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Hello from Orlando, Florida!

This is my first post and I wanted to introduce myself to the board.

I am age 51, and planning to relocate to the Ajijic area in the next year.

My goal is to run my small business from there, while enjoying a higher quality of life than I am accustomed to, here in Orlando.

In relocation, I hope to make my monthly earnings stretch much further, this while decreasing my stress and improving my overall health.

I had thought about relocation for the last year and received coaching this evening from an international travel expert and author whose first recommendation was Ajijic, based on my Top 10 list of wants and needs.

I look forward to networking with some of you and finding a mentor who will help make transition to the Ajijic area much easier, based on expectations vs. reality.

 

Have A Great Day!

Joe In Orlando, Florida USA

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Welcome Joe. Ajijic is a great choice for so many of us. Before making a permanent move, I strongly suggest you invest in a trip here for minimum 10 days-2 weeks. Mexico is not for everyone. It would be a shame to make a move like this only to realize you don't like it here. I'm honestly not trying to be negative. Have lived here over 7 years and cannot imagine living back in the U.S. I am sure you will have many others agree with me. 

Ask away your questions and you will get lots of answers. 

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Thank You! Joyfull :D

To directly answer your question virgoirl: No.

I am 51, I was born and raised just north of Philadelphia, in the State Of Pennsylvania and have lived in Orlando, Florida the past 24 years.

The primary reason I would like to relocate to Mexico is that my healthcare costs here in the U.S. are no longer affordable. I cannot justify spending over $1300.00 a month USD for premium healthcare, when I can live in Mexico for a portion of my healthcare budget. Likewise, I am heaving some challenges with my health and would like to have a staff of people to assist me, as I regain wellness.

My Top 10 List Included:

1. Affordable/Quality Healthcare. 2. A Stable Internet Connection To Run My Small Business. 3. Staff To Assist With Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry & Shopping. 4. Affordability / Inexpensive Cost Of Living. 5. A quality built rental home with a nice kitchen and luxury bathroom. 6. Scenery: a nice view of water or mountains. 7. A Safe Place To Live. 8. Ease Of Relocation/Immigration. 9. Great Weather. 10. Socialization: I love to network and meet people, both online and in person.

In my coaching session this evening, out all of all places in the world that are the closest match to the above Top 10 needs/wants list, the international relocation expert and author I spoke to felt that by far, Ajijic was the best fit!

My first question: I love to swim laps, in a lap pool, for exercise. What are the pools/fitness centers like in the Ajijic area?

All My Best,

Joe

 

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Have you begun doing any research on our area on your own? Or on the Country of Mexico? Just Google Ajijic or Chapala for a ton of info that should be helpful. Same thing with Youtube, lots of videos. Sounds like you just arrived at this monumental decision and need to do some home work in addition to posting here. Quite honestly, never having been to Mexico, it is surprising that your first question would be the availability of a lap pool. Good luck to you and you will receive some very helpful info on this forum, also.

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Yup, we have a nice pool in Riberas.

At your age you can purchased catastrophic health care insurance here for a few hundred dollars per month.

Joyful's advice is very good.  I'd figure 2 weeks minimum and you might want to wait until the high season has passed before you come down as accommodations are a bit hard to find and expensive now.

Welcome to the board.  

 

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Perhaps look for a rental place with a pool, then you wouldn't have to commute to a pool. There are several gyms here and a few public pools but no fitness centres similar to what you would find in the US.

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1 hour ago, Joseph Erik Mattern said:

Thank You! Joyfull :D

To directly answer your question virgoirl: No.

I am 51, I was born and raised just north of Philadelphia, in the State Of Pennsylvania and have lived in Orlando, Florida the past 24 years.

The primary reason I would like to relocate to Mexico is that my healthcare costs here in the U.S. are no longer affordable. I cannot justify spending over $1300.00 a month USD for premium healthcare, when I can live in Mexico for a portion of my healthcare budget. Likewise, I am heaving some challenges with my health and would like to have a staff of people to assist me, as I regain wellness.

