D.P.: Are there any good jobs for us, we are professionals with degrees?
The easiest way to work legally in Mexico is to get sponsored by a Mexican company or foreign company with offices in Mexico. They will usually help you get the right permits before you come to Mexico. You basically can’t come down here and take a job that a Mexican would be able to do. Having a degree will surely help giving you a “special skill.” Many foreigners end up in real estate or selling time shares. If you can have income from abroad, for example working remotely using the Internet, then you don’t need to worry about it. Just be warned that wages are very low for many jobs here.
Here are some sites that might help you find a job before you come to Mexico:
Uber – Tijuana, B.C.
Uber – Monterrey, N.L.
Uber – Ciudad de México
Consultoria estratégica – Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chis.
Skyworks – Mexicali, B.C.
S.P.: How does income tax work if you work remotely?
If you get paid from a Canadian company, simply pay your Canadian income tax. Same with US.
How does banking work in Mexico?
I personally use the Royal Bank, and online banking and use bank machines (ATM) to take money out in Pesos. The cost of the transaction is usually $2.00 (up from $0.70 a year ago) and you get a reasonable rate.
TIP: Consult your branch before you come to make sure you won’t get a surcharge for International withdrawls.
TIP: For ATM machines, it’s best to use one at a bank during banking hours so if there is a problem with the machine, they can take care of it on the spot. It’s not unusual for a machine to keep a “tip”!
Do not bring US money if you are Canadian, since you will have paid to convert it to US and then pay again to convert it to Pesos. US singles are great for tips though. You can open up a bank account here, and this might help if you go for your resident permit. I opened up an account at Bancomer and it’s free (no service charge) if you keep a balance of $750 pesos. You can pay your Telmex, CFE, etc. through online banking and transfer money to other Bancomer clients.
C.A.M.: How do we get High Speed Internet?
High Speed Internet is quite easy to get. TelMex offers DSL service for $399 Pesos. It’s 10 Mbps download. The only problem with TelMex is the lenght of time it takes to get a line. Being You may have to return to the TelMex store many times. Make sure you have your order number and your assigned phone number when you do your order. Being a monopoly causes customer service to go down.
You can also get Cable Internet, but some say it is not reliable, and is not available everywhere. I assume it varies from place to place. Find out what your neighbors use.
How is the health care in Mexico?
I have to say that the health care system here is top notch. It really is a tier system. There are hospitals for the poor, as well as the rich, and something in between for us. In Bucerias for instance, there is Centro de Salud. I went there twice, once for my son (throat infection) and once for me (eye infection). Cost for the consult $55 (Pesos…not CAD dollars…yes, 5 bucks). Cost of the meds for both cases was under $5, so each visit was $10 CAD including meds.
For us, we wanted at the very least a doctor who spoke English, and since we don’t have insurance, we wanted reasonable costs. Here is a little story to illustrate the differences in costs. My mother had an issue that required an ultra-sound, blood tests and of course the consult. Her bill came to about $1,000 USD. My wife had a different issue but required basically the sames tests. The tests were under $100 and the doctor’s visit was $35 USD…but we haven’t paid it yet. She keeps saying we will pay later. The best part of this is how long it takes. My wife called in the morning, got an appointment for that very afternoon. We were sent to tests that very night, but the place was closing, so we returned the next morning at 7:00 AM. We got the tests done (ultra-sound and blood test) and were told that by around 11:00 AM the results would be ready. We went for coffee and returned at 11:00 AM, picked up the test and got another doctor’s appointment for late afternoon. Appointment done, diagnosed, prescription in hand, done by suppertime. Go to Sam’s Club, pick up the meds (close to Canadian prices…very reasonable) and back home. Although it took all day, we waited very little. Most of the day was spend browsing the shops in Puerto Vallarta, having coffee at Starbucks, etc. Speedy and professional is how I would describe our experience.
