The Great Escape: Are One Million More Americans Moving to Mexico?

October 22, 2008

Are One Million More Americans  Moving to Mexico?

I keep hearing this number from various sources. I don’t know just how they estimated this, but I do know one thing for sure.

Of those who are considering a move to Mexico, you could do no better than choosing our beautiful area right here at Lake Chapala, Ajijic.

The usual reaction for those ‘not in the know yet’ when my clients tell their family or friends that they are considering a move here is “What ? Are you crazy? Are you loosing your mind?”

This perception is no doubt fueled by the news in the USA and Canada of the crime and corruption (Like North American is crime and corruption free.) Check out my short article and video here in this article to see the truth about crime in our area.

But, even though you’re very safe here at Lake Chapala Ajijic there’s other factors at work making our area attractive that you  rarely hear about on the nightly news.

This is what I call “the real Mexico”. Once you experience it you’ll know the real reason Americans and Canadians are moving south of the border in droves.

Dear member or visitor:

In many ways, Mexico today is like the U.S.A. or Canada was 50 years ago–before big government, big business, and special interests ruined a life style our parents took for granted…

A place where neighbors trusted one another… and you could afford to raise a family on one income…

People were more family-focused… more relaxed.

They didn’t worry about random violence, mass shootings in schools and shopping malls…

Life seemed safer… children could ride bicycles around town… they didn’t worry about being abducted.

As I sit on the Chapala Plaza at my favorite Mom and Pop restaurants (Jose’s Place), having a late afternoon meal I never tire of watching the Mexican people go about their lives.

Children walking next to their mothers holding hands, friends passing the day’s news with each other sitting in the shade of a park bench, a strolling guitarist singing a cheerful song hoping for a tip, but not in you face about it, or the rhythm of the shoe shine man’s brush across the shoes in front of him.

Waymire photos 006

Granddaughter Merifer, daughter in law Elizabeth, and precious Sarah Sophia

There, on the Chapala Plaza, like other local plazas in San Antonio Tla. or Ajijic life is still relaxed, simple, and affordable…  (Lunch was under $4, the song was a almost free, and the shoe shine just $1)

I’ve traveled throughout Mexico with my first trip here over 45 years ago. I live here full time now and can’t think of any place on the face of the planet I’d rather live.

The simple fact is that you can retire in luxury here without spending a fortune. That was true 45 years ago and it’s still true today.


Now, if you’ve only seen the resort areas of Mexico no doubt you’re questioning some of what I’ve been saying.

Please understand that these areas of Mexico are about as real as judging life in the USA by a trip to Disneyland.

The other image people have of Mexico is from the Movies (the old movies showed Banditos with belts of ammo strapped across their chests and the new movies show Drug Lords shooting it out with AK – 47 automatic weapons).

That’s not the Mexico I know nor is it the Mexico of Lake Chapala and Ajijic.

Do you know that…?

  • According to U.S. government figures, Mexico’s economy moved ahead of Canada’s last year, making it the 12th largest economy in the world.
  • The ranks of the middle class have swelled to record levels, solid jobs provide security, and more and more families are able to see their children graduate from the University.
  • Unlike the U.S., Mexico is one of the world’s largest oil exporters and sells 1.7 billion barrels of oil to the U.S. each day. As a result, Mexico’s economy is actually strengthened each time oil prices go up.
  • Mexico‘s stock market has also taken off. In fact, over the past five years, Mexican markets have outperformed U.S. stocks (as measured by the S&P500) by 10 to 1.
  • In 2008 Mexico’s government has launched a 5-year, $250 billion program to build new highways, railways, airports and ports throughout the country.
  • Each day there are more state-of-the-art hospitals and elder care facilities being built specifically to service the aging baby boomers arriving from north of the border.

MIsc for Slide 037

Mexico can give you all the conveniences of modern life that you’re used to. It has a stable government and a First-World infrastructure, including high-speed internet, mobile telephone networks, high-tech medicine, paved multi-lane toll roads, and much more.

Still the stereotypes persist. But, our secret is getting out. With all the changes for the better here and the changes for the worse in the North quite frankly I expect our area to boom.

For many years the secret of Lake Chapala and Ajijic were known only by the rich and famous as places they could escape to and go unnoticed.

Lake Chapala Ajijic combine the best of three worlds: The world of old fashioned values and low crime like it used to be in the USA, the modern world of amenities and infrastructure of North America today, and the contnuing world of an affordable luxurious lifestyle which conitnues to be available in Mexico today.

Las Palmas home 1

Now, it’s true that home prices and lots in desirable areas have risen as our secret has leaked out. And, some of you will have read on other websites about retiring in Mexico where they tout the very low prices of homes and lots.

These places still exist, but do you really want to be hours from an International airport, way off the beaten path from excellent emergency medical care, where learning to speak Spanish is a MUST and not just a way to enhance your enjoyment of the area?

Some of these websites talk about miles of beautiful deserted beaches or going for days without seeing anyone from North of the border.

Well, I guess that’s OK, if that’s what you want. I want it all. I’m not willing to give up my high speed internet, and while I love the Mexican people and their culture I really don’t want to drown in it and have to give up my own language and culture. Here in our area I have the best of both worlds.

Quite frankly, I enjoy the International aspects of living here at Lake Chapala Ajijic where I get to know my Mexican neighbors … and to meet interesting people from all over the world including a lot of English Speaking ex pats from the USA and Canada.

Did I mention the weather? In two words, “near perfect”.

No wonder Kiplinger’s calls Mexico “one of the most popular retirement havens.”

What do my clients say who have moved here (and even those still working on it).

Some talk about the low prices, the great weather, but of those who now live here full time, the usual comments are about their new “quality of life” that I hear the most about and a lot of that is their new friends from North of the border and their new activities from golf to sitting by the pool and everything in between..

Some are enchanted by the smiling faces of the local people…others mention the small-town feel and the relaxed pace of life (although many are quite the social butterflies and wonder how they ever had time to work up North).

To others coming from the urban centers of the North it’s the feeling of personal safety…or the non-intrusive government’s go along, get along attitude, where they feel freedom from over regulation.

While Mexico has its share of red tape … comparatively speaking Mexico has easy visa programs to help make ease your transition to residency here.

Unlike other retirement havens, you don’t need to pay hundreds of thousands to become a resident. You can import your personal belongings duty free (Including your car, if you wish.)

There are a number of visas for you to choose from–depending on your specific needs. You can even buy a home here while visiting on a tourist visa that the airline provided you with on your flight here.

NO, I don’t advise buying a home here on your first trip. I want to be sure you’re really in love and not just enfactuated with the area.

There are visas for more permanent resident status of course which in 5 years can lead to citizenship if you would enjoy being a dual citizen.

Or, you can choose a temporary resident status which allows you to travel in and out of Mexico as little or as much as you choose and stay here as long as you want (you just renew this status once each year for under $200 USD.

In summary, by taking advantage of Lake Chapala Ajijic’s affordable lifestyle, you can dramatically slash your living costs, improve the quality of your life, and have great weather … all without giving up the amenities that you’ve grown accustomed to, or leaving your language and culture totally behind.

You can do it. I can help.

Very Sincerely and “Siempre tu amigo”, Sid Grosvenor

Sid y Arcelia
E mail me for a personal telephone consultation.

Over one million Americans already call Mexico home.

Hundreds of thousands more are preparing to do the same.  

Don’t miss out. Start planning your ‘great escape’ today.


  • Ruth

    Dear Sid,
    My husband and I lived in Ajijic four 4 years before returning to Maine. We are planning to sell our house in Maine and return to Ajijic/Chapala. I don’t know if you can help us with this problem, but I shall ask.

    When we left Mexico 3 yrs. ago we did not stop at the border to turn in our vehicle stickers, although we do have the stickers. We realize we will need to get new FM2s. We will be returning with a 35′ motorhome which has never been to Mexico and we will be towing our Jeep which still has its Mexican sticker on the windshield. Do you have any idea what kind of red tape we will be up against at the border?

    Since we will be traveling with a large number of dogs, we would not be able to afford to be tied up at the border crossing for days on end. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Ruth

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Ruth, I have to ask some questions to be sure I understand your situation more precisely. So, I’ll e mail you with my questions and then reply with what I think the best course of action would be for you.

    I think we can figure out a way to get you past the border without a long delay.

    So watch for my e mail.

    After you arrive here you can write a new post to Tell the rest of the Clubmembers how you made out.

    For now let me remind our readers that it’s best when exiting Mexico with a vehicle that has previously been imported to Mexico with foreign plates to stop at the border and check the vehicle and yourself out of the copuntry and then when returning to get a new temporary import sticker.

    Some people who are just returning for a relatively short time do not check the car or themselves out of Mexico when crossing a land bridge to the USA. The problem is that sometimes the car is in a wreck, is stolen or or is sold and when the owner tries to bring in another vehicle they run into the problem that they already have a car imported into Mexico and no proof that the car was exported.

    I’ve hear of a case where a couple exited Mexico without formally checking the car out of the country, Once inside the USA the car was wrecked and was not deriveable. They then broke the windshield out of the car with the import sticker still attached and a police report of the wreck.

    Of course there was a lot of Red Tape and perhaps a fine at the border, but they managed to import the new vehicle. So again it’s best to follow the rules … just in case.

    All for now. Siempre tu amigo. Sid

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