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AllenHoffman

What is a day in the life of a retired couple like

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After all the excitement and newness of settling down starts to wear off, what is a typical day like ? I know there is the Lake Chappela Society , American Legion etc but aside from that what is your normal day like ? Is it better then say being stuck in an mobile home community somewhere in Florida and all you have to look forward to is boring card games in the club house ? Is it really getting so over crowded that its just not fun any more? Is it safe to drive outside the Lake area or are bandits lurking in every street corner ? I know to each his own idea of whats fun and we do plan on visiting for a few weeks to test the waters . Til then we just keep trolling these message boards for all sorts of advice.

 

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First put on your beige cargo shorts, walking sandals, a bright colored golf shirt or Hawiian shirt and maybe a straw hat. Then look for a yummy meal at an outside/inside restaurant.  Go for a walk along the malecón. Then go shopping to buy food and essentials and pay bills.  Then head home for a siesta, usually about 3 or 4 PM. :D

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OK Allen H, first don't put on shorts, shoes, socks or sandals nor any other stereotype of the ugly foreigner and do leave on a shirt please.   You can always join any coffee group for a morning discussion of American politics and other irrelevant information.   You can play golf - Atlas in Guadalajara recommended by me.   Or, you can plan a day trip to see a myriad of historical sights like pyramids, drive around the lake, head out to Concepción for a great breakfast or lunch, Mazamitla or wherever.  Visiting Tonala, Talaquepaque always fun.   Or you can do nothing but watch your stomach grow.  It's all up to you and all safe to do.

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Go to LCS and look at the book at information and find the list of  a organizations that have activities that interest you.  There is a huge list from hobby types to volunteer organizations helping the Mexican population.

You can teach English as a volunteer, help childrens' shelters and orphanages, families with limited funds to pay for major illnesses, sew dresses for poor girls and etc.

You can join the kayak club, play tennis or volley ball, hike , join the garden club, swim and a long list of many other things too numerous to list.

Or you can just chill out and visit with friends or join them for lunch or dinner and dancing.

I hope this helps answer your question.

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When people ask us what we do all day, I always say that I only PLAN one thing a day.  Because somehow you end up filling up the rest of the day without even planning it.  But I must agree with the above...there are numerous clubs and volunteer opportunities.  I found myself taking on TOO much and had to cut back. You will never be bored, unless you WANT to be bored. Then you can stay in and enjoy solitude.  It's really all up to you.  And it's as safe as any place in the U.S.  There will always be criminals, but no more here than where you are living now.

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the transito does not have the authority to do that so tell him you are going to report him for wanting mordida and get on your cell and call Spencer.

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At least, we don't spend hours deciding which Early Bird Special to hit at 4:00 for dinner every day. There aren't any.

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When people ask me what do I do all day I always say "everything you do and then some". There's food shopping, and preparing and cleaning up afterward. We do eat out but not all the time. Then there's laundry and folding and putting it away. Keeping the house neat because our housekeeper only comes every two weeks. Pet care which in my case includes making homemade cat food for our two fur babies, litter cleaning etc. Gardening which is part chore part hobby. We do have a gardener but I am quite fussy and he does just the basics. Then there's dental appointments and hair appointments and doctor visits. Sometimes lab work to be done sometimes not. And there's always bank visits. Then there are trips to Guadalajara for Costco, the mall and whatever. 

IMO It is very safe to drive outside of the Lakeside area. We do drive at night and are not afraid. We don't feel that there are bandits lurking around every corner. I am from the US and know full well of all the shootings there. In movie theaters, schools and so on. So just use your smarts and street sense.

Now for the then some. I travel a lot in Mexico and visit family in the US often. I volunteer. A lot! I do volunteer modeling, I have helped out in the soup kitchen, I am co-team leader for cat recovery for Operacion Amor, a free Spay and Neuter Clinic for Mexican pet owners of limited means, I volunteer at Lakeside Little Theater. I do makeup, hair, wardrobe and have been onstage. I take acting classes and have been in several Naked Stage readings. I have participated in Lip Sync for six years as various performers. I am a Zombie every year for Thrill the World. And then there are lunches and dinners and parties and such. 

So my advice for what it's worth is, stop trolling and live. Pick somewhere and enjoy. Make it what you want. 

