Best cities for retirement in Mexico

Hello everyone,

An increasing amount of people want to spend their retirement abroad. Would you consider giving a few tips to those looking into Mexico for their retirement?

What are the most attractive cities for retirees in Mexico?

Why are these the best cities in Mexico for retirement (quality of life, cost of living, climate, health, security, etc.)?

Are there any specific areas in Mexico where there are special retirement schemes or retirement-friendly residential areas?

Are there any activities suitable for retirees in Mexico?

Do you have any tips on where to start looking or how to choose a suitable city for one’s retirement in Mexico?

If you have, yourself, chosen to spend your retirement abroad, please tell us what city you have chosen and why?

Please share your experience.

Bhavna

Bhavna :

Hello everyone,

An increasing amount of people want to spend their retirement abroad. Would you consider giving a few tips to those looking into Mexico for their retirement?

What are the most attractive cities for retirees in Mexico?

Why are these the best cities in Mexico for retirement (quality of life, cost of living, climate, health, security, etc.)?

Are there any specific areas in Mexico where there are special retirement schemes or retirement-friendly residential areas?

Are there any activities suitable for retirees in Mexico?

Do you have any tips on where to start looking or how to choose a suitable city for ones retirement in Mexico?

If you have, yourself, chosen to spend your retirement abroad, please tell us what city you have chosen and why?

Please share your experience.

Bhavna

That's a very broad topic Bhavana,

It's also an entirely subjective topic. What I would suggest is looking at places you might like, making a list of what you want. Check each place off using your list. Visit your top 5 or 6 sites and go from there. You can't know a place just based on pictures on the internet or reviews from others.

Only you know your budget, your lifestyle, your interests, your needs. What I like won't help you because it's about me. I like quiet, native, not a gated community and culturally rich but with some modern conveniences. I speak Spanish, don't mind some heat and want close proximity to the sea. That's most likely not you, but if it is, look at the southeast part of Mexico.

Expats seem to have flooded the town of Ajijic & San Miguel de Allende.

There are other popular expat communities to be sure, but these two seem to be at the top or near the top of the popularity list for retired folk from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Ensenada in Baja Norte is an intelligent choice for Americans especially if you value going to el otro lado, the US side of the border on occasion.
Real Estate prices are good.  In fact, the cost of almost everything is lower.  The weather is about as mild as weather can be year round.  The city is safe.  Internet is good and less expensive.  There is American style shopping and good medical facilities.  There are excellent restaurants and movie theaters playing pretty much the same movies as those up north.  A potentially big plus is that San Diego, California. With a Sentri pass you can usually be there in less than two hours for those who choose to use their Medicare benefits, or pick something up at Trader Joe’s or Target.
Most of us who live around Ensenada eventually try to not go to el otro lado unless we need to because in all honesty life is just more pleasant for us south of the border.

***

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Hi Bhavna, like "travellight" said the topic is very broad. Thus said, my wife and I travelled Mexico during 13 years after retirement (migrate for winter or snowbirds) before deciding to immigrate to Mexico in the area we think will provide us many years of enjoyment.

Hope that every person wishing to immigrate finds is little paradise within Mexico or elsewhere.

Adios y buen dia a todos, GyC.

I totally agree! I live in San Felipe and go to Ensenada sometimes and stay for a couple of days.
I like the restaurants and shopping.

It depends on what you like!  For instance, i hate cold and love heat.  I chose the state of yucatan.  Maybe the most crime free state.   The biggest city is Merida with culture and most of the things Americans or Canadians want!  It is also one of the safest large cities in the world!  I first picked Izamal, a magical city in the yucatan, about an hour from Merida.   It has 7 major pyramid sites in the town and many minor pyramid sites.  The house we bought is one block from a pyramid. We have lived there 5 years, but i miss the ocean!  It is about an hour and a half from Izamal!  So moving to Chuburna, a small fishing village 30 minutes from Merida.  The area is tropical and hot in the summer.  It is very beautiful with lots of expats and lots of fun things to do.  There are lots of live music venues from rock and roll to classical.  Cenotes, pyramids, beautiful beaches, etc. All so inexpensively attained that you would be shocked!  All surrounded by happy, kind people!

Why settle for one place? Central Mexico, Querétaro for example, is full of rich culture and beauty... But too chilly in the winter fir me. So in the Winter... Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta is gorgeous.

We have been “interviewing” Mexican cities for retirement for about three years, with multiple trips and residencies in Cholula (Puebla), Merida, Mayan Coast, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and especially Oaxaca City.  Oaxaca is our favorite not only because its cuisine, color, dance, and heritage, but for other reasons.  One is the Oaxaca Lending Library, the center of expat life in Oaxaca, with decades of experienced mentors, services, and events.  See their excellent website and newsletter at https://www.oaxlibrary.org/  We also love Cholula, the oldest continuously inhabited city (5,000 years) in the Americas.  Though in a huge city (Puebla), Cholula has a magical feel of a village.  The people are so nice and the markets are incredible.  We got our sea legs living here for two years while working at the local university.  For $645/month all utils included we got a gated, guarded townhouse close in with spectacular views of Popocatepetl, the third highest mountain on the continent.  No one should choose a location until you have put at least three months into residing and seeing if you are comfortable with some of the happiest people in the world.  Our last “interview” will be this coming week in Chapala and Ajijic.  As for Spanish, it is definitely achievable!  I’m now fluent and my wife is approaching intermediate.  Oh, medical care, we have both had serious issues and, as temporary residents, found the IMSS system to be basic and good.  The private side of the medical sector is also good and it’s cheap.  Imagine USD80 for a cardiologist’s consult.  The large cities have excellent private medicine.  But stay near an airport so you can fly back for Medicare.  As for safety, in both Oaxaca and Puebla the only aggression you see are the drivers!  One final tip, twice a year the VW factory in Puebla sells its demo and employee loaner cars.  I got a near-new Tiguan in perfect conditions with 11,000 km on it for about a 30% discount.  Best way to learn the dates and see a list of cars is through the local VW dealer.

