By Glynna Prentice
April 13, 2010
In late March the small state of Colima, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, changed its zoning laws to include retirement and assisted living facilities. This minor amendment in a small Mexican state is just one of many separate events that, together, may well change the face of U.S. retirement.
Nearly 80 million U.S. baby boomers are entering their retirement years. Since the 2008 recession an increasing number of them are cash-strapped. They wonder how they’ll afford regular retirement, never mind any costly long-term or assisted living care they may need in their final years. Fortunately, a low-cost option is emerging: Mexico.
That’s where Colima’s zoning laws come into play. By explaining the concept of assisted living for zoning officials, the new amendment may help speed up approval of assisted living projects that might otherwise be mired in the bureaucratic process. And that “will make it easier for investors to be able to invest in this sector,” says Godínez.
Colima, historically a progressive state, is also one of the country’s smallest. It’s relatively unknown outside Mexico except for Manzanillo, a port and popular beach destination on Colima’s Pacific Coast. Being the first state in Mexico to zone for senior care facilities is a chance for Colima to raise its profile as a retirement industry destination.