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Cost of living in Mexico 2021: What you can expect to spend as an expat

People move to Mexico for many reasons. Some want to experience a new culture, while others want to live the life of luxury that wouldn’t be possible on their budget back home. Similarly, some are looking for a place to call home that offers small-town comforts and the peace of mind that comes with low crime rates. All of this and more is possible in Mexico, which is why many expats have their sights set on the country. But just how much can you expect to spend as an expat? This Pacific Prime Latin America takes a closer look at the cost of living in Mexico 2021.

Individual health insurance blog

Quality of life in Mexico: What it’ll cost you

Expats seem to agree that moving to Mexico improved their quality of life. The slower pace, friendly faces, local feel, and safe streets are some reasons why Mexico is a destination of choice. However, what really makes it an ideal place to relocate to is the fact that money tends to go further here – especially when you consider the rising costs of healthcare, housing, and more in countries like the US.

Since services and goods are cheaper, you’ll be able to spend on things you normally wouldn’t, such as a housekeeper, nanny, cook, and gardener. On top of that, you can enjoy the comforts that you are used to, like high-speed internet and cable TV. To get a better idea of the cost of living in Mexico for 2021, we’ll break down some of the most common expenses.

Internet and telephone

There are several internet and telephone service providers in Mexico, including phone companies and cable TV providers that also offer internet. Telmex, the most popular provider in the country, has high-speed internet packages that come with landline services starting at around USD $20 per month. For example, you can get a package with internet speeds of 10 Mbps and free international calls through the landline service. Telcel, Telmex’s cellphone division, offers a wide range of cellphone plans, starting at around USD $10 for 30 days.

Utilities

Electricity costs can vary significantly, especially if you use air conditioning. In fact, electricity can be one of the highest monthly expenses when living in Mexico, and air conditioning use can easily multiply a standard electricity bill. Gas is typically used for cooking, heating water, and running the clothes dryer. In Colonial Highlands and other parts of Mexico, people install solar water heaters to reduce their gas usage and bring annual gas costs down to around USD $150-200 for two people.

Food and groceries

The cost of food and groceries can be tricky to estimate since what you’ll want to spend on is very personal. With that said, expats often buy a combination of local and imported products. If you buy mostly imported items, you’ll spend more than someone who lives off local produce. A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant costs around USD $5, in comparison to the USD $14 for the same in the US. Similarly, a bottle of wine costs around USD $5, and a bottle of tequila costs around USD $8-25.

Transportation

It’s easy to walk around many cities in Mexico and public transportation is cheap, with bus fares as low as USD $0.30-0.40 a ride and taxis for around USD $2-4 within most cities. You can expect to pay around USD $30 per month if you rely on public transportation, though this depends on how frequently you use cabs. While you don’t need to have your own transportation, many expats still prefer to – and pay around USD $150 per month for fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

Healthcare

The cost of treatment in Mexico is another reason why many expats dream of living here, with dental treatment starting at around USD $30 (teeth cleaning) without insurance.

Expats with a valid residence visa can access healthcare services in Mexico using the IMSS (Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social). Through the scheme, you can pay around USD $500 for healthcare every year. Expats age 60 or older with a valid residence visa can access the national system Seguro Popular for free. However, IMSS members experience long waiting periods, varied quality of care, and other common downsides of public healthcare systems.

According to our latest Cost of Health Insurance Report 2020-2021, you’re looking at around $370 per month to access the benefits that come with private health insurance, depending on your policy. Even so, most expats find that they spend around half of what they would on health insurance in Mexico compared to back home. Since private health insurance in Mexico provides access to US-trained doctors, English-speaking medical staff, and high-quality care, many expats choose to pay for a comprehensive insurance plan.

All in all, a comfortable lifestyle with amenities such as your own transportation, a housekeeper, and private health insurance can cost a couple around USD $2,500 per month. However, whether you live above or below that estimate comes down to your personal preferences.

Get the best health insurance in Mexico

Whether you’re looking for health insurance for retirees, expat health insurance in Mexico, or other types of insurance, Pacific Prime Latin America is here to help. With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you find the best plan for your needs and budget. Contact us for impartial advice or a free quote and plan comparison today.

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