Expats moving to Mexico are often attracted by thoughts of warm weather and a relaxed atmosphere, particularly retired expats hoping to stretch out their pensions and unfold their sun loungers. Mexico has seen such a large influx of foreign pensioners that retirement communities have sprouted up all along the coastline, some integrating into Mexican towns and culture, others resembling small pockets of America.

While Mexico is frequently in the news for its safety issues, most expats will not experience any of these and will go on to enjoy Mexico's wonderful cuisine, rich culture and ancient ruins. 

Living in Mexico as an expat

That said, Mexico doesn’t only attract retirees: the robust industrial and thriving manufacturing centres in its large cities also attract younger working expats from America, Canada and further afield. Relaxed visa regulations also mean businesses and employees from Mexico’s northern neighbours have little red tape to contend with.

Teaching English in Mexico is gaining popularity among expats, and the country’s natural beauty and gorgeous coastline mean jobs at resorts and in tourism are often up for grabs, too.

Getting around in Mexico is easy, with several airlines, efficient bus services, reliable subways, and many taxi services available in major metros. Housing in Mexico is also fairly varied, and expats from all walks of life will be able to find something that suits their budgets and lifestyles. 

Cost of living in Mexico

Indeed, Mexico affords expats a quality of life not usually attainable in their home countries. With affordable food and inexpensive transportation, Mexico allows for quality living on a modest budget. Those earning a foreign currency will live particularly well in the country.

Accommodation-wise, expats can expect a real estate market more reasonable than most, with even Mexico's priciest metro, Mexico City, priced much lower than its US, UK, or Canadian equivalents.

Families and children in Mexico

Mexico is an excellent place to raise a family. Though public schools tend to be underfunded and probably not up to expat standards, the country boasts a range of exceptional private and international schools and bilingual schools. Private healthcare in Mexico is cheap and first-rate, and the country has become a medical tourism destination.

There’s plenty for families to get up to, including exploring Mexico’s many canyons, waterfalls, coastlines, rainforests, and national parks. Of course, the country is also blessed with a rich history and culture, which it celebrates on various occasions throughout the year. This also presents great opportunities for expats to mingle with locals at festivals such as Da de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) or Cinco de Mayo.

Climate in Mexico

Mexico is known for its tropical climate and humid weather, but due to its varying altitudes, weather can vary quite drastically from region to region. The rainy season generally occurs between June and November.

All in all, expats moving to Mexico will experience a hospitable government, warm weather, cheap beachside property and a favourable exchange rate, ensuring a pleasant lifestyle.

Fast facts

Population: About 131 million

Capital city: Mexico City 

Neighbouring countries: Mexico borders the USA to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. 

Geography: Mexico is a large country at the bottom of the North American continent. Its geography is extremely varied, ranging from coastal lowlands to a high plateau in central Mexico. Two large mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental, run north to south. The country also consists of many islands spanning out into the Pacific Ocean.

Political system: Federal presidential constitutional republic

Major religions: Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Other religions are tolerated and freely practised.

Main language: Although there are over 60 indigenous and minority languages, Spanish is the main language.

Money: The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN), divided into 100 centavos. Despite the considerable amount of paperwork, opening a bank account in Mexico is relatively easy for an expat. There are many universal ATMs throughout the country.

Time: GMT-5 to GMT-7 with daylight savings. The state of Sonora is GMT-7 year-round.

Electricity: 127V, 60Hz. Standard plugs in Mexico are two- or three-pin, flat-blade attachments.

Internet domain: .mx

International dialling code: +52

Emergency numbers: 911 for all emergencies. For roadside assistance from the Angeles Verdes, call 078.

Transport and driving: Mexico has an extensive and affordable public transport system. Cars in Mexico drive on the right side of the road.

Expat Health Insurance

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Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

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