How To Retire Well in Mexico
Retirement friendly Mexico:
Mexico isn't just a great place to retire simply because buying property in Mexico is inexpensive and the weather is world class. The Mexican government offers attractive benefits like a special visa and inexpensive health care for expatriates who come to Mexico seeking the good life in their retirement years.
The "rentista" is a special type of non-working visa available to retirees 51 and older. In order to obtain a rentista, you'll need to provide a letter from the bank or social security administration stating that you receive a certain minimum income each month. Retirees are also eligible for IMSS, a Mexican social security plan that costs $200 per year and covers medical, dental, and vision care.
Buying property in Mexico
Mexico has made buying property in Mexico for non-nationals a simple process. You don't need to be a resident of Mexico to own a home in Mexico. If you'll be buying property in Mexico within 50 miles of the coast or 100 miles of a national border, you will need to set up a Mexican corporation which will technically own the land or a beneficial trust called a fideicomiso.
When buying property in Mexico, make sure to choose a reputable real estate agent to help you get your corporation or trust established correctly. There is no real estate license system for selling and buying property in Mexico, meaning that anyone can act as an agent whether or not they are familiar with the laws and procedures. Before buying property in Mexico, be sure to spend time researching real estate agents and choose one with experience and references for working with international buyers.
Property taxes, called predial in Mexico are extremely low compared to the US Canada, Europe, and most parts of the world. The tax is a percentage of the assessed value of the property, which is determined at the time of the sale. This is another good reason for buying real estate in Mexico before the prices start to really climb.
Although your property value may rise drastically, you'll continue to pay taxes on the stated sale price. The percentage of property tax you'll pay depends on where you buy real estate in Mexico. In most places, the predial is approximately 0.1%25 of the stated value.
The type of weather you will experience greatly depends on where you choose to buy real estate in Mexico. No matter where you buy real estate in Mexico, you probably won't need a heavy winter coat, but there are great differences in the weather depending on which part of the country you're in.
If you choose Costa Maya property, you'll enjoy warm and gorgeous tropical Caribbean weather for part of the year, balanced by the rainy season between June and October. For more temperate weather, you may want to consider locations that are located 3,000 to 6,000 above sea level such as Oaxaca or Chihuahua.
The benefits to retirees such as inexpensive property, a wonderful healthcare system, and a relaxing environment are just the beginning. Mexico is rich with culture and tradition, filled with eco-friendly things to see and do, and has some of the most amazing landscapes you'll find anywhere in the world. If you're just beginning to think about retiring and buying property in Mexico, you're in for an exciting journey of discovery on your quest for knowledge about this fascinating country.
Author is a writer for Trans Caribbean Trust which specializes in real estate in Mexico.