Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

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TresBelle65
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Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by TresBelle65 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:08 am

I've been holding out for early retirement. I have enough assets to retire, but waiting to be eligible to leave with my healthcare plan has seemed like a good idea. I don't know if I will get there (2 more years) - the stress of work is starting to get to me and maybe the more money one has, the more it feels ridiculous to put up with it.

Ok, so for a number of reasons, retiring and leaving for Mexico is an attractive idea to me. There are several areas of Mexico that interest me and I will likely be visiting in the coming year - Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, Rocky Point, Merida, San Miguel and so forth - in other words, my options are open. I am bilingual. I have a group of friends who are considering the same, so maybe we'll put the band back together, lol.

I am not sure about permanent residency, but I do plan to try for temporary residency to see how it goes.

I've been reading the expat boards - retired Americans and Canadians, generally speaking, seem to be very pleased with the quality and cost of healthcare in Mexico, only coming back to the US for healthcare if over 65 and with Medicare. It's hard to tell whether these appraisals are coming from people who are living in Mexico for financial or quality of life reasons.

Have any of you lived in Mexico and received healthcare there? any personal experience data is appreciated. Thanks!

Smokey21
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Smokey21 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:25 am

Great post. I'll be following this thread.

Panama, Chile and Colombia as examples also have quality healthcare facilities in their major cities. While these countries do not have facilities like MD Anderson for cancer, Mass General, etc many have facilities that are "reported" to be as good or better than the community hospitals around our country. Rural medicine outside of the USA would scare me, particularly for surgery.

Good luck to you if you make the leap.

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lthenderson
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:01 am

Don't have any experience but just read a non-fiction book "On Mexican Time" by Tony Cohan about him and his wife doing the very same thing in one of the same towns you mentioned, San Miguel. If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... xican+time

hicabob
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by hicabob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:05 am

I will be following too. I expect "healthcare tourism" for Americans in Mexico, is about to have quite the dramatic increase similar to what we have seen with dentistry.

texasdiver
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:31 pm

Most healthcare is pretty simple and basic. Labs for diagnosis, medications for treatment, getting your butt chewed for not eating right or exercising enough. You can get that anywhere if you have money to pay.

The really complicated high tech stuff from the super specialists you find at places like Mayo and MD Anderson are needed by a very small percentage of the population.

I've lived and worked in various Latin American countries had have various family and friends in the medical profession in Chile. At least for facilities serving the middle and upper class it differs very little from what you find in the US. What they lack are the really high end research facilities.

avlfutbol
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by avlfutbol » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:13 pm

I work in operating rooms and closely with surgeons in all of Latin America. I have seen everything from the government run public hospitals to the facilities where the uber wealthy get healthcare. From a surgery standpoint, the majority of procedures I would get done here without hesitation (here meaning Latin America, I think I am going to have to get and ACL done soon and I will probably get it done here by a US trained surgeon). I have been in OR´s in many of the top tier, mid tier, and rural/low volume centers in the US also. So I have seen both.

What you will find in Latin America private healthcare facilities, will be the same that you will find in most higher quality institutions in the US. The earlier poster was very accurate that aside from the highly specialized procedures that can be done at Mayo/Cleveland Clinic/etc. may be better in the US. But aside from that, you will not notice a difference except for the language (which could be traumatizing in a surgical setting when they put you under or are waking you up). I do believe patient care (making sure you are comfortable) is of higher quality in Latin America than you find in the US. Strictly because culturally speaking the latin countries are much more open and warm.

reggiesimpson
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by reggiesimpson » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:13 pm

Check out the site topretirements for further details on Mx retirement and healthcare.

texasdiver
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:31 pm

avlfutbol wrote:I work in operating rooms and closely with surgeons in all of Latin America. I have seen everything from the government run public hospitals to the facilities where the uber wealthy get healthcare. From a surgery standpoint, the majority of procedures I would get done here without hesitation (here meaning Latin America, I think I am going to have to get and ACL done soon and I will probably get it done here by a US trained surgeon). I have been in OR´s in many of the top tier, mid tier, and rural/low volume centers in the US also. So I have seen both.

