The Best Places To Retire In Mexico
Mexico is one of the most magical countries in the world. It makes sense that you would consider retiring in Mexico and of course, youll want to find the best places to retire in Mexico before you make the move!
I have been living in Mexico for five years now. Ive traveled the country widely . I have spent sometimes 3-4 months in some places that I thought would be the perfect place to live in Mexico. Thats the knowledge I will try to share in this article.
Riviera Maya/tulum/playa Del Carmen
The Riviera Maya is the section of Caribbean coast on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Its about 125 miles long. Development in this area is moving southward from Cancún and Playa, as developers and pioneers seek unspoiled beaches and towns that remain convenient to Cancúns international airport.
Not long ago, the town of Tulum consisted of a handful of cabins and a few fishing shacks. Today, the population is 46,700, and its full of opportunity. Over the last 18 months, it has become especially attractive to the digital nomad set.
The Riviera Maya features warm Caribbean waters and pristine beaches. The Great Mayan Reefthe second-largest barrier reef in the worldis located offshore, providing world-class diving and snorkeling. Another draw to this area is the presence of the best-preserved Mayan archaeological sites plus a few world-class golf courses.
You can choose between an established market with its chic lifestyle and good returns at Playa del Carmen near the north end or invest for capital gains in a less-developed environment by buying in the path of progress as you move south. The advantage of this area is year-round tourism where 80% occupancy is typical.
In the center of Playa del Carmen, theres a fully furnished condo, 100 square meters, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. With strong income potential, its priced at US$185,000.
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Lake Chapala: Mexicos Largest Expat Hotspot
Lake Chapala is Mexicos largest lake, and the surrounding area is also home to the largest concentration of U.S. expats in the world. U.S. and Canadian expats have been attracted to the Lake Chapala area by homes with gentle arches, hand-painted tiles, and adjoining gardens that bloom all year round. Its a part of the world where its easy to afford a cook, a maid, and a gardener. Lake Chapala, Mexicos largest lake, is about 50 miles long from east to west but not much more than 12 miles wide at its broadest point.
Chapala is about a mile highroughly the same altitude as Denverand the climate is delightful. January is the coolest month around Lake Chapala, with temperatures reaching about 71 F, May is the warmest month, with highs around 84 F. Guadalajara a city of more than 5 million residents, is only 45 minutes away by car.
Real estate shoppers are often impressed with the Chapala areas cultural and sporting opportunities, including English-language theater, frequent concerts, garden clubs, golf, tennis, hiking, yoga, and horseback riding.
On the north side of Lake Chapala, villages combine charm with an increasing amount of sophistication. The town of Chapala itself is the largest, and along its cobblestone streets are taverns, shops, cafés, street vendors, and high-quality restaurants. Close by is the community of Vista del Lago, which has a popular country club and golf course.
Another Option: Live In The Mexico City Area
If you want to live near Mexico City but not in it, you could move to one of the surrounding towns, cities, or suburbs. There are several excellent places to retire located within an hour and a half of central Mexico City. A couple of examples include Cuernavaca and Tepoztlán
Living in one of these areas can offer a nice compromise. You live close enough to Mexico City for the occasional day trip, shopping trip, or to catch a flight but far enough that you dont have to deal with the annoyances of big city life on a day-to-day basis.
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Does Mexico Tax Retirement Income
In general, you should only pay taxes once on your retirement income. Depending on your tax residency, this may be in Mexico or in your home country. Mexico has a double taxation agreement with U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, and other European countries.
These agreements mean that although you will have to pay taxes on retirement or investment income, you wont have to pay twice. Before you move to Mexico, check with an accountant in your home country to have a complete understanding of what youll need to do.
Likewise, you should find an accountant in Mexico to help you file your taxes and avoid costly mistakes. Many offer services in English.
Whats The Next Step To Make Your Mexico Retirement Become A Reality
We hope you have enjoyed our mini-tour and have a better idea of where to start looking for your Mexico retirement.
The next step you can take is to make a list of the things you are looking for in your perfect Mexico retirement destination and carry out further research on some of the places we mentioned to see if any of them meet your needs.
Dont forget, we can help by putting you in touch with trusted real estate and immigration professionals when you are ready.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article: Top 5 Places for Mexico Retirement. If you have any questions, please contactour office HERE.
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Do You Have Enough Saved To Retire In Mexico
In the U.S., the average retirement account balance is around $65,000, according to 2019 data from the Federal Reserve. Plus, retired workers averaged a monthly Social Security benefit of around $1,657 as of 2022. With an average cost to retire in Mexico of $30,000 a year, many Americans can retire comfortably by meeting the average retirement savings numbers.
