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Can an over 70 couple find happiness lakeside?


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My wife and I are over 70 and are considering moving to the Lake Chapala area in the spring

of 2018. We're now getting rid of a lifetime accumulation of "stuff". Plan to visit in November then put the

house up for sale after Christmas. We plan to rent initially. We're going to be living on our Social

Security income. We're looking for an adventure to see new places, meet new friends and get

away from the cold wet winters of the northwest. We'd like to hear from others who have had similar

situations, to let us know whether we're crazy to consider such a move.

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To answer the question in your title:  Certainly but there are a lot of cool places in Mexico and other places where you can find happiness too.  This one is getting really busy and you might prefer something quieter.  If you are snowbirding that opens up a lot of options that you wouldn't consider during the hotter months.

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We visited here for the first time about 41/2 years ago and stayed a week. Went home and put the house on the market and returned for another week to "make sure." When we first moved four years ago we rented but now own. Haven't been sorry for a minute. The kids don't like that we live here and I hear that a lot. Otherwise no complaints.

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Depends on how much the SS income is and how much your home will fetch and how much other nesteggs you have. I only ask that as I am a retired financial advisor so you can PM me with details. This is all pretty basic stuff. 

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You've asked the one question I haven't so far posted in these forums. I'm nearly 74, and I've spent a lot of time in a lot of places in Mexico, always on extended visitor status.  Now am considering temp visa. I'm very familiar with Chapala/Ajijic. I've been all over the Mexican west coast and Baja, worked in DF and Hermosillo, studied Spanish in Cuernavaca in order to do business in that language. I have never tried the Maya Riviera. I like being on water, and Cozumel sounds nice.  But....but...happiness, I wonder. My suggestion is get the practicalities out of the way first, like increasing COL for expats in high-density areas, such as Pto Vallarta, safety ( a big one; I'd never consider returning to Oaxaca state, or going south of Acapulco now; DF, well, you can't breathe properly), what about your Medicare, can't use it, banking, getting monthly cash, skimming is there and here, what about politics and with politics legislation, it can all change on a dime, to wit, USA, November 2016. Not lecturing, just saying happiness may be relative to settling the practical questions. One last thing, sell out before you try out?? Try it out for six months, a year, or as suggested above, snowbird. Travel around, get a taste to coastal living in Mex, visit GDL and DF, there's a wonderful school in Cuernavaca, MOR, Mex. Rent out your home, enjoy the extra cash, then decide.

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Medical is a biggie for us over 70's.  In the last 3 years, for example, we've spent over $25,000 U.S. on two medical emergencies that we couldn't return to the U.S. to handle.  Medivac wouldn't have helped with either as both required immediate surgical and hospital care.  The quality was good in one instance, not so good in the other.

Looking into catastrophic insurance as a back up but thus far it seems the options for insurance for people our age are limited.  This may account for the fact that, at least from this area in my direct knowledge, medical is a major reason people leave here and return to the U.S.  The other reason is to be closer to family.

 

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5 hours ago, wili1943 said:

My wife and I are over 70 and are considering moving to the Lake Chapala area in the spring

of 2018. We're now getting rid of a lifetime accumulation of "stuff". Plan to visit in November then put the

house up for sale after Christmas. We plan to rent initially. We're going to be living on our Social

Security income. We're looking for an adventure to see new places, meet new friends and get

away from the cold wet winters of the northwest. We'd like to hear from others who have had similar

situations, to let us know whether we're crazy to consider such a move.

You'd be crazy not to consider living here. 

we've been here 16 years fulltime from san francisco and love it. we even lived on my husband's minimal social security for a year and it was doable. looking forward to meeting you in the spring....

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I'm 77 and my wife is 75. We moved here a year and a half ago... We spent a month here and fell in love with the area. Upon returning home, we put our house on the market and it sold in three days. That put us on the fast track. We have lived overseas for 20 years so this was just another country and culture to adjust to.

