient. Whichever countries you are researching, make sure you do all your due diligence when comparing what best suits your specific requirements. But at the same time, don’t forget to listen to your emotional urges to live in a place that keeps popping up in your mind. And we certainly hope that place is the Riviera Maya. In all honesty, there are no shortage of reasons to consider this piece of paradise.

Just recently, International Living rated Mexico 3rd out of 10 on its annual report The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2019. Even though Mexico wasn’t number one, you have to consider the approximate location to your home country and family. Living in North America, most retirees and expats can be less than a 3 to 6-hour plane flight from home. The following reasons will help you complete that long-visited list of why you should consider retirement in Mexico.

The Cancun International Airport

Cancun International Airport

This ever-growing airport is conveniently located on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, just minutes away from the Riviera Maya stretch. It is an ideal location that can be used as a home base to explore other worldly destinations. In fact, the Cancun International Airport is the second largest and busiest airport in Mexico, right after Mexico City’s. Moreover, it is one of the country’s state-of-the-art airports. It is constantly improving its infrastructure and completed its fourth terminal in October 2017. Cancun’s airport is Mexico’s most popular ports-of-call for tourism. It provides multiple means of transportation to almost anywhere on the Peninsula. You can choose from luxury bus lines, shuttle services, taxi services, and reliable public transportation.

Near perfect year-round weather

Once you arrive in Mexico, you can toss your coat, sweater and boots in a box and store them away – for good. The Riviera Maya’s daily temperature rarely fluctuates throughout the seasons. The daytime highs in summer range from the low to mid 90s, and the evenings settle down to the mid and upper 70s. The colder months level off into the low to mid 80s, and a relaxing 70 to 73 degrees after the sunsets. These types of temperatures make every day a beach day. Mexico is all about outdoor living day or night. Can’t ask for any better weather than this. Especially for your long-awaited retirement.

Beach Sunset

Enjoy a Caribbean lifestyle

If having fun in the sun and being surrounded by the Caribbean Sea sounds like the perfect place for you, move down here now. The Riviera Maya has made several Top 10 lists as having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here is where the turquoise waters meet up with the fine, white sand. Imagine strolling along where the soft sand gently massages your feet, the warm tempered waves splash against your legs, and palm trees sway subtly above your head. It’s not longer a dream, but a reality.

The cost of living is unbeatable

Tulum

Living a comfortable lifestyle on a modest amount of money is no problem at all in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. With inexpensive entertainment, low taxes, and bargain shopping, you can enjoy a comfortable – and sometimes luxurious – life. Other contributing costs of saving factors include the USD to Mexican Peso exchange rate and low property taxes. The latter makes owning a home very affordable. You will rarely need a car, because public transportation is very reliable and inexpensive. Likewise, walking around or biking is great due to the proximity of it all. Visiting nearby communities can be as easy as catching a colectivo or flagging down a taxi.

Modern infrastructure, modern comforts and stable government

Mexico has a very modern infrastructure that includes running water, sewer systems, water purification plans, and a very reliable electrical grid. Likewise, services such as Wi-Fi are offered everywhere, and many times it is free. Internet cabling reaches most places and has a reliable speed. When it comes to shopping, you will find familiar retailers, grocery stores, and outlets selling all modern conveniences of home. Lastly, the Mexican government has been and continues being stable. It also has plans to continually enhance the country’s notable reputation for being safe and very protective of its tourists. Don’t hesitate to let your guard down once in a while and enjoy life as it is meant to be.

Other factors for the best retirement in Mexico

Other worthwhile benefits are the fabulous cuisines, the ease of travel between regions (especially with the upcoming Mayan train), a welcoming culture and festive environment. These are only a few of the reasons why Mexico is the perfect retirement destination, and why it has topped many international lists.

Most importantly, however, is the ease of purchasing real estate in the region and becoming a happy homeowner in Mexico. You will find new developments which are thought out as perfect for retirement, such as Starlight Towers in Playa del Carmen, with its indoor patio and smart architecture. Or if you prefer Tulum, you will find places such as Puerta Azul, which offer open-plan condos perfect for entertaining visiting friends or family.

