Is Mexico Your Perfect Retirement Destination?

I haven’t always lived in paradise but these days, I do… And so can you for far less than you might think. And, if you don’t want to live in paradise full time, you may consider investing in a second home.

Cancun hosts a thriving rental market that continues to grow as a significant number of the 5 million annual tourists decide to make Cancun their retirement home; some, like me, preferring to rent rather than buy.

As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk appreciating a remarkable view of gorgeous Nichupte Lagoon. My office is in a spare bedroom of our beachfront penthouse condo here in Cancun, Mexico. With two master suites, modern kitchen, three-bathrooms, living room, laundry room and a private, large rooftop terrace that spans the width of the building, our monthly rent is $1,000. And that’s completely furnished.

The window to my right provides a stunning panorama of the aqua-green lagoon a stone’s throw away. Down the hall to my left a large glass window overlooks the magnificent turquoise-jade water of the Caribbean Sea and sparkling white sand only steps beyond.

Purchase prices on these beachfront, multi-level penthouse condos in the Brisas complex where I live run from $175,000 to $350,000 depending on upgrades and condition. Each penthouse unit is about 1,600 to 1,800 square feet. Smaller units on lower floors sell for $100,000 to $150,000. Each unit is individually owned and rarely commercially advertised. Many owners maintain these residences as their vacation homes, living in Mexico City or even Stateside. There are ample opportunities for rental income, if desired.

My wife, Diane, and I found our place in the traditional manner; by walking through several complexes and jotting down phone numbers of units advertised for sale. Sometimes, an owner will prefer the stability of a long-term tenant in exchange for fewer annual dollars and less management associated with vacation rentals.

One example of a beachfront property that may fit the bill is currently listed for less than $100,000. This adorable like-new and fully furnished studio condo is in a great location, away from the bustle of the popular Hotel Zone and still allows beachfront access in the Puerto Juarez area. Mixing the benefits of a hotel with a condo, you’ll enjoy onsite restaurants, low monthly maintenance fees of only $95 and resort-type amenities. This one looks tough to beat for $99,500.

While Cancun is certainly best known as a beachy, Caribbean vacation destination and tourists rarely make it beyond their resorts or local night spots, the city offers excellent infrastructure and a non-touristy vibe for those living here full time. But you have to move away from the beach to find it. There are hospitals, clinics, doctors and dentists, and more than enough shopping to keep even the most avid shopaholic occupied. An international airport connects to all major hubs worldwide and modern paved roads throughout the area facilitate easy transportation. Should you not wish to drive, the city is awash in taxis, and buses seem to run on all major arteries every couple of minutes.

To live close to the beach, you can find a large and lovely three-bedroom executive home in the upscale Bonfil area. With over 4,300 square feet, you can enjoy a wonderful Caribbean lifestyle in this stunning home for only $288,000. It’s great value and only 12 minutes from the beach.

If you are considering a second home with rental potential when you’re not using it, you definitely want to find something on the beach. Another example of one such unit is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the Villas Marlin Complex. Located in the desirable Hotel Zone, this two-level corner unit has been remodeled and offers a wraparound terrace which considerably expands your living area. And for only $225,000, this 900-square-foot unit would make a great second residence with excellent potential for rental income.

With year round temperatures almost always in the 80s F, you’ll have plenty of sunshine to enjoy the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea on your doorstep.

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