Jul 23, 2005, 11:16 AM
You know, maybe I was too flippant about the larrys' post because the question of whether or not one could live down here on $90,000 to $100,000USD per year seemed frivolous. Obviously, several other posters shared my assessment of the inquiry. Because the post was so odd in that respect, I missed something very important. Inside of the income inquiry was the note that the posters were considering retiring to Merida or Cuernavaca. I suspect that that was the second part of the joke and I am not responding to the notion that Merida or Cuernavaca are serious alternatives or even that the notion of retiring to "Cuernavaca", which is several different things, was an attempt to make fun of us.
Re: [larrys] Question on retiring to Mexico full time
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As most of us know, Cuernavaca is a playground for wealthy "Chilangos" and it indeed might require an income of $100,000USD or more to live well in that city. On the other hand, one could live in the vicinity of Cuernavaca in any number of picturesque villages in Morelos State for well under that income and have a much more pleasant life than living in the large and crowded city. Frankly, if I had it to do over again, I would look to Morelos as a retirement spot as opposed to Jalisco. That is one fine place.
Now, let's talk about Merida. While Cuernavaca, or part of Cuernavaca, has a climate unsurpassed in most of the world, Merida has one of the worst climates in the world. I am saying this to others among you who may not know Mexico that well and find the notion of indecision on one of these two places puzzling.
Let me put it this way:
Merida is a wonderful, run-down, always steamy hot, charming crap-hole. There is great food there and there are few towns on the planet that are more fun. The municipal dances and community events there are a treasure probably as a result of its traditional isolation . There is tremendous civic pride. The local Mayan culture is interesting to say the least. If you leave the colonial center of the town it is a butt-ugly, mostly treeless conglomeration of undistinguished and depressing, sundrenched neighborhoods with overpriced housing you would not want to be near much less in. Gringos from such dreadful places as Miami and Houston are overpaying for housing there because they don't know there are places on Earth where the weather is actually pleasant. Even the nice neighborhoods are depressing; actually more depressing than the old neighborhoods. Sort of like the richest guy in Blythe, California who's the only person in town who can't drive away in his house. Go shopping there and, with certain exceptions, you can find your Aunt Gertrude's 1940s era corsettes. The climate is attrocious and just when you think it is hot and humid beyond belief it gets hotter and more humid. There is no good season unless you get off on wilting and feeling miserable.
They do have good beer and seafood and mighty fine food but you can't simply eat and drink all day. Well, I could.
And, I really love the Yucatan Peninsula. Last year I spent a whole lot of time and money looking for a winter home in such places as Merida, Lake Bacalar and Xcalak and I learned some very important things:
- The only reason there is a Merida is because of the enslaving and insufferable henequen plantations that are "Gone With The Wind". The reason that nobody left after the collapse of the hemp industry is that there were no roads out of there until the 1960s and it's also too hot to drive.
- There is no winter there so how can one have a winter home? It's always hot and then hotter and then a hurricane comes and blows you away.
- Lake Bacalar is way overpiced and so boring and isolated why not just go ahead and buy a crypt and entomb yourself. So you buy a house looking out over a beautiful lake and there you are day after day after year until you expire and don't even know you are gone, for God's sake, because your mind left long before and all you have done is atrophied out there on your deck going, "Boy is that ever a pretty lake! Whoowee am I glad I outbid those Texans. Boy did I show them." until it becomes a meaningless mantra and you are dead without even knowing it.
- At unbelievably remote Xcalak which is so far out there they put the help from Chetumal at the local hotel up for the week and the only people who visit there are drunken Gringos saying stuff like "How about them Dolphins!", . I looked at this house sitting right on a beautiful beach with no utilities and a gas fired electrical generator and water from the nearest local store (20 kilometers) and mosquitoes that could steal your bike and the owner from Ohio wanted $650,000USD for this quasi-hotel and told me it was a great investment that would be worth $1,500,000USD within two years and I got the impression that he thought I was a total imbecile because of my Alabama accent and he might have been right but I ain't that stupid.
(This post was edited by Bubba on Jul 23, 2005, 11:28 AM)