<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Retire in Mexico?
Little Log



By David Eidell 09/2009

After reading a couple of Mexico retirement guides, I am mystified as to what country they are talking about. From their various descriptions you’d think Mexico is a perpetual margaritaville laced with marimba music. Mexico is a very different animal than the USA and perhaps fifty-percent of pink-cloud retirees become disillusioned and “bail-out” suffering a considerable financial loss to boot. Let’s look at some realities:

Pink Cloud illusion can start by reading an especially good travel guide or spending a few days in mid-winter at a palm fringed resort jam packed with reveling fellow travelers. The same resort becomes almost forlorn in the off-season which is a majority of the year. That lovely restaurant will be closed, temperatures will soar and the humidity will create a steam bath. The flip side of the coin is resort areas that are less hot and humid in the summer but feature morning lows near forty degrees in mid-winter. None of this is especially significant unless you aren’t prepared for it. Small resort town stores that are jammed packed with tourist oriented food and inventory in high season become emaciated when their customers all go home.

would be to give it a try for six-months. Start on a grand loop that will take you to central Mexico’s colonial cities and some heavily infested tourist enclaves like San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. From Lake Chapala head to the Pacific coast via Tepic and then descend Mex 200 to Puerto Vallarta. From “P.V” try going south five hours to Melaque and Barra de Navidad. An excellent time to start your trip would be October. You’ll miss the worst of the rainy season, yet get a good dose of “off-season-Mexico”.

If you’re aiming for Baja California a good time to start your trip is in June. Rosarito and Ensenada will have a comfortable temperature as will San Quintin a hundred twenty miles to the south. The next enclave of retirees is located at Mulege six hundred miles below the border. Eighty four miles further is Loreto, then way down the peninsula is La Paz and finally Cabo San Lucas. When the Tran peninsula leaves the Pacific coast south of San Quintin, be prepared for daytime temperatures that soar well over a hundred degrees outside of winter months.

BUT DO NOT BANK ON INFORMATION IN TRAVEL GUIDES! A one or two day research sweep of each of the guidebook destinations cannot possibly ascertain the weather or ambiance of the area for the other 363 days of the year. Guide books do not delve into life in various neighborhoods and whether or not you’ll find bagels in July. I almost fell out of bed when living in Cabo San Lucas – a respected travel guide author had written that Cabo’s weather “Does not get to a hundred degrees”. Yeah right; that very same day I had noted that day and seventeen days prior in July had an afternoon high of at least a hundred four degrees. My temperature measurement system consists of a NOAA and NWS approved thermometer and container.

DO NOT RELY ON ADVICE FROM FRIENDS! How many times have I seen someone’s friend become irate and exclaim “But I thought you said…” Points that I have brought up in this article are almost never pondered by a Here Today Gone Tomorrow traveler. Paradise is a relative term and it is seldom the same for two people. You may love something while your spouse hates it.

THE ONLY RETIREMENT ADVOCACY I DISPENSE IS WHAT IS SUMMED UP IN THIS ARTICLE and can be boiled down to just one point: Come and see, taste, smell, hear, and feel Mexico for yourself. Who knows - you may end up hating Mexico and make tracks back to the border. Chances are however your emotions are going to be sucker-punched and the siren call of Mexico will never stop echoing in your heart.