Lake Chapala and its surroundings is one of the most charming places in the world to spend a great retirement. A place where natural beauty, tranquility and beautiful weather all year round, are just some of the attractions. This destination in the state of Jalisco is the largest water reservoir in Mexico and provides for the drinking needs for much of the city of Guadalajara. Here, a variety of cultures and nationalities come together, resulting in an exotic blend that coexists in a typically Mexican environment.
Chapala is located just one hour from Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, which offers modern airports and roads for your use. From Chapala you can easily travel by car to San Miguel de Allende, Cuernavaca, Puerto Vallarta, Zacatecas, Patzcuaro, Manzanillo, Morelia and Mexico City.
The bounty of the local food is a great advantage for foreigners living here, because there is a great variety of food, it is plentiful and available all year. This certainly is a better option than buying imported food which is more expensive, but there are also many supermarkets where you can find whatever you are looking for.
How easy is it to settle down?
Properties on the banks of Lake Chapala have not increased in price in years, and, with the appropriate permits, foreigners can buy a property according to their needs. Currently, about 12,000 immigrants, including Americans, Canadians and Europeans enjoy their retirements on the shores of Lake Chapala, in towns such as Ajijic or San Juan Cosala, due to the generous living standards offered in the area surrounding the lakeshore. There, you will be able to buy a property of up to 10764 feet2 paying property taxes of only USD $90 per year.
“I came to live in Chapala mainly because of the climate, and also because of the cost of living. I am single and it is very difficult for me to live out my retirement in the United States, I would not have been able to live on my pension there at all. Here my money lasts longer.” – Bridget Darby, a 63 years old retiree, cnnexpansión.com
Although the cost of living varies, depending on the lifestyle, many retirees live well with only their monthly retirement check. What is most attractive for many foreigners is that here they can live better for a lot less than what they would spend in the United States or Canada. For example, the pleasant climate that can be enjoyed in the area (between 73ºF and 93ºF all year round) results in the fact that heating costs in winter or air conditioning costs in summer are virtually unnecessary, unlike in their home countries.
What recreational activities are offered?
The production of handicrafts and the abundance of materials has meant that beginners, as well as established artists allow their imagination to run free, and open workshops and art galleries where local and foreign artists exhibit their work. All arts have a place here, and there also are spaces devoted to writing, music and much more. There also are cultural centers, museums, movie theaters and a couple of theater groups, as well as a philharmonic orchestra. For those who enjoy sports, they will also find a couple of golf clubs in the area, a yacht club, several spas, tennis courts, boats, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, water parks, boat tours, and much more. “People were wonderful. Wherever we went, we literally made friends on the street.” – Elaine Cholas, International Health blog.
One of the additional attractions of living in Chapala is the warmth of its people and being able to socialize easily as there is a friendly atmosphere where new friends can be made every day at clubs and organizations for retirees, as well as health care institutions for seniors where you can communicate in English or Spanish.
Elaine had to take care of her parents when they moved to Ajijic, where both liver for about three years in an assisted care facility for seniors. In her experience, they saved a lot of money without sacrificing the care her parents received. Even when Elaine had a case of ovarian cancer, she was taken care of in our country. “And let me tell you, the care was much better in Mexico” -Elaine Cholas, International Health blog.
By: Visit México
My wife and I are now in our 8th year of retirement in Ajijic/Lake Chapala. It has offered everything we had hoped for in a retirement life. The climate and cost of living factors are important, but for us it was the opportunity for a less stressful and more hospitable community environment than we had in the United States. There are plenty of expatriate activities and organizations at Lake Chapala, but real happiness comes when you realize you can escape the ‘old ways’ and ‘old lifestyle’ and begin a new life in a new culture and new traditions. It is openness to the Mexican culture and way of doing routine daily life that makes life here more enjoyable and those who immerse themselves with the Mexican community are the ones who seem most happy. Mexico is not the answer for everyone, but if you find in yourself that spirit of adventure that motivated your forefathers to search out a better life the New World/Americas…to leave behind the old and begin a fresh new life…then Mexico and the Lake Chapala communities may be just what you want.