By Rodrigo Manterola

Moving to Mexico could be the change you need if you are looking to stretch your hard-earned money and have the quality of life in a country where gentle weather prevails all year long and natural beauty is everywhere, and don’t get me started on the food…

Whether you’re looking for a retirement plan, or a plan B, or C, or maybe you are a Digital Nomad with an online job, and the freedom to fly with the wind, Mexico offers ex-pats from all over the world a very competitive option when it comes to relocating.

No matter where in the race you are, making your money pay for more it’s always a good way to move forward. 

Access to more and better real estate, higher standards of life for your money, the lower general cost of living, more accessible medical bills, etc.

Making the move to Mexico can be the break you are looking for, particularly after 2020.

However moving to Mexico may not be everybody’s cup of tea, like with everything else, there are pros and cons of moving to Mexico and these are not the same for all.

I’m sure you ask yourself that question a lot.

Lorna and I got ourselves busy not only researching all the legalities, protocols, and procedures but experiencing the whole process as Lorna made her move to Mexico from Ireland.

The information contained here is the first of several articles we’re making about the different challenges she/we faced through the process of legally moving to Mexico from the ex-pat point of view and with knowledge of the culture and bureaucracy I can provide as a Mexican.

We included firsthand information as well as information found on other websites, the Mexican government, Mexican tax office, and other resources, to provide the best answer to these questions, however, the content of this article is for reference only and links to the official government websites will be provided for further consultation.

As the information here is our point of view, professional assistance should always be an option for you and we also include the links to third-party companies that can provide assistance. 

Some of these links can be affiliate links where if you purchase any of the services provided we make a commission without affecting price and sometimes even offering discounted rates. This helps us to keep this website. For your support, Thank you

Most common questions people are regarding moving to Mexico

To make it easier to find the answer you’re looking for we’ve separated these questions into different subjects.

  • Before you make the move to Mexico
  • Move to Mexico
  • Buying property in Mexico
  • Work in Mexico
  • Investing in Mexico
  • Taxes in Mexico for non-Mexicans

Before you make the move to Mexico

Can a US citizen live in Mexico?

Yes, whether you are looking to stay for a period of time or a permanent move consider this; more than 1.5 million ex-pats live their lives in Mexico. 

People of all walks of life including entire families including pets, cross the border every day with the intention to stay in Mexico for long periods of time or permanently.

There are different kinds of visas depending on your plan and budget.

  • FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple) also  tourist visa
  • Mexican Consulate Pre-approval Visa
  • Temporary resident visa
  • Permiso Para Trabajar Visa (working visa)
  • Permanent Resident Visa
  • Visas Through Family / Spouse / Employer
  • Expired Temporary Resident Visa

Read in more detail what each visa is for and how to apply for it here

So what’s your plan? 

Make a list of the pros and cons of moving to Mexico.

Is it cheaper to live in Mexico than in the United States?

Yes, but…

The cost of living may be lower, food, rent, services, for sure,  but buying imported goods, electronics and exclusive brands can be expensive in Mexico in comparison to the USA or the UK.

Although Mexico is cheaper to live in, at least cheaper than other areas of North America, you can easily end up spending as much or even more than what you do back in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc, depending on your lifestyle. 

In the end, as long as your lifestyle is congruent with your earnings, and your earnings are in a foreign currency like dollars or Euros, Mexico will always be a good option if you want to make your money go further.

Can I move to Mexico right now?

Yes, the Mexican border did not close due to the pandemic, but some restrictions apply depending on the port of entry and means of transportation.

Read here about the latest travel restrictions update 

How much money do you need to move to Mexico?

Depends on your lifestyle.

This is a question with different answers. How much money do I need to live in the USA?

Some people could live in Mexico for $500 to $600 dollars a month, for a few months.

Some Digital Nomads and long-term travelers may find ways to stretch their budgets, but if you settle in a more permanent way and your lifestyle improves, $500 a month just won’t cut it.

Let’s slice this up.

Salaries in Mexico

Mexico’s minimum wage is under $10.00 US a day, for an 8-hour workday. That is about $1.25 US an hour, as for January 2021.

