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Gringal

Mar 12, 2007, 2:19 PM

Post #1 of 34 (4579 views)

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Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Every time we get on the subject of cost of living SOB vs. NOB, some expats' input includes costs that only occur if you have one foot in Mexico and the other NOB. In other words, we are talking about different fruits and vegetables. Many lists include all sorts of things that are purely optional and only occur when a person is "straddling". As a for instance, auto insurance for both places. Two medical insurance policies. There's an invisible bungee cord attached to the U.S. "just in case". And, not surprisingly, most expats go back within the first two years. That's okay. People need to do what makes them comfortable.

Personally, we plunked both feet in Mexico when we moved three years ago and haven't been NOB since. We buy plane tickets for financially challenged offspring, and the rest of our friends have been happily visiting us. Besides, we've already seen their digs. We will live and die right here. If either of us gets seriously ill, we'll place our hopes in the Guad. medical facilities. Our ashes will be mixed in with the local polvo.

My point is: if your costs are as high or higher SOB than they were NOB, you need to make a distinction between "have to" and "want to" before making any valid comparisons.

We are saving a bundle and living well here on way less in one of the most expensive areas of Mexico. If housing on the coast of California is factored in, the savings are major league. In this mild climate, you don't need lots of heating and cooling, so the higher price of electricity is nearly irrelevant.

I'm referring to full time retirees in this post.

If you're a "snowbird", I assume you can well afford to have you feet dually planted. Hey, if I had to live in the frozen Northland, I'd do whatever it takes to get outta there in the winter.



Septiembre


Mar 12, 2007, 2:57 PM

Post #2 of 34 (4550 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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OK, guilty as charged. We're definitely in the bungee cord bunch. :>)

We're keeping our RV NOB specifically for the 3-4 months of the year we'll be up here getting in some long awaited traveling, like going to Canada and Alaska, visiting family or just chilling on the small ranch we bought in NM. Plus we own an office building in a north suburb of Dallas which we'll want to keep an eye on the mangement company. Of course the good thing about that is that it is so easy to fly up from Guad. to DFW.

So I wouldn't call us snowbirds but we definitely won't be full timers either. However, when we get our fill of traveling NOB in five years or so, we'll probably be settling in Lakeside. There simply is no climate NOB other than Southern Cal (where my brother's tacky 2100 square foot subdivision house in San Clemente goes for a cool million) that even comes close.

Hey Gringal, you have pictures of the house you're selling posted somewhere? Be fun to see them.


Bloviator

Mar 13, 2007, 5:57 AM

Post #3 of 34 (4467 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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For health and family reasons we travel Nob about every two months. We still live here on 40-50% of our income as opposed to almost 100% when living in San Diego area.

Getting ready to do our taxes. I don't mind US taxes, but am not at all happy to have to pay CA taxes. We don't figure the taxes in when considering our cost of living. I suppose we should.


Gringal

Mar 13, 2007, 9:21 AM

Post #4 of 34 (4419 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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My take on the CA taxes is: is that tax ding going to a permanent one or temporary?
Some people get income from CA pension plans, etc. and are "stuck" with both the income and the taxes. If so, that's cost of living in general, si?


Septiembre


Mar 13, 2007, 9:26 AM

Post #5 of 34 (4416 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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We're dumping our state income taxes by becoming Texas residents. I can believe you are living on 50% less when compared to San Diego. Man, that place is EXPENSIVE! I wasn't kidding about my brother's million dollar jerry built tract house in San Clemente.

Just got an email from Mrs. Seller (of our new house) who says that Ajijic is apparently a riot of color and blooms at the moment. The trees are so shell shocked from the cold winter here they haven't even leafed out yet.

Can't wait!


Bubba

Mar 13, 2007, 10:07 AM

Post #6 of 34 (4405 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I´ll add an unusual twist to this. I have one foot in Ajijic, Jalisco and one foot in San Cristóbal de las Casa, Chiapas and still live much more cheaply than I could in any U.S. state we considered for retirement including the Central Coast of California and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama and Florida. We also considered France but thank God we didn´t go that route with the decline of the dollar to the Euro.

