Is it cheaper to live in Mexico?
We've distilled the results from the "Best Places to Retire" survey for you with some minor edits for readability. The information is for entertainment purposes and does not necessarily reflect our views. For more information, you can download the full report on their website by clicking the link below.
“It is cheap to live here if you buy local or national goods. It gets expensive if you buy imported goods. We buy imported goods for a treat once in a while but try to shop local goods mostly.”
—45 – 64 year old female from the US living in the state of Yucatan for more than 10 years.
Places in Mexico where expats reported cost of living at 50% or less than in their home country:
Baja California Norte: 74.2%
Greater Mazatlán area: 63.1%
State of Yucatan, including Merida: 59.1%
Greater Puerto Vallarta area: 49.4%
Greater Lake Chapala area: 46.2%
Greater San Miguel de Allende area: 45.8%
State of Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, etc.: 45.5%
Baja California Sur: 33.2% Greater Mexico City area: 28.6%
NOTE: After looking at the comments, we suspect that one of the reasons that Baja California Norte was seen as so inexpensive is that many of the people who live there used to live in Southern California, which is one of the more expensive areas of the US.
“I am teaching at a fairly new (4 years old), very international school, which is challenging and rewarding and will help my professional growth tremendously... and pays 500 pesos (about $25 US) per day. I adore my students, I'm happy and fulfilled in my job, but that's the tradeoff.”
—25 – 44 year old single female from the US working full me in the state of Quintana Roo less than 2 years.
NOTE: Those in Mexico for less time reported the greatest decrease in expenses; those in Mexico the longest reported the lowest decrease in expenses.
“I spend about the same but with a much higher standard of living.”
—Denis Larsen, American living in the state of Yucatan for more than 10 years.
48.4% of our respondents reported a 50% or lower cost of living, while only 39.7% reported reducing their expenses by 50% or greater, which means this group purchased almost 22% more “stuff” with their lower costs, while keeping more cash than if they had stayed in their home country.
Here are the results for the percentage of expats in Mexico reporting a 50% or greater reduction in expenses:
Baja California Norte: 58.1%
State of Yucatan, including Merida: 53.0%
Greater San Miguel de Allende area: 47.8%
State of Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, etc.: 47.0% Greater Lake Chapala area: 44.1%
Greater Mazatlán area: 36.9%
Greater Puerto Vallarta area: 35.6%
Greater Mexico City area: 28.6%
Baja California Sur: 22.7%
Women reported a greater reduction in spending.
As opposed to the results for the cost of living (which were roughly equal between men and women), women’s expenses dropped the most, with 43.3% reporting a greater than 50% reduction in expenses, while only 35.6% of men reported a 50% or greater reduction in expenses.
Americans reported greater savings than Canadians.
“I receive Social Security of $1,000 per month and I am now saving at least $200 of it.”
—65+ year old female living in the Greater Lake Chapala area for more than 10 years.
In the “Less Worried About Money” category, women won, with 46.5% reporting “Much less” worry, compared to 39.5% of men.
The clear winner for decreased money worries was those from the US, with a 46.3% decrease in the “Much less” category, followed fairly far behind by Canada, at 37.9%
“Here your value is your smile and behavior, not in your pocket.”
—65+ year old married male living in Mexico more than 10 years.