Riviera Maya

Retirement in the US and Canada does not look the same for everyone. Comfortable retirement depends on your location, health and retirement salary. One thing is for sure though: retiring on the Riviera Maya looks good. It can transform a difficult situation in the US and Canada into a pleasant future. In this post we look at the reasons many North Americans choose to retire to the Riviera Maya. While we’re focusing on a specific region, many of our points are valid for Mexico in general.


Reasons to Retire on the Riviera Maya

Lower cost of living

Let’s begin with the main thing on everyone’s mind: money. It’s no secret that Mexico is cheaper than the rest of North America in many regards. While you can of course find comparable high-end pricing if you go looking for it, generally in tourist spots, there is no need to pay US/Canadian prices. Rent, property sales, utilities, entertainment, transport, and food and drink all generally cost less to significantly less in Mexico. For example, for $800 USD or less you can easily rent a furnished one-two bedroom apartment in or close to the centre of Playa del Carmen. Bottled beer costs between $1.50-$3 USD. If you are careful with the air-conditioning, electricity can cost as little as $20 USD per month.


A retirement income of over $2800 USD approx. per month is enough to secure you permanent residency, or $1800 USD approx. per month for temporary residency. With permanent residency you will enjoy a one-time procedure and fee and permission to work.

Dollar to peso exchange rate

The exchange rate usually fluctuates between 19-21 pesos to the dollar. At times of such fluctuation, you can make additional savings exchanging your dollars or purchasing with dollars from Mexican suppliers.

Similar lifestyle

You might think you have to give up certain comforts or habits when you come to Mexico. Not true – in fact you’ll probably be able to enjoy everything you did at home, more often in Mexico. The Riviera Maya in fact is a developed area that caters to its more northerly neighbors. For example: original language movies often predominate at the huge, modern cinemas here – so no struggling with subtitles. You can enjoy coffee and ice cream at the mall afterwards too. The local gyms will be comparable (and likely cheaper). Many supermarkets even stock international products.

Medical care 

This is a big issue for retirees. Here’s the good news: private medical care in Mexico is high quality, efficient and cheaper than the rest of North America, as is medication. Secure good insurance, find a doctor you like and trust, and pay directly out of pocket for smaller expenses.


The international retiree population on the Riviera Maya is huge. There’s no need to feel lonely. You’ll meet fellow retirees at meet-ups, bars and restaurants, volunteering initiatives, on the beach, anywhere and everywhere you go really. You will also find a welcoming Mexican community, many of whom speak English. Although it is recommended to learn some Spanish yourself for added ease.

Proximity to US & Canada

Of course, you will want or need to return home every so often. You may want to see family, take care of administrative matters, or simply because it’s still home. Cancun airport has dozens of direct flights departing daily to US and Canada. Often these cost less than domestic flights within those countries. In a few short hours, you can be back home at low cost. Family and friends will no doubt visit you often on the Riviera Maya too.

Climate:  The warm, tropical climate all year round, averaging between 77-90°F, is a top reason for retiring on the Riviera Maya. Many Canadians love trading the harsh winters for Caribbean sunshine. Life is lived outdoors, on the beach, walking around town, or visiting a cenote. This lifestyle is conducive to more activity and better health.

Come to Mexico and See for Yourself

There are many more reasons that retiring on the Riviera Maya is a good idea. Why don’t you come down and see for yourself? For a quotation or more information about immigration to Mexico, email Adriana Vela at info@immigrationtomexico.mx.