San Miguel de Allende, located three hours from Mexico City and named the ‘most livable city’ by Conde Nast in 2013, is experiencing a surge in popularity with retirees looking for a safe, affordable, and culturally diverse place to live that also offers good food, a lively social scene, and temperate weather. Today, approximately one million American retirees make their home in Mexico, and of those, about 12,000 choose to live in San Miguel de Allende. This number is expected to rise over the coming years.
San Miguel de Allende's Growing Popularity
For retirees hoping to find an active, culturally diverse lifestyle combined with access to quality healthcare and social services, San Miguel de Allende could be an ideal fit. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cultural, historical, and architectural significance. Its restaurant scene has developed an international reputation, its expat and retirement communities are well-connected and growing, and its proximity to several major airports makes it a convenient home base and an easy-to-reach destination.
Due to its growing English-speaking communities, San Miguel de Allende offers a variety of English-language services and goods. The city’s public library has the second-largest collection of English-language books in Mexico, and it publishes the bilingual local newspaper, Atención, popular with expats and locals alike. The site SanMiguelEvents also provides English-language news and community events.
How Far Will Retiree USD Go in Mexico?
Retirees with US dollars to spend will generally find their money can go far in Mexico. While San Miguel de Allende can be more expensive than many other locations in Mexico, the favorable usd-peso exchange rate can help to offset the higher cost of living.
Depending on whether you’re in the market to buy property or to rent, prices in San Miguel de Allende can be substantially less expensive than what you would spend for a comparable place in the US. Two- or three-bedroom furnished apartments away from the city centro (not in the central part of town) can be rented for around USD$1,100 per month. Comparable homes for sale may be priced anywhere from $150,000 and up. The farther away from the center of town you’re willing to go, the lower the prices drop.In addition to potentially substantial savings on real estate, the Mexican healthcare system can also be a bargain for savvy retirees. While there is currently no reciprocal healthcare agreement between the US and Mexico, many treatments and services within Mexico are much cheaper than in the US, with the quality of care and level of service equally good. There are several excellent healthcare facilities within San Miguel de Allende, and, for more serious procedures, hospitals in Querétaro, a city about an hour’s drive away with more than two million residents, are available.
Financing Your Retirement in San Miguel de Allende
If you’re planning to retire and live in a foreign country, then figuring out how to finance your retirement abroad should be at the top of your list of things to do. Keep in mind that American citizens who choose to live in Mexico will not pay taxes on pensions or on their social security benefits.
Currently, there are no restrictions on transferring money between the US and Mexico. If you plan to live full-time in Mexico, you’ll want to research the best options for transferring funds between the US and Mexico.
Working with a foreign currency specialist that specializes in international transfers is often the safest and most cost-effective way to send funds internationally. Sites like FXcompared.com provide free information, research, and money transfer comparison tools that can help you find the best deal for your money transfer to Mexico. Researching your options before you make your move to Mexico can help you to find the most cost-effective methods for moving your money between countries.