Low Cost Retirement in the Caribbean

Periodically I get the urge to write about retirement in a foreign country even though that is not high on our list. But I enjoy reading what others say and dream about living their golden years in a low-cost but perhaps exotic foreign location.

I know there have to be lots of baby boomers who travel to the Caribbean on vacation, perhaps on a cruise, and then wonder what it would be like to live on or near the beach all or part of the year. I’ve had that curiosity myself.

So are there low-cost Caribbean beach towns where a U.S. retiree can enjoy life? International Living Magazine thinks so.

In this report, the editors list the Caribbean’s Most Affordable Beach Towns and Islands:

Belize: This is one country (with its own islands) that I have not visited.  Apparently the residents speak English and the island has special programs to attract retirees. Favored locations for retirees in Belize are Corozal Town in northern Belize, Ambergris Island, and Placencia with its large ex-pat community.

Mexico: With all of the bad news coming out of our southern border with Mexico, its easy to overlook the fact that there are some great coastal areas where peaceful retirement living is the norm. Up and coming beach communities in Mexico for retirees include Isla Holbox near the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Mujeres which is near Cancun, and Cozumel. Property in all three locations is quite affordable by U.S. standards.

Costa Rica: This is one of the most politically and economically stable Caribbean countries with large European and U.S. expat populations. ¬†Those who have retired there report costs of living that are 1/2 of that in the U.S. Quality healthcare is apparently a real bargain. There are two “coasts” in Costa Rica: Pacific and Caribbean. The latter has lagged the former in development with weather and transportation being questionable. But progress is reportedly being made so perhaps bargain real estate is now available for the long-range planner.

For a humorous contrarian view of Costa Rica by a recently returned expat, read this and laugh. (But beware the truth lurking within!)

One of these days Mary-Jo and I need to visit Belize and Costa Rica.

Your thoughts on retirement in the Caribbean?


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