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mskitty


Apr 22, 2008, 10:13 AM

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Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I have so many questions! Hardly know where to begin.

I'm a single female retiree -- will I encounter more issues than say a single man or a couple?

I'll barely make the income requirements. I'm sure some areas are more or less expensive than others. Where would housing costs be lower? I'd be happy with a studio or 1br, needn't be fancy, but does need to be livable with a bit of comfort and modern conveniences. Any suggestions? I don't necessarily need to be in a gringo community, prefer the inland to the coast, probably. No interest in Baja.

Could I live without a car? A bicycle instead? I do that now, in Eugene, OR. Works great.

Any help greatly appreciated! I know there are many similar threads, but I didn't see these specifics. Thanks!

Kitty



jennifer rose

Apr 22, 2008, 10:58 AM

Post #2 of 50 (8187 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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A single female should not encounter any more difficulties than anyone else.

Mexico's landscape is large and varied. A place like Tuxpan, Veracruz, would be considerably less expensive than San Miguel de Allende or the D.F. The decision to live car-free would depend upon where you land, the availability of public transportation, and your own needs. Planning to get around in places like Guanajuato or Taxco by bicycle would be absurd.


Judy in Ags


Apr 22, 2008, 7:45 PM

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Re: [jennifer rose] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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What kind of climate do you like, dislike?


sioux4noff

Apr 22, 2008, 7:54 PM

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Welcome to the group! By reading as much as you can on Mexconnect, you will see there are many folks here who have lots of different experiences. And most welcome you "picking their minds."
Happy hunting for the perfect place!!!


mskitty


Apr 22, 2008, 8:07 PM

Post #5 of 50 (8125 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Climate preferences: Warm! I'm really tired of being cold. Aside from that -- I'd prefer more tropical to desert, although perhaps not super-hot in the summer. I wouldn't mind being near a beach, but my native Mexican friends tell me I'm much better off being up in higher elevations for year-round comfort. Don't want to be in hurricane country. That's way out side my comfort zone.

Thanks all...I appreciate all views and advice.


tashby


Apr 22, 2008, 8:22 PM

Post #6 of 50 (8119 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Hi,

We just moved from Seattle, and climate is important to us as well. We're focusing on Western/Central Mexico. It's pretty darn hot (and dry, and dusty) here right now, but we know this is the worst time of year here. We won't even consider anything lower than 4000 feet above sea level.

Unless we change our mind!

Happy hunting!


(This post was edited by tashby on Apr 22, 2008, 8:26 PM)


kwschopf


Apr 22, 2008, 8:24 PM

Post #7 of 50 (8117 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Sounds like you need to start traveling! There are many single women living happily in our small community on the Pacific Coast. It is certainly tropical, but in 50 years, only one hurricane has made it through the natural protection of the Bahia de Banderas to make direct landfall. If you are interested in this area, you could travel to Puerto Vallarta and then travel north and south to investigate...there are growing numbers of expats in Manzanillo and Barra de Navidad, and lots of growth north of Vallarta, from Bucerias up to San Blas. We are also originally from Oregon and we have adapted to the humid, warm climate very well. Good luck in your adventure.
Saludos, Karen


mskitty


Apr 22, 2008, 8:40 PM

Post #8 of 50 (8112 views)

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Re: [kwschopf] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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More thanks....and I do hope to get down there for a visit this summer, check out some areas. I have to admit that the coast has always drawn me, for various reasons. I love the beach, I love to sail, I love seafood and sunsets, so much. Really love being on the water. Thanks for the info on hurricanes -- I wasn't sure what the path was down there, although a friend in Mulege got badly flooded in the last couple of years during one. Different area, of course. I was talked into looking inland by well-meaning friends.

What are the realities of summer heat? I'm a native of Georgia, can deal with heat and humidity fairly well.

Kitty


kwschopf


Apr 22, 2008, 9:41 PM

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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In our area (Bucerias, about 12 miles north of Vallarta), temps from late June through mid-October are in the low to mid 90s daily, down in the 70s at night. Humidity in the 90s all the time. It is muggy and uncomfortable, but not unendurable, and we do not use air conditioning. Our house is very well-shaded by numerous large trees and there is almost always an ocean breeze. This will be our third summer, and we actually look forward to it for a number of reasons: the dramatic thunderstorms that occur several nights a week are an adventure, and the rain is not like anything you will ever see in Oregon. The rain comes down in buckets. Everything turns green and lush. The town is quieter without the US and Canadian tourists. It's the time when Mexicans take their vacations, and it's fun to watch the families on the beaches. Then, when you think you can't stand the heat and humidity another day, it changes overnight. You wake up one morning in November to six months of perfect weather. Winter nights, the blanket goes back on the bed and we take showers using hot water. Shorts are put away in favor of jeans. The cool weather arrives just in time for winter baking - high 70s in the day, high 50s at night. This winter, it got a little cool (down to 48 one night). Brrrr. Glad we don't live in the mountains. We are happy where we are....


kwschopf


Apr 22, 2008, 9:46 PM

Post #10 of 50 (8095 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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One more thing, Mskitty - I don't think anyone has recommended this yet. For the lowdown on the nitty gritty, go to Rollybrook.com. Rolly is active on this site, and his web page is a treasure trove of practical information.


