"The lack of street lights and billboards makes the region romantically and historically beautiful, and the city itself offers a traditional feeling of a small town…"
That's how this small city is described by CNN, which ranked it #1 on its list of the world's best cities.
The Huffington Post says, "Many first-time visitors become repeaters; others go home and pack their bags to return, permanently."
Travel & Leisure (which also gives this town a "world's best" ranking) says, "With its cobblestone streets, colorful 16th- and 17th-century houses, neo-Gothic churches, and hilly terrain, it's no wonder this place has been luring artists and writers since the 1940's.”
And AARP calls the entire country "the undisputed number one destination for American retirees."
So where is this paradise? It's San Miguel de Allende, in the heart of colonial Mexico.
I'll let Ted, who retired there from Boston with his wife, tell you more about it: "Our experience has far exceeded our expectations," he says. "We love living in Mexico. The Mexican people are warm and welcoming; weather is superb; cultural events are world-class, ample, and affordable; we walk everywhere, rarely needing a car; our Social Security income is enough to live on very comfortably."
Ted is part of a group of like-minded expats who've found their way to this vibrant, culturally rich community. There are more than 12,000 foreign residents here, and not just from the U.S. and Canada, but from Europe, Australia, South Africa, and more… lured here by the city's exquisite beauty, the temperate climate, the variety of wonderful restaurants, nightlife, and cultural activities, But mostly for the promise of community. People talk to each other, they engage readily…
In his new hometown, Ted says he's found a welcoming environment and met many expats who are fun, interesting, and share his values. He's found very good healthcare, too, and that doctors are very accessible "They give you their cellphone numbers", he says, and they're very caring and compassionate.
According to Ted, "Many expats work here, often starting their own businesses. The opportunities and possibilities here do seem so much greater and more achievable than in the U.S."
Why Mexico? And Why Now?
Something extraordinary is happening in Mexico, and it's something you may not be aware of. As The New York Times has reported, Mexico is the "new land of opportunity." The country's economic growth and stability, they write, has "easily outpaced the giants of the hemisphere—making the country more attractive to fortune seekers worldwide."
In fact, the author says, no longer are Mexicans moving to the U.S. in any great numbers. The balance has shifted big time. "Americans now make up more than three-quarters of Mexico's roughly one million documented foreigners, up from around two-thirds in 2000, leading to a historic milestone: more Americans have been added to the population of Mexico over the past few years than Mexicans have been added to the population of the United States, according to government data in both nations."
Yes, it certainly appears, as President Enrique Peña Nieto often puts it, "the stars are aligning" for Mexico.
|As for U.S. retirees in Mexico, the New York Times reports, they "are showing up in new developments from San Miguel de Allende to other sunny spots around Cancún and Puerto Vallarta. Government figures show that more Canadians are also joining their ranks."|
But this isn't a new phenomenon, of course. American and Canadian retirees have been flocking to Mexico for generations now. The Lake Chapala area is home to the largest community of U.S. retirees outside the U.S. And U.S. citizens who live lakeside are almost matched person for person by Canadians. It's estimated that nearly 20,000 native English speakers live in this area of Mexico full- or part-time.
It helps, of course, that the cost of living in Mexico is less than in the States or Canada. Depending on where you choose to live in Mexico, your overall costs can be far less.
As a retired police officer and attorney from Dallas says about the Lake Chapala area (the most popular expat retirement enclave in Mexico) where he lives, if you spend wisely, you can have a "caviar lifestyle on a tuna fish pension."
Remember, your property taxes will be a small fraction of North American taxes,” he says,”mine have always been under $99, and you will likely save on utilities given the temperate climate, and the lack of crazy weather… no hurricanes, typhoons, floods or major earthquakes means you don't need to insure again weather disasters.
"Very few people carry fire insurance given the near fireproof construction; and the homes are built with security in mind so many folks don't carry break-in insurance either. I carry NONE of the above and pocket the savings."
Best of all, Mexico offers a retirement discount program that offers all foreign residents some very nice discounts.
As our friend from Chapala adds, "With free discount cards for folks 60 and over you save on a variety of goods and services. Half-price fares on the luxury buses allows you to have affordable vacations all over Mexico, and more… "
But I know what you're thinking? Isn't Mexico dangerous? The truth may surprise you.
My name is Suzan Haskins. I'm an editor for International Living, which has been researching and reporting on retirement in Mexico for nearly 40 years now. We would never suggest that you retire in any place that wasn't safe.
