Food is cheap—and very tasty. Rents are affordable even for those on super-low budgets—$200 to $400 gets you a nice place in a great neighborhood. The climate is comfortable…the people friendly…there are modern services…and the vibrant mix of music, festivals, indigenous culture, and colonial history is evident everywhere you turn. It should be an option for anyone considering a retirement in Latin America.
When I was young, just out of college, my life goal was to see as much of the world as I could. I wanted to find out what made other cultures tick; what they ate…how they celebrated their rites of passage…a little about their languages…and their overall philosophy and world views.
For some 80 miles, extending south from Cancún, the warm turquoise-green Caribbean Sea gently bathes the sugar-sand beaches of Mexico’s eastern shore. This spectacular stretch of bleached-white coastline is known as the Riviera Maya and has become the Caribbean’s most popular vacation destination. With year-round temperatures typically in the 80s F, plenty of sunshine, modern infrastructure, and first class healthcare, the Riviera Maya is also home to those who have discovered their retirement paradise here.
Belize is a charming little country with one foot planted in the Caribbean, the other in Central America. In addition to an abundance of natural beauty, the offshore World Heritage Mesoamerican barrier reef, and a multitude of Maya ruins, Belize offers expats an outstanding residence program for retirees. Another plus, English is the country’s primary language. For these reasons—and others—an increasing number of expats are moving to this laidback, democratic country.
Much has been written in International Living by me and others about the tangible benefits of living in Cuenca, Ecuador—the low cost of living, temperate climate, lovely colonial architecture, excellent medical care, cultural amenities, and modern conveniences.
Choosing a retirement destination is not always an easy decision. A warm climate, low cost of living, wonderful beaches, and friendly residents are just a few factors that bring joy to the faces of those seeking a new home in a foreign land. And a healthy lifestyle is a top priority for many. When it comes to healthy living, it is difficult to beat the tropical paradise of Thailand.
One of the coolest things I get to do for International Living is call expats all over the world and interview them about their lives. I’ve been doing this for years, and one thing I’ve noticed is that the expats who describe themselves as “retired” seem to be the busiest ones of all.
Tourists and expats alike typically spend a lot of time researching Costa Rica’s weather patterns prior to arrival. While it’s a tropical paradise with no winter, or drastic temperature changes in general for that matter, the country does have two distinct seasons.
“I can’t believe it!” That’s what every one of our friends say when they see where my partner Michael and I live. Instead of the urban sprawl that had engulfed our lives in Dallas, we now live in something that seems more like Shangri-La than the real world.
The southern part of Mexico’s Caribbean coast is a mostly undeveloped stretch of stunning, isolated beach called the Costa Maya. Unlike the tourist-driven beaches of the Riviera Maya further north, this length of coastline snuggles up against lowland jungle for some 62 miles and is largely inaccessible by road.