Is 2013 A Great Time to Retire at Lake Chapala, Mexico?

April 3, 2013

I know many of you just said, “Well, I’m ready, but given my small retirement and the high costs of almost everything I just don’t see how I can pull it off just now.
I understand, and if you choose to stay in the USA or Canada no doubt you’re right. But, if you’re reading this article you’re likely a subscriber to our free E ZINE If not please consider joining our on line club of folks interested in retiring or who have already retired at Lake Chapala.
We’ve had a recent nice growth surge in membership which I contribute to more retirees considering retirement (at least part of each year) here at Lake Chapala as well as more couples realizing that they CAN afford to retire if they come to Lake Chapala to do it.
It’s a Great Time to Be Retiring outside the USA /Canada and you will literally have a world of choices.
Exotic tropical locations, beautiful mountain valleys, near deserted beaches, or First-World cities packed with modern amenities, and the list goes on.
 Each country or region are doing their best to lure retirees to their area. Many offer incentives to relocate to their country or region.
We too have some nice perks for retirees here at Lake Chapala for those of us over 60 like discounts on the already low price of prescription medicine, discounts on entry fees to museums, half price luxury bus fares and on our property taxes.
Those things are very nice and have been standard here at Lake Chapala for a very long time. Other countries are now offering these same types of perks. Honestly these things are nice, but should not be what we base our retirement decisions on.
Each Country or region has its own allure and almost all offer reasonable prices that will allow most North Americans to live in comfort.
But, as important as cost of living is, I still believe that for most of you thinking about foreign retirement that Lake Chapala is best of the very affordable locations around the world.
Here are my top 5 reasons for saying this. You must weigh each of these factors and determine just how important each is to you.
1.     Proximity to the USA and Canada: You can easily drive here in 2 days from the Texas border on mostly high speed toll roads. That means you can bring your stuff with you. It also means you can have your own car here if you choose. Being a native Texas this is important for me. (We love our cars)
2.     There are an estimated 25,000 North Americans living at Lake Chapala. Yes, some of you are saying to yourself I don’t want to live in the Mexican equivalent of Sun City. Never fear it’s not like that here, but you will have the opportunity to have an active social life if that’s important to you. 
In other so called Retirement Havens there are so few expats that having much of a social life is difficult. Ok, so your OK with not many other North American retirees around. More North American retirees means more products that North Americans want, Better service than more remote regions, etc.
3.     English is widely spoken at Lake Chapala. Local shops, restaurants, and banks all have bilingual staff. Yes, I know you plan to learn Spanish. Great, I commend you and I do recommend it for those who want to, but my point is that you really don’t have to.
In    In many other so called retirement havens about the only people who speak English are the tour guys and immigration lawyers. But again, I do recommend you learn basic Spanish because it’s a beautiful language and will open up a whole new world for you… but you don’t have to do well at Lake Chapala. You will learn some basic Spanish just from being
around Spanish speakers.
4.     Mexico is a stable Democracy with a Constitution protecting basic rights, smooth changes in control from one political party to the next I sthe rule… and has been for a long, long time and it’s economic out look is very good. OK, so what? So this. You can live here without fear of a regime change interfering with your property rights or your right to live here. 
I have a friend who has done so at Lake Chapala for about 40 of her 95 years. She just recently stopped driving. Even at her advanced age she still plays bridge, can still afford servants on her pension, and refuses to let her well meaning family to convince her to move “back home”. I say, good for her. She is at home. 
To summarize this point, my advice is to check the local political scene. It may be stable now, but for how long?
5.     Health Care and Insurance Costs: Many other expat retirement locations talk about the existence of low cost health care and nodoubt the health care is good. Our area has state of the art facilities. My own experience has been great, I’ve has the same doctor here for 16 years even though I’ve only lived full time in the area for 10 years. I’m insured under the government plan known as IMSS.
This plan is now difficult get into, but a new Regional Hospital plan I’ve been told by ExPat friends is FREE to join. I admit this sounds too good to be true… and I’ll be following up to learn more about the Regional Hospitals (with out patient services).
Blue Cross Plans work in some hospitals here as well. The University of Guadalajara may have even trained your doctor in the USA. Everyone here raves about their personal doctor or dentist and many choose not to carry insurance at all since health care costs are so relatively inexpensive.
Did I mention the doctors still make house calls? I’ve never been
charged over $40 USD and much of that fee was for needed medicine. Oh yes, my high blood pressure medicine runs me about $8 USD a month with my senior discount card.
While not exactly a medical expense I enjoy a full hour body massage for $8 USD at the local American Legion Post (open to everyone)  That number is not a misprint.
So, are you interested in learning more? I hope so, because you’ll learn how to Live a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension.
Three things to do to get started:
Number 1: If you’ve not yet joined just go to the home page and look under the BIG RED ARROW and enter your
Information. (We hate spam too so don’t worry about that. Then the software sends you an e mail so you can confirm.) That’s it, Your
Part of ChapalaClub. Opt out at any time.
Number 2: Send me an e mail to and lets get
Acquainted and ask me your most pressing question about Lake Chapala. Remember, I love to answer questions… but there’s just
one of me. Please put “My question” as the subject line so I can find
your e mail and respond ASAP.
Number 3: Future Action: Be watching for the release of my new book.
How to Live a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension: Safe, Beautiful and Affordable Lake Chapala, Mexico”
 Coming out in the first half of 2013. We’re planing on a Bonus Surprise for the first buyers who buy direct from the us.
All for now, Siempre tu amigo, Sid Grosvenor
  • MaryAnn

    I am living the sweet life here in Chapala! It is magical here which I can’t explain. I am living well on my pension and SSA, something I couldn’t do in the USA. The sun shines everyday, the climate is warm and dry (humidity is rare). The people, both expats and native are warm and friendly. I can’t imagine a better place to live. There is so much to do and see in Mexico, you can’t get bored.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi MaryAnn,

    What a wonderful unsolicited comment. I feel the same way. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing the good news about Lake Chapala. It just gets better.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • Hobgoblin238

    I lived there for a month back in 2006 and circumstances forced me to leave. When I was there I found it boring but again I was a much younger man. I have come later to appreciate it and would love to move back one day.

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