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kimanjome

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About kimanjome

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  1. Thanks, everyone. I did some more digging. Most Seniors do NOT have Medigap; latest statistics say an average of only 20-30% have it. That is because 1) Medigap coverage is shrinking 2) Medigap costs are going up 3) The only way to obtain reasonably priced Medigap coverage is if you purchase it within 6 months of enrolling in Medicare. After that, it is more expensive, and the private insurance companies can raise your rates due to age, and there is a look-back period for pre-existing conditions of 6 months, meaning, you have to pay for services until the Medigap policy kicks in. At $150 or $200 a month Medigap might seem a fair price, but when you are looking at $350-$500 a month per person, that does become a bit more pricey. As you may have guessed from my recent posts a health issue has arisen here with a spouse and we are looking at all the ways to deal with it. Surprisingly (or not?), it seems the best option for us now is to see a top-notch specialist in Guad--some of these physicians have fabulous credentials and are at the forefront of research with their US peers. Not only that, the wait time to see one is a week, versus 3 months! NOB. In the meantime we will find a new permanent address in the US we can call home, and go from there.
  2. I've already read through the guide and it doesn't address my questions.
  3. I do not have Medicare so I don't understand anything about it. Calls to Medicare in the USA tell me one thing, while the Plan agents tell me another. I am SO confused! Every month my husband pays for Medicare Plan B. Correct me if I am wrong, but this monthly payment is for "Insurance" and it covers such things as office visits, lab tests, outpatient, annual exams, etc. It doesn't cover the charges 100%, but 80%. Meaning, if my husband goes for an annual wellness exam and the doctor's fee (dictated by Medicare) is $100, then my husband pays $20. If the doctor tells my husband he needs a full blood panel done $1,000, then my husband pays $200. Is this true? And, is there NO CAP to out-of-pocket contributions? If my husband needed a $1,000,000- operation then he would be on-the-hook for $200,000 of it--is that right? The Medicare agents with whom I spoke said my husband can also opt to join a Plan, since his monthly Part B contribution allows him to do so. However, every plan I have looked at or spoken with a rep says you have to reside in the US at least 6 months of the year. How do those of you here as residents have a Plan NOB? Use a family address? Thanks for all the help and advice.
  4. Interesting answers from everyone because it has opened my mind to the different possibilities each person considers, and how the options change as we age. The more I read, the more I learn. Knowledge is power.
  5. Question: for those you who have lived here awhile AND you have some form of health coverage in the US or Canada, how do you intend to pay for extra services, such as in-home health care, as you age? If you return to the US or Canada, those costs can be prohibitive. That was one of the reasons we choose to retire Mexico, using our home as our own personal ALF, so to speak, and hiring in-home care as needed. (We speak Spanish so we can function pretty well here). However, there is always the sticky issue of transporting the infirm back to NOB major health issues. How is that generally done? For those of living your retirement years in Mexico and have been here for awhile, would you, if you could, move to Spain or Portugal for elder care or living out your senior years? Private health insurance costs in both countries are very affordable, but the maid and the gardener, so to speak, not as inexpensive as Mexico.
  6. kimanjome

    Capital One

    I have the same issue and "purchased" a Skype #. I receive the verification code as a voice. What I like about Skype is I could choose the state, region, and even the telephone number---they list all the available ones. If you don't like them available numbers you can choose another city and look through that list. Very handy for when I am doing business NOB. By the way, if you travel frequently to the US andneed cell service while you are there, there is a company that has free service, even a free SIM. It's called FreeUp. The only thing you have to do is go to the account every month and manually tick off that you want to continue free service.
  7. I've been here 2 years and I still don't know the phone number to Cruz Roja (although I do speak Spanish). Anybody? Also, in case there is an emergency and someone needs urgent medical attention--stroke, heart attack, fall with broken hip kind of thing--what are a few of the best hospitals in Guadalajara? Thanks!
  8. Interesting topic about the general rise in prices. I have noticed prices here tend to increase during "season". Nothing new for those of us who have lived in resort towns. For many years I lived in Key West and Sarasota, and the prices in the grocery stores--major chains--would jump 10% from November through April. However, if I would go to a non-tourist spot in Florida, like Arcadia (adjacent to Sarasota) the prices would be considerably lower for the same items, same grocery store chain. Another thing that took me by surprise recently was how high the prices were in the US. I haven't been there in almost a year, and it was a real eye-opener to see how much the price of clothing, food, and sundry items had gone up. I assume it was due to the favorable stock market, it seems like when the stock market is high and consumers are "flush" with cash that vendors are eager to empty our pockets a bit faster.
  9. kimanjome

    Can I safely use my 1000 watt heater?

