Every year thousands of Americans and Canadians choose Mexico as their retirement destination.
With a relatively low cost of living, improving infrastructure, and comfortable climates, Mexico has quickly grown to be one of the world’s top retirement havens.
Nevertheless, before investing in Mexico’s real estate and making the permanent move, you need to get organized. You should first decide where you want to live in Mexico, but you also need to consider health insurance, immigration, and financial planning.
Mexico Real Estate
There are many options for buying Mexico real estate but there are also different rules than you would expect to find in the United States and Canada.
For example, property within 60 miles of the border or 30 miles of the coast can only be purchased through a beneficial trust. This means you are not the true owner of the property and you are essentially leasing the land.
While it is still possible to acquire property near the border or coast, you should hire a lawyer to help you navigate Mexican real estate law. Some retirees plan to set up a business in Mexico and so they will continue to work at least part-time.
This helps retirees to avoid government red tape and allows the purchase of land without trust.
Still, the legalities of buying real estate in Mexico are not your only concerns. Obviously, you want to choose a location that best serves the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy.
You may prefer a coastal town with easy access to the beach or a more traditional Mexican colonial town that represents the culture and history of Mexico.
Furthermore, Mexican investment real estate continues to prove its worth. As the tourism industry grows stronger and increasing numbers of expatriates move to Mexico, property values have risen steadily.
Plus, the current Mexican government seems dedicated to improving infrastructure, health, education, and development throughout Mexico.
Currently, Mexico’s real estate is ripe with investment opportunities. Many smaller cities are enjoying economic growth driven by expatriates while traditionally popular locations offer many amenities and facilities comparable to those you would find at home.
Mexican Retirement Locations
One of the first questions you should ask yourself is whether you’d prefer to live with the locals or in an expatriate community. If you would prefer an expatriate community, you will live in a community of individuals who share the same language and where you will find support with your transition to Mexican life.
Services are more commonly offered in English and you will likely find many home comforts. However, if you choose to live in a more traditional Mexican community, there will be different challenges.
It may be difficult to live in Mexico if you don’t speak Spanish, but surrounding yourself with the local culture will allow you to enjoy a more complete and intimate Mexican experience.
Next, you need to consider climate. Interestingly, Mexico has one of the most diverse climates in the world. In the mountainous areas of Mexico, the climate can be quite cool and you will likely experience four seasons.
Generally speaking, at higher altitudes the weather tends to be like spring year-round while coastal areas enjoy a more tropical climate. If you prefer hot, dry weather the Baja California peninsula, inland regions, and the northern deserts provide. In short, make sure to do your research and choose a region where the climate will be comfortable for you.
There are many popular retirement destinations in Mexico depending on whether you’d like to live in a large city, near the coast, or a colonial city.
Large cities like Guadalajara and Mexico City obviously provide excellent amenities, shopping, restaurants, and transportation.
Nevertheless, these larger metropolitan centers also endure more crime. Coastal locations like Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco, and Playa del Carmen are also sought-after locations for the ex-pat community.
These locations epitomize the Mexican dream with stunning beaches, tropical weather, and vibrant Mexican culture. However, they also tend to be more expensive than inland regions or even major cities. Finally, you may prefer to live in a colonial city like Puebla, Oaxaca, or San Miguel de Allende.
These smaller cities not only embrace the fundamental aspects of Mexican culture, they are also quite charming and beautiful. Wherever you choose to live, you can find a wealth of information about Mexican real estate and investment online.
Living in Mexico
Finally, living in Mexico, like living in any foreign country, requires some planning and organization.
While health care facilities in Mexico are usually comparable to those you would find north of the border, you need to plan for health insurance.
There are many options available. Mexican Social Security is one option that provides medical, dental, and vision care but may not cover everything you need.
Alternatively, some ex-pats choose private health or travel insurance, but again you need to carefully review your policy to ensure you are getting the coverage you need.
In addition, travel visas for Mexico allow you to only stay for 180 days from your arrival. As such, if you plan to live in Mexico permanently, you’ll need to obtain a proper visa like a Rentista.
A Rentista is a non-working visa that is often ideal for retirees but requires that you have proof of income for living costs. Finally, it is always recommended that you visit a few of your top retirement destinations before making the permanent move.
You want to get a sense of the community, its facilities, and the general standard of living to ensure you will enjoy your retirement.