This is why knowing the kind of lifestyle you want to live in retirement is the first step toward saving for retirement. It helps you determine how much and how aggressively you need to save. Youll need to save even more if you want to retire early.
Retirees in Mexico who are 60 or older and have a resident visa can also take advantage of Mexicos retirement benefits program, Personas Adultas Mayores. This offers savings for healthcare, transportation, hotels and even museums. Dont forget that you can also save easily by shopping at local markets and buying fresh.
It will also help to be aware of the costs of international money transfers and currency exchange. If you find yourself constantly transferring money to and from the U.S. and exchanging USD to pesos , that can take a dent out of your precious retirement savings. In these cases, youll want to open a Mexican bank account and find ways to transfer money internationally for free.
Cabo San Lucas Mexico
The resort city of Cabo San Lucas is known for its beaches and marine life. Though its one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, it has also become a hot spot for retirees.
Cabo is perfect for anyone looking to soak up the sun while enjoying a bustling nightlife. Its home to Cabo Wabo Cantina, which is owned by rock legend Sammy Hagar. Breweries most notably Baja Brewing Company have also become a hit in Cabo.
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Best Places To Live In Mexico: Guadalajara
If you like the idea of living in a big city but arent sold on Mexico City, Guadalajara could be the place for you. The largest city in the Mexican state of Jalisco is home to more than 5 million residents.
For a relatively low cost of living, you can enjoy a variety of trendy restaurants, bars and social activities. Nightlife is concentrated around Avenida Chapultepec and the historic center which makes bar hopping a breeze.
Many say the museum scene in Guadalajara rivals that of Mexico City. You can look forward to immersing yourself in history, art, culture and architecture.
When you get tired of sipping tequila in the city, the beach is only four hours away.
A Light Airy Studio Apartment
I didnt look very hard for my apartment in fact, its the first one I came across. I loved the family compound I lived within and its one of the things I value living solo I like having other people nearby who have my well-being in mind in case something happens. So, the apartment was 4,500 pesos per month which is on the high-end for a studio in my town but the price included all utilities and really strong internet, which is essential for my online work.
A high point of living in Mexico is the fact that apartments and houses come with full kitchens , this is really great if youre keen to cookanything you rent here will likely come with a stove and pots and pans if its a furnished apartment. Other than the kitchen, it had everything else you would expect in a studiofull-size bed, counter with stools , closet, and a bathroom .
Other places in town rent out as vacation rentals or rooms for anywhere from USD $200 per month on the very low-end to $500+ for 1 and 2 bedrooms. And one town over, in Sayulita , the apartment prices are actually pretty comparableideal if you like the idea of Mexico but think my town was a bit too small! 🙂
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Top Markets For Expats In Mexico
Over the past four decades, Americans have voted Mexico the worlds #1 place to live or retire in the way that really counts: Theyve packed up and moved there. This country is home to more American expats and retirees than any otherat least 1 million and as many as 2 million, depending on the survey.
Americans looking to start a new life in a new country primarily seek three things: warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a low cost of living. Mexico delivers in all three categories.
While the living is not as cheap as it was in the 1970s when Americans first began migrating south in volume, Mexico is a bargain on the global scale. Thanks to the U.S. dollars strength against the peso in the last few years, the cost of living appeals to retirees on a budget. In some parts of the country, this translates to super real estate deals, too.
The other big attraction of Mexico is its convenience. Depending on where you choose to call home in this diverse country, you could drive down from your U.S. base. This makes it attractive to expats who want to keep up regular links with family and friendsor even a businessback home.
Possibly the greatest challenge with Mexico is finding the right place to go. When you can choose from Pacific or Caribbean coast historic city or laid-back beach town how do you know whats best?
Best Places To Live In Mexico: Lake Chapala
One last major expat community in Mexico for this roundup: Lake Chapala.
When you visit Mexicos largest lake, youll find one of the largest concentrations of U.S. expats not just in Mexico but in the entire world. There are a number of towns along the coast of Lake Chapala with Ajijic being one of the most popular among foreigners.
Situated at approximately the same altitude as Denver, Lake Chapala has a pleasant climate year round. In January, you can expect temperatures in the low-70s . In May, temperatures get up to the mid-80s .
The communities around Lake Chapala are largely self-sufficient, but if youre craving the city, Guadalajara is only 45 minutes away by car.
