Here’s a guide to moving and retiring in Mexico.
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Many individuals fantasize of spending their golden years in a bright and warm location, generally in Arizona or Florida. But perhaps you’d want to retire overseas rather than in the United States. In reality, American seniors are increasingly flocking south of the border to Mexico. This is primarily due to better weather and decreased living costs.
Making the decision to retire in a foreign nation necessitates much pre-planning. A financial expert can assist you right now.
Average Cost of Living in Mexico
An estimate projects that a retired couple may live comfortably in Mexico on an average monthly salary of $2,500, or $30,000 per year. The cost of a residence, health insurance, maid service, groceries, utilities, entertainment, and other expenses are included in these figures.
A number of things influence your retirement cost of living in Mexico. The most important factor is where you reside: Mexico is a wide nation with large cities, small villages, resort locations, and everything in between, and your precise expenses will be determined by where you live.
It also relies on your intended lifestyle. Your spending schedule will be affected by whether you wish to retire early, late, or on time.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on the USD to peso conversion rate. Many shops take USD, especially in tourist regions, since not everything in Mexico is labelled in pesos.
Furthermore, shopping and living like a native, such as purchasing from street sellers, might help you save even more money.
Retirement Visa in Mexico
Moving and retiring in Mexico will almost certainly need a few more procedures than staying in the United States. To begin, you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter Mexico.
The type of visa you require will be determined by the length of your stay in Mexico. Are you planning on staying for a few months, a few years, or the remainder of your life? The quickest route is to apply for a tourist visa. These will cover you for about six months.
As a retiree, you have the option of applying for a four-year temporary residence visa. To begin the procedure, go to your local Mexican consulate. Your eligibility is determined by your assets.
For one thing, you’ll need to show that you can sustain yourself as a retiree with money you earned (or are earning) outside of Mexico.
For an individual, the minimum monthly need is approximately $1,620 in net income. You may also furnish bank statements for the last 12 months with an average balance of at least $27,000.
If you intend to stay for more than four years, you may apply for a permanent residence visa. If you’ve been in the country for four years with a temporary resident visa, you may simply change it to permanent status.
You can work in Mexico if you have a permanent residence visa. To qualify, you must present investment statements with an average monthly balance of $107,000 over the previous 12 months or a monthly net income (or pension) of at least $1,620 during the last six months.
Rent and Housing in Mexico
The strength of the dollar against the peso, fortunately for Americans who have the desire of moving and retiring in Mexico, provides for some excellent real estate offers.
Flats in a city center for rent in retirement start at roughly $400. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center would cost roughly $740 per month. You may easily locate a home for $200,000 or less if you’re searching for something more permanent. You’ll still have to pay utilities and property taxes, which average roughly $300 each year.
You can purchase a house in Mexico through a “direct deed,” a local corporation, or a fideicomiso (bank trust). These choices offer secure and reliable ways to purchase a property and exercise homeownership rights.
Furthermore, many Mexican real estate markets have English-speaking agents who can assist you all throughout the process without any language barriers.
Safety and Security in Mexico
While the majority of prominent tourist locations in Mexico are secure, violent crime remains a problem in many Mexican states. In March 2022, the United States COVID-19 prompted the State Department to issue a level 3 travel advice to tourists planning to visit Mexico.
This means that the government is advising people to exercise extra care since it may be difficult for government workers or other emergency services to reach you in some areas of the country.
However, in certain parts of the nation, the degree of warning is greater. The State Department advises against traveling to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas owing to high crime rates.
Consider Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucutan, Tobasco, and other states if you want to be safe.
Healthcare in Mexico
When planning to relocate to a new nation, healthcare may not be the first item on your mind. However, as you become older, you need think about healthcare and its expenditures. Your healthcare plan will not accompany you if you change nations. Residents of Mexico, fortunately, will have access to medical insurance plans as well as high-quality medical facilities.
According to a study published in The Lancet in 2018, healthcare quality and availability in Mexico improved dramatically between 1990 and 2016. During that time, Mexico’s Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) index ranking increased from 45.5 to 66.3.
In 2016, the median HAQ score for all nations was 63, with the United States scoring 88.7. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, infant mortality, heart disease, and stroke have all decreased dramatically in Mexico in recent years.
It is vital to understand that the majority of Mexican medical facilities are private. Health insurance policies are available from both domestic and foreign suppliers. There are also some banks that provide medical coverage.
Remember that, much as in the United States, it gets more difficult to obtain health insurance beyond the age of 65.
Prepare Your Savings for Moving and Retiring in Mexico
According to Federal Reserve data from 2019, the average retirement account balance in the United States is roughly $65,000. In addition, as of 2022, retired employees received an average monthly Social Security pension of $1,657.
With an average cost of $30,000 per year to retire in Mexico, many Americans may retire comfortably if they save enough money. This is why deciding on the type of retirement lifestyle you desire is the first step toward retirement savings.
It assists you in determining how much you should save and how quickly you should save. If you want to retire early, you’ll need to put even more money aside.
Retirees in Mexico who are 60 or older and hold a residence visa can also benefit from Personas Adultas Mayores, Mexico’s retirement benefits program. This provides discounts in areas such as healthcare, transportation, hotels, and even museums.
Don’t forget that shopping at local markets and buying fresh can help you save money.
Being informed of the fees of international money transfers and currency conversion will also be beneficial. If you’re continually moving money to and from the United States and exchanging USD for pesos (or vice versa), your retirement savings may suffer.
In these circumstances, you’ll want to create a Mexican bank account and look into free international money transfers.
Mexico is a fantastic choice for retirees looking for a low-cost of living and pleasant climate. Just keep in mind that your precise prices will vary depending on your retirement lifestyle. You won’t need to save a lot of money if you’re ready to live like a local and give up some of your pleasures. However, if you really must have continual air conditioning or a five-bedroom home, be prepared to pay a little more than the prices shown below.
A financial adviser can assist you in ensuring that you have enough money saved to live comfortably in retirement. It doesn’t have to be difficult to find a skilled financial counselor.
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