Retiring in Mexico

Hello everyone,

Why did you choose to retire in Mexico? What are the advantages compared with your home country?

What were your main considerations when deciding to move? For example, taxes, ease of transferring your pension, etc..

Are there any specific formalities you had to go through as a retiree moving to Mexico (for example, is there a particular retirement visa)?

What is Mexico's healthcare like? Have you had any good or bad experiences dealing with healthcare professionals?

Do you have any tips for other retirees in Mexico?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


We retired in Mexico because we love the people, culture and atmosphere here. We live in Rosarito, Baja California, so we have the advantage of the people and culture of Mexico but are close enough to the U.S. to return whenever necessary.

Of course, the cost is very advantageous even this close to the border, but was not a big factor in our decision. We do like that we can live in an ocean front home for for many thousands of dollars less than a comparable home just a short drive away in San Diego.

We do return to the states for much of our medical care since it is so close, but use a dentist in Rosarito. Our dentist here has more modern equipment than our previous dentist in the U.S. and stays abreast of all of the newest advances in the field through attendance at conferences in the U.S. We have a number of friends who regularly see medical doctors in Rosarito and are quite happy with the care they receive and the cost of that care. We would use doctors here without hesitation but, hey, we paid for Medicare for years and choose to use what we've already paid for!

I would say the most important thing to do here is get out and meet your community, both expats and native citizens. There are many opportunities to become involved on local customs and events, expat celebrations as well as to serve the community. All of these can provide friendship, happiness and a sense of worth.

My wife and I never plan to leave!

Retiring in Mexico was strictly a financial decision. I began my retirement in Northern California and quickly realized that it was completely unaffordable. I began exploring what my options might be, using my retirement pensions value I made the calculations of what my monthly financial needs were. California was not a option, everything was extremely expensive. I began research of affordable retirement community's outside of California, they too were a bit pricy and would not give me the life style that I was looking for in retirement. I then began looking outside of the united states, Mexico, central America and south America. I live alone with my dog so decision making was simple, I am also a disabled vet and healthcare was a determining factor. I began blogging with retired Americans living in Mexico communities of  Mexicali, Tecate, Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada. I received many favorable comments about Rosarito Mexico, it was close to the US border, access to the veterans doctors, clinics and hospital in San Diego was attractive.
I one day put the dog in the car and to the south we headed, I decided to take a look for myself, more research if you will. Upon driving along the scenic ocean highway in Mexico I entered the city of Rosarito. At the entrance of the city was the shopping center that had a Walmart, Home Depot, Cesar's Pizza and Burger King, all my favorite shopping and eating places. Driving a little further I came to a Re/Max real estate office and proceeded to talk to Jose about what rentals were available in Rosarito. He asked me if I was interested in looking at rental homes, of course I said yes. He took me to a gated community just 5 mins south of Rosarito to a investor home that was available for rental, new home, two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, two car garage small backyard, for my dog, only 800 dollars a month. I had come to Mexico and within two hours of entering I had signed a rental lease for a year!!

Hi Mreid51,

There was a very recent post on the New member post about your area. Her name is wackyjacky. Would you be willing to share your opinion with her ?

I'm sure your information about the area would be very helpful.

Thanks :)

Of course the cost of living is an advantage. The current political climate in America is also so demoralizing and stressful - and you can't get away from the messaging. People talk about Mexico being so less stressful, but it's also that our culture seems to have become so much more stressful.

Just being away from constantly being sold to is such a relief,  we are always pursued for an upgrade here, VIP seating there, just a little more money for the extra feature, the call brand.  A boss of mine used to call it "being picked to death by a duck."

Buddha said the source of our suffering is caused by longing, by craving - our society creates the environment for that.  Mexico doesn't.

My advice has always been learn the language of where ever you are going. There are so many tools (especially Skype) that can help you become proficient while you're still at home. Learning a language is also one of the best things you can do for your brain (scientifically proven by many, many studies) that you've got absolutely nothing to lose by devoting some time to it, even if you've not decided on whether to move or not. Kerry Baker

Of course I would.

Hello Mreis51,
it was nice to read your positive reply since I am planning to retire in Playa De Tijuana or Playas De Rosario,
I did compare both places Rosarioa have more to offer with the same money you spend at Tijuana, however I also have compared opinion of fellow expats here and they prefer Tijuana due to crime rate? do you have any unfortunate experience in Rosario area?

