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Posts posted by REC

  1. When any of these services - or any individual - takes money or a "negotiable instrument" (a check, for example) across the U.S./Mexico border in either direction they must declare if they are transporting over $10,000 USD or equivalent. Look at the customs forms you complete going in either direction. The person or business transporting those funds much declare the amount if it is over $10,000 USD. You can transport more but you absolutely must declare it. If not the funds are subject to confiscation and the person or business is subject to a fine. 

    I personally wouldn't carry anything for anyone across the border in either direction without knowing what it is. People and business do so all the time and almost always get away with it. But they do face some serious consequences if something goes wrong. If "getting away with it" works for you then go for it.

    For a while HandyMail had a policy that they would not accept mail containing a check of any size. That was after the problem they had that was mentioned above. Certainly sounds like a reasonable response and absolutely no doubt that they have every right to set any policy the want and to charge whatever they want for any service they provide. And they can change their terms, services and prices any time they want to. Just like any other business. When HandyMail or anyone else takes things to the border and "imports" it into the U.S. so they can take it to a Post Office on the U.S. side they  REALLY are importing it. Pretty black and white.

    If you took some mail NOB for someone and there was a big check that got confiscated then would you reimburse the person who asked you to carry the check - and also pay the fine? Even if you didn't know you were carrying it?

    I'm not sure what anyone that is up in arms about this expects. No "advanced warning"? Blindsided? So HandyMail should send out a notification to everyone that might ever use any of their services just in case I might want to use them someday and wouldn't want to be "blindsided". Wow!!! Just plain silly. How on earth were you so irreparably damaged and personally offended by being quoted a price you didn't like?

    When you go into any business and ask them to do something or to sell you something they tell you how much it will cost. At that point - and only at that point - you have the option of saying "okay" or saying "no thank you". Seems REALLY easy and straightforward. They can't rip you off whether you say okay or no thanks. Just walk away if the deal doesn't work for you. If you say yes they didn't rip you off - you had a choice.  If you went in and said you wanted them to do something for you and you would pay them $10 pesos and they said "no thanks" would you be ripping them off?

    Let me throw out another scenario. HandyMail charges you a fee - one that you like better or even the "exorbitant" amount they quoted you. They ignore the possibility that the funds can be at risk and just throw tour check in a bag along with other mail that happens to contain checks and get that bag to the border - in an hour, a day, a week or a month. At the border the bag is opened, the funds are discovered, they are confiscated and HandyMail gets a big fine. Would you expect HandyMail to cover your lost money? Would it be reasonable to expect them to just eat the fine?

    Much ado about nothing! If you don't like the price then make other arrangements. Using terms like RIPOFF is really inappropriate and offensive. I personally think HandyMail deserves praise for protecting us from ourselves. I personally wouldn't use anyone that didn't take this seriously - and they get to charge what they want for providing this service. And I get to say okay or no thanks.

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  2. As I said in my earlier post the choice of a doctor in any field of specialization is extremely personal and involves a number of factors. Just my personal opinion but a doctor's fees are so far at the bottom of my personal list of selection criteria that they don't even register. I can see trying to save a couple of pesos on a shirt or a box of crackers but not on a physician. But that is just my way of looking at it.

    Extremely personal and I completely understand that others see it differently. At least two great choices and probably more right here in our little slice of heaven.

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  3. Several good recommendations here. I personally use Dr. Ramon Garcia - he has a home/office at Lakeside where he sees patients - I think mostly on Friday and Saturday but he seems to clearly be spending more and more time here.

    Dr. Garcia's son is also a cardiologist (Dr. Ricardo Garcia) who has returned to Mexico after working in Europe for years - specifically in Paris. A Fellow of the European Heart Association who is retaining his European credentials primarily to stay current on the "latest and greatest" available around the world. Last time I spoke with him he was a little nervous because he was studying for a major exam to maintain those credentials - and the test was in French!

    I have had several procedures and tests done by Ramon Garcia over the years and have also seen Ricardo Garcia as part of the overall process. A couple of years ago I fainted at breakfast on Easter Sunday and my wife drove me to our "regular" clinic. They called Dr. Ramon Garcia who happened to be at lakeside but was about to head back into Guadalajara. He came by the clinic (Maskaras) within 15 minutes or so and wound up driving me into his office in Guadalajara, then taking me to the hospital (San Javier), setting me up for some overnight tests and then coming back to see me first thing the next morning. He determined that I needed a pacemaker - my heart rate ranged from a low of 32 to a high of 172 overnight. My blood-pressure when I arrived at Maskaras was 60/40. I had the procedure the next day with the son - Dr. Ricardo Garcia - actually doing the catheterization to insert the pacemaker. He hit some blockage and could not complete the procedure. A few more tests and it was determined that I needed bypass surgery - in addition to the pacemaker. I am extremely lucky to be alive (how's that for an understatement)!

