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Off topic: Translator contemplating move to Mexico
Thread poster: Sonya Gerisch

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
Nov 17, 2013

I am an established freelance translator (German to English), US citizen, and have been doing this for 13 years now. For the past 2 years I have been thinking about moving to the Lake Chapala area of Mexico (near Guadalajara) for several reasons. I was waiting for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to be implemented to see what my options were and unfortunately I am one of the 5% who will not be helped. I am self-employed, a bit older (48), and so therefore make a bit more money and any new plan is actually worse than the plan I have now which is pretty bad already. Plus I will not qualify for any subsidies. I do not mind paying for health insurance or care, but in the last 2 years I have paid out $17,000/year in medical expenses. I cannot keep this up without risking losing everything.

Secondly, I like that type of climate and I like the mountains. Thirdly, there are already a lot of Americans and Canadians living in this area. The other option is Germany, but the cost of living is very high there compared to Mexico, and in Lake Chapala, other than housing which will be about the same, everything else will be much, much cheaper.

I am writing to see if anyone wants to share any of their thoughts, good or bad, on this -- especially if you are a translator who has done something similar. Or even if you aren't I would like to hear your thoughts on what it is like to work in Mexico, particularly as a non-Mexican national. Or any Mexican nationals working as translators are welcome to comment. You can also contact me via email.

Thank you very much.

Sonya


 

Lorraine Dubuc  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:37
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
Why not? Nov 17, 2013

Hello Sonya,

One advantage with being a translator is that you can move wherever you like and carry your work not matter where on the globe. That is great!

It is sad that you have to leave your home country because of a social dissatisfaction but the nice Mexican weather will make you forget all that, presumably.

Wish you the best of the best!

[Modifié le 2013-11-17 01:41 GMT]


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
We're heading a little further south Nov 17, 2013

I just don't want the insurance and I don't want someone else to pay for it for me.

We're thinking of heading back to my wife's native country, Argentina. I might be able to talk her into Mexico though. Keep us posted on what you decide to do. Maybe we should all get together and buy an island somewhere and make a translator colony?


 

564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:37
Danish to English
+ ...
Wish it were me! Nov 17, 2013

Hi Sonya

Go for it!

I spent five months in Mexico in 1995 as an exchange student, based in Guadalajara, but with the opportunity to travel widely throughout the country. I only spent one weekend in Ajijic/Chapala, and although that was not my favourite part of the country, it was still lovely and tranquil. Now, almost 20 years on, I still get all starry-eyed when any mention of Mexico comes up. The thought of making a life there is so very appealing.

I guess it depends on whether you are good at adapting to a different lifestyle, a different pace of life, different norms and ideas about time (!) and commitments, but if you are, what a gorgeous country you will be living in. But I guess I don't have to tell you about the fantastic nature, the rich diversity of cultures and the beautiful people and their friendliness and openness.

I don't know if you would be interested, but I read this book about a not entirely young lady who upped and moved to Lake Chapala, and who interviewed other single ladies in the area who had done the same. It is not the best written book in history, but it gives a lot of first-hand insight into what it is like to move to Lake Chapala, what you can expect etc.:

Midlife Mavericks: Women Reinventing Their Lives in Mexico by Karen Blue (available from Amazon).

Would love to hear if you decide to go ahead with this idea.

All the best

Gitte


 

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 17, 2013

Thank you all for your comments. I should've maybe given more background but I didn't want to make my post too long.
The why not? Well it isn't quite so simple as nothing in life ever is. I have family, friends, and an established life that I love here.
My father has metastasized prostate cancer that has spread into his spine and it would be nice to spend what time he has left close by. My niece just turned 4 and I would basically miss the rest of her growning up, etc.
My sister is my best friend and I would miss being with her.
I have a mother who isn't getting any younger.
I love to go to music festivals all summer long in my camper and kayak on the river.

And I would be moving to a country where I don't know one single person and I don't speak the language.

Of course I could come back and visit and talk on the phone but it is not the same.

All that said, I have lived in another country, Germany, and I was able to adapt. But I was there with my ex who is German. I also lived briefly in Bolivia, but my brother and his wife were also living there at the time and I stayed with them.
And I am leaving out all the wonderful positives about the country and the possibilities, but those are the why nots;-)
Gitte: thank you for the book recommendation. I can't believe you know about that book! I actually wanted to buy it but it is currently only available for Kindle and I do not have a Kindle. But I would LOVE to read that book.

I will keep you posted. I am planning to fly down in February for a week-long seminar on what to expect and to just get an initial opinion. I am also going to look into the option of some states here in the US that have formed their own health care exchanges and those seem to be working better. A friend who is very familiar with the new laws just told me about that tonight. I doubt seriously that will be an option, but it's worth exploring. Plus many of the states are in the Northeast or Northwest where the weather is not so good. And if I have to move 3000 miles away, I may as well go to Mexico!

Thank you all again.


