Retiring in Mexico: Answers to Common Questions People Ask Me


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

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25 Comments on "Retiring in Mexico: Answers to Common Questions People Ask Me"

  1. Thanks for the info.

  2. We just visited Puerto Aventuras and found it very much as you describe it. Thanks for your blog. We look forward to reading more.

  3. Virginia and Robert | June 19, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Reply

    Wonderful to have you two in TAO, Mexico. Your points are well made. Quite believable. You are both so lovely, loving, and centered. Hope to join you and the community for longer stays.

  4. Eva F. Beuttenmueller | July 25, 2016 at 9:56 am | Reply

    Your reports and comments are the only one so far that are realistic. I plan on moving to,e ither Merida, or nearby. I am having a hard time to get rid of all my belongings and Condo,in West Palm Beach. I cannot tolerate the stress and anger plus crime. I am retired, loving on a fixed income Do you have any suggestions regarding any place near Merida? Perhaps Campeche? I like to be close to an international airport…What is Cancun like?

    • I cannot blame you for wanting to leave south Florida. The Yucatan is much more peaceful and the people are generally more patient. Merida is a nice area that attracts a lot of expats. Cancun is nice if you want to be near that airport but you are going to have a lot more traffic and some crime issues associated with living in a bigger city. Just keep in mind, the further you are from Cancun, the further you are from the international airport.

    • Ms Suzanne Nye | August 4, 2016 at 11:45 am | Reply

      I live in Merida…virtually crime free and has museums, a symphony orchestra (second only to Mexico City) an Opera Company and even a Baseball team. About 20 minutes from the beach at Progresso by car, but i make a day of it and take the bus! Excellent restaurants with lots of variety and music in the parks every night. Great health care and because it is home to several universities there are lots of young people and energy in the city. Merida has a large expat community too! The only drawback…very hot in May and June.

      • Mérida sounds great. We are planning a trip up there when it cools off a bit. If it was not for our love of the Caribbean beaches, we may have ended up there.

    • Brent Howard | August 8, 2016 at 3:36 am | Reply

      Do not move to Cancun, Anywhere in the region, but not Cancun! Merida is a great city as is Playa del Carmen..

      If you want to live on the Pacific side, Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan would be good choices.

  5. I just started to follow your blog, and really enjoy it. The area around Playa is my favorite. The climate not much different than central Florida where I live. I agree with your expiriences you have made so far, just by having visited 7 times.
    It makes me think of “why not” which has crossed my mind before and always when I visit.
    Looking forward to see more of your blogs, thanks for sharing your adventure!

    • Thanks so much for reading the blog and for taking the time to comment. Maybe we will run into each other down here some day. 🙂

  6. Nice blog/comments. I moved to Mexico in 1988, got in the toursim business, and haven’t moved back since. Wonderful country, culture. Live in Monterrey now. ENJOY

  7. I too retired to Mexico with my wife. We chose Isla Mujeres for a number of reasons, it is safe, close to Cancun and all it’s services but still a small island in a turquoise sea. Lots of tourists, but that is good as it provides a large number of services. I am a lot older than you, but seem to be getting younger every day as it is a very healthy environment. The best part are the residents, who are kind, trusting and happy. After ten years now it just gets better!

  8. Did you buy medical insurance in Mexico or do you just pay as you go? If you bought what company did you use and the cost please? We are going down to Playa Del Carmen for 6 months starting Oct 1 and thinking of buying we have been there several times and love the east coast 🙂
    Thanks for any help

    • We pay as we go for most everything but we keep insurance for major medical expenses only through GNP seguros. It runs $64 a month for me and $74 for my wife. You can run estimates on their site.

  9. A great read that I will share on Los O’Gradys in Mexico! Thank you…

  10. Stop calling yourself an “expat”, you are an immigrant.

  11. Rebecca perillo | August 11, 2016 at 10:17 am | Reply

    You in an earlier post said you would share your condo info. Would you do that please? Love your posts!

    • Thanks for reading the blog. I don’t like to post the name of the complex on the public forum but I can send it to you in an email. Just click on “contact us” and send your message. I can respond to you directly through that.

  12. | September 27, 2016 at 12:42 am | Reply

    Thank you for speaking so well about my Mexico, and share de real life here…Mexico its not the holliwood’s view…have you visited Mazatlan?

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