Ajijic, Mexico – what a deal!

If you’ve been thinking that perhaps escaping South of the Border may be the way to make your $’s stretch, then read this!

When you begin thinking of retirement in Mexico, you will have no need to feel you are like the “Lone Ranger” – heading off into the neverlands – you will be just one more lucky person heading into the sunset to enjoy the best part of your life!

Read what a real retiree has to say…

“I have rented a three bedroom , two bath home, with a maid’s casita and bath, garage, patio and nice yard about 30 miles south of Ajijic  on the other side of Lake Chapala for $200 a month. I lived in Ajijic while looking for a permanent place and paid the Ajijic prices for everything and out here it is about half. Even the food, and pharmacies are cheaper because it seems that here everything is priced for the economy of the town.

“A few months with the Gringos in Ajijic and it was an easy decision. I couldn’t be happier. It wasn’t an economic move but being away from the Gringos who do drive the prices up where ever they go it certainly turned out that way. I’m sure you remember the article in AARP magazine that offered Lake Chapala/Ajijic at $800 a month. Well the Gringos drove it up to an easy $1200 to $1400 a month. (Insert by Barbie:  Still one heck of a cost of living!! )

“Well, I am here to tell you that if you don’t desire the hubbub of the crowd and you don’t mind a 25 or 30 minute drive to the larger towns tell your folks that $800 a month is a breeze.”

“You know the climate & beauty here, the people in the country, like in the U.S., are more friendly and helpful than city folks and the only thing we don’t have out here is the noise of the city...”

“My advice to a prospective person coming to Mexico is to rent for a few months and look around for what fits their economic and social desires. There is something here for every one. In my community I don’t spend or act like a Gringo and I am accepted as a member of the community.”

Now, what do you think about the prospect of living in Mexico? Let me know! Just use the simple form below and share your thoughts…



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27 Responses to Ajijic, Mexico – what a deal!

  1. Connie Pickerill

    November 21, 2009 at 9:16 am

    What area does Charlie live in? See, we had given up because the prices around Chapala kept going up allot in the past two years and our SS won’t go up much if at all. This is encouraging. We may want to visit Charlie. We don’t fly. How is driving in Mexico from Texas? I have heard the borders are dangerous right now. We have been to Nuevo Progreso twice for dental work It has been over a year since we went.

  2. Susan Graber

    November 21, 2009 at 9:47 am

    What town does Charlie live in. We too would like to avoid the concentrated gringo areas. We speak Spanish so communication is not a problem.

    Thank you

  3. Tom Alsheskie

    November 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    We are planning a trip to the Ajijic area in January 2010. Can you be more specific on Charlie’s location?


  4. Barbie


    November 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Tom, I’m sure you understand why I don’t do that on the web – however, if you would like contact with Charlie, let me know, and I will instigate an email introduction for you. Charlie is just a retiree who I happened to contact – he’s not a realtor, tour guide, nor anything like that, other than another really kind retiree, enjoying the savings that can be realized in Mexico. I have sent Charlie a few people who I felt could really be helped by someone willing to put their time into just making sure retirees can “get along” in Mexico. Each time I ask him if he’s willing to help someone, he’s been very gracious – I just hesitate to take advantage of him – but, if there are specifics you think he could help you with, I will again ask him. I hope you understand. Let me know, via an email, Tom. Best to you – Barbie

  5. Barbie


    November 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Susan, Please read my response to Tom here. I can do the same for you.

  6. Barbie


    November 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Hi Connie – Nuevo Progreso is still a good place. Driving from Texas? It’s a long way, but basically, if you stay on toll roads and are cautious. Others have done it. And Charlie lives “across the lake” See my response to Tom.

  7. Kathleen Huffman

    November 24, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Keep up the good work. We are bogged down with reponsibillities right now, Mother in Law suffering dementia, kids moving to our area after finishing college, and a business to run. We had the business on the market for a while, (it is showing a profit even in this tough economy,) but it didn’t sell. Having the information from your newsletters gives me hope that we too may advance to retirement in a warm welcoming climate. At this Thanksgiving time, I am thankful for your uplifting message.

    Dear Kathleen,
    And correspondence like yours makes me feel that all the time I take on my site is very much worth it :) Thank you. Barbie

  8. Toni Marie Belmonte

    November 29, 2009 at 7:20 am

    This sounds too good to be true! I, too, would love to hear more from Charlie. Please let me know. Thanking you in advance –Toni Marie

    Hi Toni, I will let him know. Barbie

  9. Sandye

    January 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Barbie,

    I am interested in the town that Charlie lives in. I am seriously wanting to come look and maybe rent for one month and look around hard. Then come back and downsize all and get my ducks in order.

    If there was a way for all not to mention any names, unless they want to, to list the smaller cities in all the places I have read about. I have 2 other people interested also. All of us would be separate residences and come in different years due to the date they will retire, I am an am ready.

    Just a thought.

