Your New Life South of the Border
Here's How You Launch Your New Life South ofthe Border in 2010: You Get Help from Someone Who Has Already Done It
By Victor Loza
About 7-and-a-half years ago, I sat where you sit now, dreaming of a new life on a beachtown. Back then, I'd been dreaming for years. My employer at the time gave me, finally, a deadline for making a move when he suggested I relocate from Los Angeles to San Diego, California, and then to Ensenada, Baja California Mexico to open a pilot communication earth station for satellite internet for the company.
I am thankful for this, for, had I not been handed this opportunity I probably will never had the chance to know that a cozy little town lay just south ofU.S. – Mexico border, if it wasn’t for that I might still be in Los Angeles dreaming and fantasizing about leaving on the beach, instead of living on a perpetual vacation in Rosarito Beach.
Very fortunate for me, therefore, that I was offered a why and a when to launch my new life. Frankly, though, the offer came with little in the way of how. Everything I've learned about living, investing, doing business, buying, selling, and owning real estate, managing logistics, and raising children overseas, I've figured out on my own (with the help, yes, of my partner in all these global escapades, my wife Alma...more on this later on).
Here's maybe the most valuable thing I've learned thanks, to all our adventures over all these years: We did it the hard way.
Starting a new life in a foreign country is never going to be easy. When Ithink back to the weeks leading up to our move from the California to Rosarito Beach, the nicest word I can use to describe us is naïve. We were innocently enthusiastic...and woefully under-prepared. We both had traveled before but spending time in a place as a tourist is nothing like settling a household full-time……..and we had no one to look for help or counsel.
What were our options for health insurance? Why wouldn't the plumber or electrician return our phone calls? Or the carpenter...or the plasterer...or our agent?...
The answer to all those question was no, not really. We figured that out intime...just as we have figured everything else ...in time...
Travel with us a few years, and we have answers for all the preliminary moving-overseas inquiries, as well as for the thousands and thousands of others we've asked ourselves as we've migrated ourselves, our children, and our businesses from Los Angeles to San Diego, then to Ensenada, and most recently to Rosarito Beach in Baja California.
We've opened bank accounts, filed tax returns, hired staff, shipped household belongings, shopped for insurance, seen the insides of hospital emergency rooms, enrolled children in after-school activities, bought furniture, and moved pets from country to country.
But I don't need to sell you on the benefits of a life in Mexico. You're reading this, and I do presume, because you have already thought about it, and you are serious about taking advantage of the many opportunities to live, retire, invest and do business abroad.
To launch your life in a new country, you need to:
1. Create a budget,working backward from how much money you have to spend each month...
2. Research residency options and identify the one that makes most sense given your circumstances (some countries, including Mexico, for example, offer many choices)...
3. Get good tax advice (if you're an American, you need this not only in the country whereyou're going, but in the States, as well, where you never lose your obligation to Uncle Sam)...
4. Shop for health insurance...
5. Do your homework on the real estate market in the place where you're headed... use only an AMPI Member.
6. Figure out what to do with all your furniture and other personal property...
7. Set up a virtual office at home...
8. Show up and move in...
You need to consider each of these objectives within the context of your circumstances, your interests, and your priorities...and, as well, the place where you decide you'd like to relocate.
Ah, right...the place! You can't move too far along this live overseas path until you identify not only the country that calls your name, but also the region, the city, and the neighborhood you'd like to call home.
To choose one country among all the far-flung and tempting options available to you, you must consider, for each choice:
Cost of Living
Access to USA
Safety & Security
For every country on your Wish List, you must consider all the 12 issues I pointed above.
You've got to invest the time and the money to get to know each place you're considering well enough to make a judgment call.
For that is what all this comes down to: Judgment.
Ultimately, of course, you're the only one who can make this decision. Where should you invest your time and your money? You've got to answer that questionfor yourself.
Take your time when selecting a Real Estate Agent. Interview several; ask them key questions. If you want to make your selling experience the best it can be, it is crucial that you select the best agent for you (For a list of qualified agents visit AMPI Rosarito)
My Baja Coast can make your transaction smooth by providing excellent service and the best team of real estate agents in Baja. If you are looking for a home, condo or lots and landfor sale we can help you. If you would like to rent a property in Baja beforeyou buy we have the best rentals available in the area.
My Baja Coast Agents understandall these issues. We have gone through the process purchasing Baja Real Estate ourselvesand are able to guide you; from the purchase of your new home to the closing,from hooking your phone line and internet and to where to eat.
Contact us for more information or call us at (619) 272-3316 or you can always visit our website for the latest listings and put yourself on a listing notifier to receive on your email the property that meets your specifications.
When in Baja you must visit the Wine Route (Ruta del Vino) in Valle de Guadalupe.