When Joanna and I are looking at early retirement destinations, we prefer remote, off-the-beaten-path places. We’re focusing on the inexpensive, quiet life but with good technology infrastructure.
However, that doesn’t mean that you are going to want the same in your moving abroad dreams.
One of the awesome things about early retirement is that you can do what you want. So, if you want to live where it’s warm with lots of restaurants, shops, and things to do, living in Playa Del Carmen might be just the place for you. I have to admit, it is one of my favorite abroad places we’ve visited. It’s not exactly a small, quiet town, but you can make it water you want it to be.
OK, so tell me a little about Playa Del Carmen.
Playa Del Carmen (PDC) is in the Mexican Yucatan on the Caribbean coast about 30 miles south of Cancun. Originally a small fishing village, it is now home to about 170,000 people and has a vibrant tourism industry. It’s close to other places of interest such as Cancun, Tulum and Cozumel.
Many of the people in town speak at least some English because of the tourism industry. In addition, it also means that the infrastructure is updated with high-speed internet, cable and telecommunications.
How much does it cost to live in Playa Del Carmen?
Since it is in a “touristy” area, it will be a bit expensive. However, if you try to central/west side of town, you can find 1,000 sq. ft. 2-bedroom apartments for under $1,000 USD/Month. And if you are willing to downsize the price goes down. If you want to live close to the beach/restaurants/shops then it goes up quickly.
As for food and utilities, they seem to be on par with a lot of the cheaper areas in the US. You can probably expect to pay about $250 for utilities (heat, water, power) and $200/person for groceries if you do a lot of your shopping at the Mega and/or Walmart.
Internet, Phone and cable can be had for about $50/month if you get the “YOO+ Ilimitado” bundle from Cablemas (for example) though there will be some installation charges that are extra, so make sure you read the fine print carefully.
Of course, if you go out to eat, your costs will go up depending on where you go.
What is there to do in Playa Del Carmen?
Speaking of going out, if you retire in Playa Del Carmen, boredom would be the least of your worries. On there’s hundreds of shops and restaurants in town (most on Quinta Avenida). Some local, some big names like Louis Vuitton, PF Chang’s, Starbucks, Ruth Chris… (The list goes on).
Oh yeah, with a name that includes the word “playa”, don’t forget the beach and all the sports that come with it.
I mean, look at it. How could that not be awesome?
So, if you like a vibrant night life and lots of places to eat or dance, PDC might be the place for you. If you want more information, check out Life’s a Beach.