Mother’s Day is Coming up in Mexico

May 10th is Mother’s Day in Mexico and it’s a very special day in Mexican families. If you are living in Mexico and want to give your mom a special treat, start thinking of ideas now. Many people in Mexico sing their mom Las Mañanitas on Mother’s Day. If you don’t know the song yet you can start studying now.

Receive Social Security Benefits While Retiring in Mexico

If you wish to retire in Mexico you may ask, “Can you get your social security benefits in Mexico?” The answer to that question is “Yes.”

According to the the Social Security Online Electronic Booklet you have three different ways to receive your benefits in Mexico:

1. Have a check mailed to you in Mexico.

2. Receive a direct deposit into your account in Mexico.

3. Receive a direct deposit into your account in the U.S. (and use a cash card to access your money).

For more information you can read the booklet to learn more about your rights, residency requirements for some recipients, and other topics.

Personally, I recommend option three for the majority of people from the U.S. Option 1 involves depending on the Mexican mail system, and while it’s not that bad, it’s smart to use it for things you don’t depend on. I get 98% of my mail here in Mexico, but I received one letter about two years after it was sent! Obviously when you retire in Mexico, you wouldn’t want the thing that comes two years late to be your social security check. Option number 2 involves the slippery slopes of banks in Mexico with their often non-existent customer service and their frequently high/surprise charges involved in currency exchange, receiving transfers, scratching your nose, etc. Each bank is different in Mexico and sometimes it’s hard to know ahead of time what exactly you will encounter with a particular transaction at your particular bank. I created a section on banking in my book, Mexico: The Trick is Living Here, that includes tips on how to choose a bank in Mexico based on your particular needs. Having a bank account in Mexico is a smart idea and you can use that section to help you once you retire in Mexico, but again, when it comes to receiving your social security payments there is nothing like a cash card (and online banking through the internet) so you can work with a bank you are familiar with in the U.S. Cash machines are widely available throughout Mexico and are the best way to access cash.

Well, there you go, you can check that worry about retiring in Mexico off of your list. What else do you need to know about living in Mexico?

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Things are Getting More Efficient in Mexico

If you are planning to retire in Mexico, but aren’t quite retired yet, you’ll be glad to know that we are seeing a steady improvement in efficiency. With the increased use of computers, and a new generation of younger people working in official positions, things are getting easier to do–at least here in Morelos. A conversation that I overheard between one of my neighbors and my husband this morning provided evidence of both the efficiency and the newness of it. Our neighbor had gone to get the new license plates required in Morelos (which I wrote about in a previous blog entry) and had taken the entire morning off of work just in case it took as long as he expected. My husband saw him with the plates in hand and confirmed with him that it hadn’t taken long. He happily reported that it had only taken 30 minutes to get the plates.

If 30 minutes doesn’t sound like a short trip to you, compare it to 4 hours or to two trips! You’re going to love it when you retire in Mexico.