A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Feb 10, 2008 — Julia Taylor didn’t plan to live in Mexico. She had a career as a salmon biologist and a life that was going just fine in Washington state. But when the U.S. government refused a permanent residence visa to her husband, a Mexican citizen, the young couple moved to Cuernavaca and started a new life there. And luckily for the rest of us, she wrote.

ebook-mexico-trick-living-h Mexico: The Trick is Living Here is part how-to guide and part story of Julia’s experiences. Now in its second edition, this downloadable ebook is very enjoyable reading. If you are thinking of living in Mexico, especially on a modest budget, I’m sure you’d learn a lot.

Repeatedly, I found myself nodding my agreement with her comments. Here’s a bit about driving that had me chortling, not at what she is saying but at how well she captures the feeling of it: She asks the question of whether it is okay to pass on the right, and then answers her question:

While I only pass on the right when I’m in a total traffic snarl, other people pass on the right at any time they want to and this is okay with me. I simply allow them to cut in front of me afterwards and continue on my merry way.” Note the chipper attitude implicit in that reply. It is important to be totally at peace with the new driving rules. [page 24]

Here’s a related pithy comment that reflects on one of the more challenging cultural differences we Notherners encounter: “The police in Mexico have no commitment to the truth but they do have the power to define it.” Okay, that’s sometimes true up north, but much more here.

She warns against using IMSS, the inexpensive and badly overworked national health care system. It almost killed her husband after he had a broken arm in an accident. I’ve heard other horror stories like this about IMSS and also good things. Me, I plan to avoid it!

Of course, there were places where our experiences have been different or where I disagreed with her conclusions but that is natural when you have two different people writing about as complex a country as Mexico, from different parts of it! She is much more cavalier than I am about eating unprocessed vegetables, for example. Another topic we would handle differently is that Julia describes having your social security payments deposited into a Mexican bank. While this is one option, she doesn’t mention what I believe is a much more common one, that of having the payments deposited in a bank in the US and then using an ATM card (debit card) to draw out cash.

She and her husband have a son who was born in Mexico and there is a section on how to do the correct paperwork to get U. S. citizenship for a baby born of an American parent in Mexico.

The ebook talks about teaching English in Mexico. Julia goes into many details of working and paying taxes, including getting an FM3 resident visa. Her experience was even more tedious than ours, and that’s saying something! She doesn’t talk in this section about getting an FM3 like we did, as people with income from outside of Mexico. Hers is the working type. (There are various types of FM3s.)

She interviewed Canadians and has a good section on the tax and other implications for Canadians of establishing their residence outside of Canada.

The ebook isn’t chiefly about retiring in Mexico, though she mentions it quite often… it’s a mixture of her own experiences and information she has gleaned from numerous interviews she did for the book.

Kudos to Julia Taylor!

UPDATE: It’s now out as a paperback, and you can get it at Amazon. Click the image to find out more:

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