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Cost of living

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Post by ferret Sun Oct 01, 2023 7:13 pm

Busted. Yes, locally grown is better but I was more thinking of the price for those fruits and vegetables from November to May. I couldn't even find avocados offered on a Loblaw's flyer website.
I used to use a lot of chopped onions and peppers in my cooking in Canada. In the fall, I would buy bushels of both at a local farmer's market and chop away. They both freeze beautifully without blanching. Ended up with an entire winter's worth of nicely frozen flat packs in ziploc bags. It made chili and spaghetti sauce making a lot quicker.
Picked strawberries in the morning in June and had a dozen jars of jam by noon.
Mudgirl, the main street of San Pancho is lined with Mango trees... fruit free for the taking.

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Post by mudgirl Sun Oct 01, 2023 7:42 pm

The area I live in in Sayulita also has tons of mango trees. There are thousands rotting on the ground in July. I can fill a grocery-size bag with good ones in a few minutes. This year I made 18 jars of mango jam before I went to Canada.

I used to even harvest all the greens- kale, chard, arugula, etc., from my garden in Canada when the first frost was forecast, dry them in the oven and had a big jar of "mixed greens" to toss into soups and stews in the winter.

"I couldn't even find avocados offered on a Loblaw's flyer website".

Funny story- years ago, driving with my then boyfriend and the kids to Mexico in January , we stopped at a Kmart in southern California to buy some flipflops. Even though it was about 80 degrees out, they had no flipflops because, as they told us, "it's out of season".
I guess in and out of season for big box stores is dependent not on the location or what they can source, but on the calendar. "It's January- no one's gonna buy flipflops". :-)

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Post by ferret Sun Oct 01, 2023 7:54 pm

LOL!
Okay, did some more digging. Locally, our Walmart has avocados in the bag for 8.8 pesos each... which is 69 Canadian cents each. And Loblaws, in Ontario, has them for 79 Canadian cents each. Right now. WTF? I'll check again in December and January.

edited to add: an interesting read... I had no idea that avocados are harvested pretty much year round now since it depends on altitude...
https://avocadosfrommexico.com/avocados/avocado-journey/

I miss rhubarb, parsnips and rutabaga.
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Post by mudgirl Sun Oct 01, 2023 8:27 pm

But are those avocados at your Lakeside Walmart from a local source? They might not be. They might be shipped from Chiapas or even some other country.

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Post by RickS Sun Oct 01, 2023 9:49 pm

Stay tuned for.... The Avocado Hour. Coming to a theater near you.
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Post by Jreboll Sun Oct 01, 2023 10:02 pm

Damn! Now I won’t be able to sleep.

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Post by coffeeguy Sun Oct 01, 2023 11:14 pm

rafterbr wrote:We are lucky we bought casa in Riberas six years ago.  The taxes, utilities, wifi, etc really haven't changed all that much,  We pay our gardener double what we did 6 years ago but he is still making only about $4 USD an hour.  Restaurants and grocery stores are higher but these are the only extra expenses we have so we feel very fortunate to live Lakeside.  Weather is great, people are friendly, many, many restaurants with wide choices of foods, good public transportation, world wide airport, many festivals to enjoy, decent health facilities. I don't know of another country where you can enjoy all of these things.  I d

Owning a place outright makes all the difference.

The quality and freshness of produce in Mexico is unbeatable and prices are maybe a quarter of what we pay here assuming you shop at local fruiterias and verdurias.

Agree wholeheartedly about the weather. Restaurants...not so much. Mediocre Mexican food because it's Jalisco which is the Omaha of Mexico. The gringo/Guad. squad meat-and-taters places (Tango, Ancla, etc.) wouldn't survive for a week N.O.B. They only seem good because better isn't available

As far public transportation, it's godawful. Buses are packed to the gills and start running late and quit early and it takes forever to get anywhere if you survive your texting driver. Forget about getting a taxi and of course no Uber except for from the airport maybe.

Good access to doctors for everyday stuff if you have the money to pay 5 times the Mexican rate for English speaking docs who cater to the expat population. But for anything serious you'd better have a few hundred K in the bank so you can pay for a decent private hospital in Guad or get back home where Medicare will cover you.

Not trying to rain on anybody's parade but let's be realistic.

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Post by mudgirl Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:12 am

"Good access to doctors for everyday stuff if you have the money to pay 5 times the Mexican rate for English speaking docs who cater to the expat population."

It may be like that Lakeside or in Guad, but I haven't found it so where I live on the coast. Plenty of doctors speak English and have both expat and Mexican patients. There used to be an English-speaking doctor in Bucerias a lot of expats went to, who has since retired, that I went to a few times, though not for anything serious. But other people I knew who did have more serious issues said he was a really good diagnostician. He had a dingey little office with no windows and there were both expats and average-looking Mexicans in his waiting room. He charged about 200 pesos a visit. Maybe he charged the Mexicans less, but I'm sure not one fifth of that.