But that is to live in poverty, even in Mexico.

The average wage for manual labor is between $250 and $500 US a month.

Construction workers, waiters, cleaners, hospitality industry, etc. This is also the entry-level salary of many office jobs; corporate jobs, bank tellers and executives, and other positions.

This level is also where most Mexicans stand at from young professionals coming out of college to more experienced employees. 

At this level it is very hard to have savings in the bank, live in a nice neighborhood, or have little extras like going out for dinner or drinks once a week or vacations once a year and it’s particularly hard if you have a family, all depending on one salary.

Office work salary (middle-level employee, graphic designer, etc) would be between $500 and $800 US a month.

This is a more decent level (low-middle class) for a young and single person, this salary would allow you to have some mild luxuries like; health insurance through a bank account, Netflix, a gym membership, maybe vacations once a year, and even finance a small car through the bank, but this level has limitations and is very susceptible to instability if no savings are kept in the bank. 

A decent salary and lifestyle start between $800 US and $1500 US a month.

With a salary like this you now can think about investment, maybe financing a nice car, a house in a nicer neighborhood, some sort of entrepreneurship like opening a side business, etc. 

A salary like his offers a higher quality of life and a future.

This level also allows all of the amenities listed above like vacation once or even twice a year if you know your budget well. 

You can go out for drinks or dinner several times a week, a membership in a spa, gym, or club of preference, and also allow some avenues to grow economically; but if not done wisely, and savings are neglected, this salary also may not be enough.

Again it all grinds down to lifestyle.

Salaries above $1500 US and up to $3000 US a month are offered for a more specific set of skills, education, or certification, as well as position within the company. 

This is a salary to live with almost no limitations in Mexico, but then again some lifestyles can suck dry any bank account. 

Salaries above $3000 US a month can enjoy a great and almost careless lifestyle with great possibilities to grow to any level they want.

Moving to Mexico

Rent in Mexico

The rent in some neighborhoods in Monterrey, the third-largest city in Mexico, or in Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo, can rival the ones in New York or SF in some cases, but in Campeche, another city in Mexico, the same type of property could be just a fraction of the price.

To be as truthful as possible I’ll give our cost of living in Mexico: 

We are a couple in our 35/45 y/o living in a touristy town like Cabo, our home is one block away from the beach and with all our needs covered within walking distance; bank, groceries, dining, etc. All within a 5-minute walk from home.

Our lifestyle is quite relaxed, we are very flexible in our schedule and we like to enjoy the perks of living in a town like this but without overdoing it; we keep a budget.

Our rent is about $400 US a month for a two-bedroom apartment in a gated complex, no swimming pool, the ocean is next door.

Our expenses are quite low when we are in town, we travel a lot but stay in Cabo for periods of 4 to 6 months every year.

Groceries are under $250 a month, one big shopping every two weeks and Oxxo (convenience store) maybe two trips a week for random stuff. 

Check some of the services you can pay at Oxxo

In our case, services like the internet, electricity, and water don’t reach the $100 US a month mark.

We like to go out once or twice a week to the local restaurants or bars but we mainly enjoy water activities in the nearby beach, and a membership to the nearby gym, when that was a thing you could do. COVID 19 changed that.

Our life in Cabo allows us to have a decent level of life without any luxuries but living comfortably with around $1300 a month.

But our story is not necessarily everyone’s story. We were lucky to find the right location at the right price; our neighbors pay twice what we pay, but they also may like a more sophisticated lifestyle.

How much money do you need to live in Mexico?

I’d say $1000 US per one person a month should be a fair starting point, add $300 per additional person like spouse or child. 

But sure, if you like to take on adventures, $500 a month will do. Some people here survive on $150 US a month, right?.

Can I retire on $2000 US a month in Mexico?

Yes, you can, but it’s important you do your math right, while $2000 US a month allows you a very comfortable life in Mexico, it may not cover a medical emergency if you don’t have health insurance or savings in the bank, or both. But then again, that’s the reality of many Americans in America today.

As we mentioned above; life in Mexico can be easier and definitely cheaper than in the US, but not everything is cheaper in Mexico.

