• October 4, 2023

I’m 60 and want to retire on between $800 and $1,200 a month, ideally near the ocean in Mexico — where should I go?

I live in Loveland, Colorado, just turned 60, and I would like to retire next year. Looking for a cheaper place to retire, I’m thinking of Mexico – I can live somewhere for $ 800 to $ 1,200 a month.

Ideally, I’d like to have a pretty large expat community, but a place that still retains the feel of Mexican culture (Cabo feels like SoCal to me, so nothing like that). somewhere to do with a decent number of cultural things, like music and plays; and good food. I also want to be in a temperate climate and something near the ocean. And I want the ratio of single men to women to be 10: 1 – I’m kidding!



Dear Mo,

Unfortunately, with this coveted male to female ratio of 10: 1, there doesn’t seem to be a place to go (and if I find it I’ll let you know and we’ll set up our own dating service!) But I believe I do found some excellent affordable places to retire in Mexico.

While America is more difficult to retire with that small amount of money, Mexico offers more options. The spots that fit the bill have downsides – some may have increased crime rates (the US State Department gave Mexico was a Level 2 security alert when this article was first published in October 2019. This suggests that Americans traveling there “use increased caution” and highlight areas that should be avoided. Others are extremely hot in summer. Even so, we found a few locations that might fit into the bill.

Mazatlan beach and waterfront promenade at twilight.


Mazatlan: Although there are tourist sections of this resort on the Pacific coast (John Wayne and Gary Cooper went marlin fishing here) there is also plenty to fall in love with, such as cobblestone streets, neoclassical and French baroque architecture, and cultural amenities like theater and art galleries. And how The Washington Post Recently he said of Mazatlán’s beautiful historic Centro district: “The Centro was repeatedly described to us as ‘Mexican with some tourists’ and not as a tourist town (ahem, Puerto Vallarta) with some Mexicans.”

Janet Blaser, a 63-year-old former journalist who left Santa Cruz for Mazatlán, told MarketWatch that she loves access to nature here too, especially the “beautiful, glittering Pacific, warm and swimmable”. And it’s cheap: Blaser says she lives on about $ 1,000 a month (Find out more about the cost of living there.She adds that while having a car can be helpful, many expats can get by without one.

It is important to note that crime is a problem in the region (the state where Mazatlán is located, Sinaloa, is on the State Department’s “do not travel” list due to crime, but the US allows its employees to access parts of travel Mazatlán and Blaser report that she feels safe where she lives, with an additional benefit: Mazatlán’s weather. Although it gets hot in summer, it is milder than Mérida (another one of my suggested goals).

The beach in Zihuatanejo.


Zihuatanejo: International life Editor-in-chief Jennifer Stevens recommends this Pacific coast beach town for expats – and it’s easy to see why. For one thing, it is beautiful, as Condé Nast Traveler wrote: “This part of the state is struck against the mountains of the Sierra Madre del Sur, with cliffs and ravines covered with mangroves, oaks and black olives and interspersed with subtropical shrubs, agaves and snake vines. … Zihua (pronounced “zee-wha”), as it is thankfully shortened, is particularly surrounded by nature – from the hollowed bay in the west with its muddy beach and palm trees as well as hills in the interior in any other direction. ”

And the town itself isn’t overly shabby, with cobblestone streets lined with restaurants, bars, and small shops, plus a central market where you can pick up dinner and artisan goodies on the same trip. All of these perks could have made Zihua a super tourist, but as Lonely Planet writes, “Zihua has largely retained its historic charm.” (These are just some of the reasons why Andy Dufresne, the character from “The Shawshank Redemption,” might have dreamed of this place while imprisoned for decades.)

In addition, the climate is pleasant for most of the year. Temperatures tend to hover between the high 60s and the high 80s or low 90s. Additionally, even with a meager salary, you can likely afford Zihua: International Living Estimates that a couple can live on about $ 1,300 a month and singles on even less; It is also advised that you can get around using public transport.

One major drawback, however, is that crime is a major problem in his Guerrero state. as noted by the State Department.

Mérida has been described as the cultural center of the entire Yucatán Peninsula.


Merida: You will not be bored in Mérida, which has a wealth of colonial history, “excellent cuisine”, “thriving markets” and “events happening almost every night” Lonely Planet Notes. “Since the Spanish conquest,” recalls Lonely Planet, “Mérida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatán peninsula.”

While it’s not directly on the beach, you’re just over 25 miles from the sugar-sand beaches of the Yucatan Gulf Coast International lifeThe company estimates its expat population at around 4,000 and named it one of the top five places in Mexico for US expats. And although international tourists along with expats have long since discovered Mérida, Lonely Planet is quick to point out that this is “a tourist city” [that’s] too big to feel like a tourist trap. ”

However, this could be a major disadvantage for you hot and humid summer weather (Temperatures can be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, although winter temperatures are often in the mid-60s and 70s). However, the low cost of living can help offset any downside: International Living notes that A couple can live on about $ 1,400 a month hereand singles on even less thanks to lower rent, food and other costs. You may be able to do without it a wagon, but it’s probably easier with one. So, head back to Colorado this summer to visit old friends!

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