UPDATE: My son broke his arm. We called our doctor on her cell (yes…we have her cell number!). She told us to go to Cornerstone in Puerto Vallarta. She said she would call ahead and make sure they are ready. By the time we got there, we went straight through the Emergency to a bed. Our doctor’s husband was able to meet us at the hospital and took over. X-Rays done right away…within 2 hours were were driving back with a brand new cast. Cost: $10,000 pesos (includes removal of cast). A little pricey for a Canadian, but I’m sure for an American…it’s a bargain!
How are the dentists in Mexico?
Like the doctors, dentists are fast, professional, but best of all…cheap! Some find that what they save on dentist costs here in Mexico pays for their whole trip! While in Mexico…take advantage of it, get some work done. Many like to get a whitening treatment at a small fraction of the cost! I recently got my wisdom teeth pulled and the cost was $300 CAD for both.
J.N. What motivated you to make the move?
Well…what a question. I was a small business owner for over 15 years, had a house in the Laurentians (cottage country near Montreal), but most of all…2 growing children that I felt I did not spend enough time with, not to mention a great wife, whom I also wanted to spend more time with. That pretty much describes the “Rat Race” I was in. How to pay for this house, and have time to spend with my family? Meanwhile, a friend of mine was moving to Cancun, and I was inspired by an article I read in Moneysense Magazine. I also was inspired by theThe 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, although I hadn’t read the whole book yet, the intro about lifestyle design spoke to me and that was enough to pop the question to my wife one cold morning: “How about we sell the house and move to Mexico?” Quite to my surprise, she said yes. So, we sold the house (within a week of putting it on the market) and sold the Jetta, the quad, the horse, etc…bought a trailer, packed up and started driving.
K.P.: I’m curious as to your opinion about a female moving to Mexico alone. I’m 42, recently divorced and thinking about a major life change. Of course my family is absolutely against this mainly because of all the fighting among the drug cartels they’ve read about in the news. I’d really value your opinion since you are living there.
Honestly, the drug violence is more towards the border. If something happens near the border, we live something like as far away as Seattle! So no worries. Mexico City is pretty bad, but if you stick to resort towns, they need gringos for the economy so they are very protective.
Honestly, I feel safer in Mexico than most major cities.
Yes, there is lots of violence, but it’s mainly between the drug cartels and the police. The police are getting hit hard. If your not a cop, don’t do drugs, stay out of crazy nightclubs…I don’t see a problem.
Most cities have local sites (I’m working on website about Bucerias Mexico) and you can research and hook up with others. I know for a fact that there are a bunch of single women around your age in my town. They do some volunteer work with Amigos de Bucerias (try to help out the community) and it’s pretty easy to get into the groove, it’s a small town, you end up knowing everyone pretty quick.
You will just need a steady source of income from outside the country (at least $1,200 US per month) to get an Temporary Resident Status which will allow you to stay more than 6 months at a time. In my town, you can find a great place, clean between $600-$1000 depending on the facilities (pool, closeness to the beach).
D.R.: Just wondering as to what a possible “cost of living” scenario might be for living in the area you live in.
Rent is between $600.00 -$1,200.00 USD for something that you would find similar to the standard of living you are typically used to.
Food is approx 50% of Canada depending on what you buy. If you stay away from the imports, you save a lot. For instance, if you buy Tropicana orange juice, it’s about $7. If you buy the same, but Mexican Jumex, it’s about $2 (a little smaller mind you). You can also get a large glass of FRESH orange juice on the street for $20 pesos (about $8 at a breakfast place in Canada!). You can also go to the market and get 50 lbs bag of oranges for $5 CAD!
My water bill is about $8 every two months. My electric bill is around $150 CAD for 60 days. I have lots of electronics on all the time. Count on doubling that if you put the A/C on. It’s a tier system also, so the more you use, the higher the rate.
Your $3,000 – $4,000 is perfect. Restaurants can be pricey (same prices as Canada for the nice ones), but tacos on the street are $12 pesos each. All four of us can eat and drink for under $20…and we are stuffed!