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Tecolote

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  1. I'm really surprised at how few Lakesiders have responded to this question about home health care assistance.Surely a fair number of Chapala and Ajijic residents have needed at some point to hire home health care assistance. Please relate any actual experiences you've had in hiring -- and retaining -- local home health care assistants. Good or bad? Costs? Reliability? Etc. -- Any information or thoughts would be welcome and helpful!
  2. Does anyone have any general information that would answer the question what proportion of of expats who come to live in the Chapala area end up returning to their home countries? I don't think there's been any kind of study, at least that I've been able to find online. I know, just from personal experience, that sometimes retirees plan to stay in the Chapala area permanently, but then, for a variety of reasons (medical conditions, or the desire to be closer to family, or other things), they end up choosing to return to their home countries. If the population of American expats in the Chapala area is 20-30,000, what proportion of these people tend, over time, to go back to live in the States? -- That's the kind of information I'm interested in, if anyone has personal experience, or even facts and figures! Thanks
  3. Can anyone share experiences with home health care in the Chapala area: For example, are there any agencies that supervise home health care assistants, so the labor requirements are met, and you don't have to deal with them yourself? What is the going hourly or daily rate? Are you satisfied with the home assistance you've paid for? -- In other words, any and all relevant, practical information, advice, concerns. Many thanks!
  4. This is a red herring. I've made more than a dozen trips to MX over a period of more than fifty years, always entering as a U.S. citizen. Often, Aduana chatted with me about my having been born in Mexico; it was never a problem. Never a problem, either, with my U.S.-plated car, satisfying Aduana and MX insurance companies. -- What is your information based on or is it just an assumption that you think is plausible? Jim Bowie's experience also confirms my own. It would go against international law if MX began to treat U.S. citizens who have U.S. passports differently just because they happen to have been born in Mexico. Unless some of the participants of this thread who ought to know more from a legal standpoint can offer documentation to the contrary, there should be no need to be anxious about this. Nobody's country of birth as shown on a passport can alone be used to prove that they are actually a citizen of that country of birth: For example, if you have a valid U.S. passport that happens to show that you were born in Latvia or MX or Argentina or other country, your U.S. passport is nevertheless proof that you are a U.S. citizen and legally you must be treated as one.
  5. Reading over the posts to this thread, what stands out for me is that there can be a definitive tax disadvantage in residing in MX as a Mexican if you have fairly high U.S. income (as Snowyco made clear). And, for U.S. citizens living in MX, Mexican tax law apparently applies to any U.S. expat who is considered to be a permanent resident of MX (someone who, in MX’s language, has his or her “center of vital interest” in MX). He or she would be taxed by MX on worldwide income, which of course includes U.S.-derived income. Since MX's tax rates for someone who has an income of above approx. U.S. $44K is a higher tax rate than the U.S.'s tax rate, the expat is going to pay a much heftier combined tax bill than he/she would residing in the U.S. -- See, for example, https://www.greenbacktaxservices.com/blog/expat-taxes-explained-living-mexico/ In other words, for a U.S.-MX dual-citizen, there would be a definite tax detriment of living in MX as a Mexican if your income is, referring to Snowco’s calculations, above about U.S. $44K. Similarly, there would also be a tax detriment (and the headache of having to file with IRS + Hacienda, too) for a U.S. citizen with that level of income who establishes permanent residence in MX. In forums for expats who live in MX, the issue of MX taxation of permanent expat residents seems to be raised very seldom. The issue could certainly stop some people from moving permanently to MX. -- Is it the case that MX's Hacienda, at least so far, just doesn't go after expat permanent residents in order to collect taxes on their worldwide income, or that expats just don't file with Hacienda when they're legally obliged to under MX law, and they hope they won't be caught?
  6. The above information is not correct. I have entered Mexico multiple times using my U.S. citizenship papers -- sometimes entering with my own U.S.-plated car, sometimes by air, but always as an American. The fact that I was born in Mexico has no relevance to the Mexicans: They accept my U.S. citizenship and that's the end of it. Aduana accepts my U.S.-plated car, my U.S. driver's license, my U.S. passport, etc. So do Mexican insurance companies, which insure my car as an American (never as a Mexican). I have also asked for U.S. consulate assistance as a U.S. citizen in Mexico, and immediately receive this help. When you wrote: Here I'm not sure this is right: "Residents of Mexico, irrespective of nationality, are subject to Mexican taxation on their worldwide income of all types which must be included in an annual personal income tax return." [If my memory is right, this comes from http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/6-taxes-in-mexico; the article about Mexican taxation in Wikipedia, as I recall, says the same thing.
