Will COVID-19 Result in More Americans and Canadians Retiring to Mexico? What Our Readers Are Saying

Since COVID-19 came on to the scene, traffic to our blog has increased substantially. In the last 72 hours alone, this site has logged over 51,000 pageviews. That’s a lot of traffic for a hobby blog that doesn’t advertise.

Our web traffic is not the only thing that’s up. So are the number of emails that we receive from readers. Way up!

To give you some background, we normally receive about 600-1000 emails a month. This month we’re on track to dwarf those numbers.

The majority of the emails are from Americans and Canadians who are writing us to ask specific questions about moving to Mexico. In the process, most share some background information about themselves and their reasons for considering a move to Mexico.

Typically the reasons given are what you would expect: Mexico’s low cost of living, affordable healthcare, amazing beaches and nice weather etc.

But lately, a new reason has moved to the forefront: COVID-19 derailed their previous retirement plans.

Some people even wrote that they had never considered retiring in Mexico before the arrival of the virus;  however, that all changed when they suddenly found themselves either unemployed or with a large portion of their retirement nest egg gone. Now they’re exploring the option of retiring outside of their home country in order to make their limited remaining funds go further.

The majority of the emails were from people who said that they were already planning to retire in Mexico and that all the virus did was move up their timetable. Basically, the ‘life is short so enjoy it while you can’ approach to retirement planning.

Judging by all the traffic we’re getting lately, I think it’s safe to assume that more people than just the ones who wrote us are thinking about moving to Mexico.

Your Chance to Share

I’m curious what the rest of our readers have to say on the subject. If you’d like to weigh in on this topic or share how COVID-19 has affected your retirement plans, feel free to do so in the comments section.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Only time will tell if this pandemic causes more Americans and Canadians to choose Mexico as their retirement home, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. Mexico is a great place to retire for a long list of reasons. And I should know. My wife and I retired to Mexico almost five years ago.

And in case you’re wondering — we’ve never regretted that decision even once in all these years.

Well, until next time! Stay safe and stay healthy!

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About the Author

Qroo 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 (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

75 Comments on "Will COVID-19 Result in More Americans and Canadians Retiring to Mexico? What Our Readers Are Saying"

  1. Andrea Farinacci | May 7, 2020 at 11:18 am | Reply

    Hi Paul! I have plans to retire down there too. I’m still in my working years but this COVID might speed that up. I think our Gov’t response has been sorely lacking and has exposed so much income inequality it’s quite alarming. We have a vacation property down there in PDC – we typically go down 3-4 times a year and LOVE it!!! The people the culture… all of it. We had healthcare concerns being uninsured down there so “quarantined” here in the States- we didn’t think it was worth the risk but now I’m wondering about that. I’m a Florida navtive too- Ft. Lauderdale – a total beach girl! So Mexico is going to be the place I ultimately land I’m sure. Thanks for all your great info!

  2. If you get your Residency Visa started you can get great healthcare here. I am in the Progeso-Merida area in Yucatan and the health care is amazing and very inexpensive.

    • I live in the GDL/Chapala area and the health care basically sucks. Better be able to buy expat health insurance and or self insure.

  3. I sure hope you are letting people know how the different states of Mexico are handling the curfews and lockdown, in Cozumel we are not allowed to leave our home other than food or medical, no beach’s are open and only one person in a car.

  4. Howard Furst | May 7, 2020 at 11:25 am | Reply

    I own a home in Costalegre already but I am fortunate that the pandemic hasn’t (yet) impacted my finances. Time may tell. Mexicans who live in the area have been hard hit with the lose of tourism. Very tragic. I am American and winter in Mexico.

  5. IMO, I think that more people are recognizing the fragility and temporary nature of life and are pondering what to do with the rest of their lives. A number of them are thinking “carpe diem”. Others may think that despite the missteps of AMLO, Mexico seems to be affected considerably less than the U.S. who face vastly greater numbers of deaths and confirmed cases. Coupled with the economic downturn due to the Covid 19 countermeasures, maybe making the best of what they have left is a smart move for them. There are those probably had thoughts and even plans to move to Mexico and have decided to accelerate those plans. In my view those are probably the major reasons. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the political situation in the states as a contributing factor, especially for those who believe there will be no change forthcoming.

    • Michèle Favarger | May 7, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Reply

      We retired last year and intended to spend several months in Mexico, go back to Canada and then travel. We are still here in Mexico. We have bought an apartment and will be here for the duration. Our RRSPs have been hit hard but we will be okay. Glad to be here. Looking forward to getting past this.

      • Can you email me I have a couple of questions about relocating right now! Parentetracy@gmail.com
        I was planning the move then covid hit. Mad respect to all victims!
        Our move is simple. It will be 7 suitcases and our car. I know all the details about car insurance etc. I just have a few more questions. I sorda wanted to speak with a female lol. I’m not worried about work. I own three companies in the USA and global One is a counseling firm! I travel tons and do most business online!