My Top 10 List Included:

1. Affordable/Quality Healthcare. 2. A Stable Internet Connection To Run My Small Business. 3. Staff To Assist With Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry & Shopping. 4. Affordability / Inexpensive Cost Of Living. 5. A quality built rental home with a nice kitchen and luxury bathroom. 6. Scenery: a nice view of water or mountains. 7. A Safe Place To Live. 8. Ease Of Relocation/Immigration. 9. Great Weather. 10. Socialization: I love to network and meet people, both online and in person.

In my coaching session this evening, out all of all places in the world that are the closest match to the above Top 10 needs/wants list, the international relocation expert and author I spoke to felt that by far, Ajijic was the best fit!

My first question: I love to swim laps, in a lap pool, for exercise. What are the pools/fitness centers like in the Ajijic area?

All My Best,

Joe

 

All of those things are available here depending on your budget, especially #5. 

You can get a lot of help here, but need to share your budget for a rental as to whether it is possible to get all the things you want in it. In the U.S. it is considered rude to ask this question. Her email it is not. Many of us share the cost of things here in order to learn how to live at Lakeside. There is only one public pool here that I know of. Living in a community with a pool may suit you more. 

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Depending on what and how severe your health issues are, health care may not be as inexpensive in Mexico as you were led to believe. While you can have a relatively cheap office visit with a GP or even a specialist, public health care here will not be easy for you if you don't speak Spanish. If you want access to well-appointed medical facilities, with English speaking doctors, you are looking at private health insurance, which can be costly, especially with pre-existing conditions. And with the private health care, there are some conditions (not pre-existing) which can have a 1,2, or 3 year waiting period before they are covered.

And a nice rental house with a "luxury" bathroom and a staff of people to help you out will not be inexpensive, although that is of course relative. Also internet is not necessarily reliable anywhere in Mexico.

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" Also internet is not necessarily reliable anywhere in Mexico."

Since the OP's entire presence in Ajijic would depend on the Internet, I think this statement needs more definition. If one availed oneself to 2 independent sources of Internet connection, something that would not be too expensive but necessary if one was doing more than just 'visiting the Forums', how many hours in a day or days in a week would one NOT have reliable access to the Internet? 

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It is nice to live in the Lake Chapala area. You might want to start studying Spanish in some way. Why not start now. Find a method that works for you. The houses here can be tricky. I have lived in a handful of houses between here and Guadalajara. Every one of them has unique challenges. Not hard to manage if you have a little Spanish and a handyman, or enough Spanish to deal with a Mexican landlord. Your experience will be well enhanced with the language. I have been in and out of the country since 2004. I still struggle more with understanding what I am hearing. But the point is, in order to really enjoy the experience here, keep cultivating your language skills starting now. It makes it more fun and removes alot of stress and dependency on others. Somebody can tell you this is a top 10 place, but really, it takes a certain pizazz to live abroad. many folks get their butts kicked right away. I meet them here and there. They say, I got robbed, harrassed, or wents nuts in their rental for one reason or another, or had a nightmare experience buying a home. Some people blend right in, language skills or not, go with the flow, carry themselves well among the locals. Your expectations of the place seem real high. Expect to get initiated, tricked, and waylay-ed. If you can smile through the experiences you might make it here. Land of manana. My house does not get me a phone or internet hookup. Still trying to find out why. No One told me. it's a very nice neighborhood, cute house, unable to get services. So just sayin', you run into all kinds of inconveniences and if it doesn't bother you too much, and you have patience to solve these little things that come up, you might be in the right place.

