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Is Retiring in Mexico a Good Idea? Here are All the Facts

  • Joel CZ 
  • 8 min read
retiring in mexico
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Are you thinking of retiring in Mexico? The warm beaches, the food, and the variety of Magical Towns and cities that make it up are part of the attractions thousands of retirees find in our country.

Because of its culture and extensive diversity, Mexico has become one of the favorite places for tourism and retirement.

And, of course, I know firsthand how cheap it is compared to other countries.

Is it safe to retire in Mexico?

I think this is probably the most important question these days.

Yes, it is safe to retire in Mexico, and I will explain why.

Over the past 22 years, I have lived and worked in all major tourist Mexican destinations. I met a ton of expats who chose to retire in Mexico.

Not once did I meet someone unhappy or affected by crime.

For the most part, all of the folks I got to know, and serve, seemed very happy to have chosen Mexico for their retirement.

Of course, someone may get affected in isolated cases of misfortune here and there. But this can happen anywhere. Not just in Mexico.

How much does it cost to retire in Mexico?

retiring in mexico
Source: Donald Thoreby / flickr

Whether you come from the United States, Canada, or Europe, the value of your currency -such as the dollar and the euro- compared to the Mexican peso gives you the possibility of enjoying a better quality of life.

In Mexico, health services are inexpensive and of very good quality.

For example, one of the things that most surprises foreigners from the United States is how easy it is to access health services.

These would typically be very expensive and sometimes impossible to obtain in their country.

In addition, the natural wonders that Mexico offers are incomparable, as there is also the possibility of living a more relaxed lifestyle.

Can you live in Mexico on $1000 a month?

Yes, you can comfortably live in Mexico on 1000 USD a month. Given that you are single and are not pursuing a “luxury” lifestyle.

However, an important factor is where you want live.

While 1000 USD a month may seem like a lot in most inland cities, it will not be enough in Cabo or Cancun.

What are the requirements to retire in Mexico?

retiring in mexico
Asa, a Swedish expat living in San Jose del Cabo – Source: Poupetta / flickr

There are many things to consider when retiring to Mexico, depending on the type of retirement you want.

Retirement should be a time that brings you peace and tranquility rather than problems.

You may want to read: The 8 Best Cities in Mexico Preferred by Expats

So you should remember that if you are planning to move to another country, you have to solve legal issues such as visas, taxes, and permits in both the place you plan to move to and the country you plan to leave.

In addition, you need to know which place best suits your needs and what to expect from retirement, and obviously, to be able to plan your budget and start saving.

Tips to help you plan your retirement

1. Resolve legal issues

The main advantage that makes retiring in Mexico attractive is that it is very friendly to foreigners and expatriates.

Some countries don’t require a visa to visit Mexico since their nations have agreements facilitating the process.

Consult the list of countries that need a visa and those that don’t. HERE

2. Choose where you want to live

This decision greatly depends on your budget.

As I mentioned, while you may live on 1000 USD a month in most major inland cities, it is not the case for touristy beach destinations.

Places like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, or Tulum may be more attractive for those who prefer a more relaxed life near the beach.

Rather than those who prefer to continue living the experience of the cities and the busy life.

Others will be more interested in Magical Towns like San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, where they can fully explore Mexican culture.

However, as you will see below, the cost of living in these towns is a bit more expensive since they have a high demand.

3. Create a budget

Speaking of establishing your priorities, one of the things you should do when creating your budget is to determine what your basic needs will be at the time of retirement:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Utilities such as Internet, cable, electricity, and water
  • Entertainment

The goal is that you can live a better life at a lower cost, so you should try to have in your budget the possibility of having fun without this representing an economic problem.

Mexico is a large and diverse country with many cultural events, restaurants, and places you can visit just by walking or taking a bus.

And just as you have a space for fun, establishing a fund for any emergency, be it medical or any unforeseen expense, is also essential.

Similarly, if you plan to travel constantly to your country of origin, you must keep an eye on the cost of airline tickets.

5 best places to retire in Mexico

retiring in mexico
Beautiful San Miguel de Allende streets

Although there are many lovely places for retirement in Mexico, I chose the top 5 cities that have become the favorites among foreigners:

  1. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
  2. Merida, Yucatan
  3. Tulum Quintana Roo
  4. The Riviera Maya
  5. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Let’s take a closer look:

Merida, Yucatan

Merida has become a reference to Mexican culture, especially the Mayan one.

One of the things that makes Merida attractive is the opportunity to have a city with a more relaxed lifestyle.

In addition, the ease with which you can go to the beach and the proximity to other points of attraction in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as:

For these reasons, foreigners who visit Merida fall in love with it and see the possibility of making it their new home.

You could spend an average of 1,800 USD per month living in Merida.

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

This Magical Town is conveniently located less than 4 hours away from Mexico City.

San Miguel is considered by UNESCO a world heritage site. It is a city full of art and culture: festivals, music, cinema, and art exhibitions.

And above all, its colonial architecture makes the city an example of all that Mexican culture can be: colorful, majestic, diverse, modern, and at the same time, traditional.

That is why many foreigners prefer San Miguel de Allende to enjoy their retirement, especially those who want to be in contact with arts and cultural activities.

Living in San Miguel de Allende can cost you around 2,300 USD per month.

Tulum, Quintana Roo

One of Tulum’s most fantastic attractions is its beaches.

That is why the tourist flow increases every year, which makes real estate developments in the area have a higher demand.

In addition, the area’s capital gains are also constantly on the rise, encouraging investors to acquire properties to rent or resell in the future.

However, Tulum is more than beaches. The lifestyle in the area is characterized by being very bohemian.

The people of Tulum are very conscious of their participation in creating sustainable tourism.

You can comfortably live in Tulum for an average of 3000 USD a month.

Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

The Riviera Maya, just like Tulum, is one of the favorite spots for foreigners to live and invest in Mexico.

This is due to the large influx of tourists the place receives. You can live in the Riviera Maya for 2800 USD per month.

With this budget, you can enjoy the natural beauties that this part of Quintana Roo offers.

Cenotes, beaches, archaeological sites, and ecotourism.

The best thing about the Riviera Maya is that you can be connected to other places like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or Tulum.

Not to mention the proximity to states in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Campeche and Yucatan.

Retreating in the Riviera Maya can be perfect for you if you think of leading a quiet life.

Retiring in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

You can get the best shops and services at the best rates while enjoying the pacific beaches and the local culture.

This has made visitors fall in love with Puerto Vallarta: the possibility of living a life close to the sea with a relatively low cost of living.

You can live in Puerto Vallarta for 2000 USD a month.

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