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Gringal

May 8, 2009, 2:31 PM

Post #1 of 60 (6850 views)

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Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved to Mexico?

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It was hard to give up sidewalks. Nice, wide, no skid, smooth sidewalks. Blocks with stop signs at the corner that reduced the risk of imminent death by speeding hotshots.

No sharp edges, no big holes in the middle of the path. Oh, and no overhanging balconies and window sills that nail anyone over 5 ft. tall with a concrete wallop.

We walk now with heads bowed reverently, eyes glued to the ever present hazards.
YESS, I miss plain, simple old sidewalks. Quaintness..be danged.



ken_in_dfw

May 8, 2009, 4:18 PM

Post #2 of 60 (6828 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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I haven't said anything on this subject because I still live in Gringolandia.

But I've thought long and hard about what I would miss moving to Mexico. I think the thing I would miss most is online banking. Or, heck, drive-thru banking like I just did in my gym shorts and flip-flops. Couldn't do that in Mexico! Nope, I'd have to get cleaned up, dressed to the nines, and take a book for the queue.

Then again, I'd finish a lot more books living in Mexico. So I guess it all balances out.


mevale

May 8, 2009, 4:39 PM

Post #3 of 60 (6823 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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I haven't said anything on this subject because I still live in Gringolandia.

But I've thought long and hard about what I would miss moving to Mexico. I think the thing I would miss most is online banking. Or, heck, drive-thru banking like I just did in my gym shorts and flip-flops. Couldn't do that in Mexico! Nope, I'd have to get cleaned up, dressed to the nines, and take a book for the queue.

Then again, I'd finish a lot more books living in Mexico. So I guess it all balances out.


We have online banking.


Hound Dog

May 8, 2009, 4:42 PM

Post #4 of 60 (6823 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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But I've thought long and hard about what I would miss moving to Mexico. I think the thing I would miss most is online banking. Or, heck, drive-thru banking like I just did in my gym shorts and flip-flops. Couldn't do that in Mexico! Nope, I'd have to get cleaned up, dressed to the nines, and take a book for the queue.

Well, Ken, I don´t know if you are spoofing us but you certainly must be aware that free online banking is a commonplace product available here and you can go to your bank in your jockey shorts if that is your desire.

I guess I´m being thick here and not recognizing your little joke.'


ken_in_dfw

May 8, 2009, 6:32 PM

Post #5 of 60 (6803 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Sorry guys. It's me who is thick. No joke here other than my own ignorance.

I honestly did not realize that the Mexican banks offered online banking. So it's the second thing I've learned today, which makes it a good day.

Guess I'll have to go back to thinking on what I would miss most.


Rolly


May 8, 2009, 7:15 PM

Post #6 of 60 (6791 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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Who says you can't do online banking from México? I manage two checking accounts and an IRA online.

Who says you have to get dressed up to go to the ATM? I sure don't.

Rolly Pirate


Brigitte Ordoquy

May 9, 2009, 6:27 AM

Post #7 of 60 (6755 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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We live in Mexico and do all of our banking on line so I guess you would not miss anything.


Rolly


May 9, 2009, 6:48 AM

Post #8 of 60 (6750 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved t

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Oh, I forgot to say we have one drive-thru bank here.

Rolly Pirate


ken_in_dfw

May 9, 2009, 10:17 AM

Post #9 of 60 (6723 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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I've got it! (First, an aside: it's rather telling to me when I have to think this long and hard about something that I would miss moving to Mexico. Tells me that I'll enjoy it very much.)

Unfortunately, I have a couple of rather chronic and potentially life-threatening illnesses that are kept at bay by expensive meds. I think the one thing that I would miss most in Mexico is mail-order pharmacy service.

Unless you all are going to tell me that you've got that too - which would truly make my day. In which case, there would truly be nothing that I would miss moving to Mexico!


Hound Dog

May 9, 2009, 10:31 AM

Post #10 of 60 (6719 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Ken:

We have been having some fun here but quite seriously - you don´t need a prescription from a medical doctor to buy any prescription drug here unless there are narcotics involved and even then you can easily find a doctor to accomodate you. Mexico ain´t the U.S. or Canada thank God so lay your worries to rest. We´ve lived here eight years and would never go back to the other two countries that constitute North America.


