Retirement in Mexico
Americans and Canadians out-number Europeans who retire in Mexico by a significant amount. This is simply to do with geography and although some Canadians will travel just as far in terms of number of miles, there is not large body of water between the two and the psychological impact of this is greater than we realize.
So, if you eventually decide to retire in Mexico, and you decide to live inside one of the expatriate communities such as Ajijic, Lake Chapala, you will most likely be sharing the company of Americans and Canadians who will all speak English with you. You will not want to miss out, however, on the warmth of the Mexican people who you will also share your life with.
People who retire to Mexico come from all walks of life. Many have had jobs either in large companies, small enterprises, or have had had their own business and sold it and moved to Mexico. The reasons for moving to Mexico are as many and varied as the people who make them. In many cases people tend to amplify their previous experiences to a more impressive level. For example if you were a private in the army by the time you reach Mexico you were a decorated four star general.
It is a personal choice, and usually research trips or having spent annual holidays in Mexico over several years during their working lives. This is important: if you are going to spend important years of your life in a county other than your own, it is imperative that you get to know Mexico and experience it first hand. My husband had traveled to Mexico for holidays together and separately over 9 times before we made the move to Ajijic, Lake Chapala in 1994.
As a country Mexico has an enormous amount of offer retirees. You have a choice of climates, ranging from spring-like weather all year-round to warm humid sea front location and the dry heat of the desert. In Ajijic, Lake Chapala the weather is 75 degrees and sunny 90% of the year which suits us perfectly. We love traveling to the beautiful beaches for vacations but prefer our more temperate climate to live in year round.
The infrastructure is excellent in developed areas, and the areas you are likely to choose from are as safe as any modern town or city in your home country and in many cases are far safe. (In fact, Mexico has extremely tight firearms and lethal knife laws making it statistically safer than many cities in the US. Outside of Mexico City and away from the drug rings, violent crime is extremely rare in Mexico.
Mexico’s pace of life is ideal for retirement – you can relax, and still lead an active retirement. Here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala you can be busy every night if you so choose or happily do nothing at all. Stress levels are insignificant here.
The food is wonderful. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish are available at the local markets and you’ll get great value for your money. There is an enormous variety of tropical fruit which is sweeter and juicier than the kind that is shipped to colder climates. Food is also less expensive in Mexico.
Healthcare is widely available. Mexico has good doctors, dentists, hospitals and other medical specialists. There are a range of insurance services available for you to buy to safeguard you and your dependents from the cost of private medical bills.
Your retirement income can go further in Mexico. Exactly how far with depend on your lifestyle expectations. The essential point to remember is that the basic foods and drink are considerable less expensive in Mexico than they are in Europe and most places in the US and Canada. Eating out can be less expensive too and extremely good value for your money.
Utility bills can be lower (with the exception of electricity which has risen significantly recently) property taxes and maintenance coasts are very low, and you may be able to structure your finances so that your retirement income is very tax efficient for you.
If your retirement income is generated in hard currency, you will find your earnings stretch further on the basics needed for everyday living that it would in Europe, the US or Canada.
You will have a lot of questions about retiring or moving to Mexico and specifically, Ajijic, Lake Chapala so feel free to contact this site to get answers to all of those questions. We did it 16 years ago and are happy to share our knowledge with you.