Tag Archive Mexico

ByJ.P. Allen

What is Expat911 and How Does it Work?

Expat911 is an application that was created for Expat’s living in Mexico

The application was created due to the lack of English speaking 911 operators here in Mexico. We heard from many Expats living here in Mexico that they were unable to report emergency situations due to the language barrier. 911 services in Mexico vary from state to state.

Some of the states have a part time operator who speaks English, but that operator is only available at specific times. There are other states that do not have any English spoken operators. This is a big problem if you are facing a life threatening situation and you are unable to explain what type of emergency responder you need.

Most of the Expats living in Mexico have never thought about this issue. Unfortunately, they only find out about this when it may already be too late. It’s important to take all precautions ensuring your protection before these situations arise. We hope that you never have to use our application, but if you do it’s important to know that we will be there for you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This insurance will allow you to feel at ease knowing that you are protected at all times and all places during your time in Mexico. The application has built in GPS technology which allows you to report your emergency to us at home or on the road.

The application is very simple to use.

There are 3 emergency buttons that you can push during your emergency. The 3 options are for Police, Ambulance or Fire. When you click which emergency situation you’re having, you can then add a message as well. This message and alert will be received by our team. We will call you immediately to ask for any additional details. Then we will call 911 on your behalf and report this emergency. Once we have reported the emergency, we will call you back to let you know that help is on the way.  We will then ask if you wish for us to reach out to your contacts.  We will then contact your family back home in the US/Canada if you confirmed. We will also call any neighbors, family, loved ones and even local doctors that you have in your predetermined contacts to let them know about your situation.

We mentioned before that we use GPS technology in the application. This is extremely important because we can send emergency responders to your location even when the situation is not in your home. If you are in a car accident this is key as we can see the location and use this during the reporting to 911.  Would you be able to explain your locations to Mexico’s 911 services if you were not at home?  Mexico’s 911 does not have GPS capabilities, and so if you called 911 they would not know where you are.  You would have to be able to explain where you are and know the streets to give them the address.  We can also cover you while you are traveling to other cities within Mexico, or even while you are out just running errands.

  • This service is only $ 99.00 USD per year.
  • We also offer a couples package for $ 148.50 USD per year.  Please inquire on how to activate this plan as it requires a 50% off coupon for the 2nd user that we must send to you after the first user makes the full payment.
  • That’s less than a night’s stay in a hotel or a dinner for 4 at a nice restaurant.

Below is a guide to help you get set up:

Step By Step Guide To Setting Up Expat911

It will take around 15 minutes, but once done you will be covered for life.

 

ByJ.P. Allen

How to Get Set Up With Expat911

Sign-Up Video Tutorial:  iPhone – Android

We recommend you watch how-to video before installing and registering


In this guide below we go through the easy yet very important steps to set up your Expat911 account

Depending on your device, the first thing you will need to do is download the actual application from the App Store or Google Play Store.  You can find the application by doing a search for “Expat911″.

Once you find the application, you will now download and install the application. A logo will be created on your home screen once the application has been downloaded and installed.

Now that you have installed the application to your smart phone, you will need to register your account.

So click on the logo for Expat911 which was created on your home screen. If you do not see it on your home screen, please check in your apps folder.

When you click on the logo, you will be taken to the home screen of the application. The home screen will ask you to log in or sign-up for an account. Please click on the sign-up link.

Now you will be asked to fill in some basic information. Please enter your full name, email and phone number. The email entered is where you will receive all emails from us and will also be your user name for logging in. The phone number is extremely important and must match the phone that you will be using for this service. We will use this number to call you during the emergency situation that you are reporting. Please click next after these steps.

The next page will have more detailed information that needs to be filled out. Here you will enter your date or birth, full address and create your password. When finished entering this information, please click the sign-up button.

At this point your account has been created in our database. If you were to try and log in, you will be told that your account needs to be activated by email activation. Please check your email address that you used when registering. You should have an email from info@expat911.mx. This email may take a few minutes to arrive. If you still have not received the email after 10 minutes, please check your spam or junk email folder.

Once you have received the email, you will click on the link within the email that says “click here to activate account”. A new page will pop up saying that your account is now active. If you try and log into the application now, you will receive a pop up that says your account is still pending payment.

In order to make the payment, you will need to visit our website www.expat911.mx. On the top right corner of the website you will see the Log In link. Click on this link and enter in your email and password that you set up when registering your account on the application. On the left side of the page you will see a link for Orders. Please click here and then click Go Shop on the next page.

