Moving to Mexico could be for a number of reasons. You could be retiring, you could be moved as a result of your job, you could be a digital nomad and your job allows you to work online, or you might just like to spend part of the year in a warmer climate. No matter what the reason, there are a few particulars you need to plan for prior to your move.
You can spend up to 6 months in Mexico on a tourist visa but if you plan to stay longer, you need to get a temporary resident visa. It is renewable every year for four years. After that, you can apply for a permanent resident visa.
Not only should you get health coverage, but if you plan to drive, you need auto insurance because your policy at home does not cover you in Mexico. There are several options for travel medical insurance and you can purchase up to 3 years at a time or as little as a day. Temporary auto insurance policies are available for 1 day to a full year of coverage.
If you are buying a home or condo in Mexico, you also want to purchase homeowners insurance. Policies not only cover your home but also your valuables. Earthquake and flood damage can also be included.
Your Household Items
If you are making a long-term move and bringing your furniture and household items with you, there is a bit of a process involved. When you bring these across, you have to have an import certificate, which is called the Menaje de Casa. It’s a bit of a detailed process and you can see more about it at the Mexican Consulate’s website.
Manana Doesn’t Always Mean Tomorrow
Living in Mexico is an exercise in patience. The culture is very laid back and isn’t a fast-paced society. Meals are meant to be an experience, not a get in and get out, which is why you’ll never see the wait staff just bring you the bill when they think you are done. You have to ask for la cuenta to let them know you’re ready to pay. It’s also very common that nothing starts on time and when people make appointments, they are usually late, sometimes by more than an hour. There is an ongoing joke about when someone says they will be there manana (tomorrow), it doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow, just not today.
Patience is key. Be prepared to expect this lifestyle. If you are fast-paced, have to have everything right now person, you will struggle with acclimation in Mexico.
Cost of Living
One of the great things about living in Mexico is the cost of living is so much less than living in the United States or Canada. You can get by on a very small budget here, and if you learn to shop in the swap-meet like markets that happen a few times a week, you can get all your produce dirt cheap. Another great thing is property taxes on your home. They are a fraction of what it costs in the United States. Almost everything in your day to day life is much less expensive, with the exception of electronics. Those are mainly coming from the United States so they can cost more.