And when I had a really bad back problem, with excruciating sciatica, I saw an English-speaking neurologist in a Puerto Vallarta hospital, who spent an hour with me, for 500 pesos, which was the going rate for any specialist at the time. No doctor spends an hour with you in Canada.

A friend here had to drive 5 hours to Guadalajara and rent an Airbnb there when she was undergoing chemo treatments. Her oncologist asked where her Airbnb was, said he had to pass quite close to there on his way to the hospital, and offered to pick her up each day. I've never heard of any doctor up north who would do such a thing.

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Post by rafterbr Mon Oct 02, 2023 11:16 am




Agree wholeheartedly about the weather. Restaurants...not so much. Mediocre Mexican food because it's Jalisco which is the Omaha of Mexico. The gringo/Guad. squad meat-and-taters places (Tango, Ancla, etc.) wouldn't survive for a week N.O.B. They only seem good because better isn't available



I agree with you there are no great steak houses or Chinese or Thai or any other USA, Canadian, European, Chinese, etc restaurants Lakeside. We are in Mexico what we do have is world class Birria, Cabrito,Tamales and many other fish and shrimp dishes. Each country has its own great foods, for instance when you think of Italy you think of pasta. Here you can find almost any food you can think of but I would agree most are of an average level but I would not expect them to be of a level equal to where the country specializes it. I often go to Jocotepes for its great Birria and Cabrito.

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Post by ferret Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:12 pm

Good thing that some of you weren't here in '96 when the restaurants were few and far between with limited offerings. It's gotta be at least 2000 per cent better than it was then but there's just no pleasing some people.
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Post by Jreboll Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:23 pm

In my old age I look more for quality of preparation and consistency. Atmosphere and service also has to rate high.
As far as taste is concerned anything is better than what I prepare at home.

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Post by gringal Mon Oct 02, 2023 2:09 pm

We moved to Mexico 18 years ago.  We had been living in California, and at that time (and more so now) the cost of living on the usual retirement amount was at the point where dining out was a rare occasion.  Our home here cost enough less that the one we sold in CA that we were able to pay cash and put much of the sale into a savings account.  Since we never socialize with people most consider obnoxious, that's never been a problem.
We dropped our Medicare after we'd been here awhile and in spite of some serious medical problems along the way, we're way ahead of what we would have paid to keep Medicare.
In other words, as far as we're concerned,  life here is GOOD.

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Post by brigitte Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:27 am

you just got luckier than many gringal. A cancer treatment here can put you under wihout any problems so each person has to evaluate how much money they can afford , their medical history and roll the dice.

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Post by ferret Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:42 am

There are many questions for the Oncologist including "If I go through this, how much longer is it going to give me?". For my husband it was a whopping 18 months. He chose quality of life because he had seen what chemo treatments have done to friends and didn't consider the extra 18 months worth it. Every case is different but it's going to depend on your age and/or whether you're trying to stay alive to 1) get your affairs in order or 2) a special event like a wedding etc. or 3) you're hoping for a miracle.
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Post by Jreboll Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:44 am

We all have to make our own decisions as to how far we want to extend our lives. Many times heroic measures are done in vain and I’ve many times seen the extreme of these measures. It is not for me to judge what is extreme for others but I have already made my decisions and so should each one of you.

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Post by BisbeeGal Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:50 am

brigitte wrote:you just got luckier than many  gringal. A cancer treatment here can put you under wihout any problems so each person has to evaluate how much money they can afford  , their medical history and roll the dice.
Not only  cancer.  Standard protocol meds for heart disease cost around $500 USD equivalent monthly here. In US with Medicare Advantage,  co-pays for same  meds run $100.  

Hip replacements in US with Medicare Advantage are pretty much free; in MX I paid equivalent of $10,000 USD (and that was when exchange rate was 20:1).
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Post by gringal Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:24 am

No, I haven't been lucky, health wise. Several hospitalizations and a slew of daily drugs for heart/lung disease. Haven't had chemo and at my age, would refuse it. "Quality of Life" value is different for different people.

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Post by gringal Thu Oct 05, 2023 2:21 pm

P.S.  Suggest that people living here and on Social Security multiply the amount of money deducted monthly for Medicare coverage by the number of months you've lived here.  You may be shocked.

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Post by brigitte Thu Oct 05, 2023 4:17 pm

You have been luchy if You have not gotten an illnesd like cáncer that can be extremely costly and comes back and back. We all get suck and have surgery and treatmenta but some diseases can be extremely costly.even In México

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Post by BisbeeGal Thu Oct 05, 2023 4:37 pm

gringal wrote:P.S.  Suggest that people living here and on Social Security multiply the amount of money deducted monthly for Medicare coverage by the number of months you've lived here.  You may be shocked.