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If you are bored it is your own fault. There are so many volunteer opportunities that it is easier to be over-extended than looking for something to do. Especially if you have any kind organizational or planning skills, there is a world of need out there. Just read the Reporter and the Ojo for what's happening and decide which organization sounds most interesting or compelling to you. Attending a meeting or get in touch with the contact person about helping out.  It's a Win-Win situation.

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Learning Spanish is encouraged, however you will find that many Mexicans speak English especially in the the Ajijic area... Yes it is a bit of a Gringo bubble but it certainly made the transition from NOB easy for us... After spending the last two decades in some areas where the rich and famous pass by, having the ability to live quietly and pursue a hobby is both rewarding and time enhancing.

Mexico has a lot to offer if you are into exploring... Think of it this way: You now have all the time to do the things that you have put off during your previous life... There is no reason to be bored....

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On Mondays you go to the Chapala street Market (Barato) look at the fruits and vegies and remotes and fake watches. This takes several hours if you have them and ask about everything you don't know about. The vendors expect it and love it.  Prices are posted and everyone pays the same unlike the gringo market on Wednesday.

Tuesday go to the organic market and buy anything you missed in fresh fruit and vegies on Monday. Walk around greet prople and ask questions. 

Eat lunch a couple of days a week for $5 or less a person. 

Go to Sams or Costco in Guadalajara once or twice a month.   Drive into Guadalajara on Sunday morning when there is NO traffic. Take your map or use your phone and learn your way around Guadalajara and Zapopan.

Take a Sunday Morning to learn where Tonola is and walk for a couple of hours with coffee stops and people watching, now another Sunday do the same with Tlaquepaque.

One Sunday take yourself to the Zoo on Independencia in Guadalajara.

Take up fishing, sailing or beer drinking. 

After 6 months or so you will be back to posting your calendar on the refrigerator door so you don't miss any appointments or plans.

The main thing to avoid is signing up to do too many orgainized things that happen on specific days, take it slow. Try groups without committing to join forever. In other words don't over book or over promise.

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Allen, there is something here for everyone who is willing to get up from their lounge chair and do it.

You can garden 12 months of the year and there is a great gardening club to help you learn how.

There are volunteer opportunities almost too numerous to list, people volunteer with animals, and children and the elderly, There are many teaching opportunities in everything from English lessons, sewing, cooking etc

helping in thrift shops to raise money for needy causes 

There are clubs for people to get together to share their interest in koi ponds, swimming groups ---

I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the idea.  The pair of you should come down for a week or so and talk to people.  

I happen to like working with animals and I have not found a time in the 10 plus years I have been here to have time to get bored I sure do not know where I used to find time to work.

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Today would be a good example of "what expats find to do here." We ran errands, including stopping at the wine store, paying the phone bill, hitting the bank machine twice because the first time it was being serviced, stopping at SuperLake (the fancy grocery here) to get SoftScrub to which our maid is addicted (and to pick up a few other items), and picking up mail from the US at IShop'n'Mail (the postal service is a bit slow here, tho they do manage to deliver electricity and phone bills on time, their one reason for stopping by our condo box twice a month--Christmas cards from the frozen north can take until March for delivery), and stopping by the Animal Shelter to make a donation and pick up dog bones. We also had lunch out, a very popular activity here.

I would definitely recommend joining a charity that matches your interests. It is an excellent way to meet people and do a little good at the same time! We all have our favorite charities. And do join the Lake Chapala Society--you will meet people and there are many activities there plus an excellent English language library if you still like to read "real" books instead of reading on your Kindle or Ipad.

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Allen, no one here worries whether someone is fullfilling "the stereotype of the ugly foreigner", whatever that is!   However, we here in Chapala do concern ourselves with what is comfortable, especially in summer!  So, I find shorts, shoes, socks and sandals immensely enjoyable.

As for things to do, walking to the plaza will feel like being in 3 movies!  You`ll be fascinated, delighted, educated, moved to tears, oh, and exercised.  Then there`s the walk back!  And tomorrow! 

Look up, with your ears open, and you`ll hear and see colorful birds.  One is a veritable jazz improvisor.  At the lake is a whole new set of birds but don`t disturb them, they`re meditating!

