Mexico may be a great option for you if you’re planning to retire outside of the U.S.
The country is close to the U.S., so it’s easy to get back and forth. You'll also be able to keep more money in your wallet, as housing and everyday expenses can be lower than in the U.S.
But some cities in the country may be a better fit for retirees than others, especially if you seek safety. Check some good places to live — and a few to avoid — if you plan to retire to Mexico.
We begin with the good, safe options first.
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1. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is located in central Mexico and has a temperate desert climate that appeals to retirees who don’t want to deal with humidity and cold.
The city also boasts plenty of culture and art, including festivals.
You also won’t be alone as an expatriate, as many retirees flock here. And the relatively low cost of living can boost the odds of your doing better financially.
Mazatlan is located in the Mexican Riviera. Residents enjoy beautiful beaches and ocean views of the Pacific.
The area has plenty of activities for residents who enjoy the outdoors. You can go horseback riding along the shore or partake in water activities such as kayaking.
3. Puerto Vallarta
Want to live on the Pacific coast? Try Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico's most visited locations.
Enjoy the sandy, warm beaches for the day, or take in the romantic charm of the cobblestone streets in Old Vallarta. You can also wander the Los Muertos Beach Pier, which has become a well-known destination in the town.
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Guadalajara is renowned for its history. You can tour the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral or enjoy a show at Mexico’s oldest opera house, Teatro Degollado. You can also listen to the mariachi music the city is known for.
Guadalajara is also the capital of the state of Jalisco, which is known as the birthplace of tequila. Try different drinks on the Tequila Trail and learn more about how tequila is distilled in the area.
5. Ciudad Madero
The town of Ciudad Madero on the Gulf of Mexico could be a great retirement option if you enjoy sandy beaches and city parks.
You can also check out the local canals or enjoy a soccer game at the city’s Estadio Tamaulipas if you like watching sports in person.
Campeche, located in southern Mexico, has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Centre.
Wander the streets of the historic fortified town to see the unique buildings that make up Campeche, or enjoy exploring nearby Mayan ruins.
Sayulita is located along Mexico's Pacific coast, giving residents access to the beautiful beaches and ocean.
The fishing village has terrific restaurants and is a great tourist destination. It isn’t as busy and congested as other tourist-type towns, so you will be relaxed as you wander the streets.
The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is home to Merida. The city has a culture and heritage influenced by the Mayan people.
Merida also has a reputation for being one of the safest cities in the country, so you can feel comfortable traveling around and enjoying the sites.
Tampico gives you access to the Gulf of Mexico and is home to historical buildings.
Check out the Cathedral of Tampico or wander the historic streets to see the town’s city hall, cultural center, or old post office.
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10. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula is known for its sandy beaches and beautiful weather.
There are plenty of outdoor activities for you to take in if you like water sports, so enjoy some time snorkeling or diving.
Cities to avoid
If you prize safety, there are a few cities in Mexico that you might want to avoid. The following places might be on that list.
You may think Cancun is a safe tourist destination, but you’ll have to be careful as you move deeper into the city.
Crime has increased in the area, with criminals targeting tourists in particular. The government has started to impose regulations on bars and Airbnbs to protect tourists.
Coatzacoalcos has a rich history but has become more dangerous for residents.
The homicide rate is low in the area, but other crime is becoming an issue, including thefts and drug activity.
Expatriates from the U.S. might consider a town like Tijuana because it's located just across the border from California.
But while the town has a vibrant nightlife with bars and restaurants, it also has the highest number of homicides in Mexico.
Acapulco used to be a well-known destination for tourists who wanted to visit the luxury resorts in the area.
However, the city has been taken over by violence due to the poppy fields that surround the area and the drug crimes associated with the crops.
5. Ciudad Obregón
Ciudad Obregón, near the Gulf of California, has beautiful scenery and lush mountains nearby. The city itself is known for its delicious food.
However, the drug trade has taken over parts of the town, causing issues with safety.
Mexico has great options for expatriates, particularly those who want to retire early on a modest budget. But for many people, safety is a key issue.
Most cities on this list are good choices for those who want a safe place to call home. However, you might want to steer clear of the last five cities on the list if staying safe is a priority.
FinanceBuzz is not an investment advisor. This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.