The Price of Living and Retiring in Mexico's Second Most Popular City

Price of Living and Retiring in Mexico Guadalajara

For many Americans and Canadians who are looking for affordable price of living and comfortable places to spend their golden years, Mexico has become an enticing destination for retirement due to its favorable climate, and rich culture. 

Mexico caters to a diverse range of preferences, lifestyles, and budgets, boasting rustic villages, luxurious resorts, extensive coastlines, snow-capped mountains, and charming Spanish colonial cities. 

There are several promising cities that offer a high quality of life at a lower cost compared to the USA or Canada. 

Price of Living in Mexico

In this article, we will look at the price of living in the second-largest and most important city in Mexico, also known as the “Silicon Valley of Mexico”, Guadalajara.

With its affordable cost of living, ideal climate, world-class healthcare, rich cultural heritage, and safety, Guadalajara provides retirees the opportunity to stretch their pensions further while enjoying a high quality of life. Diverse housing options, friendly locals, and proximity to nature add to its allure, making it a perfect base for retirees seeking an enriching and fulfilling retirement experience in Mexico.


One of the most significant expenses retirees need to consider is accommodation. 

In Guadalajara, you’ll find a variety of housing options, ranging from renting and choosing between short-term or long-term arrangements to buying property. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations. 

Renting provides the flexibility to change locations easily if you wish to explore different parts of Mexico. Renting is an ongoing expense, and rental prices can increase over time, especially as Mexico becomes a more and more popular destination for expats. 

As of autumn 2023, here’s what you can expect to rent in Guadalajara (prices vary based on location, size, and amenities):

Short-term renting: 

The price for the one-bedroom apartment in Guadalajara city center: 1000 USD – 2000 USD per month.

Loft in the centre of Guadalajara at Airbnb

Price for the one-bedroom apartment outside Guadalajara city center: 500 USD – 1000 USD per month.

Apartment in a remodelled building of an old house at Airbnb

Long-term renting:

The price for the one-bedroom apartment in Guadalajara city center: 400 USD – 1500 USD per month.

One-bedroom apartment in Guadalajara downtown from Facebook Marketplace

The price for the one-bedroom apartment outside Guadalajara city center: 300 USD – 1000 USD per month.


While renting for long-term might be cheaper, the rental requirements in Guadalajara can be strict, so there are some pitfalls you should know about and be prepared for: 

  1. As in many countries, landlords in Mexico often require a security deposit equivalent to a month or two of rent.
  2. It is also common for landlords and renters to use real estate agents to help find rental apartments, who can charge a commission of up to 15% of the yearly rent. Be sure to clarify who will pay the agent’s fee before signing any agreements.
  3. Many landlords in Guadalajara may ask for a fiador, which is a person who co-signs your lease. This can be difficult for expats, as the fiador must live in the same city and own an unmortgaged property. If you cannot find a fiador, you may be asked to pay a higher deposit amount instead. Some landlords may even require a year’s worth of bank statements and 10 personal and professional references, which is insane! But take your time and search for more options without fiador, maybe even in other neighborhoods. 

Food and Grocery Expenses

One of delights of retiring in Mexico is the delicious and affordable cuisine. Here’s an estimate of food and grocery expenses for a couple per month:

Groceries for a month: 300 USD – 500 USD

The prices provided are based on the Walmart store chain located in Guadalajara.

You can eat cheaply in Guadalajara if you go to a neighbourhood mercado (Eng. market). They have way better fruit and vegetables than any supermarket, and prices are also way better.

Dining out occasionally: 200 USD – 300 USD

  • Street food and fast food joints: 2 USD – 5 USD per meal
  • Local restaurants: 5 USD – 15 USD per meal
  • Mid-range restaurants: 15 USD – 30 USD per meal
  • High-end or luxury restaurants: 30 USD – 100+ USD per meal


It really doesn`t matter what your budget is, you’re sure to find delicious food in Mexico. From street tacos to gourmet cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Transportation Expenses


Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) is the main airport serving the city of Guadalajara. It is the third busiest airport in Mexico, handling over 14 million passengers per year and offering convenient connections to other domestic and international destinations.

Guadalajara International Airport

Many airlines, including major carriers and low-cost airlines, operate flights to Guadalajara from cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver.

One-way flight for one person from the US or Canada to Mexico starts at 250 USD and can go up to 1500 USD and higher. It all depends on how far in advance you book your tickets, what airline you use, and how many stops there will be.

