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Richard Tingen of Coldwell Banker Chapala Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expat cast in local theater production, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhat retirement would be like in Chapala and Ajijic depends where you come from. Retiring here is like getting a new life and getting away from your normal life that you’ve been in for a long time. It’s a new life where being on time or being early for an appointment is a breach of etiquette. 
 
There’s no hurry, and no stress. Nobody is going to get bent out of shape if you’re ten minutes late or half an hour late for an appointment. And in some cases they don’t get angry even if you don’t show up at all. 
 
For example, I’ve had 3 appointments with a guy in the last week and he’s always got an excuse. He does call me and tells me he’s not coming. In the States it’s a horse of a different color.  There is more tolerance here. 
 
A typical day for a retired expat here would include a visit their retired friends. They entertain a lot. There’s a lot of entertaining at homes. “Come over for dinner; we’re going to have a party Friday.”  There may be 25 to 30 people in the party, and they re-entertain each other.
 
Best Mexico Movers – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
If they’re interested in some cultural events, Guadalajara (just 45 minutes away) is packed with cultural events. Just within the last month or so there’s been a lot of jazz festivals in Guadalajara, and Guadalajara has some good theater and international entertainment. There are buses that take people into Guadalajara to the theater, maybe an opera and maybe a ballet folklorico. Most of the times they will get a hotel and spend the night and then come back the next day on a bus. They could go on just a normal bus or sometimes, the expats get together, form a little club, rent a bus and they all go together. The bus brings them right back and drops them right off. Alternatively, a lot of them drive.  
 
(Expat cast in local theater production, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Jerry Smith, MD – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lake Chapala,  Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI’m retired here in Ajijic, and I’m busy all the time. 
 
To give you an example, here is my typical day here in Ajijic.  Every morning is my exercise period, so 3 days a week I play golf, which is 10 minutes from my house.  My course does not have golf carts because it’s a mountain course, so I have to walk which is one of the reasons why I play golf-- to exercise.  I walk 18 holes on a mountain course 3 times a week. 
 
The other 4 days a week my buddies and I walk our dogs, have breakfast and “chew the fat.”  Then, I walk home.   I live on the side of a mountain so I have to climb to get home. We start at 8:30, and I’m home about 10:30.
 
I usually have a few hours of chores around the house or things that I need to do in the garden, and then I have a full workshop in my garage.  After lunch, I usually go to my workshop.   I have little hobbies and fiddle around there for a few hours.  I then go back into the house, get in my recliner and watch the news and read.  About 5 o’clock I clean up and get ready to start either fixing dinner or going out to dinner. We go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, and we go dancing at least once a week.
 
We have a group of friends that we hang out with quite a lot, and we often go each other’s houses.
 
A number of people volunteer, and there are many entities that benefit from the "foreign" knowledge base.
 
The Lake Chapala Society was started back in the 40s or 50s as a welcoming site for visitors and immigrants.  They now have the largest English language video library in Mexico, and they also have a significant English book library. They have seminars and talks, and clubs for computer, ancestry, quilting, etc.   Volunteers run art classes, English as a second language, and computer lessons for the Mexican community.  There are things going on there every day of the week.
 
Before I fully retired 3 or 4 years ago, I started a free clinic for skin cancer screening at the Lake Chapala Society and recruited a Mexican dermatologist to help me.   We screened about 50 patients every other Wednesday, and then on Thursday we would operate. The screenings were free, but patient  paid for the surgery.  The money that we made from the surgeries was used to fund scholarships. It turned out to be a big business, and we had about 40 students on university scholarships at all times.  I don’t do that anymore, but the program goes on because we recruited other physicians.  
 
(Lake Chapala,  Mexico, pictured.)
Luzma Grande of Ajijic Concierge Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expat on horseback, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you come to Ajijic and you think you are retired you may start to work again because there are lots of things to do here. You can do social work, you can start a hobby, etc. You can always be busy.
 
I know a lot of retired people and most of my friends are retired. I belong to different groups of retirees. Some of them are trying to write about Mexico so they are in every single parade and every single occasion and they work all day. There are also expats here who do sports. They go hiking, kayaking, biking, and they go to the gym. These are people in their seventies. Some of my friends who are in their seventies are very active because that is what they like doing.
 
Other retirees here in Chapala and Ajijic are very social so they go to all the benefit parties. Other people like to play cards. There is a very strong bridge club here and they play 3 times a week.
 
In short, retirees here in Chapala and Ajijic belong to different groups depending on their interests and I always hear them say that this is the busiest that they have ever been.  
 
(Expat on horseback, Ajijic, Mexico pictured.)

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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 abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
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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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