Merida, on the Yucatan

My first introduction to Carol Anne and Lance B., came way back in about 2007:

Carol Anne & Lance B. wrote:

“Hi Barbie,

“We purchased a beach house and lot in Telchac Puerto near Merida and Progresso so we are interested in any info on Mexico. “

And, a few correspondences after that:

“Hi Barbie,

“We feel that the Merida area is a relatively reasonable area to live in.  Housing in Merida is reasonable, the beaches are great and probably some of the cheapest in Mexico near a large city with all the conveniences.

“We have travelled a lot in the world looking for beach front property and the north coast has some of the most reasonable prices although the prices are going up as this area is getting “discovered” by Cdn’s and Americans. We love the area and we think it is very reasonable. I think I mentioned taxes were $8.00 for the year for a near townhouse on the beach.  If you need any info on this area please let me.  Lance”


“Hi Barbie,

“Just read the article about from Jim L. who lived in Ajijic and is moving back to the  states. He indicated that he found it “difficult to swallow some of the budget numbers that you reported on Retiring in Mexico and that it would be hard to live in Mexico on $1000.00 per month”.

“Firstly, we have been to Ajijic and it is one of the more expensive “Gringo” areas to live in. We purchased a new 3 bed 3 bath townhouse on the beach in Telchac Puerto on the north coast of the Yucatan near Merida and Progreso. We paid $150,000. I just paid our taxes and they were $8.00, yes 8 dollars for the year.

“We have municipal water and electricity, we have not received a water bill yet, although we have requested it several times. Our electricity bill is about $40.00 per month, we use propane for hot water and cooking and it is about $35.00 per month. We have American friends who live in Telchac, year round and I am sure their monthly expenses are far less than $1,000 per month and they live very well and are directly on the beach.

“We also just purchased a beautiful lot on the beach 48X208 ft. loaded with coconut trees with municipal services and paid $63,000 U.S. We just love Mexico, the people, the culture, the cost of living and would definitely recommend it. We go into Merida a lot and it has everything a large U.S. or Cdn. city would have plus more.

“Tell your readers there are great deals and very low cost of living in Mexico, maybe not in Ajijic, but also Mexico is much bigger than that Gringo area. We are Cdns. – retired and living the good life in Mexico.  Carol-Anne & Lance B.”

And, still keeping in touch:

“Hi Barbie,

“Hope you had a good time at your 50th birthday party in Ohio (in your picture you look young enough to be celebrating a birthday not a reunion).

“We just received an e-mail from some cdns. from Alberta that just purchased a house on the beach just a few blocks from our house in Telchac Puerto. They are looking for info. about our area and we told them we would be very pleased to help them out.

”We are now fairly knowledgeable about our area, Merida-Progreso and north coast of the Yucatan and would be pleased to assist you with any info as well. Que tenga buen dia (Loosely translated, “What good I have, I will give” – Barbie).  Su Amigo Lance B.”

From: Barbie

Subject: Re: cost of living in Mexico

“Hi Carol Anne and Lance,

“Thanks so much for your email!  I will probably use some of it in a newsletter soon – people have to know.  I did get a few email concerning Jim – appreciate all your input!  Even in the Ajijic _area_…you can make it on $1,000 – just not in Ajijic!

“Just wondering – and I’m not at all familiar with Merida, other than what I’ve researched – what’s your take on that area – from what I hear, it’s also very expensive.  One person there thinks it’s the most expensive place to live in Mexico – but they love it. So glad you are enjoying your retirement, and are wise enough to be enjoying the good life  :)Best to you, Barbie”

So, there is another happy couple making the most of their retirement years.


Prices in Mexico have gone up in the past years though.  And Goodness knows they’ve skyrocketed in the States.  We just went to a grocery store in the Phoenix Area, and we were shocked! Hopefully things will straighten out one of these days.  I suppose things will never be where they were in the “good old days” of…good grief …maybe year 2000.  But, we can hope.

There are certain things Dick and I have sort of kept price track of through our married lives.  One thing is gasoline, and the other – hold on to your hats –  candied-dill pickles.

The gasoline, when we were married, and we had moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania, was $.16 to $.19 a gallon – that was in 1959!

When we took a trip, in 1976, almost 20 years later, from the East to the West coast, we took a picture that shows the gas priced at $.57 a gallon.  When we lived in Louisiana, around 1996, again, about 20 years later, the price at the station nearest our home, where even our little granddaughter checked daily for “Mimi” – the grand’s name for me – was $.76 to $.80 a gallon.  Now, about 15 years later, the price as we were just checking near that grocery store we visited was $3.75.  What in the world happened???  OUCH!!!

Oh, the candied-dill strip pickles – Dick’s absolute favorite in the world – well, they started at $.29 a jar in 1958. They were soon $.49, jumped in several more years around 1976 to $.69, and then, by 1996, were over $3.00. Last I found them, around 2000, they were over $5.00. I can’t even find them anymore – and wouldn’t pay the price anyway – sorry Dick.  I had to check – on the Internet, I just found candied-dill strips for $5.15 for a 1# jar.  Now, all I have to do is travel to the Rochester, NY area and pick them up – think not…

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see –

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6 Responses to Merida, on the Yucatan

  1. Cindy

    June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Hi Barbie,
    I really enjoy your informative and funny posts. I thought I’d throw a little information into the mix here. I purchased GORGEOUS, white sand beachfront between Sabancuy and Isla Iguada (about 2.5 hours south of Merida). The lots are about 12 feet above sea level (good news in a storm), measure 65.6 feet wide by about 600 feet deep with a buildable footprint of 7000 square feet at ground level with the right to go up as much as 3 stories. The lots are in a subdivision of 279 lots and there are only about 30 left. They are priced at $64,900. which includes closing costs and if you use their architect (award winning), your blueprints are free! Can’t beat this deal. I bought 3 lots and mine will be one of the first 30 that will begin construction in Jan. 2013. I can hardly wait as I plan to retire there full time as soon as it’s built. The lots have been purchased mostly bby American and Canadian ex-pats so I’ll have plenty of company. If anyone would like the name of my Realtor who was so helpful and most importantly….honest, they can email me at [email protected]. Happy Birthday Barbie doll!

  2. Billie

    June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Thanks to everyone who gave their information on Meridia. We are still wanting to retire there but are still a little leery of the drug cartels that are very present now days. I know they have always have been there but am concerned with the level of violence. Can anyone give me a little info about this subject. Thanks again everyone.


  3. brett

    August 15, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hi Barbie any chance I could contact Carol-Anne and Lance B re Merida area? My wife and I would like to visit the area in hopes of retiring there down the road. I just turned 50 so can’t retire just yet:( but are thinking Mexico is for us.
    Many thanks,

  4. Barbie


    August 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I’ll send an email to them – hopefully they have the same one. They will contact you, if they want. Good luck! Barbie

  5. Rob Dengel

    November 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Hi Barbie,

    We are planning on going to flying into Cancun in late February 2013 and have been wanting to go to Merida for a week at that time. Hopefully, some of your loyal readers have some information on the best way to get from either the Cancun Airport directly or the bus terminal in Cancun to the bus terminal in Merida. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ve done some research already but I’m interested in getting some first hand info. My email is [email protected].

    Thanks and keep up the good work,


  6. Barbie


    November 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Okay Readers, Here’s your chance to help someone have a great vacation! Barbie

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