jerezano

Apr 23, 2008, 7:40 AM

Post #11 of 50 (8047 views)

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Re: [kwschopf] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Hello kwschopf,

For a warm climate all year long, but not too hot in the summer, a metropolis with excellent health care, a vibrant cultural life, all the "necessities of American style of living" (Wal-Mart, Costco, etc), and of a relative low cost of living try Tepic, Nayarit. Completely equipped rental apartments are available at less than $400 usd a month on a short term rental basis (usually 3 months minimum), and rental houses unequipped at about the same. You can live in Tepic easily without a car, and the buses discount fares for senior citizens. Air conditioning is not necessary but fans are useful. Tepic is inland about an hour from the beach but at an altitude of about 2500 feet or so, and for that reason does not meet the intense summer heat of the beaches. Yet those beaches are easily availabele.

Those cultural events too are reasonable in cost with many being gratis. Tepic has two Universities if you want to continue with an adult education program. Spanish language lessons are easily available and not costly.

Tepic is, as I said earlier, about an hour or so from the beach by secondary bus lines, is about an hour from Guadalajara with oodles of first class buses, has an "international" airport, etc.

I would suggest for a jump into the waters of México you try Tepic for a few months, make exploratory bus trips from there to other places in México (like Bucerías) which might appeal to you, and then decide on permanency.

As for American and Canadian compatriots to help you along there are few but those that do live there are very helpful. They will be glad to work with you.

If interested, PM me and I can put you in touch with an American who has lived in México for more than thirty years with about half in Guadalajara and the other and current half in Tepic.

Good luck. jerezano. PS: The immigration office in Tepic in the past has always been very efficient and helpful with employees who speak excellent English. They used to issue FM3's in one day. j


(This post was edited by jerezano on Apr 23, 2008, 7:46 AM)


mskitty


Apr 23, 2008, 7:43 AM

Post #12 of 50 (8046 views)

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Re: [kwschopf] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Wow! thanks so much to everyone for the great welcome. I feel 'at home' already.

Muchas Gracias!
Kitty


mskitty


Apr 23, 2008, 8:20 AM

Post #13 of 50 (8036 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Wow again. Tepic sounds like a great compromise. It's on my list to check out this summer. I need the relatively low cost of living, and on cursory examination the beaches seem to be costlier.

The plan at the moment [such as it is and always subject to change], is to come down for 2 weeks this summer, check out the various areas. I can't leave Eugene until January or February of next year. For now, plan to go down on a tourist visa for 6 months, check out the areas longer-term, then decide. Y'all are saving me a whole lot of leg-work, and I greatly appreciate that.

Hope to have the chance to meet at some time in the future.
Kitty


JohnnyBoy

Apr 23, 2008, 8:24 AM

Post #14 of 50 (8033 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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MsKitty,

One other little piece of advice that you will eventually come across if you do enough reading on these forums, and that is: choose a place and give it a test drive. Don't lock yourself into anything/anyplace too very permanently too quickly until you are sure of it.

If you are not bringing a lot of stuff with you the first time, I strongly advise coming and staying some place for three months. Then move on to Option #2 and then #3, if you have time and finances to do it.

If you intend to rent in Mexico, be sure to test every faucet, every tap, every electrical outlet, everything. In my experience, once you are in and renting, the landlords don't want to fix anything, especially little things. (In my case, some big things have gone unrepaired for over a year now and will probably never get fixied.) Maybe you are handy and are willing to do some of those little repairs for yourself. If you rent for a while and travel lightly, you can even move again, within the same town or area, if the rental is not completely to your liking.

Come down with bare essentials for six to 12 months and put the place to your tests. Then decide.

Good Luck.


(This post was edited by JohnBleazard on Apr 23, 2008, 10:29 AM)


Gringal

Apr 23, 2008, 9:46 AM

Post #15 of 50 (8007 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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If you want to make it easy on yourself initially, check out the Lake Chapala area. Nicely elevated above the worst of the heat zones, beautiful scenery and only 3 hours from the beach at Manzanillo on a good highway.
Lots of Americans retired there; good facilities and a hour to Guadalajara, it's big city attractions and international airport.

Then, if you're eager to taste the rest of Mexico, head on out. It's a big country and you're about to have a grand adventure.


Yucatanman


Apr 23, 2008, 1:15 PM

Post #16 of 50 (7974 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Johnbleard gives good advice. Come down and rent a place for at least 6 months before you settle in one place. My wife and I are doing that very thing. We have rented a house on the beach in the Yucatan for a year. Then plan on moving to the east coast of the Yucatan for awhile, and then who knows what may happen. We're taking this next journey in ours lives and making it an adventure. Spend time up on Mexicoconnect and you will find just about every question that you have, answered. Its been great for us. (Thanks Rolly). Welcome, you will find your place and when you find it, you will know it in your heart.


jl1

Apr 23, 2008, 10:49 PM

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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mskitty, you really do need to travel. In your first post you said you preferred inland; in others you say you prefer the beach. This is not a criticism, just an observation. If I were you, I would take a series of trips to different areas and be prepared to spend at least a couple of weeks in each. This is a big decision you are making. Sure, you can always move if things don't work out, but that can get old. Best of luck.


mskitty


Apr 24, 2008, 8:06 AM

Post #18 of 50 (7882 views)

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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jl1 you are absolutely right and I am trying to pin down travel dates for this summer to do just that. In my own defense, however, I did say 'probably' prefer inland. My heart has always been at the coast, but I was listening to well-meaning friends about the inland areas. They each have their advantages, and I plan to check them all out. Briefly, this trip, more thoroughly next winter when I'll have more time. I still have that four-letter-word called 'work' to schedule around right now.

