retirees in mexico

What Retirees Wish They Knew Before Moving to Mexico

Are you convinced that an easier, happier, and more affordable lifestyle is possible? Are you dreaming of sun, sand, and afternoon siestas in the Caribbean? If you are seriously considering moving out of the US or Canada, but are unsure of where to start, here are some tips many retirees wish had known in the beginning:

1. Start downsizing now

Begin downsizing right away! Chances are throughout your life, you have acquired quite a bit of possessions. To make the transition as stress-free as possible, Bring just what’s most important to you. The reward? Retirees say they rarely miss or remember what they got rid of. They have no regrets over choosing a life of experiences over things.

2. Make a plan for your retirement

Retirement is a big change in life! Start thinking about what you like to do with your extra time in your new life in Mexico. Do you want to travel? Mexico is a beautiful country with incredible places to explore. Or maybe you are looking forward to volunteering your time. Puerto Morelos has quite a few charitable organizations that would love your support. By keeping your goal in focus, you will be motivated to get started on your new life as soon as possible!

retirement in mexico

3. Start Learning Spanish

Download an app, start watching some videos on YouTube, or sign up for a class. Start learning some basic greetings and simple terms. While you can get along just fine without learning the language, retirees say the experience is richer and more interesting if you’re able to communicate a bit in Spanish.

4. Start your residency process

There are many benefits to having residency, including being able to open a bank account, acquire a driver’s license, register a car, and participate in the public healthcare system. You’ll want to apply for legal residency at a Mexican Consulate or Embassy in your home country before you arrive in Mexico. You will need to schedule an appointment with immigration services here in Mexico to complete the process. You can apply for residency through ‘economic solvency’—proving that you have sufficient income or savings to sustain yourself in Mexico.

5. Have confidence and patience

Be confident in your decision to make Mexico your new home. As you prepare for retirement, there will likely be some things that take patience, but don’t forget why you started: To enjoy a higher quality of life for less. It will all be worth it. Once you start enjoying your new life full of sunshine and Caribbean waves, you’ll know you made the right choice.

6. Get a Mexican cell phone plan

To make your retirement dollars go as far as possible, consider switching to a Mexican cell phone plan. They’re a lot cheaper than the US and Canada. Also, it makes day to day life so much easier. For instance, when you start banking here in Mexico, you will not be able to use the online logins if you don’t have a Mexican cell phone number.

7. Download WhatsApp

Whatsapp is extremely popular in Mexico. It’s linked to your phone number and allows you to text, send videos and pictures, call or video call people; and because it works with a Wi-Fi connection, you’re able to use it even if you are in an area where you have weak cell service. Many businesses here use it to communicate with their customers and clients.

8. Get a Mexican banking account

You will need residency and a Mexican cell phone number to open a bank account. This will allow you to transfer money when the exchange rate is favorable. Since the prices of goods and services typically do not change based on the exchange rate, this will give you more spending power… otherwise known as margarita money!

The second advantage is security and convenience. Having a bank account makes it very easy to pay other people through a banking app, as long as they have a Mexican bank account as well.

bank account in mexico

9. Choose a Health Insurance provider

Many foreigners carry health insurance primarily for emergencies or major health problems. Mexico has a public health care system and a private one. The private health care facilities tend to have shorter wait times, and amazing patient care. They are also very affordable for routine checkups, making it fairly easy to pay out of pocket. For major coverage, research health insurance options for foreigners, including international health insurance plans, Mexican health insurance plans, and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

10. Know when to accept some help

For things like residency paperwork, and other governmental things, it’s easy and inexpensive to hire a Gestor to assist you, which is someone who is not required to be a licensed attorney but is still able to perform many administrative tasks.

For things like registering your vehicle, and setting up and paying utility bills, there’s also something called a Carta Poder. It’s similar to a letter of authorization that allows somebody to do one particular task for you. It is a bit more limited than a power of attorney. These services can make your transition to your new life smooth and hassle-free!

We hope this helps you feel ready to begin your incredible retirement in the Mexican Caribbean. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying happy hours in paradise! If you have more questions, or you’re considering purchasing one of our properties at Selva Escondida, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!



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