    Dr. Ricardo Garcia then brought in a surgeon (based in Mexico City at the time) who had been studying and practicing in Germany. The surgeon brought his team (two other surgeons, scrub nurse and anesthesiologist) and I had triple bypass surgery the next day. Approaching two years now and 100% recovered - feel better than I have in more than 10 years! I spoke with some doctor friends in Houston after my surgery and they were very familiar with the techniques my surgeon used and described them as "the best of the best".

    So as you can see I am a big fan! But I have also heard really great things about Dr. Briseño - you have really great choices and really can't go wrong.

    I agree that being a major investor in the new hospital is not in and of itself a reason to choose a doctor. However, the two Drs. Garcia are not only investors but will be directly and heavily involved in the new facility - as will my surgeon who now is well established in Guadalajara. I have called Dr. Ramon Garcia on his cell phone more than once and he has always answered and given me exceptional attention - even once on a Friday evening when he was in Puerta Vallarta with his family.

    On a final note I have had a few folks tell me that Dr. Ramon Garcia had recommended a pacemaker when it was "not needed" - even to the point of other cardiologists disputing his recommendations in some cases. The rational - as it has been relayed to me - is that Dr. Garcia recommended a pacemaker, another doctor said it wasn't needed, I didn't have it done and I am still alive. I completely understand that perspective and since I have been through open heart surgery myself I would be the first to say that choosing a doctor - especially for something as serious as coronary issues - is an extremely personal and important decision. It is called "practicing" medicine for a reason and doctors don't always agree. 

    My very personal decision is that I will stick the the Drs. Garcia and their colleagues. But we are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Briseño available as well. You really can't go wrong.

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  4. You are responsible for paying her "regular wages" for the six weeks before and six weeks after her baby's birth. If she works for others they will have the same obligation and hopefully everyone will "step up". That way she gets her regular pay from everyone - no more and no less. But of course she would appreciate anything extra that anyone is able to do. I would respectfully hope and suggest that everyone involved look at the maternity pay itself as the "floor" and not the "ceiling". Others may see this differently but there is no doubt that the minimum is her regular pay for that period.

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  5. Our grand-kids now 7 & 9 come for that same week between Christmas and New Years every year - oh yeah - and their parents come too.

    We always enjoy the malecon in both Ajijic and Chapala - very different but have lots of fun at both of them. The Chapala malecon is a lot busier with more stuff going on. And while the Ajijic malecon is a little smaller there are always lots of families with kids out enjoying the area.

    If you feel like driving into Guadalajara the zoo is great They love it and have talked about it several times since last year. We have been to Tlaquepaque with them - they enjoyed it since they can walk around but not all that much for kids to do. The parents probably enjoy it more than the kids.

    We usually go to the Ajijic tiangues on Wednesday. Again not a lot for the kids to do but they seem to enjoy it. Nothing like that where they live NOB!

    Their dad likes to play golf so he usually goes to the course in San Antonio (Chula Vista) and the boys walk the course with him. He has also played the Vista del Lago course (other side of Chapala) and the boys like it because they have carts at that course.

    A couple of restaurants have open areas where the kids can get up from the table without being disruptive to other guests or the waiters - Yves's. Avocado Club, Peacock Garden and Nueva Posada. Not really playground areas but at least some open space where they can move around a little. The boys look forward to seeing the donkeys at Yves's - as well as the peacocks and chickens at Peacock Garden. Sometimes we go Avocado Club while the dad plays golf - with or without the boys - and then he can walk across the street to join us when he is finished.

    And of course horseback riding - in La Floresta and possibly a couple of other places. 

    Hope that helps. Our grand-kids don't seem to be bored and still look forward to coming every year. We are enjoying it while we can since they will be teenagers before too long and will be bored with anything we suggest. Have fun!

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  6. Welcome. I took a look at your website and you have some really nice examples.

    I'm not in anyway trying to discourage you or trying to talk you out of any of your ideas. Sounds you guys would be very happy living in our area - and definitely seems like you would fit in and adapt (or "re-adapt" in your case - haha) very quickly. My only thoughts are on the amount of money you need/expect to make here. Most things are less expensive than in New Orleans but incomes are a MUCH different story.

