Independent Living in New Mexico

New Mexico has been called many names, including “The Cactus State” and “The Sunshine State,” but perhaps none are more fitting than “Tierra del Encanto,” or “The Land of Enchantment.” The state received this nickname for its natural beauty, which includes vast, painted deserts and tall, majestic mountains. From Santa Fe’s distinct architecture inspired by the region’s native Pueblo peoples, to the more modern appeal of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s cities have an undeniable charm as well. The Land of Enchantment truly has something to offer everyone and is an ideal place to retire.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 20 independent living communities in New Mexico. The median monthly cost of independent living in New Mexico is about $2,800.

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Independent Living in New Mexico

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New Mexico Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in New Mexico.

In New Mexico, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in New Mexico is considered to be more affordable than the national average. New Mexico’s costs are rated below average in every index category except grocery prices. New Mexico’s affordability makes it a great option for those looking for a perfect retirement location. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 93
  • Groceries: 101
  • Housing: 78
  • Utilities: 88
  • Transportation: 92


In New Mexico, 18% of the population are over the age of 65. In the 2016 presidential election, New Mexico leaned liberal. There are strong Hispanic and Indigneous cultural influences throughout the state. Over ten percent of New Mexico’s population are Native American and nearly 50% of its population are Hispanic or Latino. New Mexico has a very large Spanish-speaking population, and many restaurants and stores in the state do business in both Spanish and English.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 48% voted Democratic
  • 40% voted Republican
  • 12% voted third party


  • Median age: 38
  • Over the age of 55: 31%
  • 2018 population: 2,095,428
  • 2020 population: 2,099,500
  • Estimated 2025 population: 2,109,714


  • 36% regularly attend a religious service
  • 37% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • The state has a total of 2,447 congregations
  • There are 57 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

New Mexico is broken up into four regions: the Great Plains, the Colorado Plateau, the Rocky Mountains, and the Basin and Range region. The state mostly has a cool, semi-arid climate, with hot summers, cold winters, and below average rainfall. However the climate can vary depending on what part of the state you are in. Temperatures can range widely between night and day, and from extreme heat to extreme cold throughout the year. Overall, New Mexico receives light annual precipitation, low humidity, and lots of sunshine.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 46%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 1”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 6” (July)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 45 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 62 in July (Moderate)

Moderate air quality means that those who are sensitive to particulates in the air should limit the amount of time they spend on outdoor exertion.

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 53°F
  • Average summer temperature: 71°F
  • Typical summer high: 98°F (June)
  • Typical summer low: 36°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 36°F
  • Typical winter high: 65°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: 2°F (January)

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Cities in New Mexico
and surrounding area