Complete Emergency Service for only $ 99 per year

On the Go Shop page you will see the option for the Annual Subscription for $ 99.00. Click the Add to Cart button at the bottom of this Annual Subscription. Now click on View Cart.  It will take you to the page where you can process the payment by clicking on Proceed to Checkout.

On the next page you will fill out your billing information. You then have the choice of paying by Stripe or Paypal. If you have a Paypal account already set up, then this would be the quickest form of payment for you. If you do not have a Paypal account, then we recommend using Stripe.

Stripe is quick and easy to use. It does not require an account, and you can pay quickly using your credit card. At this point you will have to accept the terms and conditions. You will see a link to view the terms and conditions, and you must check the box that you read and accept these before being able to process the payment.

The final step is to click on the payment button and enter your Paypal or Stripe information.

After you have finalized the payment, you will now receive confirmation emails regarding your payment in your email account. You should receive two emails. One will confirm that your payment has been made, and the other will confirm that you have been approved to use the service. At this point, your account is fully set up and your coverage begins.

You can now log into the app and user our services without issues.

We recommend that you now log in to the application and click on the menu button on the top left. This will open up the menu options and one of those options will be My Profile. Once you have opened this page, you can click on the top right to edit the profile. There is still some information that will be blank and was not required during the initial registration.

The information that you can enter here will have to do with your medical profile which we will use during the reporting of your emergency. You can enter your blood type, diseases, sicknesses and allergies here. At the bottom you will also see a section for Contacts. The contacts are important because we will contact these people for you, once we have reported your emergency. You can enter 1 contact from the US/Canada. Then you can add 3 more contacts here in Mexico.

In order to add more contacts, you just click on the plus sign on the top right of your first contact that you entered. This will open up a new contact form to be filled out. Please click on Save Changes once you have completed the above steps.

Congratulations!!!

You have now completed all of the necessary steps. Your account and profile are now complete which allows us to provide you with the best and fastest service that we can offer.

ByJ.P. Allen

Mexico Voted # 1 in World To Retire: Playa Del Carmen Snowbirds

Punish Radio hosts Cynthia Bandick Temorcioglu from British Columbia Canada.  She’s a long time snowbird going south for the winter to Playa del Carmen Mexico.   She’s also an internet entrepreneur with Nucerity International allowing her to live a positive lifestyle that fits her ambitions and a lifestyle blogger at Time in Playa del Carmen.

Mexico has always offered arguably the easiest transition to expat life around: Low-cost, conveniently close, friendly locals and plenty of expats—Mexico offers an appealing balance of exotic foreign culture and familiar First-World lifestyle.

Over recent years, crime and insecurity across the border have made headlines—and yes, there are parts of Mexico we don’t recommend. But this is a big country…and while the mainstream media may bash Mexico, we’ve actually noticed a trend of people gravitating there. Seasoned expats, folks who have lived in countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Belize, are moving to Mexico.

After all, there’s a reason over 1 million Americans call Mexico home. The cost of living is great—expats report living well for as little as $1,200 a month—and has gotten even better with the weakening of the peso against the dollar in recent years. Your dollars now buy nearly 50% more pesos than they did just a few short years ago.

The weak peso also means you can pick up great-value real estate (to buy or rent) for even less than you could a few years ago—an apartment that cost $1,300 to rent in 2014 costs $980 now. Those dollars also go even further when it comes to Mexican healthcare. You can get healthcare that’s even better quality than what you’re used to and for one half to one third the price to boot.

According to International Living’s Roving Latin America Editor Jason Holland, who lives on the Riviera Maya, there are first-rate hospitals throughout the country—every major city has one. “Even paying cash at private facilities costs a fraction of what it would in the U.S. Most doctors have received at least part of their training in the U.S. or Europe…and many speak English,” Jason says.

English is widely spoken in popular expat spots like Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya. This makes it easy for you to fit right in. And heck, you can drive down, or fly home for as little as $200 round-trip—so getting home is convenient.

This proximity also makes it an ideal destination for snowbird living, perfect for escaping from the worst of the winter weather. And the diverse selection of climates spread out across this massive country, ranging from hot weather on the beach to spring-like in the highlands, means you’re guaranteed to find weather that’s perfect for you.

“The cost of living in Mexico allows me to live a fun life on my Social Security check,” says San Francisco-native Jack Bramy. Living half a block from the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jack’s not scrimping. “There are great restaurants and tons of cool bars on the malecón (promenade). My rent is $575 a month for a two-bedroom apartment with a great modern bathroom and nice kitchen.”