  7. Tomas and Tomgates, Thanks for the suggestions. There's a related discussion going on now at http://www.expatexchange.com/expat/index.cfm?frmid=254&tpcid=3418621. One of the people there admits that her brokerage account was terminated because her mail-forwarding addresses was detected by two brokerages as not being a real residential address. Here are some quotes from that thread: Schwab and Etrade both figured out that it [the forwarding address this person was using] was a PMB and not an apartment number. They insisted on a U.S. residence address, and a utility bill to prove it. An address of a friend or relative in the U.S. will not work if the brokerage requests proof of residence, such as a utility bill or lease agreement. My other concern with using a U.S. address when I don't live there, is that some states, California in particular, aggressively look for indications of residency and will attempt to tax you as a residence, based just on the fact that you indicate California as your residence on various documents with banks, brokers, credit cards, DMV, etc. Whether they succeed in taxing you as a resident or not, it can still turn into a major headache. Unfortunately, for me, the only people I know who would personally be willing to forward mail to me live in California! The prospect of having my brokerage account closed due to residing in MX is a big obstacle. And I know from past personal experience that California's tax office can be very aggressive and hard to deal with. I wonder if anyone has had the same experience as the poster quoted above, but with other large brokerages like Vanguard, Fidelity, Ameritrade, etc.?
  8. Thanks RVGRINGO. Since I was born of American parents and therefore have U.S. citizenship by birth, I don't need a green card to live in the U.S. But I'm concerned if I enter Mexico and establish residence there as a Mexican whether I'm going to have to file and pay Mexican income taxes on U.S. income. Since I'd have to continue paying U.S. income taxes anyway (as long as I want to maintain my U.S. citizenship), I really don't want to be in the position of filing taxes with TWO countries (one is more than enough!). (I know there is some provision for receiving U.S. credit for foreign taxes paid to certain countries, like Mexico.) I think I've read that even Americans who are residents in Mexico are -- _in principle_, but so far not implemented -- liable to pay taxes to Mexico on income received from any country. From what you wrote, if I enter Mexico as a Mexican and own a U.S. plated car as an American citizen, I wouldn't be allowed to drive it in Mexico?
  9. What then do Lakeside expats do when they want to keep their U.S. brokerage accounts?
  10. I have a couple of questions related to this thread: Like the original poster's wife, I have dual U.S.-Mexican nationality. My Mexican passport is very old, so when I've come to Mexico in the past it seemed simplest to enter as an American. But my wife and I are now thinking of moving permanently to the Chapala area. If I can jump through the hoops at the Mexican consulate in the U.S. and get an updated Mexican passport, and then enter Mexico as a Mexican, would I have to file Mexican income taxes if I have no income from Mexico, but receive all income from the U.S.? How should we deal with our U.S. registered car if I enter Mexico as a Mexican? As a Mexican, I believe (but maybe this isn't true) that I wouldn't be allowed to drive a U.S. plated car in Mexico, even though it is registered in my name and my wife’s. Or is there a way I could drive our U.S. plated car in Mexico, given that I also have U.S. citizenship? Would we be able to purchase Mexican car insurance for this car if I am on record as a Mexican who also has U.S. citizenship? Many thanks for your advice!
  11. Has anyone had any problems using a U.S.-based mail forwarding service address in order to satisfy U.S. brokerages that you reside in the U.S.? I've read that the big brokerages will sometimes terminate brokerage accounts if the account holder indicates he or she is living abroad. So in order to maintain a U.S. brokerage account, it can be expedient to use a U.S. mail forwarding address if you don't have a U.S.-based friend or family member who will let you use his/her address. Many U.S. mail forwarding services give customers a street address followed by a "unit number," for example, which can suggest that the address may not be a real physical address. Also, it wouldn't be hard for brokerages, if they wanted to do this, to keep a database of mail forwarding service addresses, and then deny you a brokerage account. Any experience with problems like this, or have you been able to satisfy the big brokerages by using a mail forwarding service address?
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