(This post was edited by DavidMcL on May 9, 2009, 12:21 PM)


Rolly


May 9, 2009, 10:37 AM

Post #11 of 60 (6717 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Who needs mail order when there are many pharmacies that offer home delivery?

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on May 9, 2009, 10:38 AM)


bournemouth

May 9, 2009, 10:38 AM

Post #12 of 60 (6713 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Maybe because of insurance coverage for drugs???


Hound Dog

May 9, 2009, 11:33 AM

Post #13 of 60 (6702 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you mov

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Maybe because of insurance coverage for drugs???

Just what does that mean? I think it is time we got to the bottom of this rather that resort to ignorant conjecture.

I have a lot to say about this I am not saying now but it seems to me the imbeciles are in charge of the nut house.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on May 9, 2009, 11:34 AM)


ken_in_dfw

May 9, 2009, 12:44 PM

Post #14 of 60 (6682 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Hi all,

Well, having home delivery from your local pharmacy is a pretty good benefit, Rolly. In fact, I wish we had that service up here. So I'm glad to hear about that. Convenience is part of the picture, definitely. If I can get some of my meds delivered locally, that will be a good thing. So scratch part of this off the list.

The other part, as Bournemouth mentioned, is the insurance benefit. Some of my meds are very expensive, even in Mexico (in fact, from what I have heard, some of them are more expensive in Mexico than in the US). So having the insurance pick up part of the tab is a big deal. But getting them from the US to wherever I would live in Mexico would be, it seems, the sticky part.

So I'm thinking mail order pharmacy with insurance benefit is probably my one thing that I would miss.

Still, one thing out of about a gazillion others that I like better in Mexico - not bad!

Ken


(This post was edited by kenhjr on May 9, 2009, 12:55 PM)


Ustlach


May 9, 2009, 2:42 PM

Post #15 of 60 (6668 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Well, Ken, they may be managing their bank accounts and IRAs online, but where are those banks and IRAs? I too manage my accounts in the USA via the internet online from home in Mexico. But I do not know one single person in Mexico who has access to his Mexican bank accounts online. Such things may exist, but they are not common...depending on how you define common.

As for drugs, it is true you can get any non-narcotic drug without a prescription, but the drugs available are limited. Virtually every drug I have asked my Mexican doctor for, that were common as dirt NoB, are not available here, nor does there appear to be any alternatives. I have asked for Ambien and Darvocet and my doctor tells me they do not exist and that there are no equivalents. And even common Mexican drugs, like my BP medication, they are usually out of. Out of stock. It is sort of like the furniture stores here that have zero stock. You see something you want to buy and you have to pay for it and wait three months for it to arrive. At least I do not have to pre-pay my BP meds. Once they know someone wants it, they round some up in a day or two. This is Costco I am talking about, not some tiny farmacia on the corner.

I have to depend on a statement from my bank once a month delivered by a guy a motor scooter who just pitches it in the general direction of my house. I start watching for it just about this time of month, and if I am lucky, I find it out there somewhere. What do I miss in Mexico? I miss reliable mail service, among many, many other things.

On an earlier thread on this theme I mentioned sidewalks, as Gringal did here. I still miss them. The ones in my new neighborhood are gradually being blocked by the crap you usually find blocking sidewalks elsewhere in Mexico...cars, trucks, basketball goals, extensions of people's garages, mounds of sand and piles of other construction materials, empty beer cans, torn open garbage sacks.


morgaine7


May 9, 2009, 3:11 PM

Post #16 of 60 (6660 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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I have online access to my Mexican bank accounts with Bancomer. It's essentially "read only", but if I wanted to pay more, I could also perform transactions online. I'm told that it's a good service.

The motorcycle guy puts the statements in my mailbox, but regular mail service is also reliable, if slow. I think this is very area-specific.

Kate


Rolly


May 9, 2009, 3:43 PM

Post #17 of 60 (6649 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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When I had a Banamex account, I could access it online.

Rolly Pirate


mevale

May 9, 2009, 7:18 PM

Post #18 of 60 (6610 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Well, Ken, they may be managing their bank accounts and IRAs online, but where are those banks and IRAs? I too manage my accounts in the USA via the internet online from home in Mexico. But I do not know one single person in Mexico who has access to his Mexican bank accounts online. Such things may exist, but they are not common...depending on how you define common.


Now you know three people who bank online with Mexican accounts. We have accounts with Multiva and Bancomer and both have online banking.


mazatlanlee

May 9, 2009, 7:55 PM

Post #19 of 60 (6597 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Ken, your concerns about getting your expensive and crucial medications is valid. We handled a similar situation by, first, negotiating with the administrator of our medical insurance policy to authorize a 'vacation over-ride' so that we could fill a year's supply of each medication all at one time. Then, we advised our US Doctors that we needed our RX orders written for 90 days supply, with 3 refills each. Next, we mailed the orders to the mail-order pharmaceutical company that our insurance required us to use. (but not until I had made copies of each written order so I'd have proof of what the order requested in case of errors in filling it!) Our medications included everything from BP meds to the auto-immune suppressant and narcotic medications my husband needed to control rheumatoid arthritis. Every year, during our time in the states, visiting our kids, we had our yearly exams and got new RX orders. And, yes, every year, there were some hassles with getting the orders filled correctly, but eventually, it all worked out and we never had to leave without the meds we needed. Ok, well, there was the time our long-time Internist sent the mail order pharmacy an email asking, "What part of FILL THIS ORDER do you NOT UNDERSTAND?" .... uhhhh, yup, that got the job done pronto! As may be the case with the meds you take, we needed the insurance coverage to help with paying for some extremely expensive medications.... on a single order, our co-pay alone could run over a thousand dollars! If your insurance administrator will agree to allowing you to obtain all of your meds at one time, that'll be one less hurdle when you come to Mexico. For the first several years, we traveled by land, and usually had no trouble bringing all of our meds with us. The one time we were questioned, it was over our RV refrigerator being mostly full of pre-packaged syringes of his auto-immune suppressant. And, then, the Aduana agent's concern was satisfied by showing my copies of the original RX orders, along with Ken's US Driver's License. The agent only wanted to be sure that we were in possession of the drugs legally. In the last year, I had to fly back to the US to pick up an order of meds for Ken, and had my copy of the original order with me to show if needed. The Aduana agents in Mazatlan looked right at the meds in my bag, and never said a word. I would suspect that a person could ask someone they trusted to bring meds for them.... and I'd suggest having those copies of the original order just to be on the safe side.
Lee's Photos: Beyond the Guardrails


jerezano

May 9, 2009, 8:27 PM

Post #20 of 60 (6588 views)

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Re: [willieboy] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Hello Ken,

Ustlach said:>>>Well, Ken, they may be managing their bank accounts and IRAs online, but where are those banks and IRAs? I too manage my accounts in the USA via the internet online from home in Mexico. But I do not know one single person in Mexico who has access to his Mexican bank accounts online. Such things may exist, but they are not common...depending on how you define common. <<<<

He also said:>>>>>As for drugs, it is true you can get any non-narcotic drug without a prescription, but the drugs available are limited. Virtually every drug I have asked my Mexican doctor for, that were common as dirt NoB, are not available here, nor does there appear to be any alternatives. I have asked for Ambien and Darvocet and my doctor tells me they do not exist and that there are no equivalents. And even common Mexican drugs, like my BP medication, they are usually out of. Out of stock. It is sort of like the furniture stores here that have zero stock. You see something you want to buy and you have to pay for it and wait three months for it to arrive. At least I do not have to pre-pay my BP meds. Once they know someone wants it, they round some up in a day or two. This is Costco I am talking about, not some tiny farmacia on the corner.<<<<<

As you found out from other posts some Mexican Banks do provide on-line banking. Bancomer is one but they charge a rather hefty monthly fee for it. Apparently there are others who do not charge. I don't know really since I do all my on-line banking through my US banks. But there are some places in Mexico where it is still not possible to get computer access or even telephone. Why do you think so many people in Mexico use portable phones? Not because they are first-world. It is just that they can't get a landline. A friend in Tepic (several hundred thousand people) moved about ten blocks last year and asked if he could move his telpehone number. Sure. No problem. However he found in his new location that there were no lines available. Took more than a month and a half before TelMex finally got around to getting a line to him. Yes he did retain his old number. The line was the problem. And satellite computer service is usually restricted to only large cities or concentrations of gringos.

But the problem of prescription drugs which Ustlach also mentioned does remain. I too have a very expensive prescription drug which I cannot get in Mexico. Every filled prescription costs me $40 usd deductible and my insurer always over $300 usd. The insurer portion varies from quarter to quarter. I have not been able in 20 years to work out a really good solution. Since my pharmacy and health insurance plan limit me to a 90 day supply and since my pharmacy will not mail to Mexico (beside the fact that the Mexico mail service is so unreliable) the only solution I have been able to come up with is a trip north every three months. That is not only tiresome but expensive. However if you decide to live in a place like Ajijic or Lake Chapala I understand that the many residents there have worked out a package delivery system of one tyipe or another. Most of those whether by FedEX, MailBox, or some other mail forwarding system are also expensive. Anyway I wonder if the time ever comes when I need to live in an assisted care facility if, by that time, my medications just might be available in Mexico. If not, then I will have to move back North. The other thing that bothers me is that my prescriptions are only renewable three times so once a year I must also make a trip North to visit my doctor who charges $112+ dollars a visit just to get new prescriptions. I haven't been able to work that out either. He won't issue them without seeing me.

Now as to mail delivery. I have a specially made mail box, lockable, but with a sufficiently wide opening to accept small packages, and my mail delivery here in town is efficient. By motorcycle and the mail is deposited in the box, not cast into my cochera as is done with so many of my neighbors. But here it is May 9th and yesterday my ARRP magazine for January 2009 (published in Dec 2008) was delivered to me. If that had been my prescriptions I would probably be dead by now. So I only have unimportant mail delivered to my Mexican address. Anything important in either direction goes by expensive messenger service.

Of course if your prescriptions should be available in Mexico then you have no problem except the expense. Doctor visits are cheap, but the problem of out of stock or non availability should be carefully checked before moving here. The other problem is that insurance programs do not usually pay for medications here in Mexico. Stupid on their part since many of the medications are much cheaper. But such is life.

And no, I can't think of anything that I really miss from the US.

jerezano.


ken_in_dfw

May 9, 2009, 8:27 PM

Post #21 of 60 (6586 views)

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you mov

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Wow! Thank you so much, Lee!

This is incredibly helpful and detailed information - just what I needed. I'm going to save off a copy of your post on my computer so that I can refer to it later. I think I could probably make some type of arrangement with my insurance company.

This board continues to amaze me with the great wisdom and experience found here. I hope to pay it forward one day.

Saludos,
Ken


ken_in_dfw

May 9, 2009, 8:33 PM

Post #22 of 60 (6583 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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And what I just said to Lee goes double for you, Jerezano. Thank you so much. This is all wisdom you can't buy. But you sure can be grateful and carry the karma forward - which I will.


mazatlanlee

May 9, 2009, 9:25 PM

Post #23 of 60 (6570 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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More advice from someone who learned the hard way! I guess I usually try to pass on what I've learned over the last ten years without going into too many personal details. In this case, I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so will open up a bit more. In April, '06, I had everything worked out to bring my husband - Ken - home to Mazatlan, after being stranded in the states for many months due to his declining health. He required oxygen 24/7, so we had purchased two oxygen concentrators, CPap machine, nebulizer, and had all of the equipment needed to care for him at home. I had our Van packed to the gills, and headed south with my SIL driving. Everything was in place for my son to put Ken on a direct flight five days later. In the meantime, our FM3's had expired five days before we reached the border with the van. The Inmigracion office at the border gave me a 30-day extension on my FM3, and we proceeded to the 21km point (south of Nogales) to check in with Aduana and get a new hologram for the van. And, there we got stopped. Yes, I had an extension on the FM3, so I could go on to Mazatlan, but the Van was not going any further until I had a valid FM3. At the end of a very long day, after going back and forth three times, we finally gave up and went back to Tucson, to think of a solution. And, what we came up with was to pull out one of the oxygen concentrators, the CPap, and nebulizer, along with tubing, and the sterile pre-packed saline solution syringes needed to keep Ken's PICC line (for intravenous infusions of medications) maintained. We took those things to a Pack & Ship place, and I paid them $565. to send them in two cartons, by Fed Ex, with their assurance that the delivery to our home in Mazatlan would be within 48 hours. (I carried all of his medications with me in my carry-on bag)

