Retired in Mexico: A Glimpse at our Daily Life

Source: Q-Roo Paul

Since retiring to this Caribbean paradise almost a year ago, I have to say that we have rarely been bored. After all, life is what you make of it. We could choose to sit in our condo and watch TV all day — but we don’t. Long ago we both adopted the philosophy of making the most of every day. That is the same philosophy that drove us to sell everything and move to Mexico in the first place.

Several readers have requested that I write a post about what we do on a daily basis and how we stay busy in retirement. In response to those requests, here is a glimpse of what retired life is like in the Riviera Maya. Some readers have also requested more photos, so we threw some of those in there as well. 

Morning Rituals

Linda loves to snorkel and that is one of the reasons that we chose to move to Quintana Roo. Each morning, she checks the webcam in Akumal to see if the water is ideal for snorkeling or not. If it looks like glass, we scrap any other plan that we had and we set out to one of our favorite snorkeling spots without delay.


Linda wearing a Tribord snorkel she got on Amazon for $70 USD

Hobbies and Volunteering

My primary hobby is this blog. Between writing new posts and responding to messages from readers, it keeps me pretty busy.

Although Linda does assist with the blog, her passion is nature and wildlife. She currently volunteers to assist with sea turtle conservation.  Sea turtle nesting season in our area is from May through October, so this keeps her busy half the year. This requires some morning and evening shifts out walking a beautiful strip of beach.


Linda checking on sea turtle nests in the evening

Beaches and Cenotes

We chose this part of Mexico because we wanted to live a Caribbean lifestyle on a Mexican budget. If the weather is perfect, we are enjoying one of the many beaches and cenotes near the house.


Caleta Tanka has a cenote that dumps directly into the Caribbean


Living in Mexico allows us to live far better on far less. That gives us the extra money we need to travel all around the Yucatan. We look for last minute deals online and then book overnight trips to places like Holbox, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Valladolid, or Mahahual.

Sometimes our travel schedule is a little hectic. Recently, we spent a couple of days in Puerto Morelos, north of here, in order to attend the annual beer festival. After returning home, we repacked and headed three hours south to spend a couple of days in Mahahual.


Isla Holbox

Eating Out

We consider ourselves “foodies” and we love to explore the culinary delights that Mexico has to offer. Eating out is probably one of our favorite pastimes.

The thing that I enjoy most about eating out is conversing with the locals and learning more about their lives and culture. This has been a great way to not only improve my Spanish, but to also learn a few phrases in the Mayan language.


The Chef and his amazing ceviche at the National Beach Club in Mahahual


We are fortunate enough to live in a place with  tennis courts, a gym, and free daily yoga classes. We try to work in some “fitness” every now and then.

I think I saw something about “moderation” once on TV. I don’t remember what they were referring to, but I would like to think it was exercise.

Friends and Social Engagements

The development that we live in has a very social expat community and we have far more friends here than we did in the States. Once you add in all the expats and locals that we know outside of the development, our social calendar is usually quite full.

By the way, we have also met several amazing people through the blog who share our zest for life and love of Mexico. That alone makes the time that we dedicate to the blog totally worth it.

Administrative Duties

Occasionally we have to put the fun on pause to buy groceries, wash clothes, or pay bills. Actually we use a bill paying service for that last one — but you get the point.


Linda and I often joke that Mexico is the land of trámites and bureaucracy. Whether you are going to a government office to register a car or renew your resident visa, expect it to take significantly longer and be far more arduous than anything you are accustomed to in your home country.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Even though we have received dozens of requests to make a post like this, I have to admit that I was very reluctant to do it. We have a great life here in Mexico and I was afraid that some readers would mistake a post like this for bragging.  Those who know us well, know that we are not boastful people.

From the beginning, the purpose of the blog has been to share information about life in Mexico and to help other like-minded people realize their dream of moving here. Most of all, we want to show people that it does not take a lot of money to live well in Mexico — it only takes a little planning and the courage to try it.


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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. In 2016, they started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( sharing their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border. The blog has been viewed over two million times and the articles have been republished in numerous periodicals across Mexico.

