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cariden

Feb 22, 2006, 8:20 AM

Post #1 of 60 (4981 views)

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moving on down

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SOOO, I have visited mazatlan, puerto vallarta, ixtapa, la paz,
bucerias,cancun, and cozumel. i loved all of them. i am single and will be 55 when i finally retire which is in about 4 years. i like scuba diving and beautiful women, non drinking and like the weather and speak very little spanish.
Where would you start your mexican adventure?
Are rentals easy to find? How would you handle the fm2? fm3?
regular visit on american passport?
i like the idea of having a gardener and a maid, and i will be traveling by auto to see more of mexico when i come down.
any first reactions would be appreciated.
remember my favorit saying
everyone likes a little ---, but no one likes a smartass.



Bloviator

Feb 22, 2006, 10:58 AM

Post #2 of 60 (4926 views)

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Re: [cariden] moving on down

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Where to start??

You have visited real tourist areas and if you like them, you may want to start your search there. Most people on this forum don't live in such places, though quite a few do and like them. Many are most helpful.

This is a good place to start, but you need to check out very specific information on the places that appeal to you. Use the internet and read some books. People here can give you good references for books to read. Others, such as Tony Burton, have written absolutely essential books and can be wonderful references. Based on the tone of your posting, you would very much like Don Adams' Head for Mexico - good information given in a most entertaining manner.

Also, always remember, this is a forum of opinion and sometimes half-baked and erroneous information. People such as Ed and Fran, Rollie, RV Gringo (who has written a book that I want to read, but have not yet, so can't recommend, though I'm sure is quite valuable), and others will give you lots of good solid information. Others, such as I, provide the half-baked information and, according to my semi-anonymous private poster detractor, half witted opinions.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Feb 22, 2006, 11:06 AM)


Esteban

Feb 22, 2006, 2:49 PM

Post #3 of 60 (4892 views)

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Re: [cariden] moving on down

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I live in Maz and it's one of the hipper places to live on the coast.

It doesn't have to be a tourist destination. In fact there is only a small part of the town that I'd call touristy.

Rents can be cheap but it all depends on what you want.

If you are renting, you have to remember, most places don't have gardens and yards.
No reason for a gardner. If you want cheap rent, no need for a maid either. Having either
is more responsibility than you think.

Not much diving here like the East coast of Mexico but it does exist.

As to beautiful women...I wrecked a car rubber necking.

The FM-3 is no big deal..why the question?

I started my Mexican adventure back in the sixties. What do you want out of it?
Looking for paradise? If so, I think you'll find that most of paradise is inside your head.

The reality of your situation is this: Just come on down and kick back. Let the good times roll. You'll find that the trip down will be easy. As time goes on, it gets easier. If it doesn't, move back to the US.


mexicomike


Feb 24, 2006, 2:01 PM

Post #4 of 60 (4764 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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I agree with the advice to buy one or more of the many good books on living in Mexico. While you can get great information on this forum and others, there is something about a book that answers all of your questions in the same place that helps you make a more informed decision. I would also humbly add my book, "Live Better South of the Border" to the earlier list. Since it is now in its 4th printing (last edition mid-2005) it must have some good info. Tony and the others mentioned also have been producing excellent books. Read a chapter or two of the ones you are considering and see if the author speaks to you. A book may be good, but written for a different audience than you. Thank God for diversity. There is some good info for free on my web site as I am sure there is on the other authors' sites. The most important piece of advice I give is that you should live in an area for at least 6 months before deciding to move down. There is a world of difference between being a tourist and a resident. I try to give the reader a feel for the different atmospheres and types of people attracted to certain areas to help the readers make up their minds about where to settle. There is no ideal location for everyone, but there is a nearly perfect one for each individual.