Some medical services and special treatments can be really expensive if you don’t have health insurance. 

There is a huge industry of health holidays in Mexico, travelers from the US, flood a blooming health industry in border states like Baja California, Chihuahua, etc…

Dentists, prosthetic surgeons, and other services are offered for half the price or less in the US, but COVID is not one of those bargains and it can be easily abused in touristy towns where travelers may need a COVID test or treatment. 

Relying on the Mexican health services like “Seguro Social” is a little less than suicidal as sadly IMSS is a long-neglected apparatus with no heads or tails. Especially after 2020.

If you are healthy and strong, and you have good health insurance, sure, $2000 a month should be more than enough for 1 and even two people or more, but after COVID, if you are 50 or older, or you have a weak immune system and you want to live in Mexico, you better bring some money with you and you better have a great health insurance policy in order to have access to the best medical facilities and services money can buy in Mexico if needed.

Read our article about things to know before moving to Mexico here

Can I bring my pet to Mexico?

Yes, and the good news is that from December of 2019 you’re no longer asked for a vet certificate for your dogs or cats when crossing the border from the USA or Canada.

The reports from people bringing their pets to Mexico indicate Mexican customs officers don’t pay much attention to pets, yet, some guidelines and procedures apply to make your dog’s stay responsible and legal. 

Read more about bringing your pet to Mexico here.

What is the safest place to live in Mexico?

Most statistics give Merida, in the state of Yucatan, the title of the safest city in Mexico, and the whole state as the safest state in the country.

Your safety in Mexico is important, you need to understand safety as a way of life, not a thing you buy.

Mexico is not that different from other countries, yes there is a big Cartel problem, and yes bad things happen in Mexico, but while you read all those bad headlines about Mexico on the news, you miss all the good news about all the people being happy living and loving Mexico, why? Because good news doesn’t sell newspapers.

You must do your own research not only about crime, but weather, and medical infrastructure, or internet speed, depending on your own needs.

Safety is important, but the majority of news is about petty crime and local issues, no different than the ones you get in cities across the world.

There is a list given by the Department of State which contains some of the cities or States you should not visit or reconsider visiting, yet thousands of ex-pats live there and they are happy to keep living there despite the news. In the end, it’s your call.

At the time of publishing Feb 2021, these are the cities the DOE lists as dangerous

What are the advantages of living in Mexico?

There are many advantages to living in Mexico besides the very affordable lifestyle. Here is a list of the top reasons people choose Mexico as their retirement plan and even a Digital Nomad place to live for a while.

  • The cost of living is less than that of the USA, Canada, or Europe
  • You can fly from almost any state in the USA and Canada within just a few hours.
  • It’s easy and reachable by car, you can drive from almost any state of the US and Canada
  • Flight rates are very cheap most of the year from the USA, Canada, and Europe
  • Affordable medical care and medicine
  • A great variety of climate ranges from hot and sunny to misty and mountany, always nice and warmer than any northern locations in the winter.
  • Great fresh seasonal fruit all year round 
  • Great food and flavors
  • Relatively easy and expat-friendly visa and residence.
  • Beautiful history and culture going back thousands of years.

There are many reasons why to consider Mexico for your next move.

What are the disadvantages of living in Mexico?

As there are pros of Moving to Mexico, there are also a few things to consider about moving to Mexico.

Here a list of the more common reasons according to the public.

  • Safety is always something to consider. While most of Mexico is relatively safe, there are a few places you may not want to live in.
  • Luxury and technology items like computers, smartphones, brand name products, designer labels, and other high-end clothing items or other imported goods are generally more expensive in Mexico.
  • Internet and power outages are not uncommon in some small cities and even in some major ones.
  • Corruption and bureaucracy are always an issue when trying to manage government, taxes, and other issues.
  • Quality of water and food is different from the ones in more developed countries, beware of what you eat and drink, at least while you get used to it. 
  • The weather, yes, while the weather is one of the main reasons people move into Mexico, the weather is hot in most parts of the country for the most part of the year so adapting to hotter weather maybe not easy for everyone.

