My wife and I retired to Mexico last year at the ripe old ages of 42 and 44 respectively. When we told our friends and families of our plans to sell everything and set out on an adventure south of the border, most of them were less then keen on the idea. Some politely raised an eyebrow and responded with a slow, “okaaaaaayyy.” While others came right out and called us crazy.
It has been almost a year since we moved to Mexico and everything is going much better than we ever imagined it would. In spite of my super positive Facebook posts sharing the beauty and splendor of Mexico, I still keep getting the same questions over and over. Most of the questions have to do with safety, health care, and the quality of life in Mexico. To save time answering each person one at a time, I have decided to write a blog with the answers to the most common questions that we are asked about our move to Mexico.
Q: Aren’t you afraid to live in Mexico because of all of the drug violence?
This question is definitely the most common one that we get.
It is important to recognize that Mexico is a very large country and crime rates vary quite a bit by region. I live south of Playa del Carmen and I feel safer here than I did living in Central Florida. This is a beautiful area where strangers will still stop to help you with a flat and you can safely go to the store without looking over your shoulder every two seconds.
Don’t get me wrong – there are dangerous parts of Mexico, this just is not one of them. Of course, crime can touch us anywhere and it is still a good idea not to leave belongings on the front seat of your car while you go shopping. Some things are just common sense.
When a friend tells me that they will not come visit me in Tulum because of drug violence in another part of Mexico, I usually respond by asking them, “Are you telling me that you would not go to Disney in Orlando because murder rates are high in Chicago?” I think this helps put it all in perspective.
Q: Don’t you get bored down there?
Nope. There is something magical about moving to a new country and starting over. There is so much to learn and experience that it is almost impossible to get bored. Everything from the language to the culture is different from what you left behind.
This is something that you cannot experience if you retire in your own country, even if you move to another state or area. When I travel around the U.S., the only thing that seems to change is the weather and the scenery. The language is the same, the cars all look the same, the restaurants look the same, and the culture is at least very similar….boring. I can see why some of my retired friends return to work after a year of that.
Q: What do you do all day?
We answered this one in another post called A Glimpse at our Daily Life.
Q: Do you feel isolated and lonely in new country?
Absolutely not. Even if you do not speak Spanish, the expat community, at least in my area, is very large and finding fellow English-speakers with a similar background is not difficult. Regardless of their age, the majority of the people are outgoing, gregarious and make the most of every day. We have trouble keeping up with some of our friends who are 20+ years older than we are.
Between the expats and local friends we now have, our social lives are far more active in Mexico than they were in the U.S.
Q: What do you think of the quality of the health care there?
We have visited both a general practitioner and a specialist here in Mexico. I was extremely impressed with both doctors. Each doctor spent over 30 minutes with us (very rare in the U.S.), and both seemed extremely knowledgeable. The specialist also utilized very modern medical and computer equipment during the examination.
I have spoken to expats who have had more complex medial procedures here, and their opinions are overwhelmingly positive.
Q: Do you ever regret selling everything and moving to Mexico?
Never. Linda and I both agree that this has been one of the best decisions that we have ever made. We are even trying to encourage some of our friends to come down and be our neighbors.
We live very well on a fraction of what we would have spent for the same lifestyle in the United States. If you want some details on expenses, check out Living in Mexico: A Breakdown of Our Monthly Expenses.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of retiring in Mexico?
Come visit the area first before jumping in with both feet. If you have already done that, find a way to downsize your life so you can live debt free here. If you want to read how we did that, check out Starting Over From Scratch in Mexico.
The last word of advice is to keep an open mind. Do not expect Mexico to be just like your home country; instead, think of it as a brand new world to explore and enjoy.
Author: Qroo Paul