  6. We retired in 2007 and after some travel, settled in Mexico in 2008. Now have our home in Motul and have never doubted our decision. Our friends and neighbors have all pitched in and helped us “Old Guys!” They help us with local Shopping, and will run any errands we need done. I am glad we are well established and done with any large construction projects now, though. I can see how they could be more problematic now. However, I have friends who are restoring a very large Colonial in Motul Centro, and their work is going so fast, as local workers are glad to get the work in the city so no travel to Merida. Everyone is safe and practice all the Distancing and masks. Admittedly, for as old as we are (66 & 75) we are in good health and vigorous. Really good hospitals are close by in Merida if ever needed, even now. The “Dry Laws” are a pain for some, but so far, only my Lime Daiquiri Sherbet production has been affected, as I need a little more Rum. We have a substantial space, far more than we could ever have had in the States, paid for here to Self Isolate in. Friends back home are tired of seeing me by the pool, while they are stuck in apartments back in the city. My big worry is what I read about the reduction of Airline Flights out of Merida. I fear we will be glad to be as close to Cancun as we are for less expensive, shorter flights back if needed. After some adjustments to the “New Normal,” all will be good here again.

  7. Brenda Hoskin | May 7, 2020 at 11:33 am | Reply

    Interesting indeed. I think there may also be another consideration when it comes to who might be considering moving to Mexico and that is, what part of the USA/Canada you are from. I live in Alberta; but for major CoVid outbreaks in our meat processing plants, we are coping well, though it will be interesting to see what happens as businesses begin reopening later this month. If I lived in some of the hard hit areas, where governments are not, perhaps, handling the pandemic as well, such as Quebec, NYC and many other American cities, I would perhaps seriously consider a move. I feel more confident in Canada’s ability to handle major health issues than what I currently have in most foreign countries, including Mexico.

  8. I’m not sure honestly, I think it could be a wash. Some might use this as a chance to make the move and others might decide better at ‘home’. I have been impressed with what I see locally to address the virus more so than the US. When I hear people complain about being ‘locked down’ in the US, it’s kind of a joke because for the most part many businesses are open whereas I think Quintana Roo is much stricter. So far so good since I think there were a lot of worries on crime… but that can still show up. It’s too early to tell, as one expert said ‘we’re in the first innings’.

    I can say I miss my Playa home and anxious to get back.

  9. Darla Sanders | May 7, 2020 at 11:47 am | Reply

    We have gotten stuck right in the middle of COVID. We managed to get our house sold in CA, and both of us are now retired. Now we are stuck in travel limbo.
    Our new home is located in the Bocana Beach neighborhood of Huatulco. It is a relatively small area and the local people have barricaded the road into the area. The Huatulco airport is closed to travel.
    The Mexican Consulates are closed, but I think they may be opening again soon. We intended to get our Permanent Visas processed and still hope for that to happen. We have everything ready to go.
    After three plus years of planning and working toward the goal of moving to Mexico, I never dreamed we would be stuck homeless in the US. Crazy times LOL.
    I see some tickets available in June from Tijuana to HUX so I think we will go ahead and buy them and see what happens.
    Who knows???
    Waiting patiently…

    • Tamara Cardenas | May 13, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Reply

      I live in La Crucecita since 1991. We are so far ok with no cases that I know of personally. I have asked several doctors and so far, so good. Just take it easy. You’ll be home before you know it.

      Take all safety precautions, trust your gut and you are correct — we’re locked down tight.
      No beaches, no parks, no restaurants, no entertainment but all of your favorite places; Mamma Mia, Los Portales, Giordana’s, Los Blas, Clan Destino, the lamb place and others are serving to go. Superche takes your temp, sanitizes your hands and limits customers. Soriana is also open.

      So hang in there! We’re taking real good care of Huatulco now although we did just have 3 days of Mar de Fundo – Red Tide. But all be fine now! The sea is amazing and the ocean life is alive!!!!!

      My name is Tamara Cardenas and I live by the soccer fields (which are closed). Corner of Acacia and Tulipanes! Come by when you finally get home! We;ll have a drink on my terrace!

      Huatulcotami

  10. Diane Lee Marshall | May 7, 2020 at 11:50 am | Reply

    My husband and I live part of the year on the island of Isla Mujeres. We have grown to love it over the years. So much so that we bought a condo 4 years ago. That was such a positive experience that we are in the process of building a house. As soon as the island opens up we will be back! We will be selling the condo once the house is finished. If anyone wants to check it out let me know. We love being in Mexico and look forward to going back. We never feel unsafe and have met so many locals and expats that we love. Come on down!

    • I would be interested in talking to you more about the condo and that situation on isla. Maybe you could message me by email?

