The more I write, the more topics I think of. This is growing totally out of control, ha.
I thought that you might want to find books on Amazon if you are doing research on plans to move to Mexico.. My friend, Carol Schmidt along with Rolly Brook published a book called "Falling in Love with San Miguel" which, although I never read it, I was told it covered many topics about moving to Mexico. I'm sure there are zillions of books.
First topic, banking.
In order to get an immigrante visa, one must prove with bank statements that you have an account in a Mexican bank. I do. In that account I keep only enough to have the maid and gardener paid along with being able to deposit money in order to pay the rent.
Most people I know have all their funds in investment firms and banks in the USA because the banks are insured by FDIC. That is NOT the case in Mexico.
All other monies, like Social Security check along with other funds are in a US bank. There are ATM machines everywhere and twice a month, I retrieve money to live on. I probably only write ten checks a year, if that many to pay something, such as US magazine subscriptions.
This is a cash society and utility bills etc are paid in cash. Many restaurants also do not accept credit cards. By using the ATM machines, one gets a good exchange rate on the American dollars and a small transaction fee is charged.
The credit card I do use has no foreign transaction fee. So, if I go to Costco or to a restaurant that does accept credit cards, I use that card. I pay that bill online.
Keeping it simple is my motto.
I like having a car in Mexico. It is not expensive at all since one doesn't use it that often. My Mexican car insurance is less then $300 for a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder and I only fill up with gas about once every six weeks! The car mechanic I use seldom charges more the 400 pesos (about $32USD) for any work he does - and that is a day's worth of work! Parts are more.
Before I go on any trip, which is a few times a year, I have him check the car out from top to bottom.
If there is a part that he thinks should be changed out in the future, he gives me the part # and name and I purchase it in the USA. There is 100% duty on car parts coming into Mexico. My mechanic went to a school in Celaya for 1 1/2 years to become a licensed mechanic. Having him to work on and check my car gives me peace of mind.
My car insurance is with a local agency. I was told when I moved here twelve years ago by someone who had been here for nearly 50 years that it was very advantageous to have a local agent. This proved to be true when I had an accident about 11 years ago. The local agent had an attorney at the police station, just in case, within an hour. It wasn't needed but I felt good having someone nearby to help.
Speaking of police. I have had nothing but positive experiences with local police and Federales.
I have, on occasion, needed to call the police when I saw someone lurking outside or a group going down into the canyon on a regular basis. In all instances, they have been at my house within 5 minutes! When I had the car accident, they provided a policeman who spoke English who told me what the procedure would be!
One time I had a knock on the door and my doorbell rang at around 1AM. I went upstairs and stood in the garden and saw the gate to the street was open. The police who patrol at night had seen it also.
They wanted to make sure I was all right and wanted to alert me to the open gate. I thanked them profusely, closed the gate and marveled at their attention to detail. I often, at night, hear them going by on their horses on night patrol. I love the clop, clop of the hooves. It makes me feel safe.
I've never had any problems at the road blocks or even when I've been stopped for speeding.....Yes, twice I've been stopped for going over the speed limit on the highway. I ALWAYS speak English.
I have never been harassed. I've never been asked for mordida. I've always been treated with respect and politeness. I've had many laughs with the Federales, actually. I never feel threatened. But, on the other hand, I never adopt an "attitude".
I mentioned car insurance above. It is seldom that anyone here has homeowner's insurance as the houses are made from stone and brick. Not going to fall down or burn. Along with the fact that Mexico is not a litigious country, which I find wonderful, one does not have to worry about being sued for someone tripping over a rock or something.
It seems that these posts have been something people have been looking for to help in their decision making. I'm happy to provide this information from my perspective. I have received many emails and comments. Yesterday nearly 1000 people read the posts. I am astounded.
The topics left to write about are medical care and why people leave along with ways to live economically. If there are other topics that you would like for me to write about, please comment and I'll try to do so.
I must admit though, I'm looking forward to returning to writing about daily life or whatever strikes my fancy.