Retiring in Mexico has always been a top choice for North Americans looking to escape the cold winters, stretch their retirement budgets, or simply seeking out an adventure. Mexico is hands down the easiest retire-overseas option for North Americans. For many retirees, Mexico offers many of the benefits of back home, without much of the hassle. The need to be close to children and grandchildren might detract some from Europe, Asia, and even South America, but not Mexico. Trips back and forth to the U.S. are quick and easy. If your family members are from the U.S. or Canada they won’t even need a visa for to come and visit you.
Mexico is a true retirement destination, whether you are on a budget or trying to live out your dreams on a well-established nest egg. The average Social Security retirement check for is still less than $1,400 per month. So, even at the high end of the spectrum, many couples can live in Mexico on one person’s Social Security.
Retiree Benefits in Mexico
As in many Latin American countries, Mexicans show an immense amount of respect for elder generations. The government of Mexico creates special programs that reflect this sentiment. The INAPAM (Instituto Nacional de Las Personas Adultas Mayores or The National Institute of Older Persons) is the department that oversees the program.
Retirees are able to get a senior citizen’s card if you meet the following requirements:
- Must be above 60 years old
- Valid residence visa for Mexico
The state governments within Mexico issue INAPAM cards.
With your card from the National Institute of Older Persons you are eligible for various benefits and discounts off the following:
- Home maintenance
- Clothing and tailoring
- Health care
- Transportation (airline and bus tickets)
- Entrance fees (concerts, special events, museums, etc.)
- Property taxes
- And many more goods and services
Typical discounts range anywhere from 5% to 30% off the price for items.
How will you spend your days retired in Mexico?
You can spend your days strolling the beaches of the Riviera Maya, sipping a “café Americano” from your terrace in Álamos, or shopping in one of Puerto Vallarta’s bountiful boutiques. If you are the type who enjoys the outdoors, sunbathing at the beach, hiking, biking, diving, rock climbing, or any other number of physical activities, Mexico has more than enough to keep you engaged. If shopping, wine tasting, fine dining, or the theatre are more your style, the cities of Mexico, notably Puerto Vallarta, should be near the top of your list. That’s the thing about this country, you can retire here no matter your lifestyle, and find your way.
Where to Retire in Mexico
From Mexico’s colonial cities to its pristine, white sand beaches, it’s hard not to find a spot fitting your retirement specifications. The choices are endless and the best part is they are yours to make. You can choose from a variety of climates, elevations, and scenery. Here are a few of our favorite places for retiring in Mexico:
The colonial town of San Miguel De Allende, a favorite with foreigners since the 1960s (though still not overrun with Americans) where a couple could retire for less than US$1,450 a month.
The romantic resort town of Puerto Vallarta, which offers top-notch shopping, fine dining, a wealth of activities, convenient communications with the United States, plenty of English speakers for socializing, and a beautiful location on the Pacific. The cost of living for a couple in Puerto Vallarta comes to as little as US$1,590 per month. You’ll see carbon copies of the stores you see back home—Walmart, Starbucks, Costco—stocked with the same brands you’re used to buying every day. But if you’d like to make a clean break from the American way, you have plenty of opportunity for that, too. The different areas of Puerto Vallarta have their own unique character.
The Riviera Maya, an area that boasts more than 125 miles of Caribbean beaches, the second-largest reef in the world, well-preserved Mayan sites, world-class golf courses, and a climate that is warm and tropical year-round. Two hours south of Cancún, the town of Tulum is one of Mexico’s finest gems, where a couple could live really well from US$1,319 a month (or US$890 if you cut down your entertainment budget and settle for a more modest rental).
*Prices as of 2016