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PoppaJim
6/13/2019 15:26 EST

My wife and I are in the process of trying to get everything together so that we can relocate from the United States to somewhere in the Antigua area within the next year!

One of the things that have been struggling with is a virtual mail service. I need them to have a location in Texas so I can maintain our drivers licenses and renew them online Etc

After a great deal of research and phone calls I have pretty much settled on "Traveling Mailbox" as my service of choice.

However, before I make any solid decisions and I have a few months to play with I would like to get feedback from any expats currently living in Guatemala that may have used this service and what they thought of it.

Additionally, I am very open to any suggestions on Alternate services that anyone here may choose to offer.

Thank you in advance for your time and responses,
PoppaJim

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Paulo69
6/13/2019 16:03 EST

Hi PoppaJim. Funny you should ask. My husband and I used to live in Houston and have been using a service called USGlobalMail.com since 2014 when we moved to Antigua for a couple of years (we are still living there half time). It costs about $25/month for your whole family.

They take a photo of your incoming mail, which you can view online. For each piece, you can choose to a)Keep it, b)Trash it, c)Scan it, or d) Ship it. They are located in Houston Texas and you can also pick up your mail and packages in person.

Also, if you are looking for a place to rent in the safest and most exclusive area of Antigua (Jacarandas/Gravileas), let me know. I can send you the info.

Good luck to you and your wife.

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PoppaJim
6/14/2019 08:12 EST

Hi Paulo69,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

I did look at USGlobalMail and I will go back and look at it again...
However, in my research there were some things related to the Better Business Bureau complaints that they had received in regards to their pricing structure that left me with some fairly serious concerns.

Apparently, even though their site says that you can and your subscription or change services at any time without any additional cost if you purchased a discounted annual or longer package and decided that you wanted to change to another service for whatever reason rather than give you a refund for the paraded time that you did not use their go back and recalculate the time you did use based on the monthly rate and basically it results in you not getting the refund for the time you didn't use even though you paid for it...

There were several instances of this reported to the Better Business Bureau and none of them ended well for the customer.

But I will go back and revisit the services they have to offer and see if I can find some more current reviews. Perhaps they've gotten better.

As for safest and most exclusive areas of Antigua... Honestly, my wife and I are not looking for exclusivity or gated communities we actually want to live somewhere between 10 and 20 miles outside of the city in a nice little Hacienda with a courtyard but nothing fancy.

We are retiring and looking for a much simpler almost monastic lifestyle where we can wake up to the sounds of wild birds and not traffic, and are actually looking forward to assimilating into a new and local culture. We are not looking to becoming permanent tourists. But rather to embrace Guatemalan Lifestyles and community.

We actually want to move far enough outside of the city proper to an area that's not so heavily trafficked and where the cost of living and housing start to drop because frankly Antigua proper is going to be a little Beyond what we want to spend for rental or mortgage payments, or cost of living in general.

Thank you again for responding I'm hopeful that I can get engaged in active conversations on the forum there's so much that we don't know and so much we need to learn...

We have a couple of contacts but not many and we are planning a 2-week trip later this year to try to find a local lawyer that specializes in immigration to help us get our retirement visas and to start looking at properties...

Our plan is to probably rent for the first year while we look for a permanent residence...

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Paulo69
6/17/2019 11:16 EST

Antigua is definitely getting expensive. Having a small hacienda sounds lovely.

Regarding USGlobalMai, we pay a monthly fee (I think we pay ~$25). Never got a discounted packaged deal and never have tried to cancel but it is good to know about those issues.

Let us know how it goes and whom you end up selecting. I appreciate it.

Paulo

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