    • Hi Diane, I would be interested in price and specs on your condo. How far is it from the beach?
      Thanks

  11. I decided to do the 6-7 months in Mexico, 5-6 in Canada route for a few reasons, most of them family. Aged parents and an autistic son. The one obstruction will disappear in time, the other won’t. I do have residency, but I am concerned about getting back to do the 3 year renewal by the deadline of jan 6th for me. I think the big issue for many will be the increase in amounts you need to qualify for residency. If your pension income is too low and you don’t have enough in savings, your only route is to sell your house,put the money in an account and rent for a year so you can use the savings route. Medical coverage is a concern. As long as I spend 5 months a year in Canada (BC), I am on their universal health care system. I combine that with Skymed and rely on INSABI and/or self insuring for the rest. With Skymed, once stable I can ask to be air evaced back to Canada. Right now I am trying to figure out how to get back to mexico in decmeebr to renew wy residente. I hear I have 55 days after expirry although its a bit more hassle. Do I risk driving through the US? I will likely not get covid19 coverage, so I would have to quarantine myself for 2 weeks to ensure I am clear and boot it for the Mexican border. Or do I fly, if that is even possible? My hope is the Mex governemnt will relax the renewal rules as time goes on, if Covid is still an issue, maybe allow you to do it at a consulate. I would hate to have to start over again. If I do get renewed I am going to an immigration lawyer to see about converting to permanente before the next 3 years are up. I hear you can do that if you prove enough income. At least that would prevent something like this coming up 3 years later.

  12. We moved to Mexico three years ago, from California, after a health scare and the unexpected death of a friend. Life is too short. I think this concept will be a strong motivator for people to retire in general, and Mexico has so much to offer and is so affordable. No cases of C19 where we live in a very small town with lots of expats in the state of Sonora, but 11 in the big city 30 minutes away. We’re in lock down until May 30th – no beaches, no going out except for food and Rx or other essentials, and only one to a car. Restaurants just opened two days ago at 25 to 30% capacity, but not many people are going yet. We feel safe and are glad we’re here instead of the US.

  13. I personally think folks who didn’t devote much thought to retirement abroad – Mexico or otherwise – prior to the current health & economic crisis should ride it out in-place NOB. When life returns to “normal” only then reasonably and seriously assess future options not previously considered.

    I genuinely love both Mexico and residing in Sinaloa BUT I think discontent with dysfunctional government & depleted (hopefully only temporary) retirement accounts and investments, or a new “carpe diem”. attitude aren’t valid enough factors or reasons to sustain a deliberate good decision to relocate south.

  14. Leslie Brodsky | May 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Reply

    I moved just after the election-never having been to Mexico except that November during the election and didn’t really know what I would find-I live in Puerto Vallarta and have found the most wonderful, inclusive community-both ex-pats and Mexicans that I have ever experienced-I do not have much money-and I was quite happy in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I lived for 40 years – who ever thought that a 72 year old single woman , + I would stumble onto one of the happiest and best lives I have ever known-it has been an amazing adventure-this previous language idiot has even learned to get around in Spanish as I thought it would be rude to live in a foreign country and not even try to learn their language-I have learned things about myself and grown at my advanced age-I do have my Permanente -this is a society where people are respected for simply being people-Yeah, instant gratification is sometimes difficult but I have learned how much I do not really need- Sure -ups, downs & difficulties-but where are there not-Plus I never have had to live in trumplandia- -I have had several nasty medical issues but Medical care is excellent and given by doctors who are into their patients and not more, more, more money-the problem is that in an emergency-if you do not have Mexican insurance you will not be taken into a private hospital with less that @$15,000US up front( it is up to you to get reimbursed by insurance company) I have had to go to public(charity hospital) where care was ok but ER wait was over 5 hours when I thought I had had a heart attack and I had to sit on bare floor-Still – I will always live here and not return

    • Also have property in Puerto Vallarta. The health care issue is central to those in our age group. Still weighing if we will stay the 20-21 season this year or one of us short stay to take care of business. Not only the course of the disease, but air travel considerations, scheduling, seating configurations, accessibility needs and we travel with 2 in cabin doggies. Connecting through Houston was always a chore, but manageable. Now, who knows?

  15. I officially moved to Mexico City in September 2018, where I gained residency. I go back to the US only for semiannual routine Doctor appointments. Moving to Mexico was the best thing I’ve ever done, other than retiring early. Once the pandemic is under control, I’ll be utilizing local doctors and professionals at the ABC Hospitals in SanteFe as my primary practitioners and will no longer have any medical appointments in the US. I have no desire to ever live in the US. I live traveling internationally and taking international cruises. Once, it’s more safer to travel again that’s what I’ll be doing. Anybody on the fence, come on down to Mexico and just realize that Mexico is like any other country including the US. Nice areas to live and not so nice areas to live. The culture can’t be beat anywhere. Good luck!

  16. Hiya Paul and Linda,

    According to the articles I’ve been reading, Mexico hasn’t peaked yet, so waiting to see how things shake out with the impact of Covid-19, and Mexico’s response to the virus’ major impact might not be a bad idea. So far, response has been spotty at best with the governors trying to make things safe for their constituents, while AMLO rambles on with Trump-like responses.

