Retire in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Retire in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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Ah, to retire in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This small little colonial town is full of cobbled streets and beautiful churches that were built in the colonial 18th century. In the 1930’s an art school was built by a famous Peruvian artist named Cossio del Pomar, who fell in love with this place and decided to live here. Many artists went to his school, fell under its artistic spell, and these same artists have restored it back to it’s colonial splendor. Now this amazing little town is like walking back in time, back to the 18th century. San Miguel de Allende is an art mecca, where gifted artists, musicians, and teachers live from all over the world. It is truly a beautiful location full of a vibrant culture.

Because of its popularity, this town is now the home of about 10,000 expat retirees of a total population of about 85,000. Most of these retirees are here for the winter and head back up north to the U.S. and Canada when the weather is better.

One of the many reasons why retirees come here, besides the art and springtime weather, is the friendly people who call this place home. Elders are revered and honored. Grandparents help raise the children and help their families, and this equates to respect and reverence. Good families equates to great communities.

Since this is a popular tourist and retiree destination, you will find that some of the costs are the same as the U.S and Canada. But things such as utilities and taxes, and sometimes food, are about 60% less.  Generally, if you are a couple with around $2000-$2500 per month, then you will live a comfortable life here. One bedroom rentals can go between $600 to $1000 per month. This means instead of eating at the finest restaurants every night, you sometimes go where the locals and full time retirees go. I love eating at these kinds of places anyway, as you usually run into some of the friendliest people. The “Taco Corner” has wonderful food carts and is a great spot where you can find locals and strike up conversations, and they are open all night.

San Miguel de Allenda Street
Photo By Patrick Denker via

Many of the people that live here do not own cars (expats included), and the streets are narrow, vibrant and colorful. This is part of Allende’s charm.  You will find many people cheerfully walking from place to place, enjoying the slow pace in life.  When we walk, we see more culture, more people, and have more opportunity to interact. We have more conversations with passers-by, and stop by the art shops.

Delicious restaurants are all within walking distance. The cobbled streets are welcoming, beckoning us to slow down and drink a glass of wine at a bistro with friends. This is San Miguel de Allende, the home of some lucky retirees and a wonderful culture, where time stood still in the 18th century.

Photo By César Guadarrama via

 Zoom in and out on the map below to show roads and attractions!


Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.