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Melanie Lansing of Mexico Insurance Advisors – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Miguel Allende street over looking the town, San Miguel Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf I compared my own cost of living here in San Miguel de Allende to my cost of living when I lived in Sonoma, the cost here is about one third.
 
I have been able to find affordable housing in San Miguel de Allende, because I am completely bilingual and bicultural.  Most expats rent in US dollars because accessing the Mexican housing market requires having a high level of Spanish language skills. Usually, expats pay more when they first arrive and later learn how to find better deals by connecting with local expats. 
 
I rent a house here. I have a Mexican landlord, which makes a difference, and I pay rent in pesos (the equivalent of US $450 a month) for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in a safe neighborhood that’s within a 10-minute walk to downtown. My landlord has not raised my rent in a while. Since I moved in, the Mexican peso has devaluated against the dollar. Most landlords are aware of this and have raised peso prices. Normally, for a house like this, one would pay about $900 or so a month. 
 
With regard to food, I pay roughly $50 a week at Mega, one of the grocery stores in town. This amount is for two people. I buy my fish and poultry at the other locations in town---another $20. My groceries would have cost me about $200 a week in Sonoma, California.
 
To go see a doctor costs about $35 to $40 depending on what kind of doctor you need to see. Doctors in Mexico are on cash basis only. They don’t take credit cards and they don’t take insurance. You have to pay up front and then turn those bills into your insurance company if you have insurance. The average doctor’s visit is 30 to 50 minutes. Even for that low price, you get more quality time with your doctors here.
 
(San Miguel Allende street over looking the town, San Miguel Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ivy Del Pozzo of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The cost of living in San Miguel varies as it does in any town/city.
 
If you want to live within walking distance of the jardin (the very epicenter) it is going to be more pricey, of course.  I live within a 10 minute walk to the centro and it is very reasonable.  Keep in mind we have been named #1 City in the World 3 times in 4 years and have 5 start restaurants as well as all things cultural you could want. This does come at a price but is well worth the quality of life.
 
You can find housing any where from $600 usd a month for a 1 bedroom to $3-4,000 usd for an over the top estate.  Also factor in the fact that utilities are a mere fraction of what they are in the US, a car is NOT necessary and food is about 1/2 the price and you are well on your way to both amazing savings and an amazing lifestyle
SONIA DIAZ of Sonia Diaz – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
View of San Miguel de Allende from hillside – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn San Miguel de Allende gasoline, propane, electricity, telephone, Internet are the same price as much of Mexico.  Rentals and homes to buy have a wide variation in price with the highest costs being in centro. Rentals may be from a low of $500 per month and then there is housing that to rent and buy that is more expensive. There is a cost of living in San Miguel de Allende to fit everybody’s budget.

The same is true for restaurants, which range in cost from luxury restaurants to street food. In addition, there are little restaurants run by Mexican ladies that offer home-style food. There is one that will fit your taste and budget. Some of the most popular restaurants with expats have entrees in the 60 to 150 peso range.

The best places to buy vegetables, fruit, meat, chicken, housewares, clothing etc. are the Mexican markets. There are several including the weekly Tuesday market, which is two acres in size and is now being upgraded with a permanent roof to protect from the sun and rain.

For example, there is a well-known colonia (“neighborhood”) called San Antonio, which is a 15-minute walk from the Parroquia (famous parish church in the middle of town) and rentals may be found for $800.  This would be a small house with 1 bedroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and 1 parking space. Often the rent includes water. Usually, telephone, Internet, propane and cable TV service are not included.
 
For $1,200 per month and up, you may find a place closer to Centro such as in Guadalupe, where the landscape is flatter. It would also be a small house, and normally does not include utilities. But utilities in Mexico can be 900 pesos (about US $50) every 2 months, if you watch your electricity and are energy-conscious, like using LED lights.

The weather in San Miguel de Allende is very mild, very rarely getting too hot, so air conditioning is not needed. Early mornings for about 3 months maybe 40 to 50 degrees but even then daytime highs are near 70. That’s one of the reasons why the electricity bill is so low.

The Centro area was built 400 to 500 years ago, and some of the houses are as old as the town. They were built so air conditioning is not needed. In fact, it’s heating that is needed during the cool season of late November until early February, especially if your house is attached to another.

It’s less expensive to buy food from the market (like farmers’ markets) or little stores than in La Comer or Soriana. Here are some of the prices in pesos if bought from the market per kilogram. One KG = 2.2 pounds.

Chicken breast – 100
Ground beef – 120
Pork tenderloin - 160
Sugar - 19
Tomatoes - 12
Green beans – 20
Bananas - 7
Carrots – 4
Apples – 4
Strawberries - 30
Avocados - 35 to 40 pesos
Eggs (about 19 eggs) - 23
 
(Pictured: View of San Miguel de Allende from hillside.)
Greg Gunter of Dream Pro Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
cheapest places to live san miguel de allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingReaders, here’s an interesting fact: the guy that writes the Cheapest Destinations to Live blog lives here in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico (where San Miguel de Allende is located), after having researched all the affordable places in the world to live and balanced them with the lifestyle offered here—that should tell you something!
Nancy Howze of CDR Bienes Raices San Miguel, SC – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Interior of million dollar home in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOne of the things about San Miguel de Allende that’s wonderful is that the cost to live here is fairly inexpensive. The cost of living in San Miguel de Allende depends on what you buy in terms of goods and services, and how much you use. Not everybody lives like everyone else.  Some people like to live more frugally, while some people have more stuff. Some houses have a housekeeper twice a week, so the cost is of course a little different.
 
