The cost of living in Mexico varies depending on where you live and the lifestyle you choose to embrace.
People move to Mexico for different reasons. Some have more disposable income and are there for an improved lifestyle, a sense of adventure or simply to enjoy better weather during the colder months at home. Others want to stretch their limited dollars while doing any or all of the above.
Whatever your situation, you should research carefully what the moving and living costs are for your areas of interest in Mexico, and how that stacks up against your budget. The following information will help you get started on making that assessment.
Generally, the Cost of Living in Mexico (Numbeo.com) is significantly lower than what you would have in a city such as Columbus, OH.
For instance, rent in Mexico City would be about 44% less for an average 3 bedroom apartment in the city, and buying an apartment would be about 45% less per square foot in the city center, than it would be in Columbus, OH.
Read the cost of living comparison between Mexico City and Columbus, OH
Here are a few more to consider (assuming you rent in each city). This calculation uses Numbeo's Cost of Living Plus Rent Index to compare cost of living. This assumes net earnings (after income tax):
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico vs. Columbus, OH, USA (Numbeo):
"You would need around $2,147.74 (43,981.40MXN) in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 4,400.00$ in Columbus, OH."
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico vs. Columbus, OH, USA (Numbeo):
"You would need around $2,181.82 (44,679.23MXN) in Puerto Vallarta to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $4,400.00 in Columbus, OH."
Merida, Mexico vs. Columbus, OH, USA (Numbeo):
"You would need around $1,867.45 (37,889.67MXN) in Merida to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $4,400.00 in Columbus, OH."
As with so many other warm climates that expats favor, individual preferences such as amount of air conditioning use, whether or not to hire a maid or cleaning service, and the number of times you dine out will have an impact on your monthly expenses.
However, the major take away is that you can live in Mexico for significantly less than what it costs to live in the United States.