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Ajijic

New Immigration Laws

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As folks above have already said, it's all very relative. I've been here for two years living with a long time friend who ended up with a pension that was too small to live on in the US after his partner passed away even though he owned his house...the taxes and insurance consumed about 33% of his income alone. Not to consider auto expenses, gas, electricity for heating and AC in Dallas. Here we own our house here, so no rent....tax $48 US, water $96, annually. Monthly expenses are electricity $25 (reduced after learning to shut off electronics at night,) gas $6 (reduced after installing solar hot water,) satellite $40, telephone and Internet $28, US/Mexican cell phones $17, US land line $2.50, groceries $400, dining out $250, auto fuel $25, pet $20, entertainment $25, medications $42, and other expenses make the monthly total $1100 for then two of us pretty consistently. I've kept track of most every peso in Quicken since we came here and it rarely varies more than $50 a month. We have a combined SS income of $2250 so we're able to save half of it every month for expenses like trips to the US and other one time expenses. For me the big kicker was health insurance: $965 in AZ vs $150 here a month and for a lower deductible and better coverage. When we lived together in AZ a year before moving down even with a fairly low key lifestyle, it was consistently $3500 a month owning our home plus renting out a room. Everyone has different needs, but for the wonderful people and weather, and for us, the much lower cost of living, this is ideal. We get quickly bored on our trips up North, missing the friendliness out in public from here, and after 7-10 days of taking care of business there, we're ready to get back home,.

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Some interesting stuff. I'm concerned about the car angle and whether or not the new rules would apply to Baja. Rosarita could be looking better to me, depending. I can't believe the MX gob is doing this to make it cheaper for expats to live here They are looking for income. And being crafty, but not crafty enough, they will work the foreigners rather than tax the cartels. The path of the least resistance.

As for comparisons to NOB costs vs MX costs, not one size fits all. I can live just about as cheaply in my place in CA as I can here--of course I'm out of the big cities. Given the huge depreciation of houses and the glut of short sales, many homes in CA are a bargain. What went for $500K three years ago, is half that now. Roughly USD monthly costs for me: Comcast, $60-includes magic jack phone, electric $40, water $40, property taxes $90, includes add-ons, schools, fire, police, garbage. Meat is cheaper than here, but is going up because of the drought, Vegetables more expensive, Gas more expensive (CA has it's own special price due to environmental regulations).. Electronics, tools, and appliances much cheaper. And so far when you call the sheriff, someone shows up. The bad news: winter sucks. I can spend about $500 on wood each winter, That goes to my gardener, down here. So it evens out, I guess. I don't know about the rest of the country or Canada.

I Agree re cost of living- and also

The yearly issue on Mexican Visas is a big ripoff compared to USA Visas-

Have 2 Mexican friends who just renewed their US Visas in the past 6 months

Term 10 Years and both had previous visas for the same period-

They were incredulous that I had to renew my Visa every year and the cost each year was just a little less than a 10 year US Visa- Mexico is raking in $$$ for annual renewals- not to mention the cost to the Gov yearly- big waste of $$$$

As per cost of living her in Mexico-

I too am from Calif- Home prices have dropped significantly compared to 6 years ago Unless you choose one of the most expensive zips in the US - like San Clemente, 'La Jolla (Mexican Favorite) Santa Barbara or city of San Francisco -

I've been actively searching the market for a year in No Calif. My Kids live in the San Francisco Bay /Sacramento area-they are ready to buy. Climate is the same as Chapala-warm days- cool nights except rain in the winter ---we receive the same amount of rain here in Guad/Chapla as No Calif per year.

In my old neighborhood houses that sold for a min of 850,000+++ are now selling for 350,000 ---with the 1% property tax rule =1225.00 per year and that's within BART (rapid train) distance to SFO. Obviously,no comparison in terms of construction, infrastructure, police,fire -emergency care- and crime rate- I didn't lock my garden patio doors for over 30 years in 2 different homes only recall a minor theft- neighbor left garage door open and kids stole bicycle

Mexico is no longer the bargain it was- except maybe RENTS at Lakeside and IMO for IFFY areas that I would never consider in Calif. and some figures posted here as typical were never my experience living at Lakeside for 3 years.

