TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART ONE: YOUR DEAL-BREAKER QUESTIONS--COSTS, HEALTH CARE, PERSONAL
1. Why we say this is The Best How-To Book on Moving to
In this chapter: The attraction of a new lifestyle and
culture. The decisions you’ll face. Our experience helping others
make the move. A predictor for your happiness in
Mexico. We tell you both the laws and what we and many expats
have experienced dealing with these laws.
2. You really are considering moving to a different country
In this chapter: a brief geological and historical look at
Mexico to give you some perspective on the forces that have made
Mexico what it is today. You are joining 10,000 years of complex
history and evolution, not a static postcard
3. Is it really a quarter to a third cheaper to live in
In this chapter: It’s mostly true, you can live 25-33%
Mexico, depending on how you choose to live. What costs higher
and lower? Property taxes of a few hundred dollars a year are your
biggest potential savings, followed by cheaper and tastier local
fruits and veggies. Very little heating, A/C is rare. The minimum
monthly income for an FM3 residential visa. Living like a middle
class Mexican family versus importing an upper class US or Canadian
lifestyle. Sample budget for a single person living on $1,350
USD/month income. Housing costs in Lerdo, Durango, compared to those
in more expensive expat haven San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Comparison chart of 28 sample grocery prices in similar Dallas and
San Miguel de Allende supermarkets.
4. Health care, most likely your main worry
In this chapter: Cost of doctors, ERs and hospital care.
Differences in health care in
Mexico. Medical tourism. Medicare and Canadian health care
programs. Keeping Medicare Part B. Varying quality of care. The two
government hospital systems and private hospitals. Applying for
IMSS. Private insurance plans. Medical evacuation companies.
Different attitudes toward prescription drugs. Hospices, living
wills, medical power of attorneys, prepaid funeral plans. Living in
Mexico with disabilities and with HIV/AIDS. Allergies, amoebas
and food poisoning. Dentistry. Vision care. Alternative and holistic
medicine. Rolly’s experience in a Hospital Angeles ER. Carol’s
detailed report on having two knee replacement surgeries in
5. Staying Healthy in
In this chapter: Careful walking. Turista. Water
safety. Purifying produce. Street vendors. Immunizations.
Mexico’s response to the flu epidemic.
6. Crime and Personal Safety
In this chapter: The drug wars and will they involve you?
Expats usually feel safer in
Mexico than they did in much of the
US. Putting crime in perspective. A few border cities versus
the rest of
Mexico. To pay or not to pay a traffic policeman a mordida
(bribe) in the rare case you may be asked. Differences in the police
and judicial hierarchy and in the underlying legal principles in
Mexico. The most likely crimes you might experience—“mustard”
bandits, pickpockets, money scams. Taxis. Cultural differences and
special issues of gays and lesbians, women, and people of color.
Common sense preventions for street safety and home security. Don’t
let stereotypes and fears prevent you from pursuing your dreams.
PART TWO: WHERE IN MEXICO IS BEST FOR YOU?
7. What’s your closest fit?
In this chapter: Figuring out what you really want in a new
home location. How Rolly and Carol and Norma made their decisions.
The varied kinds of lifestyles you can live in a city with many
expats, compared to how you might live in a town where you are the
sole expat. A trip around the country looking at potential
relocation areas in all of the 31 states and the
Federal District (Mexico
City). Special cities: the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in
Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Cities).
PART THREE: MAKING THE MOVE
8. Visas, pet permits
In this chapter: What is a visa and which one is right for
you? How do you get one? Meeting the financial requirements. If you
think you might want to make the move permanently and perhaps
eventually become a dual Mexican citizen, what should you do
differently? How do you bring your pets, whether driving or flying?
Mexico will you be able to get your pets’ favorite food, vet
care, boarding? Finding a pet-friendly hotel on the road. “No tell”
motels. The Mexican consulates in the
Canada. The Canadian and US consulates in
9. Moving your “stuff” isn’t easy
In this chapter: To use a menaje de casa or not.
Bringing all your household versus having a garage sale and buying
Mexico. Dealing with a moving company. What you can’t include in
your packing for a moving company. Duty-free items. Prohibited
items. Passport regulations. Which lane to choose at the border if
you’re driving—to declare or not. Customs brokers if needed. Should
you take a chance and drive through the Nothing to Declare lane?
Shipping by sea. Rolly’s sample menaje de casa.
10. Bringing in your vehicle legally
In this chapter: Only one vehicle is allowed in your name.
10-year permits for RV motor homes. What you need for the Temporary
Vehicle Importation Permit of a foreign-plated vehicle. Getting the
permit online. Article 106, in English and Spanish, to carry with
you in your car. Emissions testing. Crazy not to get liability
insurance. Getting Mexican plates (nationalizing) your car. Should
you buy a Mexican-plated car when you arrive instead? What should
you consider for a car to use in
Mexico? Do you really need a car? Different rules for Baja.
FOUR: LIVING IN MEXICO
11. Keeping a Car in
In this chapter: Driving is different in
Mexico. A day without a car policy in
Mexico City. Car insurance. What to do in a car accident. Some
insurance companies. Motorcycles and RVs. Rental cars.
12. Your new home
this chapter: Some new terms—fraccionamientos,
ejidos, fideocomisos, notario públicos.
How to find an inexpensive apartment. Buying, building and
remodeling. Overseeing employees and the construction process.
13. Employee Law
In this chapter: Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other
employees. Work permits for yourself. Renting out property. Starting
a business. Teaching English.
14. Fitting in
In this chapter: Learning Spanish. Banking and ATMs.
Phones. Internet. Mexican cable and satellite TV. Educating your
children. Dealing with poverty around you. Stray animals. Shopping.
Cooking techniques and food substitutions. Staying out of politics.
The peso mentality. INAPAM card. The Mexican bus system. Cultural
jolts. Differences in holidays and celebrations. Getting married. A
final love story to
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