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smitmo

Moving to Mexico from the US

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I have really been flirting with the idea of moving to Mexico from the United States. I have just recently enrolled in Spanish class and am also taking classes to obtain a Hospitality and Tourism/Hotel Management Certificate. I currently work in the accounting department of a law firm (not an accountant - just a billing and collections clerk). I really want to make this dream a reality, but I do not know where to start or what steps I need to follow to make sure that I can afford to work and live in Mexico when I get there. I have given myself a two year deadline to pay off current debt and to save some money before I move. Any advice, suggestions, and hope you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

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For starters, it's important for you to know what work you can and cannot do in Mexico, and you need to investigate under which visa you can obtain a work permit. The other truly important thing is to know that Mexican salaries can be very low. Our minimum wage here, for example, is

  • Área geográfica A: 62.33 pesos diarios (Mexico City)
  • Área geográfica B: 60.57 pesos diarios (Guadalajara and some other areas)
  • Área geográfica C: 59.08 pesos diarios (The rest of the country)

Here's a helpful link about salaries: http://elinpc.com.mx...en-mexico-2012/

Note that those minimum salaries--none of which is above $5.00USD--are per day, not per hour. It's unlikely that you would want a minimum wage job, but other salaries are concomittantly low. It's tough for most foreigners to make a go of it on these wages.

Accurate information is your best source of power!

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Guest bigd

For starters, it's important for you to know what work you can and cannot do in Mexico, and you need to investigate under which visa you can obtain a work permit. The other truly important thing is to know that Mexican salaries can be very low. Our minimum wage here, for example, is

  • Área geográfica A: 62.33 pesos diarios (Mexico City)
  • Área geográfica B: 60.57 pesos diarios (Guadalajara and some other areas)
  • Área geográfica C: 59.08 pesos diarios (The rest of the country)

Here's a helpful link about salaries: http://elinpc.com.mx...en-mexico-2012/

Note that those minimum salaries--none of which is above $5.00USD--are per day, not per hour. It's unlikely that you would want a minimum wage job, but other salaries are concomittantly low. It's tough for most foreigners to make a go of it on these wages.

Accurate information is your best source of power!

If the $5.00 per day ia accurate then my question is; Why are the maids gardners etc paid 3to 4 times this amount in Ajijic and Chapala. Are the folks doing it just not aware of what is the going rate in the rest of Mexico?

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Most skilled workers, like the ones you mention, make more than the minimum wage. It is entirely up to the employer and the employee. There is also a lot more to it than just the wage.

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If the $5.00 per day ia accurate then my question is; Why are the maids gardners etc paid 3to 4 times this amount in Ajijic and Chapala. Are the folks doing it just not aware of what is the going rate in the rest of Mexico?

The 2012 Mexican minimum wage is accurate as written--less than $5.00 USD per day throughout the country.

I don't know anyone who pays domestic help the minimum wage. I live in Mexico City, where we pay our housekeeper 750 pesos per week for approximately 14 hours' work, which she does over the space of three days. That is about 53 pesos per hour and is about the standard wage for household help here in the DF.

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I think the minimum wage is set to determine fees, fines, and income, not that anyone is actually paid the minimum wage. Like with an FM 2 or 3, the minimum wage determines the income one must have to qualify. If I remember correctly, because so far I haven't had one, traffic fines are X times the minimum wage.

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I wouldn't be totally relying on my wage from Mexico. I have a house in the US which would bring a net of approximately $700.00 a month if rented that I would have to help try and live on. I did some research yesterday and noticed several US based lawfirms have offices in Mexico City - I didn't want to continue working in that field but I may have to. Please keep advice and suggestions coming. Thanks.

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If the $5.00 per day ia accurate then my question is; Why are the maids gardners etc paid 3to 4 times this amount in Ajijic and Chapala. Are the folks doing it just not aware of what is the going rate in the rest of Mexico?

I do not know what you paid your cleaning people in your country of origin but my cleaning people and gardener , in California,were making more than the minimum age as well.

