Preparations for Retirement

Hopefully I’ve gotten you started toward the process of getting all your finances in order, which is great to do whether you are looking at retirement in 20 days or 20 years, as well as many other important segments of your life.

The day will come when you realize the old paycheck is going to no longer come to you a couple of times a month. From now on, it’s going to be what you’ve managed to save, perhaps a pension (and fewer of those are becoming a reality nowadays) and Social Security. So… set up a savings plan and stick to it.

Even if you find living in Mexico is not your cup of tea just yet, you should by now, be confident enough to know you can cross the border and save so much money on prescriptions, dental needs, and other medical needs, that you might find yourself feeling a consuming urge to take advantage of the situation and head south of the border, to experience it for yourself. And in doing so, guess what …you will be saving money!  Put it into that special savings account and let it grow!  You’ll be one step closer to a satisfying and enjoyable retirement!

Next, you’re going to need to have trust in the process that the Mexican government has set up in order for foreigners to take possession of property in Mexico. It does work. But, make sure you have competent, efficient realtor / contractor in order to make sure every t is crossed and every I is dotted. There are absolutely no shortcuts nor easy way around it. You must do as the Mexican law stipulates. But, with that competent agent, you will be able to relax and be assured that everything will go smoothly, from the first day you arrive in Mexico to do your “shopping” for the perfect lot to put your dream house on, to the day when you proudly walk through the front door to a beautifully completed home.

100_0387Just as in my original book, Retire In Luxury, I have tried to cover information that you will need, no matter which area of Mexico you decide to call your home. Everyone has their own special needs that that they want to fulfill during retirement. Yours may be a little hideaway in the mountains, near enough to the border that travel back and forth would be easy, or maybe you’re looking for a distant paradise, with no thought of traveling to the states for a long while. Maybe your desire is like ours was, excellent medical care, and something near the water – and easy access (airport) to get to the states when we need or want. An area where we could choose either to live in close company to other North American retirees or choose to be absorbed into the Mexican culture and peoples.beach

My retirement has become, in a big part, a seven-days-a-week dedication to helping others to see the pros and cons of moving to a foreign country, and then, hopefully helping them to be prepared so there are not too many surprises that confront and confound them during the years when they should just be able to enjoy and relax, due to the preparations they have taken.

Preparation Article by Barbie

I added this in 2012:  For at home safety, in the States, Dick and I both have a little unit we wear around our neck, that if you push the button, you are connected immediately to 911 and can ask for help right then!  It includes a  little unit that plugs into your phone system, and that’s all you need – click here: 

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see –

On Facebook? Comment on this post...


8 Responses to Preparations for Retirement

  1. Jane

    March 29, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Hi Barbie!
    Your site is like an encyclopedia for me as I have been preparing over recent years for retirement, and as I think about each topic I need to address. I am following closely your guidelines for preparation, like the ones you mention in this recent post. Have been very, very helpful as I plan.

    Next July, I will turn 62 and will begin getting social security. At that time, it’s my plan to move to Mexico! Yippee! I raised my children by myself (no child support) and worked hard at a career in order to do so. They are grown and successful and now it’s time to do something for myself that I’ve always wanted to do.

    The three of us have spent lots of driving time in Mexico, on vacation, so we’re very familiar with the culture and love it. I speak Spanish moderately well and my children speak it fluently, and we’re excited about the times they’ll come to visit.

    I have read your posts from folks (like Jerry) who are living very well on less than $1,000/mo. I have no assets, no retirement, and will be living simply on my social security. I’m very frugal and know I can make it work! Seems like I hear the most about lower costs near Lake Chapala (away from the Ajijic area. I am thinking, though, that I would like to live closer to Mazatlan. Do you think there is a little nearby village that would have lesser living expenses than living right in the city of Mazatlan?

    You do a wonderful service for so many people. Thanks for your help.

  2. Gene Yukich

    March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I like mazatlan and found hardly any of the perscriptions to be less money. I would like to know the best way to live in a nice condo with a view in mazatlan from november to april.
    Thank you,

  3. Barbie


    March 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Dear Readers – anyone know of something available for Gene?
    And you may need to go from one drug store to another and ask prices – compare and then buy.

  4. Barbie


    March 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    There are different areas within Mazatlan where you will find prices vary – so, you need to check them out. Barbie – and thanks :)

  5. Lizzz

    May 1, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Hi Barbie
    This is for Gene…you should logging onto (Vacation Rentals by Owner) They have lots of rentals which may include your timeframe and all different prices. I have used them in the past and found this site is very reliable. Take note that you are dealing with the property owner, so do your homework and get references. I stayed in La Penita, Nayarit, Mexico, several years ago and found this lovely “hacienda on the beach” for a very reasonale amout. I went on the internet and typed in the city I wanted to visit and started researching. You just might fine that perfect spot for you.
    Good luck in your search! Lizzz

  6. Gene Boneker

    May 13, 2012 at 5:31 am


    I am moving permanently to the State of Querataro at the end of June – driving and entering at Eagle Pass TX.

    Question: Any update on new visa regs.

    If I enter on the usual 180 visa and wait until I get there to get the permanent visa, will I be able to bring a trailer filled with personal items – no furniture mostly clothes, kitchen items, sheets, etc. Also I have five dogs. Will I have any problem with them.

    Any info will be appreciated. It is nerve racking trying to get info from the Philidelphia Mexican Consulate.

    Thanks, Gene Boneker

  7. Barbie


    May 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Gene – here’s the info on the new visa regs:
    and on the dogs,
    Best to you. Barbie

  8. Gene Boneker

    June 18, 2012 at 7:53 am


    As I am retiring to Mexico in two weeks and will be bringing household goods, I went to the Consulate in Philadelphia. Here is the current procedure:

    The consulate does not issue an FM3. However you can apply for one which is important if you are bringing you household goods (without it you have to pay duty on everything).

    The procedure: obtain an application from the Consulate. Fill out application and provide Consulate with required docs which include copies of valid passport, passport size photos, proof of financial solvency (bank statements, etc. which must have an apostille attached) and a police letter. You bring this to the Consulate and pay the fees (approximately $200 per person).

    When the Consulate approves your appplication you must return to the Consulate and they will stamp you passport with something official, give you a receipt and issue a tourist visa for 180 days. At the border you are treated as if you have a FM3 which as I said is critical if you are bringing goods

    Once you arrive in Mexico you have 30 days to go to immigration where they will issue you the actual FM3 which is a card with your picture on it.

    Regarding household goods. Once you get the approval you have to give them a list of the things you are briinging in – In Spanish – a pay another fee of $139 and the Consulate will stamp the documents to make it easier at the border.

    I hope this is of some help. Use it as you please. They only disclaimer I would give is that I can only vouch for Philadelphia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *