Many retirees dream of a life spent by the beach to relax after decades of hard work. Many opt for Florida since it is warm almost year-round and it is set up nicely for senior citizens. However, rising costs are putting Florida out of reach for many people on a fixed income.
Social Security checks are not what they used to be and don’t get you much. This is a big reason to look into Mexico as a destination for retirement. The cost of living is very low which affords a very luxurious lifestyle at a reduced cost. The food is fantastic, the weather is great all year and the beaches are world-class.
If this sounds good then you’ll need to know a few things before making plans. In this article, we will go over what it takes to retire in Mexico so you can stretch your retirement savings in style.
1 – How much do you need?
There are two major factors that go into moving to Mexico as far as costs go. The first is getting there and the second is how much it costs per month to live. It’s difficult to pin down an exact number for either of these expenses so the best we can do is to give some ideas on roughly how much.
There are going to be upfront costs that you’ll need to pay before you arrive. For instance, getting insurance is very important. First, there is travel insurance for seniors for getting there. This is going to help you in case of a cancellation or even a medical emergency. The cost is going to depend on a lot of conditions such as health, but expect to pay around $6 per day.
Then there will be the cost to get your plane tickets if you are leaving all of your stuff in the US. if you plan to ship then this is going to cost you a certain amount per container that you need to fill. One container is big enough for most people’s needs.
Once you arrive in Mexico you will need money for temporary housing while you look for a permanent place. In addition, there will be the cost of the housing in which you’ll need to pay a real estate agent, and three months in advance in rent.
Expect ongoing expenses to be roughly between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on where you live, the size of the house, and your lifestyle.
2 – The visa
Americans have the luxury of visa-free travel to many different countries. This doesn’t extend to being able to live there, however. That requires a visa and Mexico is no different.
Retirees are able to get a special visa that allows them to stay in the country and enjoy their twilight years. It does depend on eligibility, however. The way to get started is to go to the nearest Mexican consulate and do an application for a temporary resident visa.
If you are accepted, this will give you the right to live in Mexico for four years. If you want to continue to live in Mexico after that then there is a permanent residency that can be applied for.
To qualify for the temporary resident visa, the income needs to be at $1,400 per month for an individual plus an additional $520 for dependents. A permanent resident visa requires a monthly income of $2,300.
3 – Safety
The violence in Mexico makes the news quite a bit. In fact, the State Department frequently issues Level 2 advisories for Americans traveling to Mexico. While it is very true that the violence there can be quite terrifying, it doesn’t do the country justice.
There are pockets where the most violent events are happening leaving the rest of the country very safe. The most crime-ridden areas that are unsafe for American travelers are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.
Most retirees would not be going to those areas anyway which makes them mostly nonissues. The rest of the country is going to be very safe with the typical safety precautions. Always make sure to not wear flashy jewelry and never leave valuables in the car. Normal precautions are a good idea no matter where you live.
4 – Housing
The types of housing available for retirees runs the gamut. There are small condos in a residential community similar to what you would find in Florida. These are good for budgets and things like the landscaping are done by the management company. There are also big villas that overlook the sea for those wishing to live like a Hollywood star. The nice thing is that whatever budget you have, you will get more for your money than you would back home.
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