How much money do you need to retire in Mexico?


June 25, 2020

Because its culture and diversity, Mexico has become a world’s top destination for tourism and retirement.

Beaches with warm water, food and beautiful cities and Magic Towns are part of the attractions that thousands of retirees find in our country.

And of course, it cannot be denied that the cost of living in Mexico is cheaper than in other countries.

Thanks to the currency exchange rate, people from the United States, Canada or Europe have the possibility of living a great quality of life in Mexico. One of the things that most surprises foreigners from the United States is how easy it is to access to healthcare, something very expensive and even impossible to obtain in their countries.

In Mexico is possible to live a more relaxed life surrounded by wonders of nature. For this reason, real estate industry in Mexico has attracted the attention of those who dream of acquiring a home near the beach.

As mentioned in ‘tips to acquiring your home for retirement’, it is important to create an action plan as soon as possible, because the longer it takes, the harder it would be to buy a property: you would have to save more money to reach your goal since property prices are constantly rising, even more if you want to live in places like California or Florida -where acquiring a luxury property can be very expensive-, and let's not even talk about Canada or Europe.

This is one of the reasons why Mexican beaches like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and the famous Riviera Maya, are one of the best places for retirement. Since not only acquiring a property is affordable but also the surplus value of the properties and the area is superior, especially thanks to the tourism that increases every year.

And due to tourism, owners also see the opportunity to earn extra income by renting their property, either before they decide to retire or between months when they are in their countries of origin.

Therefore, buying real estate developments in the Riviera Maya or in real estate developments in Tulum is an investment for those who are looking to secure their money and prepare for retirement.

However, if moving to an unknown place cause you doubts, it is a sign that you need to make an action plan for retirement. If Mexico is among your options, we prepare a guide for you to have an idea of how much money you need to retire in Mexico.

Couple on the beach.
Retire in beach towns is a dream that is shared by many people and it is not impossible  to fulfill. Places like Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Riviera Maya are the best places to live in Mexico as an expat.

How to plan retirement?

There are many things you should consider when planning your retirement, and this will depend on how would you like to live your retirement life. In general, retirement should be comfortable and trouble-free, so you should keep in mind that if you are planning to move to another country, you will have to follow some legal procedures such as visa application or tax payment, both in the country you will move to and the country you will leave.

In addition, you need to know which place best suits your needs and what you expect from retirement, in order to create a budget plan and start saving money.

Here are some retirement planning tips to consider.

Resolve legal issues

Another thing that makes Mexico attractive for retirement is that it is friendly for foreigners and expatriates. There are countries that do not require visa to Mexico, since they have agreements that make the process easier. You can check the list of visa-exempt countries here.

There are different ways to living in retirement, and these will depend entirely on your interests and expectations, so it is important to keep in mind that your immigration status will depend on your activities: if you plan to work in Mexico, or visit your country because you only plan to live in Mexico for a certain time per year, or if you are ready to apply for a permanent residence.

And this will also have a positive influence in the place you choose to live.

Resolving your legal issues is very important, especially if you want to live retirement out of trouble. In addition, although we talk about retirement, not all retirees wait until they are 60 years old to do so. More and more young people are looking to live a quiet life in Mexico.

That is why one of the 5 reasons to invest in Merida is the community of expats living in the city.

Foreigners can follow at least 4 legal procedures in the Register Office: death, marriage and birth certificates; and while the Merida government is doing everything possible to make these procedures easier, having your papers in order will help you.

For a trouble-free stay, it is very important to have your legal documents in order.

Choose the place you would like to live

As mentioned in ‘best places to retire in Mexico’, there are people who are looking to move to cities near the border -such as Ensenada- in order to be close to their families, but also there are others who prefer to spend half the year in their countries of origin and the other half in Mexico.

In ‘moving from Canada to Mexico in an easy way’, we mentioned how it can be more convenient for Canadians to spend half the time in Mexico, in order to pay less taxes in their country, as well as avoid the extreme cold in Canada during certain seasons.

Places like Merida, Playa del Carmen or Tulum may be more attractive for people who prefer to have a more relaxed life near the beach, than for those who prefer the city life. That's why you should keep in mind what kind of retirement life you want, so you have an idea of ​​where to live and assign a budget.

There are people interested in places like San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato -where they can explore Mexican culture to the fullest- but find it an expensive place to live. You need to be clear about your priorities and what things you are not willing to sacrifice so you can choose a place that best suits your needs.

