The new Expats In Mexico survey shows more aspiring expats are heading to Mexico, a big jump from the Expats In Mexico survey conducted two years ago.
Primarily from the U.S. and Canada, 54 percent of respondents say they are Extremely Likely or Very Likely to move south of the border, an increase of 5-percentage points from the Expats In Mexico Survey 2019.
And they will be moving much sooner. Sixty-one percent say within two years, compared with just 43 percent in the survey two years ago, an 18- percentage point increase.
Nearly 300 aspiring expats from primarily the United States and Canada completed the survey in January and February of this year.
Of those who are not ready to move to Mexico within the next several years, 40 percent cite their need to work and save more money before moving. It should come as no surprise that economics at home is driving that decision. According to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 58 percent of Baby Boomers saw their employment negatively affected by the pandemic. These effects ranged from a reduction in hours to the complete loss of jobs. Baby Boomers represent 70 percent of this year’s survey respondents.
So how did money play into survey respondents’ motivations for moving to Mexico? It was certainly popular, with 26 percent of respondents saying they were looking for a lower cost of living. But that was not the top reason. Lifestyle made a big jump in 2021, with 40 percent making it their number one consideration for moving, a 10 percent increase over the 2019 survey. Climate rounded out the top three reasons for moving to Mexico, with 1 in 5 respondents just wanting better weather.
Another big jump we saw this year was the number of people who say they are moving to Mexico by themselves. Thirty-six percent of respondents say they plan to make the move solo, an increase of 10-percentage points over 2019. And when they make their move, two-thirds plan to live in Mexico full-time, another 10-percentage point increase over the 2019 study.
If you are an expat living in Mexico, you may be wondering where all these people plan to live. If you live in Puerto Vallarta, expect more company. Vallarta remains the most popular destination for aspiring expats, followed by Lake Chapala, Los Cabos, Mérida, and Playa del Carmen. If you own rental property in any of these places there is good news. The number of new expats who plan to rent rose to 55 percent, 5-percentage points higher than the 2019 survey. On the other hand, just 30 percent plan to buy.
As for what type of community these newbies are looking for, 60 percent say their preference is to live in a neighborhood with both expats and Mexicans.
The survey also shed some light on how long these newly-minted expats plan to stay in Mexico. More than half say they will live in Mexico for more than 10 years and another 25 percent say they will stay at least five.