Besides books on living in Mexico, I really recommend that everyone thinking of moving to Mexico read several history books about Mexico, both ancient and modern. The more you know about why Mexico is the way it is, the more you will get out of the experience. I also recommend that the polite thing to do is to learn some Spanish. It will make your move a lot more interesting and broaden your horizons tremendously. Mexico is a country and a culture (actually several cultures) and living here without understanding them lessens the experience.

Another thing I recommend is to drive around the country and see different places. Many gringos retire to an area and then never explore the country. While they may know lots about their own area, they don't get the joy of experiencing the varieties of the Mexican experience. You may find an area you had never thought of as the perfect place for you, but you won't know unless you explore.

"Mexico" Mike Nelson
www.mexicomike.com
Writing about Mexico for 40 years.
Maps, Road Logs for drivers
Author of "Live Better South of the Border."
"Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico."
Mexico is a state of mind.


mexicomike


Feb 24, 2006, 2:02 PM

Post #5 of 60 (4763 views)

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Re: [Esteban] moving on down

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Amen! Well put.

"Mexico" Mike Nelson
www.mexicomike.com
Writing about Mexico for 40 years.
Maps, Road Logs for drivers
Author of "Live Better South of the Border."
"Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico."
Mexico is a state of mind.


jennifer rose

Feb 24, 2006, 4:36 PM

Post #6 of 60 (4733 views)

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Re: [mexicomike] moving on down

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Buy Mexico Mike’s book, or I’ll shoot his dog.


Code




En serio, this book is the best of the lot, even if the boy needs a copy editor. He doesn’t come across with the Chamber of Commerce voice that rings throughout most of the “live in Mexico” literature.


Edited to make the link clickable.


(This post was edited by Rolly on Feb 24, 2006, 5:06 PM)


Mexicanbill

Feb 24, 2006, 7:27 PM

Post #7 of 60 (4701 views)

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Re: [cariden] moving on down

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There are many great books on Mexico available from Barns & Noble, and they ship within a day or two.One that I have found very helpful is "Choose Mexico" by John Howells and Don Merwin, Eighth Edition... but as you start your search for information, you will find that spending time daily, reading postings in these forums, will get you as much information as any book, actually more. The hard part is putting it all in order...unlike a book, there are no chapters to follow....as to the "pretty women"...you will feel like a kid in a candy store, no matter what part of Mexico you visit or move to..
I agree wholeheartedly, that reading about Mexico Past and present is very important, It has a history rich with cultures that would take a lifetime to fully understand....
We have a place about an hours drive from Puerto Vallarta, in Nayarit. Close enough we can go in from time to time and enjoy the "Big City" , shop at Sams Club, Wal-Mart etc, but far enought away that we can enjoy the local feel of a slower paced Mexico from day to day..
Good luck in your new adventure....
Chef William aka MexicanBill


cariden

Feb 24, 2006, 7:58 PM

Post #8 of 60 (4684 views)

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Re: [cariden] moving on down

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thanks for the info start reading as soon as amazon delivers.
thank you again..


Jerry@Ajijic

Feb 26, 2006, 6:48 AM

Post #9 of 60 (4569 views)

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Re: [cariden] moving on down

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One thing I wonder about is where do these people writing books about everyday life in Mexico live. Do they live in Mexico? I would like for Rolly to write a book about everyday life in Mexico. I am sure his book would be based on " real living in Mexico" but even his would only be about living in Mexico with his life style. While his seems to suit him fine it looks like it would be completly different from a book by someone who lives in PV at the golf course.


DoDi2


Feb 26, 2006, 10:31 AM

Post #10 of 60 (4544 views)

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Re: [Jerry@Ajijic] moving on down

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My all time favorite is this one:




Bloviator

Feb 26, 2006, 1:09 PM

Post #11 of 60 (4518 views)

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Re: [DoDi2] moving on down

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I must be very very old, if the cover "$600 dollars a month." is any indicator.

As to Mexico Mike's recommendations. They seem to me to be dead on. Learn some history. Learn the language. Enjoy the experience more.

