Are you feeling like you need a significant change of scenery and a new adventure? Fancy living in another country? Mexico is a great place to live and offers a lot of diversity: a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, lush jungles, historical ruins, interesting architecture, amazing food, a lively culture, and warm people. Should you move from the US to Mexico? Let’s talk about it and explore what you should know before moving to Mexico. Ready to dive into our discussion? Let’s go!
Top 10 Reasons to Move to Mexico
Let’s consider a few great reasons to move to Mexico:
Reason 1: Mexico is Close to the USA
Amazingly, driving a few hours to the south allows you to enter new and intriguing places. Mexico is home to a diverse array of cities and experiences: the white sand beaches and ancient cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, the old-world charm of Oaxaca’s colonial-style buildings, the colorful infusion of Spanish and Mayan influences in Merida, and invigorating parades and festivals of San Miguel de Allende.
The best thing is that Mexico is close to the US so it’s affordable to travel between both countries. You can even drive your car across Mexico’s land border with the USA. This makes it easy for persons with family and friends living in Mexico to travel back and forth with ease. But you don’t have to drive into Mexico as several airlines offer direct flights between many Mexican and US cities.
Reason 2: Cost of Living is Very Low
One major benefit that you enjoy when you move from the USA to Mexico is a much lower cost of living. All of your usual expenses are roughly half or less in Mexico. Many persons who move to Mexico report that they experience a more enjoyable lifestyle at a lower price.
The fact that your housing, food, and utilities are much cheaper allows you to have money left over. You can save and invest more, and also enjoy a few perks of the wealthy up north. It’s easy to hire housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, and even travel when you live in Mexico while earning in US dollars. You’ll have more time to pursue your passions and live a full life.
Reason 3: Housing is Affordable
Housing accounts for a large share of your expenses and you’ll be happy to know that you’ll pay far less in Mexico.
Of course, your housing costs will depend on where you choose to live in Mexico. Beachfront properties and large city-center accommodations are more expensive – but not as expensive as similar homes in the USA. Also, your choice of accommodation (detached house, apartment/condo, furnished or unfurnished) will determine how much you pay for rent.
Rent is affordable in Mexico and you should be able to find a place that meets your needs and Western expectations. Even if you plan to live in Mexico for a while, you should not immediately purchase a home once you move. Instead, rent for at least six months and try to get a feel for the area. You may choose to purchase a home or build one in the same area that you rent. You may also discover that you prefer to live in a different area that is more suitable for you and your family members’ lifestyles. One advantage of owning your home in Mexico is that property taxes are very cheap as they only cost a few hundred dollars every year.
Reason 4: Reliable Healthcare
Americans have always flocked to Mexico because its healthcare system is good and far less expensive than in the USA. It’s not only medical care that’s affordable, but medications cost pennies to the dollar and they rarely require a doctor’s prescription.
Mexico’s healthcare system is currently being remodeled to improve access for all – regardless of ability to pay or any pre-existing conditions. So you can look forward to further improvements.
Reason 5: A Strong Ex-pat Network
Feeling intimidated at the thought of moving to a new country where you don’t know the language? There’s no need! English is also spoken in Mexico and translators are also available. Plus, it’s a good idea to learn some Spanish so that you can easily make new friends among the locals.
But while you become fluent in Spanish, you don’t need to be friendless! Mexico has a large ex-pat network consisting mainly of Americans and Canadians. However, some cities are known for large ex-pat communities like the Lake Chapala area just south of Guadalajara which has the largest one. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Puerto Vallarta are also home to many ex-pats, so if you choose to move to any of these cities, you’ll feel right at home!
Reason 6: Beaches and So Much More!
Moving to Mexico means leaving the usual four seasons behind to embrace all-year sunshine, sand, and sea! With approximately 5,800 miles of coastline, Mexico is full of beaches of all varieties. These are beautiful, world-class pristine beaches that you will enjoy. From Riviera Maya along the Caribbean coast to beaches of Puerto Vallarta along the Pacific coast and the calming Gulf of Mexico options, you’ll have a lot to explore.
