replied to the thread Angie and Curt: SMA et al
on the Mexico forum on June 19, 2013:
I agree that the Yucatan is too hot.
I think both SMA and Lake Chapala too gringo-ized.
Try a real Mexican city like Queretaro (with SMA and Pozos nearby) or Morelia (with Patzcuaro nearby) - or on a smaller scale, Tlaxcala: the perfect undiscovered town.
Tlaxcala.. todays temp.
75 high....51 low
lowest crime rate in the country...
2 hours south of Mexico City
Some folks have to acclimatize a bit before going 'native.' Some take a short bit of time while others must take it a lot slower.
replied to the thread San Miguel Allende
on the Mexico forum on June 19, 2013:
We have just returned from Merida, Yucatan and Oaxaca, Mexico and are very excited about the country of Mexico. Both places are wonderful but we would like to know a little about San Miguel de Allende and perhaps pay a visit to learn some more before we decide where to plant our nest.
If anyone has information on San Miguel we would be very appreciative of it.
Angie & Kurt
This is the time that you need to be really honest with yourselves about what you want. It is personal and different for everyone. I can tell you that where I live is where everyone should come to settle but that would be unfair to both of us. Mexican cultures can be found all over Mexico, not just in places that have a handful of expats. This is their country and they do things as they have always done them. Mexico has diverse terrain, something for everyone. What do you want to do after you retire? What climate is best for you? What is your budget? You can find a place that is perfect for you. Do your research and ask questions. Kitt Vincent
Angie & Curt,
Five years ago I had decided I wanted to move to San Miguel de Allende, but then I heard about a little place about an hour and a half away called Tequisquiapan, in the state of Queretaro. I love going to SME every other month or so, because it does have more "American" style restaurants and amenities than Tequis.......which leads to a real problem: I understand ther are as many as 10,000 Gringos in SME, while there are only about 100 in Tequis. Believe me, if you want genuine Mexico, you aren't going to experience it in SME. Real estate is very expensive and priced in UD Dollars, while in Tequis real estate (which is a lot cheaper, but still not real cheap) is priced in pesos. Nowhere in Tequis will you find anything priced in USD and rarely will you find a Mexican who speaks fluent English. I currently live in Tequisquiapan and Kingwood, TX, as business takes me back and forth a lot. I love Tequis and highly recommend you check out both places before deciding. If you want to live among a bunch of Americans, by all means, choose SME. BUT if you want to experience real Mexico and real Mexican people, try Tequisquipan!
replied to the thread Visiting Cozumel
on the Mexico forum on June 18, 2013:
We are coming the last of August to see about moving there June 2014. Any tips?
I know exactly what you mean. It is not like that in the Chetumal area because we are not a big tourist area. When someone asked me a question about Mexico I just tell them the truth because if you don't know you are messed with. That goes for the list too. I am not trying to sell real estate. The people that do gloss over. What you said about Cozomel should be said It has been 13 years since I have been there and it sounds like it has changed a lot. Thanks for the comment.
Aside from the streets immediately closest to the waterfront; MUCH of the town has grafetti & such, even the "best" neighborhoods. it could be even worse, however. if you are divers, all is well. if looking for beach, all the NICE & only worthwhile east coast beaches are hotel owned or beach clubs, where you pay one way or another & quite a HIKE from town. you will need a car, taxi, or serious bike rides to get to these. the west coast generally way too dangerous to swim in due to constant riptides & coral. however, the sea is genuinely CRYSTAL clear anywhere DOWNTOWN, even.
there are several REAL supermarkets to choose from, major banks, etc. two people should b able to live quite affordably.
i decided not to stay there due to grafetti, litter, etc. i also saw a dog purposely get hit by a car. and, no one wanted to help it OR call for any type of help. the owners & locals watched it die like they were watching a soccer match & then were going to just leave it in the street. an upstanding girl & i buried it in the rain.
the war on drugs is a joke. all the cruise shipped in americans constantly asked me where to buy drugs. and, they are always readily available.
rent is cheap compared to canada/ the usa, but try to avoid giving a security deposit, as chances are, 1 creative game or another will partake in you loosing it.
unless you are rich, avoid flying thru cozumel airport; much cheaper to take the cheap yet ok ferry across and bus from cancun airport to the ferry.
these are things you most likely won't see in the guide books... or from travel agents or tourism:)
the local cops, by the way, are GENUINELY good & helpful, my experience, even though most speak NO english.
replied to the thread San Cristobal de Las Casas
on the Mexico forum on June 17, 2013:
i live in ajijic nov-march and have thot often of a visit to San Cristobal de Las Casas.. ? recommendation re lodging and are the local markets only sat and sun?? any advice greatly appreciated. am especially interested in textiles//i sew a LOT. thanks, k
I have been living in San Cristobal for just under six months (I'm making plan to leave for Guatemala this week to "renew" my tourist visa). I love it here!
Most of the markets are open every day, what is sad is that many of the textiles that you buy here are actually from either Guatemala or manufactured from India/China. Not all but a lot. Usually the "shiny" ones are manufactured. You can usually tell if it was made by hand by looking at the back of the textile. There are many shops in the center open every day that have many options available to you, as well.
Lodging: depends on what price range you are looking at. Let me know a price range and I can try to help you out.
replied to the thread Medical insurance
on the Mexico forum:
Seems you need medical insurnace in Mexico or at least medivac insurance as Medicare is not available in Mexico. Any advise?
replied on June 17, 2013 with:
Friends of mine have purchased policies through Boomers-in-Paradise, who offer what I believe are "catastrophic" coverage plans in Mexico. For info, check out: http://boomers-in-paradise.org/
My husband and I have medical insurance in Mexico with MetLife (Mexico), which we have been happy with. My husband was 60 and I was 55 when we qualified for it. If you are over 60 but have a spouse who is younger, you might qualify. Otherwise, I think the cut off is 62 for joining -- however once you are a member, you can stay with Metlife as you age. Also: every big Mexican hospital I have been in actually has a Metlife office on-site, which is very helpful. (Note bene: Be aware that with Mexican policies, it is a common practice to not necessarily give as much information about your health as we all do NOB. We told them EVERY possible pre-existing condition, and were later told that such honesty is unusual.) Our agent is Carlos Gonzales Montes (cell: (333) 677-8677), who works out of Guadalajara. Excellent agent, though he does not speak English.
IMHO: Careful about Medivac insurance. Think it through carefully. My impression is that it is a "false security blanket". Think about it: When is it usable? If time is a factor, as it is in many life threatening emergencies, you might well be better off being treated in Mexico. On the other hand, if the circumstance is less of a total emergency, you might not qualify for the Medivac flight.
If you are young, Mexican medical insurance may be affordable for you, but if you are of retirement age it may not be available, even at higher prices. Ask for quotes from agents and study the policy carefully. Premiums will increase with age and you can choose the deductible amount in many cases.
Many expat retirees self-insure or have US based insurance with their retirement package.
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I live in Tijuana, BC with my husband who is a Mexican citizen. Been here for 1 year. We are waiting for his waiver application to go through so he can return to US legally. We are both in our 50s. I have no latin heritage although I am bilingual . I'm white with green eyes and light brown hair. I was robbed at knife point while walking by myself about 1/2 mile from our home. 2 young guys took my wedding ring, watch, 200 pesos and cell phone. The only thing of value was the ring. My husband was at work and I wanted to get some exercise. Now I listen to my husband when he tells me to wait till he get's home before I go anywhere. There are lots of wonderful people here, especially in the churches. They are very sociable and eager to help in times of need. If it wasn't for our church family and God, I would probably take the next flight out of this place and wait for my husband on the other side. I wish guns were legal here because only the bad guys have guns and they have plenty of them according to the news. When I went to the phone company to report my stolen cell phone, the young lady who attended me said she had 2 cars stolen at gun point. Once after driving home from work at night. 2 gunman surprised her coming out of nowhere as she was getting out of her car to enter the house. Another time was broad daylight. The cars were never found. She is Hispanic, and Mexican citizen. I'm glad I wasn't harmed physically. But aside from material things, my freedom to go out alone was also stolen. Tijuana is only beautiful on the post cards. In reality it is full of garbage everywhere, grafiti and 1000s of stray dogs/cats and all the crap on the streets from them. The irony is it could be a paradise with its panorama of the hills and the ocean and also the wonderful climate that never gets too cold or too hot. (I'm from Michigan.) Mexicans have taken a paradise and turned it into a junkyard. I don't come from rich stock. We are working class and my mother grew up very poor in the 20s (coal miners daughter). But she wouldn't think of dumping garbage down the side of a beautiful mountain, let alone in her own neighborhood. Here it is normal practice. Garbage service only costs 50 pesos monthly ($4.10) My husband makes 900 pesos weekly ($73.77). We have garbage service. Maybe the service is dumping down the mountain too. Who knows?
replied to the thread DO NOT worry cynclem
on the Mexico forum:
If you have a fixed income of $2,000 USD and the ability to make a little more teaching , don't worry...you will be able to live OK. My wife and I have MI CASA ES SU CASA REAL ESTATE
www.micasa-essucasa.com and we meet new arrivals all the time who are shocked at home prices. If you want to buy a home it will cost around $2,000,000 pesos ($150,000 USD more or less - cash). You can rent a decent place in Centro for $8,000 - $10,000 pesos - possibly furnished. We recently rented a very nice home for $15,000 pesos completely furnished. Unfortunately, on your income that one would be out of reach (it's out of mine as well) But, fear not; you will find something you can afford as long as you don't set your standards too high.
Most of the homes being built here are for Mexico City residents as a second or third home. We recently showed one listed for $25,000,000 pesos - and it wasn't even finished yet. My point is ....living in Mexico can be very cheap, IF...you are willing to settle for a simple home or apartment outside the centro district, do not plan to eat out a lot and just live a simple life.
Please do not misunderstand me; I love it here. Tequis is very charming and a comfortable, safe place to live. You will be fine on your income. My personal email is: firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to write me there.
Merida is hot as H--- this time of year. Mostly indoor activity or in-pool activity. A/C....ocean or pool. Otherwise, too hot for touring, etc. I love it here but must say if you can't take tropical, it can be difficult.
jreygringa is the expert for that area. Try to PM her. She was working on a blog about a year ago so I would look for that too. I think that more of the houses have air conditioning available than here on Lake Chapala. Kitt Vincent
replied to the thread Scouting trip
on the Mexico forum:
I just signed up with the group. My wife and I will be coing down at the end of June to check out the coastal towns of the Yucatan peninsula. Quintana Roo and the gulf side.We're looking for a good inexpensive place to hang our hats. Any suggestions?
We are interested in the Chelem are. I will be there on the 27th of this month to check it out.
You might want to research the area around Merida - the beach towns of Progreso/Chelem/Telchac/ and surrounding areas. We are Canadian and have just purchased a condo in Telchac. The area is very popular with ex-pats (Canadian/American/British/Dutch) and the cost of living is very low. A 2 bdrm/2 bath with a pool can be had for about 300USD a month (some much more but you can start there). Just do a search for Progreso -there are many FB groups active - Mexico Amigos!/Canadians in Progreso/Progreso Post-It/Telchac Amigos and probably many more! I find that Mexico Amigos! is both friendly and informative. Just a suggestion - we love the area and will eventually retire there. The people are friendly and the living is easy! Good luck!!
replied to the thread Tourist visa
on the Mexico forum on June 10, 2013:
RVGRINGO, I'm reading on the EHow site that after staying 180 days in Mexico on a tourist visa, you can leave the country for at least 24 hours and come back across the border with a new tourist visa good for another 180 days. Is EHow wrong?
My 180 days end this month. I live 3 hours from the Guatemalan border so I am going to cross there and stay for a couple days for a short vacation, and then come back to Mexico.
I have been told different things about renewing your visa but if you plan on going to Panana or Costa Rica for a few days/week or so, then you shouldn't have any problems returning. Good luck and safe travels to you!
Thanks elsimx. We were thinking more in terms of spending a couple of weeks in Panama and/or Costa Rica before returning to Mexico. Perhaps the authorities would not question this?
replied to the thread Lake Chapala car rental
on the Mexico forum on June 10, 2013:
Any suggestions for renting a car in the Lake Chapala/Ajijic area during 'off season'? rented at the airport 2 yrs ago and it sounded cheap, until they added all the charges - then it was really expensive !
thanks, I'll give him a try !!
replied on June 10, 2013 with:
Try Mark's Car Rentals
He rents older cars with Insurance included
Local in Chapala 765 4341 Mexican cell 333 398 9045
Also consider free e zine
all sorts of Lake Chapala Info.
Tu amigo, Sid