We will live part of the year in Chiapas and part in Jalisco so it is a given that we will go back and forth several times a year. Driving is the most expensive alternative but luxury bus fares are really cheap for us as INSEN Card holders. Also, Aviacsa has some great flight deals if you watch their Tuesday and end-of-month specials. All of this stuff plus our planned travels about Chiapas, Yucatan, Oaxaca and Guatemala is discretionary expense so doesn´t really count. We could take the most luxurious bus several times a year for a few hundred dollars. We have two gas and electric bills, of course but that´s alright since we can rent out each house when we are not there and actually make money since San Cristóbal and Ajijic have different high seasons.

Food is much cheaper in Chiapas than at Lake Chapala. at the local markets and restaurants. At the indigenous market a couple of blocks from my house, fruits and vegetables are almost ludicrously cheap even when they cheat me. Our aggregated annual property tax and water bills don´t amount to a hill of beans and in San Cristóbal, unlike Chapala, senors with an INSEN Card (and maybe without one) get a substantial discount on property taxes and water.

The San Cristóbal property market is hot with speculation right now so one would have to be cautious in buying, do considerable homework and probably learn Spanish first. However, I believe one could find a very nice house in the historical center for less than $4,000 Pesos a month.In the not-so-nice burbs, one can rent for very little money indeed. In nearby Tuxtla Gutierrez, a much underrated and dynamic city (if a bit on the hot and humid side) , one could rent a newly constructed luxury apartment for $3,000 Pesos and up.

I just turned 65 and my wife just turned 60 and today I am renewing our ING major medical policy with Jesus Tejeda. The premium has substantially increased to the aggregate amount of the equivalent of $260US a month. That pays for unlimited luxurious major medical care anywhere in Mexico plus up to $50,000US for emergency medical anywhere in the world. We could get by on IMSS for way less per year.

Unlike Dlyman, I cut all ties with California so am not obligated to pay their exhorbitant state income tax.

I don´t know what it costs us to live here because it is so cheap compared to any other place we considered retiring to that I´ve never had to worry about it even with two houses 1,400 kilometers apart.

By the way, I know people who live quite well even in San Miguel de Allende for very little money. You´ll never know without living here.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 13, 2007, 10:11 AM)


Bubba

Mar 13, 2007, 10:59 AM

Post #7 of 34 (4388 views)

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Re: [Septiembre] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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We're dumping our state income taxes by becoming Texas residents. I can believe you are living on 50% less when compared to San Diego. Man, that place is EXPENSIVE! I wasn't kidding about my brother's million dollar jerry built tract house in San Clemente.

Just got an email from Mrs. Seller (of our new house) who says that Ajijic is apparently a riot of color and blooms at the moment. The trees are so shell shocked from the cold winter here they haven't even leafed out yet.


That obscenely expensive real estate market in California is one reason I and many others I know retired early and had the cash to buy here. Your brother should get out of that place as soon as possible except that the real estate market in L.A. may be a bit soft right now. If he can actually cash out $1,000,000US and invest conservatively, he can live here very well on that.

Indeed Ajijic is a riot of color now, especially since the jacaranda trees are so stunningly beautiful but I´ve got news for you (you may know this), this town is always a riot of color 12 months a year. This especially impresses me now that I come and go here. Everytime I return to my garden here I am taken aback by the flowers, songbirds and the fact that our citrus trees give us about four crops a year at least.





(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 13, 2007, 10:59 AM)


Septiembre


Mar 13, 2007, 3:01 PM

Post #8 of 34 (4333 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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You're absolutely right Bubba and I told him that but he ain't listening at the moment. Once we get moved down, we're going to have him down and let him see first hand what he's missing.

As for the rest of your post, we are raring to go. We'll be down in two weeks and really looking forward to the all too brief stay. Just gotta get rid of this big house up here. We are working night and day on that one.


sparks


Mar 13, 2007, 6:25 PM

Post #9 of 34 (4299 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Unlike most I've taken on a Mexican family making a total of 7 of us. I find we can all live well on what I spent on myself in the States. Of course living well is relative but I've always lived simply even when making good money up north.

Except for a few start-up costs (family issues) and buying new appliances ... my bank account stays pretty stable on an income of about $1700us. Anything similar up north I assume would cost 3-4 times that much. And I'm renting a place that would cost me 3-4 times as much up north.

5 kids growing up and going to school costs money and we live on the coast where I need AIR in the summer. Even with that my budget seems to be working.

Lots of people living fancier than me here but I'm not missing anything or really interested .... just like up north, up north, up north. Life is good

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


cristalhombre


Mar 13, 2007, 9:33 PM

Post #10 of 34 (4254 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I'm quite sure we will always be a "straddlers", "dual citizens", "migration animals"......call it what you like. Way toooooo much to enjoy in Ajijic in the winter months when Portland/Vancouver is a grey and damp. However, you could not ask for a more exciting and beautiful city than Portland May thru October.

It's a perfect weather and cultural shift for us. Sure it costs more, but we don't really live the "gringo" lifestyle (translated......having a lot of crap). We live on the cheap for most things (we limit our "wants" with ease). As an example we don't have TV at either house. No interest. When I tell my friends I have never watched the Simpsons, they look at me like I'm an alien. Tienes no coche en Ajijic.......... I really prefer to walk and bus around.....that is not an economic decision as much as I hate the traffic issues, and why should I add another car to the problem.

Personally, I could not imagine living either place full time.............................. but then I get bored easily, and have no desire to be part of the garden club on Tuesdays and domino group on Thursdays........etc.

Not really complaining........just an observation.





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."


morgaine7


Mar 14, 2007, 1:53 AM

Post #11 of 34 (4232 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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"Bungee cord" is my favorite metaphor, too. Family ties in my case, specifically my elderly mother, or I'd visit the US seldom if ever. Yet while estimating retirement expenses, I discovered that about 33% of my 2006 net income went for trips to North America. Here in Egypt my employer pays housing expenses, and my earned income is IRS-excludable. But my retirement income won't be, and at least until I finish remodeling and furnishing my Mexico home, non-travel COL will be higher there than here. Talk about manzanas y naranjas!!

I've lived outside the US for the past 25 years. But after closing on my house in BCS, I asked my brother in Ohio what I could have bought in that area for the same price. He thought a minute and said: "Maybe an SUV like Paul and Kathy's?" I'm not moving to Mexico just because it's affordable, but that was a big wake-up call.

To underscore Gringal's excellent point about "have to" and "want to", the balance can shift with retirement as well as with relocation. When you stop working and transplant yourself at the same time, expectations tend to get pretty fuzzy. I've caught myself projecting "must-haves" for retirement that I've done without during my entire lifetime, maybe because I feel I've somehow earned them? Dangerous way of thinking when venturing into a new life on a limited income. I'm trying hard not to underestimate the costs of my needs, at least.

Kate


Bloviator

Mar 14, 2007, 6:36 AM

Post #12 of 34 (4207 views)

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Re: [Septiembre] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Interesting take. True the jacarandas are in bloom - but will get better - but I'm waiting for the real color to come. This is only the start. I love the fact that there is always some color and at times it gets really spectacular. My favorites are the brilliant yellow trees. They are getting there, but still have a ways to go to be truly blossomed out. And of course, the hills are at their absolute worst. By July they will be a beautiful green as opposed to the mud grey now.

CA prices are going down a little and may go down a good deal more soon. My wife's son and son-in-law are truck drivers, moving construction equipment. They say that construction is way off and getting worse. A friend who is a fairly large developer says the same thing.

Of course, that may only increase the demand for resale homes, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Of course, if the housing market in CA and other high price states goes south, that will have an impact on our market here. Good or bad, the prices and demand may go down here also.


pat

Mar 14, 2007, 6:37 AM

Post #13 of 34 (4209 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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"If he can actually cash out $1,000,000US and invest conservatively, he can live here very well on that."

Bubba, what kind of cash stream (to offset living expense, not gross return on investment) is realistic for a 1M investment? 3 to 4%? I guess it depends somewhat one's age too, doesn't it. The older you are, the more you may be able to withdraw without running out of money before you pass one.