But Mexico is not only known for its many spectacular beaches. This is a large country and geographically diverse. There’s an array of climates and beautiful sceneries in each region. There are vast mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and verdant jungles teeming with wildlife. Mexico has a lot to offer.
If you prefer a more cosmopolitan scene, then there are many large cities to choose from. You can enjoy fine dining, world-class shopping, great architecture, intriguing historic centers, museums, and theaters. Also, medium-sized cities and small towns offer a more suburban feel. Or, you can immerse yourself in a tiny village and way of life there. It’s up to you where you choose to settle in this beautiful country.
Reason 7: Mexican Culture is Rich and Vibrant
Mexico is multicultural as it’s a melting pot of several indigenous cultures and the Spanish influence from its colonial history. This is strongly reflected in the architecture that is a blend of Spanish, Mayan, and Aztec elements. A walk down any street in Mexico will offer a diverse range of buildings and also traditional attires.
Reason 8: Mexico is the Place to Slow Down
If the fast pace of your life in the USA is prodding you to move to Mexico, then you should – ASAP!
Mexico moves at a leisurely pace as laidback lifestyles are the norm in the country. Local businesses often close for a few hours every day during the afternoon heat. Siestas are quite common in Mexico, so be prepared to learn patience and get some rest as you do so!
Reason 9: Mexicans are Often Friendly
Mexicans are warm people and are always willing to help. They are willing to talk to you and may ask you and your family questions about your lives before you moved to Mexico. However, you need to learn some Spanish to facilitate these friendly conversations.
Learning a little Spanish not only helps you to make friends in your new country, but it goes a long way in assisting you in daily life. Always remember that you are a guest in Mexico and learning the language makes socializing and learning more about your new neighbors easier.
Reason 10: Mexican Food!
From tacos and quesadillas to enchiladas, tamales, and much more, Mexican cuisine is well known and loved worldwide.
Mexico is spread across nine geographical regions and each region is characterized by its uniquely delicious local cuisine. The local seasonings feature a lot of chili peppers, and these are either included in the cooking or served on the side. Seafood is also cooked and served differently along the different coastal regions. The Yucatan Peninsula is heavily influenced by Mayan culture and corn is often served (in various forms) at every meal. We recommend that you plan a fun food tour across the different regions to sample what they have on offer and enjoy the scenery and cultures of each one.
What You Should Know Before Moving to Mexico
Mexico is among the most popular destinations for American ex-pats, as an estimated 1.5 million Americans live in the country.
Should you move from the US to Mexico? It depends on why you want to move. People move to Mexico for many reasons. Some may move to enjoy a relaxed, less-costly retirement lifestyle. Others may be attracted to Mexico’s emerging tech scene and some may want to live a nomadic freelancer’s lifestyle. Whatever the reasons, Mexico is a popular destination for Americans. The climate is great, the cost of living is far lower, and it is next door to the USA.
So now you are all ready to pack your bags and begin a brand new life! But wait a moment. Let’s talk about what you should know before moving to Mexico:
You Will Need a Visa to Stay in Mexico
Although Mexico is close to the USA, it’s a sovereign nation and so you will need a visa to live there.
You can legally stay in Mexico as a tourist for up to six months. Then you can make a visa run to another country, re-enter Mexico, and stay for another six months. But this visa doesn’t allow you to work in Mexico.
Before you leave, we recommend that you contact the Mexican consulate in the US to get information about the Temporary Resident (Residente Temporal) visa. You should start with this temporary visa, and then apply for the Permanent Resident (Residente Permanente) visa – that is the official immigrant visa.
Rent Before Buying
You need to make sure that you like a place before deciding to put down roots. Therefore, we recommend that you rent for a while before you make the life-changing decision to buy a home in Mexico.
