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Live or Retire in Mexico: 
A Practical, Detailed Guide

Retire in Mexico Guidebook Mexico: The Trick is Living HereSo you want to learn the trick to retire in Mexico? I lived in Mexico on a budget for 7 years and after accumulating a set of hard-earned how-to knowledge, I developed a helpful e-book.  My book Mexico: The Trick is Living Here  will help you live or retire (or travel extensively) in Mexico. It will help you answer the questions you have about cost of living by giving example costs and clear descriptions of what you get for your peso in Mexico.  This book will help you envision what your life might be like once you retire in Mexico.

Quick Guide to
The Trick is Living Here

Third Edition

-Over 280 pages.
-33 pages of cultural info.
-The cost of living in Mexico.
-How-to information
   choosing a house
   health care
   getting a phone
   traveling by bus
   doing laundry
-Discussion of culture-shock.
-Humorous insider's view
-The author's anecdotes.
-official transactions
   getting your visa (updated
      as of the new rules)
   traveling with pets 
   getting birth certificates 
   receiving social security 
   For more info. see
      the table of contents
-Just for Canadians
   residency planning 
   birth certificates
   issues unique to Canadians
-Health care
in Mexico.
-94 full-color photographs.
-A Day of the Dead photo
-Easy to read Adobe Acrobat
Learn more about the book

To be honest, when you live or retire in Mexico, the first year is especially difficult -- worth it, but difficult.  I found my first year full of challenges and culture shock. Everything seemed so hard as I figured it out for myself. A practical guidebook full of how-to details would have been a huge help for me.

The third edition of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here includes information about the cost of living, driving in Mexico, health care, culture shock, and doing paperwork in Mexico, among other things. Also, over the years I have gotten questions about bringing pets to Mexico, so I added a new section into the third edition (it's not that I mind answering emails, but it's nice to have the information available to my readers.) Many of my readers are Canadian, so I include sections just for Canadian snow birds looking to live in Mexico. Most importantly, the visa information is fully updated according to Mexico's new immigration laws, which came into effect in November 2012.

Here is the table of contents of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition so that you can see the types of practical things I've included.  (Notice the unique section on cultural information, available nowhere else in print or on the web.)

For a few dollars you can have this detailed handbook at your side during the months of planning as well as the first year of your stay in Mexico.  It's a lot cheaper than a failed move to Mexico!  Lots of my readers contact me and tell me how they have read and re-read sections that were particularily useful to them.

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The first person to read Mexico: The Trick is Living Here was a Canadian expatriate.  Here are her comments:

Dear Julia:

"I was really excited to read the e-book.  I had a few ... 'ah-ha moments' as I read along.  It felt good to know that I am not alone in this and that the way I feel about things is normal!  It wasn't just that but... I feel pretty helpless about doing things most of the time here... I have always been independent.  Now I can't do things without [my Mexican friend's] help.  You helped me to see that I will be able to (no matter how different the process is here!) 

"I think that you have a real talent for speaking the truth without offending....I wish I could do that. ...I pulled my inflatable bed up to my laptop on fruit crates and bunked down and read the whole thing!


"The other thing was that I thought that you had a really nice flow to it all.  I just kept reading with ease. I think it is fabulous and I am totally inspired."

--Cheryl Allaby, Canadian expatriate living in Mexico

Like Cheryl, I wanted to know that what I was feeling was normal.  

There is no other source like Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition

I read things written by others who had supposedly "lived" here. I wanted affirmation that the culture shock I was experiencing was normal, strategies for handling new experiences, and to know how to get my household set up.

I got none of this.  I found that what others wrote showed them living as Americans in Mexico--apart from the Mexicans that surrounded them. But I hadn't moved to Mexico to remain separate from Mexicans and I didn't have the money to live the same way I had lived in the U.S.

I finally decided to write the book I needed, so that I could share what I learned with others.  The result is Mexico: The Trick is Living Here and I'm confident that it will give you the practical "how-to" information you need and truly enrich your experience in Mexico.  And it's funny, too!

Did you know that the culture will even effect the quality of your mail service? Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

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Getting Beyond the Hype

I'm sure you've noticed that most of what you read about Mexico on the Internet and in books is all about how cheap it is or how perfect the weather is.  But you're not cheap. That's no reason to move to another country.  Is weather really that important? After all, you could just move to New Mexico or Hawaii and have good weather without the international experience. 

You would embark on the international experience because Mexico itself has something to offer you, right?

But it's hard to know what exactly it is that Mexico has to offer.  You recognize the "cheap Mexico" and "Mexico is paradise" hype for what it is.  Hype.  You are left with a desire to get beneath the surface and find out more about what it is really like to live or retire in Mexico.

