Retiring in Mexico
So, you've vacationed in Mexico and loved it! Taken in the
spectacular scenery, enjoyed the beaches or maybe explored the
colonial cities, and now you are wondering if you can retire in
Mexico? Retirement may be a few years off, but the idea of retiring
south of the border has been firmly planted! But can you really do
that? Yes, you can, and more and more gringos are indeed choosing
this charming country as their retirement destination. In fact,
expatriates choose Mexico for retirement more than any other country
in the world. Why? Primarily because it's possible to reduce your
current living expenses in half by retiring here and not sacrifice,
in most cases, the conveniences found at home. You might even raise
your standard of living. Of course, this is not true in all areas.
Many gringos settle in the Guaymas-San Carlos areas, but North Americans can be found nearly anywhere in Mexico. You will find retirees in Hermosillo, Rocky Point, on the Riviera Maya, in Baja, Alamos, Taxco and elsewhere. Where you decide to live depends on a number of factors, including how immersed in the Mexican culture you want to be and how inexpensive you want your lifestyle to be. Areas with a higher concentration of gringos tend to be more expensive than more remote areas, but even in the San Carlos area, where about 5,000 Americans and Canadians have retired, a comfortable lifestyle for two people can be had for about $1,200 a month.
One of the primary questions retirees have about Mexico is the quality of health care and insurance coverage. Contrary to popular belief, the health care in Mexico is very good. Many doctors have trained in the U.S. and are bilingual. One of Latin America's finest hospitals, Americas Hospital, is located in Guadalajara and has a San Diego-trained staff. It also accepts Blue Cross and other American insurance plans. It is true that Medicare and Medicaid are not accepted outside of the U.S., but many supplemental plans are accepted. And many expatriates choose to join the MSS (Mexican Social Security) plan which costs about $200 USD a year and covers medical, dental and vision. Regarding dental care, Americans and others have been coming to Mexico for dental procedures for years; typically, dental care in Mexico is one third the price of similar care in the United States.
Mexico has a multi-layered immigration system. Tourists with an
FM-T visa (commonly known as the tourist visa) are allowed to stay
in Mexico for 6 months without crossing a border to renew the visa.
For those who want to stay longer than 6 months at a time without
having to make a semi-annual trip to the border, the next step in
the immigration process is the FM-3. You must be 55 to apply, and
you will need 6 things:
It is possible to stay in the country for longer than six months at a time without having to make a trip to the border. And maybe most importantly, older citizens are respected. Mexico beckons for all of these reasons and more!