Renting for about six months allows you to get a feel for the neighborhood and explore the surrounding areas. Don’t expect much of Mexico to be quiet. Life in Mexico is much louder with lots of sounds – like roosters, barking dogs, and fireworks.
Renting Can Be Difficult for Foreigners
The issue is not that Mexico does not have a lot of inventory – there are many flats available for rent. But you must know Spanish (or have a Mexican friend or a translator on hand) to negotiate the price without any miscommunication.
Renting a room in a shared space is a relatively easy process. It is the norm to pay a deposit of a month’s rent and oftentimes, you’ll sign a simple contract between yourself and the apartment’s owner.
The lengthy red tape only kicks in when you want to get your apartment. You will need an aval or guarantor who must be Mexican. This person is responsible for covering your rent payments if you fail to pay rent. However, several companies offer this aval service for a fee, so you can still rent an apartment by yourself.
You Will Need to Pay US Taxes
There is the misconception that living overseas absolves you of paying US taxes – that is not true at all!
As a US citizen living in Mexico, you need to file and pay your US taxes. Even when you have permanent residency in Mexico, you will need to pay US taxes.
But if you are a digital nomad, then you can take advantage of a tax benefit. The foreign earned income exclusion may exempt the first $100,000 of your income from taxes. However, you will still need to pay the US self-employment tax if you are self-employed.
Learn Some Spanish Before Moving
Mexico is predominantly Spanish-speaking, so it is best to get some Spanish under your belt before moving.
Learning Spanish will make it easier for you to navigate life in your new destination. Getting the best deals (whether for housing or daily essentials) means negotiating in Spanish.
Already an expert at speaking Spanish? Then there is still more to learn! Most Mexicans communicate using country-specific slang, and many Mexicans love to teach foreigners how to speak like a Mexican. So picking up the Mexican lingo will help you to impress the locals.
Get the Right Health Insurance
While healthcare in Mexico is much cheaper than in the USA, you need to have the right health insurance. You should note that travel insurance is not enough, as that only covers medical emergencies and not any chronic health challenges or pre-existing conditions.
Mexican health insurance is often much cheaper than in the USA. However, please be sure to research the health insurance that will best suit you and your family’s needs while living in Mexico.
Your Mexican health insurance may not cover the cost of a medical evacuation to the USA. So you may want to carry medical evacuation insurance that would cover the cost of medical transport to the USA in the event of a dire emergency.
Furthermore, Mexico has a growing number of elder care homes, and they tend to offer excellent care at much lower prices than in the USA.
Banking Can Be Challenging
As an American, you may be unfamiliar with the local banking procedures. You might feel frustrated about the time it takes to complete banking tasks – like opening a bank account.
Mexico has a lot of in-person banking, and the queues are quite long. Even simple transactions like a query or money transfer will mean waiting in line. Although banks may offer digital services, decline them – you are going to have to wait in line anyway. What you can do is to sign up for banking programs that allow you to skip the long lines and may also offer extra perks.
Homesickness May Set In
Although you have embarked on a brand new adventure by choosing to live in Mexico, some homesickness is normal. You may feel lonely, as it will take a little time to make new connections in your new location. Acknowledge your feelings and take steps to help you feel more comfortable in Mexico.
Be Open to Making New Mexican Friends
As we said before, Mexicans are very warm and welcoming. Once you know some Spanish, you will be able to talk with locals and begin to make friends. Mexicans are always willing to help you settle into your new home. Embrace your new way of life and enjoy the Mexican culture, sights, sounds, foods, and much more!
Moving to Mexico? US Border Movers Can Help You With That!
We have explored some of the reasons to move to Mexico and what you should know before moving to Mexico. Should you move from the US to Mexico? Only you can answer that question. But once you decide on moving to Mexico, then give US Border Movers a call! We offer comprehensive moving services to help get your household goods and other prized possessions into Mexico with zero hassles. Contact us today and let us help you move to your new home in Mexico.