We decided to buy immediately since we have pets and renting with animals is sometimes difficult... We made the right decision. As stated above, medical insurance is a problem although the care here is excellent. 

We brought 5000 lbs of "stuff" with us and that cost about $2 a pound... Not cheap... However, we wish that we had brought some more furniture...

Cost of Living is considerably less than in Washington state. For us,lower taxes and utilities make a large difference. We have been clocking our expenses since we arrived and I would be happy to share if you PM me.

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I am 74 (my wife is younger) and we narrowed our retirement locations to Cuenca, Ecuador and here at Lakeside.  We visited Ajijic first and never made it to Cuenca.  That was 4 years ago.  We had started to simplify (5 vehicles, 2 boats, etc.) and just continued until all was gone.  The difference in taxes and insurance will amaze you.  We had planned to rent the entire time but found a home we couldn't pass up.  We have catastrophic insurance but don't mind paying the $15 per office visit to the doctor.  Property tax is $150 per year as opposed to nearly $2000 per month in the NW.  I'm sure you've listed and prioritized what is important to you in retirement.  Safety and friendliness are probably at the top of the list and for that, Lakeside is terrific.  Our social calendar is far busier than it ever was when we were living in Oregon.  There's a streak of adventure that runs through most expats here which is a good common denominator and fodder for many interesting stories.  You'll find many NW brethren here.

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9 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

The comments on the COL and unbearable climate here in PV are good advice.

Please, we don't need any more gringos here. We have enough.

I can't stand high temps and high humidity. I'll visit PV during the cool season but would never want to live there.

Don't worry about us crowding you, ain't going to happen,

 

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1 hour ago, wili1943 said:

I can't stand high temps and high humidity. I'll visit PV during the cool season but would never want to live there.

Don't worry about us crowding you, ain't going to happen,

 

Hahaha

Gracias and we love visitors. As the governor of Oregon used to say to Californians "Nice to see you come and nice to see you go".

Don't tell anyone but we are here 365 and have never used our air conditioning. The key is to live up on the hill where you get the sea and land breezes. We paid just under $25 US per month for electric last year.

To each his own.

No, we don't have any solar power, it wouldn't make economic sense.

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PS

The worst month here is by far October. No more rain, little sea breeze because the water is so warm and lots of overcast. By the middle of November, usually, the humidity drops. Today equaled our high for 2017 on our thermometer at 81. Enjoy Lakeside, we surely did.

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10 hours ago, mhopkins2 said:

I am 74 (my wife is younger) and we narrowed our retirement locations to Cuenca, Ecuador and here at Lakeside.  We visited Ajijic first and never made it to Cuenca.  That was 4 years ago.  We had started to simplify (5 vehicles, 2 boats, etc.) and just continued until all was gone.  The difference in taxes and insurance will amaze you.  We had planned to rent the entire time but found a home we couldn't pass up.  We have catastrophic insurance but don't mind paying the $15 per office visit to the doctor.  Property tax is $150 per year as opposed to nearly $2000 per month in the NW.  I'm sure you've listed and prioritized what is important to you in retirement.  Safety and friendliness are probably at the top of the list and for that, Lakeside is terrific.  Our social calendar is far busier than it ever was when we were living in Oregon.  There's a streak of adventure that runs through most expats here which is a good common denominator and fodder for many interesting stories.  You'll find many NW brethren here.

This is the first time I have posted, but am interested in how much people pay for insurance here.  You say you have catastrophic ...what is your deductible? We have WEA and our cost has just risen to almost $2300 year each...thank you.  Ps our deductible is $3750/year

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MC... Interesting article... We considered Ecuador when we started looking 5 years ago... The county has governmental problems and being a foreigner there probably means you have to have a  "Go Bag" ready...Been there, done that,... no more thank you...

