Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mexico As a Family by Cassie Pearse is one family’s story of transitioning from the U.K. to the Yucatan. The author addresses safety and legal issues, schooling, shopping, and medical care, the top concerns any family has when moving to Mexico. The appendix adds detailed information from the author’s husband about the process of applying for residency and buying a car, both potentially frustrating experiences.
Moving to an expat haven like Mérida is not without its difficulties. The author does a great job talking about some of the best ways to handle certain situations that arise. There is even a section which breaks down the yearly costs of an average family of 4, an extremely helpful bit of information.
There were just two points that I think could have been made clearer. The author states that permanent residents can not own property, which is not exactly true. Permanent residents can own property as long as it is not in the restricted zone, within 50 kilometers or approximately 31 miles from the coastline or 100 kilometers from the border. This book focuses on Mérida which is in the restricted zone. So yes, permanent residents can not own property without a bank trust (fideicomiso) in Mérida, but in other areas have that right just like any Mexican citizen.
The other item that I thought could have been expanded upon was healthcare. Residents or their employers pay a fee for IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) services. However, many areas also offer INSABI (Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar), which is the national healthcare plan. INSABI is free and available to permanent and temporary residents. I agree with the author that private insurance is probably the best bet if you can afford it, though.
Other than those, Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mexico As a Family by Cassie Pearse is a great read. The writing is witty and honest. The information is useful and current. So if you are even thinking of moving to Mérida, then this is a must-read book for you!