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How to Retire in Mexico: A Complete Guide

Susan Kelly

Dec 07, 2023

Many retirees from the United States and Canada choose Mexico as their new home for various reasons, making the country home to approximately 1.5 million digital nomads, ex-pats, and retirees. Retirees can stretch their money further in Mexico due to the country's low cost of living compared to many Western countries.

Many retirees, especially those from colder countries, are drawn to Mexico because of its warm and sunny climate year-round. Once you know the retirement process, it's not hard, like most things in life. The paperwork and bureaucracy involved in retiring in Mexico are easy to navigate; all that's left is the relocation.

For your ease, here are how to retire in Mexico, how much to retire in Mexico, and Mexico retirement visa requirements are discussed in this section. We hope this guide to retiring in Mexico will give you an understanding of what life will be like once you've transitioned.

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire In Mexico?

How much money do I need to retire in Mexico? Depending on your preferences and where you choose to settle in Mexico, the cost of living can range from low to very high. One of Mexico's selling points for retirees is the low cost of living, including food, housing, and entertainment.

If you want to live frugally in Mexico, $500 per month is all you need. For this estimate to hold, it is assumed that you will behave like a local regarding food, shopping, and recreation and avoid the more costly imported options. You may want to investigate importing products from the U.K. alone, but you should know that import duty might add up to a large sum.

On the other hand, retiring to a lavish lifestyle in many parts of Mexico is feasible and inexpensive. If you want to retire in your style, you can get a housekeeper to come in three times a week and a gardener to tend to your plants for about $2,300 per month.

Mexico Retirement Visa Requirements

Retirees typically apply for one of two types of visas: a temporary residence visa or a permanent residency visa. The temporary residency visa has less stringent financial conditions, but it only lasts a year at the outset. After three years, the holder can apply for a permanent visa if their visa has been renewed.

However, permanent resident visas are more expensive but valid indefinitely. For retirees who fit the criteria, acquiring a residence visa is simple. Whether or if you are deemed financially stable is the most crucial consideration.

Those who wish to apply for a temporary residence visa from their native country must either: Earn a $62,232 monthly salary in Mexican pesos OR Save a total of 1,037,200 pesos (Mexican currency). Bringing a partner who is financially reliant on you will increase your monthly expenses by 20,744 Mexican pesos.

Retire In Mexico On Social Security

It is stressful to think how much money to retire in Mexico and is retiring in Mexico a good idea. Retiring successfully in Mexico requires a monetary outlay of less than USD 2,500 per month for a couple, while this number varies widely depending on factors such as lifestyle choices and geographical location.

Keep in mind, however, that the threshold for "economic solvency" is set much higher than that, at over USD 3,540 monthly for a temporary residence visa. The minimum monthly income required to qualify for a Mexican residence visa is USD 3,540.

While the average monthly social security check is only about USD 1,827. As such, if you plan on applying for a Mexican residence visa using only your social security benefits, you will need at least USD 58.996 in savings in addition to your social security benefits.

What Is The Safest Place To Retire In Mexico?

The area around Lake Chapala is highly regarded as a top retirement destination in Mexico. This region in central Mexico has a sizable foreign-born population. The largest non-Canadian and non-American populations are found in the municipalities of Ajijic and Jalisco.

Surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountains, Lake Chapala enjoys pleasant temperatures and low humidity year-round. It's a far-flung paradise with a low cost of living, a relaxed tempo of life, and a feeling of security. Unsurprisingly, many retirees pick Lake Chapala as their permanent home because of the high quality of medical treatment available there.

Direct flights to the United States are available and may be reached in a short drive to the Guadalajara airport. Because of how frequently people in the area travel to and from the United States, it is largely populated by people born elsewhere.

Retirement In Mexico Pros And Cons

The cost of living in Mexico is generally substantially lower than in the United States' most popular retirement locations, one of the most obvious benefits of retiring there for active individuals. Most retirees from North America will find that the value of their U.S. dollar is greatly enhanced in Mexico.

Those in their prime may feel overwhelmed when researching retirement in Mexico. When compared to the immigration laws of other nations, however, applying for residency in Mexico is a breeze. While relocating to a new country is exciting, the prospect of dealing with foreign bureaucracy may put many off.

Those who plan to retire in Mexico will face a mountain of paperwork, bureaucratic hoops to go through, and red tape. The cultural contrasts in Mexico should not be minimized despite the country's reputation for lively celebrations, delicious food, and friendly people. Retiring in Mexico entails fully immersing oneself in Mexican culture and community, including those aspects that may feel foreign to people from the United States.


Mexico is a great spot to retire because of its good climate and low cost of living. Remember that the exact amount will also vary depending on your preferred retirement lifestyle. You won't need an enormous emergency fund if you're ready to live frugally and try to fit in with the locals.

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