I live in Puerto Penasco, Sonora. It's a growing tourist town that is still small. I've only been here since April but I like it so far. It seems to have quite the expat community(I read their local paper) but I live among the Mexicans so I haven't connected with them yet. I live on disability of just over $1000 USD and am doing just fine. It's a beach town and a little warm for my tastes but I knew to expect that....anything over 90 degrees is hot to me but I came from Kansas so I'm just happy there's no life sapping humidity...yet?

We spent last winter in Ajijic, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta and have been to other parts of Mexico in the past. We have decided that Mazatlan is the place for us and are moving there in October. I love the miles of beautiful uncrowded beach’s, Centro with the old colonial buildings and the lovely new malicon which goes for miles. The city seems to be prospering and there is a lot of new construction going on. The majority of the tourists are Mexicans but there are foreign tourists too and there’s a sizeable expat community. There is also a variety of good restaurants and stores and another great thing is Mazatlan is still affordable. Whether you’re talking restaurants, shopping or real estate. Everything is still at reasonable prices.

Ian, my husband and I will be in Ensenada and Punta Banda in December checking out the community.  We are on an 18-month drive around Mexico to find the perfect spot.  Definitely a lot of positive considerations for your area.  Are there many options for hiking in the area or is it mainly beach activities?

We are currently interviewing Laka Chapala, we are in San Juan Cosala for 2 months.

Love2Ski :

We are currently interviewing Laka Chapala, we are in San Juan Cosala for 2 months.

Hi, don't forget to visit the Riviera Nayarit coast, where there are various trails and some locals and snowbirds have organised outings.

The primary site to check the area is http://explorenayarit.com but actually since yesterday some access problem

Another site is https://www.alltrails.com/fr/trail/mexi … high-trail but in french.

Additional sites: https://www.rivieranayaritfun.com/mexic … e-jaltemba
http://www.rivieranayarit.com/destinations/

We live in La Peñita de Jaltemba as permanent residents since 2017 and know the area since 1999 (travelled and visited Mexico during 13 years as snowbirds before opting for La Peñita de Jaltemba but this is always a personal choice). There is some year-round residents but not as much as lake Chapala. You don't necessarily need a vehicle since everything is accessible walking distance (<1,5km)

Adios y buen viaje en Mexico, GyC.

Hi Love2Ski.  If you are in the area, we should get together and compare our research.  We just put together a spreadsheet with weighted criteria for our favorite locals.  We could meet up at the Lake Chapala Society cafe next week for coffee or lunch. Howard & Hanna ***

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A lot of people hike to El Faro light house which is supposed to be the highest lighthouse in the Americas and has a tremendous view. That mountains aren’t that far away so I imagine there is good hiking there. Cycling seem to be quite popular too.

Hi
I think when I will retirement prefer in La Paz because is a city with people beautiful, have a  beach tranquillity and confidence

I'd love to know more about La Paz.   I am spending most of this winter in Puerto Vallarta, but away from the fancy hotels and beachfront condos.   My little place is just 9 blocks from  the beach, quite modest and affordable ($900/mo. USD).   Two small bedrooms.   I will be among the locals and get my exercise as I hike up 40 steps to my little abode with a deck that views the ocean!    This will be my 5th year in PV and hope to do lots of side-trips with new friends that I make.   Last year, it was a week in Oaxaca city.   Wonderful!     Come join me for my bi-monthly happy hour or coffee hour.   I will be running these once I get settled in November.   Will post on the "Puerto Vallarta Everything you need to know"  Facebook page.

I lived in La Paz 7-8 years.  Got skin cancer there.  Too hot, too Sunny.  The people are okay.  I prefer Mexico Mexicans though.  La Paz is more like East L.A.

The OP's question is unanswerable.  For me it'd be anywhere where with a nice climate, where an expat community doesn't exist.  The nearest to me is Lake Chapala .. excuse me while I barf.

Hi all:  I should add that we did another round of 'interviewing' at Lake Chapala.  It's an amazing and supportive community on both counts.  The Lake Chapala Societyis a decades-old support network for mostly Canadians and Americans, with events from immigration counseling, dental and eye exams, and dog shows to a seminar on death and dying in Mexico (best to contract with your funeral director in advance!)  The town of Ajijic (ah-hee-HEEK) is gorgeous and has a malecon to die for.  Housing Prices are being driven up quite dramatically but just 5km away is the 'normal' town of Chapala.  Lots of opportunities to be engaged through the LCS.  The LCS performs the same function for the community as the Oaxaca Lending Library does there.

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