A Relaxed, Caribbean-Island Retirement Without the High Price Tag

A well-known cruise ship and dive destination, Cozumel, the island dubbed the Island of the Swallows offers sugar-sand beaches and warm, clear waters teeming with brightly colored fish…temperatures in the low- to mid-80s F, with blue skies, gentle breezes, and over 225 hours of sunshine each month on average.

Throw in amazing, fresh food, more recreational opportunities than you can shake a snorkel at, and a great-value lifestyle, and Cozumel just may be your retirement bulls-eye. This tropical lifestyle can be yours for about $3,000 a month, all-in…far better value than most Caribbean-island hot-spots.

Cozumel is a perfect blend of laidback island life with tons of activities to enjoy. Here you can have as relaxed or active a retirement as you want. You can park yourself on a perfect stretch of white-sand beach for the day, listening to the waves as you read the latest best-seller, or don a snorkel to explore the world’s second-largest reef system, just offshore. Clear waters make it easy to see (and photograph) sea turtles, rays, and colorful clown fish. You can even make arrangements to swim with giant whale sharks.

Lying only 12 miles off the coast of Mexico this island is about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. But this small space has a lot packed into it. With over 300 restaurants, delicious meals of all varieties are easy to find. You can buy a couple of fish tacos for about $5 and wash them down with a $2 local brew, or splurge on an elegant steak and lobster dinner by the sea.

The bulk of the island’s population calls the main city home. There is a busy malecon, or main road, running along the shoreline near the ferry terminal and cruise ship docks. Arriving by boat, you’ll find a vast array of tourist-oriented shops, restaurants, and bars. A few blocks inland will put you into local neighborhoods, where small houses and apartments line the streets and groups of uniformed children walk to and from school.

Raise your eyes and you’ll note luxury condo buildings along the horizon, offering all the contemporary amenities.

Long-term rentals, while sometimes hard to find, can be had for $450 to $1,500 or more a month. The price depends on size, location, view, the condo’s condition, and furnishings.

Locals and tourists alike prefer motor scooters and various off-road vehicles to scurry around the island. Scooters are cheaper, easily parked, and (using appropriate safety gear) can be safe and fun. Walking and taking taxis are also options.

The island of Cozumel also offers world-class shopping, with everything from precious gems to handmade artisan clothing and pottery, as well as all your daily essentials. The area along the waterfront is dense with small shops and some larger stores.

Food and all other consumables are shipped to the island (making them somewhat more expensive than on the mainland), and fresh water is provided by several desalination facilities. For your healthcare needs the island has several good medical clinics and two small hospitals.

If an island retirement is what you’re looking for, Cozumel offers a very nice, retired life among a thriving expat community.

©iStock.com/pelicankate

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