Wow! You really are thinking of retirement in México! What next? I know it’s scary. Change is always scary… Then there’s your friends, family and co-workers telling you that you’re nuts and filling your head full of doubts. The way past those doubts is to educate yourself. Of course, that’s why you’re here, right?
When thinking about and planning on retiring in México facts are king. Make yourself an expert, as much as possible, in all areas but also start looking at your lifestyle and start making adjustments.
One of the major parts of deciding on retirement in México started at home. Six major decisions quickly came to mind and needed to be dealt with starting yesterday!
What do I want to take to México?
A better way to answer that question is deciding what you really will need for your retirement in México. There is little… if anything… that you can’t find there. Knowing this, is the item worth the expense of shipping it? Looking at it that way, there was little I chose to take.
It literally came down to a few things I would need for retirement in México.
- Family items… They were shipped off to family members
- Family and important photos… My son scanned them for me and reduced the photo albums to discs and flash drives.
- Hunting guns… My son received an early inheritance with the understanding that he would have to also store my hunting gear so I could fly back up and still hunt with him.
- Tools… Shockingly I took very little with me. Note, I’d rather pay Jorge to fix the door at these wages and enjoy the pool.
- Important papers… We sorted through them and took the documents and records we needed, boxed up the ones we might need and finally cleaned out that corner of the attic.
- Autos, motorcycle, Corvette… This is a whole other subject for discussion.
Can we take our pets?
Many retirees want to take their pets to México… One of the major questions confronting the prospective retiree to México is whether they can take their beloved pets. What retirement in México would be complete without our pets?
The answer is yes! Many people take their pets.
Keeping in touch with family: Telecommunication and Mail Sevices
A big part of being an expat is living abroad but still staying close with friends and the ones we love. Through mail and modern telecommunication it is much easier!
How do I legally take it to México?
This is where the decision comes in as to what type of visa you will choose to seek for retirement in México.
I would recommend that you travel México and have a firm decision where you plan to live. This can be done on a tourist visa and you can take your car and travel extensively. If you have decided where you’ll live… an FM3 visa will allow you to take your car and the possessions you choose to take tax free under a limited window of time. More on this later…
How do I get it there?
When we were planning for our retirement in México, we originally had planned to take our vehicle and possessions loaded into a trailer and take the ferry that ran from Tampa to Progreso, Yucatan, but that no longer ran by the time we were ready to make our move so we decided to ship everything through Linea Peninsular.
You can also make the drive, take your time and enjoy the trip. Again you have to evaluate whether your possessions are worth the expense. We decided to buy a new can opener and cork screw there.
What do I do with the rest of this Junk?
My wife and I had two years to get ready to retire in México so we started immediately. We had our first garage sale to clear out the garage to make room for more garage sales. We listed things on Craig’s list. We have a friend that runs estate sales and sometimes she had extra room for some good stuff.
Then the hard decisions had to be made. Do we, or will we, need this before the move. It’s surprising when you evaluate your possessions with this question, it forces you to begin to let go of things and put them in the next garage sale. Each time we had a sale we search throughout the house looking for more treasures to get rid of. We’d ask ourselves have we used this since the last sale. If not it went in the sale.
Ultimately we ended with the bare bones necessities until our final Moving Sale. It was so much easier than dusting everything.
What do we do to get the most out of selling the house?
We contacted, early on, a well connected Realtor in our area and she gave us some cost effective ideas and suggestions on how to increase the house’s value and marketability. We went to work! Surprisingly it was much easier working on the house with all that great junk out of the way and I also found some tools that I’d been looking for… for years.
When will we be ready?
You’ll be ready to retire in México when all of the above is done so don’t waste your time reading other websites!
Just kidding… Find a balance and keep working on each area. Procrastination is your enemy as always.
What can we do to prepare for our retirement in México?
Right now you should be thinking about and looking for your dream home. Ask yourself about what type, location, and age of the home you want.
I love the Centro/downtown. I love the 200 year old homes between the main plaza and Santiago. These can be expensive and require a lot of work to restore and modernize.
Merida is in the process of restoring the facades of these old homes and severely restrict any changes or modernization of the facade. Quite often you may find a complete facade with a total ruin behind or maybe not. It may also be a jewel just waiting for you to save her. My wife and I are currently working toward purchasing one of these homes right downtown and it’s exciting.
Is it the beach lifestyle you’re looking for? My personal vote… Do you want, and can you afford, a house right on the beach or will you need to purchase a house one or two streets back as many have. You still have access to the beach since there are streets to the beach every 100 yards or so.
Beach homes can require additional maintenance but it’s worth it. Believe me…
That leads me to another consideration you should have. I recommend that you use a professional inspector to check out the house prior to purchase.
You should seriously consider working with an established architect and builder. The homes in México are built of cement and either stone or block. I think you’ll find that these homes are out of most people’s league when it comes to home repair. My personal rule kicks in here!
Why would I spend my day fixing a door when I could be in the pool having a refreshment and pay a craftsman to do it for a few dollars.
P.S. Don’t forget one for the craftsman. He’ll love you for it!
Getting a visa to Retire in México
For retirement living in México, there are essentially three types of visas that are pertinent to anyone planning on traveling and or living in México and to our discussion. In México visa applications are relatively easy to get as compared to when foreigners apply to come here to the USA.
These three visas are the FMT, FM2 and FM3. I will give a quick overview here and go further in depth further along.
Many enjoy doing business in México others would like to supplement their early retirement in México.
American retirement communities in México
There are extensive American retirement communities in México. It has been estimated that between 10,000 to 100,000 expats are in the Yucatan living there at any given time.
Merida, one of the popular retirement in México destinations, has an extensive population of expats and they have organized libraries and many groups and activities that can be enjoyed by those looking at early retirement.
México rated number one on International Livings top 5 retirement havens.
Retirement in México living can be much less expensive than staying in the USA especially with its advanced medical care. For example, when it comes to plastic surgery México is famous for its low cost and high quality. IMSS national health care is also a consideration against the high cost of US care.
Reasons Why Retirement in México is Cheaper
Retirement in México is cheaper for a variety of reasons. A quick list is provided below and will be expanded upon later but understand that since many of the major necessities are subsidized by the Mexican government.
- Health Care- Health Insurance México is substantially cheaper.
- For example México plastic surgeryis exceptional at low cost!
- Fuel is cheaper although the government has recently raised prices
- Since fuel is cheaper, transportation of goods is cheaper
- Fresh meat and legumes can be bought from local growers year round
- Your idea of what you actually need will change once living there.
Retirement in México will literally alter your beliefs in the necessities of life. Americans are so brainwashed into believing, or made to believe, that they need everything they see on TV but you find that minimal is good and cheaper!