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Once you get down here, you will have to come to terms with the fact that you are in Mexico and Mexico is NOT in the USA!  If you can understand that idea to all its depth and learn to just smile and go with the flow as Virgogirl says, life will be much easier for you here.  Life is very different here in many ways than what you may be used to in the USA, attitudes of businesses and people in general are very different, infrastructure and services are very different, the cold cement houses and the rough cobble stone streets will feel very different, the food will taste different (even at American style restaurants.)  When you get down here, you will realize what you always thought of as being Mexican food is not Mexican food at all.  Tacos up there are not tacos down here, etc.  For some people, it is very challenging to adjust to life down here, for others they adapt and blend in very easily.  The Mexican people tend to be very gracious and forgiving.  Expect to be robbed or relieved of something or possibly pick-pocketed at some time your first year.  Pick pocketing is not common here, but people making it easy and tempting to do so is not common here either, so never let your money hang out or be easy to grab.  After the first year you will quickly learn the nuances of life down here and what not to do and how not to become an easy victim.  Once you learn the rules of the game, life down here can be really sweet!  And you may find it far more rewarding and stimulating than the monotonous and sterile life people have up there.

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Hi Joe, I am from Lakeland and use to travel here in the summer to escape the heat and humidity. I have been here 16 years now. Just bought some land and will die here. Welcome!

 

Take the advice from all former posters. Good stuff there.

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Joe:

All of the above is true... Since your experience does not appear to include previous overseas living, you will most likely find things different here...   Not saying that this experience is necessary, but statistically it makes adjustment easier...

Cost is living here is certainly less than in the US. That said, we have found that monthly expenses are much higher than those touted on various websites... But then we shop at Walmart and Costco which can be more expensive than  local vendors... 

Health care is less than north of the border... However obtaining supplemental insurance can be expensive if one has pre-existing conditions...

Before you make the "Big Move", come on down and spend a month or so to get a feel for the area and use the time to find answers to your stated needs... With that information you can make a meaningful decision .

You will find that we all will welcome your arrival and are available to answer your questions...

Welcome !

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned your immigration status required for working down here. Please do some research on immigration; they tightened the rules a few years ago and it caused some serious consequences to some expats. None of the guidebooks are up-to-date with the current regulations, and I noticed recently that some of the web sites you may google are also out of touch with these new regulations. Very important if you will be running a business down here or bringing down a vehicle.

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As I read his post he intends to run his U.S. business from here over the internet and phones.  A number of people doing that here, not at all unusual.  Earnings are deposited to U.S. banks, taxes are paid on them there and earnings are withdrawn using bank transfers or ATMs.

Mexico does not tax earnings of foreigners made in their home countries.

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The best advice you have gotten Joe is to come for a visit. 2 weeks is good, a month is better. There are B&Bs here that are very reasonable, some with cooking facilities and in the village of Ajijic so you won't need a car. Great place to meet people. We can gladly recommend a few. Try Ajijic Suites on Hildago. Great owners will even pick you up at the airport. Let us know when you are coming and we will plan a get together in the Plaza. 

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It would also be a good idea to visit a Mexican Consulate and get their requirements for approval of a Residente Temporal, or even a Residente Permanente visa, which is required to reside in Mexico. If permanently, consider that a Mexican car will be a necessity with that visa, which is on the horizon in 4 years, anyway.

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Get several recommendations from folks living here for a good length of time as to the doctors they use. Make appointments with those doctors and state that you want to honestly discuss your personal health issues and that what you want is advice as to whether you could expect quality care at an affordable price. It will be relatively inexpensive but may take a little of your time but if you are honest with the docs you should have a much better idea of healthcare in Mexico.

Rentals, swimming pools, internet connections, food are all important but pale with issues of healthcare. Reading between your lines you seem to be tipping your hand that you will be needing lots of assistance. Make sure you can get it at a price you can afford. For instance some drugs are much more expensive here and some very hard to obtain at all, such as opioid pain killers. Talk to the actual doctors about your actual situation and do not rely on our personal opinions of our own doctors except as a place to start a conversation.

Best of luck, it is a very nice village.