Though, if we had followed his advice about not buying right away, we might not have come here at all and would have missed a wonderful year.

I look forward to reading his book. Does anyone know where I can get it Lakeside?


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Feb 26, 2006, 1:34 PM)


DoDi2


Feb 26, 2006, 1:38 PM

Post #12 of 60 (4514 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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Hi dylman,

Live Well on $600 a Month was in it's 5th edition in 1997. What's kind of funny is that between editions of the $600 a Month book the author had also published a different newer version that had increased the cost called Choose Mexico: Live Well on $800 a Month. There was an 1988 one where you could live on $400 a month, so I'll choose that one! Hahaha.

But really, I wonder how people who retired on the assumption that it would cost $600 to live in Mexico are doing. I hope they were figuring in a generous inflation rate and didn't move on irrevocably tight budgets.

But... important note: I don't mean to associate the comments on the above book with Mexico Mike's very fine one. I agree with your assessment of Mexico Mike's writing, and I'm planning on getting his new book myself ;-)


Gringal

Feb 27, 2006, 2:31 PM

Post #13 of 60 (4409 views)

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Re: [DoDi2] moving on down

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It's been a long time since one could live well here on $600 a month....but the author did write some informative books.

One thing that's very important about where to live in Mexico is the weather, just as it is in the U.S. Life is very different on the coast of California, the deserts of Arizona and the upper reaches of Maine. In Mexico, you can have hot and humid, cool at high altitude and many things in between. Since you'll get weather on a daily basis, it's essential to check it out. I just returned from a bus trip that hit Veracruz and Puebla. Couldn't live in Veracruz, even in February. Puebla is pleasantly cool. Whatever suits.


CCarol

Feb 27, 2006, 2:51 PM

Post #14 of 60 (4402 views)

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Re: [Gringal] moving on down

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Gringal, you are so right! The weather is what we complain about the most, I guess because it's like you say...it's what visits us every day.

I was over on the coast last May, Papantla/Vera Cruz area and I can't even begin to describe the incredible heat. The day we bussed over to El Tajin I still can't get over the oven-like heat. For women who wear makeup...forget it! We carried a wet towel around our necks and swabbed the "sweat" every few minutes. I guess one would get acclimated somewhat, but I can't imagine EVER getting used to that kind of intense heat. The locals said it's quite unbearable for them too!

Choosing where to live could be a disaster if you actually hated the weather. I know "some like it hot" but I haven't met anyone yet who really loves being that uncomfortable. Choose wisely!

Also, keeping with the post and cost of living in Mexico. By my calculations, paying cash for a home and just living a good "simple" life would cost at least $1200.00 USD per month. After all, some insurance cost $300.00 per month or more.
Carol



"Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle." (Philo of Alexandria)


Bloviator

Feb 27, 2006, 2:59 PM

Post #15 of 60 (4398 views)

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Re: [CCarol] moving on down

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Anyone who lives for less than $1,000 today is ignoring the cost of housing and owns his/her home. Its amazing how many people think that an owned house represents no cost.

Climate/Weather is very important. Here at Lakeside, we are just like Goldilocks. Our weather is not too hot, not too cold, it's just right. We can visit the coast in the winter and the high altitudes in the summer, but we can live here all the time.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Feb 27, 2006, 3:00 PM)


DoDi2


Feb 27, 2006, 3:50 PM

Post #16 of 60 (4384 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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I know Mexicans who maintain thier families on that budget. One who works in an office makes $6000 mp a month and another who works in a warehouse makes about the same, but spends half his salary on transportation getting to work. Another family plants vegetable and mazorca and sells produce in the local market. They need $5000 mp per month to maintain and feed a family with 6 small children. None of these friends takes vacations and all meals are eaten at home, etc. and there are few of the luxuries that are taken for granted NOB.


