Viejo el mar y todavia hace olas…
An old Mexican saying which roughly translates as treat older people with respect.
So, if you’re in the process of thinking of uprooting and beginning your golden years of retirement in a beautiful new country, look no further than Mexico.
Let’s look at the best retirement places in Mexico.
Where they know how to treat their elders.
Mexico is a land of dreams, a place of adventure, whatever your age you can retire to Mexico.
With its palm-fringed beaches hugging the coastlines, its infamous chili-flavored cuisine, its rainforests and steamy jungles with its abundance of wildlife, bustling cities and fiesta-fun, Mexico have plenty to offer everyone.
So, what do you know about this magical country and what it has to offer for those who want more than just a holiday in an exotic location?
A country of culture
You’ll have plenty to see and do in your retirement in Mexico.
There are some cheap places to retire in Mexico.
For those culture-vultures amongst you, Mexico has pre-Hispanic civilizations which remain able to be seen to this day.
Architectural monuments include Teotihuacan’s powerfully imposing pyramids as well as the beautiful Maya temples of Palenque.
There are beautiful historic towns which originated from the Spanish colonial era, leaving tree-shaded plazas and their splendidly sculptured stone churches and mansions.
Modern Mexico has the artistic gifts of Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo exhibited in their numerous galleries and museums.
Mexican streets are peppered with favorite street art and creative handicrafts for all to enjoy.
A country of nature
For those of you who intend to spend your retirement more outside and not stuck behind a desk, Mexico is the place for you to explore.
With its fantastic climate, snowcapped mountains, unbelievable jungles, kilometers of cacti-filled desert and 10,000km of Pacific and Caribbean coastlines with their sandy beaches and blue lagoons, Mexico is a genuinely outdoorsy kind of place.
There is a multitude of fascinating creatures to discover including the exotic Monarch butterflies of which you really can see millions of them migrating.
Food, food, glorious food
All of us have experienced some Mexican food at some stages, but did you know how diverse Mexican food is?
It’s not all about tacos.
Eating out is an adventure all on its own.
There are plenty of local and regional dishes you can sample, as well as the more artistic creations from the Mexican city chefs.
Some of the most delicious Mexican offerings are from the seafront restaurants, shacks, which serve fresh fish and seafood.
However, what makes a country home is the people.
From the confident city-dwellers to the shyer indigenous villagers, you’ll find the Mexicans a philosophical bunch.
Charming, courteous, and fiercely proud, Los Mexicanos is a generous and happy people who will welcome you to their land.
Essential things to know before you head south
According to Numbeo, a website that collates pricing data from around the world, a retired couple can expect to retire comfortably in Mexico with an average of $1,900 a month.
This figure includes the cost of rent on a two-bedroom house, once-a-week maid service, utilities, groceries, entertainment, and healthcare.
This depends on whether you want to live in the city or a small town – don’t forget Mexico is a vast country so that you won’t be stuck for choice.
Many people have now opted for retirement in Mexico due to its sunny climes and low cost of living.
However, you will need a visa to retire in Mexico.
What kind of visa rather depends on how long you intend to stay in Mexico for – is it for a few months or good?
As a retiree, you can obtain a temporary resident visa, which lasts for up to four years. If you choose to stay longer than four years, you can quite easily change it to permanent status.
Your eligibility depends on your assets.
The minimum monthly requirement is about $1,400 in net income for an individual.
If you intend to retire from the USA to Mexico, the US dollar’s strength against the peso allows for some great bargains, particularly in the housing market.
If you want to rent, now that you’re retired, you will find apartments start at about $400 a month.
However, if you want to buy, a two-bedroomed house starts at about $200,000 or less.
Utilities and property taxes typically total around $300.
If you decide to buy a home in Mexico, you have to have a ‘direct deed’ which you can get from a fideicomiso (trust bank).
These options provide safe and trustworthy ways to buy your own home and how to have means to homeownership rights.
If you’re worried about the language barriers, don’t be – many real estate agents are bilingual.
How safe is Mexico to retire to?
Most of the popular areas for people to retire to are relatively safe, as in most parts of the world.
However, there are some states which suffer from violent crime and have been given a level 2 warning advisory status from the US State Department for people looking to travel to Mexico.
This means in some parts of Mexico; the US government is recommending caution as it could be difficult for emergency services to reach people in several parts of the country.
The safer states are therefore seen as Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Quintana Roo, Tobasco and Yucatan – to mention but a few.
Healthcare in Mexico for Retirees
Healthcare for pensioners is one of the concerns at the forefront of their minds.
It is essential to factor in how healthcare works in Mexico and any associated costs with it. People often assume their healthcare plans will follow them from one country to another – it won’t.
Mexican medical facilities are private institutions.
Taking out policies is easy – you can find health insurance packages from both local and international providers. Sometimes even banks offer medical plans.
As in most countries, it becomes more difficult to obtain health insurance policies after 65 years of age.
What’s the real cost of retirement?
An average cost to retire in Mexico is $26,100 a year.
Mexico has a retirement benefits program called the Personas Adultas Mayores for retirees 60 and over and who have a resident visa.
This program offers savings for healthcare, transportation, hotels, and museums.
If as a retiree you have a Mexican bank account, you’ll find life a lot easier and cheaper than paying international transfer fees.
So, if you’re happy to live like a local and soak up the beautiful weather, eat like a Mexican, you can live well as long as you’re prepared to go without the continuous air conditioning and luxurious living!
Top ten places to retire to in Mexico
Of course, where to retire to in Mexico is a personal choice, but according to US News 2019, the top ten places to retire are:
Playa del Carmen
A sleepy little beach town home to more than 10,000 foreigners, including many retired people. Centre to the town is La Quinta Avenida which runs parallel to the beach.
Has beautiful beaches and a colonial center which mixes both modern and classical Mexican.
Ajijic, Lake Chapala
Around Lake, Chapala is an organized and developed expat community made up of roughly 4,00 American and Canadian residents. This is a safe, affordable, and beautiful place to retire to.
Now one of the most sophisticated resorts in Mexico, expats can find all kinds of entertainment, culture, and history to keep them happy in their retirement.
San Miguel de Allende
Seen as both the geographic and cultural heart of Mexico. With an altitude of 6,200 feet, it is warm and dry yet cool at night. This city has a Spanish colonial feel and is home to many retirees.
With its small population of fewer than 25,000, this colonial town is an inland valley which is surrounded by mountains and wild countryside. The city itself is extremely safe and has a large expat community which is very welcoming.
Now a designated UNESCO World Heritage site due to its fantastic architecture influenced by the Spanish Renaissance pink buildings, due to the locally quarried Cantera stone, which dominates the city. An exceptional place which is unspoiled by tourism.
A magical place of critical ancient sites and natural attractions, there’s a big emphasis on preservation in this town. Quite influenced with Americanisms, this might be the right place for you to adapt to retiring in a different country, but with a culture, you’ll feel at home with.
Situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast at the foothills of Sierra Madre Mountains. With an emphasis on ecological protection, this has a small-town feel. Boasting 36 white sand beaches which span 20 miles of the Mexican coastline.
A sizeable Mexican city with excellent weather and a high standard of living. The city boasts clean, safe streets and has a thriving market. Low cost of living and few tourists, this is a place where you’ll have to speak the lingo to get by.
Only you can decide which part of Mexico you fancy retiring to, but it is thoroughly recommended by all those who have taken the plunge.
Do your homework, and you could end up living your golden years in a world you never dreamt of.