Create a budget plan

When it comes to priorities, one of the things you should do when creating your budget is to determine your retirement income needs, such as rental cost, food, services such as Internet, cable, electricity, water and even travel and entertainment expenses.

The goal is to live a great life at a lower cost, so you should include in your budget entertainment expenses. Mexico is a wide and diverse country, so there are many cultural events, restaurants and even places you can visit just by taking a bus: this is one of the reasons why Magic Towns are must-visit attractions.

It is fundamental to include medical expenses in the budget, to prevent unforeseen expenses. In the same way, if you plan to travel constantly to your home country, travel expenses also have to be included in your budget.

Having your priorities clear, it is time to talk about how much money you need to retire to Mexico.

How much money do you need to retire in Mexico?

As mentioned above, the retirement budget you create is based on your needs. Some retirees start businesses to earn extra income, while others use their savings and pension money to live and enjoy their free time.

Below you can find a comparison chart that shows the expenses and cost of living in some of the best cities to live in Mexico. The amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars.

Table with the costs of retiring in Mexico.

We included some fixed costs such as rent, internet, entertainment, groceries and medical expenses, and we chose 5 cities that have been placed as the best placed to live in Mexico for foreigners: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato; Merida, Yucatan; Tulum, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen, all located in Quintana Roo.

Here is the explanation of why we chose these places:

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Monthly cost of living in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato is approximately $2,470 USD.

San Miguel de Allende is a 4 hour drive from Mexico City. Considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is a city where you can enjoy art and culture. The colonial architecture of the city perfectly represents Mexican culture: it is colorful, majestic, diverse and modern, yet traditional.

Merida, Yucatan

Merida, Yucatan, is the place where you can enjoy not only Mexican culture, but also Mayan culture.

One of the things that makes Merida attractive is the opportunity to live in a city with a more relaxed lifestyle without losing the benefits of big cities such as first-class shopping malls and cinemas. In addition, you can go to the beach, as well as visiting other tourist attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Valladolid, Izamal, and Maya cities Uxmal and Chichen Itza,

That is why foreigners who visit Merida fall in love with it.

Monthly cost of living in Merida is approximately $1,890 USD.

Banner of real estate developments in Merida.

Tulum, Quintana Roo

Tulum is best known for its beautiful beaches, but it has much more to offer since you can live a bohemian lifestyle. Thanks to local residents actively participating in the creation of a sustainable tourism model, Tulum has become one of the top destinations in Mexico and it’s the ideal place for people who want to enjoy retirement life close to nature.

The influx of tourists increases every year, making real estate developments in the area have a higher demand. The steady increase of surplus value in Tulum encourages investors to acquire properties to rent or resell in the future.

People who own a property in Tulum know that their property will generate a higher return on investment, which will help them to make more money for retirement.

Monthly cost of living in Tulum is approximately $ 3,170 USD.

Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

In Riviera Maya you can enjoy a great quality of life close to nature, cenotes, beaches, archeological sites and much more. Thanks to the large influx of tourists, it is one of most attractive places for foreign investment in Mexico.

The best thing about the Riviera Maya is its close proximity to Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum, as well as Yucatan and Campeche so it is perfect choice for those who want to enjoy a peaceful retirement life with many benefits, such as playing golf surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

In Riviera Maya, investors can get better returns, when compared to real estate investment in places like San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City.

Living in Riviera Maya costs approximately $ 2,750 USD per month.

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

Playa del Carmen is a cosmopolitan city.

It features luxury shops and services as well as beautiful beaches and local culture. People fall in love with Playa del Carmen because they can live near the beach without losing the benefits of big cities such as luxury shops, services and entertainment centers.

Living in Riviera Maya costs approximately $ 2,575 USD per month. And due to tourism, owners also see the opportunity to earn extra income by renting their property on Airbnb or through Anah Leasing & Leisure, our professional property management and vacation rental program.

Banner of real estate developments in Playa del Carmen.

Tips to save money in retirement

While your retirement budget is based on your needs, the truth is that a large part of it will be spent on rent, so buying an investment property is a good option for you, especially if you are planning your retirement in advance. Acquiring a property is a way to protect your money from inflation and earn extra income.  

Visit the area you would like to live in retirement to have a better idea of ​​how your life would be: what is nearby, urban mobility, culture, and etcetera. This also will help you to make a successful retirement budget to live comfortably.

Invertir en Riviera EN

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