40 Comments on "Retired in Mexico: A Glimpse at our Daily Life"

  1. I am new to your blog and enjoying your posts. My husband is retired, and I have about 4 years to go (to be 60) and we purchased a condo in Cancun about 5 years ago in preparation for the day when we will spend several months at a time in Mexico. Question… how do you handle folks coming down to ‘visit’ you from your home country? I would think that could be a non-stop revolving door.

    • Thanks for reading the blog. To answer your question, we do get frequent visitors. Some of the them stay with us in the condo; however, a lot of them stay at one of the resorts near the condo. Since we live in a resort complex, we can go spend the day with them by the pool or the beach at no extra charge. If you get too many visitors, you could always start charging them . 😉

  2. I so enjoyed this article! In our research and discussions about living in Mexico we tend to forget about all of the wonderful volunteer opportunities. I love that your wife is involved in sea turtle conservation. It is something that I’m quite passionate about too and I forgot that, if I lived there, I could be involved in that, the humane society and other wonderful organizations.

    Thanks, too, for the part about “bureaucracy.” I recall one year we were in Cozumel running errands with a friend who lived there. This was years ago, before online bill pay, and we stopped in to pay her water bill. We were there for probably an hour. She was disputing her bill, something I hear that is not uncommon, and it was taking forever. And she spoke fluent Spanish. Long story short, she finally gave up because she felt bad for keeping me and went back another day. She later told me that day she was in and out, with no dispute, in less than 30 minutes. Go figure.

    By the way, your blog did not come across as boastful at all. Very well written.

    • Thank you so much! We are so glad you are enjoying the blog. I (Linda) truly have enjoyed working with the sea turtles. It has been a passion of mine for many years and I am so glad to be getting back to it. Once sea turtle season comes to an end I plan on getting involved with some other organizations. We have several in our area, such as Help Tulum Dogs, Coco’s Animal Welfare and there is a diabetes mission that I am interested in assisting with as well. Anyway, as you can see there are many options for getting involved.

      As for the “bureaucracy”, it just becomes part of life. We are living in paradise, so I can’t complain. Have a great day!

      By the way, so glad to know the blog didn’t sound

  3. Alpesh Koria | August 5, 2016 at 11:38 am |

    Hey Paul, kind of off topic, but where did you buy the H2O Ninja Mask? My wife and I are of a similar age and did what you guys did. We sold everything earlier this year, packed our car with some stuff, 2 kids and 2 dogs and drove from Atlanta to the Yucatan. We are currently North of Merida on the coast and will be coming to Cozumel for the last couple of months of this year. Perhaps our paths will cross at some point.

    • Haha, Linda got the mask through Amazon, it is a Tribord mask and it cost just under $70 dollars. Congratulations on making the move to Mexico! We hope you are enjoying it as much as we are. We may see you in Cozumel sometime, we visit there frequently. Thanks for reading the blog!

  4. Ms Suzanne Nye | August 5, 2016 at 11:54 am |

    I would like to respond to Marien. I have a small home in Merida and stay there for 3 months every winter. When I first moved I felt I had to “host” visitors. Now I recommend a B&B nearby if my extra bedroom is already filled or I just don’t want them to stay with me. If they want to do tours I arrange for them to hook up with a hotel or company that offers day tours so I do not have to go along. I have seen Uxmal enough. lol. If they want to go to the beach or do a cenote swim I usually go along as I enjoy it. I send them to nice restaurants and often opt to stay home. I also take them on a shopping trip to buy groceries and give them directions to the nearby market for fresh veggies. I cook one meal the night they arrive. After the first couple years, visitors seem to diminish…..

  5. I look forward to your blog email and believe you are an excellent and entertaining writer.
    Thank you for sharing your lives with all.

    • Thank you so much. Before starting the blog, my writing experience was limited to memorandums and legal briefs. 🙂

  6. Great post guys…. I too have thought about doing a weekly wrap up of sorts on our platform….which means slowing down from all of the fun to post once a week! Now that’s a challenge, ha!

  7. Rick Belik | August 5, 2016 at 1:29 pm |

    Paul, do you recommend a way to learn Spanish. I know of a few Apps, and there is always Rosetta Stone, but I was wondering if you, or anyone else reading this, might have a recommendation? Great post today!

