What to Expect from Mexico Retirement Living
Mexico retirement living is a beautiful and convenient option. When I’ve spoken with people living there full time I can really see a lot of benefits to living there. You have pretty much everything you need within your reach, at a quality that is almost at par with what you could expect to find back in the US.
Do you shop at Walmart? What about Costco? You may be pleasantly surprised to find that many of the same comforts of home also exist in Mexico.
Here are some of the key aspects of Mexico retirement living that you will find:
Health Care/Medical for Retirees in Mexico
Retirement in Mexico is not difficult to manage with health care services running the gamut from small clinics to large hospitals. You will also be happy to find that the health care costs are a fraction of what they would be back home, and from what I’ve heard from people living there, the quality of care also exceeds what you can find back home.
For anyone looking to reside here permanently as a resident in Mexico you are eligible to sign up for the national system. Because IMSS (the national health care system) assigns patients to a specific clinic or hospital, and because the quality of its very basic care varies dramatically, most expatriates choose to buy policies from private insurers, which cost $1000 to $1200 annually but allow policy holders to choose their own health care providers.
Working in Mexico for Retirees
Foreign residents can and do make an income source while technically ‘retired’ in Mexico. The main jobs for expatriates in retirement are:
- Real estate and vacation-share sales
Expats can also offer consulting services to Mexicans and other North Americans, open restaurants, boutiques, bookstores, small inns, surf shops, marinas, and art galleries. Contractors, developers, architects, landscapers, and interior decorators are also finding Mexico a great place to set up shop. With these options you'll surely find something to keep you busy while enjoying your Mexico retirement living.
Cost of Living
Domestic help is becoming more expensive - a good thing for locals, but a damper for retirees who came down expecting maids and gardeners for pennies. The good news is that even though prices for help is rising - hiring a gardener and maid will still be well within your reach.
Electricity is as expensive in Mexico as it is in Canada and the United States. However, there are no furnaces in Mexico, and most people use air-conditioning during the summer months only.
Restaurants can be as expensive as those in New York and San Francisco, yet many expatriates enjoy eating at small Mexican restaurants where breakfast and lunch are under $4 and dinner less than $10. Mexico is still quite affordable with the cost of living here being a notch lower than the US.
Mexico's local and international airports now blanket a large portion of the country, and more are being built every year. Many Canadian and Americans choose to drive their cars back and forth across the border, especially if they live in Mexico for six months or less, or have an FM3 visa, which allows them to keep their car in the country indefinitely.
Mexico retirement living does not mean you have to live in isolation and be away from your loved ones. With easy means of transportation, the US is just a plane ride or a drive away.
Toll high-ways, though expensive compared to those up North, are well maintained and have frequent rest stops. Because Mexican drivers, including long-haulers, prefer taking the bumpy, potholed "free" roads, there is little traffic.
One Last Important Note About Driving in Mexico!
Before you pack up and head south, do some research about the roads that you will be taking and make sure to keep your safety in mind. While you will likely get through the roads safe, you may be stopped and asked for money by the police, so just know ahead of time how to deal with this. From the people I have talked to who had driven from America through Mexico it is not uncommon to be stopped, and better that you be prepared and expecting this before you leave, than to get a nasty surprise.
Despite this possible 'bump in the road' (pun intended), don't let it stop you from consider all of the positives that Mexico retirement living has to offer.
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