In Guadalajara/Zapopan---- neighborhoods that are comparable to very very nice US areas- you get a custom built home with more sq ft plus security-- rents are cheaper ---but buying here is very expensive because land is priced so high.

Last year my kids came to visit in Feb. they were FREEZING with no heat in my Mexican home- morning temps same as Calif.mid 40's Have home temps and Mex temps on MY Page often exactly the same or within 2-4 deg different. BUT

CFE is more expensive-just received my bill at level 1 rate !779.30 and doesn't include gas as in Calif. Here 3bed home, add in propane and Siapa and total is equal or higher than Calif. Gardener here 1000,00 mx ---gardener in Cal 80.00 month. Of course Electricians, plumbers there high- but - I can only remember needing a plumber 2 times in 10 years. I agree it's become a wash in living costs- but then factor in the HIGH Cost of everything here- appliances- clothes etc.

Mexican friends make regular trips to San Diego, LA, San Antonio etc to buy school clothes for kids and family and several friends I see regularly have homes in La Jolla or San Diego and spend summers and vacations in Calif -- they say the climate is better.

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Privado--I lived in the Bay Area for decades. The winters there are foggy and crisp, though there are nice micro climates in Marin County and as a result a very expensive place to live.. In Sacto you get winter tule fog. It is not warm. SF fog in the summer can be colder than winter. I have a small place in the low Sierra and prefer the summer months there. Though it does get hot in Aug/Sept, it's a dry heat.

In my book, San Diego would be an ideal place to live if the price were right.

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I'm not sure where you came from or where you're living, but I can tell you that nearly $2k per month for permanent residents will preclude many US folks on SSI and "free" healthcare? Where do I go to get that? Cost of living here, electricity 4X the US, food depending isn't all that cheap, I don't eat out much, but I can eat fast food in the States for less, TV @$75/month isn't a deal, Internet @ $40 is maybe on par, poor water requires filters I never needed NOB, pressure pumps I never needed, propane a@$30/month isn't cheap, visa cost every year, mailbox every year, sorry, I'd have to disagree with your assumptions. The living cheap in Mexico train left the station a while back. And don't even get into buying any "luxury" item like electronics, tools etc. The other day I needed a small Dremel diamond cutting wheel and Home Depot had them $480mxd - I bought 2 on Amazon for $30 and had a friend NOB mail them to me. I don't know exactly what the "fee" structure you posted relates to, but it's not "cheap". Rent is a good deal, mostly because the owners pay almost no tax so they don't have to pass it along, the downside is no infrastructure, no street maintenance and under paid police with their hands out for mordida. But, I'll give you this, the weather is great and the scenery nice .

We pay on Lake Chapala $11.00 USD/month for electricity. We pay $22.00 USD/month for LP on Lake Chapala. We pay $46.00 USD/month for telephone/internet. When we last lived in New York in 2005 we paid $175.00 USD/month for electricity. That alone is more than we pay for that and everything else here. What a bunch of exaggerations you are spouting! We had a budget of $37 USD per day when we moved to Mexico (not including utilities nor rent), that being in 2005. We have come in under that number every month but two over seven years.

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I can tell you that nearly $2k per month for permanent residents will preclude many US folks on SSI

One doesn't have to show SSI of over $2K per month to qualify. You can show a bank balance of over $2K per month for three months. Or you can show a turnover of more than $2K per month for three months, which might include rolling over the same monies into and out of the same checking account a number of times over that period. My god, why are you such a pessimist and so ill-informed, and why are you crying that the sky is falling? Are you trying to keep people from coming here? If so, I'm on your side. Hee hee.

