42 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2011 1:26 AM by Lucina_Way

    Living in Mexico

    gdl2010
      I am thinking of retiring in Mexico. Does anyone have any experience living there are helpful ideas of places to live or things to do?
        • Re: Living in Mexico
          jhust

          My wife and I are also considering eventually retiring to Mexico.

          Will be interested in any replies from someone who actually "took the plunge."

            • Re: Living in Mexico
              gdl2010
              I haven't moved there yet but am also seriously thinking about it and will spend the winter in the Lake Chapala area. Many people I have met there go down for part of the year and travel to different areas to get a better feeling for the country. I have met many Americans and Canadians who love living there.
                • Re: Living in Mexico
                  4536rail
                  I've been living part of most years since 1992 in Zacatecas, as visiting professor at the university.  Its motto is "the climate is cold but the people are warm", and I'd say it's true (though cold for Mexico is still warm by US standards).  It's a beautiful city of colonial buildings, museums, concerts and mountain scenery.  If you prefer a smaller city (and warmer winters) try Jerez, Zacatecas, an hour away.  Of course, I could name a dozen other cities in Mexico that would also be delightful places to retire to.

                  There's a never-satisfied demand for teachers, in English and other subjects.  The pay is low, but the students are motivated.   
                  • Re: Living in Mexico
                    Carolina2

                    To: 4356rail,

                    From; caiorillo@yahoo.com

                    I have been spending winters in Ajijic on Lake Chapala for the last 4 winters and love it there, but would like to know re what you mention about the need for teachers. I've done a little volunteer teaching there and would like to do more. How does one get into that? Thanks.

                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                        Carolina2

                        I've been asked to join this discussion as I've lived in Ajijic on Lake Chapala for the last 4 winters and am about to return again.

                        I read about it in Focus on Mexico and went down to explore it 5 yrs. ago, both Chapala and San Miguel as I have spent time in Mexico - mostly the Yucatan - and love the Mexican peole. I decided on Lake Chapala over San Miguel because it is not as "gringoized," although there are 30,000 in the Guadalahara area and also because of the Lake Chapala Society which offers everything imaginable to do. One can study languages, play bridge, Majong, poker, etc. or take yoga, tennis lessons, join discussions,travel with a group and a myriad of other things. However, because everyone in the area is relatively new, one doesn't need an organization in order to meet people as most are very friendly.

                        Did I mention that, as it's in the mountains, it is beautiful and the weather is 75 to 85 year around with the sun shining daily. The rainy season is in the summer months and I hear it mostly rains at night.  I highly recommend the area.

                        Carolina2

                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                            gdl2010
                            I am going to be there this winter and am really looking forward to it.
                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                LindaWoodstock
                                I would be curious to hear from you after you spend this winter as to your impressions on living in the Lake Chapala area.  We will make a short visit in March and have signed up for the "Focus on Mexico" 8-day educational program in July when I understand it becomes very pretty because of the evening rains.  Because we live in Denver at a similar altitude with the beautiful Rocky Mtns as our backyard we are very familiar with climate, at least for the summer months--winter is a different matter as you know.  Thank you.  lwoodstock1011@msn.com
                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                gdl2010
                                As the weather turns colder here, I growing more excited about spending the winter in the Lake Chapala area. From an earlier comment, it seems the Lake Chapala Society is the best organization to contact about teaching or doing volunteer work while I am there.
                                If you have any more suggestions I would welcome them.
                                Thanks
                                • Re: Living in Mexico
                                  Sharon

                                  It amazes me how many people want to live where it IS BOILING HOT EVERY DAY! I cannot tollerate heat over 70.

                                  The perfect climate year around is in the 50's and 60's. like San Francisco..that is why they have so many people living there!

