wandering in mexico

Snowbird Freedom: It’s Cheaper Than You Think

Snowbird Freedom: It’s Cheaper Than You Think is the second post in our series How to Become Snowbirds By Age 30. If you haven’t already, go back and take a look at last week’s post about finding your Perfect Home Location. Each week, our blog series will give you the tools to become snowbirds before age 30!

Once you have found your perfect home location, it is time to compare the costs of living there versus where you currently live. I have created an easy to use cost comparison worksheet so you can see how much cheaper being a snowbird is.

Deceptions of Society

One of the biggest self-deceptions of our modern age, and one of the biggest limiting factors that society has imposed on us: extended travel and world travel are reserved for the ultra rich.

Have you ever had this conversation with yourself or your spouse?

“I will work X number of hours each week for 15 years. Once I have X number of dollars in the bank [usually to the tune of 1-2 million], I will invest it in something safe. Then and only then will I retire and [insert personal dream here].”

Wow! I have goosebumps. Kendall and I used to have that conversation. We had those conversations EVERY single time we went on vacation – the society prescribed 1-2 times a year.

If your dream is that big pot of gold at the end of the career rainbow, what if I told you you don’t have to wait until your have one or two million dollars in the bank? You don’t have to wait until you are 65 years old or a high level executive. Because guess what? None of that is guaranteed. You could (and this gets morbid) get sick, die, or otherwise never make it to that point.

Once you really realize that life is so finite and that nothing is guaranteed, taking that plunge into snowbird life is a little less scary. Kendall and I finally understood this during the summer of 2019. We were spending ten days in Prince Edward Island. Ten days is never enough time but that was all we could manage with our companies vacation policies.

We were driving around looking at cottages on the ocean with his sisters. Like we always did, we were imagining what it would take to have a cottage and summer in PEI – how many years would we have to work? How much money would we need to save up?

Right before we had left for our holiday, my coworker lost her husband. He died suddenly and there she was a widow with two young children. What a powerful example of finite life. And that, was our turning point in understanding that we did not have to wait.

So here is what we recommend: become a young snowbird that spends one to six months in one spot. Then when you get tired of wherever you are or the weather becomes unbearable, you leave and go to another location. For us, we will be spending our time in Mexico and in PEI.

This does not have to be a permanent lifestyle change where you never return to your home – maybe you spend six months in Scottsdale, Arizona and the other six months in Alberta. Maybe you spend all twelve months in Thailand or the Caribbean. It’s your life!

It’s Cheaper Than You Think

Okay! Okay! I know you are dying to find out HOW to do this. You are already onboard with being a snowbird and living your best life. So where is the practical knowledge? Let me break it down.

When you relocate, the expenses abroad will replace (at a much lower cost) the bills you already have. So, by moving abroad, you lower your cost of living, which means you need less money every month, which means you can work less (or not at all).

For the most part, if you relocate somewhere abroad, your monthly expense will be lower. The cost of living somewhere such as Mexico is much more affordable when you are coming from somewhere such as Canada or the United States.

You can use this handy cost comparison tool I created to compare your expenses now to what they could be if you moved.

Simply click the link above to download your free cost comparison tool. Fill in the expense lines for where you currently live and for your perfect home location. What is your perfect home location? Check out last week’s post to learn about that.

Let us know below how much cheaper it is to live in your perfect home location! When I entered our expenses in Calgary versus La Paz, Mexico, we have the potential to save over 56%!!


Next week we will be looking at the next step for making sure your dream perfect home location is actually perfect. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it!

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4 Comments

  • Jesse Balk

    I am so inspired by your story. Half kidding I like to say that I retired at age 21 moved to Canada and then on to South America and then re-entered the “work force” at age 44. Besides Canada on two different occasions, I lived 3 times in Brazil, once in Argentina and twice in Paraguay for a total of about 21 years. I lived 5 of those years in South America living in an ancient Class A motorhome travelling around the north of Argentina and the south of Brazil.

    I returned to the USA after having been away for 30+ years, about 20 years ago. Retired, at least temporarily, as a former software engineer I oftentimes think of moving to a country where either Spanish of Portuguese is spoken and your story has me considering Mexico as of this morning. 🙂 I currently live in a 38-foot diesel pusher, stationary, in Tennessee.

    If I were to make a move to Mexico I would probably be interested in a long term move. Do you folks know anything about what they call in Paraguay, “Residencia Permanente”? What would be a jumping off place, URL, for such matters in Mexico? I could find this out myself, of course, but I’m just making conversation hoping to learn more from your experiences.

    • Jenn

      Hi Jesse! Thanks for your comment.
      Your story sounds super interesting! What a great life.

      We are not familiar with all the details of Residencia Permanente because we started with Temporary Residency. For some, you have to start with temp and move your way up to permanent. For others (who are of age and have the money), you can jump right into permanent. I would reach out to your nearest Mexican consulate and see what the requirements for Residencia Permanente are 🙂

  • R. Hamilton

    if you are retired..proof of income is a key metric. If you are planning to open a business to employ locals and pay taxes, then that is much easier.
    Some countries..and not certain if Mexico is included have temporary residencia for those who who from the net.

    One of the issues for all of those is the security issues in Mexico. And, an important metric to consider.

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