Move over, Costa Rica. When checking out places to retire south of the border, retirees are increasingly turning to Guatemala — dubbed Land Of The Eternal Spring — rather than Mexico, Costa Rica and other perennial favorites.
With the much more discovered “ex-pat” destinations now becoming saturated with intrepid retirees, baby boomers are investigating more far-flung locales for great weather, natural beauty and the chance to luxuriantly stretch their dollars barely covering necessities in the United States. Guatemala is also relatively SAFE and easy to travel around in. Its deeply entrenched Mayan heritage is seen in the colorful clothing (“traje”) and almost daily cultural celebrations of one kind or another !
Located in Central America at the southern tip of Mexico, between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala is nearly the same size as Tennessee. There are two places in particular that have earned reputations as being prime spots for retirees and visitors.
Lake Atitlan, about 75 miles from the capital of Guatemala City, remains a bastion of superb living. The lake’s breathtaking setting – surrounded by volcanoes and villages still alive with Mayan traditions – was famously described by Aldous Huxley as “really, too much of a good thing.”
The well-preserved colonial city of Antigua – bursting with flora, cobblestone streets, and Spanish language schools – is the other sought-after site, located a mere 25 miles from Guatemala City and all its resources.
Guatemala offers affordability, a high quality of life, and short travel times to and from the United States. In most parts of the country, for example, experts estimate one could live very comfortably on between $1,000 and $1,500 a month.
The cost of food and other expenses are a fraction of what one would spend in most countries.
There are many specialty shops offering gluten-free foods, lactose free milk and organic fruit, vegetable and meat products. On average, retirees (and visitors !) pay appox $2 to $3 an hour for house cleaning, gardeners and even quality personal caregivers. An average weekly cost for an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in the local markets may cost up to $10. per week. Electricity is more costly, but utility costs rarely top $200 a month and making an international cellular phone call averages $0.10 per minute. Internet services and wifi is readily available as well.
As a foreigner, it is very easy to legally purchase properties in Guatemala and you can find very good deals. There are also many affordable long and short term rentals.
Guatemala also has quality affordable health care with most of its doctors and specialists graduating from school and programs in the USA. Hospital in Guatemala City offer state-of-the-art medical and diagnostic services at a fraction of the cost compared to the USA. High quality dental services are also available.
For more information on visiting and/or retiring in Guatemala, send an email to: Nancy@GuatemalaReservations.com
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