                                  • Re: Living in Mexico
                                    LindaWoodstock
                                    Thank you for your comments on Ajijic.  We will stay there 3 nights in March to check it out and have tentatively signed up for the "Focus on Mexico" 8-day educational program in July.  Their PR gal is from Ft Collins, CO, just up the road from us and she has personally called us 2x to talk about visiting b/f we make any decisions on buying in Puerto Vallarta.  So that's our plan.  Are there great condo complexes available--we don't think we're up for another home & the responsibility that comes with that type of ownership.  However, we can't live in a small condo--we need a good sized-3-bedroom unit so that we don't feel cramped after living in a 3-level house.   But after living in Denver, I do need a home with fabulous sunset views.  Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback.
                                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                                        gdl2010
                                        Now I am living in the mountains with beautiful views of the lake and surrounded by lovely homes. Many are for sale or available to rent for the season or longer. Most of the people Ive met rent first and then buy.
                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                            chemchic

                                            Do you know the Funkhousers? From okemos MI, moved there couple years ago. That is where i want to end up in few years if I have any ret money left

                                             

                                            • Re: Living in Mexico
                                              Deerdra
                                              Has anyone checked out Oaxaca?  I plan on living in Mexico when I retire in 3 years and was told it was a good 'fit' for me.  I plan on doing volunteer work while in Mexico and have recently been in contact with Doctors for Orphans.  Looks like something might develop through them.
                                                • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                  gdl2010
                                                  I have visited Oaxaca and love it but live during the winter in the Lake Chapala area. Let me know how doctors with orphans works out.
                                                  • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                    Loriece
                                                    My wife and I spent two weeks in Oaxaca last October.  It is a delightful place.  A friend retired there several years ago and has become a citizen of Mexico.  It is clean, safe, and friendly.  I didn't see many Americans there, except tourists who came for the Day of the Dead holiday celebrations.  Fluency in Spanish is helpful. 
                                                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                        Deerdra
                                                        Thanks for the information.  My Spanish is very rusty currently.  I hope to spend about 2 months in language school to begin my retirement.  For some reason, I struggle retaining the language.  I am hopeful that when I use it daily it will come more naturally.
                                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                            KevinMpa

                                                            Hi Deerda,
                                                            I 've spent some months in Oaxaca.
                                                            It is a wonderful city, and state.
                                                            There are drop-in volunteer opportunities at the Oaxaca Learning center.
                                                            http://www.tolc.org.mx/
                                                            They also have a bed and breakfast which supports their mission.

                                                            My wife and I enjoyed a month at Casita Camila,
                                                            http://casitacamila.com/
                                                            Selena has bright clean  apts for about 600 a month now,with maid service twice a week
                                                            We had a beautiful loft-style studio apt. for a month last January for about $550 for the month.
                                                            Weekly rate is around $250, according the website.
                                                            It is a cluster of 4 apts. right next to the museum of Benito Juarez and opposite the front door of the Church of Carmen Alto.
                                                            It is about 8 blocks north of the Zocalo.
                                                            The street is Garcia Virgil, and that street has the some of the finest restuarants in Oaxaca.
                                                            You walk through the Cafe Rugitino to get to the apts, very safe and secure.

                                                            There are many fine Spanish language classes. I take refresher course at Amigos del Sol when I am there. 5 mornings a week runs about $135. http://www.oaxacanews.com/amigosdelsol.htm
                                                            My theory is that Oaxaca is a great place for beginners to practice Spanish, since 20 percent of the state is monolingual in an indigenous language other than Spanish

                                                            There is a English Language Public library, also has volunteer ops, teaching English one on one.
                                                            http://www.oaxlibrary.com/Oaxaca_Lending_Library/Home.html
                                                            IAGO, Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca has several events a week, it has a free reading library with periodicals, mostly art related, some in english.

                                                            Finally, a rich resource of  current Oaxaca info can be found here...
                                                            http://www.planeta.com/oaxaca.html
                                                            The IAGO, Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca has several events a week

                                                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                Deerdra
                                                                Thank you so much for all of the information!  I feel like I know the area already.  There is only so much you can learn from the web sites so it wonderful to get first hand information from someone who has been there.  I am off to Mexico this Saturday to help build a house and hopefully practice my Spanish.  Then it is back to school for summer session.  I love teaching but sure am looking forward to life in Mexico when I retire.
                                                                Thanks again.  I will print it off so it doesn't get too hidden in the discussion thread.
                                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                            doodles3don
                                                            Deerdra  I plan to retire in 2012  & am seriously considering moving to Mexico. I am currently a Vo Tec instructor in the A/C & Refrigeration field . I would like to continue to help people in this trade. Do you know of places that I could help? Don  
                                                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                Deerdra

                                                                Hello Don,

                                                                I don't know where you could best provide your expertise but would imagine it would be somewhat in demand.  I have stayed in Morelia off and on.  They are one of the few cities that are considered primarily middleclass.  There might be a ready population here that would benefit from a trade such as you offer.  I am not much of a city person myself, but love the areas surrounding Morelia.  Let me know your thoughts and keep in touch.

