5 Awesome affordable places to retire in Mexico

5 awesome affordable places to retire in Mexico

If you want to retire in Mexico, know it is an awesome and affordable place to do so.

Financial advisors claim you need over a million dollars in a retirement savings in order to live well once you stop working.

I don’t know about you, but I am a long, long way from that number and retirement age is getting closer and closer.

One option I’ve been looking at is retiring abroad

Since I speak Spanish, Mexico seems like the perfect place for me.

You’ve probably heard about San Miguel de Allende, that Mexican colonial city in the state of Guanajuato with the cobblestone streets and sixteenth and seventeenth century churches and architecture.

San Miguel was invaded by ‘gringos’ who came in droves to retire in this quaint, affordable hamlet, building up the town and causing real estate prices to skyrocket.

Indeed, San Miguel is an awesome town, but it’s busy and also expensive.

So is Lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco, where another colony of North Americans live in blissful retirement around the beautiful lake.

While the dollar is still strong against the Mexican peso, prices for real estate in choice areas like Lake Chapala, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende and Cabo San Lucas, are now quite even with prices in some popular retirement towns across the U.S.

But if you think you’re too late to buy inexpensive real estate in Mexico, think again.

It’s a big country with a number of fantastic towns and cities set around lakes, mountains and the ocean.

Here are five awesome places to retire in Mexico that are still affordable for those with a modest retirement income.


Located on the pacific coast in the state of Nayarit, Sayulita is an up and coming beach heaven for foreigners and Mexicans who want something a little off-beat.

Just 25 miles north from Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita was once a fishing village and a surfer’s paradise.

Now it’s the ‘it’ beach town in Mexico.

While the town is tiny, with the beach on one side and mountains on the other, there are plenty of small hotels, villas and hip restaurants and shops. Real estate is still affordable, although quickly climbing.

If a funky beach town is your thing, you’ll soon call Sayulita home.


The state capital of Yucatan, Merida is considered one of the safest cities in Mexico.

It has a beautiful colonial center with amazing architecture from the 19th century.

Rich with Mayan and Mexican culture, Merida has attracted many foreigners who are rebuilding the old mansions and nearby sisal plantations.

With a warm tropical climate and a trove of boutique hotels and new restaurants, Merida is a great place to retire if you’re looking for the amenities of a city, but want to be only close to the coast.

And best of all, there are plenty of real estate options to accommodate varying budgets.

Also read: Sarasota, Florida: more than just a beach town

5 awesome affordable places to retire in Mexico


A short drive from Mexico City, Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city, and a colonial jewel.

Puebla is on the other side of the famous Popocatepetl volcano from Mexico City and the sight of the battle where the Cinco de Mayo holiday was named after.

Puebla offers everything a large city could offer, including its famous food, “mole poblano” and “talavera” tiles and ceramics.

Convenient, pretty and safe, Puebla offers multiple real estate options for retirees.

Mineral de Pozos

If what you are looking for is a quiet little town, check out Mineral de Pozos, in the state of Guanajuato.

Pozos is a former silver mining town that became a ghost town – until recently. Now, small butique hotels and restaurants are opening up.

Most of the buildings are from the 19th century when the town was booming.

Pozos is currently experiencing a small resurgence with businesses catering to tourists and visitors from nearby San Miguel Allende.


This town on lake Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan dates back to the days before the Spaniards arrived in Mexico.

The lake and its surrounding little colonial towns are beautiful and quaint, with cobblestone streets and red tile roofs.

The area has been popular with Mexicans and foreigners for years, so there are plenty of amenities.

Real estate can be expensive, but because the area is so large you can still find deals if you take your time and look for the right place.

Patzcuaro and Michoacan are rich with history and crafts.

Being in Patzcuaro is being in the heart of Mexico.

Phillippe Diederich is a bilingual author and photographer born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami. His photography has appeared in The New York Times, Time magazine, U.S. News and World Report and other national publications. Phillippe's novels Sofrito and Playing for the Devil's Fire are both published by Cinco Puntos Press. He is the recipient of a PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship and the Editor-in-Chief of Viva Fifty!

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