The Cheapest Places to Retire: Five Towns Where You Can Live Better for Less – Campeche Mexico

The Cheapest Places to Retire: Five Towns Where You Can Live Better for Less – Campeche  Mexico
Mexico—Campeche: From $1,400 a month

Just 100 miles south of Mérida on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Campeche has long been under the radar for expats. But that is changing fast as visitors discover the charms of this city, considered one of the safest in Mexico.

Campeche is one of Mexico’s few World-Heritage cities to sit by the sea—it’s right on the Gulf of Mexico. A three-mile-long malecón (boardwalk), with running and cycling paths, mini-park spaces, and workout equipment, runs beside the water. Just a few blocks inland lie the city’s World-Heritage neighborhoods and historic center, with their rows of attractive candy-colored, Spanish-colonial facades.

The historic center (just eight blocks square) and the three historic neighborhoods are very walkable, and it’s possible to live in these areas without a car. Campeche has a small-town or even village feel—remarkable in a city of almost 300,000.

Improvements now under way will make the city even more attractive to expats. The government is rapidly widening the highway to Mérida to four lanes. When finished, travel time to Mérida’s international airport will be barely an hour and a half. A long-promised shopping mall, which will hold high-end retailers like the Liverpool department store, is well under way on the city’s outskirts. Campeche already has a Walmart Super Center, a Sam’s Club, and numerous large supermarkets, plus a large traditional market just outside the historic center.

“The weather is good, the people are friendly, and there are fresher fruits and vegetables year-round here than you get back home,” says expat Daniel Record of life in Campeche.

Day-to-day expenses are relatively low. You can buy a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables at the market for as little as $7. A sandwich or tacos from one of the many small loncherías (lunch joints) will cost you $2 to $3, while a seafood plate at a sit-down restaurant may run $10 or $12.

You can rent a small local house for as little as $400 a month. Comfortable modern homes, with two or three bedrooms, rent unfurnished for $500 and up. These same homes sell from $150,000.

Colonial properties, which most expats want, cost more. Unrenovated colonials for sale start at about $80,000—most cost more—and there are almost no renovated colonials on the market. The same holds true for rentals: Only a handful of furnished, renovated colonials are available—and they are almost constantly rented at $1,000 a month or more. More colonial rentals are desperately needed; it’s a business opportunity looking for an entrepreneur.


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