There are many thrilling activities to do when you’re in the Riviera Maya. One of the most interesting and refreshing is snorkeling! And there is no shortage of places for you to indulge. Continue reading
Expats in Mexico are the happiest people in the world, according to a recent InterNations survey. They surveyed over 18,000 expats from 163 countries, taking into consideration different factors of moving and living abroad. Mexico ranked first – out of 68 countries – for personal happiness. It ranked second for leisure, ease of settling in and cost of living. Thanks to the investments being made in safety and quality of life in the Yucatan Peninsula, many foreigners continue choosing it as their perfect retirement destination. Others find it to be ideal as a snowbird destination.
Perfect Retirement: Settling in is Easy in Mexico
According to other studies, 39% of expats living in Mexico are, in fact, retirees. Out of all expats in Mexico 20% have said that they moved down here for the weather and quality of life. No wonder it ranked second for leisure, ease of settling in and cost of living. 85% of the expats mentioned that settling down in Mexico was really easy. They mentioned the ease with which the local culture has made them feel at home. In fact, if you compare cities such as Sarasota to Playa del Carmen you will notice that it is over 50% more affordable to live in Mexico than it is to retire in the United States.
Another aspect of the survey that made Mexico stand out was the friendliness of the Mexican people. 64% of those surveyed said that Mexicans are some of the friendliest people they’ve encountered. Because of this, it ranks first in friendliness. Over half of them reported that the local’s attitude towards foreigners is very friendly, which is why making friends in Mexico is easy. And the language barrier is no problem. In fact, 96% of them reported that they already speak Spanish to some level.
Expats are Happy with the Financial Benefits of Living in Mexico
But it is probably the financial benefits of moving to Mexico that is the driving force of retirees wanting to move down here. The survey revealed Mexico to be second in cost of living and third in the personal finance index. Actually, 17% of expats in Mexico reported that they have more money than they need.
Overall, Mexico remains a top-of-mind retirement destination for many reasons. But personal happiness is perhaps the most important one. That is why 88% of expats surveyed said they were quite satisfied with their lives in Mexico placing it in fourth place in the overall ranking. And the truth is, that purchasing a retirement home in Mexico is really simple. With so many Mexico real estate options available, it also comes as no surprise that people are choosing this beautiful place to spend their winters and benefit from their home the rest of the year.
Although international media often portrays Mexico as a highly dangerous country, this is not the case in many of its beautiful states. We wouldn’t recommend wondering into places such as Guerrero, Michoacán or the northern border. But other destinations like Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are quite safe. In fact, it is so safe that many expats have chosen these major cities as their forever homes. Safety in Mexico has long been an issue. However, the government has put forward efforts constantly to keep tourist destinations as safe as possible. There is no need to worry for your safety in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Safety in the Yucatan Peninsula Comes First
Just recently, the Fund for Strengthening of Performance in Public Security Matters announced that they will be giving just over $70 million Mexican pesos worth of public security to the Yucatan Peninsula. They will be investing around $14 million of these in Merida alone. The four main municipalities in the state of Yucatan will receive just over $120,000 for security measures. This includes Merida, Progreso, Tizimin and Valladolid. The capital will be put forth for possessions to strengthen the presentation of the municipalities and the state of the public security.
Authorites are required to make the millions of annual tourists feel safe and protected in the tourist areas. This is because Mexico has experienced higher crime rates in certain areas, mainly amongst opposing drug cartels. Safety in the Yucatan Peninsula has risen concerns about whether traveling to the country is a good idea or not. However, tourist destinations are far from being dangerous.
Over the past 10 years only four major kidnappings have occurred in the state. Mexico certainly has some red-alert states. We cannot deny that. But in general, Mexico is quite a safe country in comparison to major cities in the United States or Europe. The efforts that the government is putting in to keep safety in the Yucatan Peninsula at bay are major. This is mainly due to its tourism-driven economy. That is why it comes as no surprise that places such as Merida, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum keep growing in tourism (a 4.3% in Quintana Roo, according to SEDETUR), and in real estate sales.
