- We Spent a Year Exploring Latin America to Find Our Ideal Retirement Haven
Posted on April 12, 2014 by Tricia Lyman
During our months of preparation, we set about determining the criteria we needed to choose a location. The criteria we chose for ourselves initially were: a good health care system at a much lower cost; a stable government; not wanting a car, a walkable location with a good transportation system; good infrastructure; a Spanish-speaking country because Mike already spoke some but wanted to become proficient; a warm climate year round; and, of course, a lower cost of living.
The thought of my hot shower every morning—as I cross the Spanish style courtyard on my way to the bathroom—is a delight. It has to be a quick one though, because my housemates need their hot water too. Then, I hear the church bells begin to ring in the tower of the old colonial church in front of our house…it’s time to go. I grab my backpack and head for the door. I like to walk to work. The others share a taxi, which affords them an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning.
In our part of coastal Mexico, there is a cadre of people who migrate annually from the Northern U.S. or Canada. Like us they enjoy the warm months in the north, and the warm winter months in Mexico. We sometimes call our lifestyle, “the endless summer.” I rarely have to wear long pants and own more pairs of sandals than shoes. During our time in Mexico, we rent out the small mother-in-law apartment attached to our main two-bedroom house…
With a number of language schools and private teaching opportunities around every corner, Oaxaca is an exciting city to be in for someone in my profession. English teachers are spoiled for choice here. Many locals are eager to learn English and I’ve often been approached in the street with teaching requests. My dentist even offered to trade English classes for her children in exchange for dental work!
- Rediscovering the Fun in Life in San Miguel, Mexico
Posted on September 19, 2012 by Glynna Prentice
Erin and Philip Whitley were getting itchy feet. “How do we want to reinvent ourselves?” Erin recalls. Mexico didn’t figure in their plans at that time. But one day a friend mentioned San Miguel de Allende—the scenic artists’ colony and expat haven in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands. “We made some connections here in San Miguel,” says Erin, “and everything just lined up for us.”
Life in Europe may be less luxurious than the U.S. by the standard measures we Americans often use—the houses smaller, the cars more compact, the utilities pricey—but it often feels richer in quality, more textured, more civilized. It’s easy to glean pleasure from the simple moments there.
In this video, Mexico editor Glynna Prentice speaks to an expat couple in Mexico, each of whom moved abroad as a single person. They talk about how being single affected (or not) their decision to become an expat and where to move. This (now) couple, moved to Mexico on their own and met one another there. They both offer advice on moving overseas as a single person.
- Mexico Beaches: 25% Off on the Shores of the Sea of Cortez
Posted on February 18, 2012 by Glynna Prentice
If you want to live with world-class natural beauty without the world-class price tag, come to Mexico’s Baja California Sur. And be sure to bring a camera. This is a desert land of sharp, clear lines. The mountain peaks in the distance gleam a delicate mauve.
- Enjoy Freedom, Opportunity, and Adventure When You Move Overseas
Posted on January 24, 2012 by Glynna Prentice
Five years into my expat life, I look forward to downsizing. In fact, I recently bought a small, manageable, lock-and-leave property in Guanajuato, in the Colonial Highlands. It’s a far cry from what I thought I wanted when I first moved to Mexico… Then, I’d wanted a good-sized house, instead of an apartment as I’d had in the U.S.
I’m in an SUV in La Paz, in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The sun is hot and we’ve rolled down the windows as we drive through town. We go at a leisurely pace, stopping at street corners to obey the four-way stop signs; La Paz is too low-key to need many stop lights.
This isn’t five days a week; it’s closer to seven with 12- to 14-hour days. The stress has mounted, your health has suffered, and forget a personal life. You think constantly of retirement, but it is five years in the future. Sound familiar? Fifteen months ago, that was my life…and it was certainly not my own.
In this video, IL’s Mexico editor Glynna Prentice talks about the cost of living in Lake Chapala, Mexico. Lake Chapala, located in central Mexico, is an affordable expat haven that is one of the easiest places to retire abroad, thanks to thousands of English-speaking expats and US-style amenities. It’s a part of the world where it’s easy to afford a cook, a maid, and a gardener.
Someone asked me recently what city in Mexico has the best climate. Questions like this are subjective, so at the time I said, “It depends.” It depends, of course, on your own tastes and temperament. But the question made me think about climate a bit… and some places do stand out. So here are my picks for the best climate in Mexico.
I spent a month in Guanajuato, in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands, this past spring. I loved it so much that I plan to spend a lot more time in the Highlands this next year. (In fact, I just bought a house here.) There’s so much to like about this region… Guanajuato—like much of the Colonial Highlands—has four seasons, so I look forward to getting out fall and winter clothes.
- Mexico: The World’s Second-Best Retirement Haven in 2011
Posted on September 28, 2011 by Eoin Bassett
In the right places overseas, you can live well without burning through your retirement nest egg. Where? I’ve told you about some of them already this month—the top-ranking countries in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. All a perfect mix of culture, climates and lifestyles.
When my wife Janina and I decided to move to Mexico from Oklahoma City, one of our biggest concerns was our finances. We moved out of our home country at the ages 29 and 30…far from retirement age. We came to Mexico with every intention of finding work.
- Affordable Beach-Living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Posted on August 2, 2011 by Glynna Prentice
If you like your beach living with comfortable amenities like first-run films, great restaurants, and plenty of night life, then consider heading to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This relaxed resort town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast has all these comforts…along with some of the most beautiful beaches around.
- IL Radio Episode 23: The Benefits of Living in Mexico
Posted on July 27, 2011 by Dan Prescher
Glynna Prentice is International Living’s Mexico Editor for a reason…she loves the country and she loves to report back to IL readers regularly on the benefits of living in Mexico.
Strolling the streets of this mountain town—which dates back to the 16th century—it’s easy to see why as many as 10,000 expats choose to live here full- or part-time. San Miguel de Allende offers romantic, historic Mexico at its most approachable.
I’m sitting in a rooftop restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, sipping on a margarita from a frosted, salt-rimmed goblet. Below me stretches out a cityscape of tiled rooftops, gaily-colored colonial buildings and cobbled streets. Shadows are lengthening, and as night falls and the air cools, locals, expats, and tourists will throng the town’s main square.
- Feeling Younger and More Energized in Ajijic, Mexico
Posted on June 16, 2011 by Glynna Prentice
In Diane Pearl’s view, taking a conventional retirement is the worst thing you can do for yourself; people start feeling old, she thinks, if they have nothing to do…and it’s all downhill from there.