Your suggestion to drop Medicare has too many possible variables to forecast outcomes even with a crystal ball. At the very best it's a roll of the dice and a matter of luck. I am not willing to take that risk.

My current monthly Medicare premium ($165) plus my private supplemental premium ($20) total $2220 a year. If you get cancer, have a heart attack, get in a bad accident or need expensive surgery shortly after giving up Medicare you will take a huge financial hit. As I said, hip replacement in MX costs at least the equivalent of $10,000 USD. It would take 4.5 years of Medicare and supplemental premiums to pay that bill alone.

On prescriptions, the heart medications I mentioned that cost the equivalent of $500 USD monthly in MX are live-long medications, you never go off of them and as time passes, more may be added. These drugs' copays in the US under my plan are $100 per month.

On a personal note, my 70 y/o cousin had a successful Bone Marrow Transplant at the Mayo Clinic last month.  Medicare and his supplemental covers in it full; he will be in hospital 2 months, then he and his wife will be housed at no expense to them, in a studio apartment on Mayo's grounds until the end of December.  I can't imagine the out of pocket costs for a BMT in Mexico.
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Post by gringal Thu Oct 05, 2023 5:38 pm

No question that there are different ways of dealing with health care for each of us.

I have never pretended to live in the U. S., and I am well aware that Medicare will not cover me in Mexico for other than emergency treatment...and then, probably not 18 years later. Based on my own Medicare deductions, I would have spent well over $43,000 by now. There would be no inexpensive way for me to spend time in the U.S. anyway, plus plane fare, so the choices have been limited.  The many expensive drugs I have to take have been going on for several  years and will probably continue for the balance of my life. Since I am well over 80, that will probably not be long.
So......different strokes here.  In my case, I believe I was financially ahead by dropping the monthly Medicare deduction.

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Post by brigitte Thu Oct 05, 2023 6:13 pm

I dropped the medicare too because by the time you go back and stay in hotel while the other one is in treatment you spend a bundle.

A Mexican friend of mine spend a million dollars on his wife between his insurrance and his personal money so Mexico is not all cheap either but at my age I would dink the million dollar before I spent it, if I had it, on hospital and doctors and medecine..

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Post by BisbeeGal Thu Oct 05, 2023 6:21 pm

gringal wrote:No question that there are different ways of dealing with health care for each of us.

I have never pretended to live in the U. S., and I am well aware that Medicare will not cover me in Mexico for other than emergency treatment...and then, probably not 18 years later. Based on my own Medicare deductions, I would have spent well over $43,000 by now. There would be no inexpensive way for me to spend time in the U.S. anyway, plus plane fare, so the choices have been limited.  The many expensive drugs I have to take have been going on for several  years and will probably continue for the balance of my life. Since I am well over 80, that will probably not be long.
So......different strokes here.  In my case, I believe I was financially ahead by dropping the monthly Medicare deduction.

It worked out for you, for many others it could result in catastrophic financial hardship or ruin.

Surely you have known of expats here setting up GoFundMe accounts or having fundraisers because they cannot afford an expensive operation or treatment here. A successful local restauranteur is currently having fundraisers held for his cancer treatments, as he has a few times in the past 10 years or so.

People need to be aware of all the consequences as well as the intricacies of such an important financial decision.

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Post by kiko Thu Oct 05, 2023 9:05 pm

Probably my biggest health problem is dementia.  I keep forgetting to worry about tomorrow.  

But then maybe that's a good thing at times.  Cost of living - Page 2 1f636
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Post by Jreboll Thu Oct 05, 2023 9:09 pm

don't worry, the future always happens again.

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Post by CanuckBob Fri Oct 06, 2023 8:48 am

BisbeeGal wrote:
gringal wrote:No question that there are different ways of dealing with health care for each of us.

I have never pretended to live in the U. S., and I am well aware that Medicare will not cover me in Mexico for other than emergency treatment...and then, probably not 18 years later. Based on my own Medicare deductions, I would have spent well over $43,000 by now. There would be no inexpensive way for me to spend time in the U.S. anyway, plus plane fare, so the choices have been limited.  The many expensive drugs I have to take have been going on for several  years and will probably continue for the balance of my life. Since I am well over 80, that will probably not be long.
So......different strokes here.  In my case, I believe I was financially ahead by dropping the monthly Medicare deduction.

It worked out for you, for many others it could result in catastrophic financial hardship or ruin.  

Surely you have known of expats here setting up GoFundMe accounts or having fundraisers because they cannot afford an expensive operation or treatment here.  A successful local restauranteur is currently having fundraisers held for his cancer treatments, as he has a few times in the past 10 years or so.  

People need to be aware of all the consequences as well as the intricacies of such an important financial decision.  


I guess he wasn't that successful. I would tell anyone who can't afford at least $50K in medical costs, to stay home.......or go back home. You shouldn't rely on the generosity of others. At least Americans can hang onto their medical coverage if they want. Canadians don't have that option.

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