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San Miguel De Allende:
This place has rich cultural activities, despite being small it is one of the most beautiful places to retire in Mexico. For lovers of arts or craft tradition, San Miguel will definitely attract your interest.
There are small beautiful shops where you can do some little shopping for different items such as pottery, sculpture, painting, lamps, and mirrors or you can simply go there to admire them.
Most Northern Americans love it here because of its warmth, cool nights, and even the high desert climate. Language is not a problem as there are many people who speak and understand English or Spanish.
Temporary Mexico Retirement Visa
There is no age restriction on the Temporary Residence option.
Also, you should budget an additional USD$600 USD$750 per dependent on top of the amounts above.
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Study The Expat Community In Your Area
How many live there, full- and part-time? Who are they and where are they from? What age bracket? Are the expat events and activities things you’re interested in? What parts of town do they live in, and why?
Lots of different people move to Mexico for lots of different reasons, and it can take a while to find your tribe, your new best friend and build a community. Just because you speak the same language doesn’t mean you’re going to relate to each other or get along. Be patient. Be open. It will happen.
These Are The Best Places To Live In Mexico As A Us Expat
Puerto Vallarta has been an expat haven for decades.
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With more than a million expats estimated to live there, Mexico is far and away the most popular destination for North Americans looking to move abroad. But, with so many places to choose from, where in Mexico should you move? Its a very large country, after all.
Much depends, of course, on what youre looking for. There are places in Mexico where you can live totally off the grid, or immerse yourself in a small village where there are no other foreigners. Alternatively, there are cities and neighborhoods where you can live a gringo life, needing really needing Spanish and in fact seeing few locals.
Most expats seek something between these two extremes: places where the transition to Mexico is easy , amenities abound, and local culture and color are all around. Based on that happy medium, here are seven places to consider when considering living in Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta: An expat haven by the sea
Puerto Vallarta has been an expat haven for over 60 years. What was once a small village on Mexicos Pacific Coast is now a major international resort, with an urban area that runs for nearly 30 miles along the shore of Banderas Bay. The entire area from southern Jalisco up to the bays northern point at Punta de Mita, in the state of Nayarit is referred to as Costa Vallarta.
San Miguel de Allende: Rich in culture
Mérida: Colonial city living
Lake Chapala: Mexicos largest expat hotspot
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The 10 Best Places To Live In Mexico For Americans
Mexicos proximity to the US makes it a hugely popular option for American expats and retirees. Blessed with an affordable cost of living, two stunning shorelines, vibrant cities, and swathes of glorious scenery, its understandable why so many Americans have decided to make Mexico their second home. If youre considering making the move, youll find plenty of options to consider, from busy, beachside resorts to idyllic colonial towns. If youre struggling to decide which option makes the best choice, dont miss our pick of the ten best places to live in Mexico for Americans.
The Best Places To Retire In Mexico By The Beach
Many of the best places to retire in Mexico are near the beach. Expats and retirees love living on the ocean.
Large Mexican beach cities are wealthy due to tourism. They offer excellent infrastructure and plenty of amenities. Youll find restaurants, bars, clubs, golf courses, shopping centers, and more. Smaller beach towns are a great choice for retirees who want a laid-back and slow-paced life. Infrastructure can be lacking in small Mexican beach towns.
The drawback to retiring to a Mexican beach town is that prices tend to be higher than the rest of the country. Everyone wants to live near the beach. In smaller beach towns, you can often retire on $800-$1200 per month. In major tourist destinations near the beach, expect to spend $1500-$2000 per month. Beachfront property pricing has been increasing quickly.
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Ensenada: An Attractive Port City
Ensenada is an attractive city that has long been one of the areas major ports. Today Ensenada is also a top cruise ship destination and the site of numerous luxury housing developments.
Fishing, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, and sunbathing are popular in Ensenada, as they are in most other ocean-side cities in Baja. In Ensenada theres also golf, tennis, many excellent restaurants, nightclubs, cafés, theater, and ballet. What the casual tourist may not know, however, is that Ensenada has several excellent research institutions and Mexicos highest concentration of scientists, leading many to call Ensenada the City of Science. The city is host to several important sporting events during the year, such as regattas and the Baja 1000, an off-track race for motorcycles and a variety of car classifications.
In the winter, the citys bay is a great spot for watching gray whales. Although real estate and daily expenses are much less in Baja than in most parts of the U.S., residents here almost always have a car. Most air travelers either fly to San Diego and cross the border into Mexico or fly to the international airport at Tijuana.
Whether or not you choose to settle in any of these picks, they are all worth a visit.