Mexico: US-style Living at one third the Cost

Chacala Beach, Nayarit, Mexico. Photo credit Billy Kaderli.

By Billy and Akaisha Kaderli,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Mexico, that constantly media-bashed country to the south of the US, might be your better option for retirement.

One million Americans already call Mexico their home and it’s amazingly easy to obtain your residency visa for full-time living, most receiving theirs in a matter of days.

Snowbirds could easily add another million visitors to this number and can stay 6 months on a no-cost visitors visa!

With its proximity to the United States, both US and Mexican airlines offer non-stop flights to and from many destinations in the US. Or, of course, you could drive. So, visiting family or utilizing Medicare is much easier than if you were to live elsewhere overseas.

There are lots of reasons why Mexico is a great choice for retirement, so let’s list some:

Cost of Living

Mexico has everything that the US offers – along with a better lifestyle – at a fraction of the cost.

The Dollar exchange rate makes for attractive affordability.

The cost of a beer is 30 Pesos or about $1.50 at a bar. A lakeside lunch of grilled salmon with wine or margarita as your beverage plus a generous tip runs about $11USD per person.

Commonly used medicines at pharmacies won’t break the bank, and a consultation with a cardiologist or a surgeon is less than $40USD.

More on Medical Care

Many US doctors train in major Mexican hospitals where the “care” is still part of the healthcare industry.

Most doctors here – including specialists – are easily available through phone, WhatsApp or email and most speak English. Highly skilled dentists are abundant with oral surgeons performing teeth implants for a price less than your dental copay back home.

Assisted Living options run the gamut. Pricing for private rooms in a traditional Mexican mansion with gardens, comfort dogs, meals included, internet, laundry service and social activities and a driver to take you to appointments are about $2,000USD per month.


Here in Chapala, Mexico, all price ranges are available for both rentals and home ownership. For as little as $300 USD a month you can rent a one-bedroom furnished apartment or you can purchase a house in any of the towns which dot the lake for many times that amount.

Maids and gardeners are commonplace, and the price for plumbers, carpenters and electricians run about the same as a Lakeside lunch.

Whatever your budget and desires allow, you can find something here.

Larger Colonial Cities offer the city life with rooftop bars, night life, theater and orchestras. So, one is not limited to small town charm.


What’s your preference?

Mexico has mountain towns like San Miguel de Allende with 6000 feet elevation and cool temps, or dry climates like Oaxaca with eternal spring-like weather year-round. Mexico boasts two coast lines of beaches that rival the best in the US. You can have your choice of the rugged Pacific Coast or more Caribbean style calm waters.

Whether it’s a four-season location or a tropical one, a bustling city or a moderate sized town there is something for everyone.

Transport- INAPAM card

Modern public transportation is available all over Mexico. Contemporary buses with reclining seats and your own entertainment system travel to every major city and little out posts way in the hills or choose to hire a personal driver. Taxis and Uber are widely available.

In-country discount air-carrier flights make Mexico an easy county to travel and are staggeringly cheap.

Along with your residency card, if you are over 60 years of age, you qualify for an INAPAM card. This allows you major discounts on buses and free access to museums. We can fly from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta for less than $50 or bus it for $13 with our INAPAM cards.

Availability of food, upscale dining, local markets and online shopping

Mexico by far has the best food in Latin America and the street food rivals that of Thailand.

Local traditional foods like tacos and pozole can be found anywhere, and fusion foods like white mole will rival that of New York and California.

Mexican markets sell tropical fruits, gourmet cheeses, pastries, imported and Sonoran beef, fresh seafood, and mounds of moles. Modern super-store grocery chains like Soriana, Sams, Costco and Wal*Mart have dotted the country.

Due to the convenience of online shopping, we now have items delivered to our door via Amazon, or Mercado Libre without a hitch. Things that used to be difficult to find here are now routine.

Time zone and international cell service

Mexico has similar time zones as the US and Canada, so calling home to family members is a breeze.

Telcel, the local cell service, runs 200 Pesos per month or about $10 USD with FREE unlimited calls and time to the US and Canada as well as 3.5 gig data.

Lots of English Speaking Mexicans

Where ever we have traveled throughout the country we have found English speakers.

The younger Mexicans, especially in University towns always want to practice their English and can act as a translator if necessary.

If retirement is in your future and you are looking for an affordable location with wonderful weather, similar culture, friendly people, and a relaxed lifestyle, try Mexico.

We Did it!

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on


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