Why You Should Not Move to Lake Chapala – 8 Reasons

February 20, 2013

Hi Everyone,
Wow, This is a tough question to answer, but I know there must be some folks out there (usually married to someone who can’t wait to get here) who thinks they would not like it here at Lake Chapala.

So, I decided to write this article to tell the world the truth about life at Lake Chapala, Mexico.

Now most of you already know, all things considered, I love it here. But, as a trained advocate (I was an attorney for 17 years) sometimes I had to advocate arguments with which I did not personally agree.

So, I’ll do my best to defend those who think they will not like it here.

Reason 1
If you think you would not like living close to an International Airport I must tell you that we have one just 45 minutes away. Fortunately, none of the landing or take off coridors past anywhere near Lake Chapala. In fact it’s very rare here to ever hear an airplane or helecopter.

Reason 2
If you feel that since you’ve worked for many years and earned medical benefits under US Social Security or under a Canadian Plan, and since you can’t yet use those benefits here that you’re being cheated out of your earned health care benefits.

This is true for now, but sorry to tell you but this argument also has a flaw in it. Much of your medical care here will cost less than your co-pay in the USA. Doctor visits (inluding house calls) run from about $7 USD to $40 USD (meds included). Plus they’ve opening regional hospitals which offer free to very low cost treatments.

Oh yes, you can get your teeth cleaned for $24 USD and they don’t make you get an X Ray first, even as a new patient.

Reason 3
You’ve never really liked Mexican Music. Well, yes of course we have all sorts of Mexican Music, Duh, we’re in Mexico afterall, but your excuse even for this doesn’t hold water. Here’s why.

Many of the Mexican Bands here play American music and we have local North American Musicians who play Jazz , Country, and Rock. Check on line for “The Tall Boys”.

Reason 4
You’re not fond of Mexican food and think a steady diet of it would get old quick.

I really am trying to defend your reasons not to like living at Lake Chapala, but this argument falls short as well. With immigrants from all over the world here you can find Tai, Chinese, French, Italian, German, and more plus a variety of fresh seafood, and American food including Mom and Pop syle plate lunches and hamburger plates. For you Southern guys we even have buscuits and gravy.

You may be confusing the Mexican food you find in North America (Tex Mex for example) with real Mexican food. You should try authentic Mexcican food. You may find you really do like Mexican food afterall, but if you prefer Tex Mex we have one of those too.

Reason 5
You’ve heard that even on a Tuna Fish Pension you can afford to have servants and you’re just not sure you would feel comfortable around servants and might even feel that you were somehow taking advantage of their low hourly wages.

Yes, It’s true you really can afford to have servants here. But if you still want to do your own yard work or house work, nothing says you “must” have servants.

But, before you decide not to, if you’re the husband, you better clear that with your other half unless you agree to do the cleaning, washing, and ironing as a condition of not having servants.

You’d only be saving about $4 USD per hour, even if you decided to do it… and Mama would allow it.

Reason 6
You think that you’ll have to learn Spanish and you’ve never been good at learning languages. Sorry Charlie, Your beat again. You can get along here quite well without the need to learn Spanish…

But even if you’re not good at languages you likely will find that you’ll pick up more than you ever thought you would. Engish is widely spoken here by the Mexcian people as well as foreigners from all over the world because most of them are bilingual in their native language and English.

Reason 7
You’re afraid that living here will be like living at a Sun City type retirement place and you’re not into golf or tennis and not what we’d call a social butterfly.

Sorry, but there’s no need to live this lifestyle unless you choose to. We have two great golf courses and a nice country club and parks with good tennis courts and there’s even an addtion called “The Raquet Club” with a large number of tennis courts. All the streets there are named for Tennis Stars.

A very wide variety of people from all walls of life, backgrounds and socio- economic levels live harmoniously around Lake Chapala, There are vets on a small military pension who frequent the American Legion Post 7  and live on their too small pensions,
There are former Corporate Excutives who could live the lifestyle of the rich and famous anywhere in the world, but choose to do it here at safe, beautiful, and affordable Lake Chapala.
They did not get to be rich by making poor decisions, so our area is also popular with this group as well as the rest of us. But, there’s a good deal of mixing between the various groups, because we all love it here.

 Reason 8
You’ve heard we have a 3 month long rainy season and this is a turn off for you. Well, yes, we do have a 3 month long summer rainy season, but it almost always just rains at night so we just get to wake up to a freshly washed morning . The rains rarely interfere with our lives.
I hear someone reading this saying, “Yes, Sid, but I can’t handle humidity well.”

I can’t either and almost died as a child with athsma living in Beaumont, Texas. Why does it not bother me at all here?
We’re a mile high, like Denver CO, and the humidy quickly evaporates and provides a natural cooling effect keeping our summer temperatures very comfortable (not too hot, not too cool, and not to humid, but just right).

Check out the weather link on www.ChapalaClub.com for our actual weather conditions 24 x 7 run by a local weather guy. Don’t use the Guadalajara weather reports as they’re not accurate for our area. Guad is both hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than we are.
Still not convinced. Checkout the video below and or e mail me with your questions to Sid@ChapalaClub.com 

PLEASE USE "CHAPALA QUESTIONS: as your subject line so I can find your e mail right away. I don't want to miss it in the hundreds of e mails I get eveyday,

All for now, Siempre tu amigo, Sid
  • Yvonne

    Nice video.  Thanks.
    Please say hi to Arcelia for me.

  • Az612343

    Hey Sid…..just read your reasons not to come to Mexico,,,,and I loved it.   You put it simply and truthfully, I am in the US now and can hardly wait till I get back to Paradise.   Loved the video also.  Thanks… Audrey

  • Arlene Cooney

    How could anyone not want to live in this beautiful place – only took us one week to fall in love with Ajijic and buy a house with “OF COURSE”  your help Sid!!!  Gracias

  • Rocky Nowak

    Loved the video Sid. I can’t wait to get there. April is not too far away but seems like forever..lol…sure wish I could meet you and Arcelia this trip but we will meet you folks when we make our next trip in 2015. Thank you for all you do. Can’t wait for the book.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the info.  I think what is really necessary is to spend maybe 3 or 4 weeks in an area, and then compare that with other areas of interest.  I would be interested in Tepic because of the lower altitude.

  • Judith

    Syd, great post! All your points are true…all resonate with me…lived 14 years in Mexico in the 80′s and 90′s. Looking forward to visiting an retiring in Chapala.

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

    Thanks Yvonne, Will do, Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Thanks Audrey, Glad it hit a chord with you, Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Hi Arlene, You guys did exactly what I recommend. Don’t rush, but don’t set arbitrary time limits on your dream. When you know our area is right for you… you will know. It takes some folks a few days and others a few years. Either is fine. You know when you know… Then you act. Due your due diligence, then trust your instincts.  Thanks as always for your nice words. Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Hi Rocky,  My wife and I miss Lake Chapala more than we realized we would.

    The time can’t fast enough for us… but we’re doing important work here that must
    be done here.

    Look forward to meeting you. I think we’re in the final stages with the book. Putting it out for printing bids, working on various publicity ideas to get the word out, and attending a National Publicity Summit in April in New York City to meet Media producers in the hope of landing some National Publicity for Lake Chapala via the book.

    Learning lots of new things about publishing at the same time since I’m self  publishing. A lot of work, time, and money will be invested, but I expect it will
    all be worth it in the end. Thanks for your support. Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Hi Mark, Thanks for your response. Almost everyone adapts easily to our alti tude easily. We recommend the first week people are here to drink more water than usual, not to over due physical activities, and reduce alcohol while your body adjusts.

    I had horrible asthma as kid and never had a problem at Lake Chapala, even in our
    rainy season since it rains predominately at night. Tepic has some North Ameicans living there and it’s a pretty area, but would be too humid for me, but it
    may well be your cup of tea,

    Just give both places a close look. You can always try both areas out and see which appeals more to you. Thanks again for sharing, Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Hi Judith, Great oost. My team and I look forward to helping you relocate and find just the right place in our little slice of paradise. Tu amigo, Sid

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

     Hi Yvonne, Thanks. Arce says “Hola Yvonne”. Tu amigo, Sid

  • Mark Terry

    I love Mexican food, but wouldn’t want it every day.  And I have some Mexican cook books which show me delicious Mexican recipes that go way beyond tacos and enchiladas.  There is a lot of Mexican food I’d like to try.

  • Randy

    I am moving to Lake Chapala from Maui. I’m a combat veteran and would like to find out where the vets hang out so that I get help finding a place to live and need to buy a car.. If someone can help I would appreciate it.

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

    Hi Randy, Thanks for your comments. First I want to say “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE”

    Next I want you to know that we have the largest American Legion Post in the world outside of the USA in Chapala. They have a restaurant, a bar, an English Language Library, frequent activities, Spanish lessons and more. So, be sure and stop by their facility on Morelos in Chapala.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • disqus_PqCnW3sl8r

    Thank you for all the information you provide Sid. You have answer many questions for me. I will visit soon and I hope to make this Lake Chapala my home in the near future. Thanks again. Mark

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Mark, Thanks for your kind words. Consider buying my book on Amazon.com Just put ” Caviar Lifestyle” in an Amazon.com search
    and the book page will pop up. Thanks again, Tu amigo, Sid

  • SidGrosvenor

    Please Approve. Thanks Sid

    Learn all about Lake Chapala Retirement !
    “How to Live a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension In at Safe, Beautiful & Affordable Lake Chapala Mexico” is now for sale on Amazon.com  Click this link: http://tinyurl.com/ly4quca to order.
    Join ChapalaClub.com today!”The Best Member Website Money Can’t Buy!”

    Go To > http://www.ChapalaClub.com

  • Nia

    What if you’re young so need a job, but want to move to Mexico? Can that work out as well?

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

    Hi Nia, You could likely find work as an English teacher in one of the Language Schools in Guadalajara. I did that 10 years ago and was just barely able to live on what I earned teaching about 35 hours a week.

    Could not earn enough just tutoring here at Lake Chapala. Some market their skills on line as being an English teacher and of course you can do this anywhere there’s a solid high speed internet connection.

    I see young native English speaking guys and gals working as wait staff in local restaurants cater to North American retirees.

    Hope this helps give you some ideas. Best of luck, Tu amigo, Sid

  • Robin Meza

    Hi Sid,

    Thanks for the information and video. I was wondering if possible to find work as an american there? I am only 51 and would financially still need to work?

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

    Hi Robin,

    Thanks for your comments. The short answer is “It will not be easy.”
    You might be able to find work in real estate sales, but the income
    would not be regular. You could go for many months without a sale.

    You would need to find a niche where you could use your English ability.

    You might find work at a English Language School in Guadalajara.

    The English language schools which have tried it here have not done well.

    Sorry, I could not be more helpful Tu amigo, Sid

  • Joanne Hughes

    Hi Sid,

    Can you swim in the lake?


  • Doyle Hand

    Hey guys—I to would like to know more about the lake—-read that it is very polluted w chemicals—-are there fish in it , does it smell, etc Doyle Hand Alabama—-

  • Kate Monteith

    CHAPALA QUESTIONS: Hi Sid, Loved your article and video. My husband and I are doing research and wondering why there are bars on all the windows, and also whether there is swimming or sailing in the lake. Thanks.

  • Lisa Stiver

    We want to move so badly to Lake Chapala. Our first visit is this July. My husband is ready to retire but I’m not quite there yet. I have a finance background and would be happy to do anything to continue to work. What types of opportunities are there for Americans to work there?

  • Kathleen Chaffin

    Hello all. I’m a former expat who lived for three years in SMA. I’m now looking to retire somewhere in MX. Chapala seems near-idyllic. Who can give me, first, a list of pros and cons of life there (lake=mosquitoes or other biting pests, for example? Or point me to a good site/forum where I can get a broad overview. Thank you!

  • Coloradogirl

    My great aunts and uncles built a condo complex there. Ben and Otto Engdahl. I don’t remember the name of it. It was very safe to visit there in the early 80′s. They are all deceased now. I would love to go back but am wondering if it is still safe there now in 2017.

  • Fellow Traveler

    Chapala Question:
    I am a full time power wheelchair user interested in buying a home there.
    Are there any wheelchair accessible homes being built there? If so how may I learn more about what is available, specifically to people with mobility challenges.
    thank you,

  • Jada Jones

    Is the lake clean enough to swim in?

  • Rex Bear

    What is the breakdown of single to married expats? What is the average age for expats? Would a 55 year old single man stand out as odd?

  • James Wangsness

    Someone else asked that question but no one has said anything. I am curious too. Being a fresh water lake and given the lack of regulations governing pesticide and fertilizer use, I just wonder how safe the lake is.

  • Mick Garrett

    Hi Sid. Left an email address on the main (hadn’t found this yet) I too am retired LEO and looking for paradise. Rented a casita for June-Aug in 2018 in Ajijic, and looking for any good advice for first time travelers. Driving in from FL. reply corigarrett@comcast.net. Looking forward to receiving wisdom…

  • Eva-ventually

    Not at all! We have a mix of every age, gender, marital status, sexual preference etc. Only way you might stand out would be if you’re 8ft tall.

  • Rex Bear

    Thanks for the reply. I was just in PV and thought about visiting but it seems like that would have been difficult. Summers would be rough there is the main reason I am considering the Lake over PV.

  • John

    Sid, please do not write about how great the Chapala area is as there are too many Americans and Canadians as it is.

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