Mexico Fast Facts

Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Population: 116,220,947

Capital City: Mexico City

Climate: Varies from arid to tropical

Time Zone: GMT-8 to -6

Language: Spanish

Country Code: 52

Coastline: 9,330km

Colonial and Beach Havens 90 Minutes From the States

In many ways, Mexico today is like the U.S. was 50 years ago…before big government, big business, and special interests whittled away the lifestyle our parents took for granted. It is full of overlooked retirement havens where you can retire in luxury without spending a fortune.

Mexico’s lower cost of living—and of just about everything else—means a comfortable, fulfilling life here will likely cost you a fraction of what you pay “back home.” From real estate to groceries, and from entertainment to healthcare, life in Mexico simply costs less. Here you can still find comfortable homes for under $150,000 and pay pennies on the dollar for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. As for healthcare…across the board, healthcare in Mexico costs a quarter to a half of what you’d pay in the U.S.—for treatment by well-trained medical professionals in first-class hospitals and clinics. (In fact, there are few places in Mexico where you’re more than a few hours from a good private hospital.)

Today’s Mexico is largely First-World, with excellent highways, sleek airports, and high-speed telecommunications, as well as first-run films (in English, with Spanish subtitles) and television shows. You’ll find shopping malls and supermarkets, all carrying many familiar products from home.

But you’ll also enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace of life here, where children still play in the streets and neighbors know each other. You’ll find a rich, strong local culture, too, with traditional markets; colorful, indigenous dress; ancient ruins of great civilizations; and regional music, dance, and customs. You’ll find plenty to do and see in Mexico—and the Mexican people, some of the friendliest folks around, will be happy to share it with you.

Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

And thanks to Mexico’s large size and varied geography, you can find whatever climate and lifestyle you want. Like the beach? Mexico has nearly 6,000 miles of coastline, much of it white-sand beach. Choose a totally First-World beach resort like Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, or Los Cabos, where you can enjoy all amenities; small, local beach towns in places like the Yucatán Coast or parts of the Pacific coast; or get totally off the grid along the Costa Maya’s beautiful Caribbean waters.

Prefer mountain vistas and temperate weather? Mexico’s Colonial Highlands could be for you. Charming Spanish-colonial cities like San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro, and a host of others offer sophisticated living amidst centuries-old architecture. Or head south to colonial gems like Oaxaca, with its superb traditional cooking, and to San Cristóbal de las Casas, a temperate-weather city high above the jungles of Chiapas.

So whatever lifestyle you seek, you’ll likely find it in Mexico. No wonder more U.S. expats live in Mexico than in any other country in the world…

Find Out More From Our Mexico Editor

From the Archives of Mexico

Mexico: The Top Retirement Destination in 2017: Part One

Mexico: The Top Retirement Destination in 2017: Part One

For just over a quarter of a century, IL has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of expats.

Mexico: The Top Retirement Destination In 2017: Part Two

Mexico: The Top Retirement Destination In 2017: Part Two

“In Seattle, I had constant back pain,” says Denis Asahara of his life before moving to Mexico’s Pacific coast. “The cold, humid weather made it worse. Here, in much warmer weather, 90% of my pain is gone. Also, the almost constant sunshine means I’m almost unlimited in my choices of things to do.” Mexico is big, with mountains, jungles, deserts, and thousands of miles of coastline. So picking your perfect climate is part of the fun. If you love the heat, for instance, there’s the Yucatán. In the city of Mérida, on the Yucatán Peninsula, summer temperatures can hit 110 F.

In Photos: 5 Places to Explore on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

In Photos: 5 Places to Explore on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

Daily Postcard
By |
January 4, 2017

You'll hear a lot about Mexico this year, the country that topped the International Living Global Retirement Index for 2017, with IL’s Jason Holland, Don Murray, and Glynna Prentice giving you information about the different locations where you can find your dream retirement overseas.

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