Americans working in Mexico: are they enjoying it?

By bogotapost November 23, 2019

Mexico is the 14th largest economy on the planet and is the second largest economy in Latin America. Mexico is one of the leading trade partners of the United States and buys upward of 80 percent of its exports from the US. The proximity of Mexico to the United States, solid trade agreements between the US and Mexico, and the growth of the IT sector in the country have all led some to speculate that by 2050 Mexico’s economy could be the eighth largest on the planet.

Photo: Sydney Rae, Unsplash

This has led many US citizens to consider moving permanently to Mexico. When they first tell their friends and family that they want to make the move, their friends and family respond by telling them that they are crazy or that they have a death wish.

The truth is that living in Mexico is not absurd. Between 2014 and 2016, 23,600 Americans applied for and received permanent residency in Mexico. More than 72,000 received temporary residency permits, and there are more than 600,000 US-born children living in Mexico. When you talk to these individuals, you see that the vast majority of them absolutely love calling Mexico home.

Living in Mexico, the Truth Versus the Myth

When people react negatively to hearing about their friends or relatives moving to Mexico, it’s usually because they base their opinions about the country on a short vacation they took or third hand “common knowledge” about Mexico being a dangerous or backwards country. The truth is that these individuals are misinformed.

Mexico is a country full of natural wonders, ranging from mountains to deserts to beaches and volcanoes. People who make the move to Mexico are surprised at how tranquil of a lifestyle they can lead. They are able to go to work, live in a beautiful home, and enjoy idyllic beaches, all for a fraction of what it would cost them back home.

Mexico has good health care for those who can afford the moderate prices. In some areas, doctors make house calls for as little as $30 USD a visit. Many of the doctors and dentists in Mexico have trained in Canada, Europe, and the United States. A number of US doctors have actually trained in Mexico. An overnight stay in a private hospital with all of the amenities you would expect from home would cost less than $100 USD.

The biggest concern that people have is crime. What these individuals fail to realize is that when it comes to crime, statistics in the United States are worse than Mexico on many levels. Overall, Mexico has two percent more crime than the United States. However, the United States has 11 times more cannabis abuse, six times more opiate abuse, and 33 percent more murders with firearms per million than Mexico.

Cost-Of-Living in Mexico

When discussing the cost of living in Mexico, one needs to be realistic. Mexico is affordable, but currency exchange services are still inconsistent. So you need to do your due diligence when determining how to send money from the US to Mexico. You should roughly expect $1,000 USD to give you 19,000 Mexican pesos.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Mexico City is going to cost you around 9,000 Mexican pesos. The same apartment in New York will run you the equivalent of 55,000 Mexican pesos. The average person should expect to spend around 18,000 Mexican pesos per month, or less than $1,000 USD, on all of their expenses. Ex-pats who work for IT companies can find themselves making close to a million Mexican pesos annually. And this does not include the thousands of individuals working remotely from the United States in Mexico who are earning considerably more.

One individual discussing their family’s decision to move to Mexico said that they feel like they and other ex-pats are part of this secret club that has discovered a paradise other people are too afraid to explore. They, like many others who have made the move, are happy to be living in Mexico.