New Year’s Resolution: Start A New Life at Lake Chapala Ajijic ! Why There Will Never Be a Better Time to Do It !

February 5, 2010

New Year’s Resolution: Start A New Life at Lake Chapala Ajijic !

Why There Will Never Be a Better Time !

Unless you already live at Lake Chapala Ajijic this is the perfect New Year’s Resolution. Read on to see just why.

2010 is not going to be an easy year I fear if you live in North America is the major reason there will never be a better time to Start a new life here at Lake Chapala, Mexico.

You see prices are even lower here than before for new homes, existing homes, starter homes, and vacation homes.

Well, I have to wait until I sell my home here first you say… well that’s what a lot of people are doing and when all of those folks do finally get their price (whenever that is) the market here will be over run with new buyers who will be bidding up the price.

There may be a way to do it sooner rather than later. E mail me for some ideas I have that may work for you.

But, for now please read on to see why a check us out trip should be in your near future.

When you arrive I want you to join me for your personal FREE seminar and area tour. NO high pressure guaranteed. I hate pushy sales types, don’t you?

In your seminar among other things you’ll discover:

It’s so much easier to get a resident visa in Mexico for either full or part time living here  than in most of the other so called retirement havens.

You may be considering Panama. I’ve never been there so I have no personal knowledge of Panama.

I can tell you this. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten e mails from two different North Americans complaining about the crime, the corruption, and the mountains of red tape the government puts on foreigners there for even simple things like getting a local driver’s license.

In Mexico it’s easy, but there’s no need to do so if you have a  valid USA or Canadian License.

It was like the two e mails were reading from the same script.

The Mexican government has made it very easy for foreigners to live here.

Others are investigating Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful country and I made 5 trips there, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me.

I felt like I was trapped because it was so far South. I liked the idea that from Mexico I can get in my car and be at the Texas border in one long day of driving from Lake Chapala.

I hear that in recent years the Costa Rican government has made it much more difficult to bring in personal goods for retirees.

Not Mexico. For the last 16 years I know of for sure you’ve been able to bring in household goods duty free within the first 45 days of obtaining your resident visa.

Mexican Train

Since we’re so close to the USA and part of NAFTA many goods are imported from the USA here by truck and rail and don’t have the high transportation costs added into the price like Central American or Caribbean countries do.

Your cost of living in Mexico will be very, very low and you can save the difference for extra fun like mini vacations to Puerto Vallarta or Manzanillo both of which are just over a half day drive away from Lake Chapala.

If your USA or Canadian  pension gives you a comfortable lifestyle now …

then here at Lake Chapala Ajijic it will give you a  luxurious lifestyle. The cost of everything from food to fun will be less.

Real Estate too is a bargain or a super bargain depending upon just what area in the USA or Canada you compare it to, but I expect that to change.

You can live very well here on just $2,000 per month or less.

Did you know that Mexico has a first-class retiree benefits program. Foreigners age 60 or older, with a valid Mexico resident visa are eligible for Mexico’s Personas Adultas Mayores benefits program which offers discounts on a wide range of services, including health-related ones (hospitals, doctors’ visits, lab tests, medications, dental work, etc.)

And the list goes on including; cultural activities like theater tickets and museum entrance fees; even on airline tickets, buses, car rentals; and at hotels, etc.

Discounts range from 5% to 50% off the full price of the goods or services.

What about Health Care ? Glad you asked. One of the best bargains here is Health Care.

torre americana
Modern Medical Facilities

Full-coverage health insurance in Mexico costs less  than a $1 per day.

What about the quality of care? In a word: “Excellent”, but it’s of the no frills variety.

Many doctors were trained in the U.S. or Europe and speak English.

Private health insurance, (through a major global provider) costs one-fourth to one half what you might be paying in the U.S.A.

Sounds good so far right. Well, it get’s even better.

Let talk taxes. North of the border people complain about their high and going ever higher taxes of almost every description.

Here at Lake Chapala Ajijic you’ll hear us brag about how low our taxes are.

How low? Well I pay under $70 USD in property total taxes a year on my 2,000 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage home on a large lot in a nice subdivision of Chapala.

Here’s another major benefit of retiring to Mexico that other so called retirement havens fall short on.

Being neighbors with the USA for so many years Americans and Canadians have been retiring here at Lake Chapala for over half a century.

So What? So this ! The Mexican people here know us a people, they respect our culture, they let us do our thing, even when it’s not their thing.

I know a lot of Mexican people here and many of them have family living and working in the USA or Canada and their families tell them about how they live there and the cultures cross fertilize each other. So, here we’re not the “Ugly Americans”.

NO, they think American and Canadian people are our new neighbors who will provide more jobs for the community and who will volunteer and help at our orphanages, and who will help to teach us English so we can get an even better job.

So, we’re treated like welcome guests and friends rather than as invaders. Especially retirement aged people.  You see part of the Mexican culture is to show genuine respect for elders and we retirees get the extra added benefit of that respect.

No doubt if you’ve read this far you’re interested in retirement here or at least intrigued by the idea, but you may be thinking…

“Well, this sounds wonderful, but….right now I have to deal with …. (Fill in the blank).

Yes, I know that sometime life get’s in the way of the life we want, dream about and yes…deserve !

That happened to me and I had to delay my move here by over a year due to a tragic personal loss.

But, that being said I’m very glad that I investigated Lake Chapala Ajijic early on and knew it was for me so that when circumstances permitted I was ready to hit the ground running.

I see my job here as providing you tons of great information about life here at beautiful and affordable Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico.

That way, when you’re ready to “pull the pin” you’ll be ready to hit the ground running too.

You’ll already know the ropes, so to speak and can grab up the good deals while the others are still scratching their head wondering if our area is right for them.

The Early Bird story we all learned as kids comes to mind.

By the way, if you’re not reading this article on and don’t know me yet I should say this.

Jalisco, Dallas,Dylon, Sarah, Diana, Quentin, Cuco, Snoopy y RE 028

A Morning Sunrise I get up to!

I’m not some hired gun article writer at a PR firm hired by the Mexican Tourist Board sitting in some cubical in an advertising office somewhere in North America and just skimmed the internet for my facts.

No, I writing to you today from my home here in Chapala Haciendas where I’m living my dream, just 5 minutes from downtown Chapala…

which is smack dab in the middle of the North Shore of Lake Chapala where between 10,000 to 14,000 estimated North Americans already live.

So, come on in. The water’s fine. You’ll not be alone or lonely here with all the activities, clubs, and cultural things there are to do in the area.

I’ve been helping folks just like you for 7 years now to discover our wonderful area and I expect to be doing it for the rest of my life one way or another.

I realize I sound very passionate about living here.

Honestly it’s so easy to talk passionately about our beautiful and peaceful area because those of us who live here for the most part are very passionate about our area.

Tour Boats in Lake Chapala

Each year I feel more blessed than the previous year to live here.

I think you’ll feel the same way. Let’s find out together.

Send me an e mail so we can get started to


  • http://lakechapalanews gwen bain

    i cannot afford to move to chapala until i am 65yrs. old – however, i want to spend this august in chapala for a month in a place with a kitchenette – not expensive – how can i find a place to stay – i am 63yrs. old now and the thought of moving there puts a smile on my face every day 690 days left THANK YOU, gwen

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Guen, Thanks for you comment. My best advise is to actually come down in August and stay for a couple of days in a local B and B and then we can check the bulletin board at the Lake Chapala Society which has a section set aside for rentals.

    These will be rentals which are not listed with the rental agencies. Most smaller places are not rented via the agencies.

    I think you should be able to find a “casista” for rent for a reasonable amount.

    Many of the larger homes have a separate small house or guest apartment like you describe with a mini kitchen and private bath and bedroom often with a small private or semi private patio.

    Send me an e mail to and I can go into more detail.

    Thanks again. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Janice McKee

    Hi Sid,

    I appreciate all the information that you provide and look forward to meeting you. The recent letter from Deanne & Bruce responding to their friends inquiry “Can I Live on My Pension at Lake Chapala, Mexico” was outstanding.

    My New Year’s goal was to re-visit Lake Chapala so I hope you can direct me to how best to navigate how to get there, lodging, etc. My first trip was over 25 years ago when visiting a friend who was taking her sabbatical and eventually happily retired there.

    I was thinking of signing up for the FOCUS group orientation, but sitting in a classroom does not appeal to me at this time and the program seemed a bit expensive, particularly adding in the single supplement cost. Your thoughts?

    I am ready to make a move to plant roots someplace else, at least 6 months out of the year. In checking into flying into Guadalajara, I will also be stopping to visit friends who purchased a second home in Chandler, AZ. This will give me the opportunity to compare the two locations.

    Here are some questions that I hope you can answer and any other advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.
    1. What book would you recommend that would help orient me to not only getting to Chapala, but also provide other valuable information?
    2. Is there a “best” phrase book that you could recommend I bring along?
    3. What Spansh educational program (Fluenz, Tell Me More, Rosetta Stone, etc.) do you think might be best to use to learn the language … I am now retired but learning another language is a concern of mine … not my strongest suit in the past.
    4. How long would you recommend someone stay in order to determine if a permanent move is the next step?
    5. Are you available next month?

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Janice, Wow, What a nice post.

    Let me just answer your questions by number. If you’d like to know more please send me an email to and I can elborate more.

    OK. Here we go.

    # 1 The best book at the moment is “Mexico;s Lake Chapala & Ajijic- The Insiders Guide” by Teresa A. Kendrick.

    It’s available from

    It’s latest copyright date is 2005 and a lot has changed since Teressa’s last edition so double check with me to see if what you read is still accurate.

    I’m in the process of writing a book now about Living, Working and Playing at Lake Chapala Mexico. My goal is to have it available in early 2011.

    I hope to make it not just full of facts, which let’s amit it can be a bit boring, but to make it a fun read as well using personal antidotes and experiences to illustrate the facts.

    Later I might have a contest like “Name the Book” and ask for title ideas from all of our club members.

    The working title is “How to Live a Caviar Lifestyle On a Tuna Fish Pension at Lake Chapala, Mexico.”

    #2 I don’t have a phrase book I would recommend.

    #3 Rosetta Stone is a good one, but wait until you arrive to buy it. I also recommend “Rocket Spanish”.

    If yu look at the top of our club web pages you will see a link/button that says “Learn Spanish” Click on that button and read about the course and be sue and ask for the first 5 lessons for free. You get to try it before you buy it. Very good practical conversation practice which speeds you along at Rocket Speed.

    The first 5 free lessons may be all the Spanish you’ll every need here.

    The other very practical paper back book that’s been a long time (for good reason) is “Madrigals Magic Key to Spanish” also available on It’s also for sale locally. I began with this book and it get’s you using Spanish quickly with lots of good tricks and will build your vocabulary quickly.

    #4 Some people know at first look and one couple I helped rented for a couple of years before they bought.

    Most guides will tell you to rent for 6 months, What I tell my clients is to rent long enough to be sure you’re in love and not just in lust.

    I tell the negative things (or at least the things that some North Americans would view as negative) when I give my own seminars because frankly if you can’t handle these items or are not willing to adjust you likely should not live here.

    I knew from several previous visits that the area was for me so when I came the last time it was to buy, but I rented for almost three months while looking for a home.

    SO, when you know you’ll know.

    # 5 I have some openings in my schedule for February, but best to send me an e mail to to discuss your plans. now has three very charming ladies I call the Dream Team because they want to help make your dreams come true.

    Each are Exclusive Buyers’ Only Realtors and members of the local Realtor group (GIL) and the National professional Reatlor group AMPI.

    There are only 5 Buyer Only Realtors at Lake Chapala and our team accounts for 4 of the 5..

    We each have an independent contractors agreement with the same local broker to process our sales and so we exercise independent judgment in your behalf to represent you. The seller’s have their agent. We believe you should have yours. A relatively new idea here at Lake Chapala.

    So Janice the Dream Team ladies and I look forward to being of help and making a new friend.

    Tu amigo nuevo, Sid

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