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About Sorn

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  1. Sorn

    HSB ATM fees

    I keep hearing about the Schwab account. It sounds like a great recommendation to avoid this problem of increased/inconsistent/high ATM fees. To clarify, though, is it the "Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account" at https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending/checking_account ? If so, does anyone know the minimum amount you have to deposit in a linked Schwab One brokerage account to waive the monthly fee? The footnote says the minimum balance to qualify for interest is $0.01 but I have a hard time believing you can drop one penny into it and avoid a monthly charge. Anyway, I'm happy with what my investment guy is doing but wouldn't have a problem moving $20-30k over to Schwab if it meant no ATM fees or foreign transaction costs.
  2. I'm cool with people appreciating or not appreciating the discussion. No problem. For my part, I've found the responses useful. Others may have their own routines or just not be interested - and that's fine, too. My shopping habits in Mexico have differed from when I've lived in the US or (admittedly, for much shorter periods of time) France, England, Germany, or Italy. It's helpful for me to learn from people who have been here a while. So please indulge, or forgive, my ignorance.
  3. Thank you all for the input and insight. I've generally preferred the mercados in other areas of Mexico but, from what I recall, written prices were hit or miss. I'm much more comfortable reading Spanish than hearing it. But it sounds like written prices are the norm (or at least more common) lakeside. I can see an occasional trip to Wal-Mart or Costco, etc. being very useful, too, though. And, bottom line, I just need to improve my oral/audible Spanish.
  4. Is there a consensus on whether grocery shopping (particularly for the staples) is cheaper, easier, better, etc. at the big grocery stores, the corner stores, or the local mercados/tianguis? I guess the best example of the "big" grocery stores in the area would be Wal-Mart. There are smaller grocery stores on every other corner. I'm not as sure about the mercados/tianguis. I presume Chapala would have a standing mercado - but maybe not, I've not been to one. And the weekly tianguis are an option. So, what do you you guys do? Why? And what would you recommend to new expats who habla un poquito espanol? I like the (written) marked prices in the big stores but presume they're probably more expensive than the other options. Thanks in advance for any input or advice.
  5. Sorn

    Butter Crisis

    It's only a semi-related and prospective crisis, but is grass-fed butter available lakeside? We're huge fans of Kerrygold and Vital, but I'm sure other brands are comparable.
  6. Sorn

    I want to move to Lake Chapala

    By this, do you mean Seguro Popular would likely provide coverage for his pre-existing conditions while IMSS and private insurance would probably exclude coverage for those conditions? Or do you think IMSS and the private companies would simply deny him entirely? I'm trying to sort through the myriad insurance options in Mexico. Lots of ins and outs, so to speak.
  7. Sorn

    Looking for board gamers

    HI, there. My wife and I are on about the same schedule to move Lakeside. I'd be down to try this - she'd probably read a novel, instead, and intermittently make fun of my B.S. rolls and other abject failures. In the interests of full disclosure, I've not played anything like this in twenty-plus years. But, if you're willing to indulge a noob, look me up about this time next year!
  8. Sorn

    Cozumel restaurant in Chapala

    Wait. What? Are free margaritas a common thing? I didn't see that on our last trip. Game changer.
  9. Sorn

    Stem Cell treatment

    I'd also be interested in hearing about the availability, costs, and prevalence of stem cell or PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections around the area. Might still be more of a Guadalajara thing. No problems that would currently warrant them, but give my neck and shoulder about 10 years...
  10. I use it as a resource to learn about the place where we plan to retire in a year or so. We can only visit so often right now. Collecting the various thoughts and impressions of others is the next best thing. That's why I read many more posts than I write.
  11. Yeah, I just can't wrap my head around this. Does anyone know whether the poisonings are more prevalent in certain villages or gated communities? Or is it an entirely widespread problem? We're looking at moving down with two dogs and, jebus son of binky, if someone poisoned them...well, look at Rambo Part I to get an idea of the carnage.
  12. Great! Thanks for the information. I'll check it out during our next scouting trip.
  13. Sorn


    My wife and I visited Ajijic in June. The dogs around the plaza were an inextricable, and not inconsiderable, part of the ambiance. We watched them patiently line up at the corner butcher shop for their morning scraps. We watched them demurely approach the afternoon crowd, soliciting attention and/or food. And we watched them saunter off in the evenings, back towards their homes or other places of respite. I don't know what is going on down there now. I just hope someone isn't trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist by liquidating such a valuable component of the local atmosphere. Those good boys and girls deserve (and were achieving) better.
  14. Okay, I recognize this is kind of a weird one. But my wife and I plan on moving lakeside in a year and some change. I started taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes stateside about a year ago and have really enjoyed them. They're great for staying in shape, keeping the mind sharp, and remaining humble. I'm wondering whether there are similar classes available down there. I'm not beholden to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Any type of practical grappling would be cool: jiu-jitsu (Japanese or Brazilian), judo, sambo, wrestling, mixed martial arts, and I'm sure there are others. The google-machine shows a couple places in Guadalajara but that's a bit of a drive. Thanks in advance for any responsive information!
  15. Good point about checking with the locale consulate. Thank you for the information and tips. I can understand if they require full and complete versions of the statements. I'm probably paranoid but I may just have my investment bank shut down transactions for a time period or switch account numbers afterwards.