I’ve been selling real estate for 30 or 40 years, and there’s this large home that I’ve listed- about 18,000 square feet. The taxes on that house are about $1,200 a year. In Houston, Texas or Vancouver, Canada, those taxes are probably going to be in the $40,000 a year range, depending on where you are. 
 
In San Miguel de Allende, the taxes and the cost to have staff is less expensive. It’s all about the quality of life. In my situation, there are people whose jobs are to take care of me. For instance, my manicurist comes to my house, and I can get a pedicure and a manicure in my own home for 700 pesos ($35). I don’t know if I can do that in Birmingham, Alabama, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it when I left Birmingham in 1998.
 
The cost to buy a house in San Miguel de Allende is on the line with a lot of homes in the States, and is probably the biggest expense here. The cost to buy property in San Miguel de Allende is not inexpensive, and has gone up in the 18-19 years that I have lived here. 
 
There are usually no mortgages in San Miguel de Allende, and I generally discourage my buyers from getting one because if you hold a mortgage, you have to hold it in the fideicomiso (trust), and it’s harder to get out of it than your lender will tell you on the front end.
 
(Pictured: interior of million dollar home in San Miguel de Allende.)
Cathy Rocha – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Gallerias Celaya Mall, Celaya, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe cost of living in San Miguel de Allende depends upon what a person’s income is, and what their lifestyle choices are. Are they never going to eat in a restaurant? Are they not going to buy imported goods? Are they going to do without things? 
 
I know people who live on US $500 a month in San Miguel de Allende, and I know people who live on up to US $5,000 a month. I personally am not willing to do without things that are important to me- organic, non-GMO, and things of that nature. If I have to import something, I will import it. I will have things shipped to me, and I will go to the organic stores that are pricier and purchase things that I know to be familiar and that are good for my health. Those are the things that I’m not willing to let go of. 
 
In San Miguel de Allende, one could live very well on very little. And I think that people live very elaborately. 
 
You can’t live off of US $500 a month in California, and it would also be really hard to live in San Miguel de Allende for US $500, unless you owned your own home. I do know people who do own their own home in San Miguel de Allende who live on U$500 - $600 a month, though. 
 
For example, I have a really close woman friend in her 80’s who only receives a little less than $500 in Social Security, and she moved to San Miguel de Allende from Southern California where she sold her properties about 18 years ago. She built several casitas in San Miguel de Allende, so she receives her $500 from Social Security, plus the amount that she makes every month from renting out these casitas that she built. She probably lives very well on under a thousand US dollars a month. Her casitas are very, very simple and are very inexpensive.
 
San Miguel de Allende is an expensive town compared to other towns in Mexico. We can drive an hour to Celaya or to Querétaro where things are less expensive, or 35 minutes to Dolores Hidalgo, where things are more than fifty percent less than in San Miguel de Allende.
 
(Gallerias Celaya Mall, Celaya, Mexico, pictured.)
Gretel Chazaro of Rancho Los Labradores – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Home in  Los Labradores, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is everything for everyone in San Miguel de Allende. If you want to go to a cheap restaurant where you want to spend US $5 for a full meal, you can do that. If you want to spend $100 at a fancy restaurant, you can do that, too. Your cost of living in San Miguel de Allende depends on what you want but overall it is cheaper than in Germany or in the States. Services like gardeners, housekeepers, and the like could be higher if you are living in a more upscale area. If you not very rich and you don’t live in a rich neighborhood, the charge will be lower.
 
The cost of living in San Miguel de Allende is about half or even less than half the cost of living in Southern Germany where I used to live. One of the advantages of living here in San Miguel de Allende is that utilities don’t cost you very much because the weather is very nice. There is only one month in the whole year where it gets really hot and you might need air-conditioning or your fan running the whole day. The coldest months of the year in San Miguel de Allende are December, January, and February and that’s when you would need a heater. Gas and electricity might be the most expensive utilities expenses.
 
We have villas that we rent to people who come here for a short term. Normally, a gas tank is filled for only 2,000 pesos ($105), which would last for 3 months during summer. In winter, it would last for only a month or even less because of the heater or the fireplace.
 
Relative to electricity, there are houses in Rancho Los Labradores that I know that pay around $250 to $300 for every 2 months (in Mexico, electricity is billed every 2 months). There are others that only pay $50 for every 2 months. The cost really depends on the size of the house, how much you use, or if you have other sources of electricity like solar panels. Some people who live in Rancho Los Labradores invested in solar panel installation and they pay around 10 pesos (55 cents) every 2 months on electricity.
 
The villas that we built here in San Miguel de Allende are ready with heating and cooling. If you have heating installed, the tank is run on propane or through a solar power system, which decreases the cost because we get a lot of sun here in San Miguel de Allende even if it’s cold. So the sun keeps your house warm during the day and you can use the power stored in the solar panels at night.
 
Property tax is also cheap here in Mexico. If you have a villa that costs around US $175,000 you’ll pay a property tax of about 5,000 pesos ($265) per year.
 
(Home in Rancho Los Labradores, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)

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