Lake Chapala

20 Reasons Not to Retire to Lake Chapala

By John Comando

Adapted from his blog:

Lake Chapala

For a variety of reasons more and more Americans and Canadians are contemplating moving abroad for retirement. For many, Mexico ranks high on their list of places to explore. You may fit that category – here snowbirding and checking out the Lake Chapala area. However, there are many back in the states who would never think of taking even the first step.

For starters, they must believe what they read and hear in the U.S. media. Why would anyone want to retire in Mexico anyway…especially the area around Lake Chapala. That’s OK with us. You see, the Lake Chapala region is our little secret. We expats here today like it that way. If too many Gringos and Canadians come down here, they might spoil it for the rest of us.

Luckily, most retirees north of the border would rather stay where they are and worry about whether they’ll remain healthy enough to see their grandchildren graduate college…or whether they’ll have enough money saved to live out their years short of poverty…or how long they’ll be able to maintain that middle-class life style they’ve become accustomed to.

So, to make them feel better, I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 reasons NOT to retire to Lake Chapala (in no particular order):

  1. You’ll be getting enough from Social Security and your retirement plans to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of your life.
  2. You haven’t figured out yet that you need to down-size your lifestyle to survive retirement.
  3. You like living at a lower standing of living than you are used to.
  4. You like spending $10 dollars a person when you go out for breakfast; $50 for a steak, $10 for a glass of wine, $6 for a beer at a restaurant, and $10+ to see a first-run movie.
  5. You like spending thousands of dollars for a tiny apartment in New York, Boston, or San Francisco.
  6. You like arguing about politics all of the time.
  7. You like paying $60-$100 an hour for house cleaners and gardeners
  8. You like shoveling snow, raking leaves, or cutting the grass.
  9. You like being used by your children as a babysitter, cook and house cleaner.
  10. You’d rather pay your dentist $150 for a teeth cleaning and check-up rather than $20.
  11. You don’t like making new friends from around the world, and are happy with a shrinking social group that is slowly moving away.
  12. You like cloudy days, rainy or snowy winters, hurricanes in the autumn, or tornadoes in the spring.
  13. You don’t like kayaking, golf, hiking, tennis, bridge, the arts or culture, or doing whatever pleases you, outdoors or indoors…365 days a year.
  14. You don’t drink bottled water.
  15. $25 a month electric bills are too high, and you’d rather spend hundreds of dollars a month to heat and air-condition your house.
  16. Your real estate taxes have been going down every year and government services have been getting better.
  17. You hate looking at beautiful flowers blooming all year long.
  18. You like waiting months to see a doctor for a routine appointment.
  19. You feel safe in places like New York, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis…or, for that matter, church or the movie theater.
  20. You’re just plain scared to make changes to your life.

So don’t believe all those books about the wonderful life here, or the promotional websites all the realtors produce to entice you to buy a house. As the saying goes, “Life is Good” in the U.S. and Canada. So stay there for retirement…if you can afford to.

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1 thought on “20 Reasons Not to Retire to Lake Chapala”

  1. Wow quite a list… unfortunately for your stated agenda, I am now completely convinced that I am heading that way! I do have a few concerns because I have a large dog and did not see anything in apartments saying one way or another about animals etc…Secondly I am concerned about any pitfalls when I drive there.

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