Pat


Gringal

Mar 14, 2007, 8:11 AM

Post #14 of 34 (4185 views)

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Re: [pat] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I'm sure Bubba will chime in on this one, but my handy calculator produced the following results from punching in a mil and multiplying by the 4.5% available in an insured money market account. This is $45,000 income (not compounded) per year or $3750 per month. If a person can't live on that in Mexico, they have money management problems. If, in addition, they have some sort of other income such as SS or a pension, they are rolling in clover.
This is especially true if their feet are planted in Mexico.


Bubba

Mar 14, 2007, 8:54 AM

Post #15 of 34 (4165 views)

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Re: [pat] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Interesting question Pat.

In 2000, we freaked and got completely out of the stock market just in time. We went to Schwab and invested in a combination of laddered blue chip corporate bonds and CDs. At that time, we were able to achieve a melded rate of 7.0% which, on a million dollars at simple interest would be a cool $70,000 a year which is really good money for down here. Thank God we laddered our investment maturities because the yields would have dropped to a melded 2.0 to 3.0% a few years later otherwise but if one owns one´s house or has reasonable rent, one can still live quite well on $20,000 to $30,000 a year down here. Now yields are around 5.0% which is a decent return.

I´m not saying we had a million dollar nut ourselves, just pointing out that it´s crazy, in my opinion, to sit in a tract home in Southern California with a million dollar equity (as stated in the above example) rather than sell and get you butt down here for the daily sound and light show in paradise. As Dlyman points out, you also risk a downturn in the real estate market and a lost opportunity. It already may be too late in many places.

Keep these things in mind. The real estate market may keep going up over the long term but housing recessions always are in the wings and often last for years and then you are stuck in that tract home. I started in banking in Southern California in 1966 when there was an extreme glut in San Fernando Valley homes and condos that took years to overcome. And I saw this happen over and over between then and 2000. Bear in mind also, that there will soon be a major national scandal involving the vast industry in securitized marginal mortgage loans. In anticipation of this coming scandal, the so called "liar" loans and negative amortization, 100% of cost loans are disappearing. That is going to zap the California real estate market big time - at least for a while, I predict for years.

I, as an ex-bank regulator, always hated those wild-assed home loans that fueled the obscene housing boom in California over the past few years. Then, in 2001, I sold my house in the California Wine Country for an outrageous price to an unemployed lawyer when she got some very creative financing she, in the long run could not afford. All this "creative" financing was completely based on the false assumption that lenders would be covered by constantly increased housing prices and demand. Who says bankers aren´t incredibly stupid?

Incidentally, that was a one bedroom house on seven acres out in the boonies. You couldn´t give that house away for the price we got in 2001. This is why I say, sell the goose and run to Mexico with that golden egg before the goose dies.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 14, 2007, 8:59 AM)


Gringal

Mar 14, 2007, 9:50 AM

Post #16 of 34 (4141 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Amen to that. My own silly joke about 2000 is that it was the year we made an effective 26% on our money by pulling out of the market in time.

What I think happens to people NOB is that they actually get used to the obscene cost of housing and living up there. For instance, the "poverty level" in the Monterey Bay area is defined at around $56,000 a year. Sitting in Mexico, that seems like more than adequate income.

The biggest problem in moving to Mexico isn't about the money, anyway. It's about moving out of one's cultural comfort zone. That is not easy. It is rewarding, however.


pat

Mar 14, 2007, 11:22 AM

Post #17 of 34 (4119 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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"I'm sure Bubba will chime in on this one, but my handy calculator produced the following results from punching in a mil and multiplying by the 4.5% available in an insured money market account"

To Bubba, Gringal and everyone..... This discussion is much more valuable to someone thinking of moving to Mexico than the standard response of "it depends on your lifestyle" qualifier that is so often given. Thanks for your candor.