Should you move to Mexico? Maybe, you should try visiting different parts of the country first and get a feel of what the weather and other conditions are and if they suit you.

The move to Mexico

How much does it cost to move to Mexico?

This could be an expensive part of the process of moving to Mexico, why?

Because you will incur expenses that are out of the ordinary like; movers, builders, lawyers, etc.

How much it costs to move your belongings depends on what, where from, and who moves it.

There are many cases where people bring their own belongings in their own car across the border, this could be the easiest and cheapest way to do it but it may not be everyone’s solution.

How much it costs depends entirely on personal choices.

Can I bring my belongings to Mexico by myself or do I need a professional?

If you want to do it on your own here are a few tips.

  • Don’t bring all of your household items. Bring only what you absolutely cannot leave behind or can’t get in Mexico. You can buy most of what you need in Mexico.
  • Make a list of your house goods and value them as low as possible, anything new or under six months old may require a receipt.
  • Just make a spreadsheet “Menaje de Casa” list, of the contents of each numbered box – describing each box’s contents and the contents of the whole load, in both Spanish and English.
  • Include the serial numbers of all electronics, TVs, stereos, etc. in the Menaje de Casa list. No need to do this for kitchen appliances 
  • Have several copies of this list, to give at the Aduana checkpoints for their files, leaving enough copies for you to show at the crossing-stops where you enter some states and also enough copies for military checkpoints (retenes), in case they want a copy.
  • NO PRESCRIPTION MEDS without the written prescriptions, only minimal amounts of tools, they sometimes charge duties (up to 19%) on what they would think are enough tools to start a business
  • Bring only small numbers of children’s toys (5 toys per child is the legal limit)
  • Only small numbers of unwrapped CDs & DVDs (Not new)
  • No construction materials (lumber, blocks, etc)
  • Nothing in commercial quantities – enough quantities to sell or to start a small business.
  • New electronics in their boxes can get charged duties

If you should choose the services of professional movers

The cost of these will depend on what you move, size and where from and where should you ship it to.

Here a list of movers for you to start testing the waters.

When is the best time to get quotes for your international move?

The best time to contact the moving companies for quotes is within 6 months of moving. Preferably within 3 months. 

You can also use this website to get free quotes and set your own inventory sheet to email to the mover.

Tips on Moving to Mexico

Make a list of all of the belongings you’re bringing to Mexico –  On this list, you want to include the names of all individual items, the quantity, and what you think the street value of the item is. 

You do not need to show receipts, just use your best judgment as to what the value of the item would be in a yard sale.  

The list of items needs to be both in English and in Spanish for the customs officers.  

Make sure you match your list up to a box number for easier inspection and organizing in general. 

There is a limit of $3000 US over personal belongings being brought into Mexico. 

If the value of your items is greater than that, you will need a Customs Broker at the Border to help you.

Get all your important tax and legal records in digital form – If possible, digitize all your important documents and save them to a cloud-based service like Google Drive and even some physical hard drive for peace of mind. 

Forward mail address  – A mail forwarding service in the U.S. it’s always a good idea. 

There are several companies out there that will provide services such as accepting your mail, scanning it so that you can view it on-line, accept checks and deposit them and eventually mailing them to Mexico once you’ve settled down.

Different companies offer different services and the fee will depend on the services you choose. 

It is handy to have a mail forwarding service as it can also be used as a U.S. address.

Notify Everyone of Change of Address – Once you set up a mail forwarding service company, notify everyone; from lenders to your accountant and even former employers. Let them know of your new mailing address.

Do you need prescription drugs? – If you do, you’re going to need to fill up your prescriptions before leaving and make sure that you have enough to last you until you find them in Mexico. 

You may not need a prescription for some drugs in Mexico but it’s also possible you may need a prescription for something you didn’t need a prescription before; different country, different laws.  

Keep all of your prescriptions in their original bottles with your doctor’s name on them as customs officers may request this information.  

You may need to justify amounts such that it is suitable for your use only.

Health certificates for your pets – If you are bringing Fido across the border from the US or Canada, you may not need to get a Certificate of Health from your local veterinarian anymore, but it’s always a good idea to have it.

