Reader Question: I live in California with my wife and young son. 5 years old. I'm so burned out on California it's for this reason I'm trying to persuade my wife to expatriate to Cabo San Lucas.
My wife is concerned about the schools; however, all of the info I've gathered the private schools seem to be terrific. Are you concerned about safety at all?
Secondly how do you create income ? What's a monthly budget in Mexico ? Lastly, are there sports for kids. Basketball Etc?
Manny's Answer: Hi Todd,
Like you, we are also California "escapees", and we love living in Mexico. The month before we moved, the quote we got for our family medical coverage was almost $3,000 per month (to continue with Aetna). So we knew something had to change, and drastically.
There are good schools and plenty of ways to live and make money down here. A lot of Americans buy real estate and just do the Airbnb or sell timeshares, or find some other job that caters to tourists.
We liked San Jose Del Cabo the best, there are lots of expats from Texas there and it's more laid back and friendly. The entire state of Baja California Sur has a lot to offer and I suggest exploring a bit if you have the budget to do so.
You can go down for a week and even rent a cheap condo right on the beach for less that $1,000 if you don't mind a 1-bedroom or a studio. Then you can explore and find out if Cabo is for you.
As for a budget, it's really all over the place. The average Mexican family lives on $400-$500 USD per month, but I doubt that is the lifestyle that you want. But you can easily live a comfortable life on 2K a month in Mexico, and that's why so many retirees flock down here once they become eligible for Social Security.
As for private schools, I can't speak for all of them. But we've had great luck and have found them to be very affordable. Our eldest son is now bilingual after only 2 years, when he was struggling with just learning English at the terrible California school he was attending before.
As for sports, there are many children's sports. Baseball and Soccer are HUGE down here, and there are plenty of other sports that he can enjoy, too. It's been a great move for us.
So I left my American Express card at home on accident and had to use my Wells Fargo Visa card at a doctor's office in Mexico for the first time in over a year. Wells Fargo charged me almost EIGHT DOLLARS in fees for a SINGLE TRANSACTION!
So I did save hundreds of dollars by going to a Mexican doctor but Wells Fargo took their chunk which is infuriating, especially since it was a single purchase.
God, no wonder people warned me against using their cards. From now on, no more purchases with the Wells Fargo card, ever! It's staying at home for emergencies. I don't have any affiliation with either of these companies, but American Express doesn't charge me any of these stupid fees AND they give me points towards travel.
Wells Fargo could take a few pointers from them. I suggest to everyone, if you are coming to Mexico, bring an American Express card. They don't charge foreign transaction fees and you earn points for future travel. No more Wells Fargo for me.
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Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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