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A Few Questions, from Taiwan
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rupert shellgame



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:04 am    Post subject: A Few Questions, from Taiwan Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I've been in Taiwan for many years and am considering coming to Mexico. I already know you don't get the same money in Mexico as in Asia. What I'd like to know is more about lifestyle.

In Asia I have a 3 bdrm apartment that I share with my gf. Our other expenses are mainly for groceries for the healthyish food we eat at home; for household stuff, not much; for gas for the car and two scooters; for my book collection; and for going out every once in a while.

To get all this, I work about pretty much part time, teaching less than 20 hrs a week. We definitely don't kill ourselves. I teach adults, and would like to continue that in Mexico. I'd like to live in a smallish town with some good nature around, but not so small as to not have a post office.

So, is it possible in Mexico to get a similar lifestyle for a similar amount of work? Or is this just not doable?

I'll answer any questions needed.

Thanks!
Rup
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rupert shellgame



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add that my girl works as well, I'm not the sole bread winner. But she also works roughly part time.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very general information.

I will just say I find food to be extremely expensive here. My food budget exceeds my rent per month. Clothes and furniture are extremely high. For furniture The price is so high people almost can't afford it. You can get a good price on rent if you employ a local to help you which I would strongly recommend. I've always looked for the cheapest place in the safest neighborhoods.

Can you and your gf each work part time and make it in mexico? Its hard to say. I will say though you make much more in Taiwan. The quality of living is most likely higher in Taiwan for working less hours. But, again it all depends.

If you want to know what I think off the top of my head - you will have to hustle to make more than 20 per week pay to get by and still be able to go out and such. Don't walk in blindly thinking mexico is cheap because its far from cheap.
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rupert shellgame



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really? About food I mean. Are there markets where one can buy fresh vegetables, I mean street type markets, not some kind of walmartish nonsense?

Furniture isn't cheap over here either, that doesn't surprise me. It's cheap in good old US and A cuz it tends to fall apart next week.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

inotu-unotme wrote:
This is all very general information.

I will just say I find food to be extremely expensive here. My food budget exceeds my rent per month. Clothes and furniture are extremely high. For furniture The price is so high people almost can't afford it. You can get a good price on rent if you employ a local to help you which I would strongly recommend. I've always looked for the cheapest place in the safest neighborhoods.
.


I don't know where you live in Mexico, but I find that to be totally untrue in the three places I have lived - including the two largest cities in Mexico, Mexico City and Guadalajara - and the small town I currently live in. First, food. Cheaper in the rural area I live in now, because transportation costs are lower, or nil, for many things that are grown regionally, or locally. Lots of things are about the same - tomatoes, onions, carrots, that kind of thing, but some things being a bit more expensive in Mexico City, like eggs and cheese. But either way, all fresh fruits and veggies are much, much cheaper than in the US. A few example, right now tomatoes are 6 pesos a kilo (45 US cents), carrots 5 pesos a kilo (35 cents), eggs are 22 pesos a kilo (about 20 eggs). In Mexico City you can find a decent place in a middle class area for 3500 to 4000 pesos ( 300 to 350 dollars), electricity we pay 500 peso (40 dollars) every two months, we have solar heat for water and gas for the stove (400 pesos every three months). In Mexico City it was roughly 20% higher. Public transportation in Mexico City is very cheap, from 2 pesos for government buses, to 5 pesos for the subway, for 6 pesos for the modern, clean and secure Metrobus. I have found furniture to be reasonable in price, for example, I recently bought a table with 6 dining chairs, carved wood, artisan made for 3000 pesos, probably won't need another one literally for the rest of my life. The bigger problem isn't going to be the cost of living, but rather getting a job in a small town. I work online so am able to live in a small town where you can easily live on 1000 a month, for two people, and I mean a lavish lifestyle, household help, eating out twice a week, taking taxis a couple of times a week, high speed internet, cable TV, etc. You can easily live on 800 in a small town, depending on what part of Mexico you are in. In many places you can sent a house for 1000 to 2000 pesos, with 2000 being the high end. Find a few cities you think you might want to live in and see you if you talk to some people who live there. Personally, I found Mexico City to be a little cheaper to live in than Guadalajara. Alternately, you might want to start out in a city, where you can find work quickly, and then visit a few places you like on weekends.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rupert shellgame wrote:
Really? About food I mean. Are there markets where one can buy fresh vegetables, I mean street type markets, not some kind of walmartish nonsense?

Furniture isn't cheap over here either, that doesn't surprise me. It's cheap in good old US and A cuz it tends to fall apart next week.