Make sure you get one some a week or so, prior to leaving.  

The vet will make sure your pet is ok and current with all of its shots, and you will get an updated Certificate of Health.  

It’s not a bad idea to stick or tape a copy of the certificate to the carrier, make sure it is visible for customs officers at the border. 

Make sure to have extra copies of this paperwork too.

Read more about bringing your pet to Mexico here

 Bring your medical records – Make copies of your health history, dental records, and health insurance, etc.

If you’re driving to Mexico– If you’re bringing any vehicle whether is a car, RV, motorbike, or boat to Mexico, first you are going to need a Temporary Import Permit (TIP)

Not all the regions in Mexico work the same way, a permit is not required if you stay within the Free Zone, within the Sonora permit free area, or within the entire Baja peninsula.  

The border zone is 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the border and the entire area of the Baja California peninsula.

So if you are planning on visiting Rocky Point, Hermosillo, Bahia de Kino, Guaymas, San Carlos, Father Kino Missions,  Caborca, Santa Ana, or Magdalena you will not need a vehicle permit.

If your plans are to only visit Sonora, an “Only Sonora” permit option is available.

There is a Free Zone in the South of Mexico; Quintana Roo and Chiapas with Belize and Guatemala respectively, and therefore a Free Zone 

However, Quintana Roo and Chiapas are on the opposite side of Mexico from the U.S. or Canada, you will need to drive across the country to get there, or if you want to drive outside the states of Quintana Roo and Chiapas to visit other states, either way, you will need the Temporary Import Permit (TIP) 

If you want to permanently import your car read this guide here.

You are going to need a permission letter from your car lender – If you still have a loan out on your car, you need your lender to give you a permission letter allowing you to take the vehicle into Mexico.   

This letter must be given to you within 30 days from the date that you leave.

Get Mexican car Insurance– This is required by law, even when your American car insurance covers you for 100 miles from the border, Mexican law is very clear about this, you need Mexican registered car insurance to drive in Mexico.

Get a quote for Mexican car insurance here

Other questions people ask are:

Can I get dual citizenship in Mexico?

Yes, this is possible in Mexico as it recognizes dual citizenship.

However, not all countries allow dual citizenship, so even though Mexican law allows it, if your home country doesn’t allow dual nationalities, you may have to give up your original citizenship if you become a Mexican national.

What countries allow dual citizenship with Mexico?

While some countries allow dual citizenship without restriction, as long as applicants meet certain criteria, like England and The Republic of Ireland, some other countries allow dual citizenship with restrictions on who can get dual citizenship.

Some other countries that allow dual citizenship with Mexico are:

  1. Australia
  2. Belgium
  3. Canada
  4. Denmark
  5. France
  6. Finland
  7. Greece
  8. Hungary
  9. Israel
  10. Italy
  11. Philippines
  12. Portugal
  13. Spain
  14. Sweden
  15. Switzerland
  16. United States

Best places to retire in Mexico?

There are different factors to keep in mind when choosing the best city in Mexico to retire like, weather, services, size of the town, etc.

Here a list of some of the favorite spots for Expats in Mexico in no particular order: 

  • Ajijic
  • Lake Chapala.
  • Baja
  • Álamos.
  • Durango.
  • Huatulco.
  • Mazatlán.
  • Morelia.
  • Oaxaca.
  • Playa del Carmen.
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Tulum.

Being a Digital Nomad brings different needs to the table, if you are looking to spend some time in Mexico as a Digital Nomad you may want to read our article. What is the best city for Digital Nomads in Mexico?

What places to avoid in Mexico?

There is a list given by the Department of State which names some of the cities or states you should not visit or reconsider visiting, as mentioned before some of these states are ex-pats favorites, and some of the problems are localized in very specific areas in a state. 

As with everything else, your safety depends on many factors like the line of business and lifestyle, just as much as geographical location.

A sober lifestyle is required in some areas of Mexico in order to stay clear from trouble but this applies to any major city in the world.  if you’re looking for trouble you’ll find it.

