AMAR: Key facts and opportunities in CaliBaja


By Rene Martinez | AMAR Consulting

CaliBaja is a bi-national mega-region formed by the states of California, USA and Baja California, Mexico. In June 2011, six regional economic development organizations (DEO´s) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to promote the region together as CaliBaja. Since then, this relationship has generated great benefits on both sides of the border due to its unique commercial and cultural exchange, example of this is that, in 2017, the Ports of Entry of San Ysidro and Otay Mesa (both located in Tijuana – San Diego) reported a flow of more than 49 million people through them. This exchange has been a big opportunity for the manufactured industry, tourism, gastronomic and health sectors in Mexico.

This last industry, the health tourism, has based its success in affordable costs while offering services with a quality equal or superior to those available in California. The growth of this industry is observable in Tijuana with the construction of New City Medical Plaza and Del Prado Medical Tower. Despite the show of success of this formula in the health tourism, the opportunity of another broad sector has been missed: The Senior Living Industry, more commonly known as Retirement Communities.

While the medical tourism is limited to medical service and stay no longer than the required by the recovery period, Retirement Communities are based on a permanent stay, which involves the acquisition or rental of a Real Estate, with the addition of medical and assistance services as sources of income; this is without mentioning the economic benefits generated towards the community by residents through their daily consumption in other sectors such as grocery shopping, etc.

The demand for this type of communities seems natural if we look at the next figures:

California Population

By 2016 the 50+ population in California already represents just over 1/3 of the total population, this is equivalent to 11.7 million older adults, and if we limit or percentage to those who had already reached the official retirement age, it would be equivalent to 5 million seniors citizens (Baja California total population in 2015 was of 3.3 million people). It should be noted that the sizes of the 50+ population are even high to that of children and teenagers.

Household Income - copia

More than half of households in California in which the age of householder is 65 years or older, reported an annual income of 35,000 USD or more in 2016; more than 15% reported an annual income of 100,000 USD or more.

Business Model

Despite de high figures handle in the previous charts, 56% of household with a householder of 65 years of age or older, lacks the minimum income to enter an Assisted Living Community (51,300 USD annually). This difference between income and high cost opens a window of opportunity for the development of Retirement Communities in Mexico. Baja California has all the advantage to capture the market share of 60% of household with annual income of 35,000 USD (approximately 3,000 USD a month) or more, following the same formula that has been highly successful for the medical tourism: high-quality service for affordable prices.

Now, the question is What should we develop? Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Homer, Memory Care or CCRC?

For more information and assistance in the development of Retirement Communities, contact AMAR Consulting by sending us an email to or call us at (619) 564-40-07in the United States & Canada  or at (664) 621- 03-33 in Mexico.



  1. As reported, private, one bedroom
  2. Adult Day Health Care (ADC): Provides social and support services in a community-based, protective setting. Various models are designed to offer socialization, supervision and structured activities. Some programs may provide personal care, transportation, medical management and meals.
  3. Homemaker Services: Services providing help with household tasks that cannot be managed alone. Homemaker services includes “hands-off”care such as cooking, cleaning and running errands.
  4. Home Health Aide Services: Home health aides offer services to people who need more extensive care. It is “hands-on” personal care, but not medical care. The rate listed here is the rate charged by a non-Medicare certified, licensed agency
  5. Assisted Living Facility (ALF): Residential arrangements providing personal care and health services. The level of care may not be as extensive as that of a nursing home. Assisted living is often an alternative to a nursing home, or an intermediate level of long term care.
  6. Nursing Home Care: These facilities often provide a higher level of supervision and care than Assisted Living Facilities. They offer residents personal care assistance, room and board, supervision, medication, therapies and rehabilitation, and on-site nursing care 24 hours a day.

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