 

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:37
German to English
Moving to Mexico Nov 17, 2013

Hi Sonya - I'm a US citizen who has been living in Mexico for the past 16 years. My German wife and I moved to Ajijic on Lake Chapala a year ago from Guadalajara and love it here. I can't tell you much about health insurance because I have US governed subsidized insurance under my early retirement plan. If you haven't already discovered Mexconnect.com I encourage you to visit the forums. They helped me tremendously when I started thinking about moving here. Kim

 

The Misha
Local time: 04:37
Russian to English
+ ...
What a disgrace! Nov 17, 2013

My deepest sympathies, Sonya. I am very much in the same boat as you are, and in the same age group too. For the past five years, I have had no health insurance at all and have no intention of signing up for that overpriced abomination they are trying to ram down our throats. Maybe you could start your move South with letting a certain big-eared gentleman know how his misguided asinine policies are driving you out of your own country. That said, do keep us posted. I will probably follow in your steps, sooner than later.

[Edited at 2013-11-17 15:44 GMT]


 

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Kim Nov 17, 2013

Kim Metzger wrote:

If you haven't already discovered Mexconnect.com I encourage you to visit the forums. They helped me tremendously when I started thinking about moving here. Kim


I will definitely check that out! Vielen Dank!


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Recent developments Nov 17, 2013

I read something about all the fees and everything being postponed a year. So, if that's an issue, you could have a little more time to investigate.

My dad was stationed in Frankfurt and I lived there and in another town, I think it was called Babenhausen, until I was about 5 years old. I know I was really little, but I miss Germany and would love to go back and visit. I think the saddest thing for me is that I've forgotten all the German that I learned. They used to tell me that I had a German accent when speaking in Spanish though.


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:37
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
@ Triston - re. the one-year postponement Nov 18, 2013

Triston Goodwin wrote:

I read something about all the fees and everything being postponed a year. So, if that's an issue, you could have a little more time to investigate.


Triston, the postponement refers only to Obama's decision that, for one more year, insurers may continue to provide (i.e, allow people to stay on) individual plans that they would otherwise have to cancel because they are not ACA-compliant. Most insurers had already anticipated cancelling these plans as of 12-31-13 in anticipation of ACA implementation. Whether the insurers will wish to go through the hassle of temporarily re-instating them or keeping them running for a year is entirely up to them, and - like most concrete details of the ACA - is anybody's guess. I suspect that many - or even most - won't bother, depending on whether they have any real competition from other insurers on the exchanges (if they can force you to buy a higher-priced plan from them on the exchange, why would they let you stay on your current, presumably cheaper plan?). My own insurer sent a letter that that they are studying the decision and trying to figure out what to do about it.

I don't recall Obama's announcement specifically mentioning how it would affect the penalties. Presumably if you are permitted by your insurer to remain on such a plan for a year under the exemption, the penalty for not having minimum coverage will not apply, but if you have no insurance next year or decline to buy it on the exchange, the penalty will apply.

I was wondering when an Obamacare discussion would pop up here, since many us are probably affected by it. For my family personally, my comprehensive, affordable BCBS plan is being cancelled, and the only replacement options are double to triple the price, for worse coverage, higher out of pockets, and a comparably miniscule network.


[Edited at 2013-11-18 14:33 GMT]


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Kindle Nov 18, 2013

If you don't have a Kindle device, you can still read Kindle e-books by downloading a free app for your PC, smartphone, or tablet:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_355960802_4?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=auto-sparkle&pf_rd_r=0S3VG3Q3AGCENJKQ7DPV&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1650652062&pf_rd_i=kindle%20app


 

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Amel! Nov 18, 2013

Amel Abdullah wrote:

If you don't have a Kindle device, you can still read Kindle e-books by downloading a free app for your PC, smartphone, or tablet:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_355960802_4?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=auto-sparkle&pf_rd_r=0S3VG3Q3AGCENJKQ7DPV&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1650652062&pf_rd_i=kindle%20app


Thank you for that. I had no idea!


 

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
To Misha Nov 18, 2013

[quote]The Misha wrote:

My deepest sympathies, Sonya. I am very much in the same boat as you are, and in the same age group too. For the past five years, I have had no health insurance at all and have no intention of signing up for that overpriced abomination they are trying to ram down our throats. Maybe you could start your move South with letting a certain big-eared gentleman know how his misguided asinine policies are driving you out of your own country.

Thank you for your thoughts Misha, but I am not sure who you are referring to with "big-eared" and what that is supposed to mean but I certainly hope it is not Obama and that it is not a racial slur.

I am looking here for useful suggestions and ideas and meaningful conversion.


 

Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
Member (2004)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
The postponement Nov 18, 2013

[quote]Triston Goodwin wrote:

I read something about all the fees and everything being postponed a year. So, if that's an issue, you could have a little more time to investigate.

Yes, the postponement possibility doesn't affect me. I would keep my old insurance anyway. And I can't go without insurance and pay the penalty. That is risking everything.


 

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:37
German to English
Health insurance in Mexico Nov 18, 2013

I've had government subsidized Blue Cross health insurance since my early retirement. But we've been lucky so far and haven't incurred many major medical expenses. Medical care is so inexpensive here that we rarely exceeded our deductible. You could also search www.mexconnect.com under health insurance and IMSS, the Mexican social health insurance plan that gringos can join.

 
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