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10 Tips for Anyone Thinking of Retiring in Mexico

September 5, 2018

Estimates put the number of U.S. and Canadian citizens living in various places in Mexico at well over one million. This makes Mexico the world's most popular overseas retirement destination for North Americans.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Millions of Americans and Canadians nearing retirement age are looking south. Mexico draws thousands of foreign retirees every year. And those numbers will explode as more baby boomers hit the magical number that allows them to stop working and start living.

If you've decided that living or retiring in Mexico is right for you, here are 10 tips to help you make your move and life transition as smooth as possible.

1. Downsize
By the time you're ready to retire, chances are that you've accumulated a lot of stuff. Well, it's time to start getting rid of it in preparation for your new life south of the border. Holding on to all those things will only complicate the process of moving and cost you more money in the long run (e.g. moving costs, storage fees).

2. Get a temporary or permanent resident card
Life is just much easier when you have a temporary or permanent resident card. You can open bank accounts, register a vehicle, participate in the public healthcare system and the list goes on and on. Click HERE to learn how to get yours.


3. Leave your car behind
This applies to anyone thinking of permanently moving to Mexico and who doesn't live 25 km from the U.S. border, designated parts of Sonora or in the Baja Peninsula. The requirements to import your vehicle can be far more lax in those areas.

4. Leave your furniture behind
They sell furniture in Mexico and it's actually quite affordable to have custom pieces made. International moving and shipping services are expensive and sometimes things end up missing or damaged along the way.

5. Start learning Spanish now
Learning a language takes time and effort. It's not going to magically happen overnight, so you might as well start working on it now. Even though many locals in Puerto Vallarta understand and speak basic English, the more you know when you arrive, the easier it will be for you to communicate and get things done in Mexico.

6. Get a Mexican cell phone number
This will make it much easier to get things done and get call backs from businesses (they won't call your foreign number). Also, many banks require a Mexican cell phone number in order to do online banking due to certain security protocols.

7. Download Whatsapp
This is a the free app that is used by almost everyone in Mexico to call and text.

8. Open a Mexican bank account
There are numerous benefits to opening a bank account in your new country.

9. Get healthcare coverage
Mexico has both a private and a public healthcare system. It's important to research your options before moving down and to get some type of health coverage as soon as possible. To learn all about your healthcare options, we recommend HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta, the expat community's information center for health care services, programs, and medical needs in Puerto Vallarta and the greater Banderas Bay region.

10. Hire people (when necessary) to get things done
There is a huge learning curve involved when you move to another country and you will find that even the simplest of tasks (like getting the electric bill put in your name) can turn out to be more complicated than you anticipated. If you move to a large, friendly expat community like Puerto Vallarta, then it's not a problem because everyone helps each other. If not, you might want to consider hiring people to assist with tasks such as: registering your car, completing the second part of the resident card process, and putting utilities in your name. People who offer these types of services are often referred to as gestores.

More and more North Americans are retiring in Mexico to enjoy better weather, new experiences and relaxed lifestyles, as well as access to affordable healthcare and a lower cost of living. So what are you waiting for?

Source: Two Expats Mexico