In today’s post from my guest contributors, a retiree from the US living in Bávaro, we look at housing costs.

Our monthly housing cost (mortgage, condo fee, water, sewer, trash removal, landscaping, weekly outdoor pesticide spraying, building & pool maintenance, security guards in our gated golf course community) is US$1,500 per month. Not including electricity.

For comparison, our US$1,500 per month housing cost provides us with a nicer home than, well, pretty much all of our friends’ homes. It’s big (1,700 square feet), 2-bedroom, 2-bath (plus a small maid’s bedroom & bath) with a really beautiful view, a great location and very upgraded finishes. US$1,500 is the cost to own. We could have rented a place similar to ours, unfurnished, for probably US$750 or US$800 per month.

Most of our local friends are renting modest little condos in the local community for under US$500 per month, but that’s not what I envisioned for my retirement years.

Anyway, most people THINK we’re rich Americans, although we are not, and we constantly TELL them that we are not. A rich American would not drive the old beat-up car (2000 Honda Accord, pretty badly scarred) that we have here, and truthfully, it’s all the car that we could afford to buy.

More about cars in the next installment!