I certainly understand that the amount it costs to live in Mexico DOES depend on your lifestyle, but it is nice to hear a specific dollar amount thrown out, from time to time. If $45,000 will provide a comfortable lifestyle there (I know, it depends on your specific lifestyle), then the comments I keep hearing about it being as expensive to live in Mexico as in the USA or Canada can't be correct....can they? There is no way you could live "comfortably" here on that amount. You might get by, but not comfortably. But then, don't forget what you used to pay in state income taxes (some of us, anyway), home insurance, property owners fees, professional association fees, business expenses, life insurance, home mortgage, etc., etc., some of which you may not have in Mexico. I think some folks forget to subtract these and similar items from the equation when they compare pre-retirement living NOB to post-retirement living SOB, and simply compare the cost of a can of campbells soup in the USA to a can in Mexico. Someone on one of these boards said the real way to compare the cost of living in various locales around the world was to compare (in your home-country currency) how much it cost to buy a bottle of beer in the local bar. Works for me... after about the 4th beer, anyway.

As an interesting exercise, as I approach retirement age, I have just compiled a comprehensive spreadsheet that shows where every penny of my income has gone for the full year of 2006. I then subtracted (conservatively) all the costs associated with living in my state (income tax) my neighborhood (property association fees), all business expenses, mortgage expenses, and other costs I will not have in retirement... I then computed what my Federal Income Tax will be based on my retirement income, SS income and investment income. It is pretty easy to see then if you can come close to maintaining your present lifestyle, in your present location, in retirement. It is an exercise I recommend to everyone thinking of retiring in the near future, whether retiring to Mexico or not. The question most of us still have, however, is "... and how far will that amount of money get me in Mexico." Here is where this and similar threads can help us tremendously.

Geting back to the topic of withdrawing money from investments to provide for living expenses, I have often read that 3-4% annual withdrawal will pretty much assure you don't run out of money before you pass on. If this is indeed a good number, I would want to be making somewhat more than that to insure my investments at least kept pace with inflation over time. I do intend to live another 30 years, after all.... well, ok. Maybe 10 or 15, at least.

Very helpful thread... thanks again.

Pat


Gringal

Mar 14, 2007, 2:08 PM

Post #18 of 34 (4085 views)

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Re: [pat] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I don't remember if anyone mentioned this, but property taxes are whopping in the U.S., whereas in Mexico they are dirt cheap. Mine are under $200 for the YEAR. Association dues? What association?

Here are a couple of places to get more information on cost of living: www.fallinginlovewithsanmiguel.com has a detailed account of how two women are living in the pricey town of San Miguel de Allende on their combined $2400 a month Social Security income alone. For general information on living in Mexico, be sure to check out www.rollybrook.com.

Whenever I hear the phrase "depends on your lifestyle", my eyes cross at the vagueness. Nevermind the philosophical stance that brings some here to live the kind of bare bones existence of a poor Mexican. This thread isn't about that. To me, a decent expat lifestyle should include a few vacations (though not on the QE2), a few meals out per week, new clothes when the need arises, the ability to entertain on a modest level, put good food on the table and have some part time household help. I started this thread because a huge chunk of many expats' income is going towards maintaining another residence in the U.S. or taking frequent trips there as well as carrying other expenses relating to the U.S. bungee cord. My husband and I are living very well in Mexico, partly because our feet are planted here. That reduces the number of columns in the spreadsheet and saves paper, too.

I'd like to see Bubba get busy on that best seller, too, but lacking that, there is already a wealth of books on the subject. Amazon probably has a shelf full.


jerezano

Mar 14, 2007, 7:29 PM

Post #19 of 34 (4023 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Hello,

Gringal said: >>
.... there is already a wealth of books on the subject [cost of living in Mexico]. Amazon probably has a shelf full.

The trouble with those books is that even if the information was correct at the time of writing, by the time the book is published some 2 years later, the information is now out-of-date. Then too, most of those authors do not live in Mexico but make a swing through here, talking to people and visiting stores, etc. And then, there are those self-serving books that titillate the reader into believing that he/she can live like a King/Queen in Mexico on $500 usd a month.

That is the reason we here on mexconnect.com can be of help to newbies. Our information is current and reliable. Word from the horse's mouth.

Gringal mentions the authors of "Falling in Love with San Miguel" who live there on a joint monthly income of $2400 us dollars a month. That is good information. But the best measure of all is the immigration requirement of 250 X the minimum daily wage in Mexico city--the requirement for your FM3. If a single person, or a couple, can meet that requirement at around $1500 us dollars for a couple, they can live in Mexico City, probably not well, but they can survive there. Obviously in less expensive places they can live better.

