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Retiring in Mexico

Approximately 2 million American expatriates are currently living south of the border according to The Guardian and several other international publications. This number is increasing every year. This coming from one of America’s largest demographic populations that are starting to come of age. Even with the political strain between Mexico and the United States, it doesn’t seem to be stopping retirees from crossing the border seeking a more affordable retirement.

Baby Boomers are in search of a place where they can stretch their dollars, get the biggest bang for their buck, and be able to afford healthcare. With the ever increasing cost of living, the current healthcare debacle, and uncertain economic indicators are forcing one of the largest generations to seek shelter elsewhere. America is retiring to Mexico for all the reasons mentioned. After making a good living but watching their retirement funds falter to inflation, maintaining a lifestyle is a major concern to the boomers.

Mexico offers many opportunities to live your golden years with minimal worries regarding financial stability. Mexico has made incredible advancements in Western Medicine and operable technology. This being proven with Medical Tourism’s rapidly increasing popularity not only with Americans, but Canadians as well. More and more private hospitals are showing up throughout Mexico. The care given practically mirrors the United States at a third or less of the cost. The travel site, “You, Me and The Dock” wrote about a personal experience that spoke about having emergency surgery in Mexico.

The real estate market in Mexico is on sale. With Mexico still recovering from America’s 2007 housing crisis and the exchange rate being very favorable against the peso, makes it a perfect time to invest in your future. A home or condo depending on location and proximity to the water and desired amenities, can start at under $100,000 USD. You could also select an ideal location and build your dream home for approximately half of what it would cost in the US. Combine that with extremely low property taxes and insurance, your housing expense would amount to almost nothing.

The monthly expense for an average size 2 bedroom home that includes electricity, cable/internet/local phone – if needed, drinking water, sewer and tap water (excluding any rent or mortgage payment) is approximately $150 to $200.00 a month. This will fluctuate a bit with electricity usage. Electricity rates shift constantly and are set according to the volatile market of fossil fuel prices. So the more you use, the higher the billable rate. Let’s face it, no country escapes high energy costs.

Depending on selection of food or specific diet, your grocery bill can be considerably less as well. Most of the fruits and vegetables found in the grocery stores and open markets are grown in Mexico and are farmed organically – washing with an iodine solution before consumption is highly recommended. The same was said for the dairy products being fresher and costing less as well. After visiting with a few expats, they told us that their grocery bills are half of what they were in America. They also mentioned that their meals had a tendency to be healthier due to the fresh and preservative free poultry and seafood.

When deciding to go out for a bite to eat and/or a few adult beverages, staying with the local eateries can be very enjoyable and at the same time, very affordable. You can expect to pay around a 170 to 200 pesos ($9 to 11 USD) for a fresh fish meal and 25 to 30 pesos ($1.25 to 1.50 USD) for a beer. If you like dining out on or near the water, expect to pay a bit more. Fish entrees served on the beach can range from 250 to 350 pesos ($14 to 19 USD). However, in general, this is a lot less than most waterfront restaurants on either coast of the US.

There are always exceptions to the rules. Not everything is cheaper in Mexico, as everything isn’t the most expensive in the United States. If you are accustom to the cost of living in America and budget your monthly expenses accordingly, then consider retiring to a country where these advantages will benefit you:

  1. Your dollar has a quadrupled value – approximately 18.50 pesos to one USD.
  2. Healthcare is proven to be a third of the cost.
  3. Housing is so much more affordable – getting the biggest bang for your buck and low taxes.

Why not do what millions of Americans have and are doing, explore your options and see how your hard earned dollars can go further. Most will find that tempered weather, great food and beautiful beaches can be a great way to spend the rest of your life. Paradise is no longer an unattainable dream, but a reality that can be experienced now.

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