Monday, February 1, 2016

LV. ¡Dinero—Ay, Caramba!

Money—Ay, Caramba!

In exactly two weeks the closing is scheduled for the house my wife and I are buying here in Mexico. That’s when we pay for the whole kit and caboodle, minus the 10% down payment we already wire transferred*. Our offer for the house was only accepted a little over three weeks ago, so it’s been a whirlwind trying to get our financial ducks in a row. 

Feathers are flying as I try to get our financial ducks in order.
Less than two weeks ago—following a back and forth exchange about where to send the request—I faxed a document asking that a relatively small—but crucial—amount of money be directly deposited from an AXA investment fund to the joint checking account my wife and I have at Bank of America. A few days later I was notified that AXA regulations would not let them accept as proof for direct deposit the faxed photocopy of our bank account’s voided check, which they had requested but that only had my wife’s name printed on it. Nor would they accept a PDF document I offered to email of our most recent bank statement that had both of our names, account number, bank logo, etc.

AXA would mail a check for the amount we were requesting to the address they had on file, which belongs to our younger daughter. Ten days ago, that’s what I told them to do. Our daughter had deposited other checks in our bank account, so we figured she could do the same with this one. However, the AXA check had not arrived as of last evening. Tonight I’ll get an email from her letting me know if anything came in Monday’s mail. Needless to say, we’ll be very happy to hear everything is OK with this penultimate piece of money movement.

If not, I reckon my first step will be to call AXA and ascertain when (if?) the check was mailed, and the soonest we could have it cancelled and another one Fed-Ex’d for next day delivery, if that’s possible; the AXA rep didn’t mention it as an alternative in the previous phone and email exchanges. (He did suggest, however, that before any money could be transferred out of my account I really should have been required to submit some other undoubtedly complicated and time-consuming document as a consequence of not being in the U.S.)

This is the way we want things to look.
Depending on the timing of a check’s delivery to our conscientious daughter, I might need to further—with that information in mind—contact the realty office to notify them that the final $10K or so will be available by such and such date, possibly after the scheduled closing. I hope that’s not the case because every time I speak with the business manager at the realty office she seems to feel that we are not putting serious effort into purchasing the house. (I think, though, that her suspicions might have been allayed now that she’s got a good chunk of our change in her office’s Mexico City bank*.)

In the meantime I’ll keep growing what remaining hair I have on my head since I seem to have made a de facto decision to not get it cut until I feel that all those financial ducks are in some sort of presentable file.

UPDATE: The check was received by our daughter, and that was a big Hooray! Contrary to our instructions, however, 20% was withheld for income tax. This morning I contacted the AXA functionary to ask about that and he said that disbursement of a Tax Sheltered Annuity, by federal regulation required such an amount to be withdrawn. Who knew? 

*The wire transfers went relatively smoothly from B of A to the Mexico City bank. As a consequence of our Luddism neither my wife nor I have one of those smart phones, nor are we even sure how to send and receive a text message. In order to send an online wire transfer of over $1,000 US, we needed to supply a verification code sent to a mobile device. Younger daughter was once again the middlewoman. As I was online to my bank, and daughter and I were long-distance connected by telephone, she read off the code that I'd had sent to her iPhone. I entered the code in the little box B of A supplied on my laptop screen, and presto-chango the virtual money flew into the ether and eventually to our realtor's account.


  1. Tom! Life is a bit busy here in Seattle, but I took a moment to catch up on your blog tonight! A house! A home! A casa! A pad! A crib! Whatever you want to call it...awesome! So happy to hear that the year has been one of excitement, discovery and unforeseen changes for you an your wife. I look forward to the day we can share stories and philosophy over a couple beers!
    Cheers to you and congratulations!

    1. Matt, it's a treat to hear from you and be reminded of a good friend and his fine family. I checked in on your blog and saw that great picture of the three of you--what a beautiful baby! We'll be back in the Emerald City for a couple of weeks in early May, staying at an AirB&B in Ballard and look forward to quaffing a few cold ones with you then. Qué le vaya bien, amigo y a tu esposa y bebe!