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IMSS/Seguro Popular at Lakeside

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Post by coffeeguy Wed Nov 09, 2022 4:30 pm

Several friends who've been thinking about moving to Lakeside have asked me about this topic and since we moved back NOB almost 4 years ago I didn't have current info to give them, so am hoping some of the many knowledgeable folks who post here can help.

For someone who plans on getting either a temporal or permanente visa and paying for routine care out-of-pocket but wants catastrophic coverage what's the situation with IMSS and or SP at Lakeside - specifically in Chapala to Ajijic as I don't think newbies like my friends would be moving to Joco right away if ever. When we last lived there Chapala IMS was actively hostile to expats and looking for any excuse to refuse care - even to folks who'd paid in for years. And as I recall private insurance became prohibitively expensive starting at age 70 if not before. My friends can (just) meet the new higher income requirements for residency Visas but don't have an extra 100-200K per person lying around should they come down with cancer, need heart bypass surgery, get hit by a bus, etc.

Any thoughts and/or websites for further research would be much-appreciated.

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Post by CanuckBob Wed Nov 09, 2022 7:16 pm

I would say not much has changed in 4 years other than SP being amalgamated with some other service. I wouldn't want to be in the care of either of them. If it's catastrophic that's even worse........IMO. Perhaps others have different experiences/opinions.

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Post by BisbeeGal Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:24 pm

coffeeguy wrote:Several friends who've been thinking about moving to Lakeside have asked me about this topic and since we moved back NOB almost 4 years ago I didn't have current info to give them, so am hoping some of the many knowledgeable folks who post here can help.

My friends can (just) meet the new higher income requirements for residency Visas but don't have an extra 100-200K per person lying around should they come down with cancer, need heart bypass surgery, get hit by a bus, etc.

Any thoughts and/or websites for further research would be much-appreciated.

I realize you asked about IMSS and Segura Popular (now combined and called Insabi, I believe), but saw this at Sonia Diaz's FB page.  Your friends (and others) may want to consider applying before the end of this year for an RP or RT.  

Sonia Diaz wrote:On September 23, 2022, AMLO announced there will be a substantial increase in minimum wage which will directly increase the financial requirements for residency. Expect at least a 25% increase January 1, 2023.
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Post by CanuckBob Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:28 pm

I have also heard that some consulates are not even allowing P visa's if the applicant isn't old enough, retired and collecting their own governments pension. This may be their way of cracking down on these digital nomads? I sure hope not as this will significantly affect the demographics around here going forward.

"Permanent residency permits
When you apply for permanent residency on the basis of economic solvency, you don’t have to hold temporary residency before applying for and being granted permanent residency, but:

the financial criteria to qualify for permanent residency are higher, and
many consulates require the applicant(s) ‘to be retired’ to apply for permanent residency—even if they qualify economically."

https://www.mexperience.com/difference-between-temporary-and-permanent-residency-mexico/#:~:text=Our%20associate%20has%20recently%20encountered%20cases%20whereby%20a,discretion%20to%20grant%20or%20deny%20any%20residency%20visas.

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Post by coffeeguy Tue Nov 15, 2022 4:10 pm

Thanks BisbeeGal and Canuck Bob!

Individual Mexican consulates have always had wildly varying and idiosyncratic approaches to granting RP and RT's. For example, the one nearest to us here in Tucson decided not to accept any permanente applications after Trump got in just out of spite because of his hatred of immigrants. And both times we applied for temporals it was a real PITA because we were younger then and applied just on the basis of assets since we were too young for social security.

Raising the income requirements another 25% from their already sky-high level would indeed be pretty disastrous. Even as is I think 90% of the expats I know in Mexico couldn't meet today's income requirements if they suddenly had to re-apply for residency visas.

As with so many other things (energy policy, health care, crime and public safety) AMLO is moving Mexico in the exact opposite direction from what's needed, IMHO. You'd really have to want to live in Mexico, considering that countries like Costa Rica and Ecuador - not to mention Portugal and Spain - all of which have far healthier political and health care systems and far better safety and infrastructure - make residency visas much easier to get.

