There Are Many Reasons to Live in Mexico
Just across the border from the U.S., Mexico is now “closer than ever”—that’s a motto used by the Mexican Tourism Association—and as many expats are choosing to live in Mexico, we couldn’t agree more.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, in terms of physical proximity, Mexico is the closest southern neighbor to the U.S. and a NAFTA partner, with all the good roads, high-speed communications, and top-notch health care that you’d expect up north.
Those who move to Mexico find living in Mexico and doing business there to be very easy.
Mexico is served by a large number of international airports with regularly scheduled flights from all over the world. But imagine having the option of driving from the U.S. or Canada to explore this magnificent country in your own car, at your own pace.
Imagine returning to the U.S. and not having to worry about skyrocketing airfare or—perish the thought—disrupted air service caused by strikes, weather, or other delays.
Previous administrations did little in the way of infrastructure improvements, but the current government seems committed to allocating funds for new and expanded roads, ports, and telecommunication infrastructure.
This goes hand in hand with increased privatization, which will allow concessions in the national airport network and the telecommunications sector. The idea is that all of those improvements will further encourage and facilitate commerce.
A Low Cost of Living in Mexico Means a High Quality of Life
Everyone seems to agree: the quality of your life improves when you live in Mexico. Things take longer…so you’ll need to learn to slow down. Goods and services cost less…so you can afford the kinds of luxuries only the very wealthy enjoy up north.
When you can afford to hire help, all of a sudden you have time to read…time to volunteer at the local school…time to golf…time to relax on the beach…time to savor life.
The key to smart shopping in Mexico is local shopping. You’ll pay about 50 cents a kilo (that’s about 2.2 pounds) for fresh fruit like mangos, oranges, or pears.
A kilo of avocados sells for about $1.55–which is roughly what you’d pay for one avocado in the U.S. While it is true that you can find just about any product you’re used to having up north, it’s also true that you’ll probably pay more for the convenience of a brand name. But if you shop at the local produce markets and the stores where locals buy, you’re sure to pay less for your goods.
Live a Long Life in Mexico With Its First-rate Health Care
You will find that, in general, healthcare in Mexico is very good…and in many places it is excellent. Most doctors and dentists in Mexico received at least part of their training in the U.S. (And many U.S. doctors have trained in Mexico, notably in Guadalajara.)
Many continue to go to the U.S. or Europe for ongoing training.
Every medium and large city in Mexico has at least one first-rate hospital. A big plus is the cost of health care in Mexico is generally one-half or less what you might pay in the U.S. The same goes for prescription drugs.
Those manufactured in Mexico cost, on average, about 50% less than the same drugs in the U.S.
Visits to the dentist are an attractive draw for travelers to Mexico, since quality dental work costs a fraction what it does in the U.S. or Canada. Many dentists and other medical doctors in Mexico have trained in the U.S. and speak excellent English.
The paradox to Mexico’s increasing modernity—and its attractiveness—is that things still move a bit slower. You can enjoy a relaxed and refreshing lifestyle, like something out of a 19th-century travelogue, and yet it isn’t half a world away.
That’s a plus that other destinations with this kind of weather, culture, and lifestyle just can’t match.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Living in Mexico
by Jason Holland
About three times the size of Texas, Mexico is a vast territory. But although many think they know Mexico, they’re missing out on many aspects that make it such a great place to live for expats.
1. It’s easy to get residence in Mexico or live there without one
It’s said there are 2 million U.S. expats living in Mexico. And one of the main reasons is that the Mexican government makes it easy for foreigners to stay for extended periods.
A tourist visa, given to you automatically at the airport in Mexico or at any land border crossing, gives you 180 days. Many expats, especially those who live part- time in their home country and part- time in Mexico, go this route.
If you plan to relocate permanently to Mexico, your best course of action is to get a temporary (good for up to four years) or permanent residence visa, which are easy to qualify for. This gives you access to the government-managed healthcare system and other benefits.
2. Mexico is so much more than the beach
For many people around the world, a trip to Mexico is all about the beach. It stands to reason as Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas are among the most visited areas of Mexico, if not the Americas.
But Mexico also features one of the globe’s major metropolitan areas, Mexico City, a hotbed of art and culture.
There are also grand colonial cities (many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites) like San Miguel de Allende, Mérida, Campeche, and others, where you can walk on cobblestone streets and wander grand homes built centuries ago. And that’s just a start of architectural and natural wonders found in Mexico.
3. Mexico is a modern country
One of the major benefits of living in Mexico is that just about any modern amenity you might want…you can get. High-speed internet, including fiber optic, is available. Cable TV includes options for sports and movie channel packagers. The cellphone network is widespread and reliable, including 3G, 4G, and LTE.
There are multiple international airports, world-class medical care, a well-maintained highway network, a thriving craft beer and fine wine scene, gourmet restaurants, gleaming shopping malls, and more.
4. Mexico offers a wide range of cuisine
“Tex-Mex” cuisine found in most so-called Mexican restaurants in the U.S. is pretty tasty in its own way. But the authentic cuisine you’ll find in the country is very different…and delicious.
You can stop in to corner taco stands that open up in the evening to enjoy tacos al pastor: a Central Mexican dish that feels like a mix of a traditional taco and a Lebanese shawarma kebab. In the seaside areas especially, dishes like ceviche or tostadas topped with fresh tuna, shrimp, or other seafood goodies are popular.
Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, is famous for mole, a rich sauce blending chocolate, chili peppers, spices, and more. On the Yucatán, the Maya influence has brought forth dishes like cochinita pibil (marinated pork) and lime soup.
5. Mexico has a rich history and culture
Visit any major Mexican city or small village and you’ll see a blend of the modern world and ancient traditions.
Mexico is firmly marching into the future. But it always keeps a strong hold on its past. A gleaming modern metropolis could have sprung up around a colonial centro. Right alongside teenagers scanning their smartphones, might be a grandmother selling corn tortillas handmade at her home that day.
Most towns have seemingly a civic or religious celebration every week: parades, fireworks, processions, and pilgrimages. But then you’ll also find hip art galleries, independent film festivals, and the world’s biggest acts showcasing concerts in stadiums and arenas.