How Much Money Do You Need to Retire in Mexico?

How much money you need to retire in Mexico depends on several factors, such as the location and your personal living choices. Those who frequently cook at home and can easily live on $1,500 to $2,000 per month. However, it is always wise to budget extra amounts for any unexpected events. 

Bar in Todos Santos
Bar in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur

A Breakdown of What to Expect Financially

Overall, Mexico has a more affordable lifestyle than the United States. Still, it is important to understand costs and set realistic expectations. 

Here are some cost-of-living estimates and a few tips on how to make your dollars go further south of the border:

What Are Typical Rental Prices?

Just as in the US, the amount you pay for rent can vary significantly by location and neighborhood. Many popular destinations have apartments and even entire homes for around $800 USD per month or less. Residents in smaller cities or further from a downtown area can easily find rentals down to just a few hundred dollars per month. 

residential area in Valladolid

However, going for the less expensive option isn’t always the better course of action. Finding a location where foreign residents report feeling safe and settled is important. For retirees looking for an upscale atmosphere, $1,500 USD isn’t out of the question for the most sought-after neighborhoods. 

How Much Is Food?

Due to favorable exchange rates, food in Mexico tends to be quite inexpensive. Prices for meat and produce at the market are very reasonable. Imported international foods, however, are more expensive. 


Lunch or dinner at an international restaurant can run anywhere from $10- $12 USD per plate. Eating local food such as a plate full of tacos, rice, and beans is usually just a few dollars. Cooking at home can also become pricey if you don’t stick to local ingredients. 

Healthcare Costs

Without a doubt, healthcare costs are one of the most dramatic differences between American and Mexican costs of living. Healthcare is extremely affordable in Mexico, and doctors are often Western-educated and speak fluent English. 

Medications that require a prescription in America often don’t need one in Mexico. If you know the details of your prescriptions, this can be an additional area of savings. When you need medical care, seeing a family doctor in Mexico can cost $20 or less. Hospital prices are also very reasonable, and there are specialty physicians for different ailments. 

Other Unexpected Costs

Because each person’s needs and wants are different, no cost-of-living guide will apply 100% to everyone. All sorts of individual decisions and preferences can greatly affect budgets. Being prepared is key to maintaining a healthy cash flow while living in Mexico. 

avoid costly mistakes in Mexico
avoid costly mistakes in Mexico

While healthcare is very affordable, it’s crucial to have medical insurance that covers you for any situation. It is also essential to have money set aside for unexpected costs that can arise seemingly from nowhere. 

For example, you never know when you’ll have to fly back to your home country for a family emergency. Having a few thousand dollars in savings and regularly adding to that account can help offset these costs. 

Another point you need to consider is that in order to live in Mexico legally, you will need to obtain a residency visa. See the economic solvency requirements for Mexican Residency.

Our Mexico Guide Has Detailed Information

Small-town Mexico has very little in common with Mexico City when it comes to prices. Conversely, while the rent in trendy districts may be sky-high, the price of eggs is likely the same as in blue-collar neighborhoods. 

To help you make sense of which cities and towns offer the best bang for your buck, be sure to check out our private Mexico relocation tours.

Our tours will show you what you can expect when you choose to retire in Mexico and offer suggestions on which neighborhoods have foreign residents feeling safe and settled with a greater sense of community!

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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