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? 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 based on our knowledge and experience.
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
– one year: $4271 MX = $225 USD approx.
– three years: $8106 MX = $425 USD approx.
Permanent residence processing fees are $5206 MX = $275 USD approx.
(There may be other expenses involved when completing your paperwork such as legalisation of documents, photographs, and consultant/lawyer fees.)
Both temporary and permanent residency have financial requirements if you aren’t employed in Mexico. In 2020, those requirements for temporary residency are:
– average (foreign) monthly income of about $1800-2000 USD approx.
– monthly investment or savings balance of at least $32,500 USD approx.
– real estate in Mexico valued at $260,000 USD approx.
For permanent residency:
– average monthly pension or similar of about $3,300 USD approx.
– monthly investment or savings balance of about $130,000 USD approx.
(Costs are approximate, rounded up and based on a 19 peso to 1 USD exchange rate.)
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. 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 ocean.
The same applies to purchasing properties: 2-bedroom apartments 6 km outside the centre sell for $50,000 USD. Whereas more central studios can sell for $100,000 and 2 bedrooms from $200,000.
Weekly groceries at a national supermarket cost from $25 USD per person approx.
Utilities: internet, telephone and TV packages range from approx. $20 – $60 per month depending on the services included.
Household gas costs $30 USD approx. for 55 litres.
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 $10 per month for one person. 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 $3 per person. The same applies to alcohol: high-end or tourist venues are comparable to North America. However, domestic brands at a mid-range location are approximately 50% cheaper – and we know how good Mexican cocktails are, right?
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 $20 USD and doctor’s consultations from as little as $3 USD at a local pharmacy. Private consultations average at $50 USD.
Cost of Living Comfortably in Playa del Carmen
It’s safe to say that even with a budget of $1250 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 and Quintana Roo are two 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
Enjoying our articles? Read our last one here: Location Location: Should You Move to Playa del Carmen?