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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am not sure these isn't already a site for this, or that this hasn't been done before but I like to ask the members of this Forum for their help. In return, I will compile the information collected and publish it (anonymously with your permission) in summary form later this year.

If you do not wish your responses to be public, I will furnish you with my email address upon request or use a private response.

Here is what I am asking of you: In consideration of a move to Mexico like this we all must concern ourselves with the ongoing living costs for our move. I am not a professional at surveys, so any results are both statistically accurate as an amateur and all individual responses are totally confidential, I will only publish a summary range within any category.

Some of the information may reflect a naivete on my part and/or lack of knowledge on how things work, so any additions and corrections are welcomed.

This survey does not include the cost of purchase of a residence (assuming a cash sale) in Mexico, but would include a monthly rent. I am sure I may have left out some categories and would appreciate input.

All figures are MONTHLY average/median in USD $

HERE GOES:
Your Location: ___________________________________
Family Status:_________ Family Size: ____________ Kids?:____________
Age Range of Respondent: 20-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 66-75 75+: __________

HOUSEHOLD:
Rent (if applicable): [__Bedrooms/___Baths] _____________
Food (not including dining out): __________
Clothing: _____________
Home/Liability Insurance: __________
School/University Tuition: ___________
Gardening/Cleaning (if applicable): ______________
Pool Maintenance (if applicable): ________________

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance (under which plan(s), IMSS, etc.) __________________
Drugs & Prescriptions: _______________ if applicable
Ongoing Medical Equipment: [O2, CPAP, surgical appliances etc etc:] _____________

UTILITIES
Electricity: __________
Gas: ___________
Water & Sewer: ____________
Telephone (Land Line Service): Carrier: ______________ USD:___________
DSL/HiSpeed Intenet: Carrier: _________________ USD: ______________
Cable/Satellite Television: Carrier:____________ USD: ______________
Cell Phone: Carrier: _______________ USD:_________________

VEHICLE (# of Vehicles: ___________) (Km/Month: _________)
Fuel: _______________
Insurance: ______________

One last question: How much do you find yourself/selves putting aside for ntertainment (e.g. dining out. films, theatre etc) ____________________

Thank you for anticipated responses
 

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I think that you are going to get a scatter shot response based on the three key questions:who, what & where but here goes.

HERE GOES:
Your Location: __Mineral de Pozos Gto._________________________________
Family Status:_married________ Family Size: _2 adults___________ Kids?:__0__________
Age Range of Respondent: 20-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 66-75 75+: __66-75________

HOUSEHOLD:
Rent (if applicable): [_2Bedrooms/_2.5Baths] _Own____________
Food (not including dining out): __300/month________
Clothing: __little as size problem__20/mo_________
Home/Liability Insurance: _150/yr_________
School/University Tuition: __0_________
Gardening/Cleaning (if applicable): _G 65/wk 7 1/2 days, cook/clean 100/wk 6.5 days_____________
Pool Maintenance (if applicable): ___0_____________

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance (under which plan(s), IMSS, etc.) _US Plans +DAN, local for cash & minimal 200 last year_________________
Drugs & Prescriptions: __good US plan; 10/mo Mex_____________ if applicable
Ongoing Medical Equipment: [O2, CPAP, surgical appliances etc etc:] __0___________

UTILITIES
Electricity: _150/mo_________
Gas: _40-50/mo__________
Water & Sewer: _65/yr___________
Telephone (Land Line Service): Carrier: ___none avail___________ USD:___________
DSL/HiSpeed Intenet: Carrier: _IENTC microwave 3MB USD: _125/m_____________
Cable/Satellite Television: Carrier:__Shaw__________ USD: __91____________
Cell Phone: Carrier: ___Tecel Amigo Cards(2 phones)____________ USD:__65/month

VEHICLE (# of Vehicles: __1 US temp Mex_________) (Km/Month: 1000 in Mexico________)
Fuel: __85_____________
Insurance: __325/yr____________

One last question: How much do you find yourself/selves putting aside for ntertainment (e.g. dining out. films, theatre etc) _80/wk "local", 50/wk against in country travel___________________

You didn't ask but taxes for casita+2.5 acres is $125/yr

By the way, my summary calculation is a little over $2000/mo which is about right as I plan $2500 with small projects and house up keep. Luckily we tend to run under unless a more major planned project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for response. I do expect many variances according to region, so we shall see how it all turns out. Gracias, vaya con Dios!
 

