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REC

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Everything posted by REC

  1. I had Dr. Rios do cataract surgery on my left eye last year and am going to have the right eye done in the next month or two. I was aware of all the posts and concerns from folks that have had bad experiences and went into the process with that in mind. After visiting with him and having several tests done in his office and considering all the options I decided to go with him. I was very comfortable with the entire process and the results. I definitely understand that this is a very personal and important decision. I am just describing my personal experience. There are several great options available in our area and lots of good recommendations on this board. As far as the process here is how it went for me - An appointment for an initial consultation including discussion of the process, options, types of lenses, etc. Scheduled the surgery and went in for another detailed examination including what they referred to as a "lens measurement" I had the choice of a couple of places for the actual surgery - Puerto de Hierro or a specialty eye clinic. I chose the specialty eye clinic. One the day of the surgery my wife dropped me off at Dr. Rios' office and they had a young man there to drive me into the clinic. Another patient was also going in for a different type of surgery so the driver took both of us to the clinic. We arrived at the clinic in Guadalajara in around an hour. Nice young man drove us in his car. Nothing fancy but a good experience. The clinic is also nothing fancy and was quite busy. We checked in at the front desk and filled out a little simple paperwork. Not much English but it was all pretty straightforward. The other patient was having trouble with her Spanish so they did have a nice young lady come to the desk who spoke great English. The check in process was easy and maybe 10-15 minutes. A very busy waiting room but we were taken straight through to the back where the surgeries are done. Again nothing fancy but great equipment and really nice people. A bit more English once we got back there and got ready for the surgery. They had us change into what I would sort of describe as "white room" clothing to preserve a clean, sterile environment in the surgery area. Head to toe lightweight suit including foot and head covering. Got set up and received an IV for sedation during the surgery. Dr. Rios arrived very shortly after we were made ready and the surgery began very quickly. I don't remember anything about the surgery and there was no pain or discomfort. Following the surgery I had a patch over the eye but it was not uncomfortable at all. The driver brought us back to Ajijic and took us directly to our homes. The next day I had a followup appointment in Dr. Rios' office. Had the bandage removed and was given some drops to use during the healing process. Another appointment the next week - just another checkup. I am totally happy with the entire process and am looking forward to getting the other eye done in the near future. Again, we are lucky to have lots of good choices available to us.
  2. I just checked Amazon Mexico and found quite a few English keyboards. Amazon.com.mx Teclado ingles https://www.amazon.com.mx/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?__mk_es_MX=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=teclado+ingles I recently ordered something else from Amazon Mexico - ordered it on Saturday and it was delivered yesterday. It recognized my U.S. Prime account so there was no shipping charge on the specific items I ordered. Some do have a shipping charge added so look for that when ordering. It allowed me to use my U.S. credit card associated with my U.S. prime account. Easy as could be.
  3. But the employer is not completely off the hook in this situation. The concept of "dual employers" comes into play. Also the definition of "independent contractor" often doesn't work. If you determine what days/times they work, define their duties in any way, or supervise them directly they are employees. But all that is based on laws in other countries and we are in Mexico now. The laws here are not meant to punish employers and more importantly not to single out foreigners. This is the way labor laws and employee relationships work in the country in which we have chosen to live. Respect and follow those laws. Get a lawyer, do what they tell you to do (including paying the amount stipulated by Mexican law) and get on with life. We had to do that with a gardener the first couple of years we were here. VERY simple and surprisingly inexpensive. I strongly disagree with the suggestion to treat this as a do it yourself project. If you don't handle the severance, sign off and payment details EXACTLY right the clock could continue to run and it could be a major issue. Labor laws here are very black and white and as others have said generally favor the worker. This is by design and is sort of a safety net for people who generally make very little money. It is really easy to do things the right way with the help of a lawyer and almost impossible to do on your own. Good luck. And if you haven't done it already I hope you will get with a lawyer first thing Monday morning. You will be very happy to have this behind you.
