Since not everyone is familiar with the term expat, I’ll start this post by defining it with a little help from Wikipedia:
An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
My wife and I became expats when we moved to Mexico from the United States in 2015. Although the idea of starting over from scratch in a new country was scary, we decided to take a chance and try it anyway. Our gamble paid off and we now enjoy a laid-back Caribbean lifestyle on 1/3 of the income that we had in the U.S. We couldn’t be happier.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming an expat yourself and just need a few good reasons to try it, here are eight of them:
1. Low Cost of Living
Your money goes a lot farther in Mexico which means you won’t need as much of it.
If you want to see our monthly expenses, click HERE.
2. Access to Affordable Healthcare
I’ve been very impressed with both the quality and the cost of healthcare in Mexico. You can see primary care doctors and even specialists without having health insurance for the price of a copay in the United States.
The doctors also spend a lot more time with each patient and it’s not unusual for a doctor in Mexico to give a patient his or her personal cell phone number in case they have any questions later. This still amazes me.
Even if you take out a health insurance plan to cover major medical expenses — which is my recommendation — you’ll find that expat plans are very affordable.
3. Improved Safety and Security
As a retired law enforcement officer, crime and safety are very important to me. I keep up with crime trends and important news stories in my area of Mexico. I can honestly say that I feel safer here in Akumal than I did living in Central Florida.
4. Improved Social Life
Our social life is far more active than it was in the United States. The expat community in this area is full of outgoing, friendly people who are eager to live life to the fullest. We have already made a lot of great friends.
5. Close Proximity to the U.S. and Canada
Just in case we have to go back to the United States for a family emergency, we can get there quickly. The flight from Cancun to Orlando averages about 1 hour and 25 minutes.
6. Mexican People
From the moment we arrived, almost everyone that we’ve encountered has been friendly, helpful and has gone out of their way to make us feel welcome.
We originally moved to Mexico for the low cost of living and the beaches, but one of the main reasons that we stay is because of the people. This is the type of community that anyone would want to be part of.
7. Opportunity to Learn Spanish
The best way to learn a foreign language is to surround yourself with it. Here’s your chance.
8. Less Stress
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, it’s difficult to feel stressed when your sipping a margarita next to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Becoming an expat does not mean giving up your citizenship or your allegiance to your birth country –it only means that you’ve chosen to live in another country. You can even have the best of both worlds by dividing your time between paradise and your previous home.