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Worst case if people do not qualify for permanent they can be temporary and by virtue of that for 4 years be permanent. After reading the law it seems as if those on FM3 and FM2 right now will have their prior years count towards the 4 years (law says FM2 and FM3 revert automatically to temporary resident) to be permanent although nothing official has come down to explain the details, I am hopeful.

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After reading the law it seems as if those on FM3 and FM2 right now will have their prior years count towards the 4 years (law says FM2 and FM3 revert automatically to temporary resident) to be permanent although nothing official has come down to explain the details, I am hopeful.

One interpretation is prior years of your current visa .... so even if you've been here years your visa may say 'Perorrga 1' (first renewal) meaning you have 2 more renewals to go

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Worst case if people do not qualify for permanent they can be temporary and by virtue of that for 4 years be permanent. After reading the law it seems as if those on FM3 and FM2 right now will have their prior years count towards the 4 years (law says FM2 and FM3 revert automatically to temporary resident) to be permanent although nothing official has come down to explain the details, I am hopeful.

Question: do you know if under the new regs, home ownership reduces the amount of income needed to qualify for permanent resident???

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Privado--I lived in the Bay Area for decades. The winters there are foggy and crisp, though there are nice micro climates in Marin County and as a result a very expensive place to live.. In Sacto you get winter tule fog. It is not warm. SF fog in the summer can be colder than winter. I have a small place in the low Sierra and prefer the summer months there. Though it does get hot in Aug/Sept, it's a dry heat.

In my book, San Diego would be an ideal place to live if the price were right.

True the city can be foggy -that's part of the charm-Mill Valley etc Marin sunny-

I lived up in the sunny hills of the Diablo Valley- View of the water- rare fog- our micro climate was basically the same as Guad/Chapala--but with a nice breeze off the water only major difference was---we had April/May temps of Ajijic in Aug/Sept and cooler rain in winter with many sunny days in between. Sadly, when I was ready to retire and downsize Bay Area was one of the most expensive places in the US and I was forced to leave. Prices dropped dramatically-- now prices are back on the rise-

According to the NY Times. Number 1 hottest Real Estate Market in sales in the entire US today is OAKLAND!!

American Friends moved from Portland to area near San Diego in Temecula/wine area- Hoards of new retirement villages- Warm, Dry - little rain year round- close to Palm Springs- they bought newer 1 level 2700sf home with spa under 295,000.

Point is, prices have dropped significantly- climate is great, and you have all the conveniences health care and bang for the buck without leaving the country.

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Temecula, in Riverside County CA is very, very hot in summer; cold in winter. Due to a job assignment, my husband and I had the dubious joy of living there for a full season. In the summer months, it was air conditioning all day after 8 a.m. It would be way down on my list of places to settle permanently, but "some like it hot".

Marin is lovely and priced accordingly. Oakland......I'm amazed if it's a hot market.

Give me the cool breezes on the Monterey Bay. Even the fog. Loved it there, but I must admit that the best climate I've ever encountered year around is right here at Lakeside.

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Seeking Quality of Life while Disregarding climate- Here is US New/Money Magazine list of best places to retire in 2012

there's something for everyone - site has a lot more lists attached-

Unfortunately for me, my Home Town is No 4- Greenest and Most Expensive- which accounts for 50% of my choice for Mexico

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Well, I read those changes in the law with another set of eyes. I don't think retired people were really that which provoked the change as much as it was Mexican nationals returning home with wives and children carrying US or Canadian citizenship.

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Actually, when you read Mexican newspaper articles on the new immigration law, the focus is mostly on immigrants from central America (and the way they are treated here), crossing into Mexico, in order to get to the US border.

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It is good that they are changing the laws to help migrants but they need to enforce them as well, the way they are treated is a disgrace and a black mark on Mexico. I really hope there are changes.

I have never seen so many people with no legs or arms than in Triniteria and other Southern Chiapas towns where migrants try to scrape a living and enough money to go home. It is awful.

