real estate

Expats Buying Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta and Retiring

Did you ever dream it would be possible to enjoy life in a safe, idyllic tropical paradise, with everything you need (and more) at your fingertips – all at an affordable price? As CNN reports, many U.S. retirees have already discovered there is a place you can have all of this and more – Mexico!

“According to the U.S. State Department, one million American citizens of all ages live in Mexico, and 20.3 million visit as tourists – making it the No. 1 destination for U.S. travelers,” writes senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo for CNN.

In recent years, local officials in Mexico’s top retirement destinations, including Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, have reported a steady rise in the number of expats buying real estate and living here full or part time. When not occupied by the owners, properties in Mexico can also provide rental income, making it even more affordable to retire here one day.

“We have an ocean view, 3,000-square-foot condominium that I can afford on my Social Security,” Mike Altman, a 68-year-old retiree from California told CNN. “We have 24-hour security and indoor parking.”

Gaining access to affordable medical care is another huge plus for expats in Mexico, where prices are between one-quarter to one-half the cost in the U.S. In fact, according to the Global Retirement Index – evaluated annually by International Living – the quality of Mexico’s healthcare is among the top five worldwide, while Bloomberg ranked the nation’s health care system among the world’s most efficient at #15, which was well above the U.S. at #46.

Safety is also an important factor for expats who decide to live or retire in Mexico, since the nation’s tourist destinations and big cities are largely – if not entirely – untouched by the drug violence that has taken place in isolated pockets thousands of miles away along the U.S. border.

“I feel very safe here,” Sara Wise, a 63 year-old expat from Minnesota who has been living in Mexico with her husband for six years, told CNN. “I go for walks with my dog at midnight. I go alone and don’t worry about it. When we lived in northern Minnesota, I’d wake up every morning and hear how many people were killed in Minneapolis overnight. We don’t have that down here.”

Business Insider has also reported on the growing number of U.S. retirees heading south to Mexico, dubbing Latin America the new “Sun Belt” and citing the affordability, health care and amenities available here at a fraction of the cost.

“They’re looking for places that will allow them to stretch their 401(k)s after they lost a lot of money in the last stock market collapse,” writes Business Insider. “With health care costs so aggressive, retirees want to live where whey can afford greens fees and where a trip to the emergency room won’t bankrupt them.”

Finally, it’s important to note that current President Enrique Peña Nieto is investing billions in tourism and infrastructure projects, aimed to continue Mexico’s transformation into a global economic powerhouse. With tourism numbers up 18 percent in 2013 compared to the prior year, it’s no surprise that Mexico is the No. 2 destination in the Americas and among the top 25 most-visited nations worldwide.

“Mexico rode out the worldwide economic downturn better than many other countries and its real estate market never suffered on the same level seen in the U.S.,” writes The Yucatan Times. “While the U.S. real estate market is still somewhat sluggish, things are picking up fast in Mexico.”

3 Responses
  1. Bob

    bye bye JP. Hope u stay out of mexico. We have been here for a lot of years and never had any problems, like u say u have. Sure, there is problems with mexicans, also Canadians , Americans etc.

  2. JP

    If you want to live in Mexico full time, you are looking for lots and lots of problems. The mexicains are liars, and they will steal everything they can from you.
    If you come here for holiday, they know you will spend lots of money and they want all of it. If you live here, taxes for houses, groceries, repairs for house, car, etc. are all more expensive. I have hired lots of mexicains and every time, I was screwed by them. They take my money and disappear. I will sell hat I have and I will never come back to Mexico for the rest of my life. And it was my dram when I retired. Not, it is my nightmare.
    Every one I know as expats tat spend time in here, they have a non tell secret: “Never hire a mexicain if you don’t have to, and if you have to, stay with him all the time, watch him all the time and NEVER pay them before the job is finish to your satisfaction.” It is hard to find some that will accept those conditions and all the time they will ask you a little bit to cover the day, etc. If you pay them, you will NEVER see them back. I have done it with painter, carpenter, electrician, contractors of all kinds and it was always the same.
    One advice if you permit me: NEVER BELEIVE A MEXICAIN, NEVER.
    You better come to Mexico, rent for a while and move on somewhere else. If you buy, no way you will rent to mexicain. Around here, there are 75% of houses to rent and very few are rented and when they rent it it is to Americain. Never to mexicain. If the house is empty and not supervised, the mexicains will go in, steal everything they can, including cupper pipe for water. It did happen to me and few people I know.
    I have horror stories and I heard so much about that ethnic group, they are like bank manager: They want your goods and they will get it, no matter how.

    1. Ian Hayden Parker

      ALL Mexicans and thousands of Americans living in Mexico are glad one racist has promised to never return. I hope you keep that promise. I have been here for a decade and have never had those experiences. Have I met dishonest people here, yes, they were Mexican, Canadian, American, and British. Should you be careful who you do business with? Yes, of all races. However it should surprise no one that with the kind of person you just told us you were, that bad things happened to you. Spare us the story of what a great respectful person you are, your post calls BS on that.

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