Mexico Named the Best Place to Retire in 2017 by International Living
Why Boomers are Flocking Rosarito and Ensenada
While the Mexico-US border wall is making headlines, so is the idea of retiring in Mexico. International Living just announced the “List of The Ten Best Places to Retire in 2017”. Mexico not only made the cut -as it has for several years in a row, but is number one. The reason is simple: Mexico offers an unparalleled lifestyle on a modest budget, and that is exactly what the Boomer generation needs.
The Boomer Situation in a Nutshell
Almost 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day in the US. Most of them lived in two-income households. Many have no pension plans, and their 401ks were depleted in the 2008 market crash. They put the kids through ever more expensive colleges, and probably went through a divorce that shook their finances.
So, what are their options now that they are retiring?
“Full-service retirement communities in the US have become billion dollar industries. Entry fees average $500,000, with monthly fees of up to $5,000 per person in independent living,” says Rodgers. These communities, called CCRC’s (Continuing Care Retirement Communities), have many restrictions and usually include a health care component. The average age of a senior moving to these communities is in their late 70’s to early 80’s.”
Since Boomers are retiring at 65 through their late 70’s, they face a conundrum. They are still able and willing to live a fun and active decade. They dreamt of an oceanfront retirement and playing golf, but … don´t have the means.
According to Mary Lou Rodgers, an expert in retiree living in both the US and Mexico, Boomers have the following choices: “Scale back, scale down or move. Or consider international retirement, which can be more like an extended vacation abroad”.
La Vie En Rosarito
Just 30 minutes South of the U.S.-Mexico border, one of the fastest growing expat communities is thriving in Baja´s Rosarito-Ensenada Corridor.
“Boomers in Rosarito are enjoying oceanfront living and a resort-style atmosphere,” says real-estate broker Max Katz, of Baja Real Estate Group. “Our clients enjoy oceanfront views at a fraction of the price of the U.S. The cost of living in Mexico is dramatically lower here. Our communities are have been filling up with retired Americans and Canadians from all walks of life”.
Rosarito shares the warm climate of San Diego, and offers high-quality local supermarkets, entertainment, and medical care. The short 30-minute drive to San Diego makes it easy for expats to visit the U.S. whenever they feel the need.
While the exchange rate was 17.34 Mexican pesos per USD in March of last year, the peso hit the $21/ USD mark in January 2017. The dramatic fall in the peso´s value against the dollar has made life even sweeter for those getting their social security checks in American dollars. No wonder Forbes pronounced Mexico “the easiest transition to expat life around.”
The scenic road between Rosarito and Ensenada offers a wide range of real-estate options to suit every need. From detached homes to gated communities and affordable oceanfront condos, there is something for everyone. Most gated communities feature American style amenities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and saunas. An upgraded oceanfront condo at Calafia Condos Resort & Villas costs around $250,000. The annual property tax for that condo is around $150 a year. Yes, you read right: $150 a year.
Restaurants, of course, are a big attraction, as Baja has become the epicenter of Mexican cuisine. A favorite local activity is exploring the Valle de Guadalupe´s restaurants (Mexico´s equivalent to Sonoma Valley), which include internationally acclaimed places with Micheline starred Chefs, and quaint organic eateries with a Mediterranean feel.
The low-cost of labor and service is also a big plus for seniors moving to Mexico. A Mexican live-in maid will charge around $80 a week. The cost of a qualified live-in caretaker is roughly $120 a week.
The lesson here is simple. Recent decades dealt a difficult hand to Baby Boomers. But for those who are willing to take charge and take the plunge, retirement can be as good as they imagined -and more.
Advantages of living in Rosarito:
- Comfortable living for under $1,200/ month
- Proximity to the US
- Warm locals
- A Spanish speaking population
- The expat American community is 1 million strong
- Affordable healthcare
- Fantastic culture and lifestyle
- Special discounts on airlines, groceries, restaurants, hotels, pharmacies, eyeglasses and medical care for seniors (starting at 60).
For a full list of discounts, visit: http://www.inapam.gob.mx/es/INAPAM/test-beneficios
Written By Mary Lou Rodgers
A real estate consultant, marketing strategist, and management professional. In her 25 year career Mary Lou has worked as a Vice President of Marketing & Sales in the real estate arena. A few of the national brands she has served are Grubb & Ellis, Better Homes & Gardens, Prudential Real Estate, as well as others. Mary Lou has specialized in the Senior Living Industry and in the international market selling high-end communities throughout the resort markets in Mexico. Mary Lou in a National Speaker for major real estate associations on marketing and sales strategize.