What you will find in Latin America private healthcare facilities, will be the same that you will find in most higher quality institutions in the US. The earlier poster was very accurate that aside from the highly specialized procedures that can be done at Mayo/Cleveland Clinic/etc. may be better in the US. But aside from that, you will not notice a difference except for the language (which could be traumatizing in a surgical setting when they put you under or are waking you up). I do believe patient care (making sure you are comfortable) is of higher quality in Latin America than you find in the US. Strictly because culturally speaking the latin countries are much more open and warm.


I have nowhere near that kind of experience. But daughter #1 was born at Clinica Alemana in Santiago Chile, Daughter's #2 and 3 were born in US hospitals in Alaska and Texas. The hospital in Chile was by far the best one in just about every way.

avlfutbol
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by avlfutbol » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:43 pm

texasdiver wrote:
avlfutbol wrote:I work in operating rooms and closely with surgeons in all of Latin America. I have seen everything from the government run public hospitals to the facilities where the uber wealthy get healthcare. From a surgery standpoint, the majority of procedures I would get done here without hesitation (here meaning Latin America, I think I am going to have to get and ACL done soon and I will probably get it done here by a US trained surgeon). I have been in OR´s in many of the top tier, mid tier, and rural/low volume centers in the US also. So I have seen both.

What you will find in Latin America private healthcare facilities, will be the same that you will find in most higher quality institutions in the US. The earlier poster was very accurate that aside from the highly specialized procedures that can be done at Mayo/Cleveland Clinic/etc. may be better in the US. But aside from that, you will not notice a difference except for the language (which could be traumatizing in a surgical setting when they put you under or are waking you up). I do believe patient care (making sure you are comfortable) is of higher quality in Latin America than you find in the US. Strictly because culturally speaking the latin countries are much more open and warm.


I have nowhere near that kind of experience. But daughter #1 was born at Clinica Alemana in Santiago Chile, Daughter's #2 and 3 were born in US hospitals in Alaska and Texas. The hospital in Chile was by far the best one in just about every way.


I spend a lot of time at Alemana. Excellent hospital. Very well trained staff. We are agreeing here I believe.

lynneny
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by lynneny » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:29 am

Tresbelle65, I lived/worked in Latin America, including Mexico, for a number of years and found private healthcare (I wouldn't use the government-provided healthcare systems) to be good, and much more personal than in the U.S. Doctors spend more time with you, will often give you their cellphone numbers, and sometimes even make house calls. And since you speak Spanish, you won't have to search for English-speaking healthcare professionals.

I'm planning to retire to Mexico in the next couple years, probably to Merida (which has Mexico's best medical school! It's also extremely friendly, safe, affordable, has lots to do, and is just half an hour from the beach). On business trips to Latin America, I try to add a few days to explore possible retirement destinations, and find that Airbnbing the kind of home I might like to live in, like a casa colonial in Merida, really helps give me an idea what daily life there would be like.

It's hard for me to figure out a retirement budget, since it will (hopefully) be so much different than HCOL New York. But Mexico is so affordable that coming up with a detailed breakdown really isn't important.

Sorry I digressed from OP's question about healthcare. I'm excited to find someone else who's considering early retirement in Mexico!

Barefootgirl
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:12 pm

I ran across this article, this morning and found it eye opening:

https://bestplacesintheworldtoretire.co ... -vs-mexico
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

flyingaway
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by flyingaway » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:52 pm

How about the number of patients? In some Asian countries, you have to bribe the doctors, especially for surgeries, to get it done quickly (and probably better).

patngordo
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by patngordo » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:16 pm

lynneny wrote:Tresbelle65, I lived/worked in Latin America, including Mexico, for a number of years and found private healthcare (I wouldn't use the government-provided healthcare systems) to be good, and much more personal than in the U.S. Doctors spend more time with you, will often give you their cellphone numbers, and sometimes even make house calls. And since you speak Spanish, you won't have to search for English-speaking healthcare professionals.