    • There are a lot of books and apps out there but your success all comes down to one thing — the time you invest. If you are willing to commit at least 15 minutes a day — no matter what — to learning Spanish, you will get better. By the way, Rosetta Stone is way overpriced and in my opinion, not that great. I used to tutor quite a few people who bought that program and were less than pleased with the results. If I were you, I would start with the app Babbel because it is free. There are also a TON of videos on Youtube to help you. I like this guy:

    • I bought a course from Warren Hardy. He lives in San Miguel de Allende and has been teaching university Spanish for many years. His online course is called Mexican Spanish for baby boomers and is perfect for both of us. For me it is a refresher after having lived in Mexico for many years, several years ago. And for my beginner husband. His website is

  8. Love your Blog, it’s so nice to hear about people who move to Mexico and Love it, as we do for the last 11 yrs.
    Thank You, keep up the great Blog.

  9. Derek Barlow | August 5, 2016 at 2:04 pm |

    Love your blog and look forward to always reading it weekly ! We love Playa started coming down 17 yrs ago when we were just 18 yr old babies ! We cant wait to make it our forever home .

    • Thanks, Derek. If you notice a gap in new posts, it is because we are traveling around the Yucatan or we forgot to pay the Internet bill.

  10. Teresa Kuta | August 5, 2016 at 2:23 pm |

    My husband and I love your blog. Since we live here since last July we manage to do some of the things you write about, but some are new o us.

  11. LUV your blog! Party on! Ops, I mean CARRY on! Lol

  12. So.. Americans will move to Mexico and Mexicans are dying to come to the US? Hmm. 😉

  13. One thing I might add to your list of what to do in Mexico…volunteer! I know it it sometimes difficult to find a way to volunteer and the opportunities are scarce, but it can be done. I’ve lived in Playa del Carmen now for 12 years and volunteered for a clinic the first 5 years. After that I started my own non profit called ” The KKIS Project” which stands for Keeping Kids in school ( . You also have one of those projects on Cozumel as we met with a woman there who runs it. I also encourage all of my visitors to bring school supplies with them for us to distribute to schools.

    Love your blog…keep it up!

    • Great tip. Once turtle nesting season is over, I think we are going to look for some more volunteer opportunities. Thanks for reading the blog.

  14. I love your blog !We travel to Cozumel every year for a month at a time and do plan to retire in the area We have been looking more main land because of expenses.My question is you have retired at a young age, what do you guys live off money wise? To pay the bills and travel etc?
    I hope this is not too personal! I have a lot of expat friends in Coz, but they all have some sort of part time job, own business back home or came into insurance or inheritance money. We will be retirement age so will have retirement and ss to live off- but still have a couple of years, just wondering how we can get there sooner!?!

    By the way I just got the ninja snorkel mask like your wife has- used it on our last trip in May and LOVE it!
    Keep up the great blog !

    • Thanks for reading the blog! We love taking overnight trips to Cozumel but we chose the mainland basically for the ease of travel. We didn’t want to have to ferry our car back and forth.

      I was a deputy sheriff for 25 years and we both live off that one pension. It would have been extremely difficult for us to afford to stay in the U.S. — especially with the cost of health insurance — but we live fairly well here on MUCH less. We liquidated everything we had in the U.S. and used the money to get a condo and an inexpensive car. That allows us to live debt free and the monthly expenses are not very high.

      If you want to get down earlier, you can always look at remote jobs that allow you to work from Mexico. I wrote a blog on that one with some links:

  15. Am thinking of retiring to puerto Vallarta. Love Mexico and its people. I’m Canadian so our $ doesn’t stretch as far as US but still better than here. Love “Old Town” and would like to know what rental opportunities are available in that area. Limited budget but don’t require luxury. Clean and safe are my only requirement. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Hi Barry. I don;t have any contacts on that side of the country…yet. We are planning on spending some time over there in the beginning of 2017 to write blog articles specific to that area.

  16. Mona Palaschak | January 16, 2017 at 7:14 am |

    I am interested to learn more of the bill paying services. We are building in Tulum right now, we have a few friends to help but if this is an option, it would take the weight off of their shoulders. Learning as we go…….