Thanks for everyone's advice -- it is all good and I am taking note of all of it. Much appreciated.
Kity


jl1

Apr 24, 2008, 4:31 PM

Post #19 of 50 (7827 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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One more thing: I don't want to start an argument, but in my experience, the drive from Tepic to the beach takes much longer than an hour, especially if you get stuck behind a slow-moving truck. I also do a mental double-take when I hear things like the "beach is only 3 hours away." That's a long way to go for a quick dip. It is true that rents tend to be higher when you are closer to the beach, but if you love the beach you probably shouldn't compromise. There are plenty of cheap rentals just five or ten minutes away from the beach in the areas between Puerta Vallarta and Lo de Marcos. In fact, Lo de Marcos might be a good bet for you. It is only about 1/2 hour drive from Sayulita, but the rents are much cheaper and the beach is really beautiful. The town is just now in the process of being "discovered". Once again, good luck.


sioux4noff

Apr 24, 2008, 9:37 PM

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Quote
but if you love the beach you probably shouldn't compromise


I agree! One thing I wanted in our move to Mexico is to be within walking distance of the beach. We are, and e can even see the ocean from our house and I am very happy we bought where we did.
Even though we don't go to the beach all that much, I love being able to easily walk down to the beach in about 10 minutes when I want. I tell my husband I'm going to check to see if the beach is still there.
All my life I wanted to some time live by the ocean and now I do.


jl1

Apr 25, 2008, 9:19 AM

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Re: [sioux4noff] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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There really is something magical about being close to the beach. Last week, while we were down checking on construction, we stayed, for the first time, in a house very close to ours. Usually when we are there I listen to music late at night, before bed. This trip I found myself just sitting on the terrace listening to the waves. My wife calls it, "the earth breathing." Because of the topography, the sun rises in what looks like north, so that along our little bay, the beach is shady in the early morning. One of my favorite things is to walk this shaded beach, between the palms and the breakers, in the morning. Each day seems like a pleasant surprise.


mskitty


Apr 25, 2008, 11:06 AM

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I lived across the street from the beach at Newport Beach, CA once, and it was wonderful. Couldn't see it or even hear it, but all I had to do was walk between the houses across the street, and it was there. Also lived on Alsea Bay in Waldport, OR for awhile, could easily walk to the beach and did so often. It's magical, I agree. I really thrive near the ocean, and think that's probably where I'll end up.

I've firmed up my trip for this summer. Will be in Bucerias June 14-21, also in Ajijic for the prior week. Decided to leave Tepic for another trip, because of time constraints. Next time I come down, it'll be for 6 months, which will give me time to check everything out much better. This trip is more an 'am I really sure I want to do this?' exploration.


Gringal

Apr 25, 2008, 11:35 AM

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I've spent most of my life clinging to the coast of California and loving it. However, the cost of coastal CA property no longer fits into most retirement budgets. When we started thinking about going SOB, it was the coasts we wanted. Ah, the sound, the smells, the cool breezes. But hark! We checked the weather for most of those lovely coastal areas and quickly concluded that it was a long way from what we were used to. So, be sure to keep a "weather eye" out for how it is in .., say, ..July. Some folks thrive on heat and humidity. If that's you, then go for it. T'wasnt for us. So, that three hour trip to Manzanillo during the cooler months isn't so bad. And the early morning by the lake is our new "water fix".

The posters on here gave excellent advice about checking different areas and making no decisions until you have.


jl1

Apr 25, 2008, 11:36 AM

Post #24 of 50 (7710 views)

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Re: [mskitty] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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Bucerias is the last town on 200 before it cuts through a jungled pass, toward the open ocean towns of Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos and points north. While in Bucerias you might consider renting a car from Gecko Rentals, right on the main drag. The owner, Dennis, has built a thriving business renting cars without all the bull you hear at the major rental places. His rates are far cheaper and his is the most highly recommended agency on the local forums. Having a car, even for a few days, will give you the opportunity to explore up and down the coast. In addition, bus service is excellent in that area. Schedules are available on line.


mskitty


Apr 25, 2008, 11:47 AM

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Re: [jl1] Nitty Gritty of making the move

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I can deal with the weather, I think. I've lived in the deep south much of my life, without AC, and dealt with it ok even without beaches to walk upon. It's definitely something I'm going to keep in mind as I compare the various places, however.

Thanks for the car rental tip -- that might be a great thing to do.

Gracias, all!
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