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SONIA DIAZ of Sonia Diaz – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
People walking outside the parroquia in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI suggest to have both a foreign bank account and another in a Mexican bank. You may withdraw your funds from your foreign bank account and deposit to your local Mexican bank. This way, your have quick source of pesos and not paying bank and ATM fees for small withdrawals. Most Mexican banks will allow you to deposit a foreign check but check the fees and how long the check may take to clear. There are also several ways to transfer funds.
 
It’s also more convenient to have a local bank account to auto-pay your utility bills to avoid forgetting payment due dates, as well as avoiding long bank lines.
 
(Pictured: People walking outside the parroquia in San Miguel de Allende)
 
 
Tom Leonard of Hotel Perico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
different currencies – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAn expat would want to keep his account in dollars right now even if he moves to Mexico.
 
I knew somebody from Canada who came to Mexico about three or four years ago. He was retired and wanted to stay in Mexico. He had a house in Canada, but wasn't planning on going back to Canada so he sold his house, closed down his Canadian account, and had all his money transferred to his bank account in Mexico. He did this when the exchange rate was around 12 pesos to US $1. Over the next two or three years, he said he lost around 35% of the value of his money's worth in US dollars, although he hasn't lost any peso value. 
 
This is the main reason why you would want to keep your money in dollars because you wouldn't know how the peso will perform. If you were to stay in Mexico and continue using pesos, your money will not lose any of its value. However, you do lose money if you exchange the pesos to buy US or Canadian dollars. If the exchange rate is changed in the interim, you could wind up losing the value of your money in Canadian dollars.
Alberto Alvelais of Alvelais & Asociados – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
White sand beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you move to Mexico as a retired person, you may keep your US bank brokerage or retirement account in the US or in Mexico, whichever you prefer; it does not matter to Mexico.
 
As a side issue, if you obtain a resident’s document in Mexico with retirement status, you would need to prove that you had sufficient retirement income during your stay.  That income can come from any legitimate source, whether in Mexico, the US, or any other place.  There is no need to move your investment accounts to Mexico.
 
(White sand beaches of Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, pictured.)
Jesus Celis of RH Fiscalis – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Banesco bank, Merida, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI’m not sure why, but most of my clients prefer to keep their money in the States instead of bringing it to an account here in Mexico. On a practical level, I don’t see an advantage for a foreigner to have a Mexican account.
 
One item people need to be aware of in general in Mexico is the exchange rate between the currency they receive their income from (US dollars or Canadian dollars, for example) and that, to live here in Mexico it is necessary to use Mexican pesos to buy most things, and in order to do so, you would have to “buy” Mexican pesos with your foreign currency.  That exchange rate could go up, or it could go down.  For example, there are foreign people who brought in US dollars two years ago when the exchange rate was 13 Mexican pesos to one US dollar.  Today you can receive about 18 Mexican pesos for one US dollar, so you dollar buys you more pesos today.  If you had converted your US dollars to Mexican pesos two years ago, you would have fewer Mexican pesos to buy goods here in Mexico than if you had waited and purchased your Mexican pesos with US dollars today.
 
If you open a Mexican bank account with Mexican pesos, you would have to purchase the Mexican pesos first, so if the Mexican pesos gets weaker again against the dollar like it has the previous two years, you would lose purchasing power in Mexican pesos that you would have had if you never moved your US dollars to the Mexican bank account.
 
However, exchange rates can go in either direction, and there are some advantages for US citizens to keep your money in a Mexican account for a retirement accounts because the rules are different, but you need to check with your US accountant to make sure.  
 
(Banesco Banco Universal bank, Merida, Mexico, pictured.)
Carmella Peters Romero of Peters & Romero – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
BMO Financial Group logo on basketball team memorabilia – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingKeeping your Canadian accounts when you move to Mexico may have tax implications for Canadians because these things may affect whether you are considered to be a non-resident of Canada, and whether you will have to file Canadian tax returns. 
 
It may be that it isn´t important to you either way, but if you are concerned with the tax issue, then it is important to note that the more ties you have to Canada, the more difficult it is to say that you are a non-resident. There is a whole list of criteria that is used to determine if you can be considered a non-resident for tax purposes.  The bottom line is that if it looks like you have left Canada and are not coming back, you are likely to be considered a non-resident. Connections that suggest you are only gone temporarily might result in being considered a resident, even if you don´t actually live in Canada.  The sorts of connections to consider are things like: do you have items in storage?  Do you own property?  Do you have memberships in things like professional associations?  Do you have subscriptions to local newspapers?  Do you have bank accounts or retirement savings? Obviously, you can answer ´yes´ to many of these questions without planning to return to Canada, but if you do answer ´yes´ to lots of these things, then it might mean you are considered a resident of Canada for tax purposes.
 
But definitely just answering ´yes´ to the bank account question won´t decide the issue. And there are definite advantages to keeping Canadian accounts and credit cards. Most obviously, given the changing value of the peso, it is not a bad idea to keep retirement funds in Canadian or US dollars.  Also, because it can take some time to establish a credit history in Mexico (note: you basically start over here…as we discovered, having good credit in Canada does nothing for you in Mexico!) even with a good income, I found it very helpful to have access to my Canadian credit card.
 
(BMO,the Bank of Montreal Financial Group logo on the Toronto Raptors basketball team memorabilia, pictured.)

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