If you prefer to live in the Colonial Highlands, there are the picturesque historic towns like San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Ajijic on Lake Chapala.

Chicago native Steve Garcia, 67, has lived in Guanajuato for four years. “I live well here on Social Security. My expenses are $1,200 a month, including rent. I have a two-bedroom house with a terraced garden,” says Steve. “With the dollar going up I’ve got 50% more to spend.”

After you become a legal resident of Mexico, which is quite easy to qualify for, you can also take advantage of its retiree benefits. Those over 60 get discounts on airline and bus tickets, medical care, museum entrance fees, and much more.

“I love my senior discount card,” says expat Marty Kramer who lives in Playa del Carmen. “All Mexican citizens, including resident expats, can get one when they turn 60. With it, I get discounts on almost everything: healthcare, public transportation, groceries, restaurants, hotels, and even some airlines. It’s up to the business how much of a discount they offer, but it’s usually around 10%.”

If you acquire official residence in Mexico, you can get an INAPAM Card—and all the discounts that come with it. These can range from 5% up to 50%. And recent changes in the law now provide an easier and faster path than ever to permanent Mexican residence.

Most retirees qualify for residence by showing they have the funds to support themselves. And—also unusually—Mexico gives you two ways to qualify. You can show monthly income from Social Security or a pension. Alternatively, you can use assets, such as funds in a savings or investment account, to qualify. You don’t need to transfer these assets to Mexico; you only need to prove that you have them.

“Life here is easy and relaxed,” says IL Mexico editor Glynna Prentice. “And also rich and complex in sensations and experiences. People are friendly and welcoming, their warmth as genuine as the Mexican sun. And roots are deep.

“Whether you’re looking at the mighty ruins of Teotihuacan, the face of a local Maya vendor, or the cool patio of a Spanish colonial hacienda, you sense a depth of history and tradition around you.

“Mexico isn’t perfect—no place is. But its flaws pale when weighed against the vividness of life here.”

Resources

XCaret Park
ByJ.P. Allen

Mexico Voted # 1 in World To Retire: Lake Chapala

Mexico has always offered arguably the easiest transition to expat life around: Low-cost, conveniently close, friendly locals and plenty of expats—Mexico offers an appealing balance of exotic foreign culture and familiar First-World lifestyle.

Over recent years, crime and insecurity across the border have made headlines—and yes, there are parts of Mexico we don’t recommend. But this is a big country…and while the mainstream media may bash Mexico, we’ve actually noticed a trend of people gravitating there. Seasoned expats, folks who have lived in countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Belize, are moving to Mexico.

After all, there’s a reason over 1 million Americans call Mexico home. The cost of living is great—expats report living well for as little as $1,200 a month—and has gotten even better with the weakening of the peso against the dollar in recent years. Your dollars now buy nearly 50% more pesos than they did just a few short years ago. The weak peso also means you can pick up great-value real estate (to buy or rent) for even less than you could a few years ago—an apartment that cost $1,300 to rent in 2014 costs $980 now. Those dollars also go even further when it comes to Mexican healthcare. You can get healthcare that’s even better quality than what you’re used to and for one half to one third the price to boot.

 

According to IL’s Roving Latin America Editor Jason Holland, who lives on the Riviera Maya, there are first-rate hospitals throughout the country—every major city has one. “Even paying cash at private facilities costs a fraction of what it would in the U.S. Most doctors have received at least part of their training in the U.S. or Europe…and many speak English,” Jason says.

English is widely spoken in popular expat spots like Lake Chapala and the Riviera Maya. This makes it easy for you to fit right in. And heck, you can drive down, or fly home for as little as $200 round-trip—so getting home is convenient.

The Malecon at Lake Chapala

This proximity also makes it an ideal destination for snowbird living, perfect for escaping from the worst of the winter weather. And the diverse selection of climates spread out across this massive country, ranging from hot weather on the beach to spring-like in the highlands, means you’re guaranteed to find weather that’s perfect for you.

“The cost of living in Mexico allows me to live a fun life on my Social Security check,” says San Francisco-native Jack Bramy. Living half a block from the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Jack’s not scrimping. “There are great restaurants and tons of cool bars on the malecón (promenade). My rent is $575 a month for a two-bedroom apartment with a great modern bathroom and nice kitchen.”

If you prefer to live in the Colonial Highlands, there are the picturesque historic towns like San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Ajijic on Lake Chapala.

Chicago native Steve Garcia, 67, has lived in Guanajuato for four years. “I live well here on Social Security. My expenses are $1,200 a month, including rent. I have a two-bedroom house with a terraced garden,” says Steve. “With the dollar going up I’ve got 50% more to spend.”

