2023 Far Homes & Expats in Mexico Survey
In February, Far Homes has partnered with online magazine Expats in Mexico* to survey non-Mexicans living in the country about their lives there.
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 (see map below), and experiences living in the country.
Culture, Climate & Costs: Why Retired Expats in Mexico Are There to Stay
When you hear about someone making a move to Mexico you might assume one of two motivations: climate and cost of living. While both rank high, 46% of respondents cited their top reason for moving was the lifestyle or culture. Whether it’s the slower pace, the beach life, the flourishing artist communities, or something even less tangible, many expats are choosing the specific feel of their community in Mexico, not just sunshine and affordability.
However Americans and Canadians differ slightly here with Canadians more likely to consider climate the most important factor. Unsurprising since many Canadians buy vacation homes abroad to reach warmer climates; according to a 2019 study by Savills property advisors, 51% of Canadian second-home buyers purchase outside their home country with most buying in the US and Mexico.
But it’s not always easy. Infrastructure and language barriers were by far the top frustrations among expats. While these two were far-and-away the biggest pain-points, a sizable group wrote in open-ended responses that their biggest frustration was other expats in the area trying to force Mexico to bend to their needs instead of adapting to the established culture. According to one respondent, “[The biggest frustration is] the huge influx of people settling in Mexico and trying to force changes, [and the] rising prices that occur because of this and hurt the local people.”
Expats Benefit From Cheap, Quality Healthcare
While healthcare is not a motivation for moving, it’s also notably toward the bottom of the list of, with only 5.7% citing it as their top frustration. 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 an average of $500 – $1,000 per month for people living in the US.