None. My wife and I have been coming here for years and have never had an experience that caused us to be afraid. Rosarito, Tijuana and Ensenada all have their own unique character. We like them all. We chose Rosarito to live because we are able to live on the Ocean without the population density of Playas de Tijuana and the industrial feel of Ensenada.

We decided on Mexico since it is my husband's country of birth. I have always loved it there. We have relatives there and the cost of living is much more affordable.  The people are wonderful. We have a home in QUERETARO and will close on another one in a gated community the first of September. In San Miguel de Allende. Unlike other expat we don't need people to speak English. Spanish is my husband's first language and I am fluent. Relaxed atmosphere is what we want. Hope this helps you. We don't need the hustle and the bustle of a big city. Time to relax.

Thanks Mreid51, I also choose Rosario for the same reason, any suggestion to narrow down property search before we drive down over there? I would also like to be at second row or walking distance to ocean if not at front of the ocean property.


You can start here or any of a number of realty web sites that cover B.C. I like this one mainly because it gives a description of each of the communities it lists.

Be aware, front tow lots in ocean front communities are at a premium and priced accordingly. Expect to pay $200K or more for a front row LOT. Second row lots are much less. That said, if buying an exiting house, there are still deals to be had if you have some time for your search.

I would recommend coming down and renting for at least six months or a year to get a good feel for the area and what is available. You will be able to make a much better informed addition that way.

Good luck!

Thanks Mreid51,
Apreciate your valuable information and advice.

I'm very happy to here that your retirement im Rosarito has worked out so well. And if I can't take my Lucy dog, all deals are off.

It has become obvious to us that prices have risen. It is not as easy a transition as it used to be and certainly the housing has risen in price.

We have been searching and doing as much traveling as we can for about three years. I ran an agency until one year ago. For twenty years.

We don't have the resources we thought we would have. My husband has Lupus. I live the home I worked so hard for BUT...I love Mexico!

My advice to anyone with a boatload of basic questions (like the woman above) is:

What are your priorities?
- love of Mexico or
- love if beaches and resorts?
- how close do you want to remain to the US?

GO TO SOME Places based on ghe answer to those questions.

It is not expensive to live in Northern Baja California Mexico, if you rent. I reccomend renting, and never buying.  It is better to stay mobile.  There is no issue with taking your dog along.  There is excellent medical care available in Rosarito.  I believ in living near the border to the USA. I live about 16 miles from the U.S. Border.  I receive my medical care in San Diego. I enjoy being able to shop on the U.S. side. Although we have a Walmart close by, and they have great bargains. A Home Depot is right here too.  The climate is near perfect, Never too hot. Always 15 degrees cooler than Tjuana.  The beaches are nice for daytime use only. I recommend driving south along to coast. There you will find true peace and beauty.

I am a city girl...born and raised in San Francisco until the price increases made it impossible to stay. Lived in Texas until I retired last year to Mexico City. This city is so alive and it's like having one hundred San Francisco's at my AFFORDABLE fingertips. There are hundreds of parks and museums for me to visit and public transportation makes them all accessible. The city's history and its appreciation is evident in the maintenance of these public spaces. The icing on the cake is the friendly people who deal with my woefully lacking Spanish. I've shared many friendly smiles and laughs over my gesturing to convey my message:)

If you are not a beach or outdoor adventurer, please check out this wonderful city!

Why MX?
Cost of living fraction, overall. All medical good, ask for recom's from experienced aliens. National  Medical Insurance adequate, <1000$/yr/person, includes medication.  Climate selectable, as higher as cooler, better than icy Canada. Food availability medium quality, adequate, selection good, fruit and veg's fresh. Restaurants low priced compared to more dev. countries.  Local people are usually friendly, generally inconsiderate, feeding on your "freedom".
If you are buried in $$ you can build your castle here too, not only cocooning in U.S.
Come along, your can always exit, for less than 2 years you can bring your car. Else don't bring your car, buy one here.
Research drug movement channel and avoid the area. Don't overcharge it, the actual situation is better than the bad news distributed by competition. Mafia is no problem if you are paying happily. I never had to! RV use is not recommended, though possible, e.g. 2 years max.