Expats Cost of Living in Mexico 2023

Mexico is becoming increasingly popular among Americans looking to relocate or retire abroad. One of the main reasons for this is the significantly lower cost of living in Mexico compared to the United States. From food and housing to healthcare and entertainment, everything tends to be much more affordable south of the border.

A $100,000 Salary in the US can feel like $200,000 in Mexico

Lower prices on major commodities mean that a low six-figure income goes much further– even in Mexico’s most desirable locales. A $100,000 USD salary in a US city can feel like $200,000 USD or more in a place like Cancún, if you’re used to paying US prices for housing, goods and services. If you’re moving from Seattle to Cancún, you’ll enjoy prices that are 65% lower than in the Emerald City, for example. An American expat from Tampa, FL making an average US household income of about $70,000 might feel like they’re earning $144,000 USD living in Puerto Vallarta where prices are 61% lower than in Florida.

One way to think about the overall cost of living in one place versus another is by using a Cost of Living Index. In the chart above we’ve compared popular Mexican destinations like Cancún and Puerto Vallarta to Vancouver BC, Tampa, FL and others. It’s more than twice as costly to live in Phoenix, AZ (61) than in Cancún, MX (28), for example. And compared to more expensive cities like San Diego, CA or Seattle, WA– an expat’s US salary goes even further in Mexico.

The chart above uses data from Numbero, a crowd-sourced cost of living index that uses NYC as 100, with the highest cost of living as a reference point for comparing to costs in other cities

Our 2023 Cost of Living Survey Results

In February, Far Homes partnered with Expats in Mexico* to survey non-Mexicans living in the country about how much they spend each month, to find out what expats are actually spending on necessities in Mexico. The surveyed group represented a wide range of locations, and experiences but  disproportionally included more retirees (age 55+) so their answers may not perfectly reflect the greater expat community. All prices below are in USD unless otherwise noted.

Explore the full results of our expats survey here.

The Majority of Respondents Spend Under $2,000 Per Month

Compared to the US where the average retiree was spending double that in 2021.

For those who rent, most pay less than $1,000 USD per month.

Compared with $1,942 median rent in the US and $1,984 CAD in Canada, which is equivalent to $1,450 USD, the rent prices in Mexico are a big part of the low cost of living in Mexico.

Healthcare expenses, including medications are typically less than $100 per month

The difference between healthcare in Mexico and the United States is evident; 62% of respondents told us they pay less than $100 per month on healthcare, including medications versus $500 – $1,000 per month for people living in the US.

Food expenses are typically under $500 per month.

The one area where there’s less savings is food, which is relatively similar to the US where retirees pay $550 per month.

For this survey we focused on retirees (83% of respondents) over the age of 55 (90%). Our respondents were primarily full-time residents in Mexico (77%), who previously lived in the US or Canada (95%). The group represented a wide range of locations, and experiences living in the country.

Thinking about moving to Mexico?

Find homes for sale in Mexico at farhomes.com/mexico-real-estate, or learn more about being an expat in Mexico at expatsinmexico.com..

*ExpatsinMexico.com is an online magazine, purchased by Far Homes in 2022. It is run independently from Far Homes.

Learn about Buying in Mexico

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