Live Better, Pay Less, Lake Chapala, Mexico!

September 7, 2013

What does living better mean to you? Let’s check to see if Lake Chapala might be a good fit for what you want.
Some folks are looking for a better climate (not too hot, not too cold, but just right.) CHECK
Some folks are looking for less stress and a more simple lifestyle. CHECK
Some want a larger house, (or a smaller home) a better car, (or not having to even have a car). CHECK
So, can you live in Luxury at Lake Chapala? Many do so on a small pension, a medium pension or a very large pension or investments. All are welcome.
Here at we have the philosophy that you can Pay Less & Live Better on what ever level of income you might have.
Here are some of the ways available from which you can choose.
Live with less stuff, rather than more stuff. Many have had their fill with a complicated life filled with lots of stuff. You can shed most of that ‘stuff’ from your former life in North America and still enjoy a fulfilled lifestyle.
Perhaps having too much stuff was not your problem, but more along the lines of paying for the stuff you already had (can you say installment plan). Now, you have a chance to dramatically cut your major expenses like high taxes on almost everything, high insurance costs, high repair costs, etc, etc.
With the money you’ll save you can honor your commitments on those installment plans and pay them all off early.
Many choose not to have a car here. So, think of not having car payments, car repairs, and expensive car insurance in North America. Live in one of our villages and save money and improve your health by walking a lot more.
Once you’re out from under all those payments you will feel as if a large weight was lifted from your shoulders and you can breath again.
Perhaps you were smart enough not to get trapped into a lot of consumer debt in North America, but would like to have a few more toys, to be able to afford to travel.
Well, good for you. Living at Lake Chapala you can have more toys or luxury. Can you say “housekeepers, & gardeners” who do the work; so you can have beautiful gardens, with fruit trees and flowers; perhaps even a small pool or fountain.
In Texas I did almost all of my own yard work and gardening. I kept 14 acres including an acre of blueberries, a four acre lake, as small orchard of fruit trees and small veggie garden myself. Oh yes, I worked full time too. Can you say, “Sid was too busy”.
I’m still busy, That’s my nature, but I feel blessed to have a great gardener for 10 years now, who takes care of the grass, fruit trees, flowers, and fountain.
But what about other things like home repairs.
Other ExPats are a great source of help on and off line. In my case I also use my gardener. He lives in a small village close to Lake Chapala. He’s happy to help us by recommending people in his village he’s known for years who he trusts.
I suspect that I get to pay a bit more than people in that village, but I know I’m paying less than many who use local Lake Chapala repair folks (which are still very reasonable) by North American standards.
Allow me one quick example. How much would you pay for a house call by a plumber where you live? Likely when he knocks on the door you own him $65 USD or so.
My plumber also has a house call minimum. It’s $7 USD !
Perhaps you’d like to come take advantage of all this and more…. But, you’re caring for an aging loved one.
I understand. Before retirement my wife and I cared for my own Mom as we had for her Mom before.
We were able to cope for several years while she lived with us. Finally we felt forced to find a good nursing home. We did. It was near to our home and her Social Security was enough to pay for it (barely).
But, no need to leave Mom or Dad behind. Bring them along. You can hire help if you choose to have them live with you or perhaps a better option is to use one of a number of our good senior living centers available here.
Usually this runs about $1500 USD per month and includes room and board and regular doctor visits.
Another advantage of Lake Chapala is the large number of expats who live in the area.
I hear someone saying they consider this a mixed blessing since the perception is that all the expats here run the price of goods and services up.
Yes, to some degree this is true, but let me tell you about an expat that emailed me recently. They live in a nice area in Mexico in what must be a super nice home since he told me that he valued it at $450,000 USD.
They visited Lake Chapala and liked it a lot, but with only one realtor where they live in Mexico, no multiple listing group, and very few North Americans in the area, selling their home will be a long, long process.
They would like to relocate to Lake Chapala. I wish them the very best.
So, yes, no doubt you could afford a larger home elsewhere in Mexico, but think about the trade offs.
At Lake Chapala, you’re buying more than just a house, your buying good infrastructure, a close by international airport, great local English speaking doctors and close by state of the art medical facilities and specials in nearby Guadalajara, an established Multiple Listing Service, which makes it easy to buy and  (just in case you did ever want or need to sell) easy to sell.
Most all the local professionals speak English, and many of the shop keepers do as well. … Most of the real estate brokers here have trust accounts in the USA to hold funds in escrow unlike other areas in Mexico. Often, for homes sold in dollars, except for the Notario fees and closing costs, your money never comes to Mexico and is transferred  to the sellers account in the USA or Canada.
I think you get the Best of Both Worlds by living at Lake Chapala.
Another plus to our ex pat community is how we are willing to go out of our way and help/welcome new comers to our area. Helping each other to find a doctor or dentist, a particular product or brand you've not found on your own for example.
It’s been this way for over 50 years.
Like to read? I do. You can find books in English at local shops plus the Lake Chapala Society and the American Legion each have large English Language lending libraries.
This article is getting a bit long and I’m just getting started on how to “Live Better Pay Less at Lake Chapala”.
If you’re just a lurker on this website, please join up on the home page of www.ChapalaClub under the big RED Arrow on the right side for more information about Lake Chapala….
but if you want to get a comprehensive look of the important stuff about Life at Lake Chapala, consider a small investment by buying our latest book about Safe, Beautiful and Affordable Lake Chapala.
Order soon to get the free bonus (Lake Chapala Street guide to the main towns, villages, and developments of the North Shore of Lake Chapala).
Here’s the link to see what others are saying about the book and to order.
All for now.  Tu amigo, Sid

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