Friday, March 22, 2013

Questions, questions, questions

Paradise - Isla Mujeres QR Mexico
“Wow!  Lucky you.”  That’s the first thing that people say when we tell them that we live on Isla Mujeres, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.  

And then the questions start. 

“Can you own property?”  Actually, Mexico makes it relatively easy for foreigners to own property.  Inland, you can hold a direct title to your Mexican real estate.  

2007 Paperwork done!  The lot is ours.

In the restricted zones — including prized beach areas or the manufacturing zone near the USA/Mexico border — you can own real estate through a bank trust.   The choice of bank is up to you.  

The trust will have a renewal term of anywhere from twenty-five to forty-five years.  The bank will handle the government forms that need to be filed yearly, for a fee of course.  The trust can be transferred or sold.  

Do a little off-shore fishin'
“Do you feel safe?”   Yes we do.  But, having said that we do not live on the USA/Mexico border where there are problems on both sides of the line.   We aren’t night-owls.  We barely stay awake for sunset so we aren’t involved in the late night action.  And like any country in the world - big cities have areas that you would not venture for any reason.  The same applies to Mexican cities. 

Searching for pirate treasure with family members.

“What do you do with your time?”  Ah, well, what does any retired person do with their time?  

We read, putter at small jobs around the house, enjoy a meal with friends or family, nap, putter some more, go for a walk, learn a bit of Spanish, do a little off-shore fishin’, take photographs, and write two blogs.  

Another favourite pastime is road trips, exploring various cities and villages.

X-Rays for the Knee-Doc, he fixed my knee

“What do you do for medical?”  This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions.  As Canadian living outside our country our universal healthcare is void after an absence of six months.  Here in Mexico we chose to pay as we go.  If we need something done we pay for it – a lot less than we would pay in either the USA or Canada.   Some of our friends have had stellar treatment at any one of the three first-class hospitals in Cancún with their American-trained doctors.  Others have not had a good experience.  The same can be said for any doctor in any hospital in any country.  Outstanding, good, bad, or indifferent treatment – it depends.  Rather than obsess about potential health issues, we just enjoy every day for what it is.

“How much are your property taxes?”  Low.  But like every country taxes vary from property to property, size of the house, waterfront versus inland – all of the usual conditions that are taken into account for property taxes.

“Do you have to leave the country every six months?”  No, not if you have an FM3, FM2, or the newer permanent resident card.  If you come in under a one hundred-and-eighty-day visitors permit, yes you do have to leave, but you may return again.

“Can I work in Mexico?” Sure, once you obtain the necessary permits and permissions.  A number of the island restaurants, real estate offices, and stores are owned and operated by people from other countries.  

And finally:
Lots of good friends and family members on this island
“What do you miss the most of all?”  I miss very little except the close proximity of my immediate family.   I do, however, wish we had a better comprehension of the laws, rules, and regulations.  When a person grows up in a certain culture be it Canadian, American or European you have an innate understanding of what expected of you.  When you switch to a different culture, life can, at times, get interesting, very interesting. 

I also miss conversing in a language that I am comfortable with.  And before you feel the need to email me and advise me to take lessons – I am sixty-two, Lawrie is seventy-one.  Our brains seldom retain the words that we have learned.  It is what it is.  We try to find a new word every day that we can remember.  That is a huge accomplishment in our books!

Enjoy every day!  

And yes, “Wow!  Lucky us!”  

We enjoy living in paradise with good weather, good food, and good friends.  

Try it – you might like it!

Hasta Luego          
Lynda and Lawrie


Diane said...
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Life's a Beach! said...

As always, love all your info and photos Lynda!

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Thank you Becky! Cheers L