“Places You Could Retire and Why You May Not Want To”

December 30, 2009

Sid’s Disclaimer. WARNING ! This article will poke a little fun at a number of North American locations. Honestly it’s just in fun. Please don’t be offended… but if the shoe fits…”

Places You Could Retire and Why You May Not Want To.

You could retire to Phoenix, Arizona where…..
1.  If you’re willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2.  You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
3.  You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
4.  You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
5.   The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING  ME??!!

You could retire to California where…
1.   You make over $250,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a  house.
2.   The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3.   You know how to eat an artichoke.
4.   You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5.   When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6.   The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.

You could retire to New York City where….
1.   You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean  Manhattan ….
2.  You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from
Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can’t find Wisconsin on a  map.
3.   You think Central Park is “nature.”
4.   You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.

5.   You’ve worn out a car horn. ( ed note: if you have a car)

6.   You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You could retire to Minnesota where…
1.  You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and  Tabasco
Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3.  You have more than one recipe for moose.
4.  Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5.  The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.

You could retire to the Deep South where…
1.   You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2.  “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
3.  “He needed killin’” is a valid defense.
4.   Everyone has two first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue,  Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5.   Everything is either “in yonder,” “over yonder” or “out yonder.”
It’s important to know the difference, too..

You could retire to Colorado where….
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3.  A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4.  The top of your head is bald, but you still h
ave a pony tail.

You could retire to the Midwest where…
1.   You’ve never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2.   Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3.   You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
4..  You end sentences with a preposition: “Where’s my coat at? “
5.    When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, “It
was different!”

You could retire to  Florida where..
1.   You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2.   All purchases include a coupon of some kind — even houses
and  cars.

3.  Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4.  Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5.  Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

Now, these places all have their charm as set out above but… if you do retire to one of them you could wind up saying, ” WOW, I could have had a S – 8 !

What’s an “S – 8″ ? Please continue to find out.

First,  remember Retirement is about choices so consider one more place where you could retire because … you don’t want to wind up saying…

WOW, I could have had an S – 8  Ok already so What’s an S – 8 ?

S - 8

It’s Sid’s 8 Reasons you should retire here at Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico

#1 You’ll save boat loads of money on almost everything you buy from V – 8 to Mansions

#2 You’ll have the best climate in the world right after Nigeria or was it some other place in Africa that’s supposed to be better.

#3 The Mexican food is a lot better than it is in the USA or Canada. You can get Tex-Mex here too if you prefer this version.

#4 You get to meet and be friends with Interesting people from all over the world… many of which have the money to live anywhere in the world they choose, yet they chose Lake Chapala Ajijic….  hummm … Wonder Why?

#5 You’ll feel like you’re in paradise the area is simply so gorgeous with exotic flowers, flowering trees, mountain vistas and lake views that some say are even more interesting than the  ocean views in Hawaii.

#6 The Mexican people are a gentle charming people who welcome North Americans to their country …  especially at Lake Chapala where North Americans have been retiring for over half a century. You’ll fit right in.

#7 You can drive to the Texas border in a day, you can fly to the USA or Canada in just a few hours, or you can ride a bus to North America in safety. Try driving home from Costa Rica, or any of the other places South of Mexico where a few retirees have landed.  NOT !

#8 You can use the constantly improving highway system with Interstate-like divided roadways reaching almost every part of Mexico now. So, for the price of a little gasoline (currently just $2.40 US per gallon) you can be at the Pacific Ocean beaches in a half day drive – Hello Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Manzanillo !

Now, I could give you hundreds more reasons why Mexico and Lake Chapala Ajijic in particular are attracting so many of us from North America, but I’ll resist the urge…

Well, just maybe just  one more I hear a lot lately…

You probably can make up equity losses you’ve suffered North of the border here where the exchange rate for dollars is more favorable each month.

That means even if you sell there with a “paper loss” you probably will make it up and perhaps more if you take action soon while sales are slow and the exchange rate is very good.

So, send me an e mail soon to Sid@ChapalaClub.com with your questions, to share your plans or just to stay in touch. No one knows just how long this better than normal buying opportunity will last.


  • Dorothy

    Sid, I have lived and traveled all over the U.S. & these vignettes say it perfectly.

    My recent stay in Ajijic was so lovely, I shall return and am
    currently applying for FM3. My plan is to return, rent, enjoy.
    How many times I do that before relocating is indefinite. Being
    free to choose appeals to me the most. I went through the
    FOCUS ON MEXICO program and they brought me the specific info
    I needed to do this well.

    Enjoy reading your columns and I share them with friends &

    I look forward to meeting you when I return.

    All the best in 2010

  • Betty

    Sid you hit the nail on the head as far as California is concerned. I don’t know about the other states, but you sure got it right about good old sunny Calif. Thanks for a good laugh.

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

    Hi Betty, Well, it’s always a risk to use comedy, but I think most people who read and subscribe to ChapalaClub for the most part don’t wear their feelings on their cuff. Glad you enjoyed the article. Hope you can come down from California and enjoy our hospitality here in 2010. Sid

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

    I Dorothy. Thanks for the very kind words. And… thanks for sharing the articles with your friends. I hope you’ve signed up for membership. If not just put your e mail address in the box in the uper right hand corner of any of the pages on the site and the software will do the rest.

    We hate SPAM and will never sell, trade, or give away your e mail address. You can opt out at any point.

    Thanks again. Let me know when I can help with any aspect of living, working and playing in our little slice of paradise.


  • Sunny

    Sid…regarding California, we actually have five seasons. You forgot earthquakes.

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

    Hi Sunny, Yes, I left “earthquakes” out of the list. Thanks for your correction.
    Terrible news lately about the one offshore which I hear affected Northern Calif.

  • Bud


    No beef with the satire, and the up-and-down real estate prices may be in the down mode presently, but buying a house aside, more than one Chapala expat forum has a number of people who think that the “average” retiree can’t enjoy a comfortable lifestyle there on their retirement check, particularly if your SS check is the majority of your income. I know that many US persons have developed a conspicuous consumption mindset, so their lifestyle would of necessity cost more than some, but I also don’t want to come down there for 5 or 6 months a year and have to scrimp and do without basics to just get by. I don’t need surprises like that. What IS the real story on the cost of living there? I know it must be lower than NOB, but is it low enough to make much difference? How long a stay at lakeside do you think it would take to get an accurate picture of the true cost of living? BTW, the cost of living up here (N.E. Ohio)isn’t really my major consideration. I happen to have some significant advantages here that I wouldn’t have elsewhere, but (1) I don’t like the weather, and (2)I don’t like the path our governments (all levels) are on. I guess what I want more than anything is for government to get their noses out of my life.

  • Bud

    BTW, it was Nairobi, Kenya.

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

    Hi Bud, Thanks for your comments. First let me tell you that a couple can live here on as low as $1500 USD a month.

    One $2,000 a month they could live very very well (maids and gardeners, travel some, fancy meals out, etc. etc.)

    Some may think that if anything I’m a estimating a bit too high. Others may think I’m a bit low. If you’re from California or New York everything seems extremely inexpensive. If your from Texas you feel that things are a lot less expensive for the most part. Some things are more expensive. Electronics are still a bit higher than in the USA (Big screen TVs for example).

    I’d say that if you tracked your expensese carefully that within a few months you would know how much it would cost you to live here with the lifestyle you want. If you buy all imported food your food bill would likely be higher than int he USA. If you shop at the local markets and use mostly Mexican brands your food bill will be significantly less.

    Electricity costs more per kilowatt hour the more kilowatts you use. MOst people spend around $30 USD per month on electricty, but others who don’t conserve could spend double that.

    Like all governments Mexico has it’s share of red tape, but I’ve not found it worse than the USA. And in some areas a lot better.

    You can e mail me or arange to talk by telephone on my nickel and I’ll be happy to answer all your questions openly and candidly.

    Thanks for your comments. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

    The government here strictly controls some things. The Government controls the production and sale of electricity and oil products.

    So, we only have one brand of gasoline “Pemex” for example.

    But in our day to day lives the government is not intrusive. Mexico is a very live and let live country.

  • Audrey Zikmund

    I have a question………..My husband is on oxygen 24-7 and needs to replace those skinny tubes ever so often and also the mask…..do you kow of place there that sells that sort f thing.??????????????? Thanks……….Audrey

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

    Hi Audrey, Have you checked at the Lake Chapala Society at the information table open from 10 a.m. until 2 pm M – F

    If you have an old tubes to go by you might try going to several local hardware stores to see what they carry.

    Check with your doctor to be sure that tubes from a hardware store source would be OK to use for Oxygen for medical purposes.

    Hope this helps. Sid

  • Audrey Zikmund

    We have not arrived there yet, was trying to find out ahead of time so we would know. I will try the Lake Chapala Society then when we get there. These are special medical hoses, doubt if the hardware store would have the right thing…..Thanks.

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

    Hi Audrey, Call me when you arrive. I’ll help you try and find the tubes you need. Bring a sample of the tube.

    Also if you need airport pickup e mail me at Sid@ChapalaClub for details. Look forward to meeting you when you arrive. Sid

  • http://houndwalkers.org Jeff Walker

    Hi Sid,
    After much reading and study (including your very informative work & video’s) we have decided to come down and take a serious look. Our major concern at this time is with our number of dogs. Is it possible to obtain (purchase) a special permit to have more than two? Like 6 or more? Here we can buy a kennel license…there?
    We are ready to say adios to San Diego, CA and to Mr. Obama.
    Look forward to meeting you.

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

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for your comment. As far as I know there’s no limit on the number of pets you can import to Mexico. Obviously if you’re importing animals for commercial purposes that would be a different matter.

    Several years ago I drove a client from Oregon in her 1975 Ford 150 Pickup to Lake Chapala. In the back was all her stuff and in the extended cab where her 7 little Shiatsu dogs.

    They only fought 14 times ( I counted) but no blood was drawn. We were not even asked for their proof of rabies shots.

    I hope this helps Jeff. Call me or e mail me when you’re ready to set sail for Lake Chapala, Mexico to Sid @ChapalaClub.com

    All for now, Siempre tu amigo, Sid

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