Would you, Brethren O' Mine, choose to live in Monterrey, Mexico?
I bet most of you would (a) not know where Monterrey actually is in Mexico and (b) would choose not to live there. Your reasons for not choosing to live there would range from "It's not Puerto Rico," which means you are never going to explore the world in any meaningful way, to "Mexico is not the kind of place I like," which might either be insightful (you've been there and know first-hand) to idiotic (you've never been there.) In any case, think hard about the question: Would you live in Monterrey?
Let's look at some statistics. Click here and (go ahead, click) absorb the information:
--Consumer Prices in Monterrey are 57.83% lower than in San Juan
--Consumer Prices Including Rent in Monterrey are 55.27% lower than in San Juan
--Rent Prices in Monterrey are 46.66% lower than in San Juan
--Restaurant Prices in Monterrey are 44.57% lower than in San Juan
--Groceries Prices in Monterrey are 51.89% lower than in San Juan
--Local Purchasing Power in Monterrey is 251.80% higher than in San Juan
Here's the statistic you should look at to properly ponder a potential move. Compare these Cost of Living Index numbers: New York: 100; San Juan: 114.61; Monterrey: 48.61.
Wrapping it all up: Monterrey is 57.83% cheaper than San Juan.
Now some of you are saying that Monterrey's quality of life is simply not comparable to San Juan. (You might not know squat about Monterrey, but you might say this anyway.) Before We tackle that little acorn, how 'bout looking back at those CPIs and noticing--noticing--that San Juan is more expensive on a day-to-day basis than The Big Apple? Do you, sanjuanero or defender of the metroplex, want to tell Me that the significance of such a difference tilts the balance in favor of San Juan? Really?
Some other statistics about Monterrey: It has the lowest crime rate amongst Mexican cities, although the rate has risen recently. Since 2005, the crime rates of San Juan and Monterrey have been fairly even (San Juan ranked first and Monterrey 2nd amongst Latin American cities), but Let's not forget that Our crime rate--particularly murder--has also gone up since 2007. Monterrey, like San Juan, is home to renowned universities, museums (Monterrey has 13, San Juan has 11) and international business centers. Both cities boast a highly-educated, tech-savvy population with San Juan topping out at about 1.1 million and Monterrey at about 1.3 million (although the surrounding urban area is larger in Monterrey.)
I'll show you the money: the income per capita in Monterrey is about $17,100 a year; San Juan is at about $17,800 a year. By general measures, San Juan and Monterrey are about even.
Local Purchasing Power in Monterrey is 251.80% higher than in San Juan. Which means that living in Monterrey is 57.83% cheaper than San Juan. Think about it.
Say you go to the grocery store. Here's your receipt for a simple small purchase in San Juan: Milk (regular), 1 liter $1.70; Loaf of Fresh Bread $2.05; Eggs (12) $2.50; Water (1.5 liters) $2.50. Your total?: $10.85. The same purchases in Monterrey would set you back $4.93. (And you may not need to buy bottled water since Monterrey's water is rated ISO-14000, higher than almost all U.S. of A. cities. San Juan's? Not. So. Good.) What about utilities? Adding up power, water, garbage, gas, mobile phone and Internet, you'd spend about $445.00 in San Juan; in Monterrey you'd average about $152.30.
So what does this mean, all this folderol with numbers? After taxes, your median monthly disposable income in each city would be:
--San Juan: $615.00
--Monterrey: $968.00...and living here is 58% cheaper.
Still think San Juan is a better choice than Monterrey? Good. For those who said "Yes," here's My response: Make the city better so that the rest of Us will have no doubts.
The Jenius Has Spoken.