I'm planning to retire to Mexico in the next couple years, probably to Merida (which has Mexico's best medical school! It's also extremely friendly, safe, affordable, has lots to do, and is just half an hour from the beach). On business trips to Latin America, I try to add a few days to explore possible retirement destinations, and find that Airbnbing the kind of home I might like to live in, like a casa colonial in Merida, really helps give me an idea what daily life there would be like.


That's smart, doing the airbnb thing to check out housing choices. You can't go wrong with Merida. The locals and the expats there are just as nice as they could be.

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Watty
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Watty » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:24 pm

I would be curious to here how people that do this handle health insurance if they need come back to the US for a wedding or funeral or just to visit.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:16 pm

I would be curious to here how people that do this handle health insurance if they need come back to the US for a wedding or funeral or just to visit.


Travel insurance? not sure
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

HIinvestor
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by HIinvestor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:14 am

I just wonder if you have enough saved so you could return and live comfortable in the US if you decide Mexico or South America isn't what you have hoped and envisioned. For me, I like living near my family and loved ones. They are in the US, especially HI.

I believe prolonged visits (weeks/months) can help with deciding whether relocating might work but it is nice to have sufficient resources in case it isn't working out as you expect or intend. There are low cost of living places in the US as well.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:55 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
I would be curious to here how people that do this handle health insurance if they need come back to the US for a wedding or funeral or just to visit.


Travel insurance? not sure


What do you do if you need to go to Europe or the Caribbean for a wedding or funeral or just to visit?

Yes, travel insurance.

Technically, some people might have global insurance that includes US coverage. But usually you get "global except for the US and Singapore and Japan" health insurance since it is much cheaper. For me the difference was $400 versus $600.

Sbg
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Sbg » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:34 am

I am a 30 yo American citizen. Just graduated from medical school in Guadalajara, MX. I lived there for 4 years. Most U.S. Retirees live in Chapala, this large lake in the southern part of GDL. On the weekends they drive about 30 minutes north into the city, visit Costco do some shopping and visit Dr. Since I trained there I can tell you that we have some great private hospitals. Especially in Providencia/Zapopan area. I was hospitalized once from a bad meal I ate. Hospitalized for 4-5 days and the bill was about $600 US dollars( including all meals and medication). It was at Hospital San Javier. Had my own room, TV, shower with robe and slippers. Very hotel like. I have had classmates deliver their babies in the city (and chose to stay in Mexico for the delivery rather than go back to the U.S.) just because they could pay less than $1,000 US dollars, stay a full week, all meals included and even received a clay baby foot framed imprint from an artist that worked at the hospital. I had another classmate that was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she opted to have the surgery in GDL rather than fly back to Texas and her surgery was less than $5,000. You can also purchase health insurance in MX. You do not need prescriptions for most medications (except antibiotics) Medication is also cheaper in MX. I have Asthma and an inhaler in U.S. Is about $100 US dollars and in MX I paid about $15 US dollars. I will say if you need an organ transplant go back to the U.S. If you need an emergency catheterization for an MI heart attack, I would rather the technology in the states. But most retirees I spoke with liked the trade off of the lifestyle (owning a large house, people to cook and clean for them, gardeners, restaurants every day on the lake) a big group of fellow U.S. Retirees to socialize with. They were willing to take the chance and just enjoy their retirement. They could easily go to the airport and fly back to the states if they needed anything.

I had to come back and finish my training in the US. But I find myself missing the lifestyle aspect of living in mexico. I'm so jealous of my classmates down there right now because the exchange rate is amazing! Even when the exchange rate was lower, I had a cleaning lady for $20 a week.I ate out all the time because it was only about $6-$15 a person at nice restaurants with great food. Also there is delivery service for everything if you need it like groceries! Medications from the local pharmacy! Even Burger King delivers lol. My money was placed in my Bank of America account and I could use any Santander ATM and make a withdrawal at the exchange rate for that day. I also know there is a way to receive retirement/SS checks while living in GDL because I have heard it mentioned.

HIinvestor
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by HIinvestor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:32 am

Some folks have medical policies that cover up to usual and customary charges in the % insurer will pay internationally. Otherwise, yes, I believe folks may be wise to get travel insurance and be sure they know what is and is not covered.