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If you don't know what to do in the USA when retired you'll fail here.  Retirement is a learned vocation like any other.  You have to practice to be good at it.  If you sit on your toukas you'll be not long for this world.  IMHO, it's important to keep both the mind and body active.  So, figure out what blows your skirt up and do it.  We go to the gym, play golf, volunteer for multiple charities, read both for entertainment and study, and socialize with friends.  We also care for friends when their circumstances warrant and they do for us as well.  

 

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Well, let's see.  My wife volunteers at Love In Action multiple days per week where she provides very senior level staff training that is otherwise not available in this country.  She also helps out at LCS.  My main claim to fame is being one of a small group of volunteers that has had great success in banishing that ugly, depressing criminal blight called graffiti from our community.  I pick up a lot of trash when I'm out walking.

I also spend a lot of time keeping our very maintenance intensive home operational.  I go to the gym 3 days per week, work out on the life cycle at home three days per week, take frequent BMW motorcycle rides around the countryside.  It is always a pleasure to ride to well run Mexican communities like Mazamitla and Tapalpa, beautiful and well run mountain towns.

We have a Mexican college student from Oaxaca that we are helping attend Iteso, she is here most weekends during the school year.  We are "junior participants" in supporting another Iteso student who we see frequently.  We have a missionary family that we've adopted and who has adopted us.  Their kids are the grand kids we thought we'd never have.

I volunteer on this board keeping things on track, controlling spam and the few people who like to personally attack those who dare to have opinions different from their own.

It is good I don't have to work for a living because I'm too damn busy.  There's so much to do here it is just a matter of picking what floats your boat.

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And then there's me...  You're welcome to call me lazy.  I prefer stress free, carefree and worry free.  I moved to The Penthouse Community Living apartments for just that life.  It's like living at an "all inclusive" resort and although my gardening hobby now extends to the grounds and patios I still spend the majority of each day in luxurious solitude.  I'm free to read all the books by my favorite authors, play video games, love and care for my adorable sweet pup, swim in the pool or soak in the hot tub, watch Netflix and try to teach the hummingbirds to drink from my hand (not strenuous, but very time consuming).  No bills to pay, meals to shop for cook and clean up afterwards, no maintenance or housecleaning chores and even my bottled water is delivered promptly at my request.  I can visit with friends, eat out at the drop of a hat without checking my calendar as the only thing on it is my weekly therapeutic massage.  I worked hard all my life for this retirement and now I'm free to enjoy every minute of every day and I do.

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When we moved here 12 years ago we threw away our Palm Pilots (remember those?).  Six months later we were wishing we had them back.  

The real trick to living here is figuring out how to retire.  It's too easy to overload your schedule and find yourself rushing from meeting to lesson to workout to etc. etc.

I'm still at the stage where the ONE day a week I can sit on the veranda and have a second cup of coffee is a highlight.  I'm working towards TWO days a week.

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In my working life as a financial consultant/stock and bond broker), I woke up at 4:20am and into the office by 6 (west coast time), no or little lunch, and home by 2:30-3:00PM. 29 years of this, and loved almost every minute of it. Now, retired since end of 2009, and sleeping in until 6:30 or so is heaven! Get current with email and financial markets, then off for a spirited walk solo 3 days a week and the other 3 days with fellow dog walkers. Run some errands, then back home and read the digital WSJ and former local newspaper. Catch up on this board. Tried doing the volunteer duty at a well known charity and found the endless meetings (we always had our broker meetings standing up so they lasted 20 minutes at most) very tiring so gave that up. We have a close circle of friend couples (8 or 9) that we regularly host dinners and parties. We go to the beach a couple times in the "winter", go into Guadalajara a few times a year to dine and shop and fly somewhere a couple times a year for the same. Drive to Texas every year and a half or so (easy 11 hr drive to Laredo). 

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Life as a retiree is what you make of it.. you can work hard, do absolutely nothing, volunteer,start a new carreer what ever, it is all up to you. OP how do you see your new life?

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23 hours ago, Ferret said:

If you're Canadian, you'll need socks with those sandals ;)

black socks

My favorite sport at this time of the year is spotting the first snowbird/sunbird returning to the nest

Most days, I really don't have any plans and the day just speeds away.  It can be exhausting doing nothing so I always manage a nap to recover

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