By: Douglas Hudson*
Most people know that Mexico is an affordable place to visit, but it can be even more affordable to live here. The cost of living in Mexico is a fraction of what it is in the United States or Canada.
First, the monetary exchange rate (the number of Mexican pesos that you get for every dollar) is extremely favorable for Americans and Canadians. For example, just a few years ago, $1 US dollar got you $10 Mexican pesos. But today, $1 US dollar trades for almost $17 Mexican pesos. At these rates, the average US Social Security check equates to a middle manager’s salary in many place in Mexico.
Real estate, property taxes, and rentals are also much less expensive in Mexico. Many foreign retirees and second home owners have purchased properties in Mexico. Comparable properties in costal comminutes in the United States, Costa Rica, or the Caribbean are extremely costly. The influx of foreigners to Zihuatanejo has produced an inflation of prices over the past twenty years, but the inflation does not compare to other Mexican destinations like Puerto Valletta or Playa del Carmen. Living in Zihuatanejo can be less costly than almost any part of midland America or Canada.
Rent and property taxes are other major differences from Mexico’s neighbors to the north; these expenses are generally a fraction of what one would pay in the states. For a $200,000 US dollar home the entire property tax bill is equivalent to $200 US dollars. You can rent a brand new, one bedroom furnished apartment along the waterfront in Zihuatanejo for around $1,200 US dollars a month. There are wonderful, furnished two-bedroom apartments for rent for as little as $500 US dollar a month.
The cost of health care and medication has also drawn many people to Mexico for many years. The quality of health care in Mexico is also quite comparable to North America. Zihuatanejo has many skilled specialists in town, and you can walk into a pharmacy to see a doctor at any time. The cost ranges from only $2 US dollars for general care to $30 US dollars for a specialist. If more specialty care is needed, patients are transported to Morelia (a four hour drive from Zihuatanejo) to obtain care at a fraction of the cost in the United State or in Canada.
Other living costs like transportation, dining, and communications are less expensive in Mexico. Many people who come to Zihuatanejo use the local taxi service, since it is very affordable. A ride within the city cost $1.50 USD, between Ixtapa and Zihua (5 miles) $4 USD. A meal in a restaurant can vary from $3 USD to $25 USD. Sea food is the local specialty and can be found just about everywhere. The common cost for a shrimp dinner with drinks should not surpass $20 USD. Due to new telecomm reform, Mexico is the only country in both North and South America that has decreased the price of communication services in 2015.
Best of all, Zihuatanejo welcomes its foreign visitors and immigrants. Each year, our local Immigration Department hosts a complimentary party for all foreign immigrants to honor their contributions to the community.
Zihuatanejo and the state of Guerrero are known for their rich history and culture. The community also provides an opportunity for a “rich life” where you can live with very little cash in hand.
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and the surrounding areas, see: