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The Five Year Plan


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RVGringo, please forgive my curiosity. I could probably find the whole story on the forum, but it would be great to include a cliff notes version in this thread, which maybe could be a whole primer for those who are interested in this path.

Are you back in the States? What made you go back? Was it hard to re-enter the States after adapting to Mexico? 

Inquiring minds want to know. (I studied journalism at Ark, Go HOGS!) It's my nature.

Namasakan

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Such negative comments of Mexican people. All a gated community does is give you a false sense of security. A community does not have to gated to be regulated.

As someone who lives in a  gated community, I must say that that if I told my Mexican neighbors that you think they are a cancer on society they would laugh at you.  There is a lot to be said about no

IMSS does not "rule out" pre-existing conditions.  Rather it applies a waiting period during which they are not coverd.  IMHO if you're going to live here dump Medicare part B, part A is no-cost.

Other points. With a temporary resident permit you can bring your nearly dead car here (perfect for local driving so you won't cry when it's dinged) and keep it for 4 years without paying more than the duty they charge coming across the border. That amount (mine was around $200) is, in theory, refundable when you take it back out, although I've never met the person who managed to get that deposit back. I brought mine with a trailer containing things I really wanted, most of which proved to be irrelevant. However, don't count on the cost of replacement being lower here. The second hand stores often charge prices that are not consistent with US thrift stores. You need to look at your stuff, think, have I used this in the last 2-3 months and if the answer is no, give it to charity, sell it locally or gift a deserving relative. Most electronics are more expensive here. At the end of 4 years I took car and trailer NOB and donated them to charities. They cost me very little while here (you can buy new tags easily from South Dakota which is why there seem to be so many from that state) and the insurance was minimal. After 4 years, if you choose to stay and become a permanent resident you will need to buy a Mexican plated car. Driving down through Nogales from your location is simple and can even be enjoyable. Choose the time of year to avoid desert heat-even if you're used to it, your car will suffer as there's lots more desert in Sonora/Sinaloa. Then up through the mountains to Lake Chapala. Very nice and I'm sure I'll miss the lake when I move, but not the influx. Good luck!

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8 minutes ago, IMBurnen said:

That amount (mine was around $200) is, in theory, refundable when you take it back out, although I've never met the person who managed to get that deposit back. 

It’s a moot point with respect to this discussion, but I have never NOT gotten my deposit back when cancelling it at the border. That must be 20 times over the years including as lately as this summer.  Mostly within 3-4 business days. YMMV

 

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On getting rid of your stuff, and this is the voice of one who has had many moves:  Don't bother doing garage sales.  It's not only a bad financial plan, but it's humiliating.  Find your local estate auctioneer, let him load up your stuff and all you'll have to do is cash the check at the end. They get rid of things at a better price than you probably can.

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28 minutes ago, gringal said:

On getting rid of your stuff, and this is the voice of one who has had many moves:  Don't bother doing garage sales.  It's not only a bad financial plan, but it's humiliating.  Find your local estate auctioneer, let him load up your stuff and all you'll have to do is cash the check at the end. They get rid of things at a better price than you probably can.

Be careful with the auctioneers. Some of them charge a high fee. I was in the same position about a year ago. With the stuff I had, I donated my stuff and wrote it off my taxes. Don't forget, a good place to donate is churches.

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Make sure you take a good look at Medellin. Their free medical system is outstanding, their public transportation is among the best in the world. At a population of around 150,000 it has that perfect blend of big city (culture,art, etc) and small town, where people recognize you and say hello. To my ear Colombian Spanish is much easier to learn and understand. If you wander into the outskirts you will find plenty of bargain rentals, especially on the hillsides, which are serviced by low cost gondola rides. I must warn you though, that this based on my research only - i have never traveled or lived there.

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Cactus Jack:

Below I am posting a link to Sonia's web site.  Read this for the information on what is needed to qualify for Visas, whichever is of interest to you,

Temporal or Permanente.  You should know up front whether your not you can qualify.

http://www.soniadiaz.mx/immigration---visas.html

Now as to what to bring, different matter completely.  The right answer is "it depends" on you and what your lifestyle is and what is important to you.  Many things are easily replace and some not.  What items do you use the most that you would really miss not having or you would mind if they were of worse quality? Once you know that then you can ask, which of those can be purchased here easily and how the quality is.  I am not saying everything is of poor quality here, but some things are and some things are equal.   There is not one answer for everyone.

I will say it is not worth bringing any furniture here. 

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Bring your tools and kitchen stuff.  The furniture here is a lot better than 10 years ago and you can often have stuff custom made at a great price.  We have bedroom and office furniture from Luis at Mexico Rustico and it is excellent.  If you want a fancier finish than he does, easy to order unfinished and then have a local expert do the finish you want.

10 years ago we shipped an entire household of furniture here and even then it was very expensive.  I can't imagine what it would cost now.

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There is always the possibility that you will not be happy here for one reason or another. We hedged our bets by putting our "stuff" in storage for one year. One year later, we went back for another reason and gave it all away... couldn't even remember what was in the boxes to be honest. Still, the rental of the storage unit was cheap insurance. YMMV. And that was 21 years ago.

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On 10/8/2017 at 7:42 PM, Ferret said:

There is always the possibility that you will not be happy here for one reason or another.

Always. :(

It's fun to imagine this event happening in the future, and five years seems like a long way off, but experience has taught me it will be on our doorstep sooner than we know. My goal (plan, hope) is to be ready by doing something every day. 

Some people are saying the housing availability in Ajajic is shrinking fast and overall cost of living is going up fast. Like everything else, things ain't like they were in the old days. (They never were like the old days, even in the old days.) I guess we should focus on getting ready for our first vacation to Mexico. The field trip.

What were you all looking for when you decided to go offshore?

 

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On 10/8/2017 at 10:40 AM, Cactus Jack said:

Namaste, gringal! Those are some great tips. One of the challenges we are going to face is letting go of some cherished items. Gives us a chance to practice our mindfulness. It's going to have to be turned on full-power for these almost funereal moments. We'll have to focus on stuff like going to thrift stores. :)

One of the things I like about the ex-pat author, John Sherber, is his idea of reinventing oneself. Terrie and I have only been together a few years. Both of us has decades of crust forming over us. I failed to reinvent my outside when I put on robes, but did when I moved to Las Vegas, played poker for a living, and became a dealer. This will be part of the fun. We can discover who we really are.

I find that sometimes the memories that go along the cherished items are more important than the item itself. For myself, just a pic of the item was enough to bring back the memories. And a lot easier to move.

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23 minutes ago, RVGRINGO said:

Offshore?  That is when I bought an old schooner and set off upon the worlds oceans.

To get to Mexico, we just got in the car.

:lol:

I first became interested in retiring outside of the US several years ago. I was thinking at that time about starting a monastery in Costa Rica, when I was still a monk. One of the sites I most frequented was called Boomers Offshore. They were a couple who were laid off during the 2008 financial crisis, too young for Medicare, but too old to start over. So they shipped off to Costa Rica. (With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, they returned to the US.) Their adventure was well-documented and still available, I think. I believe the term "offshore" is used by the finance community as well as the sailing community. (I thought like you did, too.)

All this to say, my writing got too fancy.

:)

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We, being Canadians, were looking for a warmer climate in the winter but temperate enough that neither air conditioning (in the summer) nor heating was going to be a major factor in the finances. Those were the reasons we came. We stayed because of the warmth and friendliness of the Mexican people and the adventures around every corner.

 

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My husband and I are planning to relocate in the spring, and I have been on this board sporadically (I have a learned a lot, and I highly recommend browsing back in time and reading what interests you, because you will get questions answered that you wouldn't think to ask . . .). We visited in the summer and I am on Facebook, where you really see the magnitude of the influx this year.  So I would say housing has gone up a lot just this year. It's hard to predict how many will stay (some seem awfully unprepared, but that works for some people) and whether the rate of influx will stay steady.  This could either be the start of the long-predicted Baby Boomer flight, or it could be an election bump.  Over 5 years, you will see what happens. We are coming to Chapala (the town) first, where we've already made some friends - but I am also planning on considering other places once we've made that first transition.  Specifically, Morelia, Queretaro, Guanajuato, and Tequisquiapan.  But there are some wonderful people in the Lake Chapala area, so it's hard not to consider it "home" after just one trip.

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On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 10:05 AM, Cactus Jack said:

Good morning, all. My name is Don and my wife is Terrie. I'm 62, she is 60. We live in Las Vegas where I am a blackjack dealer and she's an office manager. Neither of us has a pension. SS is it for us. Maybe we'll hit $2k a month by the time we retire. Maybe. Like a whole lot of Americans, and we're the vanguard of the new normal, we are going to face a very meager retirement. Assuming we stay in LV, we are looking at a severely reduced lifestyle. So, the search for a retirement home begins. We can use all the advice we can get, and from extensively reading this wonderful message board, no doubt there is much wisdom here.

Our plan is a five year plan, to downsize, visit places, and get our minds ready for the move. Terrie wants to do art of some kind; I would like to teach people meditation. I was a Buddhist monk, and feel I can help people improve their lives. Where?

I've narrowed it down--without actually seeing the places--to three, maybe. Ajijic, San Miguel de Allende, and Medillin, Colombia. My plan for next year is to fly into Guadalajara and drive down to see you guys, then over to San Miguel--the northern route. 

We're very psyched about finishing our lives with one last great adventure. Perhaps over the next few months we'll make a lot of friends here. Your generosity is what we're looking for, as it has become short on supply in the US these days. Life is better when you have something to look forward to.

Namasakan, y'all.

Thanks,

Don and Terrie

I don't seem to know how to quote just a piece of this. Anyway, I'm in the same boat. I'm covered by interest income and SS (I am semi-retired), but I have to keep my business running to stay afloat.  I have done everything but backflips to explore downsizing in U.S. Can't do it. I rent a single family house in Tucson, but at $900/month, it's steep and that would be considered cheap anywhere else. Hawaii, forget it; $900 wouldn't get you a dirty closet. Puerto Rico just got spoiled.  Better think long and hard about Colombia. Good forum for it on ExpatExchange. I was about to give up on Mexico, too, but I found this website having rentals/sales all over Mexico at apparently non-tourist rates: https://vivaanuncios.com.mx.. I am exploring the site because expats have driven up prices everywhere, including Chapala.

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5 hours ago, seoulguy said:

I don't seem to know how to quote just a piece of this.  Highlight and then click the little "quote" box.

Well, it would be interesting if the Chapala folks would contribute. This could be very informative to people like us.

This in a way reminds me of "gentrification," a term I first heard in the mid-80's in Chicago. Where there more money flowing in following the locals, everything goes up. We've seen it a lot, several times, in Las Vegas. Everything comes in waves, and it's hard to predict the future, given our experience with 2008. So where do we go from here?

Are there areas away from Ajijic to pioneer? What are you guys hearing from people who are moving down? Are they more flush than those of us on SS? Duh, okay, how much? :D

Those of us with limited resources value the free advice, esp the honest opinions that have weighed both sides.

Best wishes

PS: Just announced, SS will rise 2% next year, the first cola rise since 2012. That will help a lot of folks.

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31 minutes ago, Cactus Jack said:

Well, it would be interesting if the Chapala folks would contribute. This could be very informative to people like us.

This in a way reminds me of "gentrification," a term I first heard in the mid-80's in Chicago. Where there more money flowing in following the locals, everything goes up. We've seen it a lot, several times, in Las Vegas. Everything comes in waves, and it's hard to predict the future, given our experience with 2008. So where do we go from here?

Are there areas away from Ajijic to pioneer? What are you guys hearing from people who are moving down? Are they more flush than those of us on SS? Duh, okay, how much? :D

Those of us with limited resources value the free advice, esp the honest opinions that have weighed both sides.

Best wishes

PS: Just announced, SS will rise 2% next year, the first cola rise since 2012. That will help a lot of folks.

Thanks. I highlighted, I hit quote, and nothing happened.  The quote begins "Are they more flush....." First, I am familiar with LV by having lived in the Trop to Harmon/Paradise Road area, mostly traveling to UNLV campus.  I have a mailbox on Rainbow Blvd. Anyway, I have SS and trust interest and business income, am single and have a hard time making ends meet. So, I'm wondering what kind of budget you would propose for SS alone. And I wouldn't get too excited about the 2% COL. If you were on Medicare, it would be eaten up fast, and watch whether politicians start broaching the possibility of overall cuts to SS. And speaking of Medicare, you'd pay for A/B, but you couldn't use either as a perm/temp visa holder in Mexico. It'd be IMMS, but virtually all pre-existing conditions are ruled out, or Seguro Popular.

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IMSS does not "rule out" pre-existing conditions.  Rather it applies a waiting period during which they are not coverd.  IMHO if you're going to live here dump Medicare part B, part A is no-cost.

9 hours ago, seoulguy said:

I don't seem to know how to quote just a piece of this. Anyway, I'm in the same boat. I'm covered by interest income and SS (I am semi-retired), but I have to keep my business running to stay afloat.  I have done everything but backflips to explore downsizing in U.S. Can't do it. I rent a single family house in Tucson, but at $900/month, it's steep and that would be considered cheap anywhere else. Hawaii, forget it; $900 wouldn't get you a dirty closet. Puerto Rico just got spoiled.  Better think long and hard about Colombia. Good forum for it on ExpatExchange. I was about to give up on Mexico, too, but I found this website having rentals/sales all over Mexico at apparently non-tourist rates: https://vivaanuncios.com.mx.. I am exploring the site because expats have driven up prices everywhere, including Chapala.

The prices of real estate may be up but they're not yet at the level they were in 2005/6.  There's plenty of affordable housing here.

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1 hour ago, El Saltos said:

IMSS does not "rule out" pre-existing conditions.  Rather it applies a waiting period during which they are not coverd.  IMHO if you're going to live here dump Medicare part B, part A is no-cost.

Things may have changed, but I was certainly flat out refused, and so was my Mother, for IMSS, because of relatively minor pre-existings. No waiting period; rather, don't ever bother trying again.

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