Benefits of Living in Mexico

Mexico’s Holidays: Dia de los Reyes Magos and Dia de la Candelaria

In the United States and Canada, Christmas festivities are generally wrapped up by New Year’s Day. In Mexico, however, the festivities are far from over. Mexicans celebrate Dia de los Reyes Magos (known as Epiphany in the English-speaking world) on January 6th. This marks the day that the Three Wise Men visited and brought gifts for baby Jesus. It is tradition for families to get together on this day, exchange gifts and, of course, feast with delicious meals.

The Arrival of the Reyes Magos

Three Wise Men

One of the most important elements of the Dia de los Reyes Magos is the rosca de reyes, or the wreath of the kings. This is a large, oval-shaped cake featuring sweetened dried fruit, which represents the jewels on a crown. A small white figurine representing baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake. This mimics the hiding of Jesus from King Herod. Slices are served from the cake to every attendee. Whoever gets the cake with the figurine then has to host a tamale dinner on Dia de la Candelaria on February 2nd.

However, for children, the exciting bit takes place on the 6th in the morning. On the night of the 5th, the Three Wise Men travel by elephant, camel and horse to visit the house of every well-behaved child. They leave gifts behind as a representation of the gifts brought to baby Jesus. The following morning, children will awake early and open their presents. Many children in Mexico today get presents both from Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men.

Dia de la Candelaria: Feburary 2nd

Tamales

While the United States and Canada celebrate Groundhog Day, Mexico is looking another way. Dia de la Candelaria is known as Candlemas in English. The tradition of Groundhog Day is echoed as well in an old English saying:

If Candlemas be fair and bright, 

Winter has another flight. 

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, 

Winter will not come again.

In Mexico however, the celebration on this day is quite different. Throughout the country on this day people dress up figurines of the Christ Child in special holiday outfits and take them to the church to be blessed by the priest, and are then carried around by their owners as part of the celebrations. Another part of the tradition is to bring candles to mass, so you might notice some beautiful examples being sold around this time in some of the shops.

A dinner gathering featuring tamales is then hosted by the person who found the figurine in the Rosca De Reyes during Dia De Los Reyes Magos. Tamales are dumplings made of masa (corn dough) stuffed with either savory or sweet fillings, and then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed – this is a staple dish for many families who often have their own secret recipes. Often this is also the day when many people take down their Christmas decorations so the added help of party attendees is very welcomed!

Become a part of Mexican culture

Retirement in Mexico

After Dia de la Candelaria things get back to normal – until the next round of festivities! If you are in Mexico during February, be sure to take part in celebrations during this time. It is a great way to experience authentic Mexican culture, as these are celebrations that are deeply important to devout Mexicans across the country. It’s a beautiful view into the culture and lifestyle of the Mexican people, and a great way to get to know your Mexican friends and family.

The best way to get involved in the culture, of course, is by living it. So, if you’re considering retirement abroad, don’t overlook Mexico. We have thousands of properties suited for all styles, needs and budgets.  Make sure to contact our Top Mexico Real Estate Buyer’s Representatives and start looking for your dream home in Mexico!

Buying Safely in Mexico e-book

Adopting a Green Lifestyle in Mexico

Over the past few years, environmental impact has become a more pressing issue. It has called for people to start making changes in their lives. Likewise, it has pushed real estate developers to consider sustainable construction to avoid damaging the planet further. In fact, Tulum was recently the first destination in Mexico to become a sustainable tourism zone. Each day, more and more people are adopting a green lifestyle to help the environment as much as possible. And it is as easy as making slight little changes at home. Because Tulum and Playa del Carmen are pushing to become sustainable communities, we urge expats, locals and retirees to start adopting a green lifestyle.

Although the Earth’s temperature has ebbed and flowed throughout the course of history, all current signs point to human activity causing a shift in its natural path. Global sea levels are rising and temperatures are surging. 15 out of the 16 hottest years on record have taken place since 2001. Fortunately, there are still opportunities for us to reverse this course. The introduction of new technologies and environmentally-friendly products have made it so that it’s more possible than ever to switch to a green lifestyle.