Then, after leaving the van with the aunt of a good friend from Oregon, I flew my SIL home to ST Louis, and me on to Mazatlan. I waited til the third day, and called Fed Ex with my shipment order # to inquire as to how soon I could expect the shipment, since Ken was to arrive in less than 24 hours. Only then did I find out that NO MEDICATIONS OR DRUGS OF ANY KIND CAN BE SHIPPED INTO MEXICO BY ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A MEXICAN GOVERNMENT ISSUED MEDICAL NUMBER WITH PERMISSION TO SHIP SAID DRUGS! EVER. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! AND..... of course, Fed Ex claimed that the Pack & Ship people know the rules and should never have accepted the order. The entire shipment was being held at an ADUANA storage facility in Guadalajara, and I was given the number of someone to call there.

The nightmare went on for over a month. One of my neighbors has a brother who is a lawyer who deals with importation and customs.... he came from Guadalajara to see me, and did everything in his power to get the shipment released to us, even going to bat for us with letters written by both Ken's doctors in the states and our personal doctors in Mazatlan. Nothing was going to budge Aduana. No way on earth were they going to send those boxes on to us. Finally, in frustration, one day I asked the woman at Aduana in Guadalajara what more could I possibly do to convince them that the things in those boxes were critical to my husband's life. Her answer was, "WE don't care! And, if you continue with your demands, we're going to charge you with drug smuggling" Huh? Over what? The sterile pre-packed saline solution syringes! SALT WATER!

That's when I knew it was time to give up. Aduana sent everything back to Tucson, but not before stomping the oxygen concentrator to pieces, yanking the cords out of the CPap and nebulizer, and opening most of the sterile tubing and syringes so they were unusable. I had to fly myself and a friend (our personal doctor) to Tucson to bring the van down after I got our FM3's renewed.

My advice: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT SHIPPING ANY KIND OF MEDICATION INTO MEXICO!! As long as you or someone you know hand-carries prescription medications, it seems to be OK, but nothing is safe in shipment.

Ok, I warned you... I usually don't share the details because some of them are pretty personal. And, I tend to be long-winded enough without going into details!

Lee
Lee's Photos: Beyond the Guardrails


TraderBob

May 10, 2009, 4:03 AM

Post #24 of 60 (6551 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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As you found out from other posts some Mexican Banks do provide on-line banking. Bancomer is one but they charge a rather hefty monthly fee for it. Apparently there are others who do not charge. I don't know really since I do all my on-line banking through my US banks.

jerezano.


That may be different in different parts of Mexico. I live in Ajijic and have had an account with Bancomer for the last several years with online access. No fee if I maintain a 3,000 balance.

Traderbob


Hound Dog

May 10, 2009, 4:59 AM

Post #25 of 60 (6505 views)

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Re: [TraderBob] Other than your favorite foods, what was the hardest thing to give up when you moved

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Jerezano;

I, like Trader Bob, bank at Bancomer and have for about eight years. My primary branches are in Ajijic and on the principal plaza (El Jardin) in San Cristòbal de Las Casas. I bank on line constantly while at my residences in both Ajijic and San Cristóbal and also keep my average balances in excess of $20,000 Pesos. While I do pay some fees for maintaining this savings account, I pay no fees for online banking at all. Perhaps you should talk to your branch manager about this.

Another hint. I also bank online with Schwab and PNC Bank in the U.S. When I transfer funds down here to Bancomer, I always have Schwab convert dollars to pesos in the U.S. and wire pesos to Bancomer. That way I get a much better exchange rate and the wire transfer is expedited.
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