10 Safest Places To Retire in Mexico (And 5 to Avoid)

INVESTING - SAVING FOR RETIREMENT
Unearth the hidden gems and dodge the pitfalls in Mexico's retirement landscape.
Updated Feb. 5, 2024
Fact checked
Senior couple relaxing at Lake Como

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

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.

Eliminate your late tax debt

Each year, the IRS forgives millions in unpaid taxes. If you have more than $10,000 in tax debt, or have 3+ years of unfiled taxes, you could get forgiveness too. You might be eligible to lower the amount you owe, or eliminate your tax debt completely.

Easy Tax Relief could help you lower or get out of your tax debt for good. They’re well respected in the industry and have been recognized for their ethical standards when dealing with tax debt. While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, Easy Tax Relief talks to the IRS directly. They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.

Important: Not everyone will qualify. To take advantage of this special program you must owe more than $10,000 in past-due taxes.

Fill out this form to get started

1. San Miguel de Allende

2B/Adobe senior couple enjoying at tropical resort

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.

2. Mazatlan

Rawpixel.com/Adobe happy senior women working out outdoors

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

Adriana/Adobe senior man standing in busy street

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.

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees) has no annual fee and you can earn $200 after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

The Active Cash Card puts cash back into your wallet. Cardholders can earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases — easy! That's one of the best cash rewards options available.

This card also offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable). Which is great for someone who wants a break from high interest rates, while still earning rewards.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

4. Guadalajara

Robert Peak/Adobe woman using smartphone for video chat

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

Carlos David/Adobe senior couple having wine at winery

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.

6. Campeche

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe senior couple enjoying tropical vacation together

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.

7. Sayulita

EpicStockMedia/Adobe happy senior couple walking on beach

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.

8. Merida

Kawee/Adobe male friends playing chess at home

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.

9. Tampico

Spotmatik/Adobe senior friends group sailing luxury yacht

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.

Take advantage of historically high rates to grow your wealth

Are your savings just sitting around, not earning much interest? It's time to make a change and put your money to work for you! With CloudBank 24/7, you can earn more interest on your money today ... while keeping your cash OUT of the stock market.

Here’s their secret: CloudBank 24/7 amplifies your money by doing what many banks refuse to do … paying you a rare 5.26% APY (annual percentage yield)12 on your cash.

When you deposit your money into this high-yield savings account, you can supercharge your emergency fund, short-term savings, return on cash, and more with interest income generated from their high 5.26% APY payout.

The best part? There are no fees, you can withdraw your money at any time, and opening an account takes as little as 3 minutes. CloudBank 24/7 is FDIC-insured through Third Coast Bank SSB and cybersecurity is a top priority, ensuring your data is kept safe.

Click here to open a CloudBank 24/7 online savings account

10. Playa del Carmen

Song_about_summer/Adobe senior couple enjoying scooter ride

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

Jorge Ferreiro/Adobe suspicious woman in city at night

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.

1. Cancun

Photographee.eu/Adobe lonely woman scared while passing underpass

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.

2. Coatzacoalcos

luchschenF/Adobe woman walking alone on dark street

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.

3. Tijuana

Rix Pix/Adobe mysterious man walking in fog

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.

4. Acapulco

Leo Lintang/Adobe faceless man in hood on rooftop

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

Prathaan/Adobe crime scene tape in building

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.

Bottom line

bernardbodo/Adobe senior couple finalising budget for vacation

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.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt