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Hi, Bev here again with more queations.  You all have been so very helpful and I really appreciate it.   Cost of living - from the different websites I have read it appears that basic expenses run about $25k a year for a couple (including rent).  Does that sound reasonable?  We would not want to hire any help but would like TV (with access to US channels), Internet, and Cell phones.  Thanks again!

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This is a pretty accurate cost of living estimate for our area.

https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/guadalajara?currency=MXN

(Change the "MXN" to "USD" or "CAD" to see it in your preferred currency).

Come down for a week, and then decide if you want to stay for a month.

After a month, decide if you want to stay for a year.

Don't think of moving here as a lifetime commitment, think of it as an extended vacation.

Do it until it stops being fun, then decide where you might want to go next.

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COL anywhere is such a subjective thing based almost entirely on the folks doing the spending. Do you need a 1500/month rental or will a $700/mo place suffice? Do you eat out entirely or cook in mostly? Do you travel extensively once in a place or just occasionally like most of us?  Can you exist only on imported US food stuffs that you have grown accustom to over the years rather than buying mostly Mexican produced, and entirely adequate, offerings?  etc etc etc

Having said all that, I could easily exist on $25k a year at Lakeside. Many do it, without suffering, on much less.

YMMV

 

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Like everything else about life down here, the answers will vary a lot depending on whom you ask.  If necessary one could live on much much less down here, but they would have to go native and live very humbly or they could live extremely luxuriously shopping only at Superlake and Liverpool.  I have appartments near my house that about two years ago they were asking for 1000 pesos monthly, I toured them and was surprised by how good they looked for so little money. But they certainly wouldn't be for everybody.

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29 minutes ago, dichosalocura said:

Like everything else about life down here, the answers will vary a lot depending on whom you ask.  If necessary one could live on much much less down here, but they would have to go native and live very humbly or they could live extremely luxuriously shopping only at Superlake and Liverpool.  I have appartments near my house that about two years ago they were asking for 1000 pesos monthly, I toured them and was surprised by how good they looked for so little money. But they certainly wouldn't be for everybody.

dichosalocura, where are these apartments located?  I'd be very interested in checking them out!

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Beverly:

I would check Numbeo.com and compare your city with Ajijic... The prices quoted are up to date and are reflective of what you will find here... Bottom line: Ajijic is much less expensive then most places NOB...

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3 hours ago, Beverly said:

Hi, Bev here again with more queations.  You all have been so very helpful and I really appreciate it.   Cost of living - from the different websites I have read it appears that basic expenses run about $25k a year for a couple (including rent).  Does that sound reasonable?  We would not want to hire any help but would like TV (with access to US channels), Internet, and Cell phones.  Thanks again!

Also, will you have a car? Factor that in.

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We moved here from the midwest.  Over a decade ago it was usual to find people mostly from high cost of living areas, primarily the west coast.  They would just gab on and on about how much less, 30 to 50% less, it cost them to live here and how much house they could buy compared to wherever they came from in CA, WA or OR. 

We found that for our style of living it was a lateral move for our daily living costs.  Our moving here savings were in mortgage and property taxes along with state income taxes.  Of course those savings go along with the reduced retirement income level.

I am beginning to see a high level of dissatisfaction in friends who are living here on meager means.  It seems that in the last 5 years their expenses have increased for everything and they are feeling the pinch.  One has equated the changes here to having moved into a decent yet downtrodden area of town only to have it gentrify quickly and beyond his means.  They aren't able to keep up monetarily, doctors appts used to be $60-100 pesos are now at least $300 and electric has skyrocketed.  If they purchased a modest house it ages fast here and repairs are more costly.  Several complain of doubled air fares to see family.  Transportation is expensive with the rising gasoline and repairs are not as resonable as they used to be.  As more and more population moves here from Guadalajara it has become highly suburbanized.  The prices are not as flexible or competitive as they are in a small town where you could dicker for a deal.

Our insurance agent was here the other day and he mentioned that he has clients leaving because of the rising cost of living and primarily the rise in their medical insurance rates. It stands to reason that as people age they price themselves out of the private market and going "public helath services' here is possible but you must be of the personality to trod thru crap to get what you need.  Just so you have a comparison a full coverage policy for a F age 60 and male age 68 is $83,000.00 pesos per year and an expectation of 20-25% increases per year would be prudent.

