Although the Mexican border has been taking heat for the large migration of undocumented immigrants entering the United States, there has been a large migration of Americans relocating and retiring in Mexico. The reason for this being the better weather, new experiences, and relaxed lifestyles that they will find as they head south into Mexican territory. These expats also enjoy access to affordable and quality healthcare and a lower cost of living. Mexico is a popular destination because it offers all this – plus its close proximity to the US makes it easily accessible and cheap to travel between to visit family and friends.
One of the first things to consider when deciding to live abroad is the cost of living in that country. Below, we take a quick look at how much money you might possibly need to retire comfortably in Mexico.
Lifestyle Determines the Amount of Money You Will Need
No matter where you retire, the way you retire greatly affects the amount of money you will need to do it. It is completely possible to retire on a fraction of a salary of what you would receive in the United States in Mexico. For instance, if you are willing to live modestly in a small apartment, eat at home, and sacrifice some of the comforts you may be used to back home you could save tons of money. Contrastingly, you could easily spend $15,000+ a month living in an exclusive beachside community while participating in expensive leisure activities, fine dining, and travel.
Most people who retire abroad fall somewhere in the middle between lavish living and budget consciousness. In order to achieve this in Mexico, a retired couple might be looking at the following monthly costs. Keep in mind that this level of budget in Mexico permits renting a house with three-times-a-week maid service and a weekly gardener:
These numbers are based on estimates on the website www.internationalliving.com.
For about $2,175 a month, or about $26,100 per year, a couple could retire comfortably in Mexico. With the peso hitting record lows, Americans can take advantage and stretch their retirement budget even further. Take for instance that the average monthly benefit for retired workers is $1,341. For a couple receiving that amount, this adds up to $32,184 each year – just enough to cover this budget.
Of course, retirement costs vary depending on each person, and your costs could be lower or higher than the estimates stated depending on your situation and lifestyle choices. Also remember these estimates don’t include expenses such as traveling to/from your retirement destination, moving costs, taxes, or emergencies.
More Ways to Save
Another way to save is through Mexico’s retirement benefits program. You are eligible for the Mexico’s Personas Adultas Mayores benefits program if you are 60 or older and have a Mexico resident visa. This program provides discounts of 10% to 50% off full price for a variety of services, including healthcare, cultural activities, transportation, and hotels.
Another important way to control costs is to shop at the local food market and learn where you can buy things at the “local” rate instead of the “tourist” rate. It is easy to forget that you’re not vacationing and you can easily burn a hole through your retirement funds if you are not careful.
Wrapping it Up in Mexico
Retiring in Mexico is a good option for those looking to adventure through new experiences and cultures, wanting access to affordable healthcare, or looking for a lower cost of living. Life outside the U.S. can create a culture shock so it is helpful to have an open mind and be adaptable to fully enjoy and appreciate the experience.
Also, visas, residency requirements, and taxes can be complicated as an expatriate so it makes sense to work with a qualified attorney and/or tax specialist when making plans to retire outside the United States.
Otherwise, we hope this has been informative enough for you to make the plunge into the crystal clear waters of Mexico!