ON RETIREMENT – 5 Reasons to Retire in Puerto Vallarta

Posted: November 1, 2010
U.S. News and World Report

I visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the first time more than 15 years ago. I’ve returned this week to find that, from a retire-overseas point of view, this town is all grown up.

This stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coastline has already been developed to a high level. Life here can be comfortable and easy. This isn’t developing-world living. This is a lifestyle that is truly comparable to the best you could enjoy in southern California, if you could afford it.

You can find dramatically beautiful Pacific coastline lots of places. Much harder to come by is an already-in-place infrastructure. In this seaside city you aren’t buying for someday. In Puerto Vallarta, you have the opportunity to buy a world-class lifestyle in a region with beautiful beaches and ocean views and plenty of golf courses, marinas, restaurants, and shopping. You can’t compare retirement in Puerto Vallarta with retirement in Salinas, Ecuador or Las Tablas, Panama, which are both emerging regions that don’t yet have international-standard amenities.

Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta region has five important retire-overseas advantages.

  1. Easy access from the United States.
  2. Unbeatable locations on the Pacific coast.
  3. The infrastructure, services, and amenities make it one of the most user friendly retire-overseas choices.
  4. There is an existing, growing, and welcoming community of expats from all over the world.
  5. An affordable cost.

Puerto Vallarta is not the cheapest retirement choice in the world or in Mexico. It’s more expensive than Panama and certainly more expensive than Ecuador. You aren’t going to find it a super bargain compared with the cost-of-living in the United States.

Mark Callanan - Photos of Puerto Vallarta Mexico and beyond

Mark Callanan - Photos of Puerto Vallarta Mexico and beyond

The important thing to recognize about Puerto Vallarta is that a lifestyle of the rich and famous is not some property developer’s vision or speculator’s dream. The Pacific coast in and around Puerto Vallarta has been invested in over decades not only by developers and speculators, but also by the Mexican government. As a result, in Puerto Vallarta can you plug into a fully developed retirement lifestyle that you can actually afford. You probably won’t be able to live well here on Social Security income alone. But if your retirement budget is a bit bigger, consider this comfortable oceanside city.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.