    We’ve been down here in Nayarit, near Puerto Vallarta, for almost four years, and love it, but being a family-oriented society, social distancing and mask wearing is a tough sell to the locals, who, around here, anyway, often ignore directives and party on. You’ll get three days in jail for hosting a party now, and no alcohol is being sold! If you and your wife go to the store for food or essentials, one of you has to ride in the back seat! Also, don’t forget to wear a mask (even inside your car) !
    We (all of us) still need access to reliable testing, wherever we are, and need to keep up the self-quarantine stuff while a vaccine or some kind of cure is developed.

    This is probably a good time to research your potential move to Mexico, or to figure out how to make it work in the states, with all this time on your hands. Learn some Spanish from our hosts!

    Back to “NORMAL” seems to be as far away as it was at the onset of this disease. Maybe we should shoot for “Back to the Future!”

    Good luck to you, and all of your readers! Stay safe! Enjoy breathing clean air, and the new but temporary peace and quiet, while you can. BIRDS! Enjoy them, especially! Funny, the chickens don’t seem as loud as they used to.

    Silver linings!

  17. Hi Paul and Linda, my 2 cents.

    The reason you and Linda have successfully made Mexico your home is simply because you did your research about the area and once you both decided to move there, the transition was done with an open mind. You moved there to become part of a community respecting their customs and culture, not trying to impose yours. You thank their service and hospitality with a big smile and sincere words of appreciation. Soon you learned the old Mexican saying and its meaning: “Mi casa es tu casa”

    Probably the first few month were very challenging, but with an open mind and heart, you learn the Mexican way to overcome those obstacles and learn from them to the point of enjoying more and more your new life. Just the way it’s supposed to be done.

    Hasta pronto.

    FH

  18. Gina Bradley | May 7, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Reply

    My husband and I retired to Mexico a little over a year ago and have been living in San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato. We love it here, have a little family here, overall it’s been a wonderful and fulfilling experience. But now with the COVID situation, we are finding that all the things we love about being here are not available to us any longer. San Miguel is on lockdown, with masks required when out of your home and only allowed to be out of your home for essential reasons (pharmacy, food etc). Not complaining about any of these measures, and agree with them completely. But being confined to home means we could be anywhere on the planet so the things that drew us to this place are now off limits. All that said, it’s definitely more affordable to be here than in the states. But something to consider………we are now cut off from our family in the states. We could not go home if we wanted, and they cannot come here, at least now. We are considering going back to the states when our lease is up next April. If something like this happens again (and it undoubtedly will) we don’t want to be so far away from our kids and not have a way to get to them in the event of an emergency. Just something to think about.

    • Marien Kaifesh | May 9, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Reply

      Gina, I had those same thoughts. Thankfully, we left Mexico in time to get back to the States and are riding it out in the USA near our family.

  19. All we can say is, we have NO regrets about making our permanent move to Cozumel last year from Colorado!! We love it here!

  20. Jaye in San Miguel de Allende | May 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Reply

    Hubby and I moved to Mexico from the northern US two years ago, NO regrets. Love the people (happier than in the US), the culture, the language (learning it!), the activities including the arts and dining out, cost of living, new Mexican friends, and other expats who are here. “Two Expats” was crucial to our decision, which was reinforced by friends here, before and after we moved. Many helped us, and if you’re considering it, many will help you.

    Right now, my friends in the US, already disenchanted by the current White House, are dismayed by how the US has mucked up the response to the virus (no national leadership, especially when compared to New Zealand and Germany). So they are scared they or loved ones will get sick because it seems that in many states business is more important than lives (words are one thing, actions are another).

    So for the first time, many we talk to are uncertain about a bright future in the US, something no one ever felt before, much less discussed. Thus looking elsewhere for a future. We’re getting a lot of questions from friends, and friends of friends.

  21. ….just want to add that the most pleasant thing I look forward to everyday in Mexico is the street music, the bread man, sweet potato man, cheese, ice cream man, tamales trikes,and the boys with the candy carts. Reminds me of the olden days when the Borden Milk trucks and the Omar bread trucks would deliver to everyone’s house in the Midwest if the US and the ice cream trucks cruising the neighborhoods. That’s what I love about Mexico. It all still exists

  22. Debbie Aguirre | May 7, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Reply

    I was wanting to retire to Mexico with Mexican born husband, but I doubt I want to now. I’ve heard few stories about medical care and how unsanitary it is. I want to keep good health care I /we have in Texas. We can always visit his family in Ensenada and visit other parts of Mexico.