 

This is a nice place to live.  It is also a nice place to visit.  Give it a try before you make the commitment.  There are more people who come here to see and never return than there are who come for good.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, suegarn said:

dichosalocura, where are these apartments located?  I'd be very interested in checking them out!

The appartments are at the end of Juarez St. in Chapala, a block past Coppel in the dead end section of Juarez.  They are on the left, right next to Taller Ferris mechanic shop.  We were looking at them thinking my sister might come down to live, but she ended up staying stateside.  The appts are small, open design living room / kitchenette with a bathroom and bedroom on the side.  There are around 5 or 6 of them all side by side.  I have no idea if she has any available right now.  If curious, knock on the brown cochera door gate and ask for Tere.  Two years ago she wanted a thousand pesos a month, i thought they looked pretty decent for that price, a block and a half from the bus station, and one block over from the main avenue, and 5 blocks up from the malecon makes for a pretty goog location in my opinion.

 

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Well, solajijic, not trying to pick a fight but..... if your friends living Lakeside on meager means are experiencing a "high level of dissatisfaction", I don't know where they are going to go.... certainly not NOB unless it is to a small podunk town in god-awful hot Texas or somewhere 'worse'. A doctor's appointment at the higher rate of 300 pesos is still only $15 at today's exchange rate, compared to.... $10 when the pesos was at 10/1. Don't try and see a doctor NOB for $15!  And those high electricity rates don't include having to run an air conditioner like NOB @ $350/mo. and the climate is still extremely comfortable here without. They better find a cheaper Mexican village to live in away from Lakeside if they are having trouble getting by here. NOB is probably not a good alternative with their meager means as prices there are rising just as badly. Yes, gasoline is pretty high but how many miles do they travel monthly.

Anyway..... it costs more to live everywhere compared to 10 years ago. People of meager means are having a tough time everywhere.

 

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30 minutes ago, RickS said:

Well, solajijic, not trying to pick a fight but..... if your friends living Lakeside on meager means are experiencing a "high level of dissatisfaction", I don't know where they are going to go.... certainly not NOB unless it is to a small podunk town in god-awful hot Texas or somewhere 'worse'. A doctor's appointment at the higher rate of 300 pesos is still only $15 at today's exchange rate, compared to.... $10 when the pesos was at 10/1. Don't try and see a doctor NOB for $15!  And those high electricity rates don't include having to run an air conditioner like NOB @ $350/mo. and the climate is still extremely comfortable here without. They better find a cheaper Mexican village to live in away from Lakeside if they are having trouble getting by here. NOB is probably not a good alternative with their meager means as prices there are rising just as badly. Yes, gasoline is pretty high but how many miles do they travel monthly.

Anyway..... it costs more to live everywhere compared to 10 years ago. People of meager means are having a tough time everywhere.

 

I agree with you, Rick.  Where oh where can people live in the U.S. on less than they can live here?  As for medical costs, when I moved here a dozen years ago, they were still lower than the co pay in the states.  And then, there's the budget killer:  travel back to the states.

I have no idea how some retirees are managing to make ends meet in the states.  It sounds barely doable.

It is also possible that those who are dissatisfied had unrealistic expectations when they moved here. Costs always go up.  That must be anticipated.

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I think part of what we are seeing here is the influence of GDL.  Really, this place feels more like a 'burb of GDL than a separate resort area these days.  That has really driven some costs.  Restaurant meals have gone way up also and most restaurants have adopted the NOB practice of making much of or most of their profit off of the bar.  In a recent trip to McAllen where I ate out twice daily I found that similar food there is about the same price as it is here.  

8 years ago even with the much higher Peso, eating out was super cheap here.  Now it is reasonable but when I ride and eat away from here, the prices are much more like they used to be here.

Rentals are pretty stiff here and always have been.  Part of the problem is this lovely regressive 16 percent tax on rentals which of course the renter pays.  My brother rents a big 3BR house in Phoenix for considerably less than what something similar costs here.  

Yes, I know, Phoenix....

Medical costs are still pretty reasonable here.  Truthfully we don't find the medical quality up to the level of metro Dallas but we felt the same way about New Mexico.

Where you save big is on utilities and help.  We simply could not afford the maid and gardeners we have here up there even though expats do pay considerably better than Mexicans (I am told this by our help).  Contractors are still a screaming bargain here.

