Merida Retirement Guide: 6 Things You Must Know Before Retiring in Merida, Mexico

If you plan to retire to a beautiful city where you can find top quality health and dental care, warm weather, and lots to see, do and explore, Merida might be the perfect destination for you.

Merida is known for its rich heritage, archaeological sites, colonial architecture, and vibrant colored homes that create welcoming neighborhoods.

As an individual shifting from a first world country, this city will make you feel at ease since it offers similar services that you’d find at home.

From high-speed internet, shopping malls, strip malls, branded stores, and highly competent yet affordable healthcare, the city ensures that every comfort is within your reach.

Additionally, the Merida International Airport welcomes more than 2 million visitors each year and has direct flights both to and from the United States.

Considering the points mentioned above, Merida is an excellent place to retire. That said, you should still do your due diligence and research before finalizing your retirement plans.

1. Lifestyle

Art, culture, and museums; Merida has a fascinating colonial history to explore. The city is full of history, food, colonial architecture and so much more that will keep you entertained for as long as you plan on staying in Merida.

The architecture and sculptures that decorate the city follow the marble-white theme. The city shimmers with the sun reflecting on every building.

On a slow day, you can stroll through a boulevard showing the city’s appreciation for its local artists, holding exhibitions in art galleries, and portraying their talent.

Traditional jazz and opera performances will serenade you if you’re looking for entertainment. The rich Mexican culture will also introduce you to fresh produce, new types of food to try and an overall higher quality of life that you can get in the United States for the money.

2. Weather

If you love summer, sunshine and warm days, you will thoroughly enjoy Merida’s weather between October and the end of March.

However, it’s recommended to avoid April through June as it’s the hottest time of the year and temperatures can reach upwards of 97°F.

Many locals tend to travel or temporarily shift to different cities during May-June. As a senior citizen or retiree, you could run the risk of suffering from dehydration and heat strokes during these months so be sure to take care.

Merida Retirement Guide: 6 Things You Must Know Before Retiring in Merida, Mexico

3. Affordable Living

Retirement plans are usually made with one thought in mind; safe and affordable living. Ideally, you can rely on passive income to continue your retirement adventures. But if not, Merida provides you with the inexpensive lifestyle you desire.  

Other destinations in Mexico that are popular with foreigners and expats include Lake Chapala, a top choice for those looking to live lakeside and San Miguel de Allende which is a vibrant city filled with culture and reasonably priced. However, Merida tops the charts when it comes to maintaining a first-world lifestyle at a cheaper cost.

Ideally, you can expect to spend $1400-$1700 USD per month on essentials such as rent, utilities, transport, groceries, entertainment, and medical costs. Even with additional expenses to ensure your comfort, you will still only be spending another $500 or so depending on your wants, needs and lifestyle.

Keeping this amount in mind, you should ensure that you have at least six months’ worth of savings, so you have ample time to settle in before worrying about income.

Even if you want to buy your property or renovate an older home, the expense will be far less than the average cost in the U.S.

Compared to American, Canadian, and European cost of living, Merida, Mexico, is a cheap yet vibrant city to retire in. However, recent reports show an 8% increase in the cost of living annually due to the influx of expats shifting to Merida over the course of the last few years.

4. Safety

As of 2022, Merida was reported to be in the Top 10 Safest Cities in Mexico and one of the safest cities in North America. An island called Cozumel, just a few hours east off the Caribbean is also high on the list when it comes to safety and livability.

With an extremely low crime rate index, Merida is considered safe when it comes to property crimes, violent crimes, physical assault, sexual assault, and more.

In other words, if you are someone who enjoys taking long afternoon or evening walks, you won’t need to worry too much about your personal security as Merida is a very safe destination.

Merida Retirement Guide: 6 Things You Must Know Before Retiring in Merida, Mexico

5. Healthcare

As we know, medical issues tend to become more common as we age. If this is a concern for you when it comes to retiring in Merida, you can rest assured that Merida has incredible healthcare infrastructure and medical professionals that are ready to take care of you and your loved ones.

Some of the higher quality hospitals are staffed with bilingual doctors who studied abroad so you won’t have to worry too much about a language barrier.

Moreover, healthcare in Mexico is cheaper despite high-quality and competent doctors. Exception of a few drugs, you can easily access common drugs and buy low-dose painkillers and antibiotics without a prescription.

Even in the case of a surgery or routine procedure, the medical expense will not make a huge dent or lead you to poverty like it could in the states if you don’t have sufficient insurance coverage.

6. Transport

Merida’s transportation system and roadways make it easy to get around whether it be by Uber, taxi, bus, rental cars or whatever else you decide to use to get from point A to point B.

The city has public buses that follow a timed schedule but needs more subway systems and tram stations running all day. Hence, you must set your schedule accordingly or rely on taxis and Uber.

The best way to minimize the stress of having to call taxis or Ubers is to find a recommended driver or two and stick to them for all your transportation needs.

Professional and reliable drivers are often recommended and referred to newcomers in the Merida Facebook Groups as well as travel forums such as TripAdvisor.

Merida Frequently Asked Questions

Is Merida a good place to retire?

Yes, Merida is a fantastic place to retire especially if you’re looking for a destination that is consistently regarded as one of the safest places to live in Mexico.

Is Merida A Good Place For Expats?

At the end of the day, Merida is a great place for expats and foreigners alike. It’s a popular destination for American, Canadian and European retirees due to low cost of living, quality of life, availability of necessary services, and more.

Can an American live in Merida Mexico?

Yes, American citizens can live in Merida as long as they have the appropriate visa to do so. The most common visa that American’s apply for when wanting to live in Merida or any other destination within Mexico is what is called a Temporary Residence Visa.

The process to apply for and obtain a Temporary Residence Visa in Mexico can be a little difficult to navigate if you don’t speak Spanish. It is recommend to hire a reputable immigration lawyer which will help walk you through the process and make sure you secure your visa on the first attempt.

What is the best place to retire in Mexico?

The majority of expats and foreigners living in Mexico would agree that Merida is the best place to retire in Mexico due to its excellent dental and healthcare, modern amenities, incredible gastronomy, its proximity to the United States, how safe the city is for foreigners and so much more.

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.