Thinking of Retiring in Mexico? How an Increase in Mexico’s Minimum Wage Could Affect You

Mexico is planning on raising the national minimum wage from $88.36 pesos to — well, we don’t know the exact number yet. The only thing we know for sure is that the new minimum wage will go into effect on January 1st, 2019.

The commission tasked with setting that new wage, la Comisión Nacional de Salarios Mínimos (Conasami), is currently meeting and they will approve the final number before the end of December.

If you’re an American or Canadian who’s thinking of retiring in Mexico, you might be looking at the title of this article and asking yourself how an increase in Mexico’s minimum wage could affect you. Chances are you don’t have any plans of seeking gainful employment south of the border anyway.

Well, if you plan to apply for temporary or permanent residency in Mexico, the new minimum wage should be very important to you because that figure is used in the formulas that determine if you have enough income/savings to obtain Mexican residency.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

One of the ways you can qualify for a temporary resident card is to show that you have a monthly income from a foreign source (pension or income) that is at least 300 times the minimum wage. At the current minimum wage, that would be $88.36 X 300 = $26,508 pesos, or about $1,325 USD / $1,767 CAD.

By the way, that number doesn’t include the financial requirements for spouses and dependents.

When the minimum wage goes up on January 1st, that new amount will be plugged into equations like the one above.

What’s the New Rate Expected to Be?

Most experts predict that the new rate will be around $102 pesos; however, last September, the Mexican Senate asked Conasami to set the new minimum wage at $176.72.

For example purposes, let’s say that the minimum wage only increases to $102 pesos. If we plugged that new number into the formula in the last section, it would become: $102 X 300= $30,600 pesos, or about $1,530 USD / $2,040 CAD per month. That’s an increase of about $205 USD and $273 CAD, respectively.

If you’d like to see all of the current financial requirements to obtain either temporary or permanent residency in Mexico, check out Financial Requirements for Residency.

Let’s Wrap This Up

If you’re thinking about applying for Mexican residency and you’re right on the line when it comes to the financial requirements, you might want to speed up your time table and head to the Mexican Consulate to apply before January 1st. Keep in mind that there are a lot of holidays in this month, so your window of opportunity is pretty small.

If you don’t meet the financial requirements for some reason, don’t panic — your dream of spending your golden years in a Mexican paradise is not dead. You can still come here as a tourist and spend up to 180 days at a time enjoying this wonderful country.

Update (12/28/18): The standard minimum wage for 2019 was increased to $102.68 MXN per day. It is unknown how long it will take for each Mexican consulate location to update their financial requirements to obtain a visa. You should inquire before you go — especially if you’re right on the line. 

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

35 Comments on "Thinking of Retiring in Mexico? How an Increase in Mexico’s Minimum Wage Could Affect You"

  1. Good information, thank you. I was born in Mexico and hold dual citizenship. Been in the USA far too long; 40 years, but I am ready to go back for good, hopefully in 3 more years. I would appreciate if you share any insight you have about those of us holding dual citizenship planning to come back. Whether the new government is changing anything that may affect our return. Thanks

  2. Thank you, very good to know!

  3. Donald Murray | December 1, 2018 at 9:40 am |

    Great info, as usual!

  4. I have two questions please:
    1. Is there an option to add a Mexican cell ## to a ‘do not call list’?
    2. How would a person activate their voice mail in English on Telcel?
    Thanks for all your amazing posts.

  5. matt rivers | December 1, 2018 at 9:57 am |

    can you comment on some of the things that are tied to the minimum wage? It is my understanding that fines and penalties are, but what else may be?

    • Many fines and administrative fees are connected to the minimum wage. Other than that, nothing else comes to mind at the moment.

  6. Jeff Wakefield | December 1, 2018 at 10:17 am |

    I’m sorry, I may have missed it, but all your numbers are monthly?

  7. Hi Paul,
    Will this have any affect on our current PR? We won’t have to show proof of income again, I can’t imagine?

