All of Mexico, Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende

WHO FARTED IN THE CABIN? AND OUR FIRST DAY IN WONDERFUL MEXICO!!

April 11, 2018

This is a bit belated being written as I just didn’t have the energy to do it after our long trip yesterday. So now we are sitting in our wonderful house about to cook dinner as a raging thunder and lightening storm crashes over our heads. Certainly one thing that I definitely remember from past trips. They are spectacular!!! And for this one we just barely made it back into the house before it all started tumbling down. But now we are safe and dry and having a great time listening to the show above us.

Now, in hindsight we will regale you with our trip from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende yesterday. We arrived pretty much on time after an uneventful flight. We had seats next to each other and were so glad we weren’t in economy as the flight was jam-packed. We still weren’t able to sleep as we were pretty wired but we did close our eyes a bit.  Continue Reading…

All of Mexico, Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende, USA

UP, UP AND AWAY!!!!!

April 9, 2018

Today is departure day!!! Two years ago we had a huge dream of living the life of an expat and moving to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Many revisions of that plan have been made and remade and today we see the results of all that planning and the stress that went with it. We are actually very proud of ourselves for setting a big goal, maintaining our focus, riding out the ups and downs and bending to new circumstances, all the while maintaining a sense of humor, to bring everything to fruition.  Continue Reading…

All of Mexico, Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende, USA

WE’RE LEAVING ON A JET PLANE, DON’T KNOW WHEN WE’LL BE BACK AGAIN!!

April 8, 2018

Hooraay!!!!!!  We FINALLY got the ok from our financial advisor to head out as everything is finalized. We booked our flights late Friday night (the Internet was down for a good portion of the day much to our chagrin) for Monday April 9th at 11:00 pm departure out of San Francisco to Mexico City. We booked in First Class/Business Class (depending on who you look at Aeromexico or Delta as they code-share) because we need the extra baggage allowance it provides. We get one bag free and only need to pay extra for one of our other 2 bags this way instead of an extra two. So the price really isn’t that much of a difference in the end. The flight prices did go up a bit from what we budgeted initially ($517 o/w instead of $451) since we didn’t have the 7 day advance but hey, whatever works when you need it to. We are just ready to be out of limbo, start our new lives, unpack in our fabulous rental and RELAX! Continue Reading…

All of Mexico, Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende

WE FOUND A HOUSE (AND FRIENDS) IN SAN MIGUEL! AND IT IS STUNNING

April 4, 2018

We had been looking through the AirBnb listings along with other companies to try and find a place we could call our own in San Miguel de Allende when we descended into our new home town. We found some but they were not available for our dates, or were a bit more pricey than we could afford. In the past months I have had my name on the SMA Civil List and the SMA Renters Forum from Yahoo Groups. In between a bit of whining from some people, that I just ignore, is some very good information about making your way around the town, the happenings going on and all the connections you need to get started in your new life there. I can find info on dentists and doctors, Spanish lessons, cooking classes, events in town, gallery openings and concerts etc. It has certainly been helpful.

For finding a house to rent we put in a really nice notice on the Renters Forum about who we were, our backgrounds, interests, a mention of our blog so people can read even more about us, and of course a list of what we are looking for for a rental. Preferably long term, but we could start with something shorter if it was the right place. We got so many responses right away! And corresponded with some really nice people.  Continue Reading…

All of Mexico, Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende, The Paperwork, USA

VISAS FOR SUNSHINE AND SANGRIAS IN OUR HOT LITTLE HANDS!!!

April 4, 2018

We got our Temporary Resident Visas on the 26th of March at the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, CA and we are so excited about that!! We worked with a really lovely woman at the Consulate, but I forgot her name. We also talked to her the first time we went in in December. She works at counter #11 though for visas and if you get the pleasure of working with her it will make the process easy. But really, everyone there was very nice and helpful. The longest part of the whole day was just the waiting.

The actual processing was easy. We had to bring 2 copies of our bank statements showing either $20,000 or more average balance in our savings account for the past year or a pension or income of $1,100 or more in our checking for the each of the past 6 months. We also had to bring 2 specific passport photos each and a completed application for our Temporary Resident Visa. You can find the Sacramento Consulate website here. Continue Reading…

Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende

BUDGETS WHILE IN LIMBO, AND WHAT YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT WHEN CREATING YOUR OWN

March 31, 2018

We really thought we thought about everything we would need to have our budget cover all of our living/travel expenses, etc. for the 1st 3 months of 2018. The amount we came up with was $25,000 for our 2 one way tickets from San Francisco to Mexico City (we are flying the night flight in business because it works out better with the over baggage fees to pay a bit more for the ticket and less on luggage since 2 bags are allowed free and the third is $200, we had to purchase several suitcases and a couple of them had to be big ones (remember those 3 suitcases each are all we are bringing down), we needed visas and passport photos for the Mexican Consulate to get our Temporary Resident visas, travel insurance for at least 2 months until we can find some down there that would fit our needs and allowance, we have to take UBER (van) from Aunt Lorraine’s to SFO, and also a van from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende, we had an AirBnb for 5 weeks initially before we moved to Aunt Lorraine’s for the remainder of the time till departure, tax prep for 2017 taxes, food and entertainment (which of course we way over spent), health insurance for the US for Glenn and medications for the both of us, the last of the mortgage payments, and other expenses related to the home insurances and interest from the home loans, all our utilities for the entire time till we sold even though we weren’t in the house, our phones, immunizations, dental and doctor appointments, Ria’s therapy, transportation expenses from either gas or Uber while we were here, etc. Continue Reading…

Retirement Days, San Miguel de Allende, USA

ANOTHER FIESTA SEND OFF

March 31, 2018

Saint Patricks Day was celebrated in style but with a Mexican fiesta theme as our great friends Nai and David gave us another fabulous send off to San Miguel de Allende!! Now just a few weeks away. We had a great turnout and it included some people I had not see in about 20 years. It was so much fun to get caught up with everyone. There was a huge selection of great food, drink and bright decorations but everyone pretty much behaved. At times like this we realize how great our friendships are and that we will miss a lot of people.

Of course invitations were offered to have people come spend some time in San Miguel de Allende once we are settled. Several people with birthdays in July, and a few others are hopefully coming down at the beginning of the month for a collective celebration on the 4th. So that should be fun. We will need to spread other people/groups out though so we don’t become to overwhelmed. But we definitely want to show our new town off.

We should be back through the states in March each year to do our taxes at least until we have a few years under our belt with them and can begin to do them ourselves. And of course when we travel if we need to come through The Bay Area for a connection we will spend a few days.  We will have to watch for that 30 day mark where we are allowed to be in the country since we will be Mexican Residents. Longer and we will owe more taxes in the USA and we would have to worry about the whole health insurance thing.  We are counting down the days till departure.  If everything gets done earlier (we have 3 major things left) we have the option to go down to the house anytime after the 1st of April and we are really shooting for that. It may be a whirlwind takeoff in a matter of hours. All we have to do is grab the flights, lug our suitcases out to Uber, secure a van from MEX to SMA and let the house manager know that we are on our way.  Then no more real stress. At least that is what we think. We will have fun seeing what life actually brings.  Continue Reading…

Retirement Days, The Paperwork

CAPITAL GAINS AND INVESTMENTS AND WRAPPING IT UP

March 31, 2018

We have had to crunch new figures on the budget and see what we are up against since everything has changed. When you have $130,000-$300,000+ less than you planned on having some major shuffling and re-budgeting has to be done. And there is not a lot of space for error. So far it all looks like it will work out and we won’t have to get out of retirement. Hopefully I am figuring all the deductions out correctly to determine what our capital gains amount is that we have to pay taxes on. Boy, do those hurt. We find out on the 3rd of April if we are correct when we see our accountant and work out the Capital Gains tax etc. Fingers crossed. We owned the property (Glenn) and we have both had it for our permanent residence for two out of the past five years so we get the $500,000 exemption. We were able to take off quite a bit for the Home Improvements we did to the house, including adding in the entire basement apartment and laundry room downstairs and remodeling the main house upstairs. If we didn’t have those deductions we would not have been able to sell the house, retire and move to Mexico. We literally can’t afford the United States anymore unless we worked well over 70, and we can probably never come back to it. But we can live very well in many other countries. And that is what we are counting on. Let’s hope for no big surprises on the 3rd. I don’t think I can be off that much in my calculations. Continue Reading…

Retirement Days, The House, The Paperwork, USA

Repost and Revised…Selling A house IS Stressful!!! And A Big Roll Of The Dice!

March 31, 2018

You will probably notice that this is a revised repost of our posting on March 9th. Unfortunately we had to take down the original and postpone its release until after the house closed, because someone didn’t like us talking about the transactions. To me that is just an honest evaluation on how the house sale went. The house is now through Escrow and is on Record and we are finally DONE!!!, a new owner has taken possession, and we are so relieved and ready too move on. Once again we promised an honest account of our retired life and it’s ups and downs. So here it goes with the next installment. Continue Reading…