There are immeasurable benefits of retiring in Mexico. The one million American and Canadian expats who have retired there can’t all be wrong. It’s hands-down the easiest country for North Americans to move to without all the stress of going very far.
It’s challenging to move overseas but moving to Mexico has so many advantages it makes the change that much easier.
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The Benefits of Retiring in Mexico
There are a lot of reasons to explore expat life. Some people move for money. Others for politics. Some for the adventure. Others for the climate. But the common thread about most retirees in Mexico is they wish they would have made the move sooner.
There are too many Mexico retirement benefits to list them all here, but we’ve chosen the most significant ones to get started. So, let’s get started.
One of the most significant benefits of retiring in Mexico is its proximity to the United States and Canada. Being so near means getting home is a snap. Especially if you’re from Florida, Texas, southern California, or any southern state.
Because it’s so near, flights to and from the US and Canada are daily and regular. You’ll be able to go back home for a visit, and better yet, all your friends and family will come and visit you. Better make sure you have an extra room for all your visitors.
You’ll never have to miss a wedding, reunion, birth of a grandchild or any essential event if you decide to retire in Mexico.
In addition, you’ll be in a similar time zone, give or take a couple of hours. So, you’ll never need to wonder if you are calling at the wrong time. If you want to talk, go for it.
The same can’t be said if you live in Europe, Asia, or most other continents.
Regardless of which location you choose, you can enjoy an array of weather benefits, especially if you’ve descended from the snowy winters of the Great White North. Because of this, you’ll enjoy nearly year-round sunshine, so don’t forget sunscreen, sun shades, and polarised sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the intense heat.
While healthcare in Mexico is easily accessible (and you’ll find out more about that below), it’s still worth taking care of your body to minimize how much you may need this medical care.
Unless you decide to move off the grid, most cities already have an existing expat community. There are even some towns with so many snowbirds it feels like Canadian or American retirement communities in Mexico.
Places like the Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, and San Miguel de Allende have booming expat scenes. You may not even have to learn Spanish to live there. However, it’s always a good idea to know a little, at the very least, the pleasantries.
There is no need for you to reinvent the wheel and figure it all out for yourself. Having an existing community means they know what you are going through. They know where to buy your fave peanut butter. Where to get your tires fixed. The best place for happy hour sunset cocktails. They’ve already figured out the hard stuff and are glad to share those little secrets with newbies.
Connect with the Facebook groups in the town you’ll be moving to even before you get there. Most expats are so helpful and want to make your move easier.
Plus, it’s a great way to meet people from the start.
Cost of Living
Cost of living is another one of the most important benefits of retiring in Mexico. In short, your money goes a lot further than it does in many other countries.
Everything from healthcare to entertainment and food to utilities is a fraction of the cost in America and Canada. And just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean the quality is cheap or the products and services are substandard. Quite the contrary. Especially when it comes to healthcare, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Want to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster? That’ll run you US$3 per ticket.
Ready for date night? How does a fancy 3-course meal with wine for US$40 sound? Not feeling fancy but still want a nice restaurant? Does US$15 sound reasonable? Or how about a US$1 taco? The choices are endless, and no matter which level of fancy you decide to go with, it’ll cost about ¼ of what you’d spend in the US.
Want to cook instead?
Head to the local markets for the best prices. Learning to cook with the local produce, fish, and meat means your grocery bill will be a lot less than if you buy only imported foods. Not to mention you’ll get to interact with the locals and better the community by shopping locally.
Most Americans don’t have maids or cleaning services. But in Mexico, they are about US$5 per hour, which makes it almost a sin, not to hire someone.
Housing is the greatest living expense you’ll have when retiring in Mexico. Whether you choose to rent or buy, it’s far more affordable than it would be in the US or Canada. Of course, if you want to spend millions on your beachfront luxury villa, then, by all means, go for it. It’ll cost you less than the same villa in the States.
If you’re looking for a reasonable rent or mortgage, you can find that too. Easily. You can find whatever you are looking for in Mexico, and it’ll be pennies on the dollar of what it would be back home.
So many retirees are on a fixed income. Living in a place like Mexico means you can live a much more luxurious lifestyle on a quarter of the budget. Pretty much everything costs less in Mexico—think champagne tastes on a beer budget.
Another benefit of retiring in Mexico is the INAPAM card. It gives people over 60 years old who have a residence visa discounts on all sorts of good things.
You’ll get discounts on medical care and prescriptions, airline and bus tickets, entrance fees for museums, concerts, movies, and various sites. Some retail stores and restaurants also give better prices, and it offers a discount on your property taxes. Not bad just for being over 60, huh?
The Benefits of Healthcare in Mexico
Some of the biggest concerns for retirees are accessibility, affordability, and quality of the healthcare. And it should be. We’re not 21 anymore, and we need to live in a place where medical care is top-notch. Good thing Mexico has world-class health care in spades.
If you decide to retire in a larger town or city, the health and dental care you’ll receive will be the quality you’d expect in the US. However, it doesn’t cost nearly the same, not even close. Most medical care in Mexico is about 25% of the cost back home.
That is why Mexico is one of the top countries for medical tourism. The care is excellent, and the prices are affordable. You won’t have to sell a kidney or go bankrupt to afford that root canal or hip surgery.
There is no compromise on quality or standards when it comes to Mexican healthcare. Hospitals and clinics have the latest technology, so just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean they are using old, outdated equipment.
If you move to a more remote or rural town, the standard of care might diminish a bit. And you might not be able to communicate with the doctor unless your Spanish is up to snuff. So, for anything major you might have to go to the nearest city. But for minor things like colds, infections, or Montezuma’s revenge, you’ll be fine.
Mexico Retirement Visas and Residency
Another advantage of retiring in Mexico is the ease of getting permanent residency. You don’t necessarily need it, but if you plan to retire there, it’s a benefit to have it.
There are two types of visas most expats and retirees go for: Temporary Residency and Permanent Residency. Temporary Resident Visas are if you want to stay longer than six months but less than four years. You can have this visa for 4 years and then convert it to a Permanent Residency Visa.
Otherwise, you can apply straight for the Permanent Residency Visa, but the monetary requirements are higher.
Either way, the process must be started in your home country from the nearest Mexican Consulate.
- What are the best places to retire in Mexico on a budget? Mexico has a little something for everyone. No matter what you are looking for, you’ll be able to find your ideal paradise there. Even if you’re on a strict budget, you’ll be able to find the right place. Towns like Oaxaca, Merida, and Ajijic are known for their affordability.
- Can you retire in Mexico on social security?
The quick answer is yes. But that depends on how much you are getting and your lifestyle. If you are getting US$250, it’s going to be a challenge, but if you are getting US$1500, you’ll be ok.
No matter what, don’t rent in the high-rent district. Go a little further out. Use public transportation, don’t buy a car. If you spend your money wisely, your social security should cover you. So be smart about your money, and it will go further.
- Where are the best places to retire in Mexico?
There are so many incredible places to live in Mexico. Finding your ideal location won’t be hard.
Want a small artsy community? Check out San Miguel de Allende. Do you prefer an arid climate? Look into Cabo. Like colonial feeling towns? Merida is for you. Want that clear blue Caribbean Sea? Riviera Maya is your paradise.
There really is something for everyone, so let us help you find the best places to retire in Mexico to start your dream retirement.
The Final Say
Now you know some of the most significant benefits of retiring in Mexico. All you need to do now is buy a plane ticket and find your ideal paradise.