After spending 3 months on this popular Indonesian island I have a good grasp of costs to live here. All of these numbers are just for a single retired man. No dog. No wife. No kids. Just me. Here we go with Bali cost of living… The cost to rent on this island, in popular areas, can be absolutely amazing low and can go up as high as “are you kidding me”. For example I booked a few hotel rooms, normally referred to as a “home stay”, for as little as 7 USD per night and this included breakfast!! I Read more…
You can not just waltz into Mexico and rent a home, stay for more than 180 days and call yourself a resident, well not legally that is. It takes paperwork and a little money and a whole lotta patience!!
Earlier this year (2012) the Mexican Government announced 2 major changes in their immigration program in order to become a Mexican Resident. First the income requirement were just about doubled from $1,200 a month to $2,300 a month. Second the process to apply MUST start outside the USA. The income also must come from outside of Mexico, so my USA Social Security qualifies in this regard.
The nitty-gritty: Keep in mind that whatever you are reading here and now has a good chance of being outdated at any time by the Mexican Government. In addition the person you are face to face with, either at your Mexican Consulate or Mexican immigration can really make or break what you are trying to accomplish. Thier mood can change from day to day.. and YOUR attitude can help things dramatically. First, TRY to at least say Buenos Dias and Holla when approaching the staff member, second- have ALL your document ready. ALL of them. Often times they need 4 copies of everything and guess what – they have no copy machine available to you.. so you will need these copies upon your arrival. Smile and be patient, do not appear in a hurry. After all, since you are retired what IS your big rush? Take a book, sit down relax and wait.
For the current rules on income, background checks etc etc please check HERE.
Now fast forward to today again and my surprise. I drove to the Consulate office and knew full well that my income was short but rationalized that “it would be just fine”. Crazy me. The 2 ladies at the front desk took a look at my income and it stopped right there.. no, I can not move to Mexico and I was basically handed my hat. So much for THAT dream. I sat in my car with the incredulous feeling and said out loud “oh great so my income isn’t even good enough to live in Mexico??!!”. I marched back in to the office.. and headed for a different area and spied a man in his 30’s that I felt I could appeal to. I began a conversation with him about my desire to live in Mexico and that surely my close to $2,000 monthly pension income would be sufficient in a practical sense. In an adjacent office I was aware of a man, well dressed, crisp white shirt who interrupted our conversation and in a really great Mexican accent asked “so you want to live in my country?” he introduced himself as the consul! He then invited me to Mexico and to return tomorrow and he would approve the application. Whewwwww.
Lesson learned: The Mexican consul has complete discretion as to who is approved and who is not. So if you are in in a similar quandary about your “lack” of income and you desire to move to any Third World country, don’t give up so easily..there are ways to make it happen! On the flip side, a high income and a poor attitude along with an ego the size of Mexico, you may not get to live in Mexico. Good luck to you all.
Hello, my name is John Arnold and with my travel and expat experience, I can help you get the information you need! The purpose of this website is to provide information about travelling or moreover, retiring outside your current country of residence. I have set out on a mission to find the Best Place to Retire.
This site is full of useful information about retirement and travel to beautiful and interesting places. What most of us have in common is a sense of wonderment with the possibilities in our lives and this website will help you implement those daydreams into reality. Actually looking back on my life, I have always been in search of the “best place” to live. In my fifties, friends began telling me: “John, nirvana doesn’t exist”. My reply: “maybe so, but there is an opportunity to learn about this beautiful world along with more joy and adventure looking for it”.
So where is this best place to retire? Is it the cheapest place to retire and live in? We all have various reasons to think about leaving our home country; you may be disenchanted with the current state of politics, the economy and affordability, the weather and others just want to experience a change in scenery. A BIG change in scenery!
Click on the menu bar above under “Countries” to find a list of countries that I have focused on. Further over to the right is a menu tab called “infrastructure”, here I provide information about transportation and how you get around your planned destination, how to use your cell phone, how to get cable television and use services like Netflix overseas and many more such topics. Also provided on this site is information on healthcare/insurance options and the logistics of moving your personal or household belongings to your new country and hopefully your paradise. There is also a “Social/Cultural” section where I have gathered information and learned the hard way, about relationships and how to behave respectfully in your chosen country. Last, but least, there is lots of information about “Cost of Living” including important pension information.
Your paradise and priorities in paradise may be different than mine. For me climate and safety are equally as important at the top of my list, followed by the cost of living. I see no point in being able to live very cheaply, in a sunny place but in an unsafe area.
Please enjoy the information and feel free to contact me about a topic that you think should be covered here on Retire in Paradise for Less. Happy reading.. and a very happy retirement.