    • Debbie, maybe the unsanitary places are the government run ones there (IMSS, Seguro Popular). Don’t give up. Just do some research and ask people you know in Ensenada for their recommendations. Ensenada has some very good private medical facilities. I have friends who travel from San Felipe, Baja California on the Sea of Cortez to Ensenada to see specialists. They pay out of pocket, but compared to US prices it is very inexpensive. $300 USD for a full cardiology review after my friend had a heart attack. Another friend of mine had his cancer cured at the Hino Medical Center ($7K USD) and another friend went for back problems. I have other friends that had insurance with Bonanova Hospital in Rosarito when they lived there for only $300 per year per person and thought it was excellent. Another one of my friends from Punta Banda (south of Ensenada) had a private doctor remove the skin cancer on her back. I have private medical insurance with AXA for emergencies with only a $500 USD deductible, free ambulance, and $1M USD coverage, but I am only 51 and there is an age limit on many private insurance policies of something in the 70s ($900 USD per year). Luckily, I have not had to use my insurance yet. I can see a private doctor here for $15 USD for things like strep throat (plus any lab costs – usually less than $20 USD). My aunt had hernia surgery in Mexicali for $5K USD. Another of my friends almost died from a rare spinal disease, but the doctors at Hospital Hispano Americano in Mexicali saved her life ($10K USD). She says she probably would have died if she had been in the USA because the time it takes to get doctors appointments. Another friend of mine had a heart attack and received excellent service at Almater Hospital in Mexicali and a temporary pacemaker and then a permanent top of the line pacemaker (we can now track his pacemaker’s GPS signal). He had gone to the VA a year before because he kept passing out for no reason and they had checked his heart and told him to go home because there was nothing wrong with him. At Almater they found massive amounts of calcification. The food at that hospital is also 4 star and people go there just to dine. Total cost for multiple day stay, 2 surgeries, 2 pacemakers, world renown cardiologist and gourmet food was $20K. My deductible back in the USA was $7K per year and my monthly payments were $500 per month and I had to drive 90 miles to go see a doctor where I lived in Nevada when I could just drive 15 minutes to see a doctor in Arizona (but where my insurance would not be accepted).

  23. We are Canadians who wintered in Florida for 47 winters loved it. Now we are residents in Mexico for 4 years and wish we would have made the move sooner! What finally drove us from Florida was health insurance which we have bought in mexico( a little expensive at 78 yrs old) but worth it. Now we just have to live to 100 to enjoy.our new home in paradise!

  24. We have been on Isla Mujeres for two and half years from Canada. Originally lived in condo for two years then built house in which we live in now. Anyone looking for information about Isla let me know. Our loft condo is now for sale as well and listed on our site http://www.todoisla.com

  25. Babsie Faye | May 7, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Reply

    In Chapala/Ajijic area we have terrific medical care. Two new hospitals, several good clinics, and lots of doctors who practice on their own. But we have had to pay everything out of pocket. Our doctor took only cash. Medicare doesn’t help here. The hospital with insurance…if you are here longer than 60 days, that doesn’t work.
    Be SURE that you have looked over your medical situation before you come. If you’re in good health or you have NO money concerns…well, ok, but what about when you’re 5 to 10 years older? What about falls, accidents? We have friends who have had to pay $30,000 US here for surgery, and friends who are paying $33,000 for stents. Study and come with open eyes. The glitter you see here may be dollar signs.

  26. David W Keelan | May 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Reply

    Paul and Linda,

    Thank you for your newsletter. It is very helpful and the articles are short, sweet and to the point which I like.

    I still hope to move to Merida in 2021. Gotta tie ups some financial strings and hope the market does not dip again. I think I have enough resources to make the move, but the plan has some potential rough patches, but I think I can weather them.

    I share in the sentiment;” ‘life is short and you have to enjoy it while you can’ approach to retirement.”

    I expect it to be less expensive, I can live comfortably within my means, and the positive healthcare reviews I have read are encouraging.

    Happy to read many expats have integrated with the local culture because I will do do too.

    My siblings and I live all over the US and stay in touch via video chats a lot. We only see each other rarely anyway, and honestly (after I relocate) I think they would visit me more often that I them. My kids are forging their own paths.

    If anything I am more determined to move and begin again.

    Covid is temporary and will have a much shorter life span than may life span. So, jumping at the chance.

    Best to you and the rest of your readers.

  27. I am glad to be in Canada for the covid situation. It is far better here than in the US where they appear to be poised to make some very foolish decisions. I am not so sure you would be worse off in Mexico than in the US right now. They appear to be putting wealth over health. Let’s hope for a vaccine sooner than later. I can’t wait to get back (before winter comes), but I am also glad I kept a condo here in Canada.

    • Marien Kaifesh | May 11, 2020 at 7:31 am | Reply

      I’m also glad that we chose to ride-out the virus here in Cleveland, Ohio where we have some of the finest hospitals in the world. When I heard Cancun had FOUR ventilators, I knew we made the right choice (not sure if that is true or not, but that is what I read). Here in Cleveland, we have thousands of ventilators, lots of ICU beds (in fact, we never reached capacity). Yes, we will return to our place as soon as we can — vaccine or not — and will take precautions, but mainly because we believe we already had it back in November!

  28. Abby L Mays | May 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Reply

    Yesss I am ready to start planning on a permanent move back to Mexico. In 5 years.