From a personal standpoint, I've been writing about, and living in, Latin America for almost 16 years now… much of that time in Mexico, where I write to you from today. I've lived in three different communities in Mexico, in fact, and visited many, many more. (My husband, Dan, and I once spent nearly two months driving the width and length of the country.)
I know how wonderfully safe and affordable Mexico can be. Having said that, there are some places in Mexico that are best avoided… specifically, near the borders and in a few other pinpointed "hot spots." But Mexico is a huge country—roughly about three times larger than the state of Texas. More than 35 million international tourists visited Mexico in 2016— about 14.5 million, of them U.S. citizens—and that's a 9% increase over the number who visited in 2015. They know what you should know: Mexico is, overall, a safe place to visit. And it remains a very safe place to retire… rejuvenate… reinvent yourself… and start a business.
But don't just take my word for it… I'd like to introduce you to some of the best retirement destinations in Mexico, and to some of your fellow International Living readers who are living happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives in Mexico…
Here's More of What Mexico Offers…
Expats in Mexico—especially in temperate climates like San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala where you won't need air conditioning or heat for your home—report they're living quite happily on $2,000 a month. One family of three (four if you count the dog), living in Lake Chapala reports that they get by, including rent of $680, for anywhere from $2,000 to $2,400 a month. My friend Gary DeRose and his girlfriend Kate live comfortably in the sophisticated city of Mérida in the Yucatan on just about $2,500 a month.
In fact, Mexico is one of the most value-packed destinations on the planet for budget-minded expats:
Add to all this some advantages unique to Mexico:
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Mexico?
The truth, of course, is that you can spend as much or as little as you want to live almost anywhere in the world. That's certainly true of Mexico, which is home to one of the largest cities on the planet as well as some of the tiniest and most picturesque fishing villages. Your cost of living will depend completely on where and how you want to live.
That said, my husband and I found that our cost of living in Mexico was significantly less than in the U.S. The following chart gives you an idea of the monthly expenses you might incur living comfortably in Mexico. I've rounded up the numbers and provided this imaginary couple with a weekly maid and gardener (try THAT in the U.S.!).
I've included rent—though keep in mind that if you buy your home, you won't have this expense (though you would want to include property taxes—rarely more than $200 per year—and regular maintenance). I haven't included a few other expenses that you may well want to consider—more about those in a minute.
Prices will differ depending on where in Mexico you live. All prices are in U.S. dollars:
|Utilities (electricity, gas, water, phone, cable TV, internet)||$200|
|Entertainment (dining out and other activities)||$250|
|Maid: Three times a week||$200|
|Gardener: Once a week||$100|
This adds up to $28,080 per year.
To this, add some form of healthcare, either out of pocket or through a private health plan. If you are a married couple, and depending on the plan this can add as much $300 a month.
Additionally, you might consider:
Maintenance, fuel, insurance for one car: $100 or… public transportation: $25.
But, as we said, everyone's lifestyle requirements are different. You could live on less. It's possible to rent a home or apartment for $400 a month. If you don't need cable TV or internet, you can save on those expenses. As I've said, if you live in the highlands, you probably won't need either heat or air conditioning, a big savings on utility bills.
If, though, you like to eat out frequently, travel, play golf, scuba dive, and the like, you will obviously spend more money. But still, all these costs are much less than you probably would spend for a similar lifestyle in the U.S. (And with much better weather!)
The Most Affordable… the Safest… and the
Best Places in Mexico to Retire or Start Anew
As I've said, Mexico is a large and varied country, and there are literally hundreds of wonderful cities and towns where foreign retirees have settled. Here are some of the most popular options:
So… let's say YOU are interested in finding a place with better weather, a lower cost of living, a slower pace… but where there are plenty of activities to keep you healthy and happy… a place like Mexico… You want to learn more about the villages, towns, islands, and peninsulas (and more like them) I've mentioned here. Or you want to earn an income in Mexico, where it's easy to start a business and opportunities abound.
I honestly can't think of a better way to take that all-important first step than by getting your hands on the most recent copy of International Living's Escape to Mexico: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less.
No other publication today gives you more COMPREHENSIVE, RELIABLE, and UP-TO-DATE information about becoming an expat in Mexico as quickly and easily as possible.
I'll tell you more about Escape to Mexico in just a moment. But first, here's how some folks just like you are enjoying life in Mexico RIGHT NOW…
TV Reporter from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Discovers Amazingly Affordable Beach Town near the Pacific Coast
International Living reader Laura Michels, a television news anchor and reporter, sent us a note. And if one thing's for sure, Laura LOVES the U.S. dollar to Mexican peso exchange rate right now.