I just wanted to add a word about furniture. You can find faily inexpensive crap at WalMart in Mexico, but you are far better off finding someone who can work with wood to make your furniture. I happen to like rustic looking stuff, and have had a number of pieces made, including the above mentioned table and chairs, but also an armoire with two drawers (2000 pesos), a linen cabinet (1200 pesos), a hammock with a base (800 peso), a tiled kitchen island/work table (2500 pesos, but a large chunk of this was the tile), a wooden rocker (1200 pesos) and a number of small items. A cousin has a magnificent carved wood table - carved and painted sunflowers over the top of the table, then covered with glass and 6 matching carved sunflower chairs and paid something like 500 pesos for it. On the other hand, we have some rattan patio furniture we got at Pier One (in Mexico City) that is only 6 or 7 years old and is starting to look like crap.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: A Few Questions, from Taiwan Reply with quote

rupert shellgame wrote:
Hi everyone,

I've been in Taiwan for many years and am considering coming to Mexico. I already know you don't get the same money in Mexico as in Asia. What I'd like to know is more about lifestyle.

In Asia I have a 3 bdrm apartment that I share with my gf. Our other expenses are mainly for groceries for the healthyish food we eat at home; for household stuff, not much; for gas for the car and two scooters; for my book collection; and for going out every once in a while.

To get all this, I work about pretty much part time, teaching less than 20 hrs a week. We definitely don't kill ourselves. I teach adults, and would like to continue that in Mexico. I'd like to live in a smallish town with some good nature around, but not so small as to not have a post office.

So, is it possible in Mexico to get a similar lifestyle for a similar amount of work? Or is this just not doable?

I'll answer any questions needed.

Thanks!
Rup


Pretty much all of Mexico has good nature around--there is a lot of variety in what that nature is like, desert, rain forest, mountains, cool, hot, etc. But I don't think you have to worry about finding work in any town so small as to not have a post office. Those places do not have language schools either.
Mexico is home to some very major metropolitan areas, but only the top five really feel like a big big city to me. Even Puebla, the fifth largest city with a population over 1.5 million has kind of a small city vibe to it.

I think the hardest thing would be finding the hours you are looking for. What are your teaching qualifications?
And how do you feel about hot humid weather?
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rupert shellgame



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay thanks everyone, this is helpful.

RE: furniture I don't really have concern for this now. Considering the attrocious furnishings we deal with in TW I am used to just about anything. I mean walmartish/carrefourish junk. A lot of it just ugly, uncomfortable. Furniture - good furniture - isn't cheap anywhere.

RE: food. In TW we have "Traditional Markets" where you can go and get all kinds of fresh vegetables, meats, fish, etc. off the back of trucks. Kinda like American Farmer's markets without all the silly hippy nonsense rules involved. The prices are so low on things like onions, garlic, green/red peppers, carrots, potatoes, etc, that it's almost unbelievable. Anything like that in Mexico?

RE: Work. What I'm getting at is: to have a decent 3 room place with a couple of baths, healthy food to cook, internet, a basic cell phone (no smart phone wanted), and a little money for padding, what kind of work commitment am I looking at? I have a bachelor's in social science, a lot of grad work but no master's, and years upon years of teaching experience here in Asia, plus a little back home.

RE: Work. It is, or is not, easy to find in a smallish town of about 50,000 people or so?

RE: Weather. In TW it gets quite hot and humid, something like the American south, but I believe more humid here, not really sure. I'm quite used to it. Although if I can't sleep in AC, I'll stay in TW. That's one luxury I can't live w/o.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay thanks everyone, this is helpful.

RE: furniture I don't really have concern for this now. Considering the attrocious furnishings we deal with in TW I am used to just about anything. I mean walmartish/carrefourish junk. A lot of it just ugly, uncomfortable. Furniture - good furniture - isn't cheap anywhere.

During my first couple of years here I had a house furnished almost entirely from those wooden fruit crates they use in the markets.

RE: food. In TW we have "Traditional Markets" where you can go and get all kinds of fresh vegetables, meats, fish, etc. off the back of trucks. Kinda like American Farmer's markets without all the silly hippy nonsense rules involved. The prices are so low on things like onions, garlic, green/red peppers, carrots, potatoes, etc, that it's almost unbelievable. Anything like that in Mexico?

Yes, of course. The previous poster boarders on crazy on this topic, they are practically giving away pineapples right now in my town. In a town the size you are thinking of you won't even find a supermarket.


RE: Work. What I'm getting at is: to have a decent 3 room place with a couple of baths, healthy food to cook, internet, a basic cell phone (no smart phone wanted), and a little money for padding, what kind of work commitment am I looking at? I have a bachelor's in social science, a lot of grad work but no master's, and years upon years of teaching experience here in Asia, plus a little back home.

