Mexico is again rated 3rd on International Living’s Best Places to Live
You may be stuck at home now and dreaming of swaying palms and sunny, blue skies. There are many reasons for moving to Mexico and a warm climate is definitely one of them. But Mexico offers a whole lot more in terms of quality of life: affordable cost of living, friendly people, reasonable health care, beautiful beaches. And buying real-estate in Mexico is a safe and straightforward process especially when accompanied by a knowledgeable real estate agent.
International Living’s Best Places to Retire
Mexico again ranks third on International Living’s Top Places to Retire for 2022. International Living has developed the list for over 30 years. Criteria for selection are based on an Annual Global Retirement Index based on qualitative information from independent experts actually living in the destinations. The index considers a range of factors including financial factors (buying and investing, renting, cost of living), health factors (healthcare, healthy lifestyle, climate), lifestyle factors (visa and residence, fitting in), and governance factors such as development. The information they provide is intended to help you select the right destination for your needs.
Why does Mexico rank so high?
Elements for Mexico’s top ranking include the fact that Mexico has something for everyone from small colonial cities to oceanfront living, low cost of living, availability of quality healthcare, climate and vibrant Mexican life and culture to name a few.
Mexico is well-connected with many direct flights to destinations all over the country from Canada and the U.S. Notably, Huatulco has several direct flights from Canada and the U.S. Flights are picking back up and becoming more convenient than ever. Check out Huatulco’s flight information here. Merida also has several direct flights. Read about Merida’s direct and connecting flights here.
Welcoming expat and local communities
If you’re wondering just what you will do once you’ve made the move to paradise, rest assured. Between events, activities, volunteer activities, and new friends, your schedule will be as full as you like. It’s really up to you to create a lifestyle that resonates with you. Mexico’s vibrant culture is all around. You will have lots of opportunities to get to know it and to learn about history and traditions. Locals love showing off rich traditions and are proud to teach others about their culture.
Affordable cost of living
Cost of living of course depends on lifestyle and habits but all in all, on average, a retired couple could live very well on about $2000 per month. Some live more like locals and spend a lot less. Some have a more luxury lifestyle and spend more. Mexico is generally a very affordable country especially when compared to what your money buys on a daily basis: the freshest fruits and vegetables, slow food, market-fresh dishes at amazing restaurants and low-cost and low-hassle health care.
Becoming a resident is easy
It’s remarkably easy to become a resident in Mexico. You apply for a visa at the Mexican consulate or embassy in your home country by completing a basic application, providing proof of finances, copies of passport and marriage license, and have an interview with a visa officer. Once you’ve completed this process, you’re on your way to Mexico and once in the country, you will complete the process by going to the Immigration Office (INM) upon arrival. Check your consulate website for the complete list of documents needed. For more details, check out our article about How to Get a Mexican Visa.
International Living’s Best Places to Live in Mexico as an Expat
On top of that, International Living just released “The Best Places To Live In Mexico As An Expat.” After living in Huatulco for over 10 years and spending lots of time in Merida, it comes as no surprise to us that they both made the list.
Huatulco’s 9 bays, incredible beaches and small-town feel all speak for themselves. And Merida’s Spanish-colonial ambiance, vibrant cultural scene, safety and location along the Emerald Coast of the Yucatan make it a real gem.
What make the Oaxaca Coast and the Yucatan so special?
We love both of these places for so many reasons. When we chose to move to Huatulco over 10 years ago, we had traveled all over Mexico and we very consciously chose Huatulco. We loved the beaches and natural beauty, the small-town feel, the friendliness of the community, and the affordability of a beach lifestyle. Now that we’ve gotten to spend more time in the Yucatan, we love it for the same reasons plus its unique character and emerald waters. Both destinations provide excellent settings for luxury beach lifestyles.
Let’s look a little closer at what really appeals to those who are choosing to make the move!
Appealing cost of living
The low cost of living continues to appeal to retirees who are able to make their income go considerably further in Huatulco and in communities like Chicxulub north of Merida in the Yucatan. Their income buys more quality also. From quality food products, to restaurant dining, to real estate investment, Huatulco and the Yucatan offer more quality buying power. Additionally, the lower peso, favors Canadians and Americans with strong dollars granting them even more buying power.