                                                                Deerdra

                                                                  • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                    doodles3don
                                                                    Deerdra. I think I'll go visit in the near future. May be able to get some information while I/m down there. Thanks for the return message. Don 
                                                                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                        jls
                                                                        My aunt lived in a community in Mexico in the state of Jalisco on Lake Chapalla.  There are over 500 American families living there.  You might want to check into it.
                                                                        Jill
                                                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                            doodles3don
                                                                            Thanks I will do that. I'm a couple years away from retirement. I do feel like contributing what I know to the less forunate.   
                                                                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                                JerryD
                                                                                I am really surprised that nobody has discussed the downsides much. I liked the boiling hot heat comment which is close to my assessment of the choice (or is that prejudice?). But how about the basics like health care? Doesn't that present some serious issues for retired types?
                                                                                  • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                                    JArsena436

                                                                                    Hello-

                                                                                    Healthcare is absolutely a must.  It may surprise people that heathcare in major Mexican areas can be both high quality and much more affordable...plus I believe that if you qualify for residency one can enroll in their insurance plan...but I'd recommend folks looking into that more as Idon't know all of the details.  Many physicians are trained in the US & several major areas, such as Puerto Vallarta where I am most familiar, have American Hospitals.  Large expat populations of both US & Canadians there!

                                                                                • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                                  gdl2010
                                                                                  The comminities around Lake Chapala are cvontinually growing. Many Americans and Canadians livre there or come for the winter months. One of the things I like most about the area is the diverse population. Mexicans as well as Europeans are living close to Ajijic and Chapala.
                                                                            • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                              Lucina_Way
                                                                              Hi, Don,

                                                                              I live part time in Puerto Penasco, MX, which is about an hour south of the US border near Tucson and Phoenix. Although it is a hurting resort area now, because of the media scares about Mexico in general (although Puerto Penasco is as calm or calmer than most US small cities), I can't imagine that larger, more prosperous places don't use plenty of AC/HVAC experts. It would be just a matter of getting into the market, which is what I would explore -- how you can legally do it, what is the demand, etc. As for medical care, etc., as one write said, in places with an active expat population, health care is at least as high quality (and lower cost) as in the US. Of course, Medicare can't be used there but Mexican insurance is available. I think it is good to assess also what, exactly, one is looking for in a new residence, to find the best fit. One pretty good source of information is the International Living publication. Also Escape from America, both available on line. Best wishes! Lucina (Barbara)
                                                                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                        LindaWoodstock
                                                                        Hi, I've read your post several times and as my husband & I will spend a short 3 nights in Ajijic beginning Mar 5, we're wondering if you would be willing to join us for a drink/lunch/dinner--your choice and let us know your experiences living in the area for this many winters?  We have tentatively signed up for the Focus on Mexico educational program mid-July & have spoken with Kristina Morgan 2x by phone (she used to live up the road from us in Ft Collins so we have Colorado living experiences in common).  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Linda Woodstock
                                                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                            Carolina2

                                                                            I have lived in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico for 6 months at a time for the last 5 years and highly recommend it. I have also visited San Miguel and it is a lovely place, but a little colder in Dec. and Jan. and more expensive. In Ajijic, where I live each winter, the temp is 65 to 80 year around, and sunny. The rainy season is in the summer and it rains mostly at night.

                                                                            There are 35,000 gringos in the area, including Guadalahara, but since most are relatively new to the area, people are friendly and it is easy to make friends. Since there is a "gringo" organization in Ajijic called the Lake Chapaa Society, there is always something to do.

                                                                            I wish I could sell my house (in Cleveland) so I could live there year-around.

