While we are still here with all the proper addresses attached to our credit cards, etc. we have been getting some things set up for our life South of the border.
We went ahead and signed up with Earth Class Mail. Formerly called Remote Control Mail, it is a mail forwarding business that is set up for people who are comfortable with doing work online. When a piece of mail arrives, you are sent an email. They attach a picture of the outside of the envelope. You can then choose whether to shred or trash the document, or if you’d like them to open it and scan the document for you. You can also have the envelope shipped to someone. So far it is functioning well and we are moving all our mail to them. (The link above gives us credit for each purchase, by the way…)
We also bought a Vonage phone and service. We are really happy with it so far. It hooked up with no problems and we love that we get an email when a voice mail is received – and attaches a sound file so you can listen to it without dialing in to voice mail. They also have a great web interface for managing your account, voice mail, and features. Our Vonage phone has the same area code as our Earth Class Mail address, which we assume will help keep things less confusing along the way.
We purchased car insurance from the same agent we have our house insurance in Mazatlan. We got a one year policy for all of Mexico for our 2003 Honda minivan for $408.00 USD. He emailed the policy to us so we have it ready for when we cross the border.
We are going to give our son a bunch of deposit slips to our bank account for the odd check that may need to be deposited. We are changing our car registration to his house so that we can keep up on our Washington State car tabs in case we want to drive to the US.
I have talked to our US car insurance and they will put our insurance on a kind of “hold” for six months for $50.
We’ve changed all our bank accounts to be “online only” for bank statements. Our main bank is Wells Fargo. When we get to Mazatlan we’ll set up an account with Bancomer. The Wells Fargo account can link to the Bancomer one and we can transfer (up to $3,000 per day) from the Wells Fargo to Bancomer. This type of account was created to assist Mexicans here in the US who want to transfer funds to family in Mexico but it works just great for our needs, too. (There is a $5 per transfer fee)
Both of us have been to the doctor in the last couple of weeks, too. Paul needed a tetanus shot and we both needed Hepatitis A. The Hepatitis A is two shots, six months apart, so I will need to get the second one in Mexico. We also had labs done and got written prescriptions so we have them with us in case we are questioned at the border. All in all we feel like we are pretty healthy. Our COBRA coverage from Paul’s job will cover us until we get health insurance set up in Mexico. We intend to have just “catastrophic” coverage, and will set aside a chunk of savings for medical use if necessary. We plan to pay out of pocket for our appointments and lab work.