Retiring in Mexico
International Living is considered the number One
authority in retiring overseas. We are very happy to
include this well researched and accurate information on
our website for you to read.
Posted on January 5, 2017 on International Living
For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement
destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and
considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of
We’ve added countries to the shortlist as they moved into the limelight, Malaysia in 2000…Colombia in
2007…and let others drop away. But the winner this year has been constant. For the past 14 years, this country
has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And—for the fifth time—it takes the
top spot once again in our Annual Global Retirement Index.
This year sees our most comprehensive index yet, with a list of 24 top retirement destinations, all of which have
been put under the microscope and examined as regards their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate,
healthcare, and much more.
This thorough questioning and assessment ultimately leaves us with a definitive list of the best retirement
havens from around the world. All of which share the values that you can expect from an International Living
approved retirement destination, while also maintaining aspects that make them stand out as individuals,
meaning our index has a place to suit every taste.
So, without further ado—after months of research, number-crunching, and fact-finding—allow the expats who
live there to introduce you to the benefits of the world’s top 10 retirement destinations in 2017.
And the winner is…Mexico
Mexico has always offered arguably the easiest
transition to expat life around: Low-cost,
conveniently close, friendly locals and plenty of
expats—Mexico offers an appealing balance of
exotic foreign culture and familiar First-World
Over recent years, crime and insecurity across the
border have made headlines—and yes, there are
parts of Mexico we don’t recommend. But this is a
big country…and while the mainstream media may
bash Mexico, we’ve actually noticed a trend of
people gravitating there. Seasoned expats, folks who
have lived in countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and
Belize, are moving to Mexico.
After all, there’s a reason over 1 million Americans call Mexico home. The cost of living is great—expats report
living well for as little as $1,200 a month—and has gotten even better with the weakening of the peso against
the dollar in recent years. Your dollars now buy nearly 50% more pesos than they did just a few short years ago.
The weak peso also means you can pick up great-value real estate (to buy or rent) for even less than you could a
few years ago—an apartment that cost $1,300 to rent in 2014 costs $980 now. Those dollars also go even
further when it comes to Mexican healthcare. You can get healthcare that’s even better quality than what you’re
used to and for one half to one third the price to boot.
According to IL’s Roving Latin America Editor Jason Holland, who lives on the Riviera Maya, there are first-
rate hospitals throughout the country—every major city has one. “Even paying cash at private facilities costs a
fraction of what it would in the U.S. Most doctors have received at least part of their training in the U.S. or
Europe…and many speak English,” Jason says.
English is widely spoken in popular expat spots like Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya. This makes it easy for
you to fit right in. And heck, you can drive down, or fly home for as little as $200 round-trip—so getting home
This proximity also makes it an ideal destination for snowbird living, perfect for escaping from the worst of the
winter weather. And the diverse selection of climates spread out across this massive country, ranging from hot
weather on the beach to spring-like in the highlands, means you’re guaranteed to find weather that’s perfect for
If you prefer to live in the Colonial Highlands, there are the picturesque historic towns like San Miguel de
Allende, Guanajuato, and Ajijic on Lake Chapala.
Chicago native Steve Garcia, 67, has lived in Guanajuato for four years. “I live well here on Social Security. My
expenses are $1,200 a month, including rent. I have a two-bedroom house with a terraced garden,” says Steve.
“With the dollar going up I’ve got 50% more to spend.”
The cost of living in Mexico allows me to live a fun life on my Social Security check,” says San Francisco-native
Jack Bramy. Living half a block from the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jack’s not scrimping. “There are great
restaurants and tons of cool bars on the malecón (promenade). My rent is $575 a month for a two-bedroom
apartment with a great modern bathroom and nice kitchen.”
Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and areas on
the shores are very popular amongst American
and Canadian people planning to or thinking of
retirement. Lot's of new and existing properties
are available at a most reasonable prices. Title
searches and all other procedures are well
researched and expertly handled and worry free
for you. You do not required to become a legal
resident to own property in Mexico but there
are valuable benefits to become one.
To become a legal resident of Mexico, is quite easy to qualify for. As a legal resident you can take advantage of
its retiree benefits. Those over 60 get discounts on airline and bus tickets, medical care, museum entrance fees,
and much more.
“I love my senior discount card,” says expat Marty Kramer who lives in Playa del Carmen. “All Mexican citizens,
including resident expats, can get one when they turn 60. With it, I get discounts on almost everything:
healthcare, public transportation, groceries, restaurants, hotels, and even some airlines. It’s up to the business
how much of a discount they offer, but it’s usually around 10%.”
If you acquire official residence in Mexico, you can get an INAPAM Card—and all the discounts that come with
it. These can range from 5% up to 50%. And recent changes in the law now provide an easier and faster path
than ever to permanent Mexican residence.
Most retirees qualify for residence by showing they have the funds to support themselves. And—also
unusually—Mexico gives you two ways to qualify. You can show monthly income from Social Security or a
pension. Alternatively, you can use assets, such as funds in a savings or investment account, to qualify. You
don’t need to transfer these assets to Mexico; you only need to prove that you have them.
“Life here is easy and relaxed,” says IL Mexico editor Glynna Prentice. “And also rich and complex in sensations
and experiences. People are friendly and welcoming, their warmth as genuine as the Mexican sun. And roots
“Whether you’re looking at the mighty ruins of Teotihuacan, the face of a local Maya vendor, or the cool patio of
a Spanish colonial hacienda, you sense a depth of history and tradition around you.
“Mexico isn’t perfect—no place is. But its flaws pale when weighed against the vividness of life here.”
According to International Living the number of Americans seeking move overseas advice jumped 105% post