Senior living is positioned as a retirement option for foreigners in Mexico

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Adults over 60 years of age have a high participation in purchasing habits

According to Estudio Contar, a company specializing in market intelligence, the senior category is a population segment that is gaining more and more relevance in the market. In  Mexico, for example, the elderly population – over 60 years old – will quadruple in 2050, from 6.9 million registered in 2000 to 36.5 million, according to estimates by the National Population Council (Conapo). Against this background, retirement residences, commonly known as senior living, are positioned as a retirement option in Mexico for foreigners.

According to Estudio Contar, in this population segment, there is a significant number of older adults with greater life expectancy and autonomy, as well as a better economic capacity to make decisions about their retirement. In this sense, adults over 60 years of age have high participation in shopping habits (45%), compared to those under 60 (4%). Likewise, the well-known gray market – a niche of the market aimed at the elderly – is a segment with opportunities, as they are in search of a different lifestyle, which includes gadgets, travel, education, fashion, and beauty items.

The demographic study carried out by the market intelligence company was carried out in December 2020 in order to get a glimpse of how this group was behaving in the market. The investigation revealed that the average spending of seniors over 60 years old for travel and leisure is around 12 thousand pesos, compared to 9 thousand pesos for seniors under 60 years old.

Particularly in the Latin American region, the concept of senior living is gaining relevance due to the consideration of Americans and Canadians to retire outside their countries. This is due to the high costs of health services and the loss of purchasing power due to the global recession and the coronavirus crisis, according to an article by the International Community Foundation.

Today, seniors in the United States have a variety of retirement options to live in their retirement, for example, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. However, thanks to its geographic location and low cost of living,  Mexico leads the way as the international destination that Americans choose for retirement. According to the Expat Explorer survey by HSBC bank, the foreigners who come to Mexico for their retirement are, for the most part, retirees over 55 years of age. They receive an average income of 1.27 million pesos (mp) per year and choose houses from residential subdivisions.

At the beginning of the 70s, the concept of senior living was born as a comfortable and luxurious option to live retirement or retirement. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the business model expanded and popularized, generating sales of more than $ 5 billion. From then until now, these senior living real estate developments are designed with amenities that offer what retirees might need at some point, for example, administrative offices, homes, swimming pools, shopping complexes, among others.

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A senior living real estate project to take into account for integrating these characteristics and being one of the pioneers of the concept in Latin America is La Pueblita. This retirement center, located in the town of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, is mainly aimed at senior citizens from the United States and Canada who want to live their retirement in Mexico. The development, still under construction, is about to open its doors to its  Assisted Living and  Memory Care services and has the  Independent Living service already active.

The Assisted Living service is specialized for adults who require guidance or attention to carry out their daily activities. For its part, Memory Care offers, in addition to assistance, a specialization in people suffering from degenerative diseases in cognitive terms, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Likewise, the  Independent Living service is aimed at those seniors who can live alone in a house or apartment but want to live within the comfort of a senior living complex. These services offer cleaning, social activities, dining, transportation, security, and the option of assistance with daily tasks.

“La Pueblita is a company that responds to the needs of the elderly, we consider ourselves pioneers in an industry in transition for Mexican citizens, but growing for foreigners,”  Dr. Francisco Mesa, medical director of this project, told NotiPress in an interview. “We are a company that provides assistance, hospitality, and company services” Although it is not a medical company, Mesa points out, due to the population they work with, many of the services required are close to medicine. The psychiatrist explained to the agency that this type of real estate development represents a paradigm shift in the Mexican vision of caring for the elderly. “According to the specific needs of each client regarding their health, we make customized plans with the necessary care and attention

Mesa states,  La Pueblita has agents trained to care for and care for older people with dementia in its Memory Care service. In this sense, the psychiatrist analyzed the way of caring for people with dementia or neurodegenerative diseases in Mexico and the United States, which sometimes tends to “take away agency” from older adults. “There are situations in which the elderly can still eat with their own hands, but they get very dirty and at home, they prefer to feed them to avoid getting dirty”. This situation could cause the elderly with dementia to lose a function that they will not be able to recover in a short time. Therefore, this project seeks to slow down these neurodegenerative processes through programs and support.

Although the concept of senior living is still a paradigm for Mexicans, it has generated interest for national users and also in terms of investments. In this sense, La Pueblita continues to  raise investment  to open new developments in Ensenada, Baja California; San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato; Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and in the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo.

Without a doubt, the gray market in the United States and Canada has become the target of various sectors in  Mexico, including real estate. Real estate developments such as senior living offer the option of an active retirement model, compared to nursing homes or retirement homes, since it is the elderly who will choose the subscription plan that best suits their needs.

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