  4. Interesting. Obsession? I honestly don't know how to respond? So it is inappropriate to talk about how to solve a problem when we can spend our time figuring out who to blame? I'll have to give that some thought but my first reaction is sadness. "the only way universal coverage can possibly work is for everyone to be covered from birth until death". Great! We agree! Let's do that! Republicans have Trump and both houses of Congress so let's get this done first thing Monday morning. I doubt if you would have to worry about Democrats filibustering or voting against a bill that did that. Finally we have a plan. Hurry up before the midterms when the Democrats might have more votes and keep this from happening. Oh wait. Never mind. Don't have an opinion about Canada but in the U.S. if you opt out of Part B and want back in you pay a penalty. As in more money to make up at least a portion of what you didn't pay previously. A disincentive to opt out but I agree that should be much stronger. Let's do that too. No more opting out. "This is pure adverse selection and no insurance plan will ever work if that is allowed." See. We agree on this too. Great idea. Sort of like the starting place for Obamacare. Thank you! I feel better now that we are on the same page. My sadness is receding.
  5. 40+ public hearings with input from all sides. I was in the room for some of those hearings. The fact that all Republicans voted against the plan confirms my point rather than disputing it. They had every opportunity to provide input and the final result includes at least a bit of that input. Those are facts. My opinion is that all the Republicans voted against the final plan was political rather more than anything else. That is definitely just my opinion. I think that makes sense since that is what they said they were going to do but I could certainly be wrong.
  6. https://www.ohio.com/akron/pages/when-obama-had-total-control-of-congress
  7. What does "outsourcing prescription drugs" mean? I haven't heard about that one but may have missed it. Also, what program in Mexico is equivalent to Medicare and how is Mexico "outsourcing drugs". I guess I have the same question as regards Canada. "Negligent in monitoring the quality of imported drugs". Interesting. I would honestly like to learn more. In the U.S., many government programs such as Medicare are prohibited from negotiating prices with the pharmaceutical companies. All the big pharma lobbyists on the board please raise your hands. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20160919.056632/full/
  8. As long as we look at any or all of these issues through a political lens, think in terms of party rather than country, and focus on "winning" versus solving problems and focusing on actual human beings, we are completely and totally screwed. During the time the country was creating what was to be called Obamacare I worked for the largest commercial insurance broker in the world. Obama and both houses of Congress held well over 40 public hearings and attempted to develop a foundation for a plan that could be embraced by everyone. I personally attended some of those hearings. During that time the opposition was publicly saying that their goal was to deny Obama any "victory" on anything rather than trying to solve problems that affected the entire country, including people that had voted for them. I guess Obama and Congress could have shoved a plan down the other side's throats but made a conscious decision to listen to input from everyone. In retrospect some now describe that as a bad decision Really? Compromise? OMG!!! So the problem is that all sides were included is a bad thing and that if Obama et al has been completely partisan things would be better now? Wow! And even if that were true it doesn't matter now. Where do we go from here? Again I have direct and personal relevant experience in these areas. I am not in any way deriding anyone that disagrees with me. Remember the quote "you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts". I was "in the room" when some of this was happening and feel I have a pretty firm grasp on the facts. But even if I am wrong where do we go from here? Since this is so simple it would seem like 10 years would be enough time to develop a better plan.
  9. The U.S. did attempt to pass what was conceived of as Universal Healthcare but it got watered down through compromise and we wound up with the ACA/Obamacare. Since it was such a compromise it was challenged to perform from the beginning. Oh my God. Compromise. Never! Rather than taking what it provided and working to make it better many people objected to it out of hand. Often because they were against anything Obama tried to do. Let's be clear. "Healthcare" is not the same as "Health Insurance". The cost and effectiveness of "Healthcare" in the U.S. is terrible compared to pretty much any other "developed" country. We have very high "Healthcare" cost, terrible results, and are trying to pay for it through insurance. In the insurance industry we often refer to "risk financing" as opposed to "risk transfer". We eventually pay for the cost of "Healthcare" one way or another - or die because we can't. As an example since we don't provide something like universal health insurance we wind up with people not going to the doctor until they are very sick. They often wind up going to an emergency room which is the most expensive place to dispense medical care. Their outcomes, suffering, loss of productivity/wages, etc. is much worse than it needs to be. And we all wind up paying for that anyway. We would be better off if we had been willing to pay upfront. Left pocket / right pocket argument. Finally, since the current push is to reduce the number of people with insurance, the cost for that insurance for those of us that do have it will go up. A couple of other insurance principles are pooling and spread of risk. The more people insured the lower the cost for each person. We are still going to have the same "Healthcare" cost but we are spreading it across fewer people, sending more people to the emergency room, causing already marginalized people to have even more problems that we pay for anyway. I will turn the question around. Now that Trump is in the White House and the Republicans hold both houses why aren't they "fixing it": Dismantling Obamacare is only a solution if it is replaced with something more effective. Hmmm. Maybe "real" universal health care might be a good idea. But I would love to hear another plan. One of my dear friends who worked with me in the insurance industry is complaining that his "healthcare" is going up and blaming it on Obama. He know better but sees it through a political filter.
