There are thousands of US ex-patriots living in Baja California. The low cost of living, wonderful climate, laid back Baja life style, incredible ocean views, and the wonderful Mexican culture and cuisine are just a few of the reasons for the influx of people from the “North”.
Another reason is because, unlike more remote destinations for ex-patriot retirees, Baja California has easy access to the US border, and makes going to visit the grand kids and other family members easy. Imagine, you enjoy all the benefits of living in Mexico, but at any time, with a moment’s notice, you can easily go back to the US. If you were living in Mazatlan, or Guadalajara, or Costa Rica, if there was a family emergency, it can be very expensive, and much more complicated to get back to the States.
Also, there are other things, like shopping. Some things are easier to obtain Stateside, and often times are much less expensive. If you live in Panama, you may be out of luck if you need something, but if you live in Baja, you can easily drive back over the border to get it. For example, the same 52 inch HDTV that you can buy in Costco in Tijuana for $1100, would only cost you $550 at Best Buy in Chula Vista CA. So, you take a quick trip to the US, and just pay $75 duty to import your TV at Mexican Customs, and save a lot of money.
Although the cost of living in Mexico is much lower than in the US, many things like electronic goods, cars, and manufactured items, are much more expensive in Mexico, or any other country, including Costa Rica and Panama. But by living in Baja, you get the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.
This is why living in Baja is increasingly popular, not just for folks who are looking to retire, but even for young professionals. In fact, there are several thousands of people who now live in Baja, and commute to San Diego to work. To lessen the wait to cross the border in the morning you can simply register and obtain a Sentri pass for a quick way to return to the US.