You are looking at 20 to 30 hours of classes a week, possibly a job that wants you to put in 40 hours but with only 20 of that in the classroom. And it will take a couple of years to build up any padding as start up costs (visa, furniture--apartments are completely unfurnished, no fridge, no stove, no light fixtures, only plumbing fixtures.)


RE: Work. It is, or is not, easy to find in a smallish town of about 50,000 people or so?

That's a little too small. But Mexican populations feel different from small towns in the US, a town of 100,000 in Mexico easily feels like a town of 25,000 in the US. But look at the Oaxacan universities, you might get in one without an MA as it's not a requirement, it just depends on who else is applying at the time. Most of them are in places that small or smaller.

RE: Weather. In TW it gets quite hot and humid, something like the American south, but I believe more humid here, not really sure. I'm quite used to it. Although if I can't sleep in AC, I'll stay in TW. That's one luxury I can't live w/o.

Mexico has a wide range of climates. Where I currently live it is regularly over 100% with over 50% humidity. Most places do NOT have aircon, but you can get a room unit for around 500 US. You might find a land lord who will go halves on it or otherwise it belongs to you and you take it or sell it when you move out. Where I lived previously there is no airconditioning but as it's only hot for a few weeks and when it is it's dry, there is no need for it. These two places are in the same state, probably less than 200 miles from each other.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in Mexico there are traditional markets, both in fixed locations and open air, and produce is VERY cheap. Especially what is in season, dirt cheap. Today I got a HUGE cantaloupe for 60 cents, a bib lettuce for 35 cents (also huge), a kilo of tomatoes for 40 cents, a kilo of carrots for 25 cents, and 2 avocados for 40 cents. Earlier in the week I got some onions, a kilo was about 40 cents. In some parts of Mexico beans are also very cheap - I live in an area where they are grown - so they are about 45 cents a kilo, both pinto beans and black beans - but they will be more expensive in a city. Also, street food, or food from small restaurants is super cheap. You can easily find breakfast for a dollar - tamales, or a sweet bread and coffee. You can also find places that sell a fixed price lunch, which is often ample, and includes rice, beans, soup, a main dish, tortillas and a drink for 2 or 3 dollars, so yeah, food is cheap.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in Mexico there are traditional markets, both in fixed locations and open air, and produce is VERY cheap. Especially what is in season, dirt cheap. Today I got a HUGE cantaloupe for 60 cents, a bib lettuce for 35 cents (also huge), a kilo of tomatoes for 40 cents, a kilo of carrots for 25 cents, and 2 avocados for 40 cents. Earlier in the week I got some onions, a kilo was about 40 cents. In some parts of Mexico beans are also very cheap - I live in an area where they are grown - so they are about 45 cents a kilo, both pinto beans and black beans - but they will be more expensive in a city. Also, street food, or food from small restaurants is super cheap. You can easily find breakfast for a dollar - tamales, or a sweet bread and coffee. You can also find places that sell a fixed price lunch, which is often ample, and includes rice, beans, soup, a main dish, tortillas and a drink for 2 or 3 dollars, so yeah, food is cheap.
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donato



Joined: 05 May 2010
Posts: 96
Location: Mexico City, Mexico

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheap is all relative. Going on what the OP is posting, it seems likely his lifestyle would take a severe nosedive. Really not enough info to go on, but very few (read close to or at 0% without outside income) part-time EFL teachers are living it up in three-bedroom apartments with their own car plus two scooters in small towns working part-time in care-free Mexico. Which is what the OP is asking. It's a pipe-dream, and quite frankly asinine.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not stating that what anyone said about prices in Mexico is untrue. But, I will say that what I pay per month is much higher than what people have listed here. I was just talking to a few local friends the other day about the rates of buses. It never seems like a lot at first. But, then it seems to add up real fast when your constantly paying 6 pesos here and there to get back and forth to work every day. And if you have to take 2 - 3 buses daily each way that price adds up real fast.

The food has never been cheap where I live. I do think it may be cheaper in other parts of Mexico. I would approach with extreme caution when deciding to make the move to Mexico. My husband and I are doing better now with money - but - It has always blown my mind how fast the money goes when on the surface it seems it would be quite the opposite.
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rupert shellgame



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks for your infromation.

Donato: you mean my question is asinine, that I should have known better to ask? Or peoples' responses are asinine?
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Isla Guapa



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 1520
Location: Mexico City o sea La Gran Manzana Mexicana

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inotu-unotme wrote:


The food has never been cheap where I live.


Where do you live in Mexico?
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