Click here to read an excerpt from the e-book

Getting Underneath the Shallow Images of Mexico

Let's face it, we get two opposite messages about Mexico.  Message number 1 is sponsored by the tourism industry. They want to sell us piña coladas under palapas.  For them Mexico is a "cheap paradise."  Hmmm. Not your idea of a real life?  Do you suspect some ulterior motive behind this message?

The Trick's Unique Approach to Cost of Living:

Well, YOU ARE RIGHT to be suspicious. Yes, you can live for less in Mexico, but you may not want to. I include real cost estimates throughout my book for things such as doctor visits. I also have an entire sub-section dedicated to a clear, detailed description of the cost of living and what you get for your peso. I use a holistic "lifestyle" concept that first gives a cost range for each "lifestyle level," then gives specific details -- such as having to buy your own kitchen cupboards -- that let the reader figure out which cost of living range they would like to be in.

Message number 2 is a little scary.  This one comes from the news media.  Mexico is a poor, third-world country where the government is corrupt and violence is rampant.  ...Oh, and lots of drugs are grown and sold here.  Not your idea of a comfortable life?

I deal with the issue of safety and give tips for safety that work in Mexico. They are things I learned from my Mexican husband and neighbors and are really special for my readers because they are not things that people from the U.S. and Canada would normally think of.

Do you know how to get phone service in a country where having a phone is a luxury? Click here to read an excerpt from the e-book

Do you know what a croquis is?

Those questions and many more like them are what I address in Mexico: The Trick is Living Here.  I'm not employed by either the tourism industry nor the news media.  The "how-to" information I include in my e-book is based on my real-life experiences. I know what a person needs when they live or retire in Mexico because I've lived the experience.

The book covers the things that you will experience in the first months when you live or retire in Mexico.  It includes the information you will need if you are going to stay on your own.  It is ideal for those living at least 2 to 12 months in Mexico. If you are going to live here, it will be invaluable in getting your home set up and making you comfortable in your new Mexican residence.  

If you are just coming for an extended stay, it is still highly recommendable because of its focus on getting around, communicating with family and friends back home, eating well and safely, connecting with the community, etc.

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Will you need more information in order to figure out how to move to Mexico? Of course. Any move, especially one to a new country, requires planning in many areas of your life.

And guess what? Mexico is a place where planning is practically futile.  Mexico can pull apart the most carefully made plans in minutes!  This e-book shows you how to roll with the punches and take Mexico in stride. If you decide to read Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition it will help you through the difficult first months when everything is new and culture shock can get you down.

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When You Purchase Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition you get...

Are you ready to read Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition? You also get two companions -- for FREE.

When you complete the secure order form, in addition to Mexico: The Trick Is Living Here Third Edition you also get the companion "Useful Links," a $15.00 value, for FREE. This companion contains over 125 links to web sites on Mexico! 

Find additional information on getting your visa, bringing your household items, health care, real estate, the expatriate experience and more--simply by clicking on the links in the guide. I save you hours of research by doing the searches for you. You don't have to weed through the unrelated, the badly written, the advertisements, and the pointless fluff. You just click on the link right in the document and go straight to good information. Plus, I've included some less known, but excellent sites created by some of the great people I've gotten to know as I write about Mexico. Google is good, but not perfect. Some of these people's great sites don't show up on Google searches, so take advantage of my experience and connections, which I want to share with you.

Finally, just for fun, I include (also for FREE, of course) a second companion called "Tamales," a $5.00 value. "Tamales" shows how tamales are made, step by step, with color photos.

All together, this is a $40 dollar value, which you can purchase for only $19.95 (USD)!

Here's how to get your own copy of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition (Plus the two companion guides, included for FREE)

Mexico: The Trick is Living Here

It's easy. Your new book and the free companions are available for instant download as soon as you complete the secure order form and hit the "submit" button.  You'll be taken to a page that gives the download instructions so you can easily save the book to your computer. Start by clicking on the "Click Here to Purchase" button below.

The purchase will be made through ClickBank, which provides a secure way to pay over the internet. You can pay by: 

If you have any difficulties with the ebook I will be happy to assist you. You just need to e-mail me at contact information for home-sweet-mexico.com

Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition and the companions take about 3 minutes to download, and are in PDF format using Acrobat Reader – a free program which works on all computers.  (It is probably already installed on your computer but you'll receive directions for getting your free copy on the download page, just in case.)

You can read the book on your iPad or mobile device as you travel under the Mexican sun. 

