Published On: February 10th, 2024Categories: Data, RetireesTags:

Americans Moving to Mexico for Weather, Says Report

Americans Moving to Mexico for Weather, Says Report

In December, Far Homes partnered with Expats in Mexico to survey people now living in Mexico that previously lived in another country. For this survey, we focused on retirees (85% of respondents) and those over the age of 55 (95% of respondents). Our survey respondents were primarily retirees (93%), who previously lived in the US or Canada. The group was split evenly between men (50%) and women (49.2%) who have moved to a wide range of locations within Mexico (see map below).

The survey indicates that many expats experience financial improvements and a better work-life balance after moving to Mexico. It also points to Mexico as a preferred retirement destination, with a high satisfaction rate among retirees. The survey also reveals that expats feel safe living in Mexico; most respondents plan to stay there for life. 

Weather, Low Cost of Living, Mexican Culture Beckon Americans & Canadians to Mexico

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

“When it comes to reasons for moving to Mexico, it seems good weather reigns supreme,” said Chet Kittleson, CEO of Far Homes. Of the expats we surveyed, 87% of respondents cited the weather as a reason for relocating. The next most common response was cost of living, with 80% of folks saying they moved to Mexico for a more affordable life. Mexican culture is also a major draw for expats with a supermajority, over 75% of respondents saying things like language, food and Mexican traditions are a reason for moving.

21% of expats in Mexico say they left their home country due to safety concerns and crime. We reported on crime rates in Mexico this year and found that many areas in Mexico are very safe for Americans when compared to rates in the top 10 cities in the U.S.

80% of Expats Cite ‘Lower Cost of Living’ as Reason for Moving

After ‘climate and weather’, expats chose ‘cost of living’ most often as a reason for moving to Mexico (80%). Prices are considerably lower in Mexico, where 64% of our expats report paying less than $1,150 USD per month for rent. 24% of expats who rent say they pay less than $600 USD per month for their apartment. Compare this to the U.S., where the average rent is about $1,400 nationwide, with many states coming in at higher average rents. Even real estate is much less expensive in Cancun than in other comparable North American vacation markets. We compared the cost of living in the U.S./CA to Mexican cities for 2023.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

Expats in Mexico are saving hundreds of dollars per month on food, with 62% of them reporting that they spend less than $550 per month on food including groceries and eating out. According to Numbeo, the cost of groceries and restaurant dining in the U.S. are 75% and 105% more expensive than in Mexico, respectively.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

Overall, a majority (56%) of expats say living in Mexico has improved their financial situation post-move.

For those who work, 61.3% of respondents said they have a better work-life balance in Mexico while 19.4% said it was about the same in their new home country. So most working expats are both saving money, and increasing their work-life balance.

96% of Expats ‘Satisfied’ with Retirement in Mexico

The vast majority of expats we surveyed (85%) were retirees so we thought we’d ask them how satisfied they are overall with their retirement in Mexico. Almost all of them, 96%, said they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘somewhat satisfied’. Less than 3% of expats said they regretted their move.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

70% Satisfied with Mexican Healthcare: High Quality at Low Costs

Almost a third (32%) of expats say they left their home country (mainly the U.S.) due to ‘healthcare cost & quality’ in their home countries. There has been a rush of medical tourism to Mexico in recent years in large part due to the rising cost of healthcare in the US. Mexico offers similar healthcare quality that our expats are satisfied with, for an affordable price.

We asked expats how much they spend on healthcare per month, including medications—34% said they spend less than $50 per month, 22.5% said they spend between $60 and $115 per month. Overall, 89% of expats ultimately pay under $285 per month for healthcare. Compare this to the U.S., where the average cost of healthcare is $12,914 per person, annually, or $1,072 per month.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

We’ve previously reported that American expats in Mexico are saving about $8,000 per year by moving and that still appears to be the case.

Those cost savings don’t seem to sacrifice healthcare quality, though, because most of our expats surveyed with experience using the Mexican system say they are satisfied with their doctors and hospitals.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

Most who have experience are happy with their healthcare overall in Mexico where 95% are feeling very satisfied (40%) or somewhat satisfied (55%).

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

Infrastructure, Crime, Corruption Concern Expats Most

We also wanted to know what concerned expats most about their move to Mexico. Transportation and infrastructure, things such as roads, public transportation, internet, water etc, was the most commonly selected frustration with almost 32.4% of expats selecting that answer in our survey.

9.4% of respondents said the equivalent of “Nada” or “Nothing”.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

21% of expats in Mexico say they left their home country due to safety concerns and crime. We reported on crime rates in Mexico this year and found that many areas in Mexico are very safe for Americans when compared to rates in the top 10 cities in the U.S.

One frustration 24.1% of expats had was with Mexican government and politics. A similar number, 23% of respondents, chose safety and crime as a concern, which could be related to their feelings about government and politics in Mexico.

We directly asked about their approval of current Mexican President Lopez Obrador and 61% of expats had no opinion or didn’t know. Of those who had an opinion, our expats were split fairly evenly on the issue at 49% approval and 51% disapproval of the President.

Later in the survey we asked whether expats felt safe in Mexico and a majority (55.6%) said that they felt ‘very safe’ in Mexico while 41% said they felt ‘somewhat safe’. Only 4.2% said they felt ‘somewhat unsafe’ and no one we surveyed (0%) said ‘very unsafe’. (see chart below).

96% of Expats Feel Safe in Mexico

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

95% of Expats ‘Satisfied’, Plan to Stay for Life

80% of expats in Mexico say they are very satisfied with their decision to move to Mexico and another 15% say they are at least somewhat satisfied. Only one respondent said they were ‘not satisfied at all’.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

We also asked expats about any future plans they might have to leave Mexico. Most, 61% said they had no plans to leave or plan on staying for life. 29.7% said they ‘maybe’ would consider a move, while only 8.7% said their move to Mexico is temporary.

Methodology & Demographics

We leveraged the multiple groups of expats living in Mexico to participate in our survey. These sources included Facebook expat group members, ExpatsinMexico.com email subscribers, and other expat groups on social media. No personal information was collected or responses connected to individual people in our survey. Our group had an even gender split at 50% men and 48.9% women answering our questions. Most of them were over the age of 55 and retired or semi-retired with 81% coming from the US originally.

We’d like to thank all of our participants for their time and candid responses! We’ll feature additional answers from this survey in future reports.

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Photo Credit: Far Homes.

This article originally appeared on Far Homes.

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Jacob Klein
Far Homes | + posts
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Jacob Klein
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