Simple Solutions to Help the Environment

Riding a bike

Going green nowadays does not mean going back to basics (or adopting a more bohemian or hippie lifestyle). You are not expected to live off the grid or move into a commune to lead an environmentally-friendly life. There are many ways to incorporate green practices into your everyday life. Some simple solutions are:

  • Wash your clothes with cold water;
  • Use drying racks or clotheslines instead of a dryer;
  • Take shorter showers;
  • Walk or bike instead of using a car.

Green Lifestyle in your Home

Green Energy Homes

However, you can also adapt your home for a green lifestyle to reduce energy usage. While many people still consider a green home to be too expensive, the reality is that certain things are affordable and even free (like recycling). Solar panels have become reasonably-priced over the past few years. In a sunny locale like the Riviera Maya, solar panels can be an extremely effective way to reduce your energy usage. Mexico’s primary electric company, Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), allows you to connect your home’s solar panels into a nation-wide grid in order to more effectively reduce your usage.

Energy-efficient appliances have the ability to reduce your environmental impact (and reduce your energy bill). Even if many of these are slightly more expensive, you will still end up ahead in the money you save on energy bills over time.

Now, if you’re going all out money-wise, adding water recycling systems can also be a huge saving. Mix this up with a green wall that will enhance your home, keep you healthier and, of course, save water.

You will not only be saving on your monthly bill with your energy-efficient home, but your home value will increase. You will intrigue buyers with a home outfitted with green technologies, should you ever want to sell your home.

Invest in Sustainable Real Estate

Nuuch Allure Tulum

If you’re just considering the possibility of purchasing real estate in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, you should consider investing in sustainable real estate. There are many options available throughout Playa del Carmen. However, Tulum is ahead of the game in sustainable development at the moment. Places such as the community of Luum Zama are committed to preserving the environment. That is why developments within this community are bound, by contract, to keeping 60% of their land untouched. Moreover, developments such as Nuuch Allure also offer the possibility of adding solar panels right from the start. You can also consider Puerta Azul Tulum. It is built with locally-sourced materials that make maintenance easier and more affordable, as well as less damaging.

Earth is humanity’s only home. It is important for all of us to do our part to keep our planet healthy. After all, who would like to live in the Riviera Maya if it didn’t have its bright-blue waters, fine white-sand beaches and lush tropical jungle? Consider some ways you can incorporate a green lifestyle to keep our planet beautiful for generations to come.

New Year’s Eve Activites in Playa del Carmen

The year is coming to and end. Celebrating New Year’s Eve is the highlight of the year to many. Playa del Carmen is a great place to celebrate. There are many exciting events going on over the holidays for you to enjoy with friends and loved ones. Playa del Carmen is an exciting place to be during this time of year. You can meet friends old and new. You can hang out with expats, locals and tourists. These are some of the events going on in town.

New Year’s Eve at Mamitas Beach

Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen

Check out one of the hottest beach clubs in Playa del Carmen for New Year’s Eve. Your ticket will get you a three-course dinner cooked by Chef Francisco Del Piero, a bottle of sparkling wine per couple, champagne glasses, and grapes for your toast. You also get your very own party kit and, of course, performances and music all night with a special fireworks show at midnight.

A Very Tiki New Year

Welcome the new year in style at The Tiny Tiki Hut. You get three menu times, an open bar with house cocktails and beers, and party favors for just $700 pesos. Act fast, though, because space is limited and reservations close on December 29th.

Cheering at Tequila Barrel

Ring in the new year with fun at the Tequila Barrel’s New Year’s Eve party. They have several packages to choose from for groups of four people. You can get bottles of champagne, appetizers, New Year’s party kits and, of course, your grapes.

Sundowner Yacht Club

New Year’s Dinner

Imagine starting the new year with amazing Australian specialties all the way in Mexico! At Sundowner Yacht Club, you can join the New Year’s Eve Dinner with your family from 6pm to 10pm. You will enjoy delicious seafood and cocktails. If you want to stick around until midnight, consider joining the all-inclusive party starting at 10pm.

