Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Top Choice For Overseas Retirement
“Kathleen, you recently recommended Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to your readers, and I absolutely agree! The weather is ideal 10 months out of the year, the people are friendly, there’s a great expatriate community, the city is clean, crime-free, and beautiful, the health care is excellent.
“Spanish is good, but I agree that you can get on better with English, than other South or Central American places I have visited, not to mention that shopping is easy with Walmart, Home Depot, Sam’s and Cosco all there. We have owned a condo here for years, and we love it.
“My disagreement is on cost. P.V. is not as inexpensive as indicated, and US$1,500 per month will not get you the lifestyle most expatriates expect.
“Beachfront condos go for $200 to $400 per square foot, and condo fees are high.
“It is possible to rent in town, reasonably; but without the expected comforts. Most people here own a car. Insurance costs are the same as in the U.S., but the cars themselves are more expensive than in the States for the same models. You don’t have to have a car, though. Inexpensive buses are available, and taxis cost half as much as in the States.
“You can eat cheaply at a taco stand, but restaurant prices are equal to or higher than in the States. Groceries cost about same, with fresh fruit and vegetables a little cheaper.
“If you decide to invest in your own place, you should be aware that there is a 35% capital gains tax in Mexico, plus a transfer fee.
“I’m writing this because friends who visited us fell in love and were disappointed at the costs. Otherwise, they agreed that this place is close to perfect.
“Note that the peso has devaluated against the dollar by more than 30%; so temporarily things are less expensive than I have indicated (with the exception of real estate, which is priced in U.S. dollars). However, this will not last. In the past six months (following the revaluation), prices in P.V. are already up 10% to 20% in peso terms.
“I hope this helps. I enjoy your information greatly! All the best.”