The train does not run from Tapacchula any longer but from Arriega , a long way when you are walking from the border and then people get maimed and abused or kill like dogs on their way to the country of oportunities...

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There is only single status requirements mentioned here. There was a monthly minimum requirement for married couples before but not mentioned in the new laws.

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There is only single status requirements mentioned here. There was a monthly minimum requirement for married couples before but not mentioned in the new laws.

I'll make another try at another question: Will home ownership reduce the income required?

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The new income requirements are not published as of yet.

article 156 of the new regulations states that the holders of the temporary resident visa can travel freely in and out of Mexico, no limits are put. Article 157 states that the holders of the permanent resident visa can also travel freely in and out of Mexico.

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New laws do not have the time limits under the old laws, a good thing about the new laws!

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He Carol, Please tell me where you get your propane tank filled for 800 pesos. when I fill from 20% to 85% in a 300 ltr tank, my bill is around 1300 pesos so you are getting a real deal.

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I'll make another try at another question: Will home ownership reduce the income required?

For some, but not for everyone. Ask Spencer directly.

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For some, but not for everyone. Ask Spencer directly.

If one simply scrolled up a little you will see the answer ...geesh. Income requirements are not posted.

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We pay on Lake Chapala $11.00 USD/month for electricity. We pay $22.00 USD/month for LP on Lake Chapala. We pay $46.00 USD/month for telephone/internet. When we last lived in New York in 2005 we paid $175.00 USD/month for electricity. That alone is more than we pay for that and everything else here. What a bunch of exaggerations you are spouting! We had a budget of $37 USD per day when we moved to Mexico (not including utilities nor rent), that being in 2005. We have come in under that number every month but two over seven years.

Toro

You are talking of New York. Others California but you have to compare apples to apples. 11.00 a month for electricity here? Some of the meters in the area are fixed to show less consumption. I am not sugesting this is your case but I know of someone who pays 22.00 pesos a month for a big house.The meter is rigged and has been for many years. Hey, but if CFE let it pass, who is going to argue. We are paying 840 every 2 months. We paid 300 P max 8 years ago when we moved here and we have the same apliances except for the micro that I stopped using a year ago. We are looking to alternative energy sources in the USA. Doctord prices here are going up rapidly. I used to pay 400.00 pesos 1 year ago for a specialist, now 600.00 pesos and up plus the battery of test everytime I have to see one.We are both paying Medicare in the USA. Paying here and also there. Double expenses. Food is going up, no bargains like the USA. I used to buy in bulk when the prices were cut plus coupons. We are spending as much here as I will do in the states. Property Taxes depends on the state you live. Georgia, 45 minutes from Atlanta, 100,000.00 Dollars for an excellent condition home;1700sq. ft. with finish basement and 2 car garage 1,200.00 Taxes less the senior exception 695.00 Dollars. Here I have to have a gardener, a maid cause the houses get very dirty with the dust and others and I worked hard enough to spend the rest of my life cleaning a house.. In the States, once a month for the heavy work 60.00 for 3 hours.That is what I had in Florida for the 2 of us. Here maid 2 times a week 375.00Pesos 19,500P year. plus X'mas bonus and the extended family weddings, quinceaneras, communions, new baby's,baby showers, confirmation, sickness, death and on and on. An they let you know about all this events. USA 720.00 year once a month. Gardener, 300P a week, year, 15,600 plus 100 pesos extra every month for him to bring his own tools..Plus all the festivities and extras, same as the maid. USA, house in the country, ridding mower for my husband and no fancy landscaping to maintain. We sold our house, between the maid and the gardener we have to paid 16,900.00 compensation for almost 8 years of service plus the X'mas bonus.

This year we don't have to renew the FM2, thank God, so we will be saving 6,280.00 P. Houses here deteriorate fast and there is a lot of maintenance to keep it in good shape.At our age, we don't have the energy or the no how to do it our self . We need to hire help to do it and the laborers here are getting more expensive. Most think we are swimming in money and I don't blame them because we live as we do, including moi.Thank God our house is one well built but still we have to do our maintenance on a regular schedule to keep it in shape.

