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Lilmsmaggie


Dec 10, 2015, 11:16 AM

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Banking issues in Mexico

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Good Golly Ms. Molly! Timely but confusing thread. Thought I'd refresh my understanding of conducting banking in Mexico and then I saw this thread. Due to unforeseen circumstances, my timeline for moving to Mexico has been somewhat accelerated. I've often wondered about what would happen to my pension and Social Security benefits once obtaining a Temporary or Permanent Mexican visa. Now I'm totally confused. Back to my primary reason for checking in at Mexconnect: My niece, who is now renting in Puerto Vallarta has some rather stringent banking requirements which may or may not make here banking easy or difficult. Not sure if gaining access to ones retirement/pension funds while living in Mexico is simple or a PITA but could someone point me to a thread or resource that outlines some strategies or options of gaining access to your U.S. Pension and Social Security funds while living in Mexico? Thanks Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 10, 2015, 5:13 PM)



rvgringo

Dec 10, 2015, 12:27 PM

Post #2 of 13 (9800 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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1. Keep your US bank & be sure it is a major bank with full services.
2. Have your income from all sources deposited directly into that bank.
3. Get debit and credit cards through your bank and advise them that you are using them in Mexico.
4. Have the bank raise the debit card daily limit to $1000.00 USD per day.
5. Do all banking and pay US bills online.
6. Use cash in Mexico from ATM machines. (House or car purchases can by by wire transfer)
7. Live happily ever after without using Mexican banks.
8. Keep a US address. For example: A mail service at Lake Chapala, but with a Laredo, TX. address.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 10, 2015, 5:13 PM)


Lilmsmaggie


Dec 10, 2015, 1:57 PM

Post #3 of 13 (9791 views)

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Re: [rvgringo] Banking issues in Mexico

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Hey there rvgringo!

1. Keep your US bank & be sure it is a major bank with full services. Hmm. This is one of the main questions.
I have two credit union accounts. Will need to decide on CitiBank or BofA I suppose. I don't appear to meet HSBC's
expat banking requirements e.g. equiv of $60,000 pounds on deposit.


2. Have your income from all sources deposited directly into that bank. Oops! - well, once I decide on a major bank, then I can transfer funds to that account.


3. Get debit and credit cards through your bank and advise them that you are using them in Mexico.
This is getting repetitive rvgringo - I have debt cards but ... you guessed it - issued by CU's



4. Have the bank raise the debit card daily limit to $1000.00 USD per day. That may take some doing. It's currently $300 a day. Don't think I have enough income to raise to $1K.


5. Do all banking and pay US bills online. Now that one's easy -- already doing that. Which raises another question:
I get electronic statements. I read somewhere that the INM requires 12 months of original bank statements PLUS copies.


6. Use cash in Mexico from ATM machines. (House or car purchases can by by wire transfer) I'm assuming by cash you mean Peso's.


7. Live happily ever after without using Mexican banks. Yeaaaah!

Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 10, 2015, 5:14 PM)


Gringal

Dec 10, 2015, 3:15 PM

Post #4 of 13 (9776 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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to "keep your U.S. bank": more easily said than done.

Many banks now do not want you if they know you reside outside the U.S. ,which means you need a bricks and mortar address to give the bank (they won't go for just a P.O. box.) and if you don't have one...........good luck doing a work around by using someone else's address; a person in whom you have absolute confidence and who will lie for you if it comes to that.

I have an investment account in the U.S. for savings and major purchases. Can't write a check on it for under $250 U.S., so I also have a Mexican bank account into which my SS checks are deposited. No problem.
I had a Banamex USA account into which the SS checks were originally deposited, but like many others, I was thrown off the bus by them a few years ago, along with many foreigners who admitted they live in Mexico. They did this in waves. Some people I know were under the mistaken impression that they came after us for doing something "wrong" but alas, they came for them the next year. LOL.

I like to keep my life as simple as possible.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 10, 2015, 5:14 PM)


Lilmsmaggie


Dec 10, 2015, 4:09 PM

Post #5 of 13 (9765 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Banking issues in Mexico

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to "keep your U.S. bank": more easily said than done.

Many banks now do not want you if they know you reside outside the U.S. ,which means you need a bricks and mortar address to give the bank (they won't go for just a P.O. box.) and if you don't have one...........good luck doing a work around by using someone else's address; a person in whom you have absolute confidence and who will lie for you if it comes to that.

I have an investment account in the U.S. for savings and major purchases. Can't write a check on it for under $250 U.S., so I also have a Mexican bank account into which my SS checks are deposited. No problem.
I had a Banamex USA account into which the SS checks were originally deposited, but like many others, I was thrown off the bus by them a few years ago, along with many foreigners who admitted they live in Mexico. They did this in waves. Some people I know were under the mistaken impression that they came after us for doing something "wrong" but alas, they came for them the next year. LOL.

I like to keep my life as simple as possible.



Yes, I hear ya on that last point. KISS

Retiring California state employee (as of 12/31/15) here. Thanks to community property laws the ex took care of the investments and a good portion of my pension (if you know what I mean). Residente Temporal should be easy peasy -- not so sure about Permanente but I might qualify, just depends on the Mexican Consulate requirements here in Sacramento.

I thought about the P.O. Box/using a relative's address route. I may need a P.O. Box anyway. Long-story short, I have to sell my house before the bank does, so I may not have a physical address after the house sells or March 14, 2016 whichever occurs first.

Having said that, I need hip replacement surgery (seeing specialist next week), so it makes sense to take care of as much as I can while I'm still state side in California and I suppose it wouldn't hurt to establish an account at CitiBank or BofA.

BTW -- It was not my intention to hijack this thread. Just seems like any discussion on obtaining Mexican Citizenship or meeting Mexican Visa requirements, etc., leads to Banking issues so I kinda see them going hand-in-hand but I'm more than happy to start a separate thread.

Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Dec 10, 2015, 5:14 PM)


GodsGiftToMexico

Dec 10, 2015, 8:25 PM

Post #6 of 13 (9712 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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> It was not my intention to hijack this thread.

Hi Dwain the Thread Hijacker !

I sent you a private message.


GodsGiftToMexico
-----------------------------------------------
God's Gift To Mexico
http://PuntaBanda.org


fordmexico

Dec 11, 2015, 10:45 AM

Post #7 of 13 (9635 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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I am a permanent resident here in Mexico and I prefer to have my SS check deposited directly into my Mexican bank account. I went to the Federal Benefits Unit at the U. S. Embassy here in Mexico City, gave them my account information and the next month received my SS in pesos. Total time including wait time - 30 minutes. Depending on your location a U.S. Consulate may be available or perhaps e-mail or phone call may work.

SS sends money to the Banco de Mexico which converts into pesos at a few centavos less than their official published rate for the day and then transfers the pesos into my Mexican bank account. The funds are generally available to me between 1-2 PM on that same day. If your SS day happens to fall on a Mexican banking holiday your funds availability will be delayed until the next banking day.

I also have a pension from a private employer that must go into a USA bank account. I use that for any USA expenses and as needed use Xoom as a transfer service to send money into my Mexican account.

Much will depend on your needs here in Mexico. We have at various times used monthly wire transfers , RVG's cash advance method and other transfer services but find the direct deposit method much simpler and for us more economical.


morgaine7


Dec 11, 2015, 11:20 AM

Post #8 of 13 (9625 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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I'm a Permanent Resident in La Paz, Baja California Sur and made the same arrangements for my Social Security as fordmexico, only with the Foreign Benefits Unit in Guadalajara. Everything was handled by phone and email, so I didn't have to travel there. That was in 2009, and my SS deposit has been sent to my Bancomer account every 3rd of the month with no problems. If I run through the SS before the month is up, I get cash from an ATM using my US bank debit card. For rare large amounts (e.g. home remodeling) I use wire transfer. The US account is funded by employer retirement funds that are also direct-deposited. It's with a small regional bank I've dealt with since the 1970s. Since I haven't actually lived in the US for 33 years, I'd have difficulty opening a new account there. In any case, having funds I can depend on in both locations works out best for me.

Kate


mcm

Dec 11, 2015, 1:54 PM

Post #9 of 13 (9601 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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I'm a permanent resident -- you can open a Mexican bank account (mine is with Scotiabank) with your permanent or temporary resident card (and, of course, passport). Some banks have additional requirements -- You may need to give the names of 1-3 ''references'' -- just Mexican citizens or residents, name address and phone number. Set up your account at a branch that is convenient to you, because you'll need to visit the branch in person to do any changes to the account.

As others have said, it's simple to arrange direct deposit of SS via the FBU (by phone or e-mail) at the US Embassy. Direct deposit of SS checks has been no problem at all, with reliable deposit on the third of each month based on the current interbank exchange rate.

We also have a second bank account in the US (B of A), which receives one direct deposit (so no monthly fees). To avoid accumulating ATM charges or the 3% foreign transaction fee now charged by B of A for debit card withdrawals, we only use that account for credit card purchases, using the B of A Travel Rewards credit card (no annual fee, and no 3% foreign transaction fees), and use the Scotiabank account for everything else.