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10 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

JRM you didn't tell us we had to get a cardboard box!  That will cost you extra! :D

You all may find this interesting:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article154209369.html

We knew Dan Prescher when he and Suzan Haskins rented around the corner from us in Ajijic. They then went to Merida where we met them for a tour of the area and they also bought a lot on the beach near Progreso. Then on to Cuenca where they bought a condo and now back to Mexico. They do like to try and stay ahead of the curve. IL had a glowing article about PV a couple of months ago so maybe I'll run into Dan one of these days.

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I have a house but is on Cajititlán lake area, 2bedroom 1 master bedroom 400 sq. Mts of garden, one level 3 car garage

two blocks from lake, private neighborhood heater, kitchen living room 

very nice weathbut is not on the Chapala area is 35 minutes before Chapala in a smaller lake but it's very niceer but is not on the Chapala area is 35 minutes before Chapala in a smaller lake but it's very nice

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Wili, though George and I are younger (65 now) we very much want to meet people who are considerably older when we go down on an exploratory visit next year.  I sent you a private message also.

Juan, I have been wondering about Lake Cajititlan. I am sure that if we decide to move we will start in the Lake Chapala area, then perhaps look at other places too (dont worry Pappysmarket, not PV!). 

We arrive on July 4 and leave on the 15th, to see if we think a longer visit is in order next year (that would really be a transition to moving permanently).  We are in a retirement seminar with Earl and John in Ajijic (http://retiringlakesideinmexico.com/) for the first few days, then staying at El Pequeno Suites to get a feel for Chapala. We decided on the seminar  so that other people provide some structure for the visit. Otherwise, I am afraid I would go off to the hot springs in San Juan Cosala and George woujd settle down with a book in a coffee shop. 

I want to thank the many people here who have already been generous with time and information. Elisabeth

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On 6/3/2017 at 8:06 PM, pappysmarket said:

Hahaha

Gracias and we love visitors. As the governor of Oregon used to say to Californians "Nice to see you come and nice to see you go".

Don't tell anyone but we are here 365 and have never used our air conditioning. The key is to live up on the hill where you get the sea and land breezes. We paid just under $25 US per month for electric last year.

To each his own.

No, we don't have any solar power, it wouldn't make economic sense.

He used to say, "Come and visit but please don't stay."

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On 6/3/2017 at 8:44 PM, DCokie said:

This is the first time I have posted, but am interested in how much people pay for insurance here.  You say you have catastrophic ...what is your deductible? We have WEA and our cost has just risen to almost $2300 year each...thank you.  Ps our deductible is $3750/year

You should contact an insurance agent or two for accurate answers.   Never the less, I am 75, have full coverage, non-cancelable insurance whichs costs about $99,000 Pesos annually with a $35,000 Peso deductible.  It's not cheap but it covers EVERYTHING except routine care.  When I started it at age 63 it was about one-third the cost it is today.  My wifes coverage is about 1/3 the cost of mine because she's only 63.  

Coverage from WEA and Best Doctors looks good until you scrutinize the details.  You get what you pay for.

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1 hour ago, elisabeth said:

Wili, though George and I are younger (65 now) we very much want to meet people who are considerably older when we go down on an exploratory visit next year.  I sent you a private message also.

Juan, I have been wondering about Lake Cajititlan. I am sure that if we decide to move we will start in the Lake Chapala area, then perhaps look at other places too (dont worry Pappysmarket, not PV!). 

We arrive on July 4 and leave on the 15th, to see if we think a longer visit is in order next year (that would really be a transition to moving permanently).  We are in a retirement seminar with Earl and John in Ajijic (http://retiringlakesideinmexico.com/) for the first few days, then staying at El Pequeno Suites to get a feel for Chapala. We decided on the seminar  so that other people provide some structure for the visit. Otherwise, I am afraid I would go off to the hot springs in San Juan Cosala and George woujd settle down with a book in a coffee shop. 

I want to thank the many people here who have already been generous with time and information. Elisabeth

I know John and Earl: super nice guys, and they've been here long enough that their seminar will be much more valuable that relaxing in the Hot Springs!

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