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swampyp

First visit July 4th, retiring permanently by August.

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Hi my husband retired after 30 years as a teamster yesterday, Thursday.  He is 50 and I am 44.  I am a teacher and hope to continue to work/volunteer in some capacity with children.  We have discussed Chapala and Ajjijic as our long term retirement destination.  We will be booking our flight and be there for a two week visit Monday the fourth.  Please tell us anything that would be helpful as new members of the community.  Especially what we should definitely experience over the next two weeks, food recommendations, and anything else that would be helpful.  Thank you.

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Hi my husband retired after 30 years as a teamster yesterday, Thursday.  He is 50 and I am 44.  I am a teacher and hope to continue to work/volunteer in some capacity with children.  We have discussed Chapala and Ajjijic as our long term retirement destination.  We will be booking our flight and be there for a two week visit Monday the fourth.  Please tell us anything that would be helpful as new members of the community.  Especially what we should definitely experience over the next two weeks, food recommendations, and anything else that would be helpful.  Thank you.

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I am starting a visit for a similar purpose on the same day, so I can't make recommendations, except for this one: browse the lists of posts on this forum (also the immigration section) going back at least a year, and read up on the topics that interest you.  I gained an enormous amount of information that helped me ask better questions.  We may run into you! Elisabeth

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42 minutes ago, swampyp said:

Hi my husband retired after 30 years as a teamster yesterday, Thursday.  He is 50 and I am 44.  I am a teacher and hope to continue to work/volunteer in some capacity with children.  We have discussed Chapala and Ajjijic as our long term retirement destination.  We will be booking our flight and be there for a two week visit Monday the fourth.  Please tell us anything that would be helpful as new members of the community.  Especially what we should definitely experience over the next two weeks, food recommendations, and anything else that would be helpful.  Thank you.

The Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic would be a must.  You get tons of info. there and most of your questions answered.

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My husband has been a voracious reader of everything board he could locate for the past year.  So he is definitely more knowledgeable than myself.  I began by looking at how we will set up our banking, and he had found the Argentinian Steak House ?!

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I agree with the suggestion to go back and look at the older posts over the last year.  They are very informative.  There are other web forums and multiple groups on Facebook that also would be worthwhile.  Do a Google search on Blogs on Chapala, Ajijic, Lakeside, they can be very informative.  Then, after you've done all that you should ask your remaining questions.  If you don't do your research you will find some folks will chastise you for not doing the research since many of the initial you will have have been asked and answered many times.

When you are here make sure you visit all of the pueblas from Chapala to Jocotopec.  Walk the neighborhoods, talk to as many people as you can, go to LCS, take the bus or hire a driver and go to Guadalajara, maybe take a side trip for the day to Mazamitla, visit a realtor office and go on one other their tours of the homes (just to get an idea of the various neighborhoods).  Enjoy the trip.

 

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Pssst!    The 4th is Tuesday.  But the time zone may be different.  ;)

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If there is a chance that you might decide to buy, contact a Realtor and have them show you the various areas... That was a great help for us... If you plan on renting then stop by LCS... Your best bet since you are only here for 2 weeks is to find someone to give you a tour...

Welcome and good hunting.

 

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Lakeside Conservatives will have a 4th of July event at Ive's Restaurant in the afternoon.

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chapala.com is a great source. really helped me adjust. i learn something every time

i come here. you may/will encounter some surprises down here in mexico. keep cool

and research. some bad apples but overall definitely a paradise !    

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Congratulations and welcome ! I am a retired teacher, as well, but nowhere as young as you are ! There are many opportunities for you to continue to work online if you want, and earn USD. It would be particularly helpful to get something like that set up before you move down, if you can.

Also, DO NOT move your banking from the USA to here. No need. Find a US bank that has minimal ATM fees, and draw from ATM as needed. Keep your US credit cards, too. Keep a US based address via a relative or good friend. It will be very useful in the days to come. 

All of the other advice is excellent. Just hire a driver and go all around Lakeside. Some people will say you MUST live in a barrio to get a true Mexican experience. Some people will say you MUST live in a gated community as it is safer. Only you can decide what is right for you. Any life you live here according to your wishes is as it should be.

Will you have a car ? Want a pedestrian lifestyle ? Plan on having pets ? All those are up for consideration.

Feel free to PM me if you want.

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One thing I have learned, from many moves, is that the people in the new area who tell you to stay away from certain people, very often turnout to be the ones to truly stay away from!

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Echo CStone: Mexican banks are not like North of the Border... Check with your current bank on being able to obtain funds via ATM without  heavy fees. There are a number of institutions that enable you to withdraw funds without fees. USAA Federal and Charles Schwab are examples. 

You might also wish to take advantage of one of the various "Welcome to Mexico" programs you will find on the internet... They provide a broad overview of health, banking,real estate and cultural assimilation.

Welcome

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There is a group that meets on Wednesday's at the Nuevo Posada Hotel at 6pm for happy hour. Was or is called the Newcomer's Club.

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Don't know where you are from, but you will always be welcomed at American Legion Post 7 in Chapala. When you arrive be sure to stop in and say hello. You will find a wealth of information there and if you are a reader, there is a library there.

