Retiring in Mexico

So, you've vacationed in Mexico and loved it! Taken in her spectacular scenery, enjoyed her beaches or maybe explored her colonial cities, and now you are wondering....can I retire in Mexico? Retirement may be a few years off, but the idea of retiring south of the border has been firmly planted! More and more gringos are indeed choosing this charming country as their retirement destination. In fact, expatriates choose Mexico for retirement more than any other country in the world. Why? Primarily because it's possible to reduce your current living expenses in half by retiring here and not sacrifice, in most cases, the conveniences found at home. You might even raise your standard of living. Of course, this is not true in all areas. If you decide to retire in Mazatlan, for example, chances are that your expenses will not go down. But your peace-of-mind and enjoyment of life will go up!

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americans retiring in mexico - living in mexico, san miguel de allende, retiring mexico, retiring in mexico

One of the primary questions retirees have about Mexico is the quality of health care and insurance coverage. Contrary to popular belief, the health care in Mexico is very good. Many doctors have trained in the U.S. and are bilingual

Mexico has a multi-layered immigration system. Tourists with an FM-T visa (commonly known as the tourist visa) are allowed to stay in Mexico for 6 months without crossing a border to renew the visa. For those who want to stay longer than 6 months at a time without having to make a semi-annual trip to the border, the next step in the immigration process is the FM-3. You must be 55 to apply, and you will need 6 things:

1) A completed official application form (FDN1/02) and a copy. These are available at any Mexican consulate and at the Regional Immigration Office in Mexico.

2) Your original tourist visa (it cannot be expired).

3) A current passport.

4) If spouses are applying, a copy of the couple's marriage certificate.

5) Written proof from a U.S. or Mexican bank that the equivalent of $1030 U.S. is being deposited monthly into the bank account of the applicant. For each dependent, the amount required is approximately $515 U.S. If you own property in Mexico, the amount required is reduced by one half. These minimums are set by the Mexican government and fluctuate.

6) There are two fees that must be paid to the Mexican Tax Department through a Mexican bank, using Hacienda Form #5. One is approximately $35 U.S. and the other approximately $90 U.S. These are paid separately; the first one before you apply for your visa, and the second one after you have applied and received a letter stating that your application has been received and is being processed.