  29. Fed up with the headaches of running a business in California, we retired last year and moved to Playa del Carmen in October 2019. Looking back, I think we dodged a bullet. I can’t imagine the stresses of having a business failing during a pandemic. Our retirement was earlier than expected, but the cost of living in Mexico makes retiring here possible. We already had a condo here as a vacation rental, and had thought that we would sell it and downsize to something more affordable. However, with the huge change in the exchange rate, we couldn’t turn down the chance to buy something now, since we are getting almost 50% more for our US dollars. We can always sell the condo later, when it’s more of a seller’s market.
    We are very happy with the quality of healthcare here. We looked into both Mexican and US private insurance, and went with an American plan that is designed for US expats.
    My sisters, who live in Canada, love to come down to visit us whenever they can, and I expect that more Americans and Canadians will end up here once they realize how inexpensive it is and how favorable exchange rates can be.
    On the other hand, I expect a slow turn around from COVID-19 where I live, since there wasn’t an organized response here in the beginning, certainly not from the federal government. The state government was also slow, and I think that fear from what people were seeing on TV was the prime motivator initially to slowing things down. Now we get updates daily on changes being made by the government. We are not aware of any testing here, so it will be interesting to see how the reopen will happen. We do our best to support the local economy by buying what we can from small businesses that are still open, and ordering food for delivery from our favorite restaurants.
    We also expect the job market to open up once things start again, as many people moved away from here when the businesses were closing, mostly back to other areas to be with family. So there may be new opportunities for those who can work here.
    We are very happy with our decisions.

  30. Virginia Mallonee | May 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Reply

    We have a second home in Cozumel and spend a lot of time there. I also have a brother that lives in Merida. For the short term, I think the entire Yucatan Peninsula is really economically stressed because of the rapid decline in tourism. I also think COVID rates are at an earlier stage than in the US. I’m not saying Mexico is not a good place to retire, or snowbird, but I think right now is not a good time for radical change. I would wait a few months before relocating to anywhere in Mexico.

  31. Mike Paulette | May 7, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Reply

    My girl and I have been planning to retire in Mexico for about two years now. We have been regular readers on your blog and want to thank you for the valuable service you provide to Expats. We own a condo in San Carlos and vacation there often. We love the town and love the people in the town. The plan was to retire on my 53rd birthday which was 2 days ago. It is also Cinco de Mayo!! When all of this craziness started back in March we decided to continue working and ride it out here in the US. Maybe put things off for a year and relook at it. Fast forward to my birthday two days ago, as you recall this was the original day we were supposed to retire. Well, my company decided to “reduce force” and after 28 years I was let go on my birthday along with about 15% of the entire company. Because it was Cinco de Mayo and my birthday PLUS I just got fired…I wanted a tequila! I actually had two shots after which I went outside to get some sun and cranked up the radio to hear Bob Marley singing “every little thing is going to be alright” My girl came outside and said, “Are you hearing this? It’s a sign!!” It was at that moment we decided to put the game BACK in motion and work towards our Mexico life. I was fortunate to be given a nice severance package and as it’s been said LIFE IS TOO SHORT! Which is why we wanted to retire at 53 in the first place. We plan to be in our condo full time by July.

  32. Maria Cavendish | May 7, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Reply

    Howdy! I am fortunate enough to not be affected too badly financially (best finance manager) and with work (nurse). I decided in 2016 that Mexico would be my place. I haven’t narrowed down where. I have a piece of land south of PV in the jungle and it hasn’t sold yet. I’m thinking Lake Patzcuaro or nearby. My intention and longing are getting stronger with each passing year. The virus has nothing to do with that. I just love Mexico so much.

  33. John M McIntosh | May 7, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Reply

    Far away from the Yucatan but this is somewhat uncomfortable.
    https://apnews.com/683c31a6221f4cc62241f12d23712c98

  34. I have been in PDC for 5 years now. In my opinion, the Mexican government has dropped the ball and what I’ve seen has scared me regarding the health care system. While Mexico has a lot to offer, My time down here is come to a sad farewell. I’ll be returning Canada. Maybe a snowbird life style might be in the future. But I’ll wait a couple of years to see COVID shakes out before returning.

  35. I spent February and most of March in Mexico and had to return home early because of Covid-19. Wish I had stayed! I am now purchasing a condo and plan to become a permanent resident. Your blogs have superb information and I am so grateful to have found you! I had always wanted to spend winters in Mexico and more so now. It’s ridiculous now here in the US.
    Just wondering if the Immigration office will be as busy now as it has been.

  36. I came down 10 years ago after a two year world wide search for a place to retire. I decided safety was number one, so I ruled out all the big cities, and settled on a tiny village called Coatepec, close enough to Xalapa (Veracruz) for medical and culture, an hour from the gulf, and yet a lifestyle in a rural area with two acres (a river runs through it). The questions from my retirement age amigos about life here just in the last 90 days has exceeded interest in the last 10 years…in summary; “It’s all about the economy”.

    • Nice to see a post from another area of Mexico. Coatepec is a pretty town. I love the beautiful coffee fincas in the area. And the mountains and waterfalls.

  37. There were only 8 or 10 posts a few hours ago, and now? Wow!

    I haven’t read them all (yet) but I did want to mention that your last three posts have appeared in my Google needed on my Google Pixel phone.

    That could be a contributing reason to the increase in page views.

    Keep up the good work work, Paul (and Linda)!