The best to you on your first visit here. Welcome!

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Do not even consider buying here for a minimum of one year.  We were here for five years before we bought and we lived in several different areas to find the one that met our needs.  Everyone is different so one person's perfect is another person's nightmare.

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If you are a Facebook user, if you look under Mexpats Chapala or Gringos Ajijic (or just type in Ajijic and see what you find) you will also find lots of recommendations.  You will find that Chapala and Ajijic are very welcoming  places and it will not take you long you to find friends and get involved in various activities.

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Best banking advice I can give to a newcomer here:  DO NOT burn your address bridges in the US.  Be sure to keep some sort of physical address that's not a PO box that you can use with banks, insurance companies, investment firms, etc. that you may want to use now or in the future.  Even if you sell everything up there, set up an address with a relative, child, or trusted friend that you can use for "US only based thinking" entities.  To actually get your mail here you can check out iShop (most expensive,) HandyMail and Sol y Luna (less expensive.)  But don't expect to be able to use those Laredo addresses for certain banking institutions or to maintain a US drivers license.

Next, when you return home, set up an online investment + debit card account with Charles Schwab.  You don't have to keep anything in the investment account, but it is a requirement to set that one up first, then you do the debit card account second.  Their debit card is the ONLY one left now that you can use at any ATM in the world without the 3% foreign transaction fee or any ATM fee charged by the machine.  They rebate the machine fees to your account at the end of each month.  After you complete the first application online, they will call you to do a person-to-person interview.  DO NOT EVER tell them you are moving to Mexico permanently!  That just freaks out most US banking and investment firms and many will actually cancel your account on the spot or stop the interview at that point once you've "let the cat out of the bag."  Likewise never say this to your established US banks or credit card companies.  Just say you're retiring and want to travel, that you've heard that their card is the ONLY one to have because of the fee rebates and that you're excited to become a customer of theirs.  You must give them the US address you want to use.  If your current address will be good for the immediate future, use that one to receive your card and statements.  After a couple of statements you can go paperless.  When your old home address is no longer good, just change it to the other US address you're going to keep for such matters.  They will rarely if ever send you anything to that address and will use email instead.  If you ever lose your card here, they will FedEx or DHL a new card to iShop via their Mexican address for you and you don't even have to have a box there to receive this kind of a mailing either.  If that happens, remember you were "on vacation" here.  You must also link your account to a checking account in a regular "brick and mortar" bank in the US, so once again the importance of maintaining your old account up there.

The other card to have USED TO BE CapitalOne360 however all of the Banorte ATM's that were on their shared Allpoint system have been removed from Lakeside so it would only be good at certain locations in Guad, so not as great anymore.  As a back up debit card however, CapOne360 is still one of the best as they don't charge the 3% fee, you would only get hit with the ATM fee.  That ends up being negligible if you use CIBanco in Laguna Mall by the theaters that charges only $17.80 pesos or about $1 US per transaction AND that machine will let  you take out up to $20,000 pesos in one withdrawal as long as you set your daily limit with CapOne360 above $1,125 US (at the current exchange rate.)  The routine for setting up the CapOne360 account reads exactly the same as the Schwab script above...you're also phone interviewed, traveling in retirement not "moving out of the country," have a valid residential US address, and a linking bank for the account.

Some people will tell you NOT to open a Mexican bank account here and will repeat a story about difficulties with them when some bad charge appeared. That is a possibility if your card gets hacked or skimmed.  You can make that decision for yourself and your needs later after you've been here a while.  I found it very handy to have one when I did construction here and use my Bancomer debit card for cash rebate purchases at Costco in Guad and for making cash deposits into my account at the ATM.  I use my Bancomer gold credit card often for all many other transactions weekly, it's accepted everywhere they have a terminal, it's PIN protected unlike US cards, and I get points to use on any purchase I want to.  I pay my utilities online with it by autopay but you can do it in person or manually online too.

Hope this helps.

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Hello

A couple of follow ups to your response. Thank you for all the information. We have a Fidelity account any idea if that works well there? I am doing research but I think you can get a ATM with them and a checking account possibly. We have a few years to figure this out but wanted to ask. 

I didn't realize the need for a US address and will work on that. Is that also to keep your US drivers Liscense in good standing? We will be there in Feb to check out a lot of different areas and hope to continue to get suggestions and advice from those who have been there for a while. 

 

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I have a Fidelity cash management account and have used their VISA debit card to withdraw pesos from ATMs here for years.  They also refund all local ATM bank's fees.  There is a 1% foreign transaction fee when using the Fidelity VISA debit card.

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19 hours ago, PeggyO said:

Hello

A couple of follow ups to your response. Thank you for all the information. We have a Fidelity account any idea if that works well there? I am doing research but I think you can get a ATM with them and a checking account possibly. We have a few years to figure this out but wanted to ask. 

I didn't realize the need for a US address and will work on that. Is that also to keep your US drivers Liscense in good standing? We will be there in Feb to check out a lot of different areas and hope to continue to get suggestions and advice from those who have been there for a while. 

 

Sent you a private message.

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