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Mexico - still the world’s best retirement haven

by the staff of International Living

For the second year running, Mexico wins our annual Global Retirement Index.

Mexico Is Still the World's Best Retirement HeavenWith rapidly rising fuel, health care, food, and travel costs, it’s nice to know there are still places where you can live well without burning through your retirement nest-egg. And Mexico is one of those special places. In Mexico, you can still enjoy a lifestyle that’s probably all but unaffordable for most people in the U.S. and Canada.

Iinternationa LIving’s top 5 retirement havens in 2008
  1. Mexico
  2. Ecuador
  3. Panama
  4. Uruguay
  5. Italy
Mexico offers the perfect mix of centuries-old traditions and contemporary lifestyles. It’s easy to get a residence visa. And the services, amenities, and discounts offered to retirees here are just as bountiful as in Panama, with its famous pensionado program—as are the overall cost savings. Plus, Mexico is closer to home.

Moving to Mexico means you can still have all the comforts you are used to north of the border: cable TV, high-speed Internet, and modern home appliances. And if you prefer, when you move to Mexico you can even bring all your favorite things with you without paying import taxes.

Goods and services cost less, so you can afford the kinds of luxuries only the wealthy enjoy up north: a maid, a cook, and a gardener, for example. Whether your vision of the ideal retirement involves shopping, fishing, sunbathing, diving, biking, mountain climbing, parasailing, collecting crafts, visiting archeological sites, partying, going to concerts, attending the theater, or fine dining, in Mexico you can engage in all these activities, and many more.

Live well in Mexico on $2,135 a month

 Housing (rental of a two-bedroom home)  $800
 Utilities (electricity, gas, water)  $125
 Household help (housekeeper and gardener three days a week)  $150
 Groceries  $300
 Maintenance and fuel for one car  $150
 Entertainment (dining out and other activities)  $250
 Health care (two people at $280 per year for IMSS insurance, plus $63 per month for private-care incidentals)  $110
 Incidentals (clothes, household items, etc.)  $100
 Communication: phone, internet, cable TV  $150
 Monthly total: $2,135

This country is so diverse that everybody can find exactly what they want: beautiful, warm oceans, crystal-clear tropical lakes, fertile farmlands, temperate-but-majestic mountains, starkly gorgeous deserts, small towns or sophisticated cities.

And because of its geographic diversity, you can also choose your favorite climate: from warm and dry to warm and sultry to spring-like temperatures all year in the Colonial Highlands.

And if you’re looking for the home of your dreams, you can find it in Mexico—for much less than it would cost you most anywhere in the US or Canada. The real estate market offers endless possibilities for your retirement.