The One Quality Most Needed to Live in Mexico

16 Aug

When life is so much about being safe, how do I process someone taking a risk, sticking their neck out and saving my bacon?

When we left for the good life in Mexico, everything went…paperless…bill paying, most communications, and all banking. We dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s. We even closed on the sale of our house in Austin from Mexico. It’s easy to feel confident and capable, even a little smug about our ability to live electronically in two worlds, that is until something goes wrong.

Pulling out of our drive in Austin two years ago with everything we own.

Pulling out of our drive in Austin two years ago with everything we own.

Last week I called the investment company where I have been squirreling away money for years. We had been planning to draw funds from the account for the final leg of our house construction. Apparently I had not set up banking information with them as to where to transfer money when I needed a withdrawl. Darn.

Sometimes it's like this, an angel riding shotgun with death in the backseat.

Sometimes it’s like this, an angel riding shotgun with disaster in the backseat.

I discovered that setting up the transfer would take much paperwork, a bank guarantee and a thirty day waiting period. But, but, I live in Mexico!! I’m building a house, I need the money NOW! On top of it all, the conversations were being conducted via Skype which dropped calls repeatedly requiring much redialing.

My dear wife and fellow Torta. What a ride it's been. (The god of corn with cacao pods.)

My dear wife and fellow Torta. What a ride it’s been. (The god of corn with cacao pods.)

I began with the person who answered the phone. After explaining what I wanted, was transferred to their boss, and eventually to THE boss, working my way up the chain of command trying not to sound victimy and whiney. (Not too good with that.) Each step I attempted to convince the person that apologies for putting me on hold were unnecessary. Explaining the rules were mostly unnecessary. I was looking for a loophole.


I understand that the procedures are in place to protect ME from a slick impersonator wiping out our savings. Requiring a bank guarantee of signature is actual insurance stating that I am me and my signature is mine. To transfer money without that written guarantee meant someone sticking their neck out and probably getting fired if I were a really really good scam artist. And that someone was head boss Maurice. In my book, the man is an angel. He gave me a list of all the documents he would need to make the transfer and provide the loophole. He made no guarantees. I even threw in a few receipts he didn’t ask for just in case. I wish I could have included a dozen roses.

Orchids blooming near an ancient pyramid.

Orchids blooming near an ancient pyramid.

I travelled this week to the U.S. Consulate in Cancun to get a copy of my passport notarized and sent an envelope of documents off via Fedex. Fingers crossed and gods invoked.


Yesterday the package arrived in New York. I won’t know for a few days if Maurice is convinced and the money is transferred. Our only option at this point is to stay calm and keep building. The one quality most needed to retire in Mexico?….fearlessness. And optimism doesn’t hurt. DOS TORTAS


9 Responses to “The One Quality Most Needed to Live in Mexico”

  1. Emily August 16, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    This is so true. While we were back in the US this summer, we had to get everything set up to do international transfers of USD to pay our rent here. Our bank required we be there in person to get this set up, certainly for the same reasons you are having to find a loophole in your situation — so we could prove who we were and prevent fraud. Fingers crossed that you are able to access your funds, and quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 August 16, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      We’ve had no trouble transferring money to Mexico. This was actually a U.S. to U.S. transfer. Just when you think you’ve covered all the bases!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teresa August 16, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    I love your posts. Still don’t think I’ve figured out ow to respond to the blog, unless this reply is replying to the blog, but regardless, all will make a very good book one day. Thanks for bringing my stuff. Hope your knee is improving daily.



    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 August 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      This is exactly how to respond to the blog!! Knee improving. Not sure about the book. Lol.


  3. Ron Scubadiver August 16, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

    A taste for tequila and real Mexican food helps


  4. emilievardaman August 16, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    Wow! Yay for Maurice, and I hope it all goes smoothly. Going to the top is sometimes the only way.
    I had no idea it was that complex to transfer funds. Should I move to Mexico, I will be sure all is set up ahead of time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 August 17, 2015 at 7:29 am #

      Great intention Emilie. Laws and situations change so rapidly. The U.S. is monitoring any money in any account worldwide owned by expatriates. While I understand the reasoning, regular folks and banks get inundated with paperwork and monitoring. Living abroad is really about resilience. It’s impossible to think of everything. And odd as that might seem, is why we love it.


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