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Flip Nicholson of Fenix Real estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Deep terrace in home, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you move to Mexico, keeping your US bank account and opening a Mexico bank account will depend if you are going to live here full time. If you are, you need both US and Mexico bank accounts because you’re going to work with pesos. If you keep saying, “Well, back in Canada, this would cost me $8,” you’re never going to figure out the value of what you have in your pocket. You have to work with pesos. I make a peso living, and I have a peso account. I can go to the ATM and draw out pesos. You go to your US bank ATM and draw out in dollars, and you’re constantly subject to exchange rate fluctuations. 
 
Even though the peso is falling a lot, we still pay the same amount for a sack of cement. That means that actually, construction is cheaper now than it was 5 years ago because of the exchange rate. On the other hand, some things that are tied to the dollar are still going to go up. For example, since most of the steel doesn’t come from Mexico, the price of that is going to go up, but tile, brick, cement, dirt and sand haven’t increased in peso terms. If you figure it in dollars, it actually costs you less to build a house today than 5 years ago, because if you spend in dollars, you don’t spend as many because your dollar goes further now than it did 5 years ago. 
 
 
You need to have both accounts, and it’s not hard to do. You can live for a while with your dollars and draw it out of the ATM, but sooner or later, it’s just a lot easier to pay bills if you’ve got a peso account. Check writing is not a common thing in Mexico, and I get really frustrated with that because if I have to write a check for someone, it’s like a red light goes off, and Mexico City and they think, “Oh my God, somebody has written a check. How are we going to handle this?”
 
(Deep terrace  and chimney in home, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)
David Schwendeman of Mexlend – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
ATM inside a Banamex bank, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhen most people move to Mexico, they keep their US bank account and have a Mexican one as well.  If you are going to continue to have bills that need to be paid in the US or you plan to travel back and forth frequently that would be my recommendation.  However, if plan to make Mexico your permanent home and divest of real estate and assets in the US, then maintaining a US account may not be necessary. 
 
The challenge is that when you’re using your US account in Mexico, there are international servicing fees; small ones if you go to the ATM, larger ones if you do things like wire transfers. If you’re using your Mexican bank and your ATM while you’re in the US, you’re going to pay a higher servicing fees than if you just kept and used your US bank account. So most people who move to Mexico keep some banking presence in the US and begin one in Mexico. It’s a very personal decision and it should be based on the amount of time you’re spending each place.
 
Having a Mexican bank account is a plus because if you’re going to be spending time here and purchasing a home here it makes life a lot easier. You pay a lot of bills in Mexico through your Mexican bank account, through online banking. It’s not always easy or even possible to pay your Mexican bills with your US account. So there’s an absolute plus side to having a Mexican bank account and I would encourage it. Also, if you ever want to establish credit in Mexico either by way of a Mexican mortgage or a Mexican credit card, then having a Mexican bank account is the first step.  
 
(ATM inside a Banamex bank, Mexico, pictured.)
Sandi Vandiver – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Banco de Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhen you move to Mexico, you should keep your US bank account and have a Mexican bank account.
 
You can have your social security come to certain banks in Mexico who share with other US banks through some arrangement. When I go to the US, I have a bank account in a US Bank and that’s where my social security check goes and that’s where my debit card is so that when I go to the US to shop, I use that debit card. But I also have a bank account here in Mazatlan.
 
It’s easier to have a bank account here. You can take their newest debit card and go to an ATM machine any place in the world and draw out money. But in the last couple of year it has, gotten very expensive to do that. It’s not about Mexico but it’s about the banks in the US. For instance, I can take my debit card from my US bank and I can go to the ATM at almost any bank here, and I can draw out $500. But my bank charges me 15% and that makes no sense. So I set up a situation where when I need money, I wire larger sums of money to my Mexican bank account and I pay $25 for the wire. It’s more cost-effective.
 
My satellite system is out of Canada and every month my bank account in the US is debited for the cost of that satellite system but my bank, because it’s called a foreign transaction fee, charges are may nearly $4 to pay that bill. That’s how most US banks make their money, in fees. So I would recommend, if you’re going to spend any time at all in Mexico, you really need to have a Mexican bank account.  
 
(Banco de Mexico, pictured.)

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