Mar 23, 2007, 9:35 AM
Post #6 of 13
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.)
Re: [windknot] Are You a Living in Mexico? A Last Family Member?
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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)