Mexico Connect
Forums  > General > Living, Working, Retiring


windknot

Mar 22, 2007, 11:29 AM

Post #1 of 13 (5932 views)

Shortcut

Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
I ask because I am about to be both, as soon as I make my final move. The house in Veracruz is almost finished, and I'm in Mexico for good.

Most of you have family still in the States, and for you this is no problem. But for someone who is the last living member of their family, things like mail forwarding, and keeping an American address can be a real hassle.

All I have been able to figure out, is to rent a mailbox and have my investment mail and a few other important things mailed there. I can pay my credit card bills on-line, so that's no problem. Once a month or so, the people where I have my box, forward everything to me via UPS priority. Expensive, but the chances of its arrival are better. However, I still worry about the possibility of having my various account numbers floating around the Mexican countryside, since normal mail delivery is so erratic.

I would think it highly advantageous to still have an American address. If there is anyone on this forum who is the last living member of their family, or who does not otherwise have a means of doing so through a family member, I'd really like to hear how you all manage things like mail, taxes, your investment accounts, etc. (Investment accounts are not a problem...it's the mail associated with them that IS.)



Bloviator

Mar 22, 2007, 11:47 AM

Post #2 of 13 (5921 views)

Shortcut

Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Although we have lots of family Nob, we receive all our mail through our Mail Boxes Etc. mail box. They have 55 offices located throughout Mexico. They are quite expensive, $360+ per year depending on the size of your box.

You get a Laredo, Texas address and an address local to the office where your box is located. In our case, San Antonio, Tlayacapan.

Theoretically, we receive our phone bill and other mail sent from Mexico at the local address. We have not seen a phone bill or any other Mexican mail for a long time. It takes about two weeks for Nob mail to get from the sender, through your address in Laredo, to your box in Mexico.

It is not advisable to have anything other than mail sent through MBE, though without family Nob, you may have no choice. Everything they do for you costs. It is almost $2 US to send a letter to the US. Any packages result in large delivery costs and frequently in unrealistic duty charges.

There are probably much better choices, but it is a simple (though expensive) system and in our case, we were unable to get a Mexican post office box in Ajijic when we came here. Others do have such boxes. One friend recently closed his MBE account and opened one at the Mexican Post Office.

In previous discussions, there have been comments that mail sent through the Mexican Postal Service often does not arrive - or arrives very late. Our friend is testing it by sending himself a bunch of letters from Nob (via hand delivery from the Lake Chapala Society informal courier service). So far, he says that the letters are all arriving.


Gringal

Mar 22, 2007, 2:58 PM

Post #3 of 13 (5896 views)

Shortcut

Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
You are not alone in being alone.

We've been here nearly three years and everything that's supposed to get to us, does. We even get our jury summons notices from California as well as voter material. Since the Laredo mailing address is in Texas, we get solicitations from Texas charities and flyers from Texas politicians. They ain't picky.

Like Dlyman, we rented a box here (SMA) like MBE and there is generally less than a week's delay for mail sent and arrived. The fee is high, but avoids some hassles.

Local bills arrive slowly, probably by burro, and sometimes after the due date.


jerezano

Mar 22, 2007, 8:11 PM

Post #4 of 13 (5850 views)

Shortcut

Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hello windknot,

You said:>>I would think it highly advantageous to still have an American address.<<

You are absolutely right. For many uses a mail drop will work. For some other purposes, mainly financial, a residential address is needed. You won't find out for what that residential address is needed until you run into that particular wall.

Oh, many on-line functions require a USA telephone number. I have found that my mail drop number usually works.

With no descendents, no parents or grandparents, you will have to appeal to aunts, uncles, cousins or remote relatives. If not that, then you have to appeal to friends if they will "lend" you their address. And of course that can be dangerous. Well remote relatives can be dangerous too.

Adiós. jerezano.


Jerry@Ajijic

Mar 23, 2007, 9:10 AM

Post #5 of 13 (5799 views)

Shortcut

Re: [jerezano] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
We have a MBE account for incoming mail and magazines. We have a Ajijic post office box for incoming packages. For outgoing mail we use the free (for LCS members) courier service. This generally gets mail to US addresses in about a week. If something is real important we have sent it by UPS which costs about 30.00 USD.


Bubba

Mar 23, 2007, 9:35 AM

Post #6 of 13 (5788 views)

Shortcut

Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
I would think it highly advantageous to still have an American address. If there is anyone on this forum who is the last living member of their family, or who does not otherwise have a means of doing so through a family member, I'd really like to hear how you all manage things like mail, taxes, your investment accounts, etc. (Investment accounts are not a problem...it's the mail associated with them that IS.)

Windknot:

We have lived in Mexico for six years and have no U.S. address - maildrop or other. For a while I used my sisters address in Alabama but I really hate being dependent on even a family member, especially as the years go by and relationships cool. We tried that MBE maildrop in Texas but dropped them after several DVDs we rented from Netflix disappeared.

Finally, we decided to forget sisters and mail drops and notified everyone that we lived permanently in Mexico and that was that. We have FM-2 status and plan to immigrate so enough of that U.S. address business.