Buy Now for only $19.95:


If the link doesn't work, please try in a different browser. I've received some reports of the link not working. Until I can solve the problem, please use a different browser. I appologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. 

Note: ClickBanck provides a SECURE online payment form.


If, as you are reading Mexico: The Trick is Living Here some additional questions come up, I would be pleased to respond to your emails about your decision to live or retire in Mexico.  

I'm confident you will enjoy my ebook and will learn a lot about living in Mexico from reading it. 

Thank you. I wish you the very best.


Caught You Hesitating! 

Why wait? Instead of sitting here wondering if you should spend some money on a book that will help you acheive a dream you could actually be reading about how to make that dream come true!

(Because your dreams are worth it ...
and it's a funny book, so you can't lose.)

Are You Still Thinking? 

Why wait? For the cost of a pizza, you could have a wonderful book! By the way, once you move to Mexico, the fast food gets better.  You can eat delicious tacos and chase them down with ice cream made from fresh, local fruits.  But, first, you'll have to buy the book and learn the trick to a happy life in Mexico.

Just watch out, my readers often write to tell me that they couldn't put the book down once they started reading. I'm honored when they tell me that they are giving it to a loved one as a special gift.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE (Because your dreams are worth it ... and it's a funny book, so you can't lose.)

Excerpt from the
Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition
section "Communication"

The first installation of your phone will cost you $170 and more than you can imagine in patience. 

Once you have chosen your place [to buy or rent], you should make what is called a croquis (pronounced kro-kees), which is a map of your neighborhood depicting the location of your house.  Croquises are required for most official interactions so that people can actually find your house.  In a country where there are at least five Avenida Emiliano Zapatas in each city and where the houses are numbered chronologically by date of construction, they are quite necessary.  In your telephone croquis you must include.... 

With your croquis and an hour’s worth of interesting reading material in hand, go to the TelMex office.  Find the customer-lack-of-service desks and wait your turn.  You can keep a positive attitude by enjoying your reading material.  When it is your turn, you can go up to the desk and ask nicely to have a telephone installed.  Be patient while the TelMex employee flips through the screens on her DOS-based computer program and talks to her coworkers for thirty minutes.  She may try to tell you that it is impossible to install a phone in your house, your neighborhood, your city, planet earth….  

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Excerpt from the
Mexico: The Trick is Living Here
Third Edition
section "Transportation"
Buses are different than in the States in another way. One such way is that the service approximates the speed of a car as they drive just as fast—and whether you are seated or not is your problem, not theirs.

Basically, it goes like this. You select your bus by reading the signs painted on or hung in the front window. When you spot your bus approaching you raise your right index finger to shoulder height. The bus pulls to the curb near you. You hop on and keep one hand on one of the hand holds mounted within. With your free hand you give the driver your fare (N$ 4.50 in Cuernavaca). Keep holding on tight while he makes change (that’s right folks, you don’t have to have exact change) because he will be accelerating at mach 10. Once you have your change you monkey-bar your way back to an available seat, trying not to fall into people’s laps while he careens around corners. If there are no aisle seats available....

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Excerpt from the
Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition
section "Laundry: No, You Don't Get to Operate the Machine Yourself"

Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I have been engendered with an unbendable self-reliability.  But here in Mexico, there isn’t the big trend toward do-it-yourself processes.... [T]here are people to do every small task, even people who guide you as you back out of your parking space in a parking lot.  Gone are the days of shooting your own photocopies; of packing your own groceries.  Also gone are the hours of sitting in stiff plastic chairs, dividing your attention between soap operas on wall-mounted big screens and the gray slop flopping around and around in a Laundromat washing machine.  Here you must take your clothes to someone else to do it. 

You must advise them on what they can and can’t dry, what can have bleach and what can’t, what bleeds and what doesn’t.  Then, you have to walk away, leaving your wardrobe in the hands of another person.  You should find a laundromat (lavandería) somewhere close to your house and get to know the people who run it.  They will charge you by the....

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Excerpt from the
Mexico: The Trick is Living Here Third Edition
section: "Communication"

There are no rules for mail.  It is a surprisingly individual service and different at every house.  In the cities the mail will be delivered to your house by a mail person on a motorcycle with saddlebags.  Get to know this person’s name and face.  Greet him warmly, ask him from where he hails.  Tell him where you are from.  You don’t need to invite him in for tea, but spend a minute in a basic Mexican greeting ritual.  This is the person who will leave your mail at your door or with a neighbor.  He will learn whether or not you have an untrustworthy neighbor and avoid giving it to that person.  ...  His feeling that he is appreciated will go a long way toward you receiving excellent mail service.  You can give him a nice big tip in an envelope whenever you would like, especially....

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