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I think surveys like this are pretty useless for two reasons.
1) There is such a wide variety in where and how people live that someone else's idea of what they spend has absolutely nothing to do with what it will cost you. Do you live like Carlos Slim or like the guy playing the accordion on the street while his 5 year old daughter collects coins?
2) Secondly, estimating (guesstimating) by filling out categories like this is a pretty inaccurate way to get the total. For example, I filled out your categories below and come up with a number of about $325/month. But if I look at the total expenses for the year (which I can get independently), the actual costs are closer to $840/month. Not including travel and not including US expenses. I don't live in the US but do have both income and expenses in the US.

Nevertheless, I filled out your categories. My numbers are probably low compared to others because I live a pretty simple life (except for traveling): live alone, don't eat out often, never eat animals, no car, no TV, etc.


All figures are MONTHLY average/median in USD $

HERE GOES:
Your Location: Guadalajara
Family Status: 1 person
Age Range of Respondent: 66-75

HOUSEHOLD:
Rent (if applicable): [7 Bedrooms/3+Baths] owned
Food (not including dining out): $100 (guess)
Clothing: negligible
Home/Liability Insurance: none
School/University Tuition: $40 (Spanish classes)
Gardening/Cleaning (if applicable): $60
Pool Maintenance (if applicable): N/A

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance (under which plan(s), IMSS, etc.) IMSS $25/mo + US Insurance
Drugs & Prescriptions: negligible
Ongoing Medical Equipment: N/A

UTILITIES
Electricity: $5
Gas: $5
Water & Sewer: $3
Telephone (Land Line Service): Carrier: none
DSL/HiSpeed Intenet: Carrier: Megacable $40
Cable/Satellite Television: none
Cell Phone: Carrier: Telcel $15

VEHICLE
(# of Vehicles: none

Property tax: $10


One last question:
How much do you find yourself/selves putting aside for entertainment (e.g. dining out. films, theatre etc) $25
 

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The answer is simple: INM requires you to prove a certain amount of monthly income and/or resources from outside Mexico, in order to qualify for a visa. Consider it the minimum amount that you would need to live here and you'll be OK.
 

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I don't think that the question was will I be OK. I thought goal was to get a range of what people actually spend on what. As I said, it will be a scatter shot based on who responds, what they feel is their comfort level and where they choose to live.
The costs in Mexico are very low for a given lifestyle. Even if I back out our continuing US expenses, similar lifestyle here is less than half the US. Could it be even less if we wanted, sure, but there are a set of factors that need be included. 1st, where we live is very poor where people either go to the US or are bused to factories 25-45 min away. We made a conscious effort to help which included maxing the local people we hired in various part time efforts. We can afford it, frees my wife to paint and me to explore and has seriously helped some 1/2 dozen families. There are people here that don't qualify for no inmigrado status because of low assets/income that live very well renting and using FMMs.
 

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I also agree that surveys like this are next to useless. In my opinion the reason for that is that there are such a wide variety of options to take into consideration.

Most of us know that the rental costs in Ajijic are higher than those in Chapala.

Where do you eat out? The NOB restaurants in Ajijic are more costly than the "hole in the wall" and in many cases not as good.

Where do you purchase your food? The weekly markets are good but you can get better deals at the small shops if you know which to go to and for what product. And you can forget about the big box stores. Some lower prices but not in total.

What do you eat? Beef, pork, chicken? Or do you eat mainly fresh fruit?

Do you have air conditioning or do you use a swamp cooler. Or nothing at all?

All these things will effect what your cost of living is. If you are like many NOB's your cost of living, after a short time, is equal to what you can afford. Just like it was NOB.

I knew someone who was able to get along on very little. Of course he drank two meals a day but he cooked the third. Worked very well for him.

I run my expenses in Quicken/Quickbooks and for years was able to tell you, to the penny, how much I spent each month. My current problem is that since we are on a cash economy I keep forgetting to write down when I spend on things and getting a receipt is almost impossible for many things. Try getting a street vendor to give you a receipt. It's cash in the old box and thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Accepting the Shortcomings

I will accept the fact that any survey like this can be at best a guideline. But I can not accept the term "useless" yet, at this point in the process.

The reason for the qualifying questions: Where/Family Status/Family/Age/Kids was to try and make sense of the myriad of answers that would be generated. I respect all of the opinions, but what this was in search of were answers, just numbers. If I interpolated your numbers and published inconclusive data, so be it.

I will want to leave this up until September or so.
Perhaps others will just answer questions and not question answers.
Perhaps others will not squash an idea before it may grow into something.

The interpretation of those answers, when placed on a spreadsheet may show some trends or generalities that people contemplating an ex-pat move could then question, or they may be totally useless. How can you know until it is done?

