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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm in the early stages of considering an "expat" lifestyle, and I'd appreciate some tips and recommendations... and maybe someone could tell me if it's viable at all.

A bit about my situation: I have about $100,000k saved in the bank, and fully paid off car and motorcycle, and about $1,500 a month in perpetuity. I don't cook and not really looking forward to learning... with my current financial situation, would it be reasonable to find a small house or at least a 2 bedroom condo in a nice, safe, quiet area?

I'm looking at Ensenada area because I've lived in SoCal area for the last 12 years and like having the ocean and the mountains nearby, and I like the idea of being able to drive to San Diego if I need any medical care from VA, although right now I'm pretty healthy. I've also seen it come up in several top places lists. That said, I'm open to suggestions that can stretch the dollar further without compromising everything else. I do like a moderate climate (San Diego has been great, but living in San Fernando Valley is less so).

I've spent most of my life in the US, but originally from Russia, so I think I can be fairly adaptable to different cultures/lifestyles. I don't speak much Spanish, so it would be good to have some expats and/or English speakers in the area to help with the transition as I learn.

I'm also curious about any major legal/regulatory differences that are worth mentioning between US and Mexico.

I think that's enough for the first post :) Thank you for any input and advice!
 

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Hi all,

I'm in the early stages of considering an "expat" lifestyle, and I'd appreciate some tips and recommendations... and maybe someone could tell me if it's viable at all.

A bit about my situation: I have about $100,000k saved in the bank, and fully paid off car and motorcycle, and about $1,500 a month in perpetuity. I don't cook and not really looking forward to learning... with my current financial situation, would it be reasonable to find a small house or at least a 2 bedroom condo in a nice, safe, quiet area?

I'm looking at Ensenada area because I've lived in SoCal area for the last 12 years and like having the ocean and the mountains nearby, and I like the idea of being able to drive to San Diego if I need any medical care from VA, although right now I'm pretty healthy. I've also seen it come up in several top places lists. That said, I'm open to suggestions that can stretch the dollar further without compromising everything else. I do like a moderate climate (San Diego has been great, but living in San Fernando Valley is less so).

I've spent most of my life in the US, but originally from Russia, so I think I can be fairly adaptable to different cultures/lifestyles. I don't speak much Spanish, so it would be good to have some expats and/or English speakers in the area to help with the transition as I learn.

I'm also curious about any major legal/regulatory differences that are worth mentioning between US and Mexico.

I think that's enough for the first post :) Thank you for any input and advice!
Go for it.

Your income is more than adequate to live on, depending on your life style. I haven't checked lately, but I believe your income and assets would put you on the edge of what is required for a Residencial Temporal visa*. However, since you plan to stay near the border, it would be easy to come on a tourist permit and renew it occasionally.

*Income requirement was the equivalent of 400 days of the Mexico City minimum daily wage, currently $80 pesos/day. That converts to around $1800/month at 18 pesos/dollar. Someone else might know if those figures are still current.
 

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Go for it.

Your income is more than adequate to live on, depending on your life style. I haven't checked lately, but I believe your income and assets would put you on the edge of what is required for a Residencial Temporal visa*. However, since you plan to stay near the border, it would be easy to come on a tourist permit and renew it occasionally.

*Income requirement was the equivalent of 400 days of the Mexico City minimum daily wage, currently $80 pesos/day. That converts to around $1800/month at 18 pesos/dollar. Someone else might know if those figures are still current.
$100K in the bank for the last 12 months is way more than enough for a residente temporal based on bank assets, so monthly income wouldn't matter for hellario. In fact at most -- or all? -- consulates it would be enough for residente permanente.
 

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$100K in the bank for the last 12 months is way more than enough for a residente temporal based on bank assets, so monthly income wouldn't matter for hellario. In fact at most -- or all? -- consulates it would be enough for residente permanente.
What are the current requirements for assets? In the document published in 2012-11-08, the requirements were 20,000 days for Temporal and 25,000 days for Permanente. At 80 pesos/day and 18 pesos per US dollar, these translate into $89,000 and $111,000 usd. So the Original Poster might be a little under the threshold for permanent but well over for temporary as noted.
 

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You will only be allowed one vehicle on a temporary importation permit. Your motorcycle is a vehicle.
If you can eat out all the time, you will have a lot of opportunity. Otherwise you will need to sign up for cooking classes and Spanish classes, for sure. Enjoy. Ensenada has great seafood, etc.
 

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One vehicle per person on tourist or RT visas. RP holders can't bring in any vehicles using the temporary import permit (TIP) process. The vehicle must be registered in the name of the person bringing it in. You could re-register one of the vehicles in your wife's name, but make sure the name on the registration exactly matches the name on her passport, including middle names and maiden names if used on the passport.

But there is an exclusion zone close to the border where a TIP is not necessary. I don't know how far south it goes, so I don't know if you can drive to Ensenada without a TIP or not.

edit: sorry, it was another poster that mentioned having a wife, never mind that part.
 

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$100K in the bank for the last 12 months is way more than enough for a residente temporal based on bank assets, so monthly income wouldn't matter for hellario. In fact at most -- or all? -- consulates it would be enough for residente permanente.
This is the kind of information we are looking for as well. Thank you.
 

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I had a good bit more than that in my retirement account, but the Seattle Consulate steered me to a RT anyway, because they asked various probing questions until they decided that I wasn't certain I was going to stay in Mexico forever.

Perhaps it was a special situation because the consulate office was between official consulates and the duties were being handled by an "acting" consulate, so maybe she didn't want to do anything that could be later questioned when the official consulate arrived.

Perhaps I mentioned something about keeping my car, so they thought they were doing me a favor by not closing off the TIP option.

As always, your experience with Mexican bureaucracy will vary.
 

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As always, your experience with Mexican bureaucracy will vary.
Truer words were never spoken!
I have been battling Mexican bureaucracy for the last month since my son's birth and it makes me want to either 1) shake my head and laugh or else 2) beat my head against the nearest hard object.

Really, I've found the best recourse is to be very nice to the official but yet persistently stick to what you know to be correct. Many times things miraculously change in your favor when you do it that way, whereas being snotty to the official guarantees it will not go your way ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all the responses. I'll take it from the lack of comments that Ensenada is a sound choice for an expat location and will fit my budget and what I'm looking for?

Is there a good web site where I could check out real estate purchase/rental options?
 

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What are the current requirements for assets? In the document published in 2012-11-08, the requirements were 20,000 days for Temporal and 25,000 days for Permanente. At 80 pesos/day and 18 pesos per US dollar, these translate into $89,000 and $111,000 usd. So the Original Poster might be a little under the threshold for permanent but well over for temporary as noted.
I had no luck finding the original gob.mx web page - they have redone their site and my previous links are all broken - so I wound up trusting yucalandia.com, who usually is pretty good. They say that many consulates are using 5,000 days, not 20,000 for temporal. They seem to try and keep up with the different consulates, but they admit that things are all over the board at the various consulate locations.

Bottom line, it looks like no one can guarantee anything and each consulate will play by whatever rules they decide. Sigh...
 
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