Thriving Expat communities flourish all over Mexico
Mexico News Network author Elliot Bullman, describes why more than one million American retirees have chosen Mexico as their home now.
Low cost of living, warm climate, natural beauty, modern infrastructure and one of the world’s most intriguing cultures are just a few of the reasons why Americans have set up their retirement in Mexico.
Many airports throughout Mexico offer short, direct flights to the United States, making it easy to return home or to have visitors. And, of course, it’s just over the border from the U.S.
The low cost and high quality of Mexico’s healthcare system also attract many retiring Americans. With more than one million Americans living in Mexico it is clearly not a fad.
Thriving Expat Communities
Many traditional tourist destinations in Mexico not only welcome travellers but also cater to American retirees. Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, Baja California, Mérida and Cancun are among the most popular with Americans.
These areas provide a wide range of real estate options, from modest housing in good neighbourhoods to high-end gated communities with 24-hour security.
The economies in these areas are driven by North American tourists and retirees. Most businesses have English-speaking employees, and restaurants usually have menus printed in English. Adding more familiarity, most Mexican cities have stores found in the U.S. such as Walmart and Costco.
Affordable Quality Healthcare
Certainly one of the largest factors for retirees to consider when moving south of the border is the availability of quality healthcare in Mexico. Many are surprised to find the healthcare system in Mexico is not only very good, it is actually world class and very affordable. Costs for common surgeries and procedures can be 25% to 50% of what is paid in the U.S. Doctors and dentists are commonly educated and trained in America and Europe, and their facilities are usually supplied with the latest equipment and technologies. In fact medical tourism in Mexico because many procedures and treatments, which have proven to be successful, are either extremely expensive or not yet approved in other countries.
As of 2014 (more recent specific data not available), an office visit with a doctor or specialist cost approximately $35 to $50. House calls were around the same price. Lab tests clocked in at about a third of the price paid in the United States, and a CT scan cost 25% of what is paid for the procedure north of the border. An overnight stay in a private hospital room is under $100 on average, and a visit to a dentist for teeth cleaning costs around $30. Prices have risen in Mexico, but also in the U.S., so the general difference seems to be about the same.
Infrastructure and Communications
Most populated areas in Mexico have good cellular coverage and widely available high-speed Internet. These factors help make Mexico a popular choice for those looking to semi-retire by managing their business while sitting on a beach with a laptop. In 2013, Mexico announced plans to invest $320 billion through 2018 to improve its infrastructure and communications in an effort to establish the country as a true emerging economic leader in the 21st century.