"I can stock up on groceries for $20 a week. Oranges are less than 20 cents apiece, an entire package of tostadas is mine for the equivalent of $1, and fresh avocados cost me only pocket change. My friends and I have a favorite taco place where we are frequent customers. We feast on huge plates of mouthwatering meat and tortillas for less than $3 each. I can also get lunch at the restaurant right next to my house for about $1.50. This homemade meal includes meat, beans, rice, and freshly prepared tortillas. I stay in a new house with tile floors and brand new kitchen appliances. I have my own bedroom and my own bathroom. I pay $175 a month for this, and the cost includes all utilities along with wireless internet. Some of my friends pay even less than this.
And here's what Glynna Prentice, an International Living editor, has to say about her life in the historic colonial city of Guanajuato, Mexico… a UNESCO World-Heritage Site.
"I love Mexico because it's convenient, safe, and First-World. Mexico has RELIABLE high-speed internet, dependable mobile phone coverage, cable and satellite TV with all the English-speaking networks you'd expect, and even many of the same brands and models for appliances and other housewares as the U.S. And unlike some other destinations, you can go back and forth from Mexico easily without a lot of visa and residence hassles. But what I like best about Mexico is the ethnic diversity… and the frequent kindness of the Mexican people. People are very honest and polite."
My husband, Dan Prescher, and I love Mexico, too. As I mentioned, we've lived in three different communities in Mexico, and we’re back again today,now that the grandkids have started arriving. Mexico is just too close…too convenient…too wonderful…to ignore.
In Mexico, you can…
And here's the best part of all this…
You Can Have the Retirement You've Always Wanted, But Never Thought You'd Find…
That's right. You can REJUVENATE YOUR LIFE… enjoy better weather, a lower cost of living and excellent healthcare at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. by making Mexico your new part-time or full-time home.
And you can take that all-important first step by getting your hands on a copy of Escape to Mexico: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less.
In it, you'll learn all about Mexico's prettiest and most welcoming places for full-time living or just for a short-term escape… from winter cold or summer heat where you live now. These are places that International Living contributors and readers live happily, comfortably, affordably, and safely.
As I said before, I know about Mexico from experience, of course. I know what a wonderful lifestyle you can have in this country… and how safe it is. During our many years in Mexico, my husband and I have never once felt threatened or fearful. Not a single one of the homes we've lived in (five, by my count) were ever broken into. Our friend and fellow editor, Glynna Prentice, is a single woman who feels completely comfortable driving herself…alone…all over the country. (As do I, and do all of my friends who live in Mexico.)
Mexico is safe, welcoming and its people are polite, kind and generous to a fault. Enough said.
And on top of all Mexico has going for it… the world's most beautiful beaches, temperate and tranquil mountain villages, sophisticated cities, trendy culture centers, and extraordinarily wonderful people…
There may never be a more affordable time to go to Mexico. If there's any silver lining to the global economic downturn, it's that the value of the Mexican peso has slipped slightly against the power of the U.S. dollar.
Point is: there hasn't been a more affordable time to be in Mexico in many years—to vacation or to live.
Check out what the USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler, and the AARP have to say about Mexico's amazing affordability:
Mexico: A Best-Value Destinations for Travel and Retirement
From John Cagney Nash, for USA TODAY: Mexico can be a bargain hunter's dream, a perennially warm "paradise for peanuts" that attracts retirees from all over the U.S.
From Wendy Perrin of Condé Nast Traveler:
From Barry Golson for AARP: With its profoundly rich Indian and Spanish culture, its spectacular beaches and charming colonial hill towns, its real estate bargains and its proximity to the United States, Mexico is the undisputed number one destination for American retirees. It boasts thriving expat communities in Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara; San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato; Baja California; and Cancún, in the Yucatan. They all have their attractions, including a low-cost, laid-back lifestyle…
So… if you've EVER thought about Mexico as a retirement or escape destination, there has never been a better time in years to check it out than RIGHT NOW.
I say this from hard-won experience. Getting your hands on the kind of information you'll find in Escape to Mexico is… without question… the BEST FIRST STEP YOU CAN TAKE toward making Mexico your new home. No other resource will help you make it happen quicker, faster, easier, or more affordably.
What Makes Escape to Mexico Different From Other "Resources" You'll Find About Mexico?
The ultra-specific, expert information you'll find in Escape to Mexico isn't "guidebook" type… like Frommer's or Lonely Planet.
Of course, we will introduce you to some of our favorite places to vacation and favorite places to stay. But if you plan to relocate to Mexico… full or part-time… Escape to Mexico is designed to save you an almost otherworldly amount of time, money, and frustration.
