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Michael Alt – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Chiapas, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI live in southern Mexico in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.  I have been living full time in Mexico for 10 years. I lived in Quintana Roo for 8 years on the beach in a small fishing village on the coast south of Tulum.  I moved 2 years ago to Chiapas to escape the heat and isolation.
 
The cost of living here is much less than in Quintana Roo, especially the tourist centers of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum etc.; easily one fourth or one third of the USA.  On the coast south of Cancun the cost is only about half of the USA.   Utilities are about 1/3 of US and if you are not on the coast  or near the frontier border you can get a fee simple title to own property.
 
The Mexican government pays for public education out of federal tax funds and not from taxing property owners.  Property taxes are only a couple of hundred dollars a year anywhere in Mexico because of this (not on the coast or near the border).  Skilled labor costs are maybe 20% of US.  Carpenters, plumbers, masons, electricians, all trained and certified.  Non-skilled laborers who can do small jobs around the house (painting, scraping, sanding etc.) are about $1 dollar an hour here. I have a part- time gardener who works 8 hours 3 days a week for $100 USD per month.  This is non-skilled labor, as would be cleaning, cooking, laundry etc.  This seems to be the same theme in all non-tourist areas of Mexico, and after reading stories on this wesite the non-tourist areas,(i.e., not Cancun, Playa del Carmen), the cost of living is very similar.
 
Here in Chiapas we have rich black volcanic soil and at 7,000 feet altitude almost no insects, so the market produce (fruits and vegetables) are absolutely delicious and naturally organic because fertilizer and pesticides are generally not used nor necessary.  I hope this is helpful to anyone considering moving to Mexico. 
 
(Chiapas, Mexico, pictured.)
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Kristin Wilson of Orbis Relocation – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Kristin Wilson working with the ocean at her back in Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn most cases, living in Mexico is cheap. If you’re living in Mexico as an expat long-term, your monthly cost of living should definitely be lower than in the US. If you are moving around a lot or renting places short-term, renting fully furnished properties or luxurious properties, you could actually end up spending more. Costs for things such as electricity for example could cost you more than in the US, or if you’re buying only imported goods and only imported food then things are going to be highly taxed or expensive, like cheese from Europe or really high end products.
 
For the most part, if you’re just maintaining a regular standard of living, the cost to live in Mexico should be lower. You should be paying less on rent, you should be spending less on food, less on going out to eat, and less on transportation, especially if you don’t have a car. You don’t have any car maintenance, gas, things like that. And overall, you should be spending less. But what happens is sometimes people hear that maids are affordable, different services are very affordable and they start adding on a lot of services that they never used in the US, and as a result, they can inflate their cost of living that way.  As an example, if you go from an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment in the States to like living in a beachfront mansion in Mexico, you could increase your cost of living a bit.  
 
(Kristin Wilson helping expats relocate with the ocean at her back in Mexico, pictured.)
Brenda de Groot of AvensaTravel – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Happy people in Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you compare Mexico to Europe and the United States it is in general a cheap country, but it’s more expensive than Asia.
 
Cost of living here is cheaper, but the salaries that people receive are low, so if you work and live here, you will find that it’s not very cheap to live here. If you come here only for holidays or if you come here to retire, then you’ll find that with euros and dollars, it is very cheap to live here. 
 
Gas, light and food are much cheaper here in Oaxaca than in the Netherlands. To buy local products is cheap; to buy imported goods is more expensive. You can have a real good quality live in Oaxaca for 25,000 pesos a month. (1,500 US$).
 
(Happy people wearing large sombreros in Oaxaca, Mexico, pictured.)
Richard Kemper – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Outside of Richard Kemper's Apartment Ajiijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMexico is not as cheap now compared to when I first got here.  I live in Ajijic, which is in the Lake Chapala area, and there are lots of expats.  I am living on my social security of $756 USD a month. That’s not very much, but I can still live here on that amount.
 
My one-bedroom apartment is really small. I do not even have a couch here because there’s no room for it. The living room and a kitchen is a combination. I do have a washer and dryer, which is really nice. The bedroom I have has a bathroom. I have a small yard with a nice view. I pay for rent, food, and my phone-TV-internet bundle. We just started paying for electric. Electricity in Ajijic is very cheap because the climate is no nice that the temperature never rises high enough to put on air conditioning.  It does not get that hot.
 
My food is $100 USD a month.
 
Living in an expat area makes the prices higher. I could live much less expensively, especially with regard to rent in other places in Mexico. 
 
I pay $400 USD per month for my rent. 
 
My TV-phone-Internet bundle is $33 USD. My electricity is very low, usually around $10 USD. My last electricity bill was $12 USD.
 
(Outside of Richard Kemper's Apartment Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.

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