The Yucatan Peninsula is Still the Perfect Getaway
The southeastern region of the country continues to paint an image of relaxation, rejuvenation and of self-discovery. Here, you can find your dream home in the tranquility of the Mayan jungle, steps away from the turquoise Caribbean waters without ever having to second-guess yourself or your surroundings. The Yucatan Peninsula continues to grow and continues to put forth the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Life can hardly get any better than sitting on the beach enjoying the cool ocean breeze. The palm trees above are gently swaying in time with the Caribbean Sea’s gentle waves, slapping against the white sand beach. You are just about to delight your palate with your favorite beverage. Then you suddenly wake up to the sounds of trucks and loud pipes outside. You look up at your bedroom’s plain white ceiling and think, “I’m dreaming again”. This gets you thinking about retirement more than ever. Where will you invest in a retirement home? Well, if your dreams are any indications. It should be in the Caribbean. But, that’s not all, the question truly is, what should you look for in a retirement home?
Whatever you decide, we’re sure it won’t include listening to loud vehicles in the morning or waking up to the same old routine. Instead, it will be more like living in a permanent dream vacation. You will be in a place that will allow you to live and do the things you truly want for the rest of your days. But first, you need to find a location that accommodates your needs. Let us help you with some useful suggestions in what to look for in a retirement home. These are intended to provide an interim itinerary that can jumpstart your search.
Find a Location That Meets Your Expectations
If you are looking to be close enough to Playa del Carmen, without the hustle and bustle of the city’s endless action, then think about looking just outside the city’s central district. There are many surrounding communities that have easy access to the heart of Playa del Carmen, such as El Cielo. It’s easy to catch a cab, drive or walk to all of Playa del Carmen’s most popular places. You are close to shopping centers, restaurants and other daily attractions.
If you want to be near or in the middle of the action, choose a location that can offer direct access to amenities. You can step out onto Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue, or in Tulum’s hotel strip. This places you steps from the beach and turquoise waters. It is always suggested to briefly stay in the approximate area(s) you are thinking of purchasing in. That way you can offer more detailed information to your trusted real estate agent when discussing your ideal location and needed activities.
Set a Budget That You are Comfortable With
Determine an allotted dollar amount that won’t create pressure or a financial burden on your retirement budget. Avoid the need to constantly think that the cost doesn’t matter, because it’s your retirement. Many retirees lose focus on their planned itineraries when they first experience paradise. There are plenty of condos and homes that will meet, and even exceed, your wants and needs. If you can justify the extra expense or cost, then go for it. But remember, you can always upgrade further down the road, as well.
Is a Condo or a Free-Standing Home Better?
There are advantages to both a condo and a single dwelling. A stand-alone home offers more privacy and more room. And in most cases, it has yard space to do with as you wish. Having a single-family home usually has a garage and plenty of space to park more than one vehicle. But there are other factors to consider such as maintenance and upkeep, which is usually more than in one condo. When you are away for a period of time (if you are a retiree snowbird), you can’t just lock the door and leave. You have to make sure your home is secure, the yard is cared for, and the pool is take care of (where applicable).
A condo is usually a part of a bigger complex. Its exterior and common areas are part of the association’s responsibility (which you pay for, of course). You can leave your home for an extended time and all you need to do is lock the door. There will be people around upkeeping the property and its amenities. On the other hand, there is less privacy beyond your front door. Parking can be troublesome if you have more than one vehicle, as well. Depending on the complex, there is rarely any covered parking, unless you pay extra for it. These are things to consider when looking at both a condo and a free-standing home.
You Need a Real Estate Agent to Find Your Retirement Home
Nothing really happens until you find a qualified and trustworthy real estate agent. Many inexperienced retirees don’t take the time to research and find a reliable agent to guide them through the process. Especially when they’re doing it in a foreign country. When you start looking for an agent to represent you, make sure they are skilled in working with American and Canadian buyers and that they know the ins and outs of purchasing a home abroad.
Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your golden years in paradise. Whether you’re looking for a laidback lifestyle in Tulum or an upbeat, activity-packed adventure in Playa del Carmen, it’s up to you to decide what you want from your retirement.