Just don’t walk around flashing all your jewelry in your brand new BMW, in Mexico, you can afford it but you may not want to look as if you can, right?

At the time of publishing this article,  Feb 2021, these are the cities the DOE considers dangerous for traveling.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Colima state due to crime.
  • Guerrero state due to crime.
  • Michoacán state due to crime.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime.
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.

Reconsider Travel To:

  • Chihuahua state due to crime.
  • Coahuila state due to crime.
  • Durango state due to crime.
  • Jalisco state due to crime.
  • Mexico state due to crime.
  • Morelos state due to crime.
  • Nayarit state due to crime.
  • Nuevo Leon state due to crime.
  • San Luis Potosi state due to crime.
  • Sonora state due to crime.
  • Zacatecas state due to crime.

Read here about the requirements to immigrate to Mexico and what documents you need to move to Mexico?

How do I get temporary residence in Mexico?

There are different kinds of visas depending on your plan and budget. We talk more deeply about it here but in general; these are the available visas a foreign can get in Mexico:

  • FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple) also  tourist visa
  • Mexican Consulate Pre-approval Visa 
  • Temporary resident visa
  • Permiso Para Trabajar Visa (working visa)
  • Permanent Resident Visa
  • Visas Through Family / Spouse / Employer
  • Expired Temporary Resident Visa

It’s important to have an idea of what we want for your Mexican experience, and while it’s a very subjective matter, moving to Mexico should be something to look for with eyes of discovery as it is indeed a very different culture. 

Read here about the requirements to immigrate to Mexico and what documents you need to move to Mexico?

Buying property in Mexico

Can an American buy a house in Mexico?

Yes, despite all you hear from everyone who probably doesn’t own a piece of land in Mexico, you can own property in Mexico, even on a beautiful beach, by following Mexico’s law and procedure.

To own a property in Mexico you need to choose one of three legal options and which option you take will depend on where the property is located.

Options to own property in Mexico

  • Direct Deed ( if the property is not located in the Restricted zone)
  • Fideicomiso ( a bank trust fund, necessary when the property is located in the Restricted zone) 
  • Mexican Corporation (Commercial property, necessary when the property is located in the Restricted zone) 

 So how does this work? It’s a bit long to explain, we talk more about buying a property in Mexico here

How can a US citizen buy property in Mexico?

Follow these simple steps.

  • Find a reputable and well established Real Estate agent
  • Make an offer on a property
  • Have your lawyer write a contract and have it authorized by a notary
  • Get your fideicomiso or mortgage with a bank.
  • Sign the contract
  • Pay taxes

Read in more detail about buying a property in Mexico here

Where do most American ex-pats live in Mexico?

According to most sources, American, Canadian, and other ex-pats live in:

  • Ensenada BC
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Lake Chapala
  • Tulum
  • San Miguel de Allende
  • Merida
  • Huatulco

The order of preference varies from source to source but one thing is clear and some tendencies are visible depending on demographics, mainly age.

What do ex-pats look for when moving to Mexico?

  • Quality of life
  • Cost of living
  • Other ex-pats
  • Mobility and connectivity

There are many reasons why someone chooses Mexico as their long-term residency and how and where in Mexico they obtain it, the towns here were selected by people in their retirement age.

Younger crowds and digital nomads may choose differently, we talk about it here.

Can I buy a beach house in Mexico?

Yes you can, by setting up a Fideicomiso (Bank Trust) 

Read more about it here

How much does an average house cost in Mexico?

The answer will vary depending on location and when you read this

As for February 2021, these are some of the prices on a property in 

  • Playa del Carmen a 1 bdrm 1 bathroom apartment can start at 20K US  and up to  $100K US or more depending on location

How much does a beach house cost in Mexico?

This will depend on the location of the beach, the size of the house, the landscape where it’s built, and other factors 

  • Starting at 50K and up to several million.

Are there property taxes in Mexico?

Yes, we talk about it in more detail in this article

Can I get a loan for a house in Mexico?

Yes, while this is not the easiest avenue, these are typically granted in Mexican pesos and up to 90% loan-to-value ratios with fixed-rate interest plans. 

