Don’t discount Mexico as merely a vacation spot or limit your search to Puerto Vallarta or Cancun. In fact, Mexico has been gaining popularity as a retirement spot due to reasons that transcend its miles of oceanfront: You can live in Mexico in relative luxury (think maid service, a gardener and dinners out) on a budget of less than $1,000 a month. The language is easy to pick up, the climate is much more temperate than most of the US, and the people are known for their warmth and hospitality. The country has gotten much safer in the last 10 years, though border areas tend to be hot spots of gang and drug violence. It’s estimated that more than 1 million Americans have retired to Mexico full-time and another million spend part of the year there.