Relocating to Mexico? Need expert advice on schools, cost of living, housing,……

Mexico as an Expat Destination

Mexico is a popular expat destination and there are currently an estimated 2 million expats living in the region. It is particularly appealing as a retirement destination for Americas, who find that they can enjoy a lower cost of living than that available within their home country.

Expats enjoy a relaxed pace of life and often find it an enjoyable and easy going place to live. The people there are friendly and welcoming to foreigners and the crime rate is quite low. Expats living in Mexico find that there is no shortage of things to do and the country’s diverse landscape offers a variety of activities from soaking up the sun on beautiful beaches through to exploring mountainside lakes.

Cost of Living in Mexico

The low value of the Mexican peso against the US Dollar means that expatriates coming from developed countries can enjoy a high standard of living here. The basic cost of living is much lower than that of Europe and the United States, especially with regards to local grocery items. However, some things can be slightly more expensive, especially utilities and electrical items. Housing in Mexico is relatively cheap and expatriates have been known to buy a good sized property for less than $20,000 USD.

Mexico’s centralized economy means that the Mexico city acts as a centrepoint to the economy. This means that living in Mexico city is much more expensive than other cities and towns in Mexico.

Key Facts About Living in Mexico Every Expat Should Know

  1. The rental market in Mexico is generally unregulated. This means that landlords can raise rents at a moments notice and tenants have to pay up or leave.
  2. There will often be both a Spanish and an English version of all contracts. However, in the event of a dispute, only the Spanish one will be recognized by law. This means that you should always have the Spanish version checked before signing it.
  3. In Mexico agricultural lands that are owned by the local community (ejido) are often offered for sale. If you are living in Mexico and are considering purchasing these lands you should always check the legal status as you may risk losing the land at a later date.
  4. Mexico has a value added tax system and 15% tax is included in the price displayed. If your are a business owner you may experience difficulties writing this off against revenue as, in order to do so, you are required to get a “Factura” (an official receipt). Many small businesses are not prepared to provide these as it highlights their revenue to the authorities. You therefore need to be prepared to pay additional taxes on your earnings unless you can purchase from larger stores and businesses.
  5. If you plan on entering Mexico as a resident or temporary resident you should be aware that you are only permitted to bring in household effects on a duty free basis once in your lifetime. You therefore need to plan what you bring into the country when you first arrive very carefully.
  6. One thing that all expats should know is that bills which are issued before 1993 are worthless. Never accept anything dated before 1993.

For more information contact our member: Patricia Hogan,,