                                                                        • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                          gdl2010
                                                                          This will be my first winter there and I will only be there 3 months but want to volunteer. I have always worked with children and families or taught and want to continue to be active in that field. My Spanish is terrible though so I will probably have trouble finding something. Where do you volunteer? I don't know anything about getting a teaching job but teaching English is Guadalajara  is always a possibility.
                                                                          akuypers@comcast.net
                                                                        • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                          Carolina2
                                                                          Check in with the Information desk at the Lake Chapala Society and also their bulletin board. Good Spanish is no necessary. Good luck.
                                                                      • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                        catdaddy
                                                                        My wife and I are seriously considering Mexico as an inexpensive retirement paradise. We visited Huatulco, about 300 miles south of Acapulco and it is fantastic. Great people, many expats from US and Canada and you can drink the water! We are going to Cosat Rica this year to compare the two locations. There are direct flights on Continental from Houston to Huatulco or from just about everywhere through Mexico City on Mexicana or Aero Mexico. You can "Google" it to see what is there.
                                                                          • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                            LindaWoodstock

                                                                            Do your homework for this location--a friend had a house 2 blocks from the ocean & was forced out by drug lords--yes they paid her but she's back in the US.  The same for Ixtapa with drug activity very nearby according to friends who live there about 2 months every winter.

                                                                            My husband & I have fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta, after seriously considering Mazatlan.  But there was never anything going on in Mazatlan, no malecon to speak of and not many very good restaurants.  We're going back for our 4th visit to PV where there is a plentitude of condos, villas, homes to purchase--more & more going on the market daily--some absolutely lovely developments, on or near the ocean and in the Sierra Madres overlooking the Bay of Banderas and the prices are dropping because no one is buying given what's occurring in the US now.  Many americans & canadians bought new condos thinking they could flip & make a profit, but many are finding themselves under water particuarly americans.  So there is lots to choose from, many have never been lived in--marble floors & granite countertops, etc.  That's not to say that its inexpensive--what will be affordable are the services--yard work, maids, the restaurants are fabulous, ranging from incredibly inexpensive to 5-star expensive.   But there are so many it would take months of eating out every day to visit every one.  The malecon, about 1-2 miles long bordering the ocean downtown is alive with activity every night--Mariachi's, artists, Wed-night artwalks, parades from Thanksgiving to Xmas--although we haven't spent much time there we have met many americans and canadians who own property or just rent for the winter.  We have found an american who is a buyer's agent living there for 14 yrs and has been helping us sort through properties, steering us away from condos that haven't been well-built.  Although what we have seen & more to be seen in February, there are many top-quality properties, with on-site fitness centers, views to die for, and all within a few minutes walk to downtown, yet surrounded by the Bay of Banderas & the Sierra Madre Mountains--absolutely beautiful with incredible sunsets.  The climate is identical to Hawaii, but we have a direct 2.5 hr flight from Denver, rather than an arduous, long flight to Hawaii where we couldn't afford to purchase anyway.  Although we'd be interested in visiting some of the quaint inland towns, I think the sheer beauty of PV is what has captured us, plus there's a Cost-co--same products as I get here, just in Spanish!  Mexico is also close enough to the US that we can get back here pretty quickly if we had to  for family reasons.  We have always felt safe walking the streets after dark--looking forward to our next trip.

                                                                              • Re: Living in Mexico
                                                                                sparksmex

                                                                                Relocating to Mexico is not for everyone ... but is a good option for many.   Not only is it cheaper and the weather better ... but also a very rich culture.  Problem is the culture is not the same as the good-of-usa.  Everything is gated/walled/barred because this is a poor country.

                                                                                On the other hand, I've been here over 5 years on a west coast beach and am doing fine.  Finally tired of the heat and humidity I've moved up to the Lake Chapala area at an elevation of 5000 feet and much cooler (even cold) winter weather

                                                                                The only way to consider Mexico is to make a few visits to areas you're interested in, RENT for a month or more in each place .... and then still consider renting for the first year or two.  Mexico will surprise you so be cautious - this is not like moving to Hawaii for the weather

                                                                                Gated communities are a solution for many but it's still Mexico and you may want a real experience

                                                                                http://sparks-mexico.com/