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Golden Years In Mexico: A Guide To Expat Retirement South Of The Border

5 min read

Golden Years In Mexico: A Guide To Expat Retirement South Of The Border

Mexico is rightfully the top expat destination on the planet. From sun-kissed shores to mountainous landscapes and bustling cities to laid-back villages, the allure of Mexico for retirees is evident.

Retirement is a period you might anticipate for multiple reasons – more safety, tranquillity and even the wish to explore uncharted territory. Regardless of your reasons, after years of hard work, you deserve somewhere to enjoy your golden years like a king. That country can definitely be Mexico. 

Picture this: you gaze out of the window, daydreaming about your golden years under the Mexican sun. A peaceful town square, lively markets brimming with colours and the aroma of authentic street tacos… this isn’t just a dream, though – it can be a reality for you. 

In this article, you’ll know how Mexico is for retirees, covering all the topics you care about the most, such as the cost of living, healthcare, lifestyle and everything in between. Let’s begin.


Campeche, Mexico - Mexico is a diverse country, including city prices, if you choose places common to tourists you may pay more, some cities like Puerto Vallarta will end up more affordable than Cancun

Campeche, Mexico


One of the reasons why multiple expat retirees want to move to Mexico is precisely its low cost of living. Perhaps, you worked so hard for your savings, investments and overall net worth. The problem is that all that money might not go a long way in countries like Canada and America. In this aspect, Mexico shines brightly.



If your country’s cost of living feels like a mountain you’ve been climbing forever by dealing with high taxes and inflation, Mexico might be the oxygen tank you need. The price tags for everyday necessities are a bargain, leaving retirees in awe. From housing to healthcare, Mexico stretches your dollars gracefully, giving you room to breathe and explore.



Now, how does it all add up? Housing, the cornerstone of your comfort, tends to be more affordable compared to Western countries. Imagine your spacious apartment nestled in a quaint coastal town, where rent feels like a breeze on your budget. Even the price of groceries looks like a dream compared to what you paid in your home country. Avocados, tomatoes, tortillas and more fresh products cost very little here. And let’s not forget that energy costs are also a bargain.



Mexico is a diverse country, and so is each city’s price tag. If you fall for tourist or even ‘gringo’ traps, you might end up paying more than expected. As a general rule, rural towns like San Miguel the Allende and even some coastal cities like Puerto Vallarta are more affordable than vibrant cities like Mexico City and Cancún. 


Resort in Cancun, Mexico - Many retirees opt for private health insurance tailored to expats, with a safety net that allows them to enjoy their lives with peace of mind. We recommend Safety Wing

Resort in Cancun, Mexico


“Health is wealth,” they say, but during your retirement years, this holds tremendous significance. You might be used to the medical services of your home country, so the question is, "Will I receive quality care in Mexico?" 



Mexico offers public and private healthcare services, with varying prices according to regions and the treatment you need. As expected, the medical infrastructure is more developed in urban areas. Also, you can find multiple pharmacies in case you need quick fixes and remedies for minor ailments like a cold or fever. 



The healthcare quality in Mexico can be on par with or even better than what you’re used to back home. Medical professionals in Mexico often receive their training from reputable institutions and even Western countries like the US. Plus, the cost savings are monumental, just like finding a treasure chest beneath the waves.



The notion of health insurance might sound like a riddle in a foreign language. You might wonder, "Can I find coverage that protects me and my wallet?" The answer is yes. Many retirees opt for private health insurance tailored to expats. It's a safety net that lets you explore your new life with peace of mind. My personal favourite is Safety Wing.


Tulum, Mexico - Although the Mexican constitution states that a non-citizen is prohibited from owning land within 100 km of any national border and 50 km of any ocean, if you want beachfront property just use a Mexican Bank Trust

Tulum, Mexico


A new nest for your retirement—a thought that's both exciting and nerve-wracking. Let's unravel the complexities of the housing market and discover your perfect haven. 



Rental options in Mexico are varied, offering you flexibility and a chance to test the waters before committing. According to your budget, you’ll surely find options for you. Whether you’re okay with a modest apartment or prefer a more luxurious villa, Mexico has you covered.



“To each their own” hits differently when it comes to renting and buying. For example, if you want to explore the country, you might prefer renting a new property every few months. But if you’re yearning for a more stable lifestyle and having a place you can call home, you may want to consider purchasing a house. It all depends on your vision.



