Live & Retire In Mexico FAQs

We get so many questions about retiring and living in Mexico that I’ve decided to combine both the questions and replies in a single post.  As new questions come in I’ll add them here, so if this topic interests you I suggest subscribing to the post.  As always I hope you’ll feel free to add your own comments, advice, and personal experience via the comment box.

3 March 2010

I want to THANK YOU for your wealth of information !!!!!!!!! I completely stumbled across your website and various links of information and am now addicted :o)

My husband and I were married in Puerto Vallarta in March 2005. Having never been there, it was a huge step for me in more than one way !!! However, I completely fell in love with the area and the people. We go to PV (actually south of there) every year for our anniversary and this will be our 5th. Each time we try to stay longer and venture further. My husband probably would have moved to Mexico a long time ago – but, I have been the one holding him back. We are both so frustrated with the government and the state of our economy; and the continual decline. We continually evaluate our environment. In just the last two weeks we have fallen in love with Lake Chapala – and, for some reason, Ajijic. We wonder how we would be able to support ourselves with no retirement funds or savings set aside. Not sure how the job market is – if there even is one. I realize that I am rambling on and on here and you obviously can’t solve my issues. I have ordered your book and hope to have it in a couple days. I know it will be a great resource and I am looking forward to that. Any other words of wisdom you would be willing to share on a more personal basis would be greatly appreciated. I was also wondering if you have a blog that I have not found yet ??

Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!      Marlene


26 Feb 2010

My husband and I are looking to retire in a place we can afford. We are a bit concerned about Mexico because we have heard that it is not a particularly safe place to live. Also, if you buy property can the Mexican government take it away at any time? We are looking for horse property. Is it feasible to purchase a few acres of nice property with a small home on it, in a safe area, for 60,000?

Thank you, Bev

Carl replies: Bev, I can tell right away from your questions that you know very little, if anything about Mexico.  For that reason I strongly suggest that you visit Mexico as many times as possible, and as long as possible, before you try to make plans to live there.  There’s really no point in trying to answer your questions about safety, land ownership and the cost of living until you have some kind of better feel for Mexico yourself.  I don’t want to discourage you but the first step I advise is always this:  spend a good deal of time in Mexico before you make any kind of committments there. As much as we love the country, it isn’t necessarily the best place for everyone.


Dear Carl & Lorena,

I am considering retiring to Mexico and for the last several months it feels like every spare moment is spent researching the “perfect” place to live.

I am looking for a particular lifestyle and to avoid the humidity of Florida where I currently live. I am excluding coastal areas due to the humidity factor and because they are too touristy. I have reduced my search to the the central mountain regions particularly the states of Guanajuato, Queretaro and San Luis Potosi and the city of Cuernavaca.

The lifestyle I am seeking is to live in a moderate city <100,000 with sufficient amenities to make life comfortable, with a modest expat population, but I don’t want to live in an “expat ghetto” as I believe they are called. I love everything Mexican: the food, the colors, the music, the people, so I’m looking for immersion. I want to be able to be able to walk everywhere (within reason), participate in the community in a positive way.

That being said, I am currently enticed by a city called Tequisquiapan in Queretaro. There are expats, but not an abundance of them, the climate is mild, spring like almost all year with low to moderate humidity (that’s what I’ve been told, is that so?). The town is not far from the city of San Luis Potosi and 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive to San Miguel de Allende if I feel the need for big city activities.

Do you or any of your readers have any personal knowledge of this area? If so I’d love to hear about it.

Thank you in advance,


PS. Love your website, very informative and enjoyable.


I am using this place to ask about san cristobal de las casas (Chiapas) because my e-mail to didn´t get through. I am in San &gt;Miguel de Allende and hate it – full of rich Nortamericanos etc. and want a simple life in a cooler climate. Need info on practical things like: most quiet barrio and is there a storage facility for my boxes when I travel there by hired van with my four african lovebirds and my dog?


Rene’e Watson

Good evening “everyone”,
I have your books memorized, bought boxes of them for gifts and for many years have visited Mexico and the total Baja not missing one dirt trail leading off the main road, was a support driver for the Baja 1000 for 15 years and that really got me off the road. I read the questions ” Is it safe to go to Mexico ” I live north of San Diego and I go to Rosarito Beach and area one day a week……….I have my favorite taco stands on the street, the beer is icy cold and the people could not be nicer. I do not any longer drive after dark. I see that I am at the border just about the time the sun sets. The past five years I have driven each year between 7,000 and 8,000 mile on the main land of Mexico going to Chiapas where I have totally fallen in love with that area and the Lacandon Indians of the rain forest. I am 75 years old, I drive this by my self. A couple years ago three friends I have known since I was 5 years old followed along. I can not tell you what a major mistake this was. As I said the only thing I do differently is I do not drive after dark any longer. I feel 100% comfortable walking all over and in the evening to dinner and back to the hotel. I never have and I refuse not to let fear run my life. The very sad thing is that the newspapers in the U.S. really blow things out of proportion. I am at this moment calling and writing to a paper about an article they run a week ago that could not have been more disgusting and un true. I just happened to be in the area of the incident they, from their desk in San Diego were writing about. Go every one , go and enjoy the beautiful country of Mexico. Uncomfortable to go alone ? You are welome to follow along with me this winter.
P.S. the lady with the question about San Cristobal de las Casas………..Go, you will totally fall in love with this incredibal place and all of the area. want to know more about it please contact me. I have some wonderful pictures of the area. my Email


2 Responses to “Live & Retire In Mexico FAQs”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Sheila says:

    Yes, you need to spend a lot of time in Mexico before moving there. I met two persons in Merida who had visited there several times, loved it, then after moving lock stock and barrel decided after a couple of years it was just too darn hot. Anyone looking for a San Miguel de Allende alternative should consider Xalapa or Coatepec (10 min taxi ride or 20 min bus ride from Xalapa). Temperate, rich culture supported by oil money from Veracruz since Xalapa is the Capital, great museums and is a university town full of cafe culture…can’t rave enough. If you have never traveled to Veracruz, the landscape is marvelous – quite like a tropical Virginia, with rolling hills dotted w/cattle and coffee plants, and large pine trees (next to palms)…absolutely lovely and lush. Most afternoons you would experience the local chipi chipi-a mist or light rain for an hour or more. then it stops. that’s why it is the coffee growing capital…perfect climate. Just about every block of Coatepec has a coffee retail shop for a local coffee grower – w/gourmet coffee at a low price…the neighboring town, Xico – also a beautiful town – has a mole shop on every block…Lovely area…

  2. After 15 months of criss-crossing Mexico, my new book looks at Americans and Canadians who’ve chosen to avoid the big expat colonies in San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. What they’ve found is both diverse and surprising. If you’re wondering what the expat experience is like, whether on the beach or in the colonial cities of the interior, you need to listen to this conversation. The book is called Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path, and there is no other book like it. There’s a sample on my website: