What’s Better than Free Advice from Sid about Living at Lake Chapala Ajijic, Mexico?

June 27, 2009

What's Better than Free Advice from Sid  about Living at Lake Chapala Ajijic, Mexico? Well, the answer is simple and so, rather than a "teaser" to get you to read the rest of the article… Here's the answer: What's better than Free Advice from Sid about living at Lake Chapala is …. Free advice  from Sid that directly benefit's you and focuses on what you want or need to know about living here successfully, inexpensively, and happily ever after . Arce Camera 010 So, please leave me a comment below with one question or concern in the comment box below.  If you have more than one question or concern please use additional comment  boxes as needed. Finally be as specific and to the point as you can given your question or concern. So, I'm ready, fire away ! Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Paul Hoffman

    Please explain the variety of ways that water enters houses there. What is the sequence of tinacos, aljibes, pumps, water heaters, filters, and UV lights?

    And if you have enough filters, and UV lights to render tap water drinkable do you still soak vegetables in Microdyn or is washing under the tap good enough (like in the states)?

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Paul, Thanks for your question about water systems here at Lake Chapala Ajijic.

    There are many variables in our water systems here at Lake Chapala Ajijic. All the homes here I know about are supplied water form deep wells.

    The wells may be administered by a home owners group which pays the government for the water it extracts and then charges the homeowner a delivery fee for the water and to use the association water lines, pumps, valves etc…. or the water may come directly from a government controlled well which charges an annual water fee.

    Some areas use water meters and others do not. More and more areas are going to water meters now with some base amount of water covered by a set fee with any additional water used billed at so much per cubic meter used above the base amount.

    Water is usually not supplied continuously whether supplied by the government or by a homeowners group (some gated communities have a community wide pressurized system so that water is supplied 24 X 7 under pressure and usually has been purified before arriving at the home).

    Two developments supply water said to be safe to drink from the tap (Vista del Lago and Chula Vista), but neither supply water continuously under pressure. The quality of water could still be affected by the cleanliness of the cistern at the home (Aljibe) and the roof top water tank (Tinaco).

    Once water arrives at the home from the government or home owners group to a home it can be routed different ways.

    Here’s how it works at my house. The water is pumped several mornings a week by our homeowners group and enters into my aljibe (water cistern) which is located under my driveway.

    From there it’s pumped using my pump and electricity to either my tinaco (roof top water tank) or directly to my pressure tank where it fills a large rubber bladder inside the tank (a pressure switch automatically determines when to allow water into the bladder).

    Then, when I turn on a tap anywhere in my house I get purified water under pressure because by turning on the tap the water is released under pressure and passes through a cloth filter which takes out any debris in the water, and then it passes through a charcoal filter which takes out any bad taste or odor and some bacteria, and from there is goes into an approximately 3 foot long polished stainless steel tube which has a ultraviolet light the length of the tube which kills any remaining bacteria before it’s delivered to the tap I opened.

    Note: If I do not have electricity for an extended period of time I turn a valve that cuts out the water purification system and I would then get water to my taps via gravity feed directed from my roof top tinaco (water tank).

    Usually when we lose electricity it’s at night in a storm and by 10 a.m. or so the power is back on and I don’t need to cut out the purification system portion.

    The nice thing about a tinaco is that if you do lose powder you can still take showers and flush toilets.

    If I need water to drink or make coffee before we have power again I use bottled water we keep in a garafon (Water dispenser which holds a 5 gallon bottle of purified drinking water which costs just over $1.00 USD for 5 gallons).

    The hot water system is an on demand propane gas type and works well with either the tinaco water or purified water as did our previous tank type hot water heater.

    Soaking Veggies: Some people just wash them in tap water (not recommended) and some people think their purified tap water is good enough. But, I take the safest route and soak all veggies and fruit I can peel before eating. The type you can peel I still wash in my purified tap water.

    I use a basin of water large enough to do all my fruit and veggies at the same time and fill with purified water to which I’ve added the recommended amount of Microdyn or other preparation sold in all the stores here in the produce section.
    I soak them for 15 minutes or more and then drain to air dry and store.

    Special note for lettuce or cabbage. The leaves should be removed from the stalk and then soaked for approx. 15 minutes in the Microdyn solution as you want the solution to cover the leaves for their entire length.

    Really it sounds like a lot of work, but it becomes second nature. It no doubt would be a good practice in the USA or Canada as well.

    Good questions. Thanks again for your comments Paul. I enjoy answering questions because if someone out there is wondering about some aspect of how we live our lives here then others more than likely have the same question.