The 27th provision of the Mexican Constitution states that a non-citizen is prohibited from possessing land within 100 kilometres of any national border and 50 kilometres of any ocean. In theory, you can just own land out of this Restricted Area. It’s still a huge piece of land for sure, but what if you want a good beachfront property? No problem, use a Mexican Bank Trust – this will legally help you purchase a home in this zone. 


Related content: Mexico Permanent Residency Made Easy


Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Western media paint Mexico in a terrible light, but they never say that most crimes only happen in areas that are controlled by cartels, understanding the nuances of the place is essential

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


We’ve already talked about numbers and legality. But retirement abroad is about way more than paperwork and taxes, isn’t it? It’s also about immersing yourself in a new culture and lifestyle. As you stand at the crossroads, you might wonder whether you’ll be able to adapt to a whole new way of life. 



Mexico is a country filled with history, art and traditions. It’s like stepping into a gallery of emotions, where each corner holds a different masterpiece. From lively festivals to serene ancient ruins, Mexico beckons you to explore its stories. It’s more than just a relocation; it’s a journey of cultural enrichment. 



Yes, the Western media often paints Mexico as a terrible destination where crimes happen all the time – drug trafficking, shootings, and the list goes on – all while ignoring the increasing crime in many major Western cities, of course. 

The reality is that expats don’t have much trouble with this and even report feeling perfectly safe here. As always, exercising common sense is a must. For the most part, the Western media paints Mexico in a terrible light, but they never say that most crimes happen only in cartel-controlled areas. Understanding the situation on the ground as opposed to just listening to the news is paramount. 

Fun fact: The city of Merida is considered the second safest city in the Americas, right after Quebec City and surpassing major US cities. 



The thought of integration might feel like dipping your toes into unfamiliar waters. You might question, "Will I be able to blend in?" Becoming part of the local community involves embracing new customs, learning the language, and opening your heart to new friendships. 


Related content: The Beauty Of Living In Mexico


Guanajuato City, Mexico - Take advantage of the power of the internet to find materials and courses that suit you perfectly, to learn Spanish consistently, choose the Story Learning course, by Olly Richards, learning will be easier with your guidance

Guanajuato City, Mexico


It's important to note that Mexico doesn’t have an official language per se; rather, almost 70 different languages are spoken in the country, with Spanish being the most widely spoken.



Mastering a new language as an adult seems daunting, but fear not, as your efforts will pay off. Locals will surely appreciate your interest in learning their language and even be open to helping you learn. Trust me, as an expat myself who had to learn this language, even a basic grasp can unlock doors to memorable experiences. 

Note that in major cities, in both expat and tourist areas, you’ll be more likely to find locals who can speak English. Still, consider learning Spanish and immersing yourself in the culture. It will lead to a much more rewarding experience.



Embrace the powers of the internet to find the courses and materials that suit you best. My personal favourite is Story Learning by Olly Richards. Learning Spanish becomes easier with his guidance. If you prefer learning or improving your skills in Mexico, you’ll find a plethora of options as well. 


Mazatlan, Mexico - With diverse regions catering to all types of tastes, Mexico invites you to enjoy lifes pleasures, whether in coastal cities or serene mountain retreats, Mexico has a lot to offer for your retirement

Mazatlan, Mexico


In closing, Mexico’s allure for retirees is vast. From the sun-drenched beaches to the vibrant cities and the warm embrace of local communities, it's a tapestry woven with opportunities. The allure isn't just in the affordable cost of living or quality healthcare; it's in the chance to immerse yourself in a rich cultural mosaic. 

With diverse regions catering to different tastes, Mexico invites you to savour life's pleasures. So, whether it's the tranquil coastal towns, the lively urban landscapes, or the serene mountain retreats, Mexico offers a canvas for you to paint your retirement masterpiece.



I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.



If you want the best intel from the expat world, including profitable offshore opportunities, little-known tax-saving strategies, and hard-won insights on immigration, passports, and Plan-B residencies, all delivered to your inbox every single week, then join our daily correspondence, EMS Pulse. Currently enjoyed by over 37,000 expats and expat-hopefuls worldwide. Fill in the form below to join our newsletter free:


Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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