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Old 06-29-2011, 01:04 PM   #41
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I remember reading their book early on in my ER study. Great for you to resurrect the link to their website. It has been a while for me as well.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:12 PM   #42
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Had one of those. She did help me learn lots of Spanish. It was an immersion program and a half. However, I don't think that's a realistic option even here in Florida because most of the Spanish-speaking population's English is way better than my Spanish, so even if I do land a Puerto Rican or Dominican girl, it's not going to help my Spanish that much.

I looked at a conversational Spanish meet up, but it's only for intermediate to advanced speakers. I also don't feel like forking over $500 for a community college course only to find that I'm sitting with a bunch of non-motivated students who are there simply to get the credits. That leaves CD courses, Google Translate, watching Univision soaps with subtitles, and getting private tutors for $20/hour. Any other options?
Yes, it's much easier to get immersed in a Spanish speaking country like Panama where I live. A good start is the library IMO. You can get Pimslers CDs for free and listen to them to get basic travel phrases dialed. Also, read and study Madrigals Magic Key to Spanish Book (excellent). Then, find some areas in your city where they speak allot of Spanish and practice (allot).....everyday if possible. I've also found reading in Spanish (outloud, everyday) for 15 minutes or more is helpful. Rosetta Stone helps and the soaps/news too. It wasn't easy for me to learn Spanish, it took a few years of living in Panama full time to really start to click...and a girlfriend that only spoke Spanish.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:19 AM   #43
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Those are all great ideas, Surf! We watched another Spanish movie last night, La Dame de Noches and it was awesome. We have Madrigal's as well, but haven't spent as much time with it as we could. The local Mexican restaurant is a favorite and all of the waitstaff go out of their way to teach us new words and help us order in Spanish.

We also picked up some children's bilingual books so we could read Spanish to each other over breakfast each day. I'm sure my DH would be happy to get him a Spanish-speaking girlfriend but it might cost him the house!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:11 PM   #44
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We are moving, likely to Playa del Carmen, Mex. We've visited there a lot over the years and we have hooked up with 2-English congregations for local support and volunteering.

Has anyone got advice for us in their transitions to another country? If you have stories of Mexico (no doom & gloom about body parts, please), please share them.

We are also planning on visiting a few other places, say, Lake Chapala (Mexico) or north of San Jose (Costa Rica) in the summer (cooler there) and coastal regions in the winter, maybe Belize too.

We will have a budget of living on $2-2,500 in areas outside of tourist spots. We've spoken to a few we know personally who talk about $1-1,500, so we're trying to be reasonable & conservative.

We do not have a home to leave (aka renters) and our kid-o is married living in Dallas, so we can get back quickly if need be.

Our financial situation is appx. $950k (pretty liquid on half) and no "assets" to speak of. Planning on selling everything but what we can fit in one car and driving it to Dallas to leave at our daughter's house. We have appx. $6k annually in dividends coming in currently with $115k invested, another $180k in cash accounts & a small loan to the kido's; the rest is in CD's & 401k's. All in all, I expect a modest 4-5% on average or $38-47k annually.

We should be able to not touch our principal for the most part and our returning to the states is undetermined right now. I have a hunch, maybe 2 years.

What our your thoughts
Hi

I moved to Mexico 2yrs ago and while I still w*rk, selling into L.A, I plan on hanging it up in 1-2 yrs but staying down here. If I move, it will be to another country and most likely not back to US anytime soon. Here are my thoughts:

Safety- I got tired of defending Latin America as a safe place to live but it sounds like you have done your research & looked at data versus anecdoctal comments. I live & work here, travel throughout the country-both flying & driving- and have never felt threatened. My company, which is conservative & mathematical, wouldn't allow it if they thought there was a risk of getting dragged through the streets naked.

Budget-2k sounds about right without travel but depends on variable costs such as housing etc. Keep in mind that living in a tourist place /beach could involve a higher electric bill.

Medical care is good but I am mid 40's & have not had any major medical issues besides the standard stomach adjustments that is typical when you move to another country.

Playa del carmen- Have been to Tulum but not playa del Carmen although hear good things. It does get humid. IF you like the Yucatan also check out the city of Merida which has about 700k people, 22 miles inland, spectacular homes, great food, and very nice people. Again, it does get humid.

Chapala- Home to largest ex pat community outside US, dry climate, close to Guadalajara ( my home). I personally prefer town of Ajijic which is on the lake but few miles from town of Chapala.

Everytime I go back to the states I meet people that are really struggling, some in their 60's, but they won't leave for various reasons. If the cartel freaks you out, many other places such as Equador, Panama, Thailand, that offer lost cost of living & high sense of adventure. I would also check into Belize as you mentioned. If you are not buying anything, you can probably do it with your savings.

Let me know if you have any other questions & best of luck with your new adventure.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #45
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Those are all great ideas, Surf! We watched another Spanish movie last night, La Dame de Noches and it was awesome. We have Madrigal's as well, but haven't spent as much time with it as we could. The local Mexican restaurant is a favorite and all of the waitstaff go out of their way to teach us new words and help us order in Spanish.

We also picked up some children's bilingual books so we could read Spanish to each other over breakfast each day. I'm sure my DH would be happy to get him a Spanish-speaking girlfriend but it might cost him the house!
Thread jack alert: So what does a tornado and a marriage in common? In the beginning, there is a lot of blowing and sucking, but at the end someone loses a house.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:22 PM   #46
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...
Keep in mind that living in a tourist place /beach could involve a higher electric bill.
...
IF you like the Yucatan also check out the city of Merida which has about 700k people, 22 miles inland, spectacular homes, great food, and very nice people. Again, it does get humid.
...
Thanks for the pointer about the higher electric bill in the tourist/beach areas. I did not realize that would be an issue.

Do you have any specific thoughts and/or suggestions about the little beach towns close to Merida? Basically, I would be looking for something that I could rent monthly within an easy walk to the beach as well as being an easy drive/bus-ride into Merida. That area is on my to explore soon list for Mexico; but, I haven't had much free time lately to address that list.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:12 PM   #47
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Thanks for the pointer about the higher electric bill in the tourist/beach areas. I did not realize that would be an issue.

Do you have any specific thoughts and/or suggestions about the little beach towns close to Merida? Basically, I would be looking for something that I could rent monthly within an easy walk to the beach as well as being an easy drive/bus-ride into Merida. That area is on my to explore soon list for Mexico; but, I haven't had much free time lately to address that list.

Thanks again.
I have friends that live in La Cruz ( pacific coast) and have a high electric bill because of 2 things; the humidity, and the fact that as usage goes up, so does the rate per kw. The assumption is if you can afford a lot of usage, you can pay more. There are tricks to get around some of this if you own, such as 2 meters, etc. but expect other things, such as food, to be more expensive because of the amt of tourists. Personally, I wouldn't live on the beach because of the humidity but I understand the draw to the water. Also, like other places with extreme heat or cold, you stay indoors during the rough months.

I don't know Merida area well enough to offer any advice except that half the fun is researching and exploring especially if you are renting.
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