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This is a great place to find info - thanks everyone.

We are a Canadian couple in our early forties (yes, 40s!) contemplating retiring to Mexico within the next 2-5 years. I have started doing some research (including reading a very informative book "Retirement without borders") and have some questions. But before that, a few details about us.

We are professionals, DINKS (Double income no kids), vegetarians, and financially secure. We love our jobs but think work is highly overrated and want to live a simple and more meaningful life in a culturally rich country. Our jobs allow us to take extended time off. We also want to get away from the cold Alberta winters. However, we don't want to move to a place where they have very hot summers - I guess this rules out some of the beach towns. I love to travel (having travelled to more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia), my wife not as much. Habla poquitito espanol.

Currently Mexico is #1 on our list of destinations. I would appreciate expert advice on the following:

1. Any good resources to find info on Mexico, other than this BB.
2. We want to visit initially for 3-4 months in winters, knowing the fact that rentals will be more expensive. We want to test different places before we commit to any one place.
3. We are quite frugal but do enjoy nicer things in life such as going to restaurants, movies, etc. What would be a reasonable monthly cost during our initial 3-4 months?
4. We have emergency medical which covers us for 30 days. We can either get an extended insurance or take a chance if the Mexican medical system is efficient and cheap. What do you think?
5. Although we have vehicles here, we would want to experience the public transit system or take cabs when necessary. I know it will largely depend on the location but is it doable?
6. Are there any opportunities to work for western companies - I work as a project management consultant while my wife works in the pharmaceutical field.

muchas gracias in advance for all the feedback.
 

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Hi. If you are starting out by just spending three or four months "in the winter" (meaning during Canada's winter, I presume), you might as well check out a beach location or two as well. The weather during those months will be ideal on the beach. You will probably want to look into the Lake Chapala area outside of Guadalajara. The central high plateau areas like San Miguel de Allende will be chilly during those months, but very nice most of the rest of the year.

Your monthly expenditures will depend mainly on how much rent you pay. It will also depend on whether you are counting the cost of traveling to Mexico from Canada for only three or four months at a time. Think hard about trying to "check out" Mexico without a car. I would not recommend it past the age of 25 or so. But, in general, plan on a budget of $2,000 to $2,500 per month plus travel.

Once you have decided that you are serious about moving to Mexico, sign up with IMSS (social security) for health insurance. You aren't really covered for the first few years of membership, so the earlier you start the clock the better. It is cheap and provides catastrophic coverage plus free drugs, vaccinations, etc.

Forget getting work with a Western company (Mexico is a Western country, BTW) at least until you live here full time. Then dream about it. It will not be easy to find and they would, of course, determine where you would live. Don't count on finding work here. The ideal is to be able to work from home from anywhere in the world, but not many can make this work.

Go to the library. There are hundreds of books about retiring to Mexico.

Get extended health insurance at least until full IMSS coverage kicks in. Good luck! ¡Qué le vaya bien!
 

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1. Any good resources to find info on Mexico, other than this BB.
A: Yes, check Amazon.com for recent books, Google for Ojo del Lago, Lake Chapala Review, etc. as local publications, in English, for various areas.
2. We want to visit initially for 3-4 months in winters, knowing the fact that rentals will be more expensive. We want to test different places before we commit to any one place.
A: That can be done with prior planning. For example, we usually have our 'casita' commited for the winter by September, as it was for this winter. Here, at Chapala, we are only half an hour from Guadalajara's international airport, as well as bus stations for trips elsewhere. We also brag about having, arguably, the world's best climate.
3. We are quite frugal but do enjoy nicer things in life such as going to restaurants, movies, etc. What would be a reasonable monthly cost during our initial 3-4 months?
A: As little or as much as you care to spend; from 300 pesos per day to 1000 for fine dining.
4. We have emergency medical which covers us for 30 days. We can either get an extended insurance or take a chance if the Mexican medical system is efficient and cheap. What do you think?
A: At your age, if healthy, only an emergency would be frightening. That's all up to you.
5. Although we have vehicles here, we would want to experience the public transit system or take cabs when necessary. I know it will largely depend on the location but is it doable?
A: Taxis and buses are everywhere in Mexico and are very reasonable. Longer distance buses are luxurious and the best the world has to offer. Chapala is, for example, a five hour bus trip to the Pacific beaches or Mexico City and lots of other interesting places.
6. Are there any opportunities to work for western companies - I work as a project management consultant while my wife works in the pharmaceutical field.
A: That is best explored through the international headquarters of likely companies. Otherwise, you would have to do it 'face to face' and in Spanish, eating up most of your vacation. Things happen slowly in Mexico.
 

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Medical coverage while on vacation

........We are a Canadian couple......cold Alberta winters........Currently Mexico is #1 on our list of destinations.......We want to visit initially for 3-4 months in winters......We have emergency medical which covers us for 30 days. We can either get an extended insurance or take a chance if the Mexican medical system is efficient and cheap. What do you think?....
Wouldn't Alberta Medicare cover the basics for up to 6 months? BC Medicare does, as long as you're still resident in the province for at least 180 days.

Several years ago my wife broke her elbow in Puerto Vallarta. Total cost for visits to two different hospitals, x-rays, a cast, ( removed by the doctor at the 2nd hospital because it was the wrong way to treat her fracture), cost approx. $600 Canadian, which BC Medicare reimbursed in full. My only out-of-pocket was for some pain killers.

Since we drive from Canada to Mexico and spend 5-6 months there, our biggest worry is requiring medical care while in the US, where costs are totally out of control. For the 3-4 days on the way south, I'm covered by the out-of-Canada provisions of my employer's health care plan, (which covers us for 40 days). That leaves the 3-4 days' drive home back through the States, when I drive VERY carefully.
 

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Wouldn't Alberta Medicare cover the basics for up to 6 months? BC Medicare does, as long as you're still resident in the province for at least 180 days.

Several years ago my wife broke her elbow in Puerto Vallarta. Total cost for visits to two different hospitals, x-rays, a cast, ( removed by the doctor at the 2nd hospital because it was the wrong way to treat her fracture), cost approx. $600 Canadian, which BC Medicare reimbursed in full. My only out-of-pocket was for some pain killers.

Since we drive from Canada to Mexico and spend 5-6 months there, our biggest worry is requiring medical care while in the US, where costs are totally out of control. For the 3-4 days on the way south, I'm covered by the out-of-Canada provisions of my employer's health care plan, (which covers us for 40 days). That leaves the 3-4 days' drive home back through the States, when I drive VERY carefully.
You can probably buy insurance through an American provider for your return trip.
 

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That leaves the 3-4 days' drive home back through the States, when I drive VERY carefully.
I would never go through the States without some coverage. No matter how careful you are, it won't protect you from the stupidity or malevolence of the other guy on the day your luck runs out. There are insurers that will cover you for any period no matter how short at a very reasonable cost. Do this search.
 
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