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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the exploratory-phase of a move to Mexico, but first let me give you some background information:

- Retired military in mid-40s
- Wife, of 25 years, has a Permanent Resident Card from US (orginially from Torreon, MX)
- Sole custody of two granddaughters (4 & 2 years old, US citizens)
- Enjoy hiking & long distance running
- Have visited Torreon, on numerous occasions, as well as Monterrey, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Zacatecas
- Looking at moving to Guanajuato, but may be interested in other areas

A few things I need to figure out, and questions for the forum:

- Private Schools. I assume the four of us can live off my retirement income in a modest home, but since we're caring for our granddaughters, I will need to find a way to earn some additional dollars to afford private schooling. From what I've gathered, private schools will cost roughly $150-300 per child, depending on school/location. Does anyone have any information on private schools in GTO?

- Car registration. Since my wife is a citizen of Mexico, can she register our car in Mexico? Would this be a wise decision? I'm not completely sold on leaving a car behind in the US at this point. I'm guessing it'll be difficult to find a home in GTO with secure parking, or parking in general. In Georgia, there's an annual Ad Valorem tax that I'd like to finally be rid of.

- Heathcare for military retirees and their dependants. If there are any veterans on this site and can provide healthcare information as it pertains to Tricare, please let me know what to expect. I'm sure I can find that information on my health insurers site, but thought I'd ask it here.

I'm interested to learn more and hopefully make some contacts in the Guanajuato-area and elsewhere. I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

Derek
 

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Guanajuato always made me feel like there were two populations living there, the college students and the senior citizens who's children went off to Mexico City to work......IMHO
 

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Car registration. Since my wife is a citizen of Mexico, can she register our car in Mexico? Would this be a wise decision? I'm not completely sold on leaving a car behind in the US at this point. I'm guessing it'll be difficult to find a home in GTO with secure parking, or parking in general. In Georgia, there's an annual Ad Valorem tax that I'd like to finally be rid of.
The fact that your wife is Mexican doesn't change the fact that you would have to import your car into Mexico to register it here. This can be expensive and may not be possible depending on the make. You could get a temporary import permit (TIP) for your car tied to your immigration status if you are here on a tourist visa or a Temporary Residence visa. Once you change to a Permanent Resident visa, you would not be allowed to have a non-Mexican vehicle.

I am a veteran, but not retired military. I was drafted, spent a year in Vietnam then moved on. I haven't used the VA medical system so can't help you there.
 

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i love Guanajuato. Young hip feel to it and lots of cultural events.

I am retired military and haven't filed a claim in a couple of years, but the few times I have Tricare paid without any problems. You will pay out of pocket and then submit a claim to be reimbursed. I currently deal with United Healthcare West. I don't know who the contractor is for your area.

I would sell your vehicle. In my opinion foreign plated vehicles aren't worth the trouble and right now you can't nationalize anything.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. We're a 2-car family getting ready to scale down to 1 in a few days. For most Americans, it's an impossible task to live without a car. I see not having a car as a health benefit more than anything.

Our move is going to happen anywhere from a few months to two years from now. Between now and then, I need to brush up on my Spanish and get rid of lots of junk. I also need to find a way to make a few extra pesos after I leave my job here. Having been in the service for so many years, then working for the federal government as a contractor for the last four, I've become institutionalized and need to learn how to earn a little extra on my own.

Derek
 

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Thanks for the tips. We're a 2-car family getting ready to scale down to 1 in a few days. For most Americans, it's an impossible task to live without a car. I see not having a car as a health benefit more than anything.

Our move is going to happen anywhere from a few months to two years from now. Between now and then, I need to brush up on my Spanish and get rid of lots of junk. I also need to find a way to make a few extra pesos after I leave my job here. Having been in the service for so many years, then working for the federal government as a contractor for the last four, I've become institutionalized and need to learn how to earn a little extra on my own.

Derek
Living without a car in Mexico is a lot easier than in the US. There is good bus service everywhere, both local and long distance. The long distance buses are luxurious and comfortable (unlike the US). All of the buses run frequently. And there is cheap taxi service in the cities. In addition, if you choose where to live carefully, you can walk to a mercado for most of your grocery shopping and routine needs.
 

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Living without a car might be possible in many parts of Mexico but not in all areas. Definitely not in Baja unless you are in a larger(er) city such as La Paz or Cabo or Tijuana. So it depends primarily on the size of the city and population.
 

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- Car registration. Since my wife is a citizen of Mexico, can she register our car in Mexico? Derek
I am going through the process of examining what car (brand, model, etc) to bring in on a 180 day Visitor Permit (FMM) with my concerns being the availability of parts, decent mechanics, etc. I have chosen to sell my Ferrari, for instance. :D

You get my drift, si?
 