  38. That should have read Google news feed …. Stoopud spelcjeqer.

  39. Sandy Swiatlowski | May 7, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Reply

    My husband and I just purchased a home in Merida centro and can’t wait to come down. Unfortunately due to Covid and travel restrictions we will be stuck in Ontario Canada until we can fly down hopefully in September to see our new home. We have conducted all the due diligence and we know what to expect.in the future. We have already many friends in Merida and look forward to a home renovation and a new lease on the next phase of our life.

  40. My husband and I have been coming to Playa del Carmen for 25 years. Every year, once or twice. I am a recently retired Spanish teacher so we were always limited to when we would come, which was two weeks in summer and sometimes for a week at Christmas. This past winter we were fortunate to spend two months in Playa where we rented a condo and my husband worked remotely. We were in heaven! No two hours on the road for him every day, fresh food, beach, pool, and amazing weather. He has to work a few more years so we will continue to spend our winters in Playa until we can make the big move. We’ve gone back and forth with buying a place and we’re thinking in the coming year it might be the right time. In the meantime we’re learning from you and many other friends that we’ve made in the Playa area.

  41. John Woodham | May 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Reply

    Hmm. This has convinced me that Mexico is NOT the place to be during a pandemic – or for retirement. Unlike the folks who run this page, I have been in PDC during the entire lockdown. This country is a complete mess – and don’t let anyone fool you into believing otherwise. Thank God I am a renter here – and I am not stuck owning property!

  42. Alice A Gustafson | May 7, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Reply

    My experience has been great but I do travel back to my home in the states too. I would caution readers that unless they are financially well off or plan twice yearly visits back to the states for medical care that Mexico no longer has Seguro Popular and you might find getting treatment without paying a hospital lots of money will be hard. For example just to enter the hospital in Queretaro you have to pay upfront about $1000. If you are ill and need help a local physician is usually fairly inexpensive but hospitalization is another story. You might not be able to return to the states to have a hip fracture tended to without expensive Sky Med insurance that will take you back to the states where you have Medicare or insurance. Maybe other readers have had different experiences.

  43. We lost boo-coos of money in the stock market because of the virus mania, so if ANYTHING we may have to work a couple more years before we make the move. We have a condo just a quick jump over the iguana from you, its just a matter of getting our ducks in row before we can do more than just visit from time to time. Thank you for your EXECELLENT blog. My wife and I read and save every one!

  44. Hi, we are different from most of your responders because we live in a small community in the mountains of the state of Hidalgo. The state has issued various traveling restrictions that don’t seem likely to do much to prevent the spread of the virus. We talked to a health official from a neighboring municipio yesterday who told us there had been one case in a town over an hour away so we are not too worried. We feel safer here than if we were in our previous home in Austin, Texas. There have been no shortages and other than the doubling if the price of eggs no big economic effects. The local abañiles are still working on the construction of our house. Our only concern is the visitors that continue to arrive from CDMX.

  45. JEAN F GAUTHIER | May 8, 2020 at 11:58 am | Reply

    Hi! I am a Canadian living in Puerto Morelos 6 month a year and I am wondering if I will be hable to go back next November! If the borer is closed or if there are no planes, etc… So I realy don’t understand more people wanting to retire in Mexico!

  46. Generally speaking Mexico has many “advantages” over living NOB. However theses change as you age, for example obtaining med insurance over 70 gets very expensive, if available. Yes there is IMSS etc but that has exclusions for existing conditions. One size does not fit all and Rent before you buy. What you see is what you get and maybe a bit more more problems that you did not see.

  47. Before jumpping across the border, all should know that during this covid 19 pandemic….the contry of mexico is experiencing a 10% death rate…this is higher than any other monitored country….i live here and i am telling you things are scatce and prices higher, especially if you are deemed non Mexican..
    So, think twice

    • Most of these people are thinking about moving down the road once things get back to normal. It takes time to sell everything and relocate to a new country.

  48. Victoria leiani | May 8, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Reply

    Remind folks that the death to cofirmed rate is 10%….reconsider making the trip.

  49. We are already in Mexico, but this is making us want to speed up permanent residency status.

  50. Learned a lot from this blog. I looked into getting residency in the future but chose not too. As after researching realized I can get dual citizenship, with my parents being Mexican so happy about that.

  51. Edgar Middlebrook | May 11, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Reply

    My wife and I have been visiting Mexico for almost 20 years. My wife was born in Mexico but spent 30 years in the U.S. Last October we moved to Torreon more or less permanently. I’m renting my house to my step-son and we make trips every 6 months for Drs visits and of course to redo our paperwork at the border. We are working on our dual citizenship(s) and such, but the virus has slowed down the process considerably, not to mention my wife’s paperwork being somehow “lost”. We understand that we can try again in a few weeks when stuff begins to open up again…

    For me I feel very fortunate to have landed in Mexico during this virus. I cannot say that I’ve noticed any food or toilet paper shortages over here. Of course we don’t go out much presently, but it seems calmer more civilized here than what my friends and news from the States tell me about their situations. It’s like a storm is raging in a lot of places in the World but not here. Esta muy tranquilo aqui.