I'll recommend that my friends consider those options, or just stay put here in Tucson and enjoy visiting Mexico from time to time.

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Post by BisbeeGal Tue Nov 15, 2022 4:42 pm

@coffee guy I agree the income requirements went too high too fast. If the 25% estimated increase holds for 2023, the RT income will jump from just under $2,600 per month to over $3,300.

As far as Spain and Portugal, unless you can qualify and obtain an EU passport, neither of these countries (last I looked) are places to set up long term residency.

Each has a Golden Passport where you can "buy" your way in, and a pathway to citizenship, with a 500K Euro investment in a home or with Portuguese institutional investments.

While Portugal has a 1 year visa, it does not allow you access to their Health system, in fact you have to show proof of a prepaid private health insurance policy in Portugal before you can submit the application for the 1 year visa.

Without the Golden Passport process or a 1 year visa, Portugal will issue you a 90 day visa upon arrival. You can only stay for 90 days in any 180 day period.

The above is my understanding on research we did after visiting Portugal in early 2019. We last looked at Spain as a retirement venue in 2016, at which time it had in place the same visas/Golden Passport options as Portugal.

If you can prove that any of your grandparents were born in an EU country you can try to get an EU passport. I tried but unfortunately all 4 of my grandparents emigrated to the US from Lithuania in the early 1900s when it was considered Russian territory. I declined to look into obtaining a Russian passportIMSS/Seguro Popular at Lakeside 1f60e

If I am incorrect on any of this data, please someone correct me.
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Post by coffeeguy Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:02 pm

You can apply for Portugal's D7 visa pretty easily. The current requirements are discussed here:

https://www.globalcitizensolutions.com/portugal-d7-visa/

The basics:

D7 Visa and Residence Permit Requirements
In order to apply for the visa you need to:
* Be a non-EU national
* Earn a passive income of at least €760 per month (your income can come from pensions, transferable equity, real estate, intellectual property, or financial equity)
* Show proof of a place to live in Portugal
* Be willing to reside for more than 183 consecutive days per calendar year in Portugal

And yeah, you have to pay for health insurance for a few years but it's a lot easier and cheaper than private health insurance in Mexico (and, unlike Mexico, they have a functioning health care system - witness for example the difference in how the two countries handled COVID). But overall, far lower income requirements, clear (not arbitrary) standards.

No mole or mariachis, but the quality of life there ain't too shabby either:

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/12/this-52-year-old-retiree-left-america-for-portugal-a-look-at-his-typical-day-its-pretty-affordable.html



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Post by BisbeeGal Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:10 pm

@coffee guy Thanks for the info! I think we are too far down the road to make a drastic move to the EU, but this is great info for others.
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Post by CanuckBob Tue Nov 15, 2022 6:01 pm

Portugal is too far away for us and the weather isn't nearly as good as here. It's also quite a bit more expensive now than Mexico.

Here is Guadalajara vs Lisbon from Numbeo. It is significantly more expensive there for consumer goods, rents and restaurants.

Indices Difference Info
Consumer Prices in Guadalajara are 25.20% lower than in Lisbon (without rent)
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Guadalajara are 34.18% lower than in Lisbon
Rent Prices in Guadalajara are 49.49% lower than in Lisbon
Restaurant Prices in Guadalajara are 31.45% lower than in Lisbon
Groceries Prices in Guadalajara are 3.93% lower than in Lisbon
Local Purchasing Power in Guadalajara is 7.08% higher than in Lisbon

I'm not against Mexico raising the bar for resident visa's. We already have too many "financial refugees" IMO. They become needy and angry..........lol.

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Post by coffeeguy Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:34 pm

Yeah but that’s Guad. for locals vs. Lisbon for locals. Gringos at Lakeside are typically paying far more for food and rent in the places that cater to them.

I’d bet it’s a wash cost-wise between typical gringo lifestyles in Ajijic and Portugal or Spain. Quality of life, food, government, health care and infrastructure is far better in Europe. No question weather is better at Lakeside. Main point though is that much cheaper cost of living and better weather have historically been the main drivers of expats moving to known havens like Lakeside and SMA. Weather remains.

