Published On: Fri, Dec 17th, 2021

68-year-old American retiree lives on USD$620 per month in SMA

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In 1999, I took a weeklong vacation with a friend to Mazatlán, Mexico — and it was love at first sight. I was so smitten with the beach city that I went to a realtor the next day and bought a small house for $28,000.

My plan was to make it a second home for when I wanted to get away from California. But in 2002, at 49 years old, I decided to follow my favorite mantra — “Leap, and the net will appear” — and left the U.S. to live in Mexico full-time.

After a few years in Mazatlán, I was ready for a change. I considered several places, including Oaxaca and the Lake Chapala area, before turning my sights to San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands, known for its baroque architecture. 

Photo: Irene Barajas for CNBC Make It

I was very lucky to have found a charming place within my price range for $160,000. Since real estate in Mexico is a cash market — 90% of foreign buyers are cash buyers — I had to sell one of my rental properties in Mazatlán and take a small loan from my brother to come up with the money.

It took three months to close the deal, and by 2006, I was fully moved in…


San Miguel Times



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