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I would say that you have to consider the following -- as in the US, in order to secure a "real job" here you have to have a company/corporation/resort (whatever) sponsor you and assist you in getting the correct working permit visa for their particular job opening. There are many qualified Mexican nationals in the hospitality/tourism/hotel industry here and unless you can prove that you are the only one who can do a particular job my understanding is that you will have a difficult time securing a job in that industry that would pay what you probably need to live in a large city like Mexico City or a resort area like Cancun.

I would say off the top of my head that your Spanish would have to be excellente and you would have to be a fully qualified bilingual speaker at the time you would be interviewing for jobs in Mexico.

Of course, there are smaller companies/properties/B&Bs, etc. that most likely skirt the Mexican visa laws, but I wouldn't count on it and you are taking a big chance if you are in a visible position.

Don't mean to discourage you, but these are the realities in my mind -- but others on this board will certainly chime in with their points of view which is one of the advantages of this board -- everyone gets a free say in commenting on a particular post.

Buena suerte

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One thing to remember is in the constitution. 4.26 article 32:

"Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable." Foreigners, immigrants, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico may not serve as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, or chiefs of seaports and airports.

The minimum wages posted are correct and there are a lot of people making it. Most jobs are closer to 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week with no time and a half so that adds some to the income. Most places that pay minimum have no pay structure, so that is what you get. An example of the minimum wage workers are those at pemex stations. Some pay minimum plus tips, others only get paid by their tips it depends on the owner.

Maids and gardeners get more than minimum, as stated. Most actually pay "abajo de la agua" under the table. Around here most work is paid under the table, most try to start their own businesses as it's more pay and less hours.

Skilled labor does make more, but it's nowhere near a good wage for the cost of living here. Example, I have a sister in law Elena that is retiring from her job as an RN at a hospital in mexico city. She has been doing it many years (50's now) and makes 10,000 pesos a month, that's with really long hours. That's about 769. us dollars a month based on 13-1. Not long ago the public health insurance DR's were making 15,000 pesos a month. A person making 10,000 pesos a month is considered very well off by most mexican's and it's very common for people tp be making 1-2 thousand a month. I know a secretary for a university here that makes 1500 a month, the wife's younger sister worked as a secretary but quit as she quit as she could make as much with a store out of her house working less hours.

Now don't get me wrong. There are people making lots more than this but they are in the vast minority and by far most are not working for someone else. Most foreigners coming here that have even a small social security income are considered very well to do by the majority.

The wife has worked at a pemex and several stores including copel and liverpool. She also worked security at a fiesta hotel. They all paid minimum, between 50-60 pesos a day.

I don't know why some are convinced wages are higher than they really are, that's just the way things are.

If you do building on your house (a cement house constantly being slowly built) you will pay more than minimum for labor. You buy the supplies. Example, to put a new door and frame in it's 200 pesos. That includes any resizing the cement and filling in cement to the frame. Things will be higher in the foreigner and well to do areas, but mose mexican's do not live in those areas for obvious reasons.

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Here in San Miguel to run a small clothing store some pay 100 pesos a day, 6 days a week. As noted above, typical wages for much of Mexico are dramatically lower than most expats realise.

A walk in clinic to see a doctor is 30 pesos. This gives you an idea of what many doctors get paid and that is assuming they keep all which they do not.

A RN we know makes 13,500 p a month working 24 hour shifts followed with 48 hours off. .

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I have really been flirting with the idea of moving to Mexico from the United States. I have just recently enrolled in Spanish class and am also taking classes to obtain a Hospitality and Tourism/Hotel Management Certificate. I currently work in the accounting department of a law firm (not an accountant - just a billing and collections clerk). I really want to make this dream a reality, but I do not know where to start or what steps I need to follow to make sure that I can afford to work and live in Mexico when I get there. I have given myself a two year deadline to pay off current debt and to save some money before I move. Any advice, suggestions, and hope you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Move to Mexico after you retire.

You will not make the wages nor get the benefits you want, You need permission to work and you will pay more for a visa that allows you to work.

You will not be adding to your U.S. Social Security retirement account.

Mexico is not desperate for foreign workers and you will probably be very disappointed.

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Here some walk in visits are 25 pesos. The 3,000 a year for public insurance seems very reasonable to foreigners, the fact is though that the people it's designed to help cannot afford it.