Can any of you who are critical of this effort show me where it has been done before, where I can find the answers? If there is such a site, such a place, then, believe me it is no fun to re-invent the wheel, but none of the critics has offered an alternative.

So, as much as I respect all of the time given to tell me why this was useless, [and respect you and all of the information y'all have given many of us], I would respectfully have just requested data instead, compiled it, published it with the comments and let other decide whether it is useless after it was completed. I am willing to spend the time to do this.

So again, I am asking for answers - I wanted many, many to participate. If you don't want to that's OK, but please do not deride the effort and by doing so discourage others who may have participated because of the things have been published already.

Remember I respect your opinions-but I feel their place was after the project was all done, not before it even got off the ground.

Thank you.
 

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Don't be dissuaded. Surveys are tough going, even before they begin. It's your project. Go for it.
 

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I've seen various sites online with this type of information, but don't have a specific one in mind, and I'm happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability. So, here goes. All amounts in U.S. dollars:

Your Location: Sisal,Yucatan
Family Status: 2 adults
Age Range of Respondent: 56-65

HOUSEHOLD:
Rent (if applicable): owned (2 br, 2 ba)
Food (not including dining out): $300/mo. Food only (add incidentals/household items and it's more like $400/mo)
Clothing: 0 (nothing fits - and we live on the beach and only use sandals, t-shirts and shorts! I bring clothes back from U.S. when I visit there.)
Home/Liability Insurance: none
School/Univ Tuition: n/a
Gardening/Cleaning: n/a
Pool Maintenance: n/a

You didn't ask, but I think these items are important and you might want to add to your survey, for those who buy instead of rent:
Property Tax: $5 per year (not a typo! That's 5 dollars)
Bank Trust fee: $500 per year

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance: Have Ins in U.S. only
Drugs & Prescriptions: $32/mo
Ongoing Medical Equipment: n/a

UTILITIES:
Electricity: $15/mo
Gas: $5/mo (buy gas cylinder approx. every 6 mos. For $30)
Water: $1/mo (septic – no sewer)
Telephone (land line): none
DSL/HiSpeed Internet: Not available in my town: I use Telcel USB stick - $50/mo
Cable/Satellite TV: Dish Mexico - $27/mo ; Directv (US) -$60/mo
Cell Phone: Telcel w/ Amigo cards – 2 phones, approx. $40/mo.
*Note: For calling the U.S., I use a Magic Jack on my computer. $20 a year.

VEHICLE:
1 U.S. pickup truck
1 Mexican car
Fuel: $80/mo.
Insurance: Approx. $350 per vehicle per year

How much put aside per mo. For entertainment: approx. $100

Like others have said, so much depends on your specific lifestyle and where you live that it's kind of difficult to do this type of a survey, but I wish you all the luck in the world, and hope you get lots of responses. It's a good starting point for those who are contemplating the move.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you - What is the Bank Trust (I do not know everything) and edit the survey.
 

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Thank you - What is the Bank Trust (I do not know everything) and edit the survey.
A foreigner can't purchase land in restricted zones along the border and the coasts. They must be acquired via long term renewable lease set up as a Bank Trust. For this one pays an annual fee.
 

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Your Location: San Crisanto,Yucatan
Family Status: 2 adults
Age Range of Respondent: 56-65

HOUSEHOLD:
Own (2 br, 2 ba)
Food / household items $350/mo.
Liquor: $50/mo.
Clothing: $10
Home / Hurricane Insurance: $85/mo.
School / Univ Tuition: n/a
Gardening: n/a
Property Maintenance: $20/mo.
Pool Maintenance: $25/mo
Property Tax: $12 / year
Company fees: $500/year

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance: Ins in Canada only
Drugs & Prescriptions: 0
Ongoing Medical Equipment: n/a

UTILITIES:
Electricity: $18/mo
Gas: $3/mo
Water: $1/ year
Cell Telephone $20/mo.
Magic Jack on my computer. $40 a year.
Internet: Telcel USB stick - $40/mo
Cable/Satellite TV: Shaw Direct $91/mo.

VEHICLE:
1 Mexican car
Fuel: $100/mo.
Insurance: Approx. $350/year

How much put aside per mo. For entertainment: approx. $120
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Moderator:
How can I edit the survey to include this Bank Trust question?
 

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While I wouldn't state it quite so negatively I agree that the range of lifestyles is so wide that I doubt you find any common ground. It's much the same anywhere, do you want to live in a trailer or a mansion? I love Mexico but I think I'm realistic about the limitations that affect me. I traveled here for 30 years before retiring and have lived here for the past 3 years. I've learned more in the past 3 years (mostly the hard way) than I did in 30 years of visiting.
 

