Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Since starting the blog, we have received hundreds of questions from readers around the world. Here are the answers to the most common questions that we receive:

What’s an expat?

Surprisingly, this is the most common question we are asked. I think Wikipedia does a nice job of defining it:

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”). 

Can you refer me to a trustworthy realtor or lawyer in Mexico?  

We get numerous requests from readers asking for the contact information for a realtor or lawyer that we trust. We take these requests very seriously and we will only recommend a person or business that we know extremely well. As a result, we can only make recommendations for the Riviera Maya.

If you would like a referral to a professional that we trust, please send us a request via our contact form.

Do I need a special visa to live there?

It really depends what you want to do here and what country you are from. Since most of the readers are from either the United States or Canada, the information that we provide is best suited for them.

So far, we have only discussed the visa options for those people who want to retire in Mexico but will not be working here: Retiring in Mexico: Which Visa Option is Best for You.

How much does it cost to live there?

That’s a tough question because it depends on your lifestyle and the area of Mexico you plan to settle in. We live in a gated resort community in the Riviera Maya and we bought our condo and car outright. Our monthly expenses are very low as a result. Check out Expenses Updated 06/15/17.

How is the healthcare system?

We have been quite impressed with both the cost and the quality of the health care here in Mexico: Check out Mexico: Home of Affordable Healthcare.

If you are curious at the out-of-pocket costs of health care without insurance, check out Mexico: A Look at the Costs of Medical and Dental Treatment.

Where do you live?

We live in Akumal, which is about 25 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. We absolutely love where we live and it has definitely exceeded the expectations that we had prior to moving here. To read more about that, check out Moving to Mexico: Expectations vs. Reality (Housing).

Why did you choose that specific area?

A lot of planning and research went into our decision to move to this part of Mexico. I discussed the criteria that we used in Why We Live Where we Do in Mexico.

Can I own a gun in Mexico?

The gun laws are very strict in Mexico; however, it is possible for a foreigner to own a firearm here. To learn more, check out Answers to Common Questions About Gun Ownership in Mexico.

I have heard that foreigners can’t own property in Mexico, is that true?

Foreigners can own property but there are additional restrictions in areas along the coast and national borders. To learn more, check out Foreigners Purchasing Property in Mexico.

I want to live in Mexico, but I am not retired yet. Would it be difficult for me to find a job?

That is not an easy question to answer it depends on the education, experience, and skill set of the individual.

It is important to note that the salaries in Mexico are much lower than those of comparable positions in the United States and Canada. For that reason, I usually recommend that people find a “remote job” that allows them to earn a good salary while being able to physically be anywhere in the world.

For more on remote jobs, check out Remote Jobs: The Key to Funding a New Life in Paradise.

To see what the average salaries are in Mexico, check out 25 Occupations in Mexico and How Much They Earn.

What are the requirements to bring a pet or other animal to Mexico?

The requirements will change a bit depending on the type of animal that you would like to bring. Check out The Legalities of Your Pets to Mexico.

I was thinking of bringing my vehicle with me to Mexico. Are there any special requirements? 

I have written extensively about the topic of bringing a foreign plated vehicle into Mexico and my advice for anyone who is planning on making Mexico their permanent home is don’t do it. To learn why, check out the following articles:

Moving to Mexico: The One Thing that Many People Wish They Had Done Differently

8 Things to Consider Before Bringing Your Vehicle to Mexico

Can I still receive my Social Security payments in Mexico? 

Yes, you can but  Check out Will Moving to Mexico Affect My Social Security Benefits?

Do the doctors accept Medicare in Mexico?

No, but you will find very affordable healthcare here. Many retirees with Medicare pay for routine medical treatment out-of-pocket but return to the U.S. for more series health problems.

Another option is to purchase a private insurance plan that works in Mexico or participate in one of the public programs.

I’ve heard that the real estate market in Mexico is “cash only”, is that true?

It really depends on the property. To learn more, check out Finance Options When Purchasing Property in Mexico.

What if I have a question that wasn’t covered here?

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