  17. Randy Hobbs | January 24, 2017 at 9:18 am |

    Great Blog My wife and I are planning to retire to Mexico, this next year. On a limited budget, not sure where, We have been spending some time around and near Puerto Vallarta. We have not ventured to the Caribbean side yet. We are still very open and might venture out with the R.V. first

  18. didn’t read anything boastful in there at all!! Lots of good insider information is what I got from it!! This blog is very well laid out and updated with pertinent information. I enjoy reading.
    My wife and I will be retiring to Mexico as well in a couple years. Already made several trips down exploring areas and the next trip is in a couple months. flying into Puerto Vallarta then driving to the Lake Chapala area.
    thanks again and we will keep reading! 🙂

    Chris and Christina

  19. Curious as to how you support yourselves? Do you have a retirement pension? What do you say it costs you monthly to live?

  20. Henry Flores | August 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm |

    I just wanted to say Thank you for your blog. I enjoy reading your articles. My wife and I enjoy vacationing to Mexico and have gone quite often. some of our relatives ask us ” Don’t you get tired of going to Mexico?” and our answer is always NO Never. Our goal and dream is to someday retire there. Hopefully someday that will come true!!!

    • Q-Roo Paul | August 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm |

      You’re welcome, Henry. We never get tired of Mexico either. I hope you can make your dream come true. Maybe we’ll even be neighbors someday.

  21. I’m so very happy to have found your blog! I’m very much enjoying reading through it, viewing your pictures, and soaking up your zest for the beach life! The ocean is “my place” and I’ve had a spiritual love affair with it since I was a young girl. After earning an elementary education degree, and feeling a little unsatisfied with my career life, I decided to go out on a limb and try my hand at selling travel. Put my love of the ocean and beach vacations to use, and see what I could do. (My husband was my greatest cheerleader and really believed in me more than I believed in myself, so I must give a shout out to him!) I’m now entering my 4th year with my business, Bellet Travel, and I couldn’t love it more! It’s becoming quite successful, I get to travel more than ever, I send clients all over Mexico and the Caribbean, and I simply adore what I do! A fellow agent introduced me to your blog, as a means of reference for positive articles regarding Mexico’s safety. Of course it’s been difficult with all the negative buzz as of late, and in my small area many people are scared to death now of Mexico… so sad. I’ll be using your blog post “Is it safe to live in Mexico” quite often over the next few months, I’m afraid… my hope is that it gives the other side of the coin, and helps people better undetstand the country, and see Mexico as the beautiful, friendly, overall safe country that it is! I send clients to Cancun, Riviera Maya, Tulum – and all the towns along the way – and then to Puerto Vallarta and Nayarit. Absolutely gorgeous, and in my opinion quite safe, areas of Mexico. Thank you for your blog, and I look forward to reading many more posts in the future! (And PLEASE keep the pictures coming! They’ll help get me through the upcoming Midwest winter! )

  22. Kristin Koeleman | November 21, 2017 at 10:57 am |

    Hi there. I am new to your blog, but very much enjoy reading about everything you talk about! My husband and I are hoping to get a “jump start” on our retirement plans – we are looking at a home in Puerto Escondido. Our son went there for Spanish/Surf school for a month when he was 16 and fell in love with it. He has been back 4-5 times since and encouraged us to come along. We fell in love…what a perfect little town! We are not ready to retire yet – but we though why not get a head start! Maybe take a few vacations a year there and then rent out the home in the high season until we are ready. I think we will end up being 1/2 time there, 1/2 time in San Diego (where we live now.) But I am beyond excited to spend long periods of time in Mexico.

  23. Hi there, so happy I found your blog, interesting and informative. Yesterday evening I was reading articles on the downfall of taking out a Temporary Visa for Canadian’s with a pension.
    I read something somewhere that the banking system in Canada will deduct a certain % from pension Cheques and bank accounts. Am I reading this correctly? The main reason I was thinking of applying is I am selling my condo in Nuevo Vallarta Nayarit, the taxes plus being a non resident add up to half the condo price.any input and/or help would be greatly appreciated.
    Ps.: I’m only here for 6-7 months. What exactly am I gaining from filing for a temporary visa..

    Vancouver, B.C.

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