Hang Out with the Locals, Expats and Tourists

Regardless of whether you want to go to a specific event or not, you can enjoy the company of people from around the world. Head down to Fifth Avenue and check out what’s going on around there. Trust me, there are hundreds of things happening. Beware, though – lineups will be long and most restaurants will be full. Even if you do have tickets, be prepared to stand in line. Thankfully, the warm Caribbean weather makes spending time outside in the evening a much more enjoyable activity than it would be for most people in the US or Canada.

Wherever you plan to spend New Year’s Eve don’t forget to grab some grapes for las doce uvas de la suerte (the twelve grapes of luck) – a tradition that dates back to the turn of the 20th century! You must eat a grape with each bell strike at midnight on December 31st – the tradition says that doing so will lead to a year of prosperity.

Make Your Dreams Come True

Start the new year by considering purchasing that dream home in Mexico for your retirement. Swift through our special properties to find the perfect retirement haven in the Mexican Caribbean.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…we make it happen!

Benefits of Living in Mexico

How are the Christmas Holidays Celebrated in Mexico’s Riviera Maya?

Perhaps the sunny white beaches and azure waters of the Riviera Maya aren’t typically the scene you think of when Christmas comes to mind. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some incredible holiday activities for you to participate in this holiday season. Mexico takes Christmas and the holidays quite seriously. The holidays are filled with tradition, love and happiness.

Longer Celebrations

Three Kings

In Mexico, the holidays begin on December 12th with the celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe and officially ends on January 6th – the day of the Three Kings. Many extend the date to February 2nd or the Candlemas Day. On this day, they share atole (a traditional warm cornmeal drink) and tamales with friends and family. For those who love a traditional western holiday atmosphere with snowmen and reindeer, there will be no shortage in Playa del Carmen. Authorities line the Palacio Municipal with poinsettia plants, as well as Christmas-themed decorations each year.

Joel Roberts Poinsett was the first Ambassador to Mexico from the USA. Poinsettias are named after him. These beautiful bright-red flowers are native to Central America and specifically an area of southern Mexico called Taxco de Alarcon. Poinsett loved the way the flowers looked and brought them back to America. Now they are Mexico’s official holiday flower. In Spanish, they are known as Noche Buena, which means holy night.

The city center plaza at the Palacio Municipal is also the location of many holiday-themed events during the season. In addition to the poinsettias, there are also other themed displays often with giant Christmas’s trees and mangers. Here, you can also find delicious Mexican street food like marquesitas (thin rolled crispy wafer-like crepes filled with your choice of fillings, including Nutella, cajeta and sprinkled cheese.

Traditional Mexican Christmas

Christmas Piñata

For more traditional Mexican celebrations, you must look into the posadas. Posada in Spanish means inn, or place to stay. These parties come from the story of Jesus being born and his family asking for space at the inn. Mexicans celebrate this with traditional foods like ponche (a drink made from dried ruins and spices), rosca (a Mexican version of fruitcake) and other local delights. Posadas take place from December 16th all the way up to Christmas. Many people throw posadas at their houses. These involve a sing-off where half the party are the inn-keepers and the other half are the Virgin Mary and her family asking to be let in. When the doors open, the celebrations start. You are expected to crack open the famous piñatas during a posada. Each spike representing a capital sin.

From Mass to Dinners

There are also many activities going on throughout the city. Santa Claus often makes a special visit in the days leading up to Christmas at the Playacar Center. If you’re interested in going to a Christmas Eve church service, there are also masses happening at the various churches around the city – including the chapel on the south end of 5th Avenue. You can attend this mass at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.

Christmas Gifts

Just like in the USA, gifts are a big part of the Christmas celebration in Mexico. Families usually exchange this over dinner on Christmas Eve. Then, children open their Santa Claus presents on Christmas Day. The last gift exchange happens on the morning of January 6th, when children wake up to open the presents brought to them by the Three Kings. On Christmas Day, you will be able to stroll down 5th Avenue and enjoy the calmness of the morning when people are still at home having dinner leftovers.

Give Playa del Carmen a Try

So, if you’re planning on spending the holidays in Playa del Carmen, you’re sure to be able to enjoy the many traditions of the Mexican people. And don’t forget to bring an open mind and big heart. Although Mexicans tend to be friendly year-round, they are specially jolly during this season.

