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Some Other Americans Moving to Mexico
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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!


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April 21, 2005 — got the following email recently from a friend who is further ahead of us in the process of moving to Mexico. (Used by permission.) He and his wife are buying a place in Mexico and are currently in the US getting ready to move south.

We read with interest your thoughts on living in Mexico. Of course, we have been going through the same kinds of thoughts. We don’t have a lot of attachments here in the States which makes things easier. We do have neighbors that are friends etc. but we have made as many or more friends in Mexico as well.

We see Mexico as a better quality of life generally for us. We are on a limited, somewhat fixed income being just a few years away from social security. We know our dollars (pesos) will go farther there.

We also see more opportunities to travel and experience more activities. The bus system is so good. The coast is close by as well as big cities and resort areas. We can travel to Puerto Escondido for about 30.00 and stay for a couple of months for a few hundred dollars. Compare what a trip to Malibu and the cost of staying would be!

We have no health care here other than the prospect of medicare, so the IMSS medical will be an advantage as well as the low cost dental.

Also, the people down there are so nice and friendly.

Last, we are feeling that 700 miles south of the border is a lot safer than living 50 miles from NORAD ;-) We have been greatly disappointed with the way the US is going and will be happy to be out from under their oppressive foot. Certainly a lot of good reasons to head south I think to spend the last 20-30 years of life ;-)

Something I was thinking about this morning and should add to the list above is the food – wow! I can’t believe how tasteless the food here in the US is (fruits, vegetables, fish and more) compared to Mexico. If nothing else one can enjoy eating more and be healthier at the end of the day. I think you will really be surprised at the difference when you return after eating there for four months.

There’s a lot there that reflects my own thoughts and feelings. Let me start with money, always an interesting topic. In Mexico, our basic expenses are so much lower that we can happily travel more and treat ourselves to more meals out, more crafts, and so on. I do get social security but it’s a very small amount, and Kelly will start getting his (even less) later this year. To get an FM-3 visa to live here in Mexico without leaving the country every 6 months as people on the FM-T tourist visa must do, we have to show a monthly income of around $1500 to $1800 for two people. (The amount varies depending on where you apply for the visa and in many cases drops in half if you own a house you live in, in Mexico, and can show the title.)

We’ll be able to show that amount by combining social security with what we make from our business at home, but geez, I don’t know how we would spend that much! Luckily, they don’t make you show that you’ve spent it all. I find it completely understandable that the Mexican government doesn’t want a bunch of poor Americans here, when they already are trying to assist millions of poor Mexicans. And I think that plenty of frugal Americans are already here living simply on way less than those amounts.

Friends and family: Kelly and I do have a lot of close ties in the US and we plan to keep up our ties. If we live here in Mexico longer than the year sabbatical we are currently projecting, it will surely be with trips back. AND we too are making many wonderful Mexican friends. (Hi, Luis!)

Quality of life and travel: yep. We are thinking about spending part of next winter in the Yucatan.

Health care: yep. The IMSS is the Mexican federal social security health system, which foreigners are welcome to join for a certain price a year. I think it’s under $300US per person per year. This provides basic health care which varies in quality from place to place, but for major surgery, etc., can be an excellent deal. MANY Mexican doctors trained in the US and speak excellent English. Many people (both Mexicans and foreigners) have the IMSS for emergencies but mainly pay out-of-pocket for going to doctors.

Safety and how the US is going: It has been very relaxing to not be thinking much about politics and issues in the US for the past few months. Kelly has been following the news more closely than I have. I will be interested to see how we feel when we go back to the US next month. When I take a long-term view, I can’t help but feel that the quality of life in the US has been declining for some time in certain ways — such as the insane costs of housing and medical care — but I’m also aware of how many creative and caring people are doing their best to create better ways of living. Kelly is very much involved with that with his greenhomebuilding.com website, and I am in less obvious ways. I may well want to live in the US for much of the rest of my life. We’ll see how we feel after we’ve spent more time in Mexico.

