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treegazer

Aug 23, 2010, 7:12 PM

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kino bay

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I am researching retiring in Mexico on a very limited budget. Should I rent, buy, or build? Only have about $50,000 to spend and social security will only be around $480 a month. I love Kino Bay but it has gotten very expensive. Love to swim, would like to be at least within a few blocks of the ocean. Looking for advice please.



Rolly


Aug 23, 2010, 10:46 PM

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Re: [treegazer] kino bay

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There's a heap of advice and information here.

Rolly Pirate


Ustlach


Aug 30, 2010, 2:41 PM

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Re: [treegazer] kino bay

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Treegazer,

Kino Bay is one of our favorite weekend destinations. We live about an hour or so to the east of Kino in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora. Many people here go over to Kino regularly to the beaches.

There is a small expat community in Kino. Many of them are snowbirds and are therefore not in town all year round. Many of them participate on two forums that are really centered in San Carlos, due south of Kino. San Carlos is even more expensive than Kino. The forums are:

http://forum.sancarlosmexico.com/

http://vivasancarlos.com/bulletin/index.html

Maybe you can locate someone in Kino on one of those sites to give you more information.

The link Rolly gave you, to his website, is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. He and two other expats in Mexico have authored an excellent book, which I can recommend highly:

The Best How-To Book on Moving to Mexico by Carol Schmidt, Norma Hair, and Rolly Brook

And for my two-cents, and I have said things similar to this here on MexConnect on other occasions, I do not think minimal Social Security benefits and small savings can make it in Mexico, at least not in any semblance of ease, security, and comfort.

Your income and savings do not meet the minimal requirements to qualify for a Mexican FM3 visa. I don't know if you meet the minimum age requirement, either, which I think is 50.

If your Social Secuity benefit does not already represent the deduction for Medicare Part B and you do not plan to opt out of Medicare Part B, you can deduct $111 from your benefit, this year, and expect that amount to increase every year hereafter, while the benefit itself may not increase at all for another few years and probably will never match the annual increases for Medicare Part B.

If one of my friends or family wanted to consider retiring here, in Kino Bay or San Carlos, I would advise them to have at least $2000 US per month in normal income (Social Security, retirement, interest from a 401k account) and at least $250,000 US in savings, liquid investments, to fall back on.

As for buying, you might want to take a peek at the thread I started on the "Living and Retiring in Mexico" forum here under "Selling a House in Mexico." I would never recommed to anyone to buy a house in Mexico, unless he/she truly knows that he/she will never want to sell it. I am trying to sell my house and am experiencing severe problems. If and when I come back to live in Mexico, which I probably will some day, I will rent.


Rolly


Aug 30, 2010, 4:20 PM

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Re: [Ustlach] kino bay

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"I don't know if you meet the minimum age requirement, either, which I think is 50."

There is no minimum age requirement. Even children get FM3s (now called No Inmigrante).

Rolly Pirate


La Isla


Aug 30, 2010, 5:11 PM

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Re: [Ustlach] kino bay

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If one of my friends or family wanted to consider retiring here, in Kino Bay or San Carlos, I would advise them to have at least $2000 US per month in normal income (Social Security, retirement, interest from a 401k account) . . .


The cost of living must be really high in Kino Bay and San Carlos. I get by nicely in Mexico City on $1200 in monthly pension checks plus an average of a couple of hundred dollars from my teaching work. And I'm able to save quite a bit of that too.


Ustlach


Aug 30, 2010, 6:17 PM

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Re: [La Isla] kino bay

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A house like mine here, which I consider basic/minimal for the average gringo retiree, in Hermosillo, rents for about $800 per month. It would be more in Kino or SC. A/C is going to run a minimum of $150-$200 a month, 7-8 months out of the year, and that is with the government subsidy most of that time. And that depends a lot on the age and condition of the a/c units. It could be worse. There is no good place to get good fresh fruit and vegetables, not in Hermosillo, certainly not in Kino. The best I can find is at the better supermarkets like Soriana Plus. There are no stores, other than a little mom & pop convenience stores in Kino. There may be. I am not an expert on Kino, but I know most of the expats over there are running to Hermosillo to Costco and WalMart all the time. San Carlos is near to Guaymas and there are more options there, but nothing like in central and southern Mexico, the tianguis and all the fresh vegetables and fruit. Not here. Some food is cheaper here, like beef and shrimp, but most of it, especially from Costco, is more than in the USA.

