Retiring in Mexico – Are You Prepared for Culture Shock?

Apr 16, 2012   //   by admin   //   Living in Mexico, Mexico Living, Mexico Living Now, Retire in Mexico  //  No Comments
Retiring in Mexico

Classic Mexico House

Retiring in Mexico – Culture Shock

When we say retiring in Mexico will bring about culture shock, we don’t mean it in a negative way.  After all, if you are nearing retirement age, and you are considering retiring in Mexico, that means you have probably lived most of your life in either the U.S. or Canada.

This is not a guess.  This statement is based on the fact that most expats retiring in Mexico are originally from Canada or the U.S.  And there are millions more considering the same move.

Retiring in Mexico is Not a New Concept

In years past, lots of people knew that Mexico had great deals on beachfront property and a lifestyle that would make sense for retirement.  Many of those people purchased a second home in Mexico, knowing that eventually it would be used as a full time home for their retirement in Mexico.

Now, with the number of people reaching retirement age at historic levels, baby boomers are looking for places to live where the pace of life is more relaxed, the recreational activities are abundant and the cost of living is 40% – 60% lower than in the U.S. or Canada.

Add to that the tremendous number of people unemployed at or near retirement age, with little to no hope of getting a job.  Many people in that circumstance are finding retiring in Mexico an affordable solution to the pressure of high monthly costs of living with no job prospects in sight.

Retiring in Mexico Sounds Great, So What Is the Culture Shock?

Culture shock is coming to a new country and expecting it to be exactly the way you lived in your homeland.  Retiring in Mexico brings many changes to a daily routine that you may take for granted.

In the U.S. or Canada, when you need a plumber, an electrician, a dentist or a surgeon, you can generally get names and services quickly.  In Mexico that can be a totally different experience if you don’t speak Spanish or you don’t know people that have recommendations.  And, once you do have the information you need, it may be very difficult to adjust to workers arriving late, or not arriving at all and not calling to say they’ll see you another day.  Simply, that is the culture in Mexico.  The saying goes that if you can’t adjust to Mexico, it certainly will not adjust for you.  Here, in Mexico, there is no use in wishing things will change.  They will not.

Retiring in Mexico Needs Planning and Attitude Adjustment

For the most part, you will find areas in Mexico to retire where the expats have already made in-roads and have plenty of connections for good service people, good doctors and more.

If you’re retiring in Mexico and your Spanish is not strong enough to live in small, local pueblos, you’re best bet is to relocate to a place with a good size expat population.  This is part of good planning for your retiring in Mexico.

As for an attitude adjustment, our only advice is to remember to give the Mexican people the respect they deserve. Mexican people are gentle and kind and very welcoming.  If you treat them right, you will gain the most loyal workers and friends you could ever imagine.  If they are not on time or don’t show up for a job one day, it is usually for a very good reason.  Be patient and you will find happiness retiring in Mexico.


Living in Mexico

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