Also, I think that the Mexican Government is reviewing the law, times had change. Why should they make it easy for us and other foreigners, when some of the states don't treat the Mexicans any good in the USA. Legal and illegals.

Mexicans are very gracious people, polite, happy, family oriented, welcoming Buenos Dias and a smile for everybody.. We will always remember Mexico and in my new home I will always have a place for me to remember what a wonderful time I had here.

As for the cost of living, eventually, people with limited resources will have to find other places in Mexico. if things in this area (prices) keep going up a good number of Americans will have to scratch this area as a retirement choice.

If you have the resources this is a great place to live. I wish the government clear this visa and foreigner cars matter once and for all for all of those staying here. It is very confusing for everybody.

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Now back to the OP. :-)

There is a very good article on the new immigration law by Enrique Ramírez (Oct. 19, 2012, pp. 22-23). We;ve had the F series in visas, and now comes the R series--basically three visas. The Residente Permanente, the Residente Temporal, and the Visitante. He says that "RP is the equivalent to the current inmigrado status and will be a welcome status to long term residents, as it will have three very important qualities (1) an indefinite time period, (2) will not need to be renewed, and (3) will include the right to work.You will receive the status of Residente Permante if (A) You have the current Inmigrado status; (B) if you are a refugee or have political asylum with a N-Inmigrante status; © if you are pensioned or retired and you receive an income that allows you to live in Mexico (an amount yet to be defined; (D) if your child, spouse or parents are Mexican; (E) after two years as Residente Temporal under a point System (yet to be defined; or (F) if you have 4 years as Residente Temporal (taking into consideration previous renewals under the Series I visa structure)." He goes on to define the other terms, but this Residente Permanente will be the most interesting for most of us. What he does not say is whether RP one can keep a foreign-plated car (I would think not), whether one might get a special break on nationalizing a car, or whether one has to drive the car immediately out of the country on receiving the RP visa.

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We pay on Lake Chapala $11.00 USD/month for electricity. We pay $22.00 USD/month for LP on Lake Chapala. We pay $46.00 USD/month for telephone/internet. When we last lived in New York in 2005 we paid $175.00 USD/month for electricity. That alone is more than we pay for that and everything else here. What a bunch of exaggerations you are spouting! We had a budget of $37 USD per day when we moved to Mexico (not including utilities nor rent), that being in 2005. We have come in under that number every month but two over seven years.

$11 US per month for electricity is almost unheard of. The average billing periods is two months which means you are paying $22US per billing period or at $12.85 to 1 = $283 pesos per billing period and at last months rates that equates to less than 275 KWH per billing period or 4.5 KWH per day. Now that is possible, but you are using so little electricity, that you are living a very very limited and simple life. And that's OK if you want to live that way.

But most like to watch HDTV, perhaps run a pool pump for several hours per day, and pay to pressurize their water. Then perhaps use a pump to run the sprinkler system and possibly leave a few CF lights on at night for security. Etc Etc. and by the time we are through using almost twice to 4 times as much electricity as you do.

My electric bill is even less, this 2 month billing period as of yesterday was $95 pesos, the last two month billing period $92 pesos. But I use the sun to generate electricity.

And yes, you can keep your gas prices low. I fill my tank once every 10 or so months because I heat my water with the sun (solar panels) and use the sun to help dry heavy duty items like towels.

Sure if you don't want much TV you can get a house antenna and maybe get 3 channels get a Mexican analog package for maybe $20 US per month or for US or Canadian TV, closer to $70 to $120 US per month unless you cheat and share a satellite connection with a neighbor.

I could go on. The lifestyle you choose is up to you. Yes you can live for very little down here or for slightly more live the life of luxury at a fraction of the cost in the north. But $11 US per month per electricity is not easily obtainable.

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