Maybe you are considering moving to Mexico in 2023, or the near future, but you are not sure. How does life look in Mexico nowadays? Is it still affordable, and how about the new smoking laws? And not to forget: how about safety?
Mexico is a country that seems to be very attractive to people from Europe and more so to Americans and Canadians. Looking for good investment options and a place to retire, or even start a new life.
Although the title of the article suggests that this article will cover living in Mexico, it is hard to grasp this diverse, 31 States coun ting country in one article. But that is also a good thing, for Mexico offers a lifestyle for everyone.
Are you looking to start a new life in a coastal area, or do you prefer to live in the forest, the jungle, or even in a desert, Mexico offers it all. From mountainous areas with cool crisp air to the flat jungle lands of Yucatan with its hot and humid climate, it is all there.
And maybe you prefer an urban lifestyle in a Metropole like Mexico City, which offers excellent opportunities for Digital Nomads and retirees in the fast-growing suburbs and renovated city apartments
How safe is living in Mexico
Aren’t we all obsessed with our safety? As an immigration Coach the first question I get is about safety. Now in the case of Mexico that is not such a weird question, since we all know that the press pictures Mexico as a country filled with violence. If only newspapers would also report the millions of tourists and hundreds of thousands of retirees that live here in absolute peace and never encounter any problems.
Mexico, like any other country, has its safety issues, and you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, like in any other country. And yes, you can get stopped by a bunch of people that demand money, and yes, poverty increases crime and Mexico knows poor areas. But as long as you use your common sense, and do not wander off in too remote areas or walk home drunk after your margarita party after midnight and after flashing a full wallet or with your smartphone in your back pocket, you might be surprised how safe Mexico can be. (read also: Checkpoints in Mexico
The cost of living
I scan flyers with prices from Europe and the United States, and I can imagine that people from the Northern Americas find Mexico very affordable to live in. In Some States in the USA, prices are insane.
As for Europe, Mexico is more or less to be compared to the southern European countries when it comes to prices for groceries and housing prices.
Although Mexico has known a little inflation, not as much as in Europe, but nearly as much as in the USA, some prices have gone up here. Like gasoline, electricity, water, and groceries. (Especially meat)But it is all still very affordable.
Especially when you come from the more expensive States in the USA you will find Mexico very cheap.
The digital governement
Mexico becomes more digitalized as we speak. Your travel movements will be all recorded in airports through passport scanning, and although you do not have to pre-register your health declarations due to COVID as some countries do, the Mexican government does monitor a lot.
Staes communicate about license plates and vehicle ownership, your insurance policy has become a major part of your vehicle registration in some States, while other States have extra taxes for foreigners and foreign vehicles.
Those who are looking to escape from the overseeing government might not be in a good place in Mexico. In the first few years when you are still obtaining residency, after that, you can stay under the radar.
I do get that question a lot from people, who want to escape digital control from their government. Trust me when I say that in Mexico you are still under the radar a lot, but it is becoming more difficult.
The best part of this digital government is that waiting lines are becoming a past thing, most government dealings are by appointment only for which you need an RFC number and a Mexican taxpayer’s registration number. (Read also: How to get an RFC number in Mexico
Entry requirements for living in Mexico in 2023
Everyone who wants to live in Mexico needs to apply for a pre-approved visa at a Mexican embassy in their home country or abroad. You can not apply for residency in Mexico upon first entry. And either you apply as a retiree for permanent residency or take the long road and go for permanent residency first, you need to prove solvency. (read also: Can you get a resident permit in Mexico?)
And those financial requirements went up again in 2023.
The best thing I can advise is to check the visa pages of a Mexican Embassy near you where you also can start the application (Read also: More strict visa rules for Mexico)
Healthcare in Mexico in 2023
Under the current government the healthcare system in Mexico has become more accessible for everyone, even people without health insurance can use the Bienestar clinics for free. But not in all states. In those States with a lot of ex-pats like Nayarit and Quintana Roo to name two, foreigners are excluded from this service.
But overall, the healthcare system in Mexico has improved a lot under the current social government, and almost any larger city has a modernized hospital and well-trained staff. In rural areas, there are small clinics for daily and emergency care, and even further down inland mobile clinics visit remote villages on a regular base. ‘
Most foreigners and especially Americans have private healthcare and use private hospitals. Which are plenty available in the most common tourist areas.
Smoking in Mexico is forbidden since 2023
The new law on tobacco and smoking and blowing out smoke (From vapes and cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc) is forbidden in all public spaces and buildings. That includes parks, parking spaces, terraces, hotels, hotel grounds, and beaches. Just simply everywhere. The only place you are allowed to smoke is in your own home.
Also marketing cigarettes and having them on display in shops is forbidden. The cigarette and smoking attributes have been removed from the eye.
So if you want to buy smokes and you can’t find them in the shops, that is correct. You have to ask for them.
Local police and law enforcement will enforce this law while the COFEPRIS will enforce it within businesses.
Why moving to Mexico is not such a good idea in 2023?
Reasons to not move to Mexico or retire in Mexico are personal. It might be because of the above-mentioned non-smoking policy, or because you cannot trust your fragile health to the Mexican health services.
Or maybe you like peaceful and quiet living and you know Mexico can be very loud. All the pros and cons of retiring in Mexico are dotted down in this article (click)
I do see Mexico after my 4 years in this country through realistic eyes, Mexico can be a harsh place to live that can trigger your ugly sides when it comes to dealing with corruption, long lines, bureaucracy, machismo behavior, and maybe even the news about all the violence.
But Mexico also offers an amazing diversity, combined with the easy on-the-budget cost of living and the freedom to explore and do your own thing (within the Mexican laws) (Read also: Can I bring my gun to Mexico?)
Mexico offers great investment opportunities and it is still very possible here to go off grit like so many people dream about nowadays or roam around in a camper van exploring the rural villages, the endless beaches, and the little bays
It is the daredevils that dare to leave behind the endless tequila streets with tourist entertainment and discover the real Mexico that will discover the beauty of this country and its potential to start a new life.