Senior Living in Mexico – My Grandma Moved at Age 91!

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Senior living in Mexico, is it possible? Sure it is! We have been preparing for my family to move to Mexico. Yeah, that’s right, my family moved to Mexico. Senior living in Mexico times three!

Senior Living in Mexico - My Grandma Moved at Age 91!

You Can Move to Mexico at Age 91

My parents are in their mid-sixties and my grandmother is ninety plus. Most of the time you hear about retirees, (my parent’s age), moving to Mexico. Seldom do you hear about families with four kids, (like us), moving to Mexico. And rarely do you hear about great-great-grandmas in their nineties, that move to Mexico. But senior living in Mexico can happen.

We have lived in Mexico for over four years. My parents have visited twice for a month each time, and this last visit they brought Grandma Lottie with them. She liked it. They decided to move to Mexico. That’s it.

They went home and sold all their belongings except what would fit in their car and on a travel trailer. Their friends had a going-away party for them. The house they have been living in for the last 10 years was a rental so they gave the keys back to the owner. And now they are living less than a mile from me in the authentic, non-expat, non-tourist city of Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico.

Why Did My Family Chose Senior Living in Mexico?

Here are a few reasons:

  1. I am an only child and I live here with my husband and four children. We are a close family and we missed each other!
  2. Our English Bible congregation in Uruapan is small and needs help to conduct our Bible meetings and expand our Bible ministry.
  3. The weather in Mexico’s mountains is much nicer than in Kentucky. It doesn’t get overly hot or old. The temperature stays between 55-85 degrees year-round.
  4. The cost-of-living in Mexico is cheaper than in the US by a lot and my family is retired and living on pensions.

Of course, there are always worries such as healthcare. Fortunately, my family is fairly healthy and healthcare here is very inexpensive. They also still have health coverage in Kentucky so if they need to go home for any non-emergencies that is a possibility. (Before I could publish this post I was taking my father to the hospital for kidney stones! He called me at 2:30 in the morning and we were back home by 5. They gave him pain medication through an IV and sent him home with two pain medications. The doctor also recommended a local urologist. This isn’t his first bout with kidney stones. They run in the family. Dad was feeling better today and we are hoping they will pass on their own. The total cost for this hospital visit was about 1100 pesos or 60 USD. We went to the same one we have personally visited twice before.)

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How Was Their Transition to Mexico?

We found an adorable house rather quickly and the landlady seems to be very helpful and kind. Their friends and family in the US were supportive. They sold all their belongings in about three weeks and made enough profit to replace their furniture and necessary items for their new home. Paperwork and business that needed to be handled before the move to Mexico was done in a timely and smooth process.

All those things went so well, that naturally something was bound to go wrong along the way, right? Crossing the border from Texas to Mexico was a bit of a hassle. They encountered a lady border-control officer on the Mexican side that detained them for an hour and insisted on searching through most of their boxes at about four in the morning. My father thinks she wanted a bribe but we can’t be sure. Perhaps she was just an overzealous officer doing her job.

Then after about six hours into Mexico, while driving at a decent speed on the highway, they blew a tire on both the car and the trailer. This caused my father to lose control and spin into the median. Dust flew everywhere. It frightened everyone in the car. They don’t know what they hit but the tires were shredded. We are very thankful that they didn’t flip the car or trailer and that that they did not hit another vehicle. Several people stopped to help and within a few hours, they were back on the road hobbling along on their spare tire. They didn’t arrive in Uruapan until midnight!

Once they got here it was time to buy their furniture and get them settled. I started this post three weeks ago and it has been so busy that I am just now finishing it! The furniture took days to deliver because we bought it all right before a Mexican holiday. (By the way, there are a lot of Mexican holidays. Tip: If you want your furniture right away take a truck and trailer to the store with you when you buy it. Otherwise, you will need to learn patience and wait for it to arrive.) They had their Internet and Cable connected last Monday morning. Last Thursday we picked up the glass for their tabletop because the first piece was delivered broken.

All in all, I would say things are going pretty well. They like their home and the neighborhood, and they are enjoying the peace and quiet. Today I took my grandmother and mom shopping for flowers while Dad watched Flash with the kids. Of course, this is just the beginning of a long adjustment period. Moving to another country isn’t an overnight change… it can take months or even years to truly adapt to your new home. It’s an adventure for sure!

In many countries, including Mexico, extended families live together for most of their lives. But that isn’t something Americans are really used to and let me tell you having five adults and four kids in one house is congested. I think the last week we have all been catching up on our rest and enjoying the calm.

For Brad and I the calm won’t last for long because our daughters have two friends from the US visiting for 24 days. They flew into Mexico City today and arrived at our home this evening at 8. They are the same age as our girls and have been friends since birth. It just so happens we are best friends with their parents. It is going to be another fun and busy month :-) Signing off in Mexico, Tina


I love my family! This is my 91-year-old grams first time to Mexico. #needgreaters #needgr8 #thebestlifeever #bestlifeever #jw

A post shared by Tina Marie Ernspiker (@gringoslocos6) on

Originally published December 4, 2017

20 thoughts on “Senior Living in Mexico – My Grandma Moved at Age 91!

  1. Cassandra Navarro says:

    Thank you for sharing your story ,that is so nice that your family moved with you to Mexico .
    I’m always trying to talk my husband into moving to Mexico, and your stories always make me want to move even more.

  2. Laurie Ryan says:

    Hi, Tina… just found your blog via a link that was posted on an expat forum. My husband and I just returned from a scouting trip to the Mérida area. Next up is QRoo, but I think that might be a little too “gringoized” for us. I am enjoying catching up on your adventures here, and you will probably see more comments from me as I delve deeper. I do have one question directly related to this post: what will your parents’ plan be for their truck/trailer once their temporary import permit expires? Once we decide where we want to live we would like to bring our dogs into Mexico via a car as opposed to flying, but have heard that the car would have to exit Mexico within six months. Any info is greatly appreciated. Enjoying your words and pictures!

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      Thank you, Laurie! Right now, they will be driving back to the border every six months to renew their permit. I don’t know how long they will want to continue that process though. We will have to wait and see how it goes. For now, the plan is to drive to the border, renew paperwork, and do a little stateside shopping. Next trip comes in February. The area of Mexico you are considering is much further from the border though. We are about 14 hours.

    • Cyndy says:

      Hi did you move to Merida? I have lived in Quintana Roo for 5 years. We repermit our car at 5he border with Belize.

      • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

        No, we are in Michoacan, which is a probably about 18 hours from Merida. We visited the Maya Riveria and Belize in 2014 and had a wonderful trip :-) On our trip to Belize we did repermit our car also…. but we lost the fee because we forgot the paperwork and had to have a friend mail it to us! It was crazy :-)

  3. Russell McCoy says:

    I love this site! I love it because it resonates with so many of my hopes for living in Mexico. I’ll be retiring from my civil service job in four years and plan to live in Michoacan probably near La Piedad. Until then, I’ll continue living vicariously through you and your family. Thank you again!

    PS I am also originally from Kentucky but live in Texas now.

  4. Maggie Tak says:

    Enjoyed reading your blog,I am on my way for a 10 wk stay in PV,longest time I have ever been every year I stay longer,in my mind at times that I would like to live there,so always interested in stories of expats who live in Mexico
    Thank you your story its very interesting I am 71 my selve but now I read about your Grandma ,hey I can do it haha

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