    Some comments -

    • There are LOTS of people in the area already doing what you are looking to do - and not all of them are busy all the time. It looks like you have a very high level of skills but you will be competing against lots of well established workers.
    • The going rate down here for what you are looking to do is more like $500 PESOS per day (a bit over $25 dollars per day) - not $500 dollars. A very small number of highly skilled craftsmen might make up to $1,000 pesos per day but not that many of them.
    • There are a number of places that sell handmade furniture right in our area with many more in Tlaquepaque, Tonala, Guadalajara, etc. I like your examples a lot but I think the market is relatively full. I could certainly be wrong but I think that is pretty accurate.

    Since you are Mexican I wouldn't expect that you would have a problem with working here - no visa or other requirements. If your wife is also looking to work in Mexico make sure you know what she needs to do so she can do that legally. Not really too difficult but I suggest you make sure you understand the steps - and the opportunities.

    Again - I hope I don't come across as negative or that I am trying discourage you in any way. Just trying to provide some thoughts as you requested. We have been here for almost 13 years and absolutely love it. Welcome to the web board and (hopefully) back to Mexico.

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  7. I just tried to get in and it told me it couldn't find my account - which I have used for years. This has happened once or twice in recent months.

    The solution this time - and previously - was to just set up my account as if it was a new one. Funny thing is that I used the same password I had used before and of course the same phone number. As part of that registration you put in your email and it sends you a link to "activate" your account. Now I can get in. Just took a couple of minutes.

  8. https://www.medicareresources.org/blog/2015/07/21/a-medicare-enrollees-guide-to-travel-coverage/



    It seems like it would be pretty easy to determine how long you are out of the U.S. through customs/immigration, stamps in your passport, your foreign immigration status, etc. The "intent" is not to cover us outside the U.S. and while you "might" be able to get away with lying about your status you are pretty much committing fraud. The facts are the facts.

    Trying to trick the system is not something I would take a chance with regarding my health - especially in a life threatening situations. But to each their own. If you just do things right you don't have to worry. Seems pretty black and white to me.

    This whole discussion seems pretty silly. Just do it right!

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  9. 22 hours ago, mkshawn said:

    REC: I have been looking for a source for a Bar Top. I have had the supporting legs for about 2 yrs while looking for a top? Does he carry & can he modify "Live Edge" slabs of wood, finishing the top & support ing legs, attaching my legs & install all in our Casa?

    I am not sure exactly what you are describing but I would guess that he could handle that. He delivered and installed several things for us but we were buying quite a bit of stuff. As tomgates said it is probably best to go speak with Eric in person. Their showroom and work areas are fascinating. But be careful - every time we have been there we wound buying something in addition to what we went there for - LOL.

  10. One other possible component in the decision is the possibility of needing an assisted living/nursing home facility. Another possible need is home health care support. We know several people that have used local assisted living/nursing homes and have been very satisfied. And I needed round the clock in home nursing care following triple bypass surgery for a week or two. High level of satisfaction.

    These services and more are readily available at Lakeside and there are several options. They are a fraction of the cost NOB but obviously not free and not covered by insurance. It might be worthwhile to explore some of those options as part of the decision process, Just to have an idea about those issues including costs.

  11. On 11/27/2017 at 9:17 AM, ComputerGuy said:

    Utilitis, I'm with you. You arrived here and correctly sensed that all successful Mexican companies achieved their status by accident. So while you volley for control of Ilux, perhaps you might help us by going over to SuperLake and showing them how to fix their business.

    In my past life I did business with Cemex, Bimbo and several other very large and successful Mexican companies. Believe me - nothing at all accidental about their success or how they "achieved their status". Some of the smartest, best educated and effective professionals I ever worked with or had the pleasure of meeting. As one of many examples, one of my best friends from those days is now running a bank in Luxembourg that Cemex acquired as part of their purchase of a large multinational conglomerate. Great, well run companies.

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  12. You have some good recommendations for folks at Lakeside and I have seen very nice work completed by many of them.

    But if you are looking for something really special take a look at this place - not at Lakeside but pretty easy to get to and he has made, delivered and installed several things for us - we live in Ajijic. He even came to our house to take measurements for a mesquite front door, some counter tops, etc. Not the cheapest but truly exceptional quality, creativity and workmanship.

    Most of the stuff we have bought has been mesquite but he works in other woods too. He has a huge showroom and he can make anything you want. He does residential stuff but also lots of commercial stuff for restaurants, bars, offices, etc. Speak with Erik - very talented young man who speaks perfect English. Long time family business.


