At Focus on Mexico, we get asked if it's any cheaper to live in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico, and, we always say, It depends on your lifestyle. But, as expat Jerry Draughon says on his website, I might be able to EXIST in the states, but I can LIVE in Mexico. That's how most of us feel about living in our little slice of paradise.
Talk about financial planningIn a website survey run every year in the Ajijic area, one single lady shows how she gets along on 8 a year, which includes rent of 0 per month! As she says, however, I'm proud not to be a consumer. I only purchase what I need and enjoy living a very simple and quiet life.
It's more realistic to look at the average expenses of the three single people in the survey, which comes out to be about 00 a month. The average for the three couples in the survey was about 00. However, the one thing we can say with unqualified confidence is that you definitely can live better for less in Mexico! It has been estimated that the cost of living is about 30% to 40% less than anywhere else in North America.
Do you want the same lifestyle you have north of the border? Well, your life is likely to change in unexpected, mostly wonderful, ways. When Bill and I retired here in 2004, we retired on his social security of alone. Who would imagine that after only one month in Mexico we would have a maid coming in twice a week? We owned our home, had satellite TV and Internet access, and ate very well indeed given that Bill enjoys cooking and we have an endless supply of fresh vegetables and meat, fish and poultry! Since we both had the same retirement plan in the Statesto drop dead at our deskswe knew we were living large!
If you're reading, this, my guess is that you can afford to retire in Mexico. You just want to know that others, like you, started with a dream and a budget and ended up in a truly wonderful reality.
One of our expert speakers during our Focus on Mexico 8-day Educational seminars breaks it down even further for our participants detailing her life in Colorado versus her lifestyle at Lake Chapala. Some of the costs that you might find interesting:
1. Doctor's visit from -.00
2. Dental visit teeth cleaning - .00 (Crowns, around 0)
3. Hair cut for men from -.00
4. Ladies hair cut and permanent .00
5. Auto wash from -.00
6. 1-hour massage -.00
7. Pedicure or Manicure
8. Movie ticket (first-run movies in English; matinee) .00
9. Gardener .50-.00/hr
10. Maid .00/hr
11. Property taxes from USD to 0 USD a year, with a 10% discount for early payment
12. Water around a month (paid annually)
One of the best parts of living in the Ajijic area is that we do not need air conditioning or a furnace. And, generally, any expense requiring a large labor force (for instance, restaurants, construction or auto repair) is a real bargain. You'll have to search to find a first-rate evening meal exceeding USD from an incredibly broad selection of wonderful restaurantsEuropean, Greek, Thai, Italian, Argentinean and more! You want itwe probably have it here, or, most definitely, 30 minutes away in Guadalajara!
And the interesting part is that many foreigners claim their cost of living in Lake Chapala actually goes down each year. Guess why? Because the longer you live in Mexico, the more you learn to live in a peso-based economy. You're not taking that credit card out every time you turn around. You'll find that you don't miss the things you thought you would miss once you move down here. As Boomer consumers, Bill and I can definitely attest to that!
Moreover, you start thinking in more of a Mexican way. When Bill and I first arrived, things seemed a lot cheaper than what we were used to. Wow, only 0 pesos for THATlet's buy two! Just yesterday, at the tianguis, we were looking at a similar 0-peso item and I said: 0 pesos, you've got to be kidding! And, I don't know how it happened, but percentage-wise, we're saving a whole lot more than we used to in the States and even more than we were saving five years ago when we moved to Mexico!
Bill and I moved to the Lake Chapala area for the same reason most people leave back home. We wanted a lower cost of living, a temperate climate, and we wanted to leave the rat race. It's one of the best decisions we ever made. We tend now to be a little bigheaded about our decisionwhy are so many people still struggling with miserable climates, high utility and medical bills, and other services when they could live a much more enhanced lifestyle in Mexico for less? We're really trying to get over ourselvesbut it's hard!
Please join us on a Focus on Mexico program. You'll realize, after hearing our guest speaker talk about Cost of Living and Taxes, why so many people are able to move up their retirement date. Maybe you can too.