Electricity and gas is expensive but most neither heat nor cool and many of us use solar which gets rid of most electricity cost.  You can use solar hot water to get rid of most propane cost too.

If you live here, you pay for proximity to a higher cost of living big city and more for the resort style living and the incredible climate that is such a draw.  How many places offer this kind of ambiance with a big city, airport and all the amenities just a short run up the road?

A fair comparison between here and other places is to compare prices with places that have a special draw, like climate.  Try living in San Clemente, CA, for example.

 

 

 

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We moved here last year... We were comfortable back home but one always has to look ahead... If you need assisted living NOB plan on $5-7k a month .... Not so here... We moved so our kids won't have to bear the cost of keeping mom and dad... We have been there and done that....

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How the cost of living compares really depends on where you are coming from. I moved here from Southern California eight years ago. My total living expenses today (including maid and gardener, frequent eating out, having five pets instead of two, lovely three-bedroom house) come to about a $100 usd more per month than just the rent on my one-bedroom apartment in a marginal neighborhood back in California.

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We live in San Miguel which may make a difference but here is what we currently experience. http://www.soniadiaz.mx/cost-of-living.html

Friends who are in Ajijic 6 months every winter amaze us at what they pay but they visit doctors who cater to expats and pay ~500 p a visit and their medicines are from GDL Pharmacy, never generic. They shop at the Ajijic weekly market, Soriana and Superlake. It is all a matter of choice.

Buen Fin

Sonia

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You can live comfortably on 25K.  Everyone defines comfort differently.  Maybe describe your current lifestyle, type of housing, food, etc., that you currently have, then what you want.  We live better here than we did in Texas and for less money.  I would say that is probably going to be true of most everyone coming from the US.  There are many, many choices here, for all budgets.  We've never been able to afford a maid in the US.  We can here.

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Our motto is "Live Better For Less", which is not the same as living as cheaply as possible.  

The cost differential allows us to splurge on small luxuries that we couldn't afford/justify NOB. 

Last week I bought a kilo of strawberries at the Jocotepec mercado for $20 pesos, ($1.10 US)

What does a kilo of strawberries cost NOB ?

 

Strawberries_1kg.jpg

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There are plenty of areas in Mexico that are still affordable without going to Guatemala Honduras or anywhere in Cental America  just get out of the areas heavily populated by expats.  I have friends in San Cristobal living in a 2 bdroom hose for 1000 pesos a month., however, doctors are about the same price as Lakeside, hospitals are not as good, the climate is not as good and many things we take for granted here ar not available there..You should also speak Spanish..Comitan is a smaller town with a climate just as nice as lakeside, colonial house but here again you better speak Spanish and forget about expats.

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Thank you for all the information and opinions here. I was hoping to continue working NOB until 66 but the short of it, well, it's not looking good, and I may pull my Social Security at 62 now. It is frighteningly low. Having heard that there are some very cheap rentals yet available is giving me hope. When I lived in Ajijic last time there I paid 300 mo. downtown. Noisy, but I adjusted. I was on the busline which was good for my saturday commute to the city for long day teaching.

My question is this Joco vs. Chapala........When and if I return, I would choose one of these two extremes. Would like to hear opinions about why you love these two communities. They alternative is to stay in the states and become a welfare elder on public everything. 

 Maybe I could start my own thread, but I generally do want to know about cost of living as Beverly OP does, with focus on these two towns, so hope it is OK to post this here.

Thank you

 

 

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Chapala:  Convenient to the airport, nice walking town with good shopping, convenient to the buses to either other Lakeside towns or GDL.  More expats and more expat activities and not hard to get to Ajijic where most are, if this is what you want.

Joco:  Convenient to GDL shopping, probably cheaper than Chapala, not convenient to expat activities.  Very few expats and a hard slog to Ajijic because of all the topes.  Very decent new Seguro Popular hospital there.

You should also check out San Juan Cosala, Riberas and San Antonio.is convenient to both Ajijic and Chapala.

Remember that income requirements for visas are tougher than they used to be, otherwise you're stuck with going back to the border every 6 months to renew tourist visa.  This can get expensive.

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One of the best values for housing is to rent a casita, usually 1 or 2 bedrooms with a kitchen and bath, on a larger estate.

Owners may, or may not be on the property (in the big house). Many times these opportunities are not advertised,

and may only be found by word-of-mouth. 

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