How Much Money Do You Need To Retire in Mexico?

Wonderful view of Puerto Vallarta.
axl5188 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When it comes to choosing the perfect place to retire, there are many factors to consider. Convenience, affordability and quality of life — among others — are a big part of this decision. Although the United States has a lot to offer, many people look to more affordable, diverse locations like Mexico when mapping out where to spend their retirement years.

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Like the United States, Mexico offers a good deal of variety when it comes to culture, history, food, sites and unique experiences. If you’re on the verge of retiring and are looking to expand your horizons, here are some of the most popular places to retire in Mexico — and what they cost.

Reasons To Move to Mexico: Affordability and Quality of Life

Mexico has long been one of the more popular destinations for retirees — especially those from Canada or the United States — and it’s no secret why.

“Its year-round warm climate, rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine attract those looking for a lifestyle change,” said Andrew Latham, CFP and director of content at SuperMoney.com.

Mexico also tends to be more affordable than many Western countries. Since the cost of things like property, groceries, apparel, utilities, entertainment, recreation and transportation is usually lower, retirement income goes a lot further than in a more expensive country.

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Plus, since Mexico is so close to the U.S., it’s a good choice for expats who still want to visit their friends or family back home. “Furthermore,” Latham added, “many Mexican towns and cities have thriving expatriate communities, offering a sense of community and mutual support for those adjusting to life in a new country.”

Not only that, but Mexico also has a well-established healthcare system. This includes high-quality, private healthcare that costs far less than what you’d fine in the U.S.

How Much Do You Need To Retire in Mexico?

In terms of how much you need to retire in Mexico, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The exact amount depends on several factors, such as:

  • Which city you move to
  • Your lifestyle
  • Type of property you live in
  • Number of people in your household
  • Other needs (e.g., healthcare)

“On average, you can live a very comfortable life in Mexico with a budget of $1,500 to $3,000 per month,” said Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal. “This would cover your housing, meals, utilities, healthcare and even some entertainment and leisure activities.”

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However, certain places — like Mexico City — might require a higher budget.

“In Mexico City, a cosmopolitan hub with a vast cultural scene and modern amenities, you might need between $2,000 and $3,000 per month for a comfortable lifestyle,” Caballero said. “Conversely, if you choose to live in the Caribbean coastal regions or interior colonial towns like Merida or San Miguel de Allende, you’ll find that your money goes a lot further. These regions offer a more relaxed pace of life, and the cost of living is lower. You can live comfortably in these areas for $1,500 to $2,000 per month.”

Overall, be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 a month on your major living expenses in Mexico. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you might want to set aside more money to cover anything extra or unexpected.

Cost of Living in Popular Places in Mexico

Here are some of the most common regions to retire to in Mexico, and an estimate of what they might cost to retire in (using Numbeo data).

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is a popular destination for retirees. “Known for its colonial charm, vibrant arts scene and pleasant climate, San Miguel de Allende attracts many retirees with its expat-friendly community and excellent healthcare facilities,” said Nicole Beauchamp, senior global real estate advisor and licensed associate real estate broker at Engel & Völkers in New York City.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $707
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,518
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Guadalajara

Guadalajara is the second-biggest city in Mexico. It offers a high-quality healthcare system, diverse culture, good climate and a combination of tradition and modernity.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $607
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,194

Similarly attracting expats, especially those from the U.S. and Canada, is the region of Lake Chapala, encompassing the towns of Ajijic and Chapala, Latham said. “Known for its mild weather, picturesque lake views and active social life, Lake Chapala holds considerable appeal.” Lake Chapala is located about an hour from Guadalajara. 

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is another popular retiree destination that’s also affordable. “Situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful beachside town that offers a laid-back atmosphere, excellent healthcare options and a thriving expat community,” Beauchamp said. “It also provides a range of outdoor activities and picturesque landscapes.”

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $593
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,103

Mérida

Another colonial town, Merida is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. It has a vibrant history and rich culture and is located near the beach. Plus, it offers affordability without losing out on modern amenities.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $630
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,245
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Mexico City

As the capital city of Mexico, Mexico City offers retirees an urban environment mixed with historic buildings, stunning cathedrals and an array of recreational activities.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $637
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,309

Aguascalientes

Located in the middle of the country, Aguascalientes is a colonial town offering a modern lifestyle mixed with rich history. Like many other parts of the country, it has a pleasant climate and is an affordable option for many retirees.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $560
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,028

Cancun

Located along the Caribbean Coast, Cancun is more than just a holiday destination for tourists. It’s also a popular destination for retirees who want to spend time at the beach without being too far from modern amenities.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $624
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,217

Mazatlán

Mazatlán is located along the Pacific Coast of Mexico — off the West Coast. Like other towns in this region, it offers a wide range of recreational activities, from golf to fishing to jet skiing. It’s also located right on the beach.

  • Estimated costs for a single person (without rent): $618
  • Estimated costs for a family of four (without rent): $2,252
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