The Six Rules of a Golden and Profitable Retirement

As the years start rolling about faster and faster, boomers, who are now on the brink of retirement, start to wonder how they will retire and what they will do in their retirement. The truth is, there are no rules to this and each person decides what to do with their retirement time, money and plans. However, experts have panned out a retirement plan to make it truly golden and profitable. You may call them guidelines, rules, commandments, or whatever pleases you. But these rules have helped millions of soon-to-be-retirees understand what the golden years have in store for them.

Save, save and save some more

Piggy bank

The first rule to retirement is saving money for it. Putting money into your 401(k) and IRA retirement funds is a great way to ensure you will have money to do what you please in your retirement. In fact, many people even put their IRA retirement funds to work prior to retirement by investing in vacation rental homes overseas. Any income generated from that property is put back into your IRA account, helping you create a steady flow of income that will come in very handy in your retirement. In the meantime, you can also create automatic deductions from your paycheck and join investment plans, which help put away money before you are able to spend it. Many retirees often just rely on their Social Security, which is a safety net, to say the least. It does not guarantee that you will be able to afford any sort of comfortable lifestyle. So, if you save – and invest – your money wisely, you’re ahead of the game.

Move away and find an affordable retirement spot

 

The reason why thousands of Americans and Canadians move to Mexico for their retirement is cost of living. Don’t be afraid to get up and move elsewhere. In Playa del Carmen, you can comfortably live for 50% less of the cost than you would in Sarasota, FL or Scottsdale, AZ, for example. And you might even be able to purchase a home for a fraction of the cost it would cost you back home. Mexico is the perfect spot for retirement due to its proximity to the US for quick visits back home, and it is the most culturally familiar country for those in the United States and Canada. So, get ready for that adventure abroad that retirement often promises.

Wait the correct amount to retire

Retire

You might hear of early retirement cases that are a huge success. A young man of 53 and his similarly-aged wife investing abroad and getting ready to retire after years of work. But this is not the case for everyone. Retirement should come at the right time for you. Early retirement is good when you have a fortune saved up and are certain that you have enough to live comfortably for the rest of your life. However, you need to measure your individual case. It’s quite simple. You need to give your money time to accumulate and multiply. Your Social Security checks will become smaller if your retirement is longer. So, make sure you give yourself time to fully prepare for retirement.

Think of no one but yourself

 

Downsizing is often a scary thought for people. But the reality is that you no longer need to shelter a whole family – just you and your partner. Think of yourself first, and everyone else second. Sure, you might want a guest bedroom in your Mexico home for whenever your grown children and grandchildren visit. Or if you have friends who are enjoying their retirement by traveling and want to stay with you. But there is no need to look for a 4-bedroom home with a studio, a TV room, a laundry room and all the big, lavish spaces you enjoy as a family. Retirement often means going back to basic. And that means you should think of your savings and your needs. Get rid of that mini van and switch out for a small car, or no car at all!

Plan to stay active, motivated and busy

 

Retirees often find themselves bored, not knowing where to go and what to do. If you’re used to a busy lifestyle, where you work 9 to 5, go out for business meetings or are often traveling, make sure to keep a fast-paced retirement. Except this time, there are no responsibilities, commitments or people depending on you. Staying healthy, active and busy during retirement is great for both your physical and mental health. So, make sure you plan your retirement with enough motivating activities. You might want to move abroad and spend your time traveling to nearby places. You might want to travel the world. Maybe your retirement doesn’t really necessarily mean you’ll stop working altogether. Maybe you open up a shop you’ve always dreamed of or join a club. The point is to keep yourself going and don’t let yourself disappear into your couch in front of the TV.

Make new friends and try new things

Retirement in Mexico

Retirement is a treat. It’s a reward earned from years of studying, working, caring, learning, stumbling and starting over again. So, don’t be afraid to do all those things you couldn’t when your focus was elsewhere. Travel, learn new languages, make new friends. Thousands of Americans and Canadians relocate to Mexico for their retirement and enjoy living a simple, laid back life surrounded by friends they never thought they’d have. Enjoy your retirement. You’ve earned it!

And if you’re keen on making that retirement money work for you, don’t hesitate to invest in real estate in the Riviera Maya!