  10. I agree. But sooner or later you or going to have to figure out how to beat everyone if you ever want to win a World Cup. But beating Brazil would be a great step forward. Still I'm very proud of my adopted country's team!
  11. Glad you were able to get that straightened out with Spencer's help. Lot's of hysterics in some of these posts and in the U.S. press about how "harsh" Mexican immigration laws are - especially compared to the U.S. Mexico's laws changed in 2011 so the IT'S FELONY comments are no longer accurate. Always good to do a little research (like 2 minutes) and state actual facts. Welcome back to Mexico, Gerry. https://www.quora.com/What-happens-to-illegal-immigrants-in-Mexico-when-caught
  12. I am glad my comments were helpful. Don't let anyone talk you out of giving something you are interested in a shot. Of course you need to be informed about the realities - both good and bad - but anywhere you go there will be trade-offs. It might be practical to do the 180 day tourist option for quite a while - under current laws pretty much forever. You would just have to budget for a trip to the border twice a year to get another 180 tourist visa. The cheapest way would be by bus - not sure about the cost but you could probably find that information online, The "first class" buses in Mexico are very comfortable. About 700 miles each way so a pretty long trip but totally doable. Unfortunately under the current immigration laws I don't think "earned" income from a job or freelancing counts to meet the financial requirements - no matter how much a person earns that way. They are looking for "permanent" sources of income likes pensions and/or social security. But that would not come into play for the twice a year tourist visa so you could do that. I am sure you will make the best decision for your situation. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
  13. My comments were intended to provide as much factual information as possible and hopefully I did so. I intentionally didn't tell the OP they were wrong or that their plan wouldn't work. I was just trying to relate my specific experiences and what I have found to be the challenges and costs involved - as well as the advantages and opportunities of moving here. My thought was that this would help the OP understand the requirements for staying here other than through a series of 180 visitor's visa. I also intended to support the idea is that it is quite possible to work remotely from here. I seemed to have missed the target. My apologies.
  14. I use ExpressVPN and am still able to get U.S. Netflix on my phone, smart tv and PC. From time to time it appears that Netflix catches up with ExpressVPN. So far I have been able to try different locations in the settings and can get it to work pretty quickly in most cases. If I get stuck a quick message to ExpressVPN has pointed me in the right direction. I have found a lot of content on Mexican Netflix so don't bother with the VPN all the time but when I need it I have been able to keep it working.