    I bought 3. The ironic thing is, I have a gas fireplace but I prefer these heaters. Great YouTube video shows how they look in person. The first was on Amazon.mx and it is called a HomeBasix, it was about $80- free shipping with Prime. I liked it so much I went online and looked for others. There are other identical models available., with different distributors' name. In the US they can be found at Tractor Supply, Home Depot, etc. but no shipping to Mexico. Believe it or not, I bought the other 2 on Newegg (goes to the Newegg.mx site) where it is called an Optimus and is was about $75 USD FREE FEDEX GROUND SHIPPING to Mexico!!!!!!!!! https://www.newegg.com/global/mx-en/Product/Product.aspx?Item=2S7-00S0-00003&ignorebbr=1 There are larger models on Amazon US that I am keeping my eyes on for price reduction when cold season is over. What I love most about these "wood stove/fireplace" heaters is that you can run them without the heater, just the flames, and because the logs are ceramic and 3D they actually look like a real fire with burning logs. I was showing it to my cleaning lady and when I bent down to touch the logs she gasped in horror.
  10. kimanjome

    ELECTRIC EXPENSE

    2018/2019 Update: This is for those researching the area. We (2 of us) live in a large 3,000 sq ft "gringo" house which we bought in 2016. At the time the owner/seller was paying every 2 months 4000 pesos for just herself. She was in DAC. For us, coming from Florida, where our monthly electric bill averaged $220 USD a month for a modest 2000 sq ft ranch home, even the DAC bill was reasonable! The first thing we did was change out all the incandescent light bulbs to LED. We disconnected all the sensor spotlights in the backyard, they were triggered on/off continually throughout the night by waving tree branches and palm fronds. We added a small pool with a variable-speed pump. We installed a 20,000 BTU inverted mini split for the enormous master bedroom. We have 2 computers on almost always, a printer on, electric garage door opener, full-size fridge, convection oven for cooking, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, 2 big TVs, a 1/3 acre garden that needs watering 2x a week during the dry season, and lots and lots of "vampire" devices like an always-on intercom system. We use floor/table/ceiling fans when it is hot and we are not sleeping with a/c on. As you can see, we are not frugal. We do, however, turn off lights when not in a room. We installed 8 solar panels after living in the house for 3 months. Our CFE bill has never been higher than the billing fee of $46 pesos, meaning, we have never used any electricity from CFE. That is with the pool pump going 2 hours daily and the a/c running every night from May to October! Now, I have to add that during this recent cold season and having guests, we did purchase and have been using electric space heaters, each using 750 watts per hour. We made sure we bought space heaters with thermostats so they would shut off at 69 or 70. The space heaters will cycle on and off in our den for about 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours at night (during coldest days). That is 4500 watts a day, per heat, or 4.5 kwH per day. Let's call that 5 kwH a day, which translates to 150 kwH a month, or 300 every 2 months. This puts us barely into the 2nd lowest level. Maybe our electric bill will jump up from $2.50 a month to $25- a month. Do we really care? Let us assume I was thrown into DAC rates because of all these space heaters my guests were using. At 25 cents a kwH for 300 kwH hours, that is....$62.50 a month. For maybe, what, 2 months? Compare that to our Florida bills, and I am jumping with glee. I know the DAC rates continue on for several billing cycles, but when the heaters go off, my bill reverts back to practically nothing. The other option is to get a portable indoor propane heater, which does not affect CFE rates. Hope this helps. Let me put a big plug in for solar power.
  11. For those who are Permanante and leave Mexico for a temporary trip elsewhere, is it true you have to go to a room/office before your flight and fill out an FMM? You keep a copy with you in your passport and then have it stamped upon your return to Mexico? (This question is for US and Canadian passport holders). If this is true, where at the GDL airport is the office? Online it says the office is open only a few hours. What if you flight is outside of those scheduled open office hours?
  12. kimanjome

    Can I safely use my 1000 watt heater?

    We are using those cute wood stove looking "flame effect" heaters that has 2 power 750 & 750 switches and a thermostat. We use only one of the 750 switches and set the thermostat to go on when the room dips below 68. We keep it on in the morning and evening in a room about 12 x 15 and the heater cycles on only about 50% of the time. I don't think our CFE bill is going to shoot up by some huge amount.
  13. When the pilot light is on in our gas fireplace the entire living room smells like propane. We think there is a small leak in the line going from the valve to the pilot light. We've turned it off but there is still quite a smell. Any suggestions on who to call? I'm in San Antonio.
  14. Yes, in theory it is a great idea. The reality is that the market will pay what the market will bear, and I think that this will put a large number of domestic workers at risk for having their hours cut, because many employers will simply reduce the workers' hours by 1/3, or they will understate the hours worked by the employee to make only a minimum contribution. If this program continues as-is, I think there will be many more Spring Clean type agencies popping up. I know, having interviewed Spring Clean (and been impressed by them) that the workers are paid LESS than what I pay my self-employed cleaner, and with none of the bookkeeping nor cleaning supply headaches. This puts the independent workers at a distinct disadvantage.
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