Retiring in Mexico – Is It In Your Stars?

3 Jul

Enjoy our most popular blog post. – There are many videos on the web celebrating and promoting retirement and tourism to Mexico. There are thirty-six Magical Cities of which Bacalar is one. Each individual Mexican state invites you to visit with stunning scenery, colorful fiestas and beautiful children (Quintana Roo). Even TV personality Anthony Bordain raves about Mexican cuisine and culture.


Facebook has many pages, Expats Living in Mexico (4,700 followers), Traveling Around Yucatan, On the Road in Mexico, and many city-specific group pages, where you can ask questions and plan your getaway. There’s even an Adventures of Dos Tortas Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at dos_tortas.The 2010 Mexican census counted a million foreigners living here. If you hope someday to be one of them, Lisa and I have put together a few suggestions:

Even if you didn’t get those high school language credits in Spanish, and are of a certain age, (older than three), start today. Your life will be so much richer and easier if you understand rudimentary Spanish and can navigate basic living functions – grocery shopping, restaurants, and travel. It’s challenging to learn a second language, and takes commitment and perseverence, just ask Lisa. Another option used by USers is to throw money at problems. You can hire people to do all the work of finding you a place to live and shipping your possessions. They will navigate the immigration process and all you have to do is show up for fingerprinting. It depends on your resources and how you want to spend them.

Local market.

Local market.

Even if retirement is years down the road, there is much that you can do and need to do today. Whether you will be living on social security or in a condo on the beach, have a plan, talk about your priorities, dream and take action.

Casa de Los Venatos, Villadolid

Hacienda  Los Venatos, Villadolid, Yucatan

Living in a foreign country is hard. Our biggest challenge is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We have exchanged one set of stressors for another. People who succeed in creating a life here must be resilient. It is so easy to carry a satchel of unrealistic expectations. Do not expect Mexico to save your marriage, be the laid back country it was in the seventies or make you happy.

Sunrise of the week.

Sunrise of the week.

Don’t get me wrong, we are very happy and glad we came. Do we wish we had done things differently? Some days, yes. Have we learned things we couldn’t have learned any other way? Absolutely. Is our experience everyone’s experience? Not even close. Do you love adventures and are willing to take risks? Then just maybe, Mexico is perfect for you too. DOS TORTAS


16 Responses to “Retiring in Mexico – Is It In Your Stars?”

  1. Kathe November 30, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    I agree. You’d better be flexible to live here.


  2. brucekelley November 30, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Your closing passage, “Do you love adventures and are willing to take risks? Then just maybe Mexico is perfect for you too” sums it up perfectly.

    Bien hecho, Alex!



    • afish25 November 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Thanks Bruce. One cannot live a life of fear and be happy here.


  3. Jamie Ray November 30, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    I think they are good rules for retirement period. Five years ago, I took a look at my pension and figured out what my expected pay out was going to be if I retired at 55. Then I asked Donna if she would mind if we tried to live on that amount to see what we could and could not afford – what we minded giving up, and what was no big deal. I banked the leftover into our 401K/457.
    It turned out that other than taking our car out of the parking garage (alternate side of the street parking in NYC is a challenge but it is free), cutting down on convenience eating out (as opposed to entertainment eating out), and buying less “stuff”, we didn’t have to give up much and we got our expenses down (excepting travel) to under my pension level. Consequently, no change in standard of living when I retired, and a big travel fund. It can be done, but it takes planning and examining your spending patterns.


    • afish25 November 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      So right. We lived on one income and banked the second for several years. It can be done.


  4. emilievardaman November 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    I retired a bit earlier than I should have and sacrificed that extra income. There were a multitude of reasons, and I would do the same today. If I could just sell my house (which needs work and is in a town where NOTHING is selling), I’d be in Mexico, exploring a new life. Glad you two made it!


    • afish25 November 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Can you barter for repairs? Just a thought. You’ll get there.


      • emilievardaman November 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

        I do a little barter. Am saving now for a maybe trip into Oaxaca for a few weeks. There’s a chance I could rent my house once it’s more fixed up. Then I could afford to do . . . something.


  5. LJones November 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    What a great post! Your words are especially helpful to Bob and me. We are thinking a year and a half…so now is the perfect time to begin…and to dispel any notions of being happier, less stressed (well, maybe a little bit less) and /or not being prepared for difficulty. Thank you, Alex – it was so good to see you both. With love, L


    • afish25 November 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      You can do it Lori & Bob! You’re already ahead of the game w your Spanish. Glad you’ve picked Bacalar.


  6. afish25 November 8, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    Reblogged this on the adventures of dos tortas and commented:

    The Tortas are on an adventure. Please enjoy this popular post.


    • loisleahy November 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Great re-post. Up to now, I have not considered Mexico as a retirement destination, but it’s a possibility! I do speak fluent Spanish, so got that covered 😉 My sister, Ann, and I walked part of El Camino de Santiago in September, and they told me I sound like a Mexican, compared to their Castillian Spanish. je je Muchas “grathias” for all you posts.


      • afish25 November 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

        There are many beautiful places in the world to live. Or you could be a perpetual traveler.


  7. Stacy White November 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Thank you Alex, for re-posting this blog. I can only imagine how difficult it was to remain patient during all of this. It’s hard enough to build a home here. Much less to be on Mexico time!! I truely appreciate your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 November 9, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      Welcome to the blog Stacy. Let me know how I can be of service.


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