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Looking into moving to Mexico. Could use some advice.

Looking into moving to Mexico. Could use some advice.

Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 12:25 PM
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Looking into moving to Mexico. Could use some advice.

I am a 31 year old single male from the Midwest, USA. I have no kids. I have quite a bit of college done but only an Associates degree. I've worked my whole adult life, kept out of trouble and been a decent citizen. Though, there was this point of realization a few months back. There are plenty of people out there wanting to make the worthy decisions of uprooting their life, but they now have things keeping them in their places. (work, kids, family etc.)
My family is almost non-existent, no kids and I am not at a particular career oriented job. Though, my job does keep my a float a bit better than most in my field. I work as a sous chef at an upscale seafood restaurant. The reason why I've had my sights set on Mexico or even Central America is really based upon my co-workers at my job. The Mexican's I have meet at my job are some of the kindness people I've come across. They cook food constantly, invite me to their baptisms and social gatherings, and share the food and experience with me like its a gesture they carry with them from birth.
A big step to make in this process is to learn and understand the language. I have been making steps towards that. They had to learn the language to come here so I want to be respectful and understand their language before I make the leap. Though, I am in a perfect situation being immersed in their language while at work. Any interesting tips on how any of you learned a language later in life?
Money is also an important part of this. I live in a simple studio apartment mainly for this reason. I opened up a separate savings account last month solely for this reason. I'm a simple guy always have been. Decided not to own a vehicle and walk and ride public transportation on a daily basis. I lived in the damn woods for 49 days back in my early twenties to prove to myself life can be simple. I've been so immersed in the American culture my whole life and I want to make the leap and see if the grass can ever be greener for either side. How can I really enjoy what America has to offer if I don't spend some of my days experiencing how others live?
So, I'm really just asking for some help with places to look into in Mexico, the job market, resources to help with my journey. What are some of the next important steps I should take? Should I look into getting a tourist visa for the 6 month period? Use that time to find a place to live, talk to the locals, search for jobs in person?
I know there are so many options when it comes to making this decision. That's why I would love to hear what all you have to share.

Thank You,
Sincerely Chuck
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Old Apr 22nd, 2020, 05:22 PM
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Hey Chuck:
I have lived in Central Mexico for some 10 years now. Moved here at 55. Midwesterner as well, presently hunkered down in Nebraska while visiting our son when COVID hit the fan. Some random thoughts. You cannot legally work in Mexico as an employee, unless you have some specialized skill. You can however own your own business, but not as a tourist with an FMM (the so-called tourist visa). Legally/technically you cannot reside full-time in Mexico with only an FMM, but there are certainly people that do so. There are income requirements for residency, which you can review in a link I'll put at the end of this post. As far as learning Spanish, I agree with your take. We didn't start until we were in our late 40's. Additionally, being fluent in any language makes the travel/expat experience far richer if you're able to speak the local language. My wife and I traveled to Guatemala & Mexico to study/learn Spanish in addition to studying locally at a community college and devouring whatever other resources were available. Spanish language soap operas, music, and taking every opportunity to speak the language. Our experience with programs such as Rosetta Stone and Duolingo was that they were pretty elementary, and useful for primarily asking basic questions a tourist would ask and not for 'living' the language. Pimsleur was far superior. Regarding where to locate, generally the central highlands of Mexico and Central America have the best year round climates. Coastal areas are brutally hot and humid in the summer. Where I live, in San Miguel De Allende, rents are considered to be high in comparison to other parts of Mexico, but you can still rent a modest 2 bedroom home or apartment for under $300 US.
Feel free to send me a private message if you wish.

http://www.soniadiaz.mx

Last edited by baldone; Apr 22nd, 2020 at 05:26 PM.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 06:31 AM
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I've only visited Mexico as a tourist, but I have a friend who's lived and worked there for over twenty years. He taught English in San Luis Potosi (now retired). I do not know the details of how he began, but do know that his residency and employment has been legal for years. It's good that your tastes are simple (as are his) because the work doesn't pay much.