  15. We have been here for almost 14 years and I have been visiting Mexico - and many other countries - for more than 50 years. I'll chime in with some comments - purely my experiences and observations. We came here 6 or 8 times before seriously considering moving here. We intentionally stayed in different places each time to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Mostly in Ajijic and nearby. We rented a car on each of those trips so we could do lots of exploring. But we also used buses and taxis to understand what worked for us. I was still working at the time but my wife had an opportunity to house sit for a couple of months and I came down several times during that period. That gave us - mostly her - a chance to "live" here as opposed to "visiting" here. After that experience we were pretty certain this is where we wanted to "retire". We came back and rented a house for a year - and I was still working and coming and going pretty regularly. In most cases I would come down and work from here for a week at a time and then travel for work in the U.S. for 3 weeks or so. After renting for a year we bought a house - and I continued to work for a little bit more than another year. After that I "retired" as I said and moved to Ajijic full time. A couple of clients asked me to work on a few projects and after about 6 months I accidentally had a business. After all this time I still do. I do almost everything over the internet and have a U.S. phone number (Vonage). I have three employees in the U.S. including my 36 year old daughter who has been able to work from home while raising my two grandsons - now 8 & 10. All of my clients are in the U.S., all payments are made in the U.S. and all my clients know that I am in Mexico the vast majority of the time. I go to the U.S. a couple of times a year to see family - especially the grand-kids - and see a few clients while I am there. Works perfectly and has for well over 10 years. Health insurance was important to us and we signed up for the best insurance we could find that would cover us here in Mexico. It is reasonable compared to full, major medical in the U.S. but is not cheap. It goes up every year but the exchange rate has helped us out and the cost in U.S. dollars has been fairly flat. We were both very healthy when we got here. But my wife had knee surgery and then a total knee replacement a few months ago. I have been okay for about two years now but for the 4 years before that I had one serious medical issues - several surgeries for cancer including colon cancer, four rounds of chemo, one round of radiation, a pacemaker, and triple bypass surgery. LOTS of experience with the private Mexican medical resources. Around $2,000,000 pesos in cost covered very effectively by our insurance. The facilities and care we received have been nothing short of extraordinary. We have friends who have used SP & IMSS with very mixed results. Some had absolutely outstanding experiences and some had truly horrible outcomes. Seems like a very hit and miss situation but when it works it is great and very cost effective. The immigration laws have changed a bit since we moved here and as someone said may change again once the new president takes office. But the general framework is sort of the same. You can come down on a Tourist Visa that is good for 180 days. Nothing to do in advance - very simple. But it cannot be extended or renewed within Mexico. You have to leave the country and then get a new Tourist Visa. Some people have done that for years but that option could always change. The next level is a "Temporary" Visa. It is good for a year and can be renewed within Mexico. You can come and go during that year without having to reapply. You have to apply at a Mexican Consulate or Embassy outside of Mexico. And as others have said you have to prove regular income - something around $1,500 - $2,000 per month - PER PERSON. We did that for several years but it was a while back so I may not have the numbers exactly right but that is in the ballpark. And my understanding is that income has to be from a pension, Social Security, etc. Income from a job or business does not count as that income could change or go away completely. Mexico wants to be sure you have ongoing income/resources regardless of how good a job you might currently have. Contact your closest Mexican Consulate/Embassy. I have heard that each one may handle things slightly differently so call them and ask. They are very helpful and you can talk to them by phone or make an appointment to talk with them in person. The next level is a "Permanent" Visa that never expires and you don't have to renew it. Some additional requirements but you are a bit away from that point - and it can always change. Come on down and look around. We love it here and have never regretted our decision to move here. Personally my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. It is definitely not for everyone and we have known some people that left after a few years. Works for us. I'll be happy to answer any questions but hopefully some of this helps.
  16. REC

    Fish Tacos

    Agree with the recommendation for El Fogon de Charlotte. Also, there is a fairly new place on the Libramiento on the left as you go towards Guadalajara. Past the Pemex - I think it is called Tacos las Palmas. Great food and some really interesting selections in addition to really good tacos.
  17. We just crossed from Mexico in the USA at Laredo about two weeks ago with our Mexican plated car. I bit of a line on the bridge but not a long wait. A very pleasant and professional agent took a look at our passports and asked us a couple of questions - same as previous experiences with a U.S. plated car. No questions about our Jalisco plates and no hassles whatsoever. Easy as could be. Out of an abundance of caution we went to IMS on the Mexican side as we are both Permanente and didn't want to risk jeopardizing our immigration status. We had to ask a few people which counter to go to and they all seemed a little perplexed at our questions. We did finally got in the "right" line and the very nice gentlemen took a look at our INM cards and said we didn't need to do anything. I thanked him and said I just wanted to make sure. He asked the agent setting next to him what to do and he was told to just stamp our passports but to not have us fill out the FMM. Again, we were just being extra cautious but seems like that step was totally unnecessary. You shouldn't have any problems at all with the Mexican plated care based on our recent experience. And our Mexican insurance policy has liability coverage while we are in the U.S. similar to the basic insurance you get on a rental car.
  18. We have had several friends that spent time at Casa Nostra and we visited them often. They seemed very happy there and I was impressed with the facility and the staff. Since I don't have much direct experience with any of the other places my opinion is heavily slanted towards Casa Nostra. I would go there myself if and when the need arises. Good luck with your search. I think you have a number of very good options.
