Mexico Voted # 1 in World To Retire 2017: Meet the Playa Del Carmen Snowbirds

Punish Radio welcomes Cynthia Bandick Temorcioglu; snowbird from Canada to discuss the reality of living in Playa del Carmen during the winter months

Punish Radio hosts Cynthia Bandick Temorcioglu from British Columbia Canada.  She’s a long time snowbird going south for the winter to Playa del Carmen Mexico.   She’s also an internet entrepreneur with Nucerity International allowing her to live a positive lifestyle that fits her ambitions and a lifestyle blogger at Time in Playa del Carmen..

Mexico has always offered arguably the easiest transition to expat life around: Low-cost, conveniently close, friendly locals and plenty of expats—Mexico offers an appealing balance of exotic foreign culture and familiar First-World lifestyle.

Over recent years, crime and insecurity across the border have made headlines—and yes, there are parts of Mexico we don’t recommend. But this is a big country…and while the mainstream media may bash Mexico, we’ve actually noticed a trend of people gravitating there. Seasoned expats, folks who have lived in countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Belize, are moving to Mexico.

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2017

After all, there’s a reason over 1 million Americans call Mexico home. The cost of living is great—expats report living well for as little as $1,200 a month—and has gotten even better with the weakening of the peso against the dollar in recent years. Your dollars now buy nearly 50% more pesos than they did just a few short years ago.

The weak peso also means you can pick up great-value real estate (to buy or rent) for even less than you could a few years ago—an apartment that cost $1,300 to rent in 2014 costs $980 now. Those dollars also go even further when it comes to Mexican healthcare. You can get healthcare that’s even better quality than what you’re used to and for one half to one third the price to boot.

According to IL’s Roving Latin America Editor Jason Holland, who lives on the Riviera Maya, there are first-rate hospitals throughout the country—every major city has one. “Even paying cash at private facilities costs a fraction of what it would in the U.S. Most doctors have received at least part of their training in the U.S. or Europe…and many speak English,” Jason says.

English is widely spoken in popular expat spots like Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya. This makes it easy for you to fit right in. And heck, you can drive down, or fly home for as little as $200 round-trip—so getting home is convenient.

This proximity also makes it an ideal destination for snowbird living, perfect for escaping from the worst of the winter weather. And the diverse selection of climates spread out across this massive country, ranging from hot weather on the beach to spring-like in the highlands, means you’re guaranteed to find weather that’s perfect for you.

“The cost of living in Mexico allows me to live a fun life on my Social Security check,” says San Francisco-native Jack Bramy. Living half a block from the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jack’s not scrimping. “There are great restaurants and tons of cool bars on the malecón (promenade). My rent is $575 a month for a two-bedroom apartment with a great modern bathroom and nice kitchen.”

If you prefer to live in the Colonial Highlands, there are the picturesque historic towns like San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Ajijic on Lake Chapala.

Chicago native Steve Garcia, 67, has lived in Guanajuato for four years. “I live well here on Social Security. My expenses are $1,200 a month, including rent. I have a two-bedroom house with a terraced garden,” says Steve. “With the dollar going up I’ve got 50% more to spend.”

After you become a legal resident of Mexico, which is quite easy to qualify for, you can also take advantage of its retiree benefits. Those over 60 get discounts on airline and bus tickets, medical care, museum entrance fees, and much more.

“I love my senior discount card,” says expat Marty Kramer who lives in Playa del Carmen. “All Mexican citizens, including resident expats, can get one when they turn 60. With it, I get discounts on almost everything: healthcare, public transportation, groceries, restaurants, hotels, and even some airlines. It’s up to the business how much of a discount they offer, but it’s usually around 10%.”

If you acquire official residence in Mexico, you can get an INAPAM Card—and all the discounts that come with it. These can range from 5% up to 50%. And recent changes in the law now provide an easier and faster path than ever to permanent Mexican residence.

Most retirees qualify for residence by showing they have the funds to support themselves. And—also unusually—Mexico gives you two ways to qualify. You can show monthly income from Social Security or a pension. Alternatively, you can use assets, such as funds in a savings or investment account, to qualify. You don’t need to transfer these assets to Mexico; you only need to prove that you have them.

“Life here is easy and relaxed,” says IL Mexico editor Glynna Prentice. “And also rich and complex in sensations and experiences. People are friendly and welcoming, their warmth as genuine as the Mexican sun. And roots are deep.

“Whether you’re looking at the mighty ruins of Teotihuacan, the face of a local Maya vendor, or the cool patio of a Spanish colonial hacienda, you sense a depth of history and tradition around you.

“Mexico isn’t perfect—no place is. But its flaws pale when weighed against the vividness of life here.”


About Johnny Punish: Former punk rock lead singer from 90s underground punk band Twisted Nixon (1996-2002), Punish is now pushing his artistic boundaries into the 21st century creating diverse music with a social justice activism that matters.

Friends label Punish a global social justice warrior, eco-activist, socially responsible businessman, and syndicated writer and broadcaster. He produces the irreverent political music podcast The Johnny Punish Show for In addition, Punish has penned over 300 articles on freedom, liberty, and justice around the world writing opt-eds for and other truth telling web sites.

Since 2000, Punish has delivered his global message from his self built eco-earthbag home studio dome on a dirt road with chickens. He lives relatively free in an unfree world pledging allegiance to the earth and all the human beings. To share the positive energy, Punish offers his 50 plus song very personal record trilogy The Strange Story of Johnny Punish, Volumes 1,2, and 3. (2000-2016). It is available now on on Itunes,, and all digital platforms.

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Posted by on March 14, 2017, With 901 Reads Filed under Net Radio Shows, Punish Radio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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2 Responses to "Mexico Voted # 1 in World To Retire 2017: Meet the Playa Del Carmen Snowbirds"

  1. JS  March 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Mr Punish, I love this retirement series about Mexico. In my opinion, the #1 reason to consider Mexico (and Canada too) is ease of driving there rather than having to fly, and #2 reason is the US dollar being stronger than both the other currencies. But the flaw in Mexico, as I see it, is having to rent rather than being able to buy. So for now, the snowbirds live cheaply there, on their Social Security check. But if the Mexican peso were to suddenly rise against the USD, and those people pay their bills in pesos while getting their income in USD, those people could be “screwed”. This is similar to what happened when Switzerland unpegged from the Euro on Jan. 15, 2015, with no notice, and the Swiss franc flew up like a kite instantly, rising 30% on Jan. 15. People living in France, who for whatever reason had their mortgages in Swiss francs (why?) were instantly in trouble. Could this happen to the snowbirds in Mexico? Yes! Make sure to hedge all your bets. Btw, normally a good way to hedge your bets is to own your modest home outright, no mortgage, and no rent. But in Mexico, I believe you as expat cannot buy your house. You must rent, and that is fine, just as long as the rent and everything else does not suddenly rise by 30%. . Personally, I like the idea of a small house here in the US. Maybe even a cheap, used RV, and I would go travelling.

    • JS  March 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Sorry, I meant to say 2 flaws with Mexico. Possible sudden currency fluctuations, up or down, is an issue that people should plan for, and not spend every dime of their money every month. But the rent vs buy thing, that is what I have been told by a real estate person. Perhaps you could address this issue?

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