LP gas and water, about $75 per month, minimum. Mexican phone, Mexican cell phone, internet, US TV service, US phone service (Vonage), another $250+. Maintaining even minimal car insurance in the USA and in Mexico, another $50+ per month. I guess I spend upwards of $100 in gas a month for the running around I do. My registration in the USA another $200 per year. Everyone I know here maintains registration and insurance in the USA and insurance in Mexico. It cost me 1700 pesos to get a one year Mexican driver's license. Which I am not sure I really need.

I do all my own housework, my own yard work and pest control. But I can't assume everyone else would. Most of my neighbors, who are all Mexicans, have domesticas. And no idea how much that would cost. I let a guy mow my 10'x12' patch of grass one time and he charged me 50 pesos. I guess a real lawn, front and back, maybe 200 pesos. I have my own washer and dryer, and I have no idea what it would cost to take all my laundry out. I once had two rugs washed at a "laundromat" here, about 3'x5' each, 100 pesos. Wash only, not dried. They were nearly dry by the time I got them out the door and to the bed of my pickup. It was about 117'F that day. But 100 pesos seemed high to me. I guess you would have to plan on upwards of $200-$300 a month just for laundry and dry cleaning, yard work, pest control, and a part-time domestica.

The one and only landlady I had here would do nothing, zip, nada in the house, like fix the a/c or send a pest control guy around, nor maintain the yard. I had to do all that myself. Someone else's experience with landlords would probably be better. I paid a plumber 200 pesos once to come over and fix the toilet in the second bathroom, only to be told that it was plumbed directly to the hot water heater. Which is why the bathroom streamed up every time I flushed the toilet. I guess I was the first tennant to fire up the water heater. I know many Mexican people here do not have hot water heaters, or ones that work, or do not heat them. The water comes out of the ground warm enough for a shower, again 7-8 months a year, and the rest of the year, I guess they just tough it out. I keep my water heater on "Pilot" all year round. I will have to mix "cold" water in in order to shower. Otherwise it is too hot. I guess the water heaters accumulate heat and when it is 110'F-118'F every day, the water stays hot. The water gets "just right" long about January-February.

Another $250 per month for Medicare Part B and MediGap insurance. (I spend a good $400 a year on dentists here because I keep having to have some of the work redone, every year. I made the mistake of letting a dentist here "improve my smile" doing some work on my two front teeth and it chips off within six months. I am fast running out of dentists, as I only give each one two shots are getting it right.)

So how much is all of that? That does not include any insurance at all for the house. Nor trips back to the USA, which is part of the reason I live close to the border. A 55 minute flight to Phoenix and back from here is never less $500, and often more.

Good on ya for doing it all on $1200 in MC. I am sure you do a lot of your own work and you probably don't spend $1500 a year on a/c there in MC. $1200 a month can't be done here and most definitely cannot be done in Kino or SC without major lifestyle changes. Certainly not the way I live, which ain't fancy, nor the way any of the gringos live that I know in Kino, San Carlos, or here in Hermosillo. Most everyone I know is spending much more than I am.

I do believe there are places in Mexico where living on $1000-$1200 is possible and not too ugly at all, but Kino Bay and San Carlos are not among them.


La Isla


Aug 30, 2010, 6:45 PM

Post #7 of 7 (6396 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] kino bay

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Thanks for the detailed accounting of your monthly expenses, Ustlach. Life does seem to be cheaper here in Mexico City, at least the way I live: I rent a small apartment for 3700 pesos a month; no need for AC, of course; no car and associated expenses; food is generally cheaper here than in the States, especially produce, though some imported items are more; gas, water and electricity come to around $450 pesos a month; cell phone, $50; no TV, hence no cable fees; telephone and internet hookup, $400. Maybe once a month I have a lady in to clean my place for $250; otherwise I keep it reasonably clean on my own. Apart from rent, my major expense is private health insurance, which comes to $7000 every 3 months; I have chosen not to contribute to Medicare Plan B. I pay a wonderful dentist $400 for a cleaning and very reasonable fees for fillings and such. Of course, in Mexico City, we have excellent public transportation at highly-subsidized rates: $4.50 for the bus, $5 for the fancy bus; the Metro recently went up to $3 a ride!

I fly back to the States to visit my mother and friends on the East Coast once a year, so that's not a big expense for me.

It would be interesting to learn how much or how little MexConnectors are living on in other parts of the country.
 
 
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