Another area he liked was Xalapa which I believe is in Veracruz state, but up in the mountains with a cooler and drier climate.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 11:25 AM
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Hey, thank you so much for the reply. Its nice to know there are helpful people out there. My kind of big thing for me is if and when I decide to leave and give up my apartment. Which I cant afford to keep my apartment here and spend 3 months in Mexico. I don't really have much to fall back on here in the States(besides my job they will always take me back) so I really have to make the best of my experience. So, with your experience what would be the best way for me to enter Mexico for 3-6 months and find an apartment and maybe see what the job markets have to offer? My degree process after my associates was for secondary education\math. I didn't finish but are there ways in Mexico for me to get certified by them to teach?
The link you placed in your reply is an excellent sources. I will read deeper into that site.
I also was thinking that with this Corona virus impacting economies. Don't you think this would be a great time towards in the end of the summer to take advanage of the lows in the housing and the tourism parts. Its going to impact the entire world don't you agree? I'm willing to hear your advice on that. You're a bit older than me and with wisdom.
Every time I think of leaving it scares the sh#t out of me. I just want to be prepared but don't want to over think. I plan on going down with my back packing gear with whatever I get on my back. I keep myself from buying new things here in the States for this reason of wanting to leave. I can probably have about 10 grand saved up by the end of the summer. Planning on trying to make my adventure down there towards the end of Sept-Oct.
I'm sure Nebraska is just a blast at the moment too. I'm from Illinois and I think Nebraska is one of the worst states to ever drive-thru.
Thanks again for your time, Chuck.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2020, 03:54 PM
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My suggestion would be to get a job that allows you to work remotely before you head to Mexico. I stayed for a month with a friend in Oaxaca who works for a book service, Alibris. He began working for them in California & then moved to Mexico fulltime (a resident), works in the morning every weekday online in customer service for the site & none of his customers would have any idea he's not sitting in an office in the US. AND he's paid American wages.
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 09:08 AM
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That is definitely something to look into. Appreciate your input. Once these lock downs end and I can get back to work. I will be able to communicate with my co-workers from Mexico. They may have some decent advice on how to move forward with this.I'm just gonna keep practicing Espanol and saving my money while doing research. When there's a will there's a way.
So, I'm guessing that if you can find a job in Mexico that employer will sponsor your residency visa? Which you can live and work in Mexico while that process goes through or do you have to wait till the whole process is complete before you can move there and work?
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Old Apr 24th, 2020, 02:15 PM
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Mexican immigration law prohibits businesses from hiring foreigners, unless they have some very specialized skill or trade that a Mexican citizen wouldn't have. So finding a job, that is, being hired by a business, just isn't going to happen I'm afraid. And even if you did have that skill, you'd need to have residency, as you cannot legally work in any capacity (even being self employed) holding an FMM (tourist card) as a tourist. And if you had enough income to qualify for residency, you wouldn't need a job. So, it's a catch-22. The lone exception would be the example of a transnational employer that sent you to work temporarily in some factory or other facility, typically in an administrative/management capacity. I know some expats (younger ones) that teach English on line to students in Asia. For my part, I started a business in the states that brought in passive income that I could manage remotely. But I started 5 years before I moved to Mexico full time. Back then, there were not the online opportunities that there are today.
It is true that COVID has hugely impacted the hospitality industry. I won't pretend to know what the situation will be in Mexico by the end of summer. We're prepared to be here in Omaha for several more months should conditions dictate. But we're hoping to return by mid-June. We have a friend that flew back to Seattle for a surgery and for his return and 14 day self quarantine, he booked an air bnb (entire apartment) for $7 a night US in San Miguel, where it probably normally rents for 8 times that. I will say that the current political and health care situation in Mexico is a complete dumpster fire, and the president tosses another tire on it almost daily. In 2 months the peso/dollar exchange rate has gone from about 18 to 25 to the dollar. That may change though, as inflation weakens the dollar. But the peso and Mexican economy is in even more trouble. But it may make travel for Americans very affordable. 10K should last you 6 months rather easily, I'd think. You sound like you're pretty frugal.
I might suggest driving your own car if it's dependable. While public transportation is comfy and cheap, there are some fantastically beautiful areas and charming pueblitos that just aren't readily reached by bus. If you've got several months, you'd have plenty of time to travel around. Plus I'd be leery of being on a bus with other travelers. A bus is probably better than a plane, however. Probably an Air bnb or VRBO is your best bet for short term rentals, and they're found throughout the country. Which would allow you to travel around instead of basing yourself in just a couple of areas.
Actually, we're enjoying our time here. We had bought a condo a few months back to use when we visit our son and rent out as an air bnb when we're not. But that plan has obviously been put on hold.
And it's been said that the best thing to come out of Nebraska is Interstate 80, lol.
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Old Apr 26th, 2020, 04:35 PM
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Chuck, fwiw, the link I'm attaching is an English language site that sources its articles from Mexican news outlets and then translates them. Normally they have a paywall, but for now, COVID articles are free. I thought it might be useful if you've not accessed it previously.
https://mexiconewsdaily.com
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 03:18 PM
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Maybe I missed it but have you ever been to Mexico? Anywhere? On a vacation sometime maybe? I am not against your idea of a move, and it's wonderful you are studying Spanish. And I agree with the warmth of Mexican people generally speaking.
But before you let your studio apartment and current job go, could you take a little time off, do an exploratory trip and see what it's like even as a visitor? Visit a couple cities that are places you might want to settle down? Check out the restaurant scene there in person?
Just to get a feel for the country before jumping into the deep end of the pool.
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