Thinking About Relocating to Mexico? Check Out These Resources First.

Practically every time I visit expat forums on social media I see questions from aspiring expats about where they should choose to relocate/retire in Mexico.

And while most of these people are probably not crowdsourcing the decision but the planning — why not embrace the research for yourself? It can even be fun!

After all, no two people are alike, and only you know what mix of attributes will fit your needs best.

Whether you’re seeking a small pueblo with slow living, a vibrant city with loads of cultural diversions, or a popular beach resort — you can find it in Mexico.

Maybe you’ve already chosen a destination but are worried about practical stuff like whether you can qualify for a residency visa, how you will find housing and manage your money from abroad, or whether you can bring your new car and Labradoodles with you.

I’ve been there, and know it can be a steep learning curve.

When my husband and I decided to relocate to Mexico, we had plenty of experience traveling the country. But the fact is … traveling through Mexico is nothing like actually living there

Where do you turn for quality information? With one notable exception, it’s not Facebook.

Below are some of the top sources I recommend to gather essential information to guide your relocation planning.

8 Top Resources on Living in Mexico to Help Aspiring Expats

General Advice & Lifestyle Planning

Mexperience. Whether you have questions about health care, transportation, insurance, working or retiring in Mexico, social etiquette, and local customs, this website contains a wealth of content helpful to anyone in the early stages of relocation planning.

Unlike many other expat-oriented sites, the guides on Mexperience are updated regularly and downloadable for free.

This site also contains a substantial trove of content geared to leisure travel across Mexico, with tips for travel planning and regional highlights not to be missed.

Immigration & Visas

Sonia Diaz. This site is a singular resource for up-to-the-minute details on the immigration rules and entry procedures for aspiring expats in Mexico. While the site’s purpose is to steer users to hire Sonia’s immigration services, DIY expats can benefit from the free educational content about the myriad ways to relocate to Mexico legally.

As the Mexican bureaucracy is forever changing its processes, foreigners are best served by information gathered by those in-country with hands-on experience and deep expertise in the visa process.

This site also contains little-known details about residency benefits, including tax breaks and discounts foreigners may be eligible for. It’s also a good resource for those contemplating relocation to San Miguel de Allende or Puerto Vallarta, where Sonia’s team has a physical presence.

Finding a great place to live in Mexico

Finding Great Places to Live (beyond the Expat Bubbles)

Retirement Secrets of Mexico. This book published in 2020 by U.S. expat Russell Blake provided me with valuable insights into essential topics for expats thinly covered elsewhere, including housing options, taxes, insurance, and health care in Mexico.

More than that, it introduced me to several appealing destinations most expats overlook in favor of higher profile (and more expensive) cities and towns that receive the lion’s share of media attention. It opened my eyes to the cultural riches, resources, and amenities of Guadalajara (and Zapopan in particular) where my husband and I ultimately chose to settle.

As anyone who’s lived in Mexico will tell you – things change quickly, so books are generally at a big disadvantage compared to blogs, which can be updated regularly. Despite that fact, Blake’s book has aged well and continues to be a valuable resource to me.

Moving Advice & Planning

Best Mexico Movers Blog. You might be scratching your head at this recommendation. In my experience, movers aren’t a resource for much beyond their core services (and many don’t even manage that very well!), but this site is different.

That’s because Chuck Bolotin (owner of this moving company) is a true authority on expat living, having written extensively for a website focused on the best places in the world to retire before founding his moving company. He’s also been widely published in U.S. media on the benefits of expat living.

The “Living in Mexico” section of his moving website provides advice on essential topics for expats, including how to move your stuff, how to choose your mover, what you can and can’t bring, things that are hard to buy in Mexico, adapting to the local culture, along with a generous dose of life philosophy.

Money Management Advice & Cost of Living

Live Well Mexico (this blog!). I humbly recommend this site as the best for learning the easiest and most cost-effective ways to manage your finances from Mexico.

Topics covered include moving money into or out of Mexico, managing your finances from abroad, earning passive income, paying local and U.S. taxes, cost of living data, dealing with exchange rate risk, deciding whether to buy insurance, choosing a Mexican bank, opening a local account, and more.

Our financial posts share insights from personal experience and intensive research on these minimally covered topics, to close knowledge gaps for new Mexpats. We also offer advice on solving practical, everyday living challenges from a DIY perspective. My blog is an especially relevant resource for those considering relocation to Guadalajara.

And since I don’t find much quality advice on real estate in Mexico across the digital landscape, we’re also dedicated to sharing accurate, in-depth research and guidance on how to buy property and find short-term housing. More on this topic is coming soon!

Driving your car in Mexico

Driving your Car in Mexico

The Facebook group On the Road Mexico is a must-read for anyone considering driving their car into Mexico. It covers the “good, the bad, and the fun” according to group admins.

What’s unique about the content in this forum is the sheer magnitude of posts, with detailed first-hand accounts by foreign drivers crisscrossing Mexico (expats seemingly drive anywhere and everywhere there are roads).

Posters share their experiences at border crossings, how they’ve obtained and turned in their temporary import permits (TIPs), the latest road conditions, the status of construction projects, accidents they’ve been in, police scams, auto insurance advice, safety advice, current toll fees, car rental suggestions, and more.

The content is practical, actionable, and at times highly entertaining.

Current News & Events in Mexico

Reforma. This website (part of the Mexico City-based news organization Grupo Reforma) is an excellent resource for staying on top of the latest happenings in Mexico. It covers Mexican politics, the economy, business, climate change, security, and international relations, with thoughtful commentary on current events.

Using Chrome browser, you simply need to apply Google Translate to read it in English, if not fluent in Spanish.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend any English-language dailies for current news or insightful commentary on Mexico today, as these publications tend to emphasize breezy travel and leisure articles over practical, hard news. Plus, they often have impermeable paywalls.

(And if your guilty pleasure is travel ‘zines then I strongly recommend AFAR magazine’s Mexico content as it avoids the standard fare, uncovering authentic local experiences, hidden gems, and unique adventures that most visitors miss. It’s also free.)

A Forum for Asking Questions about Expat Living in Mexico 

r/mexicoexpats on Reddit. In this group, users ask wide-ranging questions and share their experiences related to visa procedures and snafus, finding housing, opening businesses, obtaining citizenship, getting health insurance, digital nomad-ing in Mexico, tipping customs, and more.

The community’s vibe is typically collaborative and supportive, i.e. it’s largely devoid of the toxic trolling and judgment you find in so many expat forums on Facebook.

In my experience, asking questions on Reddit yields prompt and insightful feedback from expats with practical, first-hand experience, and a range of cultural perspectives.

About Live Well Mexico

My name is Dawn Stoner. In 2022, my family sold our house and half of our possessions, then relocated to Guadalajara, Mexico. We now live here full-time.

Since then, we’ve learned how to navigate the real estate market, deal with the Mexican bureaucracy, and manage our finances as expats… all while having a pretty fine time!

I created this blog to help newcomers solve the everyday challenges of living in Mexico, because it isn’t easy figuring all this out for yourself.

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