Thinking about retiring in Mexico? How about developing senior housing and living product south of the border? The opportunities exist but major challenges remain to make retiring south of the US border a slam dunk. A group of business executives known as AMAR held a conference in San Antonio this past weekend to promote development of senior living in Mexico. The group consisted of consumers, marketing professionals, real estate developers and various finance professionals and had sessions for both business representatives and consumers. The conference was primarily spoken in Spanish with translation to English as the majority of attendees were from Mexico. Some of the key take aways from the conference were:
- All owners and operators consistently stated that costs are 50-60% less in Mexico than in the US or Canada for physical development & final costs. This was a consistent subject when listening to different developers in all parts of Mexico.
- Healthcare solutions exist at various price ranges throughout the country including coverage for catastrophic emergencies depending on Visa status
- Most developments are for independent living (i.e. homes and fractional residences)
- Proximity to Airports and Border are critical.
- Safety. Despite the press, retirement in Mexico remains safe. Presenters stated that the conflict exists between the druglords and the federales / police, not the retirees.
- Some developers are repositioning their properties as retirement locations rather than second home destinations. Sales pitch is still resort lifestyle with CCRC type of amenities.
- Connectivity. Researchers state those who are retired in Mexico today are in communication telephonically and via the Internet on a regular basis not much different than in the US.
- Medicare in Mexico. This is the most critical part to explosive growth for retirement in Mexico. While there are initiatives to bring Medicare from the US to Mexico, participants stated that this is a big wish. Access to healthcare providers is top priority in those looking at retiring and those who already have retired in Mexico.
Final thoughts: Retiring Mexico is a good alternative if you are looking for a temperate retirement, are mobile, in reasonably good health and have a sense for adventure. There are groups of Americans retiring and living in Mexico in growing numbers so finding a community with Gringos is not out of the picture. For development, until there is some kind of relationship between the US and Mexico for medical coverage (think NAFTA for healthcare…), Mexican retirement is a niche that is a viable alternative for a small group of American retirees.
Look for a few follow up articles from the conference focusing more specifically on segments of retiring in Mexico.