It’s been five years since Linda and I arrived at the Cancun airport with all of our worldly belongings packed into four suitcases, all weighing under 50 lbs. We had just spent the previous year selling, donating or otherwise disposing of all of the ‘stuff’ we had accumulated throughout our lives.
When we got rid of our stuff, we got rid of the debt that came with it. No more mortgage or car payments. We were actually debt free for the first time in our adult lives. The key was to maintain that status while we built a new life in Mexico and learned to live on a retirement income that was only about 1/3 of what we were making in the States when we were both working.
Our original plan was to try it for a year to see if we liked it and if we could afford to live in Mexico — and live well. One of the reasons that we decided to retire young was so we could enjoy it while we had our health, but ‘enjoying it’ meant having enough disposable income to do fun things. Otherwise, what’s the point? Right?
Cutting the Trial Period Short
After only two months into our one year trial period, we had already decided that Mexico was the perfect place for us. We loved the area, the people, the food, the healthcare, and most of all, the low cost of living. Not only were we able to live quite well on our reduced income, we were able to travel, eat out six days a week and even have some money left over each month to put in savings.
We ended up buying the condo we were renting and it included all of the contents — which was fortunate because we didn’t own much “stuff” at that time. The best part is that we were able to buy the condo outright without accruing any debt by using the money that we had made from selling everything we owned back in the States.
There is no way we could have lived this well if we had stayed in the U.S.
It’s been over a year since I published our household expenses, but it’s still pretty accurate, so if you’re curious, you can check them out here: Retired in Mexico: A Detailed Look at Our Expenses
If you’re interested about how we’re able to travel and vacation so much, you might be interested in this article: Mexico Life: Tips to Vacation Big on a Small Budget
Let’s Wrap This Up
With the exception of the last several months that the whole world has been dealing with COVID-19, retirement in Mexico has been pretty awesome. We’ve already done and seen so much that we both feel like we’ve packed two lifetimes’ worth of experiences into only a few years. We can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead.
Well, that’s it for today. Take care and stay healthy. Hasta luego.