Raising the bar for resident visas is one thing, but they’ve gone so far overboard now that anyone who meets the requirements could easily live in any number of places with far better safety, infrastructure, health care, rule of law and so on.

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Post by CanuckBob Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:25 am

My daughter was just in Portugal for 3 weeks and said it was far more $$ than Mexico (she visits here all the time as she is a flight attendant) however YMMV.

Inflation has been so rampant all over the world that one needs to get current information for comparisons. Using numbers from one or two years ago is inaccurate now. I hear people that haven't been NOB for many years complaining about the price increases here but they have no idea how much it is back home for them. I was just up in Canada a few months ago and I can assure everyone that Ajijic is still quite the bargain in comparison.

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Post by coffeeguy Wed Nov 16, 2022 8:15 am

It's all a matter of one's frame of reference. Anyplace in Mexico - even a gringo haven like Ajijic - is going to seem cheap to a Canadian. And so would Portugal:

https://livingcost.org/cost/lisbon/vancouver

Getting back to my original questions that prompted the post though, in any of the other countries I mentioned (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Portugal, Spain, etc.) an expat can fully participate in their excellent national healthcare systems once they have full residency. In Costa Rica for example the cost of doing so is 8% of the pension income (for one person in a couple, or an individual applicant).

In Mexico meanwhile, you'd better have a couple hundred thousand dollars per person to self-insure for emergencies, or maintain Medicare in the U.S. with a Medivac plan to get you there (and pray you don't have an emergency that requires local treatment and precludes getting on a plane). Given that most folks think about moving down there at exactly the time of life when such eventualities are most likely (we're not all young whipper-snappers like you CanuckBob Very Happy ) the need to plan for them along with the now sky-high (relatively speaking) income requirements have to be taken in to consideration. The overall message to prospective expats coming from the Mexican government is "come and spend money here as a tourist but don't move here unless you're wealthy enough that you could afford to live most anywhere."

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Post by BisbeeGal Wed Nov 16, 2022 9:53 am

A side note on how the exchange rate can affect the income requirement.

Sonia's 2022 calculation uses a 20:1 exchange rate.  Today's rate is 19.30:1 and would increase the $2593 per month to $2687.  

Again, someone correct me if my math is off.

From Sonia's website,  
Sonia wrote:The following 2022 amounts are based on a 20 to 1 US$

​Monthly income ~$2593 US (300 days x minimum wage 172.87)
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Post by coffeeguy Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:42 am

BisbeeGal wrote:A side note on how the exchange rate can affect the income requirement.

Sonia's 2022 calculation uses a 20:1 exchange rate.  Today's rate is 19.30:1 and would increase the $2593 per month to $2687.  

Again, someone correct me if my math is off.

From Sonia's website,  
Sonia wrote:The following 2022 amounts are based on a 20 to 1 US$

​Monthly income ~$2593 US (300 days x minimum wage 172.87)
Thanks BisbeeGal!

$2687/month x 12 = $32,244 per year required income for 1 person in 2023. As I recall the amount of additional income required for a second person (i.e. a couple) is pretty much at the discretion of whatever Mexican consulate one applies at. Those minimums suggest that the only expats they want are more along the lines of the more visible part of the San Miguel de Allende crowd: folks who have a home there, another NOB, maybe a condo in Europe too.

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Post by ferret Wed Nov 16, 2022 11:08 am

Not to muddy the waters but here is an updated take (November 2022) on all the ways to qualify for Mexican residency.
https://www.mexperience.com/financial-criteria-for-residency-in-mexico/
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Post by RoyD Wed Nov 16, 2022 6:57 pm

I agree with C-Bob, Ajijic is still a bargain. I kept track of our daily expenses over the 2 months we were there, which included groceries, laundry supplies, eating out (a lot), bus and taxi fares, maid service, Guad Zoo, and 2 trips to Tonala. It does not include all the things my wife bought to fill two suitcase we brought back and rent.

We averaged $70 US a day. Someone on a budget could make it in $50 US a day. Easy.

RoyD

P.S. I paid $1700 for 2 months rent which included utilities, WIFI, and Shaw Cable.

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