Here in Jerez, Zacatecas I have lived as a single for just about 18 years and my monthly expenditures for total cost of living, except clothing which I buy in the USA because of my height and weight and SHOE size, have never exceeded in those 18 years the $2000 us dollar a month mark. Never. And for 17 of those years I have had an assistant who comes daily, cooks breakfast and the comida, cleans the house, washes and irons my clothes, and sweeps the street and waters the plants. I take trips to Los Cocos, to Guadalajara, to Oaxaca, to Veracruz, to Tampico, to Morelia, to Colima, etc., when I want to. And usually a trip to Texas by expensive cuota once every three months. I am now at the age point where I pay a chauffeur on all those trips and because I have the money I also pay lodging and meals for him and his wife to go along if she wants to, which is usual. And I still don't exceed that $2000 us dollar mark.

Now it is true that for the last 6 of those years I am living in my own house which I had an albañil build for me so my current living expenses without rent are a whale of a lot less than before. After all rent is usually the biggest factor in living costs. And it is also true that the construction costs were never included in the living costs reported above. Those costs were over and above and totalled some $33,000 us dollars. Asking prices for houses such as mine, even here in Jerez, are over $100,000 usd.

Nevertheless, a joint income for a couple of $2400 us dollars a month when compared to the required joint income of $1500+- us dollars a month gives the couple some $1000 extra dollars a month to play with. Restaurants, trips, subscriptions to concerts etc.

Could I, or the couple living in SMA, do the same living in the USA, no matter where? Don't even think about it.

Adiós. jerezano. PS: My property taxes this year were $63 us dollars. My water bill is $5 usd a month. My garbage collection is free. My gas.... etc. I also put a bad scrape on the right front door of my car. $70 usd to get rid of it.j


(This post was edited by jerezano on Mar 14, 2007, 8:01 PM)


bfwpdx

Mar 15, 2007, 7:18 AM

Post #20 of 34 (3970 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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This is an interesting thread. I realize that everyone's situation is different and that sometimes these discussion end up in confrontations between competing life stules and values. At the same time, retirement is about selecting options that are morally, personally, financially suited to just you, so its hard to avoid that aspect.

A lot of the issues about finances and so on are general issues about retirement. They affect a person no matter where he/she lives.

One of the things (in hindsight) that worked out so well for us, was to retire and adjust to that before we built our snowbirding nest in MExico. In the 2.5 years that we have been retired (we live in BC which is considered by some to be expensive living) our living costs have slowly reduced to the point where we are now living on about 25 % of our pre-retirment income. I have never been a consumer really, and now it is just really really important to me to eliminate consumerism from my definition of personal happiness. We live up here on a ridiculous amount of money. We are ridiculously happy.

I cannot imagine that we will save all that much when we are living in our winter Mexican home, because we know already that we can live on next to nothing. Nothing before has ever made us feel this free and empowered.

From my experience I would say that taking the time to adjust to post-retirement first (before leaping into the Mexico part of our retirement) is making the transition to Mexico relatively seamless (financially speaking).


thriftqueen

Mar 15, 2007, 5:52 PM

Post #21 of 34 (3895 views)

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Re: [bfwpdx] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I fully agree with your posting. No two people are alike, nor are their living desires and demands identical. The most important thing to realize is that in retirement our needs are totally different than when we were working and out in the "real rat race".

We live in Mexico full time but find no fault with the folks who snowbird. Again, it's a personal choice. We make trips to the USA several times a year and maintain a bring back list of items that we like and would miss if we didn't buy them in the US. That's our choice. We live well on $2,500. USD per month and are happy and all our needs are met. Like Jerzano we built our casa so we pay no rent. Our taxes for this year were 283.00 pesos. Water, sewer, trash pickup 90 pesos per month. Electric averages over a year about $75.00 USD per month. We eat out when we desire to, however simply prefer my cooking at home. We do not feel limited in anyway with our finances. I find our food costs are about the same here as the US (we spend 6 weeks there in the summer and buy food). The fruits and veggies are fast becoming about the same price either place. I make notes and compare just for the heck of it.


