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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Manzanillo, Mexico

Submitted by candyking1


Port of Manzanillo, Mexico

One semi-retired expat in Manzanillo, Mexico said, "We are living the "american dream" in Mexico. We have a wonderful life." She went on to explain that Manzanillo has a small, active expat community. And, she said that an retiree on a budget of $1,000 per month could live comfortably. Someone with a budget of $2,000 could live very well.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Manzanillo

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

We chose to retire abroad for the climate, the better life style, affordability, and challenge of learning a new culture and language.

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

we have lived here full time for 15 years

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

We chose Mexico because of the climate, the people, the lifestyle, the proximity to the US, the conveniences of a developed county, ie roads, internet, airlines, shopping.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

I lived in Japan as a child for a couple of years.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

We have been here for 15 years.

How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?

only Mexico

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What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

The US and Canadian news reports scaring everyone about coming down to paradise.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

We are living the "american dream" in Mexico. We have a wonderful life. We are pampered, have time to pursue whatever we want, have time for our friends, the weather allows us to go outside almost every day to play. I am selling real estate, so not retired, but my husband is.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

Absolutely nothing except start earlier.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

We have a small but active ex-pat community. We have a ladies lunch group once a month to hear speakers on local issues and meet other expats, plus keep up on what is happening in town. We have a couples group that has dinners every Thursday at different restaurants also to meet the other ex-pats.

We have golf groups, tennis, bridge, cards, a church service or two in English. We also have a new Gold's gym.

The university of Colima has a great music department that has brought us some classical music concerts the last few years, this year we are having Romeo and Juliet. We have many great restaurants and most have live music and dancing.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

To bring your car in and spend more than 180 days you need an FM3 visa. No, it is very easy and the process can be started with the Mexican consulates up north.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

We bought a condo that we lived in for 9 years, then sold it and built our house. I is a very easy process, as long as you have a good realtor.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

The costs of living are going up, but we still have a much better life style here for less money. Our expectations have been met and everytime we go north it is sticker shock in the grocery store and restaurants.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

I expect they are the same as any where. You need enough to eat , pay the rent and power. If you have a car, you need to buy gas. Medical care is inexpensive and good. It can be done on a pay as you go basis, or with a major medical for back up.

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

I think that is a very personal question. You CAN find rental houses for about 5000 pesos per month, plus power and water, telephone and satellite. Then it depends on wether you eat the local fruits and vegetables or want something imported.

Beer and alchohol are very reasonably priced, walking on the beach is free. I expect that for about 1000.00 US a person could live here comfortably. For 2000.00 you can live VERY well.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

We have several hospitals here and are only 3 and a half hours from Guadalajara which has as good medical care as anywhere in the world. We had a friend who spent 3 weeks in intensive care in Guadalajara and the total cost was 35,000.00 dollars. Think of that in the US.. and she is well now.

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Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

No. We have a little petty crime, which is new for us, but it is much safer here than any Us city . We all walk around at night and do not worry.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

There is bus service and taxis. Many of the locals do not have cars.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Absolutely. It is available up to 8 mbps.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

What are you waiting for? Don't let the news scare you. They want you to be trapped up there in your homes. Come down and see what paradise is all about.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Feb 20, 2012 11:41

Ditto from Veracruz, Ver. Only been here a year but it's like being in my home (New Orleans) 25 years ago. I love it. And she's right: don't let the media hipe scare you.

Just4me
Feb 20, 2012 18:59

We are in our late 40's and thinking about retirement.if we were to buy a home there now, would we be able to rent it as a vacation home until we moved there permanently?

guest
Mar 13, 2012 12:32

GOOD POST ,I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT AJIJIC BUT CAN NOT GET GOOD INFO IT SEEMS THAT ALL EXPATS IN THAT AREA ARE IN SOME SORT OF BUSINESS AND THEY WANT TO SELL YOU SOMETHING... MY GUESTION WOULD BE CAN A MALE SENIOR HAVE A GOOD LIFESTYLE ON $1500.00 PER MONTH SS , THANKS JIM

guest
Apr 16, 2012 23:37

Have to write a comment here to 'Jim', who's asking about Chapala/Ajijic area on $1500 usd per month. If you haven't yet found MEXICO DAILY LIVING blogspot ... DO IT. Patricia is down to earth, has nothing to gain by writing her blog, is very VERY honest & forthcoming about her life in Ajijic. She lives on SS alone. I'm from Portland OR & I've met her (her son lives very close to Portland & she's been here to visit him). I also went to Ajijic a year ago to check it out. It's lovely, a bit like Southern CA, but less expensive. Go there, get a B&B for a couple of weeks, check it out. Gayle from Portland OR (ps - say hi to Patrica for me!)

guest
Feb 25, 2013 13:38

This is interesting but am wondering if this author has much experience of mixing closely with the local community? It does sound a bit like an ex-pat enclave - something many people (me included) may only want to spend limited time with or none at all. It would be useful to know what are the challenges/barriers (if any) of being able to integrate with the local people and community in Mexico.

guest
Feb 25, 2013 23:06

I agree with the guest of Feb. 26. The fact that the writer says she and her husband are "pampered" makes it sound as if they are insulated in a gringo enclave.

Kay987
Feb 20, 2014 22:39

Well spoken. I've been living in Mexico at Lake Chapala for 9 years and will shortly move to Manzanillo. I think candyking1 has provided excellent info for someone new to life in Mexico. It's beautiful, warmer, cheaper, and there are some warm and unpretentious people in the country. As to perfection, it doesn't exist. Live where you're happy.

panamanow
Dec 17, 2014 13:49

Thanks for the great info.My wife and I live in Panama and are still looking for our "place". Regarding a long term rental in the Coastal Area of Manzanillo, roughly what could we expect to pay monthly to rent a furnished 1 or 2 bedroom casita. Much thanks!

sandyjeans
Jan 8, 2015 20:33

To me, "pampered" means having a maid 7 affording regular pedicures.

bigfootbill
Jun 22, 2015 19:39

what year was this reporting ?? is a there a particular area for xpats ?

guest
Feb 18, 2019 13:11

What if you had a grade school age child. Are there good schools available in English?

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