A new wave of Americans seeks better, cheaper living in Mexico

Portrait of pensive young woman thinking about work, education and dreams on light background with creative drawings (Image; Expat Counseling and Coaching)

Greg Prasker says he has been captivated by Mexico’s culture, people and natural scenery. The cheap rent doesn’t hurt, either.

“I just knew this was going to be my home,” says Prasker, describing the moment he first fell in love with the country during a 2019 trip.

The 43-year-old professional hypnotist and life coach from New York has called Mexico home for the past eight months.

“It’s just a different energy in general,” he says. “You don’t have the rat race going on … People are kind of nicer here, they’re more welcoming, they’re very peaceful.”

While Americans seeking a change of pace in Mexico is not a new trend, recent affordability challenges — particularly the rising cost of housing — have inspired a new surge of expats.

Here’s what to consider if you’re planning to stretch your dollars down south.


Affordability a top priority

In a March survey by the magazine Expats In Mexico, nearly one-quarter of respondents named cost of living as their top motive for making the move, though the Mexican lifestyle and climate also scored well.

Prasker’s stay in Mexico began by paying $1,000 in total for his residency, which included $700 in residency fees to the Mexican government and $300 for his lawyer.

He currently lives in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. His $525 rent gives him an-all inclusive apartment with a weekly cleaning service.

“That’s expensive for here,” Prasker said. “I know people that are a little further out that are spending $100 or $200 a month.”

Those savings are sure to prove alluring to anyone who can take advantage of the ongoing work-from-home revolution.

“Additional flexibility to work remotely and relatively minimal travel restrictions to enter Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to an increasing flow of U.S. citizens working remotely from several Mexican cities,” says Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE BY DINA AL-SHIBE ON MONEY WISE

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