Life is funny. Ask anyone who has retired and they will say that they have never been busier.I decided to semi-retire this year and I’ve been busier than I have been in several years in real estate. I guess you agents out there who just can’t seem to get your business going should just announce to the world that you are retiring and boom, your past clientele will have deer-in-the-headlight eyes and the next thing you know your business will pick up.
But, that being said, if you are reading this on delivery day, Nov. 30, I will be sitting on a jet plane destined for warm and sunny Puerto Vallarta. I haven’t been down to my condo since April. I’ve tried to break free several times since then but I’ve been busy to say the least. The good Lord is giving me a break so now I get to go to my place on the Bay of Banderas where countless thousands of Americans and Canadians are enjoying the warmth and beauty of the Mexican coastline instead of the cold and gray of winter that their loved ones back home are experiencing.
One of the things that I truly enjoy about going back to Puerto Vallarta is the drive up the horseshoe coastline to Punta Mita. I have an office there with my partner Ana Girdner. We advertise here in The Coast News in order to attract baby boomers looking to retire but don’t think they can.
Hopefully in my past articles I have shown specifically how to retire and live the life of a “rich man” on a Social Security income and not have to do it in a close Baja location but rather a thousand plus miles away on the mainland of Mexico where you put together a 99-year Mexican trust and voila, full ownership.
I paid $135,000 for my oceanfront condo where my HOA is only $395 per month, my trust fee is $400 annually and my property taxes are $75 for the whole year. The HOA covers all utilities, cable television (about 25 English speaking channels), water, security and maintenance.
I just rented my place through VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) for January, February and March of 2014 and that income will pay my entire overhead for 2014, which allows me to live there free for the other nine months. Pretty good deal.
I love some of the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta but for peace and tranquility I can go to Punta Mita where I can surf in 70- to 80-degree water year round. The waves are perfect for beginners and old timers who don’t like fighting white water to get to the lineup. The surf rarely gets over shoulder high and most of the time the waves are waist high so it is the perfect place to learn stand up paddle surfing.
There are kids from Germany, ladies from Canada — you name it out in the lineup. It is so much fun and easy to learn. What’s more is there is no tension in the water. Everyone is courteous and all freely share the waves. I don’t surf here in Encinitas or anywhere along our coast any more.
I have had back surgery and also have two bone-on-bone knees so I can’t afford to be machined in white water or popping/standing up from a drop in which is difficult because of the knees. I don’t want to try stand up paddle surfing in our local waves because here you still have to fight your way through the white water, unlike Punta Mita where you freely paddle out through a safe channel where no waves break.
And finally, I am so sick of all the politics with the cheating and lying. Down in my little condo in Puerto Vallarta all I can get in news is CNN International. When I actually take time to watch the CNN bias I end up learning a lot about what’s going on in China, Japan and India along with some scattered information on Europe. Only occasionally will something from the United States warrant some airtime.
For the most part I will be writing my book, selling a little real estate for fun and again, for the most part, just veg out. After all, I am semi-retired and I’ve learned how to live on Social Security. Yes, I’ve been making money this year but I still live on the SS budget and I’ve got it down to a science. If you’re curious as to how I have done it, feel free to e-mail me at the address at the end of my column.
My column will still come out every other week but for the next eight weeks I’m going to go find some 75-plus degree turquoise water and powder puff 3-foot waves. I’ll be back at the end of January but this body will be bronzed and my mental batteries will be recharged. Voy a volver en Febrero, and may peace be with you in the coming Christmas and Hanukkah Season and the New Year. May God bless you always. Que Dios los bendiga siempre!