One advantage to a US bank account is transferring money from any investment account to a US account is somewhat simpler than transferring to a foreign account (and one can avoid automatic tax withholding, if you want). If you do set up a new US bank account, as with B of A, make sure that you set up the ability to make wire transfers when you are out of the US (you have to do this in person).


DavidHF

Dec 12, 2015, 6:47 AM

Post #10 of 13 (9510 views)

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Re: [mcm] Banking issues in Mexico

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I'm a Residente Permanente, been here 10 years. My US "back" is the Credit Union I've been a member of for over 40 years. They provide me a free Master Card and a debit card. They offer all the services I need. I have all retirement funds and SS deposited there. My investment account at Vangaurd provides wire transfers at no charge.

I do have Mexican bank account which I use very seldom but sometimes it comes in handy for things such as a major purchase, e.g. car.

You do NOT need a "major" bank. BTW, "major" banks can be a PITA


roberb7


Dec 12, 2015, 8:23 AM

Post #11 of 13 (9497 views)

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Agree about major banks

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My US bank is a small one in Poulsbo, WA. They're great. Anytime I have a problem with something (such as walking away from an HSBC ATM and forgetting to take the debit card with me), all I have to do is phone them. And, like a lot of small banks, they refund the ATM fees.

OTOH, I have accounts at two major Canadian banks, and they've been mostly trouble. Alas, they are where my RRIF's and RRSP's are, so I don't have much choice.

A couple of other observations: I do have an account at a Mexican bank. Among other things, I am able to pay my rent by doing a transfer to my landlord, so this is convenient. It was a lot of trouble to get a Master Card from this bank, but I think it was worth it.


John Shrall

Dec 12, 2015, 12:38 PM

Post #12 of 13 (9461 views)

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Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Banking issues in Mexico

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Banking in Mexico has always been a hot topic. There are lots of ways to accomplish your individual needs so in this case there is not a single right answer. If you can move oney around with a reasonable to no fee, pay your bills and lice your daily life then you've got it.

I retained a single commercial bank account (BB&T previously Colonial Bank) and a brokerage account at Ameritrade for personal and retirement investments. Closed out all the other CU and bank accounts. I use an address of one of the kids in Texas on both accounts but they know I live in Mexico.

The simple checking account at BB&T is used to deposit SS, property rental checks and any other payments I might get. It is tied to Ameritrade and Paypal (for purchases) via ACH. BBT had similar wiring rules but not so for Ameritrade which can be done online or fax/secure message. It also has free bill pay to send money to others as needed, like property taxes due soon.

Ameritrade provides transaction free debit cards so it's pretty easy to get money deposited to BBT, transferred online to Ameritrade and either taken by ATM withdrawal or wire.

I use Bancomer locally primarily because I live in Mexico full time and would rather pay bills online than run around town. Their credit card can be a challenge but I can use it for large purchases and have it tied to the IAVE card. By accumulating their silly points I have received a free microwave and $1,000 pesos off a BBQ grill. They too have bill pay which I've used not only to pay bills but to transfer funds to third parties. I sent money to a contractor for a house remodel to his HSBC account for example.

It's a simple process for me which allows a single point of entry for deposits and a relatively free way to get money out (ATM surcharges are not covered in Mexico).

I haven't had a paper check in years showing that everything can be done electronically.

As has been mentioned before, beg for the highest daily limit possible for an ATM card. Even with a $1,000 limit it can take time to accumulate cash.

Best of luck finding a solution that fits your needs. You've already seen lots of ideas posted here.


Lilmsmaggie


Dec 13, 2015, 2:50 PM

Post #13 of 13 (9375 views)

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Re: [John Shrall] Banking issues in Mexico

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These are all good suggestions.

Lot's to consider. I've been doing electronic banking for at least 6 years. I can do everything online. I can't see going back to writing paper checks.

My SS & pension checks will be direct deposited into one of my CU accounts. I already knew that SSA will direct deposit to a bank in Mexico after talking to a SSA rep at a retirement seminar our pension plan holds periodically. I also have a PayPal account.

I'd like to keep one CU account open that offers FinanceWorks. I can link to the other CU account and see the balance and transactions; and I have the ability to transfer funds to a Fidelity Roth IRA. But I just haven't explored all of its capabilities (as in being able to transfer funds between the CU's). I believe this CU also has wire transfers available.

It would be nice if I could use FinanceWorks to transfer funds between all of my accounts.

I had a BofA account but closed it favor of the CU route instead. BofA also had a financial mgmt software similar to FinanceWorks that I liked, except BofA nickels & dimes you to death.
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)
 
 
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