We talk in more detail about it in this article

Work in Mexico

Can a US citizen get a job in Mexico?

Yes, a US citizen can work in Mexico as long he meets any of these requirements

  • He/She is a Naturalized  Mexican citizen or has Dual Mexican/American or other nationality citizenship
  • He/She has a Permanent Resident visa in Mexico
  • He/She has a working visa (Permiso de Trabajo)
  • He/She is married to a Mexican national and/or have Mexican born children
  • Read more about it here

How do I get a work visa?

To get a working visa in Mexico as an American citizen or most other nationalities you need to be invited by the company that is hiring you and they must begin the process with the Mexican Migration Institute (INM)

Read about the different Visas to live and work in Mexico here.

Some nationalities need to proceed through the Mexican Consulate first in order to learn about their individual requirements.

See the Mexican Consulate directory here to find the one in your country 

Investing in Mexico

To buy or to rent property in Mexico?

There’s not much to it if you can afford it and you like it, buy it. 

You can live in Mexico by renting instead of buying but in the long run, buying is a better way to invest in the future.

We talk in more depth about buying a property in Mexico here

What American banks are in Mexico?

There are plenty of international banks operating in Mexico, some affiliated to American banks like CitiBanamex, affiliated to CitiBank, and Santander affiliated to Bank of America.

Other international Banks like HSBC also operate in Mexico.

Having a bank account in America with any of these banks does not guarantee you can open an account in Mexico as that will depend on your migratory status.

In most cases, these banks require you to have a Permanent Resident visa to open a bank account in Mexico.

A good option for ex-pats in Mexico is Intercam Bank which allows you to have a multi-currency account that you can open with only a Temporary resident Visa

What are the interest rates in Mexico?

The website states that Mexico lowered its interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, from 4.5% to an annual rate of 4.25%. 

The key rates are a tool used by Central Banks to implement monetary policy. 

According to the website, a reduction in interest rates counters a weakening of prices or a possible deflationary situation.

Do ex-pats pay taxes in Mexico?

Yes, if you are employed in Mexico by a Mexican company your employer will withhold and submit your income tax payment to SAT, the tax office in Mexico. 

it is your responsibility to pay the income tax if your employer does not do so. 

The tax is based on 25% of your gross income with no deductions.

If you are an American citizen you pay taxes to the US as well no matter where in the world you live or where the money is generated, it’s almost like a tax on being American. 

If you’re a resident of Mexico, income earned in a foreign corporation or from work performed outside of Mexico is also taxable in Mexico, but if you paid foreign taxes on that foreign-sourced income, you will receive a tax credit.

More on taxes for ex-pats in Mexico here.

What is IVA?

IVA means Impuesto al Valor Agregado or Value added tax and it is added to all general goods and services. In Mexico, this is 16% and will be charged on almost any product you purchase, including services, food, etc.

This tax is also applied when buying any commercial property, but not on residential property.

More on taxes for ex-pats in Mexico here.

Do Digital Nomads pay taxes in Mexico?

Yes, if you are employed in Mexico by a Mexican company your employer will withhold and submit your income tax payment to SAT, the tax office in Mexico. 

it is your responsibility to pay the income tax if your employer does not do so. 

The tax is based on 25% of your gross income with no deductions.

If you are an American citizen you pay taxes to the US as well no matter where in the world you live or where the money is generated, it’s almost like a tax on being American. 

If you’re a resident of Mexico, income earned in a foreign corporation or from work performed outside of Mexico is also taxable in Mexico, but if you paid foreign taxes on that foreign-sourced income, you will receive a tax credit.

There’s much more to know about making a permanent decision about moving to Mexico or even a temporary one, some people are looking for a small fisherman village with no tourists but a good vibe, good fishing and not much else, while others are looking for the fastest internet connection and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, all in the same small fishermen village, some towns can provide both lifestyles.

We are living strange days for sure, and the better we adapt to an ever-changing world, the more chances we have to succeed in our life plan, and Mexico is an interesting and exciting option for sure.

Best cities for Digital Nomads in Mexico 

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