Tips for Moving to México

May 27, 2012

Are you one of the 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every day? Yes, every day for the next 18 years 10,000 people in the US turn 65. Even if only 1% of those people consider México, that is 36,500 people per year. Are you one of them?

Paul and I decided on México for retirement for a lot of reasons. We wanted an adventure. We wanted to learn a new language, learn about a different culture, and experience life in a foreign country for ourselves. We wanted to live in a place with better weather.  We wanted to enjoy a lower cost of living. We wanted to live in an area where we walked rather than drove. We wanted to enjoy friendships with other adventurous, interesting people. We wanted to live where people take responsibility for themselves and where people laugh and enjoy life more. We found everything we wanted here in México – and chances are you will, too.

Here are a few of our tips for boomers considering México for retirement:

Take every chance you get to visit. We spent every vacation in México for years.  We had a wonderful time exploring the country and considering what kind of lifestyle we wanted.

Talk to people. Of course when you’re traveling you’ll want to talk to everyone you can about the communities they’ve enjoyed. Don’t be shy, the effort you make now will really help – not just uncovering wonderful places to explore, but also when you make the move and need help getting adjusted.

Stay in B & B’s or very small hotels when you’re exploring. The other guests, staff, and owners are fantastic resources.

Think about the things you must have in a new community.  We wanted a great place to walk and one reason we chose Mazatlán was because of its wonderful malecón. We’re all unique – only you know what’s right for you.

Take Spanish classes – don’t wait until you get here.  Community college extension courses would be great, supplemented with audio programs in the car or while walking.

Read blogs written by people who live in México. Be sure to comment, too – you just might make a friend to visit someday! I have a blogroll here to get you started.

Consider your budget – most people will find their retirement income stretches much further in México.  Property taxes are around $100 US, food is less expensive, health care is very reasonable, etc. In the US even if you were to have a home with no mortgage, monthly insurance and tax bills could be tough to manage on a fixed income.

Join online communities. Some are more general – having to do with all of México, and others are for individual communities. You’ll find all kinds of people willing to help and answer questions.

Don’t be afraid. The US press makes it seem as though México is full of terrible cartel violence. But México is a huge country and the pockets of violence are pretty isolated.

Just do it! When we talk to people considering moving here we always tell them “just do it, you’ll be glad you did.”

If you’re interested in exploring México online, I have Mazatlán links and México links pages on my blog for you to explore. You might also want to visit my favorite blog posts page to get a feel for life in México.

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in Mazatlán, México.

7 Comments
    1. Thanks Nancy! Your concise information is always helpful. We hope to buy a place by next summer or fall (fingers crossed). I will looking forward to meeting you in person soon!

      Love, Your loyal blog follower, Renee

    1. Excellent advice, Nancy, and should be read by every boomer considering a move to Mexico. We have been retired and loving it here for almost five years, but we are so glad we followed a lot of the tips you recommend. It’s not a decision to be made lightly, but once you’ve done your homework, as you say, Just Do IT!

    1. Nice list. But you should add links to your posts about planning a move to Mexico. I found them invaluable. You are far more organized than I could ever hope to be. But you gave me a lot of ideas to think about. And they worked.

      1. Judith, Thanks… I’m so glad you retired to Maz, too!

        Renee, Looking forward to meeting you, too! Good luck with the move!

        Steve, Thanks – Hopefully someone interested in moving here will explore the archives. There are way too many posts about planning the move to link to!

        Contessa, I agree, never pass up an opportunity to talk to people about their life in Mexico!

    1. While I was neither retired nor a boomer, I lived five years in Mazatlán and have a couple tips possibly of use to others. Keep these in mind:

      Living somewhere and vacation are not necessarily the same thing.

      With that in mind, gradually longer stays may be helpful. In my case I spent a few weeks, then a month, then four months, the real time. I got to live in lots of places and adapt to the culture at a pace that worked better for me.

      Rent first, then buy. This way you can learn how often your neighbors have fiestas with banda or discomovil. You may prefer less… or more.

      Finally, I would strongly encourage anyone considering year round life in Mazatlán based on Christmas or March vacations to at least visit in August. My wife is a Mazatlán native and says she’ll never voluntarily go back in August. It works out, now family comes to visit us up north during the hot season.

      I loved every minute of the time I lived there (except owning a car… that I won’t do again – it’s busses and pulmonias for me) We would live there again if I could find a way to earn a living (except August… that’s a good time for us to travel).

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