One thing to remember is that people make more in places like san miguel, it's a higher cost of living area.

Here in San Miguel to run a small clothing store some pay 100 pesos a day, 6 days a week. As noted above, typical wages for much of Mexico are dramatically lower than most expats realise.

A walk in clinic to see a doctor is 30 pesos. This gives you an idea of what many doctors get paid and that is assuming they keep all which they do not.

A RN we know makes 13,500 p a month working 24 hour shifts followed with 48 hours off. .

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Here is a report from July 2011 in english, 46% make less than 2,100 pesos a month urban or 1300 pesos a month rural. :

http://www.google.co...ti2e0Yu3RSknaaw

"3. According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), the number of people below the poverty line in Mexico rose by 3.2 million between 2008 and 2010 to 52 million, or 46.2% of the country's more than 112 million inhabitants.

4.Coneval categorizes an individual as poor if he or she suffers deprivations in one or more indicators such as access to health care, education, food and housing, and earns less than 2,100 pesos (US $179) a month in urban areas or less than 1,300 pesos (US $111) per month in rural zones."

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Mhh... Sorry I couldn´t opwn the link... it says that it has some unsafe files... Any way Sure I agree with you Mexico is a poor country. People is starving to dead right now at the Sierra Tarahumara,

The Coneval stadictic that you quoted shoes a dramatic raise of poverty in Mexico! almost 50 millions became "poor", in only 2 years! What happend in those 2 years? I can´t expain myself why? I just don´t remember what happened? from 2008 to 2010 there wasn´t a detonating like an economic crisis or a recession or nothing that I can recall that makes those numbers raise so fast. I don´t think there is any other country in the world that crashed that badly in such a short period of time...

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Here is a report from July 2011 in english, 46% make less than 2,100 pesos a month urban or 1300 pesos a month rural. :

http://www.google.co...ti2e0Yu3RSknaaw

"3. According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), the number of people below the poverty line in Mexico rose by 3.2 million between 2008 and 2010 to 52 million, or 46.2% of the country's more than 112 million inhabitants.

4.Coneval categorizes an individual as poor if he or she suffers deprivations in one or more indicators such as access to health care, education, food and housing, and earns less than 2,100 pesos (US $179) a month in urban areas or less than 1,300 pesos (US $111) per month in rural zones."

Thanks for the link!!! I was actually looking for that information a few days ago and couldn't find it - and it is beyond my comprehension how people can survive on that amount. The other amount I could not find is what is considered a sustainable wage - as I have read that to be 180 to 200 pesos a day locally - and I can't comprehend that as sustainable either.

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Mhh... Sorry I couldn´t opwn the link... it says that it has some unsafe files... Any way Sure I agree with you Mexico is a poor country. People is starving to dead right now at the Sierra Tarahumara,

The Coneval stadictic that you quoted shoes a dramatic raise of poverty in Mexico! almost 50 millions became "poor", in only 2 years! What happend in those 2 years? I can´t expain myself why? I just don´t remember what happened? from 2008 to 2010 there wasn´t a detonating like an economic crisis or a recession or nothing that I can recall that makes those numbers raise so fast. I don´t think there is any other country in the world that crashed that badly in such a short period of time...

The warning probably says "can" contain unsafe files - which is a fairly typical warning for a PDF File.

Here is information from one table in the document:

..................................................2008 (million people).............2010 (million people)

Neither poor nor vulnerable...........19.7......................................21.8

Income vulnerable.........................4.9........................................6.5

Social shortages vulnerable.........36.2......................................32.3

Moderate Poverty........................37.2......................................40.3

Extreme Poverty.........................11.7......................................11.7

TOTAL POPULATION.................109.7....................................112.6

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The Coneval stadictic that you quoted shoes a dramatic raise of poverty in Mexico! almost 50 millions became "poor", in only 2 years! What happend in those 2 years? I can´t expain myself why? I just don´t remember what happened? from 2008 to 2010 there wasn´t a detonating like an economic crisis or a recession or nothing that I can recall that makes those numbers raise so fast. I don´t think there is any other country in the world that crashed that badly in such a short period of time...

