Mexican produce

Many people move to Mexico to enjoy a better quality of life and lower cost of living while stretching their pension, salary or savings further. But what is the actual cost of living in Mexico, especially now that inflation is rising globally. How much do you need when you move here?

Well, how long is a piece of string? In this article we will give you the average costs for certain expenses for one person in Playa del Carmen. Variations will exist. This is intended to be a minimum price guide. Costs are approximate and based on a 19 peso to 1 USD exchange rate.

Temporary and Permanent Residency Costs

First things first, what you spend as a resident and what you spend as a tourist is different. Residents benefit from discounts at many local attractions and venues such as restaurants and parks. If you intend to stay in Mexico long-term, that is more than six months per year, you should apply for residency.

Temporary residence processing fees in 2023 are as follows – exchange rate 19.00

– one year: $5108 MXN = $270 USD approx.

– three years: $9693 MXN = $510 USD approx. 

Permanent residence processing fees are $6226 MX = $330 USD approx.

There may be additional expenses when applying, such as legalisation of documents, photos, and immigration consultant/lawyer fees.

Both temporary and permanent residency have financial requirements if you aren’t employed in Mexico. These may vary somewhat from consulate to consulate. However, as a guide, in 2022, those minimum requirements for residency were:

Temporary residency

– average (foreign) monthly income of $2025 USD approx.

– monthly investment or savings balance of at least $102,000 USD approx.  

– real estate in Mexico valued at $205,000 USD approx.

Permanent residency:

– average monthly pension or similar of about $2535 USD approx.

– monthly investment or savings balance of $130,000 USD approx.

Accommodation Costs

Once you get here, you’ll need somewhere to live. Rent for one-bedroom apartments in Playa del Carmen starts at $500 USD approx. upwards in the centre. You will find cheaper prices in less central neighbourhoods and for basic properties. Depending on the facilities and neighbourhood, rental prices can exceed $1000 USD for new condos or houses in gated communities, and view of, or access to, the beach.

The same applies to purchasing properties: two-bedroom apartments 6 km outside the centre sell for $100,000 USD. Whereas more central studios can sell for $100,000 and two bedrooms from $200,000.

General Expenses

Weekly groceries at a national supermarket cost from $30 USD upwards per person approx.

Utilities: internet, telephone and TV packages range from approx. $30–$60 per month depending on the services included.

Expect to pay over $30 USD for 50 litres of household gas.

Electricity varies depending on the area your accommodation is in and obviously how much you use, for air conditioning especially. Minimum costs can be as low as $15 USD per month for one person with low consumption and no A/C. Water costs are comparable.

While eating out at high-end restaurants costs as much as it does in other North American countries, mid-range dining is 25-50% cheaper. Meanwhile local restaurants serve lunch for as little as $5 per person. The same applies to alcohol: high-end or tourist venues are comparable to the rest of North America. However, domestic beer brands at a mid-range location are approximately 50% cheaper.

For families with children, schools also cost a fraction of their North American counterparts.

Mexican Dental and Health Care

Health care and dental care are excellent value with dental check-ups from $30 USD. Doctor’s consultations cost as little as $5 USD at a local pharmacy. Private consultations will likely start $50 USD depending on the service.

Cost of Living Comfortably in Playa del Carmen

Even with a budget of $1500 USD, one person could live a comfortable life in Playa del Carmen – enjoying meals out, entertainment and recreational activities in moderation. Do note that such a budget would go even further in other locations in the state of Quintana Roo, and even more so in other states. Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the state of Quintana Roo are some of the most expensive locations in the country. Consider also that the minimum wage in Mexico is around $5 USD a day.

There are many more reasons to move to Mexico besides the cost of living. Read about them here: 10 Simple Reasons to Relocate to Mexico

For a quotation or more information about immigration to Mexico, email Adriana Vela at info@immigrationtomexico.