jerezano

Mar 16, 2007, 8:58 PM

Post #22 of 34 (3806 views)

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Re: [thriftqueen] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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Hello all,

Here is one of the best reasons I can think of for living in Mexico. It came in the e mail today from my daughter living in Riverside California:

>>>The cruise was a last ditch decision. I really wanted to see Wicked at the Pantages Theater, but all shows were sold out thru the end of Sept and scalpers were charging $485 per seat!!
I was able to make reservations on Carnival to Ensenada - leaving Friday night and returning Monday morning for half that. So, we went! It was a nice weekend get-away. Many activities on board - towel critter lessons, Latin dance lessons, kereoke contests, many entertainment shows and acts, etc...

Adiós. jerezano.


windknot

Mar 24, 2007, 12:51 PM

Post #23 of 34 (3651 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I'm jumping in with both feet, but find my situation different from most. I chose Veracruz, solely for the excellent fishing here. But Veracruz is one of the more expensive places to live in the entire country, even rivaling Cancun with it's exhorbitant hotel district.

Prices here are only slightly (if at all) less than those in So. Florida. Clothes are more expensive, as are soft drinks, of all things. Labor is cheap, but not as cheap as what some of y'all have claimed for your particular locales.

For me the big savings in terms of cost of living is in the taxes and insurance. Homeowner's insurance is debatable in terms of necessity, period. Health insurance can be a fraction of that in the States, and property taxes are likewise. (and I have to pay for the annual commission as well) Here in the States, it's about to add up to 33% of my retirement income....WAY too much! In Mexico it's more like 6%.

This is just my limited experience so far. Not too many here from Veracruz, so input is limited.


Bubba

Mar 24, 2007, 1:38 PM

Post #24 of 34 (3638 views)

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Re: [windknot] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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We looked into Veracruz and can confirm your comments that it is expensive in comparisan to so many places in Mexico attractive to retirees. That´s not what ran us off, however. It was the weather. When my wife, who is from Paris, and I first got married we lived on the Alabama coast for two years before moving to San Francisco . She never forgot that wilting, overwhelming heat and humidity she experienced in Mobile and New Orleans. That also did in Mérida as a choice for us - a town we otherwise love. I reminded her that I was born and raised near the Gulf and one gets used to it after a while. She didn´t buy that so we´re in San Cristóbal as our Southern Mexico choice.

Maybe it was our years in San Francisco. San Francisco with its, shall we say, cool and amenable climate, thins the blood (so to speak) and does one in for heat and humidity. It´s a tad expensive, however.

Why is it these steamy tropical burgs like Veracruz and Mérida are places where people seem to have so much fun and the food is well above average for Mexico? Maybe it´s because it is so hot that,before air conditioning, it was so miserable inside the house that everybody went out and partied until it cooled off a bit. That´s also true in the summer in the south of France.

Veracruz has so much going for it with its Afro/Latin/Caribbean culture and the city is so much more attractive than it was when I first visited it in the 60s. Also, the state has many magnificent attractions from the beaches to beautiful mountains, jungles, lakes, gorgeous towns - you name it.

On our numerous pilgimages from Lake Chapala to Chiapas (God willing), we will be racing through the first leg of our journeys to get to Veracruz state (Fortin de Las Flores will be our goal) so we can take our time and explore it in depth including your new city. You are lucky.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 24, 2007, 1:42 PM)


sfmacaws


Mar 24, 2007, 6:16 PM

Post #25 of 34 (3596 views)

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Re: [windknot] Where are your feet? Cost of Living

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I find homeowners insurance relatively cheap here in QRoo and you might want to reconsider having at least hurricane insurance over there in Veracruz. You get hit fairly often as well. The hurricane insurance paid off with few problems 2 years ago and that year we had 2 direct hits. So, it was more complicated as a lot of the damage (mainly structural) had not yet been repaired from one when the next one hit. That was a bit of a trial to separate the claims but still, they paid for us and for most other people. They paid twice for some things that were replaced after one and ruined again (mattresses, roof tiles) The people who were complaining the most were the ones that were underinsured.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


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