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answer

All figures are MONTHLY average/median in USD $

HERE GOES:
Your Location: _____Querétaro Juriquilla______________________________
Family Status:married _________ Family Size: ____2________ Kids?:____________
Age Range of Respondent: 20-35 36-45 46-55 xx 66-75 75+: __________

HOUSEHOLD:
Rent (if applicable): [__Bedrooms/___Baths] _____________
Food (not including dining out): __400 us ________
Clothing: __________125 us ___
Home/Liability Insurance: ________1196 mx__
School/University Tuition: _____0______
Gardening/Cleaning (if applicable): _200 mx_____________
Pool Maintenance (if applicable): __________na______

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance (under which plan(s), IMSS, etc.) ______blue cross__________
Drugs & Prescriptions: _______________ if applicable
Ongoing Medical Equipment: [O2, CPAP, surgical appliances etc etc:] _____________

UTILITIES
Electricity: ______567 mx____
Gas: ________300 mx___
Water & Sewer: ____________
Telephone (Land Line Service): Carrier: _tell cell _____________ USD: 86.90___________
DSL/HiSpeed Intenet: Carrier: tell cell _________________ USD: included in phone ______________
Cable/Satellite Television: Carrier:_sky___________ USD: _66.38_____________
Cell Phone: Carrier: _________att ______ USD:____25.00 _____________

VEHICLE (# of Vehicles: ___2________) (Km/Month: ___900______)
Fuel: ____________90___
Insurance: _____288 us _________

One last question: How much do you find yourself/selves putting aside for ntertainment (e.g. dining out. films, theatre etc) ___400 mx_________________

Thank you for anticipated responses[/QUOTE]

400
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interim Analysis

As the replies trickle in, and I thank you for them, it is obvious that drawing broad based conclusions based on the limited samples and questions may be a bit of a task. Clearly, I have not taken life style into account...I can't, we are all individuals. The only indication of that is the "Discretionary Expenses" What I have used are basics, food clothing, utilities, health care.

There are commonalities already in them, as you can see. You who are living there, no matter how divergent your location, seem to spend about the same on, at least, food for 2 people. That is an early inference...more will emerge as this goes further.

For those of us still "on the way to becoming an ex-pat", this is vital information in real time.

:) So, thanks, so far - please keep it coming - along with your suggestions and comments. It looks like by August, I'll have a great spare time job to add to my full time job!:eek:
 

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Your Location: __________Playa Del Carmen_________________________
Family Status:__M___ Family Size: _____2___ Kids?:____nope___
Age Range of Respondent: 20-35 her 46-55 him __________

HOUSEHOLD:
Own: [_2_Bedrooms/__2_Baths] __$100 Property Tax and $50 Homeowners Dues
Food (not including dining out): __$350 - $400 monthly________
Clothing: ___$300__________
Home/Liability Insurance: ___$100 anually_______
School/University Tuition: _____0______
Gardening/Cleaning (if applicable): ________$35______
Pool Maintenance (if applicable): _____$25___________

HEALTH RELATED:
Health Insurance (under which plan(s), IMSS, etc.) __$25________________
Drugs & Prescriptions: _____$150__________ if applicable
Ongoing Medical Equipment: [O2, CPAP, surgical appliances etc etc:] __________$0___

UTILITIES
Electricity: __$45________
Gas: __$10_________
Water & Sewer: _______$5_____
Telephone (Land Line Service): Carrier: __TELMEX_______ USD:___$140________
DSL/HiSpeed Intenet: Carrier: ______SAA___________ USD: _INCLUDED ABOVE_
Cable/Satellite Television: Carrier:____SKY________ USD: ____$30__________
Cell Phone: Carrier: _NEXTEL & TELCEL____ USD:_____$250____________

VEHICLE (# of Vehicles: ____2_______) (Km/Month: ___1000______)
Fuel: _$200______________
Insurance: ____$1800 annually _______

One last question: How much do you find yourself/selves putting aside for ntertainment (e.g. dining out. films, theatre etc) _$500 - $1000 into savings and fun money.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Results so far

Thank you to the people who have responded so far, we can see some commonalities in their numbers and some good comments. I hope that if this moves further up on the index page, others will send responses.

As I said, I hope to keep this alive until September. After that, I will summarize it all, and have the moderator close it off for comment.

So, please, add your two cents after filling out the questions - you will be helping a lot of people.
 
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