Frankly, we donīt really depend on the mails so much anymore as all of our U.S. investments, banking and bill paying are done on line. We pay our local electric and telephone bills through Mexican banks automatically but could probably do that on line now if we wished to do so. We keep a P.O. box in Ajijic but only visit it occasionally. Credit and debit card replacements or renewals are sent to our Ajijic residence by overnight courier by those issuing them and at their expense.

If you are not a U.S. citizen but a resident alien, you may lose any green card you hold but even thatīs no big deal since you can always visit the U.S. on a tourist visa.

I just turned 65 so took Medicare A & B even though the card says my card is good anywhere I live in the U.S. If I need to use Medicare for doctors or hospitalization, I donīt see why I canīt pick the place I want for medical treatment, rent an apartment there temporarily and thatīs my residence until my problems are resolved. I intend to ask the SSA about that to be sure. Frankly, the medical care is so superior in Guadalajara that I would use my U.S. Medicare only as a backup in case I have an insurance problem down here.

The one real problem is that you need to establish your credit card and bank relationships while still in the U.S. with a physical address if you want to be sure to avoid hassles. Thanks to the Patriot Act, the law requires a physical address in the U.S. to open a bank account. If you accounts are already established, this is unlikely to be a problem. The only thing that happened to us with our investment banker is that we had to re-do all the paperwork to indicate residency outside of the U.S. No big deal. In fact we get better service through their Latin American Operations Center than when we lived in the U.S.

As for U.S. income tax filings, we print out forms on line and mail our tax returns to the IRS in Austin. They correspond with us through our Ajijic P.O. box and this has not been a problem. At present you must mail your tax returns from Mexico as the IRS will not accept electronic filings from foreign residents but MBE hasa first class mail service to the U.S. or you may file by sending you returns through DHL, UPS or FedEx if you are one of those last minute guys.

Finally, our social security checks are automatically deposited to our U.S. bank account and if we need to meet with the SSA folks we can do so at the Guadalajara consulate or once a month in Ajijic. The SSA does not care if you live in Mexico or have no U.S. residency status or were there illegally as long as you have earned benefits though payments while working in the U.S.



(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 23, 2007, 9:48 AM)


judithnpups


Mar 23, 2007, 9:35 AM

Post #7 of 13 (5790 views)

Shortcut

Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
USABOX.com is a mail forwarding service that has been working well for us for over a year. They're responsive to our emails and offer a pic of each piece of mail as it arrives with the option to delete what we don't want to have sent. It gives us a Miami, FL address and also offers a US phone number if you need one.
Judith in the DF (formerly in Morelia)


kiskidee


Mar 26, 2007, 11:12 PM

Post #8 of 13 (5669 views)

Shortcut

Re: [judithnpups] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Judith, I'm curious. Is that USABOX.com address in Florida a street address? Or a POB address?

Reason I ask, MBE in San Antonio Tlayacapan has let me down a few times with several mailing transactions AND they're really expensive too. So I'm in the market.

Thanks for the interesting info... I'll probably change over.
http://www.inspirationmotivation.com


judithnpups


Mar 27, 2007, 3:53 PM

Post #9 of 13 (5627 views)

Shortcut

Re: [kiskidee] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
It's a street address. Check out the website. We like them.
Judith in the DF (formerly in Morelia)


kiskidee


Mar 28, 2007, 9:50 AM

Post #10 of 13 (5573 views)

Shortcut

Re: [judithnpups] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Yeah, it looks good, Judith. I think I'll try them out.

Thank you!!

kis
http://www.inspirationmotivation.com


jennifer rose

Mar 28, 2007, 9:57 AM

Post #11 of 13 (5570 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Bubba] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post |
There are many expats living in Mexico who do not have family in the US and who don't use mail forwarding services such as MBE. People got along for years without doing so, and so too do many Mexicans. I'm one of them, and it's not a big deal.


Salimbene

Mar 29, 2007, 9:34 PM

Post #12 of 13 (5515 views)

Shortcut

Re: [judithnpups] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi Judith:
My name is Suzanne. I'll be taking my "fact finding" trip through Mexico at that time to decide if and where in Mexico I'd like to be. When I mentioned that I had considered Morelia but that International Living thought it was a bit too conservative and "cold" , she suggested I contact you. I'm a former New Yorker, and am a strange combination of a "culture vulture" and an avid ballroom and Argentine Tango dancer. I'm stuck in the waste lands of the Mid-West, starving for cultural events, and intellegent conversation! I understand that you are a cello player and have chosen to live in Morelia for the richness of its musical opportunities. Would an American, who does not yet speak Spanish (but fully intends to learn) find it difficult to get around there, meet people, etc? I have lived abroad before (mostly as a married woman). In fact, I have spent almost as much time abroad as in the States!
Question--since I'll be spending 2 weeks, out of my month in Mexico in Guadalajara, and hope to check out Guanajauta, San Miguel and Lake Chapala (I'll probably do the latter in day trips rather than stay there),I'm debating about checking out Morelia too. Would you be willing to give me an idea of what you believe are both the pros and cons of living there?
Suzanne


(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Apr 1, 2007, 3:30 PM)


Gringal

Mar 30, 2007, 9:25 AM

Post #13 of 13 (5473 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Salimbene] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Of the places on your list, San Miguel de Allende sounds like the best fit. Good Spanish course at Warren Hardy school, too.
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4