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  13. I have the Telcel Amigo plan on my phone (Samsung/Android) and I have downloaded a Telcel app that lets me check my account, balance, usage, etc. I can also add minutes directly within that app without having to go to Oxxo or somewhere else to pay. For quite a while I just went into the app and adding $100 pesos or so when it was time to do so. I've been using the app for several years now so this year I changed a setting where it automatically adds that $100 when it is supposed to. I never have to think about it or worry about forgetting to do it. I have it set up to pay with a U.S. credit card. Really easy to do.

    I agree with Ana as the "go to" person for all things Telcel. She is very knowledgeable, helpful and patient.

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  14. As others have said cost can vary tremendously based on age, deductibles, limits, etc. We have coverage through AXA (a licensed insurer in Mexico). Premiums go up each year but due to changes in the exchange rate we have been okay. We are 65 & 71 and our premiums are somewhere around $400 per month - paid annually. I have had WAY over $1 million pesos in medical expenses so I am way ahead of the game.

    I have had some serious medical issues but have had great experiences with Mexican medical resources and our AXA policy has been very effective. Be sure that you understand the differences in the way insurance policies in Mexico work compared to what you are used to in other countries. Not at all saying that those differences are a bad thing - but there are differences.

    My personal opinion is that I would be cautious about a purchasing group. As mentioned above that group could dissolve and you might be in a situation where you are net eligible for replacement coverage due to age, preexisting conditions, etc. Just my opinion.

    I have heard very good things about Bellon. I would also like to recommend our agent - Jesus Tejeda. His office is in Guadalajara but he is at lakeside frequently as he has many long term clients in our area.


    333-563-1300 (Office)

    333-667-0499 (His cell # and probably the best way to reach him)

  15. We have seen Pancho at several restaurants around town including Lety's, Fagon de Charlotte, Gossip, and others. Never saw him working at any of them. Even Pancho has to eat from time to time and he goes to some of our favorite places - sometimes alone but often with others. 

    And Hole In One went through several iterations before Ismet set up Avocado Club in that same physical space.

    If we see Pancho taking orders, mopping the floor or washing dishes at one of the places he is "managing" we will report back.

  16. I used Lidia to arrange for round the clock nurses when I came home following open heart surgery. She also was able to supply some equipment I needed - like oxygen. VERY happy with her service and with the assistance she arranged. I agree that might be a good way to start and then you could  have time to figure out a long term plan.

    The advantage to having someone like Lidia taking responsibility for this is that it will require several people to cover 24 hours/day every day. She will make sure you have a reliable person there for each 24 hour shift. Otherwise you are going to have to manage all that yourself including dealing with someone not being available at the last minute, on holidays, etc.

    My surgery and home recovery was just over a year ago and if I remember correctly it was $1,800 pesos for a 24 hour shift so just a bit over your budget. Lidia came but the house more than once just to "check in". We occasionally run into her around town and she always remembers me and asks how I am doing. In my case it was well worth it.

    I am sure you will find a solution that will work for you and your aunt.

  17. In addition to great choices mentioned above Mario's in San Antonio is one of our favorites. On the street that runs just south of the plaza in the first block west of the plaza. Open for breakfast and lunch and I understand that are now open on Saturday and Sunday night beginning at 7pm.

  18. Roku is basically a way to turn a "not smart" tv into a "smart" tv. It lets you connect to the internet and then to other services like USTvNow, Netflix, etc. The Roku box is a one time purchase but the programming you get - again like USTvNow, Netflix, etc. - require a subscription and an associated fee.

  19. Yes - if an internet connection is at all important to you it is best to look for a place with an existing installation. There are areas where no lines are available and/or don't have great connections. I would suggest you make that part of your "checklist". Good luck and welcome to lakeside.

  20. Just paid my Telmex bill a few minutes ago. Had the same $129 peso plus taxes on it again this month. Pointed it out to the very nice young lady at the counter and she took it off - with a smile. I asked her if lots of people came in and yelled at her. Another smile and a "Si". Took no extra time and no hassle whatsoever. And she certainly didn't have anything to do with that extra charge. Anyway, exactly the same cost as before and no more time or hassle.

    Telmex got hacked. They did not intentionally add any extra charges or do anything underhanded. The folks at our local Telmex office would love to have this taken care of so folks wouldn't come in and yell at them. A smile and a friendly tone goes a long way - and lowers your blood pressure. Too each his own.

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