Millions Of Americans Flocking To Mexico

BY: NICK FONG

More than 2 million retired Americans have chosen Mexico as their new home, a figure that continues to increase thanks to the pleasant climate, and favorable economic conditions, Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara said.

She said that retired Americans are a segment of great importance for developing the economy of the nation’s tourist destinations, and added that more and more Canadians also opt for retirement in Mexico.

At the same forum, the president of the International Community Foundation, Richard Kiy, said that 53 percent of retirees making their home in Mexico are under the age of 65, and choose Mexico for the favorable living conditions and stable economy.

He said that Mexico being near their home country does influence their choice, as does the possibility of purchasing a home at a much lower price than in the United States.

Recent reports strongly indicate that the highly televised Mexican drug war has not stopped most Americans from traveling or moving south of the Border. In fact, according to an ABC News report, of the 5.25 million Americans living in other countries, the vast majority (over 1 million) lives in Mexico, and many more may be on their way. A number of Mexican communities now virtually look like U.S. suburbs and in some cases American and Canadian property owners outnumber locals.

No Fear Here

In areas far from US border towns, such as Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico’s drug war is a distant and faraway place. In fact, when surveyed, most Americans living here feel that they are much safer than in cities like L.A., New York, Chicago, Atlanta or Miami. Indeed, recent statistics prove them to be right.

According to a report last year by the LA Times, tourist areas in Mexico are 12 times safer than Tampa or Honolulu, 17 times safer than Dallas or West Palm Beach, 26 times safer than Orlando or Houston and a whopping 39 times safer than the U.S. capital, Washington D.C., and Americans and Canadians are coming in droves.

Americans and Canadians are sneaking south of the Border for all the usual suspects: tropical weather, pristine property, tree-lined beaches, white-sand, warm turquoise water, crystalline coastlines, the beckoning beach lifestyle, and a litany of other adjectives. But perhaps this time they are descending on magical Mexico for a compelling new impetus altogether.

Perhaps the biggest bonus for retirees and investors in Mexico has been their opportunistic purchases of homes, condos and real estate property. In key areas, real estate in Mexico is far outpacing growth in other countries.

Healthcare Heaven

The other goldmine that Americans and Canadians are getting in Mexico is the veritable healthcare jackpot they enjoy that includes full medical, dental and vision coverage for about $600 a year. This government run healthcare plan (IMSS) was created for Mexican employees but is also open to legal foreigners. Imagine a healthcare-fantasy world where there are no deductibles, no co-pays, no limits, no prescriptions to pay for and even pre-existing conditions are covered after 1-2 years. No small reason to make your way to Mexico.

There are now over 18,000 major American companies currently investing and operating in Mexico and it is estimated that over 1 million Americans are buying, building and or retiring here. In truth, no one knows exactly how many American or Canadian retirees, entrepreneurs, and families are now traveling or making plans to relocate to Mexico.

That Americans are moving to Mexico is nothing new, but the kinds of Americans who are establishing themselves have changed.

“For decades you’ve had three kinds of Americans coming here,” said Ramon Segura, an importer-exporter with decades of experience working with foreign nationals.

“Foremost are the retirees, who can have a higher standard of living in Mexico than they could in the U.S. Then there were the professionals who were sent here by their companies or were here on business. And of course, there were those trying to make a clean break from their pasts – usually men escaping alimony, child support, business failures or the country that sent them to Vietnam.”

But now there are two other kinds of Americans moving to Mexico: those who are starting or raising families and entrepreneurs seeking greater opportunities.

One thing’s for sure, it’s not a few, it’s not slowing down, and there seems to be no end in sight. And for those who might doubt it, just ask the Mexican locals and they will quickly remind you “they’re moving in all around us!” 

Nick Fong, Broker of Los Cabos Agent, nick@loscabosagent.com, 624-157-3170 (Cabo), 312-725-3664 (US).