After you become a legal resident of Mexico, which is quite easy to qualify for, you can also take advantage of its retiree benefits. Those over 60 get discounts on airline and bus tickets, medical care, museum entrance fees, and much more.

“I love my senior discount card,” says expat Marty Kramer who lives in Playa del Carmen. “All Mexican citizens, including resident expats, can get one when they turn 60. With it, I get discounts on almost everything: healthcare, public transportation, groceries, restaurants, hotels, and even some airlines. It’s up to the business how much of a discount they offer, but it’s usually around 10%.”

If you acquire official residence in Mexico, you can get an INAPAM Card—and all the discounts that come with it. These can range from 5% up to 50%. And recent changes in the law now provide an easier and faster path than ever to permanent Mexican residence.

Most retirees qualify for residence by showing they have the funds to support themselves. And—also unusually—Mexico gives you two ways to qualify. You can show monthly income from Social Security or a pension. Alternatively, you can use assets, such as funds in a savings or investment account, to qualify. You don’t need to transfer these assets to Mexico; you only need to prove that you have them.

“Life here is easy and relaxed,” says IL Mexico editor Glynna Prentice. “And also rich and complex in sensations and experiences. People are friendly and welcoming, their warmth as genuine as the Mexican sun. And roots are deep.

“Whether you’re looking at the mighty ruins of Teotihuacan, the face of a local Maya vendor, or the cool patio of a Spanish colonial hacienda, you sense a depth of history and tradition around you.

“Mexico isn’t perfect—no place is. But its flaws pale when weighed against the vividness of life here.”

Resources

ByJ.P. Allen

5 Places to Live in Mexico…and 3 to Avoid

By , InternationalLiving.com

Mexico is not only the nearest destination abroad for U.S. and Canadian expats; it is also one of the most popular. More than a million expats are estimated to live in Mexico full- or part-time…the largest concentration of North American expats anywhere in the world.

Of course, it helps that Mexico is also one of the largest countries in the Americas, offering just about any climate, geographical landscape, and lifestyle you might want. As a result, you’ll find expats scattered all over Mexico. But some places have proven to be especially popular, with an appeal that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Here are five Mexico destinations where the living is easy…and any one of them could be your perfect expat home. (Plus a few places you may want to cross off your list.)

Modern Beach Living

For many North Americans, say “Mexico” and they think of white-sand beaches. That’s not surprising. Mexico has nearly 6,000 miles of coastline, much of it beautiful beach. If you’re looking for a beach lifestyle, Mexico will have you spoiled for choice.

For classic white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, it’s hard to beat Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This 80-mile stretch of coast runs along the Yucatán Peninsula from Cancún to Tulúm. Little beach towns are scattered all along the coast…and one—Playa del Carmen—has grown to become a city. One of the fastest-growing destinations in Mexico, Playa, as it’s known locally, offers a laidback beach vibe…and the upper-end shopping and restaurant scene of a larger city.

To enjoy small-town (but upscale) beach life on this coast, head to Tulúm. Once the domain of backpackers, Tulúm today attracts fashionistas and other trendsetters who come to get away from it all. Today you’ll find rustic, palm-thatched palapasalongside gourmet restaurants here…and a beach that’s considered one of the world’s most beautiful.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, has been an international beach resort for more than 50 years. Once a small fishing village, today the greater Vallarta area stretches for nearly 30 miles along the shores of Banderas Bay, one of the world’s largest bays. This area offers pure First-World living, with shopping, restaurants, and real estate at every price point; an international airport; and a large, international expat community. Beaches and a long malecón (esplanade) border large swaths of the city. But Puerto Vallarta offers so much to do—from zip-lining and horseback riding in the hills, to fine dining and recent film releases in town—that you’ll have plenty to do, even if you never put a toe in the water.

If you want big-city life with the beach a short distance away, there’s Mérida. Capital of the Yucatán Peninsula, this city of nearly a million residents lies about half an hour from the Yucatán Gulf Coast. Small villages dot this placid coast. This is where Mérida’s middle-class families have summered for generations. Today expats have joined them, but many towns still have a family-oriented feel. Don’t look for boutique shopping or dining here, but if you’re seeking a laidback beach life at still-low prices, you can find it here.

