Why Did I Move to Lake Chapala, Mexico Over 10 Years Ago?

December 15, 2012

Hi Everyone, Why Did I Move to Lake Chapala, Mexico Over 10 years ago?

Well, there are many reasons, but rather than tick off a very long list, the Reader’s Digest summary is that I could not pass up the chance to cut my expenses well over 50% and get better weather and a less stressful life as part of the deal.

Is my life totally stress free. Honestly no, but it’s close and the longer I live here and adjust to the Latin culture the less stress I have.
Sure, we love to visit family and friends in North America and they love to visit us, but this is home.
Just how much can you save? That depends upon just how much you’re willing to embrace the local culture.
The more you embrace it, the more you’ll save. For example: After evening mass a few Sundays ago we stopped by a local taco restaurant. It’s always full of happy Mexican families, but I never have seen a North American there.
You get to sit on plastic chairs advertising Coca Cola and eat on a metal card table full of all sorts of spicy bowls of taco toppings; and there’s no visible menu.
The young waitress approaches with a pad in hand and you tell her (in Spanish of course) what type of tacos you want and what you want to drink.
You can see the chef busy at the chopping block a few feet away busily chopping up various meats, sausages, and basic condiments, while his helper plucks heated corn tortillas from the grill and builds the tacos to order. They come smothered in chopped cilantro and onions unless you tell them different.
I’m careful to say,“sin cebolla por favor” (without onions) being alergic to onions.
A light meal is 2 tacos, a full meal is 3 and if you’re famished you might be able to handle 4.
We selected our choice of meats. I selected 2 beef (carne) and 1 tongue (lengua). Yes, I said tongue. One of my favorites. My better half got two beef and we split a giant bottle of soda over purified ice in plastic cups.
Our very satisfying tasty meal came to 35 pesos plus a 5 peso tip. At 12.5 to 1 exchange rate that means we had a nice meal out for 2 persons for $3.20 USD tax and tip included. The added bonus for me as a “people watcher” was I enjoyed watching the Mexican families (our dining companions interact with each other.)
Oh yes, the waitress gave me a big smile when she saw her 5 peso (40 cent tip).
Here, I have a lush tropical garden filled with banana trees, a large avocado tree, a lemon/lime tree, a pomegranate tree, and a new mango tree and all sorts of beautiful flowers too numerous to mention… and my gardener Juan, (his real name) sees that it’s all tended perfectly for $32 USD a week (we have a very large lot).
If he has spare time he washes our cars and does light maintenance to stay busy.
Now, please do not ask me for my budget. I don’t really have one. We don’t splurge often, but we don’t deny ourselves either. We have reliable high speed internet, local and long distance calling included for $47 USD per month , we eat out as often (not always at the taco place) as we want sometimes having wonderful gourmet meals with a glass of wine in a garden restaurant with stunning lake views and live entertainment for around $35 USD that would cost over twice that in the USA. At this place, instead of the young lady in jeans at the Taco place we’ll have a uniformed waiter who puts our linen napkins in our laps for us. Makes you feel like you're living the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous beautiful people.
We try to enjoy the best of both worlds. We live very well on comparatively very little.
We typically spend less than $2,000 per month…sometimes far less.
What I like best is not having to pinch pennies and still enjoy a lavish lifestyle on a pension. In short, I like not having to worry at all about if I can afford things here. I know I can. I don’t try to hunt for bargains or spend time comparing which box of cereal is the best buy per ounce.
Why, because everthing is affordable, especially the lush fruits and veggies and fresh meat cuts fresh from local farms… and being a cheeseaholic I look forward to the truck that brings homemade cheese into town regularly fresh from the farm.
I line up at the truck with mostly Mexican housewives and wait my turn to stock up on the best cheeses I’ve ever eaten.
I’ve mentioned this next part before, but it bears repeating. I even enjoy paying my yearly taxes here on my Lake and Mountain view (see the above photo for my view) 2000 sq. ft home. It's on a large lot in a nice development, just 5 minutes from Chapala and 20 minutes to the International airport.
What, you enjoy paying your taxes? Yes, I really do. Why? Simple.
They’ve always been between $84 and $90 USD per year (depending upon the current exchange rate). What about fire and storm insurance. This is an even better deal. I pay ZERO.
No, my insurance is not free. It’s just that I don’t feel the need for insurance.
My home is all brick, tile and steel, It will not burn, there are no hurricanes, tornadoes, damaging earthquakes, floods or other severe weather to worry about.
I did invest in a super duper security system, high walls, beautiful decorative iron security door and window treatments and electric gated parking. A one time expense to keep honest people honest.
Utilities: My water, streets lights, trash and garden debris pickup and home owner development dues come in at approximately $43 USD a month because I choose to live in a nice community complete with security cameras.
My Friends in Texas pay over $50 a month just for water, so I’d say I have a bargain.
Electricity can be expensive here because the government charges you more per kilowatt hour the more you use as their way of encouraging you to conserve.
 Beyond what I’ve shared with you so far I’d have to look up the costs of other things simply because I don’t pay close attention to all these details. I don’t have to. Don't want to. I’m sort of a bottom line guy. I know that bottom line I've got a good thing.
Honestly, I don’t have to track all my expenses. I know I’m living a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension.
The big picture for me is that I know I can live much better here on a pension than anywhere in North America… and so can you.
How much better is of course dependent on what you’re spending now.
I’m not a millionaire, but I seriously doubt if I were, that my life would be much different than it is now. So, what are YOU waiting for. Come on down for a check us out visit or if you've been before come back to stay.
I work with some of the absolute best folks in the business here. Like me, they do not NEED to work, but they enjoy very much sharing their love of Lake Chapala with as many of you as they can. We're more than buyer's only realtors.
We think of ourselves as your relocation specialists and your new best friend here at Lake Chapala.
Ready to get started, Just drop me an e mail to Sid@ChapalaClub.com and use the subject line, “Get Started” and we’ll get started on helping you discover what could be your place in the sun, Lake Chapala, Mexico.
You can do it! We can help!
Siempre tu amigo,  Sid Grosvenor

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