High cost of living got you down? But you don’t want to leave the comforts and convenience of home?

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about relocating…and living in Mexico. Here’s why:

The peso-to-dollar value is high—your dollar goes farther on everything from food and beverages to household supplies to Mexican real estate. And have no worries about the Mexican economy. It’s among the top 14 economies in the world, despite the global recession.

Mexico is the closest retirement haven to the U.S. This may not seem like a big deal, but the convenience of a short plane ride makes all the difference in the world when you want to get back home to family and friends or attend to business matters. Flights to and from Mexico are plentiful and most take less time than a coast-to-coast U.S. flight. If you want to, you can drive here, as well.

Stay in Mexico up to six months at a time on a simple tourist visa. Mexico lets you visit as a tourist for twice as long—six months—as many countries. It’s so easy that many expats never bother to get any other visa.

Getting a resident visa in Mexico is easy. The Mexican government has made it convenient for foreigners to live here. You can get a resident visa that’s good for up to four years—no annual renewals. After that, you can get a permanent resident visa that’s good indefinitely.

Mexico has a first-class retiree benefits program. As mentioned above: not only is it easy to get a visa in Mexico, but foreigners who are age 60 or older, with a valid Mexico resident visa, are eligible for Mexico’s Personas Adultas Mayores benefits program.

The program offers discounts on a wide range of services, including health-related services (hospitals, doctors’ visits, lab tests, medical devices, pharmacies, and dental work); cultural activities like theater tickets and entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites; transportation and accommodation, including airline tickets, buses, car rentals and purchase; and at hotels and many stores. Discounts can range from 5% to 50% off the full price of the goods or services.

The cost of living in Mexico is low. With rapidly rising fuel, health care, food, taxes, and travel costs, it’s nice to know there are still places where you can live well without burning through your savings. Mexico is one of those special places. Here, you can still enjoy a comfortable, affordable lifestyle and the cost of real estate is lower than it is in some areas of the U.S. and Canada.

And yes, foreigners can legally own property in Mexico, including beachfront. Learn more in our FREE Special Report.

Health care is excellent. Hospitals and health care providers in Mexico are of excellent quality. Many doctors do part of their training in the U.S. or Europe and speak English. Private health insurance, costs half or less or what you might pay in the U.S. Doctors’ visits and common medical procedures in Mexico, too, cost about one-fourth to one-half of what they do in the U.S., so many expats just pay out of pocket.

Real estate taxes are lower. Taxes are a fact of life, we all know that. But real estate taxes, which are a significant expense in the rest of North America, are low here. The annual property taxes for a home that costs $100,000, for example, generally cost between $50 and $150!

The mainstream media has painted an unfair picture of Mexico. Media coverage of violence in Mexico has kept some tourists and potential retirees at home. It’s not a fair picture. While some areas—primarily along the border and in a few other pockets of drug activity—are genuinely dangerous, most of the country remains safe. But until foreign buyers return en masse, there’s a window of opportunity…

There’s much more to know about Mexico, of course, especially if you’re planning to live there. And International Living can help. We’ve been researching and writing about living better overseas for more than 30 years now. We have correspondents all over the world who tell us what life is like (and how inexpensive retirement can be) in the countries they live in. In our free daily e-letter and every month in the pages of our International Living magazine, we tell you about inexpensive places – like Mexico – to live and retire.

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