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Merida, Mexico

Retire in Merida, Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 23, 2023

Summary: What is it like to retire in Merida, Mexico? Retirees share their experiences living in Merida.

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What are the most rewarding aspects of retiring in Merida?

"We came from the US about 4 yrs ago, have always been adventurous and have lived in several states mostly in the west. For us it had nothing whatsoever to do with the political environment or the economics. We had saved and prepared well f or retirement, more lucky than smart. We knew the culture and people would be wonderful and the climate is so much better than in beautiful Seattle. Our kids are scattered throughout the US and we travel back every few months and they come here. Just what we hoped for. The city of Merida is fabulous. We live by choice in a neighborhood where no one speaks English so we try (somewhat successfully) to communicate in Spanish and to fit in. People are accepting and kind. Driving is an adrenaline rush every day. All in all, it has been 99% of what we had hoped and plan to stay for as long as our health is good. We have used healthcare here numerous times and have found it to be of highest level and advanced," said a retiree who moved to Mexico.

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How do I meet people in Merida?

When we asked people living in Merida about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Definitely look up the two Merida Expat groups on Facebook before you come. Get acquainted with what goes on, advice for newcomers, how to find things, and, most importantly, introduce yourself and tell when you are coming. There is a breakfast club here, a monthly meet and greet, a bowling league, etc. FB has an activities calendar. I immediately went to several events within my 2nd week here," commented one retiree living in Merida, Mexico.

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What is life like in Merida?

When we asked people living in Merida what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"That is a broad question to answer. I have lived in 2 other Central American countries and will say they focus a lot more on family than we do in the USA. Merida is by far more sophisticated than where I've lived before, is a wealthier city than I've lived in before. I would expect the proximity to the US has affected values, although the Yucatan retains much Mayan culture, different than the rest of Mexico," explained a retiree in Merida.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do I need to know before retiring in Merida?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Merida, they said:

"We chose Merida over Tulum, Cancun and all of the of the primarily tourist destinations in MX. There are a thousand cities each unique. I would not live in Tulum for the dame reason I would not choose to live in San Diego. We live in a quiet Mexican suburb, have access to the beach (many) in 20-30 min, Have all the conveniences that we would have in a city of 1 mil. people. Many whine about the heat in Merida, but with 5 minutes of research you know what the weather is month in and month out. As a beautiful historic city Merida is a dream at least for us. The city is feeling it's growing pains but the people and culture are a delight. We (I) recently had occasion to undergo an emergency cardiac procedure here and spent time with multiple specialists, most spoke English well, at the costs were much lower than expected; the technology and care was exceptional. Tulum, to me at least, is not what I want; neither is anywhere near there like Cancun Playa del Carmen, Akumal, etc. A little like trying to have a quiet normal life in the FL Keys," said another retiree in Merida.

"Merida is a great city with lots of free activities for adults and children. It is sophisticated, with diverse areas to live in and friendly people, and a good public transportation system. It is a pretty city. However, it is Hot! Come prepared for heat during the day, but the nights cool off comfortably. Make sure your home is well ventilated so that you can enjoy fresh air at night and not need air conditioning. You will not need to bring much, there are plenty of malls and stores with merchandise for you and your home from high end to low," commented one retiree living in Merida, Mexico.

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What type of recreational activities are there in Merida?

"There is a large sport club here for tennis and golf. Every Sunday the streets are closed for bikeathons for the entire family to participate in. And any time you want to hike, go visit a ruin. Most of the cenotes allow swimming and are wonderfully cool and magical," remarked another retiree in Merida.

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Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Merida?

"There is everything in Merida from local street vendors, market stalls, to Super Duper big box markets. There is a Walmart that is a step above what you find in the States, Sears, and a few super duper markets that sell everything from household goods to groceries, all in one place. Several malls have recently opened, so you can shop from high end to low end, and Centro has many streets of unusual and unique shops. You will need to guard your money as these unique shops have lovely hand made items," remarked another retiree in Merida.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Merida, Mexico

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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