We've done all the legwork. All the scouting. We've broken many a sweat in our perpetual search for Mexico's best places to live, retire, and do business.
We've traveled by plane, car, bus, boat, and on foot… to Mexico's biggest and best cities like Guadalajara (city of flowers and mariachis), Morelia (charming and energetic) and Mexico City (a true cultural and culinary treat). We've logged more than a few hours beachside in happening places like Puerto Vallarta and small surfer towns like Sayulita, San Blas, and Puerto Escondido. We've explored from top to bottom, over and across the mountains, up one coast and down the other…
We've met fellow expats in all these places. And we've made all the real estate contacts… the legal contacts… the tax contacts… the business contacts.
We've done all this—and continue to do it every day—to ensure that all of this information is UP-TO-DATE… so that your transition to living a first-class lifestyle in Mexico is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
I can't even begin to tell you what a massive advantage it is to have this kind of information at your side.
Here's Just a Taste of What You'll Discover in the Recently Updated Version of Escape to Mexico:
But you know what? That's not all you'll get when you order Escape to Mexico: Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less.
Order now and, with our compliments, you'll also get a FREE $100 voucher. Use it when you join us at any of our International Living conferences.
These conferences are so much fun. You can use it to attend any conference in any one of our favorite locations around the world (not just Mexico), where you'll share drinks and dreams with fellow International Living readers just like you… whose sights are also set on new, better lives in opportunity-rich countries overseas.
Put this $100 in your pocket and use it to join us at any one of our seminars… It's yours FREE just for ordering Escape to Mexico today.
Escape to Mexico Will Save You Thousands of
Dollars and Thousands of Hours…
It's really hard to put a value on the kind of information you get with Escape to Mexico.
After all… we've invested literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel costs… research… personnel… to uncover the kind of information you'll be getting right away.
What would it cost YOU to visit ALL of Mexico… not knowing exactly where to go… not knowing who to meet… what to ask… what to do…
Think about how just a little "insider information" will benefit you and save you loads of time, money, and stress.
(By the way, Escape to Mexico is a lengthy 248 pages, covering all the places, people, topics and issues you need to know about. And remember, International Living has been covering Mexico as an expat destination for 35 years now—we're the undisputed leaders in researching all the resources expats need. You can be sure we've compiled all our expert insider intelligence in Escape to Mexico.)
In fact I'm very certain that Escape to Mexico will save you tens of thousands of dollars right off the bat. And even that's a conservative figure. If you're looking to purchase property, the information you'll get in this book will keep you on track with helpful tips on buying the home or property of your dreams.
But don't worry, we won't ask you for thousands of dollars in exchange for this information… even though that's how much it costs us to put this all together.
Order Escape to Mexico today, and you'll get it ALL (including your $100 discount towards your next International Living seminar) for just $99.
And here's something you'll really appreciate.
Test Drive Escape to Mexico Without Risking a Dime
Here's what I recommend… if you've EVER dreamed of living, retiring, or starting a new business in Mexico.
Go ahead and order Escape to Mexico now. Browse through it. Really let it sink in.
We'll even give you 30 days to do so.
Then, if you're not 100% convinced that the information in Escape to Mexico will help you streamline your move to Mexico where you'll start living life to the fullest as quickly and easily as possible… then simply let us know and we'll cheerfully refund your money immediately.
It's our way of saying "Muchas Gracias" for considering Mexico. At the very least, you'll learn a great deal… and you won't risk one penny of your own money in the process.
Why You Really Need to ACT NOW… Even if You're Only Just Remotely Interested in Living in Mexico Someday
As I've said before… there's never, ever been a better time to check out Mexico.
I personally believe Mexico is one of the best places on the planet for forward-thinking Americans and Canadians looking for an exciting, affordable, and more carefree lifestyle "overseas"… yet want to remain so close to home.
If you've EVER considered exploring, living, retiring, or starting a new business in Mexico… or ANY other overseas expat haven… then ordering Escape to Mexico could be one of the smartest decisions you make in your entire life.
Please note, this format is a downloadable PDF. If you would like to purchase a printed version, go here.
P.S. There's never been a better time to check out Mexico than RIGHT NOW. And because of all the on-the-ground legwork we've done on your behalf, there's no better way to take the first step toward living, retiring, or starting a new business there—either part-time or full-time—than ordering the most current version of Escape to Mexico. It could literally save you thousands… even tens of thousands of dollars… and countless amounts of time and energy in the process.