Prior to moving to Mexico in 2015, Linda and I had both formed certain expectations about what our lives would be like south of the border. Since we would be surviving on only one retirement, we knew that we would have to be thrifty to make it work. For that reason, neither of us had very lofty expectations when it came to housing or material possessions. We were – and still are – more interested in filling our lives with great experiences.
Everyone knows that life rarely turns out exactly like we plan or hope that it will. With so many variables outside of our control, most of our future plans are really just educated guesses sprinkled with a little hope. Our move to Mexico was no exception.
I thought it would be fun to share some of those expectations with the readers along with what actually ended up happening. I know that many of them are developing their own expectations about moving to Mexico.
To keep the post from getting too long, I will only discuss one category at a time. I’m dedicating this first one to housing.
While we were in Florida, I spent countless hours searching through property listings from Cancun to Tulum. The only listings that I could find anywhere near the coast were all extremely expensive properties that we could never afford unless we won the lottery.
The more I searched, the more discouraged I got. I told Linda that we would probably end up living in a very small apartment or house further inland. The goal was to keep it within a 15-20 minute drive from the beach.
Once we were in Mexico, we discovered that there were more options. I suspect — and I don’t know this for certain — that many real estate companies only highlight their most expensive inventory on their web sites.
Although there are a lot of very expensive properties in the Riviera Maya, we discovered that we didn’t have to be rich or go into debt to live in a great development only minutes from the beach. We were lucky enough to find the perfect place for us right away.
We ended up buying a 2BR / 2BA condo inside a beautiful gated community that has 24 hour security. The community is located inside of a larger resort complex. One of the perks to living here is that we have access to many of the amenities at the resorts as well.
Due to the reasonable price, we were able to buy it outright using the money that we had obtained from liquidating our assets back in the U.S. We now live less than five minutes from the beach.
Our monthly expenses, which include our HOA fees, are much lower than what they were when we lived in Florida. This leaves us more money to travel and truly enjoy Mexico.
Staying on Budget
Linda and I carefully track our daily expenses to ensure that we our staying on budget for the month. If we want to save some money that day, we stay on the property and take advantage of the amenities that come at no additional cost, such as playing tennis or just relaxing under a palapa next to one of the many pools.
I get a lot of emails from readers requesting that I include more pictures in my posts, so here are a few:
Let’s Wrap This up
Obviously our reality — at least as it related to housing- has far exceeded our expectations. The more that we travel around the peninsula exploring new areas, the more thankful we are that we ended up here.
Note: Readers often ask me for the name of the development. I don’t like to publish the name in the blog; however, I will respond to individual requests for information. You can send me a message through this link: Contact Us.