  8. Another amazingly helpful post. You are our hero Paul!

  9. Interesting info, I did not know this. Do you know whether the rules for Americans buying property, especially by the ocean, are different these days? I’ve heard Americans can only “lease” said property. We would think twice about retiring to Mexico if we couldn’t own a home somewhere.

  10. HelenMcNamara | December 1, 2018 at 1:27 pm |

    If the minimum wage does go up to the 176 peso level, I would imagine there would be a few less Expats arriving as residents. However, the entire Mexican economy will hit bottom if business are expected to double everyone’s wages. In which case the peso value will drop and instead of us getting only $20/1 US or $15/1 C….which will lower our costs with every extra peso that we get when the peso drops and we are getting 25 or 30 to one. Good for us, terrible for Mexicans. I was here 1994…was getting 2.5 peso for C$, about 4, for US. Next day we were getting almost 5 for C$, 7 or 8 for US $. It can happen. We are glad we already have our Residencies!

    • I agree that a jump that high could cause problems for the Mexican economy. I predict that it will be set somewhere around $100 pesos.

  11. Suzanne M Same | December 1, 2018 at 1:35 pm |

    Geez…you are such a precise articulate writer. Able to put that info out in such a readable concise way. Thank you. Thankfully I do not need this info as I have a Temporale but for many others this is important info.

  12. very interesting but everybody has already complimented you where do you get the time to write and research I thought you were retired thanks for the service you provide

    • It’s a hobby that keeps me busy in the mornings while I’m waiting for my wife to wake up.

  13. Paul,

    You are a FOUNTAIN of knowledge, and your blog posts are always so informative and timely. You write so well that if you didn’t say what your background was already, you could very easily be mistaken for a long-time professional writer. The future is yours to make your mark.

    My wife and I are blessed to have found you. God bless you, and one day I hope to meet you on one of my preaching trips down there!

    Pastor Phil

    • Thank you very much for the compliment Phil. Perhaps we will be able to meet the next time you’re passing through the area.

  14. Thank you so much for your excellent information, always clear and concise, and a much appreciated service to many.

    Do you know if/how we would be affected since we will be right in the middle of the process? We have recently been approved for residence permanente by the Mexican Consulate here in San Francisco but will not be moving to Mexico until Feb.1.

    All the best,

    • If you’ve already been approved at the consulate, you shouldn’t have any problem. The new standard will be applied by the consulate officials when they evaluate visa applications.

  15. Thank you for your prompt response. That’s good news!

    One other question came up that I have not yet found a clear answer to. Maybe you know…
    If we were approved for residente permanente at the consulate in SF, will we be automatically approved in Mexico if we follow the instructions, bring the approved documents and apply with 30 days, etc.? Or is there a chance that they could still disapprove us?

    The reason that I ask is because I felt that the Mexican “inspector” was somewhat lenient with the financials for my husband and me. Although together we qualified, only one of us really qualified individually.

    So, I have a concern that another “inspector” in Mexico could have stricter standards and at least one of us could be denied.

    Would be interested in hearing your thoughts. Thank you.

  16. Pardon my confused curiosity but are you talking 88 pesos/ hr or per day??
    What is the time frame
    Many thanks

  17. | December 7, 2018 at 9:42 pm |

    very interesting info, first timer here with plans a move to aijjic area.Very nice people it this town, I feel at home.

  18. Thank you for this article! We were planning on applying for our Permanent Visa in the next few months. As a result of your article I wrote the Orlando Consulate and we received the LAST appt of the year on 12-12. We received our Visas and we are on our way to spending more time in beautiful Mexico. Mucho Gracias

  19. Jeanelle Perez | December 22, 2018 at 2:07 am |

    Such useful information! Im moving to Mexico in March.. I am going to go to the Mexican Consulate here in San Francisco and get a temporary visa which is good for 4 years. Seems easy enough..

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