There is a big mix of expats here in Los Cabos and La Paz areas. Based on the Tourism Board, Cabo San Lucas has approximately 30,000 US-American expats, and approximately 20,000 Canadian expats living here full time.
People come here for many different reasons. Some people come down here and retire mainly for medical purposes because they don’t have good healthcare in their home country. The Canadians are fortunate enough that they have different retirement pensions and criteria so you find a lot of Canadians who come down here before they are 62 years old. Canadians retire at about 55 to 60 years old. We also have people who come down here who are over the US retirement age.
Then there are people like me. I am expat to a point because I am here full time/part time and there are a lot of snowbirds that come here who are like me. They own a home here full time or rent a house full time but they own and occupy it part time. So there is a big mix at all different ages.
Then there are some people who come down here who are like the outlaws. They left the US because there was a reason. They are not necessarily true legal outlaws but maybe there is an ex-wife somewhere saying, “Okay, we haven’t seen you in 20 years. Where are you?” And he’d say, “I’ve been in Mexico.”
The expats community here is really a big mix. A lot of the expats who are living here now are retirees who left the US for good. They might have been going back and forth for several years but they have finally taken the leap, which is what I am doing. In my case, I am a little different because I am afforded the luxury of having a company that I could work for via the Internet so I can work anywhere. Not a lot of people can do that. A lot of people come down here in the expat community that are not retired and they come here to legally work as well.
There are also younger families that come down because the husband or the wife found a good job down here and they moved everybody down. I talked to one guy who was very interesting. He was a dual citizen. He is originally a Mexican citizen but then he served in the US Army so they gave him dual citizenship in the US. He was in Phoenix for many years. His kids were in high school and he owned a landscaping business, which was very successful in Phoenix but then as the market about 10 years ago, started changing and as the housing industry went down, he saw fewer and fewer people who used services. He told me that he went from thirteen employees down to himself and one guy. He had this beautiful home in Phoenix and he was living the American dream but it got harder and harder to support that American dream. All of his relatives wanted him to go back to Mexico but he was worried because his kids were raised as Americans and that was the lifestyle they were used to.
He went ahead and made the leap. Then his kids who were brought up very Americanized because they were born in the US and are used to everything US and spoke English as a first language absolutely loved it here in Mexico. He was able to sell his $450,000 house in Phoenix. He came down here and bought a house for $65,000.
Recently I saw him driving a tourist bus when he told me, “I actually have a better life here because I don’t have to worry about paying for all the things that I paid for in the US.” He has a beautiful house here and his kids are going to school here. He thought his kids would have culture shock but they really didn’t. He is almost like an expat from the US because he spent at least 20 years in the US and returned to Mexico but with a family that was truly an American family who was completely raised in an American lifestyle.
(Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)