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Historic Cities

Not everyone wants to live on the beach…. If you prefer temperate weather and Spanish-colonial style, then Lake Chapala or San Miguel de Allende, both in central Mexico, may fit the bill. Lake Chapala has an enviably near-perfect climate—spring-like almost all year—and a large, diverse expat community. And being near Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, means easy access to its international airport and excellent medical facilities. San Miguel, about three hours north of Mexico City, is a beautifully preserved Spanish-colonial town that offers art galleries, gourmet restaurants, a wealth of arts and crafts, and a large expat community.

Places to Skip in Mexico

No country is perfect, and Mexico has gotten more than its share of knocks. But yes, some parts of Mexico should be avoided, while others are just not worth your time.

Some Mexican states bordering the U.S.—notably Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua—have vast, empty interiors where you can be at the mercy of accidents and bad weather. If you’re looking to drive down into central Mexico or farther south (and many expats do), consider checking routes through other Mexican states like Nuevo León, Sonora, and Baja California.

Acapulco was once one of Mexico’s top beach resorts, but age and scattered violence has dimmed the city’s glitter. If you want to stay on the beaches of Acapulco’s home state, Guerrero, head north to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

Finally, Tabasco may be a famous hot sauce, but the Mexican state is largely humid, low-lying land. It’s the boring, often wet stretch you’ll pass if you’re driving from central Mexico to the Yucatán Peninsula. Tabasco’s capital, Villahermosa, is a major business city, headquarters of Mexico’s oil industry and home to several museums. Take a quick look if you’re inclined…but with so many interesting places both north and south of it, you probably won’t want to linger.

ByJ.P. Allen

Moving to Mexico: How Safe to Live in Mexico?

by Diane Schmidt, TheSpruce.com

When people speak of moving to a country like Mexico, one of the inevitable first questions will be whether it is safe to live there. With media stories going on about drug wars, shootings, and kidnapping, can it be safe to live in Mexico?

Rather than believing all I have heard and read, I decided to ask my sister about how safe she felt in Mexico since she’s now lived there for over a year.

Now that you are way past the “honeymoon” period of your love affair with Mexico, I would like to ask you about some of the less savory aspects the country is heavily rumored to possess. How safe have you felt living in Mexico this past year?

Very. I guess it helps that we are here in the Yucatan, away from the border towns where most of the trouble is reported to be. We met a local resident in Merida, who told us that the Yucatan Peninsula is just about the safest place to be in Mexico.

Why is that do you think?

According to her, the peninsula is a deterrent to crime as it makes it hard for criminals to escape, being surrounded on three sides by water. I, myself, think it has also something to do with the nature of The Mayans, a peaceful, honest and hardworking people who make up much of the population in the Yucatan. I have never felt unsafe even walking the streets by myself at night here in Playa Del Carmen.

What about lesser crimes?

Have you experienced anyone trying to cheat you or ever had anything stolen from you?

Where we are in Playa Del Carmen is also heavily populated by tourists, especially in the high seasons, and yes, there is a sense when you walk down busy Quinta Avenida that everybody is out to make a buck off you.

And while 90% of the time, it is just a matter of enterprising Mexicans working hard at making a living, yes, we have experienced an instance or two when someone has tried to cheat us. Bertrand had a minor incident at the gas station once. Now we were made aware of the common ploy where the gas attendant does not reset the pump to zero, and you end up paying for your gas plus whatever the last person put into his or her car.

This time, the new tactic, apparently, is to put you at ease by showing you that the pump has been reset to zero. Then, hoping that you are now less likely to be vigilant, they try a sleight of hand when it comes time to pay for the gas. The pump showed he owed 445 pesos (around US$40). Bertrand handed the young man (strangely enough, he wasn’t the one who had pumped the gas) two 200-peso bills and a 50-peso bill. Instead of making a change, the boy held out the bills and repeated the amount Bertrand was supposed to pay.

In a flash, he had exchanged one of the 200-peso bills for a 20-peso bill, so that when Bertrand looked at what the boy was holding out, it looked like Bertrand had mistakenly given him a 200 and a 20 instead of two 200-peso bills.

Fortunately, Bertrand was wise to the trick, gave the boy one of his fiercer looks, and the boy sheepishly made a change. Needless to say, he didn’t get a tip. The next time Bertrand filled up, another attendant also made a point of showing him that he was resisting the pump. When Bertrand paid him, he made sure to count out the money bill by bill to the attendant, to make sure there was no discrepancy.

But really, this has been just about the only time thus far that we’ve been directly targeted in anything dishonest.

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So it does not make you feel unsafe, or that you need to be vigilant all the time?

No. We decided we would rather not live like that, and if we do lose something, either through our own carelessness and/or through somebody else’s dishonesty, then chances are that what we’ve lost has probably gone to someone who obviously needed it more.