Affordable Paradise: Why Many Retirees are Choosing Mexico

Key Takeaways
  • Due to an average overall cost of living savings of 54% in Mexico, American retirees can save an average of $44,144 per year vs US
  • Expats and retirees can save an average of $8,000/y or more on healthcare alone
  • In a 2023 survey consisting of mostly retiree expats, Far Homes found that climate, culture and cost of living were their top reasons for leaving

Record-breaking Number of American and Canadian Expats Choose Mexico

An increasing number of Americans and Canadians are setting their sights on Mexico for all types of reasons including work, play and retirement. In a recent survey conducted by Far Homes in collaboration with online magazine Expats in Mexico, retirees listed the cultural experience, pleasant climate, and at the top of their list, an affordable cost of living as the primary factors influencing their decision to live in Mexico. With rising costs due to inflation, many retirees are finding solace and a fulfilling lifestyle south of the border.

American Retirees can Save an Average of $44,144 per Year in Mexico

One of the key driving factors behind this growing trend is the significantly lower cost of living in Mexico compared to popular retirement destinations in the United States, such as Phoenix, AZ and Tampa, FL. Major expenses like housing, groceries, and healthcare come at a fraction of the cost in Mexico, allowing retirees to stretch their retirement savings and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. For instance, retirees with a fixed income of $100,000 in the US can experience a doubled purchasing power, equivalent to $200,000 or more, in places like Cancún, where the cost of living is substantially lower.

If we assume a real median household American income of about $70,000, retirees in Mexico can expect to save $44,144 per year.

Compared to Phoenix, retirees in Mexico may enjoy consumer prices that are 49.5% lower, including housing costs that are 77.4% cheaper. Similarly, retirees coming from Tampa, FL can find their dollars stretching much further in popular Mexican destinations like Puerto Vallarta, where consumer prices are 49.6% lower and housing prices are 58.4% more affordable. You may be deciding whether to rent or buy in Mexico, Expatsi has a great guide on making that choice!

You may also be surprised to learn that expats in Mexico can still enjoy their hard-earned social security dollars. The Social Security Administration sends checks to over 60,000 people living in Mexico each month.

Retirees in Mexico Save an Average of Almost $8,000 per Year on Healthcare

While healthcare may not be the primary motivation for retirement in Mexico, it remains a crucial consideration for retirees and a major component of one’s overall Cost of Living (CoL). The survey revealed that a significant number of retirees in Mexico pay less than $100 per month for healthcare, including medications, in contrast to an average of $500 to $1,000 per month for those living in the US.

Moreover, the quality of healthcare in Mexico received high ratings, with 84% of respondents having positive experiences with doctors and 73% with hospitals in Mexico

An Affordable Paradise for Retirees

The appeal of Mexico as a retirement paradise goes beyond its affordable cost of living. Retirees in the survey cited the cultural richness, relaxed pace of life, and the abundance of beachside communities as reasons for choosing Mexico. Compared to Phoenix and Tampa, the weather might be similar but Canadians and folks moving from northern US states enjoy a more temperate and pleasant climate in Mexico.

ca vs mx temperatures


The diverse expat communities in popular retirement destinations offer retirees a chance to connect with like-minded individuals while embracing the unique Mexican culture.

View our Mexico Destination Guides

Sources & Further Reading

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