  19. I go to Dermika - just next to Bugambilla Plaza where El Torito and the movie theater are. http://www.dermika.com.mx/#/
  20. For your long layover in GDL there are several restaurants where you could kill some time. I agree that you will need to claim your bags and go through immigration and customs at GDL as your "first port of entry" in Mexico. Going back I "think" you will be able to check your bags through to your "first port of entry" in the U.S.
  21. A friend of ours did the same thing on a visit. Easily taken care of the airport and in her case on the day of her flight. She just went to the immigration window with her passport and was issued a new document. I think the fee was just a bit over $300 pesos but could have gone up. And of course be prepared to pay in cash in pesos. As Maincoons says you could go to the airport before your departure date but it seem practical to arrive early before your flight and do it on the same day. Go to the immigration window before going to the airline counter for check in.
  22. We used Lake Chapala Moving and were very happy with their service. 376-766-5008 http://www.lakechapalamoving.com/
  23. My apologies - especially to Ted who has done us all a great favor by taking on this initiative. I definitely expressed some opinions rather than stating facts and I should have known better. I guess my frustration is that this shouldn't even be close. As I understand it almost 500 people said they would pay in advance and as of the last update I saw only around 100 had actually done so. In the absence of an update I made assumptions and that was definitely a mistake and very unfair to Ted - and Ilox. Ted - thanks again for your efforts on our behalf. I do agree with Ted that it is not appropriate to criticize the way Ilox has handled this as they did not come to us. We (actually Ted) went to them. That is a separate issue and I bundled that in with some other issues. Also, I definitely take responsibility for my comments about Telmex and Telecable not making significant investments here. I definitely don't have any inside information but made assumptions based on what they have done previously, what I have been told and knowing how budget decisions for this type of capital expenditures are often made based on having been responsible for those types of decisions in a previous life. But I don't have inside information and should have made it clear that I was expressing what I still think is a reasonable assumption but I should have said it more elegantly. My last comment on all this is that I do reject the idea that because the infrastructure was not very advanced when I moved here that I shouldn't want an improvement. Or that I should move rather than wanting anything to get better. Sorry - I don't understand that argument but that is not important and I should have ignored those comments. And I will do so going forward. Again, my thanks, apologies and admiration to Ted for starting all this and sticking with it. I am very happy to hear that things are moving forward. THANKS Ted!
  24. I completely understand that some folks just can't take the leap of faith that is required to make the ILOX deal have a chance of going forward. I really do understand that perspective as well as the reality that some folks just can't afford the upfront cost. There is definitely some risk involved and everyone has to do that risk/return assessment on their own. Makes sense to me but I understand that others just can't get there. The reality is that ILOX put forward a proposal and not enough folks have agreed to that proposal so it won't go forward. Absolutely no problem with ILOX's proposal OR with anyone's response to that proposal. However, saying that ILOX should do this differently is really a moot point. They get to say what they will/won't do and we all get to agree - or not. Just like the pricing and terms/conditions of any other product or service - Superlake, restuarants, cabs/car service, and a ton of others that are debated over and over. So the one thing that is absolutely certain as a result of the response ILOX has received is that we will not have any options that could be described as "high speed internet" anytime in the near future. Telmex and Izzy/Telecable are clearly not going to make the investment needed to really change anything here. In fact, as more people come to our area, the actual reliability, quality and speed available to us is more likely to get worse rather than better. We have lost the one real chance we had for that to change for a long time. I understand - I REALLY do. I am just disappointed. I REALLY want higher speed but am obviously getting by with what is available. My only observation is that we shouldn't gripe about Telmex or Telecable since we passed on a chance at an alternative. Just like ILOX they have made business decisions and we have to live with what they have decided. The only thing less effective than debating how ILOX should have handled this is expecting things to get better with Telmex or Telecable. All the posts about workarounds to try pick up very small increases in speed are sort of funny.
  25. I wish them well. Options are always good. I'm sure they will figure out where their pricing needs to be in order to be competitive but also to be profitable. All businesses have to figure out this balance. When businesses try to compete solely on price it is very hard to sustain - but I am certain they know that without us telling them. I admire anyone who takes on this type of a challenge and hope that they are successful. Stella and Rene - welcome to the community and best of luck.
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