kirsten and mark raccuia

Podcast 012: From Vacation to Relocation: Exploring the Realities of Living in Mexico’s Popular Tourist Destinations with Kirsten and  Mark Raccuia

In this episode of Dream Retirement In Mexico, host Risa Morimoto explores key factors to consider when retiring in Mexico with Kirsten and  Mark Raccuia. Kirsten and  Mark share insights on topics such as credit cards, banking, and healthcare. They discuss the importance of getting credit cards before retiring to maximize benefits and credit limits. They also suggest streamlining banking accounts and opening a Charles Schwab checking account for retirement. 

The episode highlights a cautionary tale about a friend from Canada who underwent affordable knee surgery at a middle-tier local hospital without health insurance. Insurance options are available depending on age, and good healthcare can be obtained, though paying out-of-pocket is also possible.

Kirsten and Mark emphasize the significance of visiting and experiencing a location before buying property and caution against rushing into real estate purchases. Rental options are affordable and allow for a better understanding of the area. They share their own experiences in a city that mixes local Mexican and foreign tourists, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. 

Join our FREE Dream Retirement in Mexico webinar – a valuable resource for anyone considering retiring in Mexico. In this complimentary online event, we’ll explore the most popular retirement destinations in Mexico, provide essential insights into buying property, and discuss healthcare options for foreigners.

Join us alongside Puerto Vallarta real estate broker, Taniel Chemsian, and health care specialist, Pamela Thompson, as they share their expertise and insider knowledge. They will be there to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

To secure your spot, simply visit www.dreamretirementinmexico.com/webinar and choose the date and time that works best for you.

Key Moments: 

[00:02:18] Moved from Penang Malaysia to Mexico to be closer to family.

[00:04:35] City has tourists, locals, vacation vibe.

[00:12:49] Great customer service and amazing beach culture.

[00:14:01] Beach access and amenities missing in Penang.

[00:19:50] Peaceful Penang, Puerto Vallarta less dangerous than Chicago.

[00:24:48] Hiking trip with uninsured friend, affordable surgery.

[00:29:35] Prepare for retirement: get credit cards, streamline banking.

[00:34:52] Closer distance means shorter travel time.

About the Guests : 

In 2013, Chicagoans Mark and Kirsten took a leap of faith. Tired of the relentless grind of the American hamster wheel, they said goodbye to all things familiar and embraced the unknown by moving to the enchanting island of Penang, Malaysia. Not to retire but to rewire their lives. 

Over nine transformative years, they immersed themselves in the exotic culture of the region. During that time, Kirsten created Sand in My Curls, a blog that uncovers the realities of expat life – the highs, the lows, and the beautifully imperfect moments that come with it. In 2022, with a heavy heart but a sense of anticipation, Mark and Kirsten left behind the life they built in Malaysia. Unsure of what was next, they went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to regroup for a month.  What was meant to be a brief stint turned into 1.5 years of adjusting to a wholly different Mexican life. They’ve said adios to one chapter while welcoming another, making memories, and discovering the beauty of rewriting life’s script.

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