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There seems to be two big reasons people who have lived here for quite some time go back up north:

1.  Desire to be closer to family.

2.  Need to be able to use Medicare for costly health problems.

You can purchase catastrophic insurance here but there is a lot of holes in it and most health care is out of pocket.  Many prescriptions are cheap here but some are not.  In general, I don't see this as a good place to live for someone who has significant health issues and who may be mobility impaired.  Most sidewalks are basically impassable for someone in a wheelchair in all the towns.

You just need to come take a look before making any decisions about moving here.

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I can comment a little on rebuilding your health. That was my priority upon first moving to Mexico permanently. Since that time I have lost 40 lbs and blood pressure is down to a couple 1/4 pills. I have still have to keep on, but this is much easier in Mexico. Huge reduction in stress once you take on the Mexican way. Not that I had considered stress when we moved here, I had pretty well retired at 54 after working many years as a professional artist. A professional artist is someone gets paid for their skills, and bright ideas, which in no way are an expression of personal "artistic purges", but certainly enrich your bank account. I still have most of those skills, and never once thought my ability to create were ever at risk. So again, the great lifting of stress was a surprise. On the other hand, driving the roads here is Mexico is much more stressful than any roads I have travelled in Canada or the U.S. Your options are to walk everywhere, living near a bunch of people, of all types. Living with their noise, their different cultures pollution, dogs everywhere, many out of control. It can be difficult to adapt, especially if you are used to a suburban life. This is your other option, living the suburban life. This lifestyle requires a car, although many items are deliverable. There are tremendous homes available for rent here for very low prices. With large garden areas, fenced in yards for pets, secure parking and best of all - peace and quiet. On the other hand, many the suburbanites do not like to drive at night - your socializing would then be limited to your neighbourhood. Luckily, there are some very interesting people here, and I could listen to their stories and lies, over and over again. Like I wrote - a sense of profound peace and tranquility, and a connection to the earth and sky.

Which brings me to a point, which was all I originally intended. Unless you can walk to a heated pool or gym, I have seen very few people who can stick to this over time. Many of the suburban rentals offer a pool or community pool, these are very expensive to heat. If the rent is low, no one will offer to put in a large solar heater, heat pump, and cover. Our community has a huge pool - but this time of year it will be around 72 degrees, even after all day in the sun. So my tip of the day for you is to look into buying a "tropical weight" wetsuit (or dry suit) and some aqua jogging belts. This will allow you to swim, down to about 65F. These will be find in the U.S.A., as well as waterproof workout monitors. They are practically non-existent in Mexico, especially if you are an odd size (which practically everybody is after 50). This is because the east and west coasts the water will be around 80F, although many scuba divers seem to like lightweight suits.

As a small businessman, you will find a great many opportunities here as well. Much beyond bars, restaurants, or B&Bs.

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Many domestic service such as gardeners and maids/housekeepers/cooks do not speak English.  This is Mexico and there is no dial 1 for English here.  Learning some Spanish will be helpful.

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Joseph Erik Mattern - this may very well be a good time to discover the scribblings and songs of Shel Silverstein. That's where I got the "lies" comment from. "End of the Pavement" book. He died soon after he wrote an outstanding work of music for the "Old Dogs". Country and Western legends mostly about approaching old age with courage and dignity. The Jimmy Dean interviews and live acoustics are incredible, and very, very funny. To men, anyways.

https://www.google.com.mx/search?q=shel+silverstein+poems+lies&biw=1273&bih=856&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj43ojombvQAhVO8mMKHZAlAjkQsAQIIQ&dpr=1

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I enjoy the free website by Marcus Santamaria who created Shortcuts to Spanish. Just google it. Then give your email and you'll get cool free lessons. There are other sites too. Youtube videos. If there's a beginner's class at your local community college, or private lessons that can get you jump started. I meet people here who have been in the country for 10-15 years and still have no Spanish. If you love being dependent on others, it's one way to go but it ain't no way to live. 

Let us know you are reading the thread and what you think so far of the feedback.;)

 

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