Gringal

Feb 27, 2006, 3:56 PM

Post #17 of 60 (4382 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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That's a good number crunch to do when considering buy/rent. However, at today's very modest interest rates, one must also consider what you could rent for the "lost" interest on the money invested in a house.
As a for instance, a $150K investment would yield you about 4.5%, or about $560 per month. That won't get you much of a rental, at least in SMA. The principal will, however, buy you a nice roomy home in the outer colonias, or a condo. If interest rates hit 10%, that's another story. Or storey.
Another consideration is that landlords are allowed a 10% per year increase, which is a killer on the long haul.
Also, property taxes in Mexico are dirt cheap compared to the U.S., so you're not being hit hard on that monthly cost here.


Bloviator

Feb 27, 2006, 5:45 PM

Post #18 of 60 (4350 views)

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Re: [DoDi2] moving on down

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Sorry, I should have stipulated that I was talking about greedy, opulent gringos. My favorite mason, lives on much less than that, though he is rich. He makes $16 pesos an hour, has two cows, and a house (small, but good location) in the heart of Ajijic - near Colon and Ocampo, prime location.


johanson


Feb 27, 2006, 6:49 PM

Post #19 of 60 (4330 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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16n pesos per hour. Boy is your mason underpaid. Even a peon makes 1000 to 1200 pesos per week or at 45 hours per week, 22 to 27 pesos per hour. A mason should be making 50"% more.


Bloviator

Feb 27, 2006, 6:59 PM

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Re: [johanson] moving on down

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He's not my employee and I don't pay him. I started to write $160 pesos a day and then thought I was wrong. Maybe not. Nevertheless, he doesn't make much and he's a happy guy with a house, two kids in private school, and two cows. Also, he lives on a lot less than $1,000 per month unless you want to count his housing cost - which we should if we do so for gringos.

Does the average peon really make $120 US per week? I sure wouldn't cross the blazing Arizona desert, risking death, to make more than that if I were a Mexican laborer. Or worse yet, swim the New River, as I saw pictures of border crossers doing in the LA times last week in an article about that river, the most polluted in the US and/or Mexico - a virtual river of acid.


DoDi2


Feb 27, 2006, 7:59 PM

Post #21 of 60 (4312 views)

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Re: [johanson] moving on down

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johanson,

Although I'm cringing at the term 'peon' and wish you'd have used a different word... maybe a more modern one... I agree with you that he's being grossly underpaid!

I doubt he's as happy as dylman thinks he is. A Mexican would not be inclined to express honest negative feelings toward his employer publicly (or anyone else for that matter), but it's a very good bet that he's talking about him privately (not dylman, I mean the guy who hired him) .


(This post was edited by DoDi2 on Feb 27, 2006, 8:05 PM)


Bubba

Feb 27, 2006, 8:42 PM

Post #22 of 60 (4294 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] moving on down

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I think Dyman's math may be a bit off.


johanson


Feb 27, 2006, 8:45 PM

Post #23 of 60 (4293 views)

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Re: [DoDi2] moving on down

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DoDi2 I am very confused by your comment “Although I'm cringing at the term 'peon' and wish you'd have used a different word... maybe a more modern one.......!”


The word “Peón” is Spanish and used on a regular basis throughout Mexico. I took the name “Peón” directly off a pay voucher. What word are you suggesting I should be using?


DoDi2


Feb 27, 2006, 8:58 PM

Post #24 of 60 (4290 views)

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Re: [johanson] moving on down

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disculpe johanson... I was reading it in the english... which is derogatory. I defer to you re: the Mexican spanish version since I've never seen a job reciept and I believe you. The word I hear more in spoken spanish is albanil (or maestro when speaking of the foreman).

*blush*


johanson


Feb 27, 2006, 9:03 PM

Post #25 of 60 (4286 views)

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Re: [DoDi2] moving on down

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I am not offended. The terms you used are for more highly trained persons. I was just confused. Maybe my fault is that I only know the Spanish word and not the English translation which might be apprentice, but I am not sure.
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