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I am going through the process of examining what car (brand, model, etc) to bring in on a 180 day Visitor Permit (FMM) with my concerns being the availability of parts, decent mechanics, etc. I have chosen to sell my Ferrari, for instance. :D

You get my drift, si?
Does that mean you are keeping the Maserati? :)
 

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I am going through the process of examining what car (brand, model, etc) to bring in on a 180 day Visitor Permit (FMM) with my concerns being the availability of parts, decent mechanics, etc. I have chosen to sell my Ferrari, for instance. :D

You get my drift, si?

That's funny you write about Ferraris, last year I was driving east by the Leon airport and 7 or 8 were going the opposite way all in a line .........in the fast lane.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not completely sold on Guanajuato, by the way. It just happens to be at the top of the list of places I've already been to. Of the others:

-SMA is absolutely gorgeous, but too touristy.
-If I could afford San Pedro Garza-Garcia, I might like it, but then I would be around all of the stuck-ups. Cheap flight to Atlanta though (daughter and mother reside there). I love the mountains around Monterrey, despite the smog. It's a bit warm there for me though.
-I don't remember much about Zacatecas, except it was cold in July when we passed through there 20 years ago. I like the climate, which is kind of like the mountainous areas of Afghansitan.
-I wouldn't want to live in my wife's hometown of Torreon. We'll visit more often than we do now, but daily visits by family members who may need something could become a nuisance.

I would like to learn more about Puebla, Cuernavaca, and other cities/towns around these locations, and how they compare to Guanajuato.

I'll leave the Ferrari in the US.
 

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Puebla and Cuernavaca may be a bit too busy, specially Cuernavaca which is where Mexico City's people escape the smog every weekend.

Puebla has gorgeous neighbourhoods and it being bigger than other towns will have more of the amenities you will need for your family, it may be easier to earn a few extra pesos there, no question about it, and people are used to foreigners due to several foreign backed industries (VolksWagen is a big employer) and foreign students, so you won't attract as much attention as in other places.

Monterrey is too hot for my liking, when it is 40 degrees the heat can literally punch you in the face when you leave a building.

Zacatecas is a very nice town, it would be worth checking it, I don't know how much it has been affected by the country's violence, it would be worth checking the news, but I have not read much about it, so that normally means it is better than places like Sinaloa, Chihuahua or dreadful Guerrero.

Torreon is not a very nice town, with all due respect to your wife :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great summary!

A niece had good things to say about Puebla as well. The only issue is the long drive, or bus ride, to Torreon. Another benefit of Puebla is the proximity to an airport with cheap fares back to the states, which we would do at least once a year.

Zacatecas is appealing for the climate and it's not quite as busy as some of the other locations. Being relatively close to Torreon is a plus.

Derek
 

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I will need to find a way to earn some additional dollars
It is very tough to get a work permit in Mexico without an employer lined up to sponsor you. You can open your own business, especially if you will hire Mexican help. It is easy to do freelance work online too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Freelancing work online is what I had in mind to pursue. I presently administer a few websites and have a creative background, so I have most of the skills to get started. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looing for some good advice, and maybe some bad advice, too.

Update: My wife and I have been feverishly downsizing all of our worldly belongings so that everything can fit snuggly in our Kia Sorrento for the drive to Mexico. We've been in contact with a family we stayed with in Guanajuato last Chritmas, who said that we'd be welcome to stay in their home until we find a place of our own (it's huge). Our grandchildren are the same age as their kids, and are looking forward to the reunion.

The questions...

My wife has a sister in Kerrville, Texas. Would it be a good idea for us to use her Texas address as a homebase, if approved, so that I can register my car in Texas and use it for retirement income purposes (no state income tax, unlike Georgia)?

I know a few folks have recommended ditching the car in the US entirely, but I still have payments to make over-and-above what the vehicle would sell for. With that bit of info, would you still ditch the car? I'm not quite in the position to throw around a few thousand dollars here-or-there.

I can't wait for this journey to get started, and in many ways it already has.

Derek
 

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You cannot use the car for income generation in Mexico. You must have a work visa endorsement in order to work in Mexico. That has solvency requirements, as you probably know, and may be applied for at the nearest Mexican Consulate in your home country.
I see no problem using a family member‘s mailing address for mail, etc., but it will eventually be impossible to renew your licenses/registration there, as they now require multiple proofs of residence.
In any case, when your four years on Residente Temporal visas are finished, you will no longer be able to keep that vehicle in Mexico as you become Residente Permanente visa holders, which does include authoirization to work, with simple notification to INM. You may not work on a tourist permit (FMM).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I should take a trip to Atlanta in the near future and visit the Mexican Consulate. I see conflicting reports on temporary residence requirements/fees as they relate to US citizens married to Mexican nationals (my wife has a Green Card).

The people who we'll be staying with temporarily in Guanajuato are US citizens who travel back-and-forth to Texas less than every 180 days to renew their visas. It seems to work for them, but maybe not for my situation. After looking at the Texas DMV site, it seems fairly simple to get a vehicle from another state registered, along with a new drivers license, so long as I can show certain forms of identification with a Texas address.

Is there some kind of a table, or spreadsheet, that shows the advantages or disadvantages of one status vs. another?
 
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