Public Transport

The bus system is the most popular form of public transportation in Guadalajara. There are over 200 bus routes that cover the entire city and its metropolitan area. Buses are frequent and reliable, and they are very affordable.

 A single bus ride costs just 6 Mexican pesos (about 30 US cents), monthly pass costs around 20 USD.  

Guadalajara also has a two-line light rail system called the Tren Eléctrico Urbano (TEU). The TEU connects the city center with the suburbs and some of the most popular tourist destinations, such as the Guadalajara Zoo and the Tlaquepaque artisan market. 

A single TEU ride costs 7 Mexican pesos (about 35 US cents), but the price can vary depending on the route and time of day.


The average price of a taxi ride in Guadalajara is around 150-200 Mexican pesos (approximately 7-10 USD) for a short-distance ride. 

Make sure, however, to decide on a rate at the outset, and keep in mind that fares tend to inflate by 25 percent between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Taxis are available 24/7, and you can easily hail one in the street, walk to a taxi stand, or call a phone dispatch company. Uber also operates in the Guadalajara area.

Healthcare and Insurance

Access to quality healthcare is crucial during retirement. Guadalajara is home to a robust healthcare system that includes modern hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities. It has several world-class healthcare facilities, including the Puerta de Hierro Medical Center, San Javier Hospital, and the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara. All of them have international accreditations, ensuring high standards of care.

Puerta de Hierro Medical Center

Retirees from the USA and Canada who reside in Guadalajara have several healthcare options available to them:

  1. Mexico has a government-sponsored program known as Seguro Popular, which provides access to public healthcare services for Mexican citizens and permanent residents. So, foreign retirees with permanent residency in Mexico may be eligible for this coverage, although the program does not cover all medical conditions, and there may be long wait times for certain services.
  2. Many retirees from the USA and Canada choose to obtain private health insurance in Mexico. Private health insurance can cover various healthcare services, including doctor visits, hospitalizations, medications, and specialized treatments. The cost varies based on several factors, including age, medical history, coverage level, and insurance provider. The average health insurance for a couple is 300 USD – 600 USD per month. So, you can expect to pay 30% less for health insurance in Mexico than in the USA and Canada, even for comprehensive coverage.
  3. At the same time, there are a number of international insurance companies with plans available for retirees from the USA and Canada. These plans offer flexibility and peace of mind for those who split their time between Mexico and their country of origin. But when choosing an international insurance plan, it is important to consider your needs and to understand the extent of coverage while residing in Guadalajara.


To know more about medical and health tourism in Mexico, read my previous article, where I uncover the reasons behind Mexico’s increasing popularity for medical tourism, explore the diverse range of medical services it provides, and offer essential considerations for those considering a journey to this healthcare and medical tourism haven.

Entertainment and Leisure

Retirement is not just about saving money; it’s about enjoying your golden years! Mexico offers numerous affordable entertainment options that won’t strain your budget.

  • Walking tour – 30 USD – 50 USD 
  • Interactive Full-day Private Tour: 100 USD – 200 USD
  • Cultural events and museums: Typically low-cost or even free
  • Movie ticket: 3 USD – 5 USD
  • Fitness Club Monthly Fee: 25 USD – 40 USD


Mariachi Music in Guadalajara

In this enchanting Mexican metropolis, your retirement can truly be a chapter of fulfillment, adventure, and the pursuit of lifelong dreams. The reasonable cost of living, coupled with the cultural richness and welcoming atmosphere, allows baby boomers to experience an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement in this beautiful city.

By considering the expenses outlined in this guide, you can figure out how much it’s going to cost in this welcoming and culturally rich country. If you want assistance in your relocation to Guadalajara, please book a personal consultation with me. I will help you create a budget that fits your needs and lifestyle and provide you with all the information and insights you need to make a smooth transition to your new home.



Hi, I am Emily Bron.

After living and working in 4 countries (3 continents), experiencing several immigrations, changing several professional fields and being an avid traveler, I created International Lifestyle Consulting to help you to find the best matching place and to relocate abroad for a better quality of life, work, or retirement.

As a professional Baby Boomer and Remote worker, I am relocating again!

Follow Emily on SM

Most Popular Posts

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts

Please fill the form

Fill in your details and download the E-Book “Your Action Plan to Retire”