I am concerned that the huge costs of the war are going to have some very difficult effects on Americans in the future. As a Quaker since the Vietnam war, I’m no fan of wars in general. Not only will the US be dealing with the debt from this war for a long time to come, but as with Vietnam, there will be eventually be many people back from the war in a huge amount of emotional and/or physical pain, and I deeply hope that they will receive better help and respect than the vets of my generation did.

I have always felt myself to be a citizen of the planet AND of the US, and that position does lead me to sing the blues sometimes. Life isn’t totally easy anywhere! Corruption and financial problems are everywhere. So are creativity and solutions… or at least potential solutions.

Ah, nice to have food to turn to after that last bit. I must admit that I do miss organically grown food here… the only place I’ve seen any was in San Miguel de Allende, a city full of foreigners. But it’s also possible that quite a bit of the food we buy in the markets is organic and we can’t tell. I’ve asked vendors in markets where they get their food, and the answer is almost always that they bought it at the wholesale markets in the nearest city.

We’ll be growing some of our own food in our little back yard when we come back. I’m not a big beef-eater at home, but I really like the leaner, tougher, more flavorful Mexican beef.

7 Comments from my old blog:

  • At April 22, 2005 3:24 PM, Blogger Abundio and Ruth said…

    Hi Rosana!!

    It seems so much easier to do this than to email you – I’ve forgotten half of what I want to say by the time I get to an email.

    You’ve raised some interesting issues here. It’s funny how I agree with alot of them, especially about the quality of life. Things *have* changed here over the years. More is not necessarily better. Society as a whole seems to be more …. jaded? Cynical? I don’t know how exactly to describe it, but I think it’s a nation-wide phenomenon.

    Thanks for sharing what your friend wrote, and your own comments.

    Say hi to Kelly for me! We’re closing in on the last months here and my mother-in-law is on pins and needles, needless to say.

    ruth and abundio

  • At November 11, 2007 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi…just found your blog.

    I just stated one at www.EscapetoMexico.net.

    I’d love to network, as I am planning to move next year.

  • At November 11, 2007 6:44 PM, Blogger Rosana Hart said…

    Just took a quick look around your blog, nice work.

  • At June 24, 2008 11:08 PM, Anonymous Arlene said…

    I am seriously considering moving to the Caribbean cost of Mexico. I will not have a muc money for thismove as i had to endure several “hardships”, including closings a small business due to the the cheap Labor of Mexican immigrants in this area of Central Florida. Moving to mexico is something that i wanted to years before this situation so any suggestions are very, very welcome. it is just me (60year old) and my small dog. Thank u for any suggestions.

  • At June 26, 2008 7:05 PM, Blogger Rosana Hart said…


    Read, read, read! This blog and website, other blogs. search out pages on the area that interests you via Google or another search engine.


  • At July 05, 2008 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am a foreigner living in mexico, baja california sur. yes, mexico is a very beautiful place but trust me, you don’t want to get health insurance with IMSS…it sucks. so don’t even recommend it to other people. plus they don’t even speak english. i have been there 3 times. one time i was really sick and i asked them to call my husband (who doesn’t speak too much spanish) and they gave him a very poor information about what was going on with me and when he went to look for me, they told him i wasn’t there. about 8 hours looking for me and i had a dr. telling me how could i have married a “gringo” because they are selfish and have a cold heart . next time i was pregnant, the service was really bad. i had to get out from there next morning because the pain was too strong and they didn’t let my husband be with me, the nurse only said “now you will think twice about getting pregnant again!” she made fun of me and didn’t inform my husband what was going on. i had to yell at them to make them call my husband and ask him to get me out from there. PLEASE DON’T RECOMMEND IT. bye.

  • At July 05, 2008 6:50 PM, Blogger Rosana Hart said…

    I am leaving the comment above this one as an example of how frustrated people can get with IMSS, though I have no idea why the overburdened national health service of Mexico should have people who speak English.

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