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Andre Bellon of Bellon Insurance Agents – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
h 2017 issue of Ojo de Lago, an English language magazine serving the communities around Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best reason to retire in Mexico is because your money goes further in Mexico than in the United States. Mexico will give you more profit and more good things to enjoy than any other place. In addition, Mexico has a great climate and great people. 
 
Here in the Chapala area is one of the best places to spend your retirement, which has been cataloged by several organizations specializing in ranking the best places to retire who have mentioned that the Chapala area has the biggest expat community in all Latin America.
 
There are 30,000 expats in all the Chapala area yearly, and the number of permanent expat residents is 15,000. That’s a big number of foreigners who don’t speak the language trying to stay in a place. Most of the expats in the Chapala area don’t know anything about Mexico. They only come here because they like the climate and the people here who are really nice, and because it’s cheap.
 
The worst reasons one can have for retiring in Mexico are their expectations. As an example, I had a very well-established customer who came to Mexico with his family and bought a home and a car. When they bought their car, they were expecting it to be much cheaper, and that was the first time they felt like they were being lied to. 
 
When they tried to buy a home, as they were foreigners, given their special circumstances (the law does allow foreigners in general to buy a home, either directly, or through a trust) the laws did not permit them to own one, so that became the second issue that they did not like in Mexico. Then, when they got their insurance, they were expecting the insurance company to cover everything without having to pay a deductible. 
 
I explained everything to them, but they did not like it. They also complained that the contracts were in Spanish, so I told them, “I’m sorry, but you’re in Mexico.” They wanted their contract in English, and I told them, “That’s not possible. The insurance company is registered in Mexico, so they have to write the contract in Spanish.” 
 
What I do for my customers is I give them a translation, but that’s it. It’s a translation and not an official document from the insurance company. They didn’t like it, so they decided to go back to the United States because everything  was not what they were expecting to have in Mexico.
 
One of the worst reasons to retire to Mexico would be if your expectation is that it’s exactly like the United States, with the same language, the same customs, the same everything, just perhaps cheaper and with a better climate. Most people who do not stay here in Mexico leave because they were expecting to have the same kind of treatment and culture in the United States.
 
(March 2017 issue of Ojo de Lago, an English language magazine serving the expat communities around Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Richard Kemper – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Apartment in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI’ve never regretted retiring in Ajijic, Mexico, except for when I cracked my rib after I fell my first day here. This is especially true, considering the weather and the prices.  Ajijic is an extremely popular expat area in Lake Chapala.  It is a gated community with close to perfect weather up in the highlands, and I am living on $756 a month, total.
 
A good way to understand what it would be like to retire in Ajijic is to compare my life here now in Ajijic with what it would be in Ohio, which is where I’m from.  Five years ago, in Ohio, I was paying rent of $550 to $600 USD for my apartment. The apartment was at the end of the building so we had a lot of wind. The electric bill was over $100 USD a month, depending on the weather. I spent way more on food then because I was always going to fast food places which made my weight go up to 300 pounds. I should also mention that I lost 80 pounds because I walk a lot in Ajijic.
 
If I were still in Ohio, I couldn’t afford to retire, so I would still have to be working. I couldn’t live off my Social Security in Ohio. There’s no way.  I would also be hiding during the winter. The area where I lived had so much wind come off Lake Erie, that it would make your eyes water.  My apartment in Ajijic is smaller than my apartment in Ohio.
 
Some of the expats here in Ajijic have left to go back to the US for reasons that didn’t make any sense to me. Some of them got scared because they were listening to the rumors about crime, which is not true. (I know, because I live here.)  I don’t know why you would leave a place that was pretty good to live in and go somewhere you have to spend more money. Maybe they have more money than me. Maybe they miss people back in the States. I did not have those reasons.
 
(Apartment in gated community in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)

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The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
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Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
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