Dan - I think your plan is wise, not sure about how easy it will be for you to get there tho. There are limits to how long you can be outside of Mexico if you hold an FM2. I don't have time to look it up right now (I'm pretty sure I posted it somewhere on CancunCare before), but it's along the lines of no more than 2 or 3 months a year OUT of Mexico. So it will be hard for you to hold an FM2 while you aren't actually living in Mexico. If you only ever entered and left Mexico via land crossings you might be able to hide some of your exits and thereby make it look like you are in Mexico more that you really are. But this is risky and probably not worth the hassle and expense. And you'd have to keep really good track of the lie you are nurturing. Holding an FM3 is more flexible, I don't think there is a limit to how long you can be outside the country. In Cancun, right now, you can't get an FM2 without holding an FM3 first. This is not true all over Mexico, it has to do with how the agents here interpret the law. If the same rule applies in Chetumal then you might be wise to get an FM3 and time it so that you've held it for 5 years BEFORE you move here permanently. That way when you move here you will qualify for the FM2. But if you can find an IMN office that will allow you to go straight to an FM2 then you may not want it yet. Once you've held your FM2 for two years (since you are married to a Mexican) you can apply for citizenship. So in theory if you retire here and get an FM2 immediately you could be a Mexican citizen within just a few years. If I were you I would get an FM3 about 5 years before you plan to retire here, get an FM2 when you retire here and apply for citizenship after 2 years here.