  • Gary and Barbara Wyse

    I am looking forward to comming down for a week or two and was planing on spending my first visit to PV. However I do not want to spoil my chance to eventually retire down there by stressing out the wife as she cannot take the heat at all.
    Eventhough I would like to come down for the winters at least at first. How much of a trip is it to PV from your location and I also understand that Guadalajara is only 45min and the airport is 30min away as well. How practical would it be to live at Chapala and or Guadalajara and head for PV in the winter. I would like to spend some summer months each year back in Baltimore with family just traveling back to Chapala for instance once each year. How are the taxes. How can you show or pay Mexican taxes and not usa ones. Living there 6mo out of the year? I have a home in Branson, MO as well that I plan on selling and using the proceeds for living in MX. Also can a rental for a week or so there in the area start the transition. All the other baby boomers will be following soon and I want to beat the rush ! Can you help with some of this. I am retired now on a disability and the wife is about ready to do the same and we both have a small pension and my disability income. Finally I was a police officer in Richmond, MO my home town for aprox 7yrs and worked security for 21years for Lucent Technologies where we are both retired from. thanks,
    Gary Wyse

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Gary, You’ve asked some very good questions. Let me answer each one in turn.

    Distance to airport and Guadalajara. Yes, most of the towns and villages here at Lake Chapala are very convenient to both our International airport (symbol GDL) and to Guadalajara.

    Taxes: If you work legally here you pay Mexican taxes here, but under US law you gt an exemption for the first $80,000 a year you earn here and while you must report the earning to IRS that you made here you do not have to pay US taxes on these earnings.

    Most taxes here are very low compared to US taxes. There is a value added tax which is included in the stated price of most things you buy (even most restaurant prices) which at this point is 15%. The costs even with the taxes added in are very low compared to the USA.

    When you buy a home here (which you can even do on a Tourist Visa there’s a fee (tax?) for each home you buy of currently 5500 pesos for each foreign person on the deed. (about $500 USD or less currently).

    Weekly Rentals

    Yes, there are people here who rent small homes or apartments by the week here. E mail me for individual contacts.

    Baby Boomers are Coming Soon

    Yes, They are. Yes, of course I can help you with almost every aspect of moving here, checking outthe area for full or part time living, introductions to people you can trust to advise you, etc. etc.

    Thanks for mentioning your law enforcement background. If you’ve read my personal story you know I was a Dallas Police Officer for 35 years before I moved here.

    You’ll find that your police pension goes a lot farther here than in the USA.

    Let me know when I can help more. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Glen Norris

    We are living in Boquete, Panama. We are selling our home in Boquete and purchasing a small home in Phoenix, AZ (family is there)and considering spending winters in Phoenix and summers in either Lake Chapala/Ajijic or Rosarita. Rosarita is an easy drive from Phoenix and your area is a hard 2 day drive. What do you know about Rosarita? Got suggestions? Also, do you know the interest rate for CD’s in Mexico? We can get 8.5% in Panama. Thanks, Glen

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Glen, Thanks for your comments. Sorry, I don;t know anything about Rosarita.

    Perhaps you should visit both there and Lake Chapala and see which fits you best.

    If you do visit us, let us know and we can arrange a gratis tour for you (if at some point you might consider buying a home here).

    Sorry, I don;t know the CD rates currently for Mexico.

    Thanks again for you comments. Tu amigo, Sid

  • Lmayo7664

    We are thinking of retiring in Mexico and are curious about taxes. Will our social security be taxable in Mexico? We will have a little over $40,000 a year. We will be renting in Mexico  and selling our home in the US.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/SidGrosvenor Sid Grosvenor

     Hi Lmayo7664, Good Question.

    No your US Income is not taxed in Mexico, but the US Tax Man will still tax you on it.
    You will be able to lead a very lavish lifestyle on much less than you have. The more you adapt to Mexico and the more lavish your life will be on less money.

    Don’t fall into the trap of overpaying for gardeners, housekeepers, repairs, meals etc.

    Remember not everyone is as blessed with such a nice retirement income. Please do not misunderstand, I’m not saying be stingy. If you want to help the best way is to give to one of more of our local charities. They know the needy. 

    By over paying for workers others on less income may not be able to afford workers.

    Let us know if at some point you want to consider buying a home. No rush, but once you’re sure our area is right for you it makes sense. I bought my home about 11 years ago after renting before that. I’ve saved enough money by not renting for those years to pay for my home.

    And, each year the savings in what I would have spent on rent accumulates.

    Thanks for your question. All for now. Tu amigo, Sid

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