When the U.S. economy crashed, Mexico was hurt because the U.S. is Mexico's biggest customer. The U.S. has more safety nets now than it did in the Great Depression so instead of it being a Second Great Depression it is called a Recession, but many people have lost everything and will never recover. Mexico doesn't have the same safety nets.

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I've had work permits in Europe and several Asia Pacific countries, and I've been an HR manager in both Indonesia and Australia where I was responsible for expat employees from many countries. Here's how it generally works: the host country (in this case, Mexico) wants the employer to demonstrate why the prospective employee is worthy of a work permit. The criteria usually includes at least a BA or BS, special qualifications that a local (in this case, Mexican) candidate would not have, and age and a home salary that demonstrate that the candidate is well-regarded at home. This is pretty standard across the world.

This is pretty much how it works. Exceptions include Europeans from EU countries who can work across the EU, and Commonwealth citizens who have some leeway within the Commonwealth.

The other alternative is to get a work permit because you can demonstrate that you will bring in money and create jobs for local (in this case, Mexican) employees.

I advised a US employee with a problem in Singapore. His salary was very low, but in line the salary range for his job. The salary was low because the Singaporean tax structure was designed for young people (in their 20's) who either lived at home or were married. The employee was not in either of these categories, and had very, very little money after taxes.

Good luck on your search.

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Actually the number is just over 3 million mexicolindo, but it's still an increase and the gap between the poor and well off is increasing. It's not people that are well off losing everything, it's people what were above that dropping below. Something like 60% of mexican's make 11% of the income in mexico, you have to go ver far past that 46% mark to find those that many consdier making a livable income. Mexico has always been like this, it's just harder to see from up in the "comfortable" area.

Thanks for the link!!! I was actually looking for that information a few days ago and couldn't find it - and it is beyond my comprehension how people can survive on that amount. The other amount I could not find is what is considered a sustainable wage - as I have read that to be 180 to 200 pesos a day locally - and I can't comprehend that as sustainable either.

No problem. The "sustainable wage" figures come from those making more than a sustainable wage. You could still double the 2,100 and 1,300 figures and still call it poverty, which is is. The actually people living in poverty is far more than 46%, if it were us standards then there would jsut be the percentage at the top not in poverty. Poverty in the us and canada is a laughable term compared to the MUCH OF rest of the world. People even a few thousand above the poverty level here do not have refrigerators, do not have heating or cooling even where it gets below freezing like here, don't have dependable electricity. I could take pictures of how people get electricity, they go on top of buildings or climb poles and hang electrical cables accross the lines. The majority do that here, some have deals with electricity workers to hang the wires and they pay them 100 pesos or something like that a month.

That is an example of "getting by", building a house can take a lifetime. It's cement, sand, gravel, rebar and labor to build onto the house when they can afford it. The majority of the houses are "in progress" for many years. No house payment.

Food is a big cutback, meat a luxury. The children never have fresh milk, it's powdered. Even the bodega aurrera and garis, where most go, have just a very small cooler of fresh milk and huge area of powdered and no refrigerate milk. Powdered is used the most.

Transportation means the bus, mostly it means buying at the small "local's which are higher than places like garis.

The cost of living here is lower in many ways than the us but higher in some ways, some things cost more. The difference in wages in no way makes the quality of living for the majority the same. I know for those with an income from another country or well off here it's "paradise" but that's hard to build on 1300-2100 pesos a month or even considerably more than that.

I had a person in pm's telling me how much better poor mexican's have it here, someone from the usa, but I just don't get it. The majority going there are in this category, pretty much starving. No heat or cooling, electricity that is either off or when one thing starts others shut off, eating very cheaply (spaghetti with sour cream is an example). I know there are a lot that say the minimum wage is miserable in the us but it's a huge step up from what the poor get here, one CAN have a place to stay with heat, electricity, etc. The food processing plants are the big draw as they pay considerably more with benefits, the wife worked for butterball in nw arkansas before we came back here. She wants badly to go back. It's hare to find an illegal there that does not have a place to stay, car, food, etc. People do not go without electricity or heat there. Children are another thing, with children comes food stamps, wic, earned income credit and all kinds of help. The quality of life is no comparison. people going there from here find that basic needs there are luxuries here. I could go into the hardships of being there illegally and even getting there, but many do it more than once for the quality of life. I will say again, it's hard to see from the "top" though and I can understand how they think mexican's have it so good here when they do.