    I would throw out one other idea for potential expats. You don’t HAVE to move here and live on the beach. In fact it would be nice to see the places like Tulum stay cheap and off the map a bit. Mexico is a big country with a lot of nice places to live. It would require you to leave the comfortable little enclaves where a lot of Americans go and actually live and communicate with the Mexicans. The payoff is a richer experience than you might have otherwise and for some of us you can save a LOT of money away from the resort communities. We can’t all live in Santa Barbara back home can we?

    • Tamara Cardenas | May 13, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Reply

      San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas – EVERYONE should go to this amazing, cultural, historic and diverse culture at least once…………….

      Do yourselves a HUGE favor! You’ll be so glad you did! Everyone stay safe and enjoy the life!

      Huatulcotami

  52. babsofsanmiguel | May 13, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Reply

    I’ve been in Mexico for 20 years as a single woman. I sold everything to move here, my business, my home and 99% of my stuff. I have never regretted it. I live in SMA and do to unexpected circumstances sixteen years ago, no longer have money to fall back on…….
    I live on SS, well. I have had many adventures, both fun and medical here in Mexico. Many of the comments in these posts are inaccurate about healthcare, Skymed, ability to leave now, even though Covid19 is still raging. I have written a blog since 2006 called Babsblog and there is a window to put the categories that you have questions about.
    When 9/11 happened, we were deluged with people moving to Mexico without pre-planning. Many stayed a few years and then left. If you’re not ready to live in a culture where patience is a virtue and not everything you want is readily available, then Mexico is not for you. It is an adventure, often daily. Happy Trails.
    I just discovered this blog and I know that the writers will be besieged for a while. I used to have a million readers at one point but haven’t written as much in the last few years.

  53. I have traveled to many areas of Mexico since the 60’s. I lived as a single woman in San Miguel de Allende house sitting for six months in the mid 80’s. I always wanted to return. So in 2012 I dragged my husband down here and said I want to live here when we retire. He loved it too and had heard me talk about it our entire 28 years of marriage. He is 70 and I am 76. We bought a house in early 2013, before moving down here, and I worked on it long distance (don’t recommend this) until it was completed the end of 2014. It was a new house but needed finishing details since the builder got caught in the 2008 recession and cut corners and I’m an Interior Designer and I wanted to tweek it my way. That three bedroom 2.5 house with off street parking is now for sale in SMA. It is considered to be in the Centro since you can walk there in 15 minutes. Feel free to contact me if you’d like information about it: catlady25@outlook.com

    For the past three and a half years we have worked HARD on an old farm house/hacienda closer to Dolores HIdalgo and in a rural area and almost in Santa Clara a little village known for great furniture makers. Now directly across the highway from us is a fabulous factory for making exquisite furniture. We are only 30 minutes from SMA and still prefer shopping/eating out there. The week before Christmas we moved into our country home. We have 8′ high walls totally around what is nearly an acre of land. Having had a ranch in SW Texas once, we love the country and some land to work on. All around us is beautiful irrigated farm land.

    We have enjoyed being out here with our own land to roam around on during these Covid periods of isolation. It was predicted that many Americans would be moving here after they retire. I suspect many may come sooner just as this site is showing many of you are considering. We moved to SMA in 2015…..and moved out here at the beginning of 2020. To provide for many retiring Americans there are now many beautiful new subdivisions with large plots of land which are out in the lovely country between SMA and Dolores Hidalgo.

    My husband and I are now permanent residents of Mexico and our car is Nationalized and can be sold in Mexico when we decide to purchase a different car………if we ever do. My husband had to have double hernia surgery about a year and a half ago. We had that done in Queretaro which is about 45 minutes away. The surgeon was fabulous as was the hospital. Queretaro is a large modern town and you have Home Depot, Cosco, Walmart , office Depot, and a wonderful new HEB grocery store . The highest paid people in Mexico live there. It has Samsung and many other electronic manufacturers and farm equipment manufacturers there. So it is fun to live in the heart of Spanish Colonial Mexico and the heart of Mexico’s Independence yet in 45 minutes be in a modern city . And the Queretaro airport is only 2 hours flying from Houston InterContinental airport. Many of you know that SMA is known for art and artisans and other unique events of a cultural nature. There are wonderful people here from all around the world.

    I was just curious to see if people were still considering moving down here after the Virus Pandemic. People are wearing masks here, maintaining distances, and grocery stores and other businesses are following the same type of practices as in the US for the most part. The last I heard Mexico City and Guadalajara have the most virus patients/deaths. About a mile from our country home, their are Civil Servants stopping cars on the highway taking people’s temperature and checking the people are wearing masks. The town of Dolores Hidalgo is making sure the virus stays out of THEIR town! They’re very nice. Mostly businesses except for banks, medical facilities and grocery and gas stores and hardware stores are still closed. The virus didn’t raise it’s ugly head in Mexico until about March. So we have a little more time to go before these conditions are lifted.

    My husband and i too live on Social Security. We get by just fine.

  54. We Make Your Retirement Dreams Come True, feel free to contact us.

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