Another move south

For years I’ve been moving my entire life south of the border, little by little. That is to say, if I can do it down here, why should I continue doing it from up there? That is what most Gringos living in Mexico do, it seems. They have many lifelines, or rather that’s how they think of their continued connections to the United States.

Some examples of my American disconnect is that I have no U.S. driver’s license. I have no U.S. bank account. I have no U.S. mailing address if you don’t count a mail drop I’ve kept for almost 20 years in Miami because, at first, I needed it, but I’m needing it less and less, and I anticipate canceling it in two more years. The only reason I need it now is to have a U.S. address on my IRA account at The Vanguard Group, a necessity.

Vanguard had no problem with my correct address here in Mexico till 2014 dawned, and the FATCA law was dumped on us by the inept Obama Administration, a move intended to crack down on drug dealers and money launderers but which hosed retirees living outside the United States more than anything.

Long story short, my U.S. bank, a California branch of Mexico’s Banamex, summarily canceled my account, and Vanguard looked like it was going to follow suit till I provided the Miami address. We opened an investment account at Mexico’s Actinver in my child bride’s name and, to minimize the tax blow, I’ve been transferring money little by little since 2014. I’ll be done next year, and the Miami address can be canceled along with the Vanguard account, which I’ve had for over 35 years.

Another move south? Says the headline up top. It’s a biggie for me. My Kindle committed suicide a couple of days ago, so I went to the U.S. version of Amazon to order another, which is what I’ve done since the dawn of Kindle. I’ve had about five Kindles, plus I also order my digital books in English from the American version of Amazon.

They balked at shipping the Kindle I wanted to my Mexican address in spite of initially saying it would ship to Mexico. Well, darn! I turned to the Mexican Amazon. I knew Kindles are available there, but would I have access to the thousands of English books for sale on the U.S. website? I suspected not. I was mistaken.

So my new Kindle is en route from Mexico City, and it will not only get to the Hacienda quicker, the e-reader and accompanying cover cost less than the same order from above the Rio Bravo even if it had been shipped to a U.S. address. This all puts a smile on my face. Another departure from America and its increasing craziness.

It will arrive on Monday. “Guaranteed!”

Amazon opened its Mexican version five years ago.

4 thoughts on “Another move south

  1. So much is available right here in Mexico, both from conventional vendors as well as from Amazon Mexico and MercadoLibre. Shopping en El Otro Lado is really not necessary. This week, I’d been wanting a purple Maybelline mascara, not often available in Mexico, but sure enough, there it was on MercadoLibre for about the same price at it would cost at CVS or Target, and it was delivered to my door at no extra charge only 18 hours after I’d placed the order. I do not understand foreigners who refuse to search out sources in this country, who insist on frequent treks to places like Trader Joe’s.

    Like you, I have not had a Estadounidense driver’s license for years. But I am now possessed of a newly-renewed Michoacan license which won’t expire until 2029. But I do not have a Kindle. And I don’t want one.


    1. Ms. Shoes: Anything anyone really needs is available in Mexico, I think. Anything I need at least.

      Never heard of Trader Joe’s, so I looked it up. Fortunately, I don’t need “Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend” or “Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix.” I’m just a simple Georgia Cracker at heart.

      I got my first Mexican DL in October of 2000, which is also when I bought my first car here. I had a Texas DL that expired at some point, and I’ve been on Mexican licenses ever since. Easy to get.

      As for Kindles, one day you’ll get one, and you’ll kick yourself for waiting so long. I promise. You are a stubborn, stubborn woman.


  2. I have not divested myself of all northern connections. As long as I have family responsibilities up north, I need to maintain some banking there. You have often noted that the nonsensical FATCA of the Obama administration was a well-disguised blessing. It took me more time than you, but most of my financial transactions now pass through the good services of Intercam.

    And my muling days are over. Our local stores now provide me with products I once brought down in my luggage. No more. I can now live my life on my Barra de Navidad patio with what I buy within 50 miles of my house — or through Amazon.MX.

    Like you, I am a Kindle believer. I discovered the same thing you did. The most recent Kindle I purchased in Mexico (last month) was cheaper than what it would have cost me in The States.


    1. Señor Cotton: Pretty much everything one needs is available in Mexico. I say pretty much, but for me it’s 100 percent. I like it.

      Yes, I was amazed that I bought the Kindle here for less than it would have cost me above the border even shipping it to a U.S. address. How is that possible? Who cares? I like it. As you know, most everything electronic used to cost more down here. Times are changing.


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