Most mexican's do not invest in the stock market and there are more american companies present here than ever. They pay the same minimum wage though. The "recession" in the us dented the people at the top here but ultimately had little or no effect on those at the bottom. Businesses paying workers 60 pesos a day and selling products for close to what they are in the us tend not to lay off 60 pesos a day workers, it would not make sense. The profit margine for these companies in mexico is far more than in the us, no need to get rid of someone making 4.50 a day working their butt off. Mexico is also one of the places companies move to from the us when the economy is bad there, the same low wages. It doesn't keep people off the poverty list, as the majority make poverty level pay.

I didn't go into the price of sending kids to school on those salary's here, it's a big cost and why most do not finish. Price of a drivers license if I remember is 1500 pesos, not something all can afford. 3000 a year health insurance? Sounds very good but most here cannot afford it. I think most of it is designed to keep the downtrodden....well downtrodden.

Sorry to be soap boxy, I love the country and people but people starving is a sore spot for me. People blinded to it also.

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So.. To get it right when you talk about the lack of fresh milk, construciton and no health insurance at all, you are talking about 11.7% of th extremely poor population or about 46% that make a livable income?

Because I can consider myself on that 46%, I have accese to:

liconsa, http://www.liconsa.gob.mx/

infonavit:www.infonavit.org.mx

and SS www.imss.gob.mx In case I didnt´have acces to SS, I can take Seguro Popular,

I pay that every mounth with my taxes an retetions at my job....

And I just a middle class mexican with a very standar salary, I buy fresh milk every day for my kids, I cook meat also every day, I have a car, (wich of corse I´m paying), I take my kids to school, I have a phone line and internet acces, electricity without shortages (well yes I have some during the rainy seasson),etc... that will put myself and my family in what category??

Sometimes I just feel that we live in a whole different country....

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17%? Try reading it again, your figures are off it's 46% below the poverty line. There are 46% of the people making 2,100 pesos a month that live in cities and 1,300 a month rural. You are trying to convince me that you are doing all of that on 2,100 or 1,300 pesos a month???? I don't think so. Do you think these people can afford all of the things you do? That's just about half of the country. You tell me what category you are in, if you are making over 2100 and live urban or 1300 and live rural then you are NOT in that category. You explain to me how 1300 a month buys insurance, school, food and milk, car, internet, etc. You live in a very different world and it's not the mexico of the majority. People from other places unaware of what goes on here do not surprise me. People from here that don't know do.

If you are doing all of that it's not a standard salary, not for the 46% making under 2100 urban or 1300 rural. The wages do not magically double after that either, I'm sure your wages are in the well past 50% area.

I am truly ashamed that there are mexicans that do not know what is going in our country.

Neither poor nor vulnerable...........19.7......................................21.8

Income vulnerable.........................4.9........................................6.5

Social shortages vulnerable.........36.2......................................32.3

Moderate Poverty........................37.2......................................40.3

Extreme Poverty.........................11.7......................................11.7

TOTAL POPULATION.................109.7....................................112.6

52 million are living in poverty, only 21.8 million neither poor nor vulnerable out of 112.6 million. Even the 32.3 million above the poverty line are short on social services like medical. So you must be in the upper 28.3 million since you do not fall in the category of the lower three which is 84.3 million.

Yes, we live in different mexico's. Call it middle class if you want, and it is probably labeled that, but it's closer to the top than the bottom and in no way the middle. To be in the middle you would have to be making just over the poverty line which is 46% of the people. The majority are not making anywhere what you are, that's who I am talking about.

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Not the top not the botton, yes the middle, my couple and I have to work hard to get what we have. But thank you anyway, you made me feel like a little Carlos Slim for a sec ;)

You don´t habe to be ashamed... I´m sure know what is going on in my country, because I live the REALTY everyday.

And just some more stadistics about the Mexico where I live: http://www.inegi.org.mx/sistemas/mexicocifras/

That´s all from my part...

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