64-year-old retiree who left the U.S. for Mexico: 7 downsides of living in a beach town for $1,200 per month

More than a decade has passed since I moved to Mazatlán, Mexico from California and retired.

It all started during a vacation there in 2005; I’d felt a deep happiness I couldn’t ignore. This radical decision changed my somewhat ordinary life a million degrees for the better and I have absolutely no regrets. I wanted an adventure, and boy, am I having one!

But there are challenges. While white sand beaches, palm trees and endless margaritas all sounded good, air pollution, loneliness and noise were not what I expected when I moved to what I thought would be paradise.

Once the honeymoon period is over, here are some downsides of leaving the U.S. for a beach town in Mexico:

  1. The weather can get really hot and humid
    Mexico basically has two seasons: Dry (mid-October to April) and rainy (May to mid-October). The many climate zones will tell you more specifically about how those seasons look in different parts of the country.

Rainy season usually means torrential storms and, in some coastal areas, like the Yucatan, Caribbean and Puerto Vallarta, hurricanes are a summer constant. They can be destructive, scary and more severe than those that reach the U.S.

In coastal towns, it can get incredibly hot and humid. Bugs and other critters thrive in this kind of weather, so everything in your kitchen, including packaged foods, needs to go in the refrigerator.

Your clothes might suffer, too. Cotton and spandex blends lose their elasticity, colors fade, elastic on underwear droops, and leather or vinyl gets moldy. Electronics and appliances rust in ways you’ve never imagined.

Inland, the weather is cooler, but summer still means rain. Those cobblestone streets in the magical colonial towns can turn into rivers in just a few minutes.

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