Huatulco is a quality tourism market. By focusing on quality, more than quantity, tourism remains steady but without becoming such a tourism hot spot that it out prices its residents. On the contrary, perhaps the single biggest charm of Huatulco is the affordable lifestyle that can be created here.
As the peso oscillates between 20 and 22 pesos to the U.S. dollar, everyday purchases are a real bargain. It is extremely affordable to eat out often, pay medical expenses out of pocket, have a housekeeper a couple times a week, a handyman and gardener or a cook, and travel within Mexico or to shorter distance destinations from here like Guatemala, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador or the Caribbean.
Quality, affordable healthcare
Healthcare is generally easily accessible in Mexico and even more so in smaller destinations. You will find that you usually can make same day appointments for a general doctor and usually within the week if not the same day for a lot of specialists. For many, you can make an appointment online. Pricewise, you will quickly learn that healthcare appointments and services cost a fraction of what they cost in the States. Also, we have a large offering of natural care like Valentina Campos’ services in Santa Cruz, Huatulco. She is a physiotherapist providing natural therapies like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Cupping, Ozone therapy, Colon hydrotherapy, to name a few.
Many other benefits abound including coverage by a national health care plan, the IMSS, once Mexican residency is established. Many people opt to pay for healthcare out of pocket. Others find insurance plans through national and international insurance providers and even through some banks. Read our article about Health Insurance for Expats here.
Not just good weather, great weather
Huatulco’s climate has 340 days of sun per year with no rain during the winter. At just 15 degrees’ latitude above the equator, Huatulco has the most consistently hot temperatures in Mexico. Most days, the town receives light breezes by day from the ocean and cooler breezes coming down from the mountains at night. The Yucatan also has a tropical climate with temps ranging from 65 to 97 F or 18 to 36 C with breezes off the Gulf.
Newcomers to Huatulco and Chicxulub enjoy the small-town vibes making it easy to fit in and make new friends. Local events, vibrant social and cultural opportunities and a laid-back lifestyle make them a real paradise. The friendly expat community ensures that you have an English-speaking population. Many locals and service providers like doctors, lawyers, and dentists speak English also.
Safe communities and regions
Oaxaca is consistently and continuously one of the safest Mexican destinations. Crime rates here are lower than in U.S. states with comparable populations. The presence of a naval base on this area of the coast also promotes security and has thwarted organized activities suffered in other areas. Merida in Yucatan State is regularly named the safest city in Mexico.
Plenty of activities
Huatulco has a long, long list of things to do. Getting bored is not an option. Water activities, golf, volunteer opportunities, gyms, walking routes and beach clubs as well as general exploring adventures of the beaches and coastline guarantee that there is something for everyone. In Yucatan, you have the opportunity to discover ancient Mayan ruins, cenotes, pink lagoons, wildlife reserves. Of course, golf, water activities and volunteer opportunities are also available.
Huatulco has a magical landscape, settled in between the mountains and the ocean. With a backdrop of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, Huatulco looks out to the Pacific Ocean. Huatulco is a community stretched out along several bays, some with easily accessible beaches, some with picturesque rocky outcroppings. The entire shore here is quite dramatic.
The Emerald Coast of the Yucatan is also magical. Many days the Gulf here is as calm as a lake, ideal swimming conditions.
Even as all of these factors contribute to an excellent quality of life, Huatulco itself radiates general positivity being a master-planned community. Huatulco uses renewable, clean energy, has a state-of-the-art water and sewage treatment plant, has received many national and global ecological achievement awards, and 70% of the designated development space is dedicated to green space.
Buying real estate is still easy and affordable
As we come off of the busiest year in our history, we have some properties still available in both destinations. And we are looking forward to new projects underway such as Biya-Na, a new development in Chahué, Huatulco. See our Chicxulub, Yucatan properties here.
If you are looking to move to or retire in a place with a low cost of living, warm weather, easy access for trips back home and a friendly expat community, Huatulco and the Yucatan are excellent options.