German Expat
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by German Expat » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:01 am

I still do not quite understand what people do when they move there for black swan health events. If you have something smaller you can just pay out of pocket since most things are much cheaper. But what if you have something that requires long term expensive treatment and want to come back to the US for it.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:48 am

German Expat wrote:I still do not quite understand what people do when they move there for black swan health events. If you have something smaller you can just pay out of pocket since most things are much cheaper. But what if you have something that requires long term expensive treatment and want to come back to the US for it.


Probably they go back to the US. Why do you think that isn't an option?

You know you can also health insurance that works in Mexico, right? Then you can go to Cobblestone or Amerimed.

German Expat
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by German Expat » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:08 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
German Expat wrote:I still do not quite understand what people do when they move there for black swan health events. If you have something smaller you can just pay out of pocket since most things are much cheaper. But what if you have something that requires long term expensive treatment and want to come back to the US for it.


Probably they go back to the US. Why do you think that isn't an option?

You know you can also health insurance that works in Mexico, right? Then you can go to Cobblestone or Amerimed.


Sorry, I did not make it clear enough, I am talking about early retirement before you are eligible for Medicare. After medicare it is clear (a friend of mine, 67 years old, moved to the Philippines from the US and just pays out of pocket when needed, his backup plan is to fly to the US). Do most early retirees in those countries keep insurance in the US? And if so a high deductible plan or any other options?

AlohaJoe
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:50 am

I doubt many do.

I don't. As I said, I have health insurance. I don't need to run back to the US if things happen. I go to a hospital locally that is as good as any anyone my family in the US has ever gone to.

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Will do good
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by Will do good » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:32 am

How do you know if you can trust the medication you get, is there trust name brand pharmacy or hospitals?

AlohaJoe
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:03 am

Will do good wrote:How do you know if you can trust the medication you get, is there trust name brand pharmacy or hospitals?


Of course there are trusted pharmacies and hospitals here. Why wouldn't there be?

patngordo
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by patngordo » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:09 am

AlohaJoe wrote:I doubt many do.

I don't. As I said, I have health insurance. I don't need to run back to the US if things happen. I go to a hospital locally that is as good as any anyone my family in the US has ever gone to.


I agree. When I was living full time in Panama before medicare age, I just kept a high deductible umbrella policy, in case I got really hurt or sick, and did routine stuff out of pocket. Covered me in any country but the US, and a few places there were wars going on (eg, Iraq)

Punta Pacifica hospital was as good as any i've been to in the states, in fact they do a big medical tourism business with north americans.

halfnine
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Re: Early Retirement in Mexico, Healthcare

Post by halfnine » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:44 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
German Expat wrote:
AlohaJoe wrote:
German Expat wrote:I still do not quite understand what people do when they move there for black swan health events. If you have something smaller you can just pay out of pocket since most things are much cheaper. But what if you have something that requires long term expensive treatment and want to come back to the US for it.


Probably they go back to the US. Why do you think that isn't an option?

You know you can also health insurance that works in Mexico, right? Then you can go to Cobblestone or Amerimed.


Sorry, I did not make it clear enough, I am talking about early retirement before you are eligible for Medicare. After medicare it is clear (a friend of mine, 67 years old, moved to the Philippines from the US and just pays out of pocket when needed, his backup plan is to fly to the US). Do most early retirees in those countries keep insurance in the US? And if so a high deductible plan or any other options?


I doubt many do.

I don't. As I said, I have health insurance. I don't need to run back to the US if things happen. I go to a hospital locally that is as good as any anyone my family in the US has ever gone to.


From what I have seen I am going to agree with AlohaJoe. From my own personal experience I did have an IMG Global Medical Insurance plan for a while. IMG Global has a few medical/travel insurance available for expats/travelers. I maintained the IMG Global Medical Insurance because for many years it wasn't uncommon for me to spend 3-4 months per year in the USA and that particular package IIRC was valid as long as less than 6 months per year were spent in the USA. This was all before ACA. So while the medical insurance would still be viable today it is unlikely to be ACA compliant if that needed to be a consideration.

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