  10. Jana Westley

    February 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Hi Barbie,
    I just found your website and am very grateful for all your information. I have been doing lots of research about retireing to Mexico from Canada. I am a single divorcee, multilinguial. Am just starting studying Spanish, Nr. 7 for me. No problem.
    I would like to visit Lake Chapala area for several months, probably in November 2011 and check things out. I am like Tom, I am not interested in partying crowds of gringos. I will be living on a modest income and will be renting long term. I am en enthusiastic gardener so can’t wait to be able to “dig in the dirt” and create something beautiful all year round, compared to living in Canada. I am of european background and just came back from living a year in Toscana/Italy (can’t afford to live there permanently, unfortunately).
    Would appreciate any advice from you or Tom how to go best about my move to Lake Chapala area. The South side sounds great, not just for economic reasons. I always travel and live like the natives, that’s my motto.
    Thank you again for your great site and am looking forward to your reply.
    Hasta luegos,

  11. Barbie


    February 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Jana, Yes – sorry for the delay in answering – your email came through just fine :) I think you have good plans in order – visit the different places and then decide the spot for you! Do read all my free articles and newsletters, etc. you’ll be well prepared. Best to you, Barbie

  12. Jana Westley

    February 23, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Hi Barbie,
    thank you for your reply. I will be going to Lake Chapala area in October 2011. The more I think about how to best arrange my ca. 6 months rental, I am inclined to rent on the North side for 1 month and then while living in the area, to find a long term rental for the remaining 5 months. I will not have a car, so a good bus connection is important. Would you or any of your readers recommend some contacts? I find the listings for rentals from big companies very limited.
    Your opinion is most appreciated. Can’t wait to visit my future home.
    Hasta la vista,

  13. Barbie


    March 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Jana – Charlie helps lots of folks interested in the area. Let me know if you want contact…but – do read my free info – think that will help you a lot. Barbie

  14. alan lichter

    October 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    would like to receive general news about retiring and/or travelling in Mexico. It would be helpful to learn about different areas and what they offer in termns of climate, food, costs, etc.

  15. Barbie


    November 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Then, read everything on my site.

  16. Norman Varner

    February 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Dear Barbie,

    My wife and I plan to retire to Mexico in about two years and our interest is in the Baja area. We have a Harley Trike and look forward to traveling everywhere and seeing all of the beautiful country.

    Please keep me posted with any new developments to help us with or plans.

    Thanx much, dobie

  17. James Jines

    February 18, 2012 at 11:39 am


    I am considering a move from landlocked Kansas to Cancun, any advice.

    My research indicates I can live comfortably in a beachfront condo/hotel on my social security and small pension ($2100 USD). Everything is included except water (10-20 USD) and electricity ($20 without AC, ($100-150, with).

    An oceanview studio is $1,100 USD and is completly
    furnished, has kitchen, fridge, stove, microwave, utensials etc, and once a week cleaning, bedding, linens, etc. TV with cable, in room phone, and high speed internet access in room is included. Balcony with chairs, view of the pool and Carib ocean, open the door and let the ocean breeze cool you as the sound of the surf sings you to sleep… I’ll keep
    my portable gas grill for grilling a steak, chops, fish or seafood and my small electric smoker for smoking meats , ribs, brisket, chicken, fish, seafood, etc. Hey,
    I”m from Kansas City, home of the finest BBQ in the world gonna have to make my own. I’m told there are some places locally for ribs, Bubba Gumps and Applebees, will have to seehow good they are, but I can import my KC BBQ sauces and rubs and make my own..

    Cancun has an excelllent bus system with runs up and down the hotel zone (Kukulcan Blvd.), going to the airport and downtown. Buses run every two or three minutes, 24 hours a day, for about 70 cents (American).
    You really don’t need a personal vehicle.

    Cancun has several beautiful shopping malls, movie theatres (shown in English, with Spanish subtitles).

    Any type of resturant you desire, from expensive to cheap. Ruth Chris – steak house, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Applebees,Hooters, KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. Fresh seafood, for purchase or prepared.

    Shopping, local markets downtown, Walmart, Costco, Sams Club, large local grocery stores, shopping malls ( Plaza Carocal, Forum Mall, Plaza Flamingo) (night clubs –
    Coco Bongos, Senor Frogs, Jimmy Buffets’ Margaritaville, Hard Rock cafe, Carlos n Charlies, etc.

    Pretty much americanized from what I can tell, but you can also find the local Mexican culture.

    Much sight seeing, this is the heart of Mayan country, several sites in the area – Chichen Itza, Tulum, Xcaret, etc., local islands – Isla Mujere and,Isla Cozumel. Fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, swimming, golf, surfing, and my favorite relaxing on the beautiful white sand beach – “doing nada” (in front of my condo/hotel) in a hammock under a Palapa with a cold cerveza watching the waves come in from the beuatiful, mutil-colored Caribe!

    This is my dream in about 18 months and I’m sticking too it unless the Mayan End of Days (12-21-12) ends in cataclystic changes due to mans’ choice to enter the future with resistance. I prefer the alternative, to enter the future with a gradual change to peace and traniquility


    P.S. I would be remiss without mentioning the weather – Balmy and Benign, Blue skies and tropical breezes rule!
    Winter – Low humidity, 80’s to 70’s sometimes high 60’s a night (burr, maybe a long sleeved shirt or shawl).
    Summer – Higher humidity, 90’s to 70’s…

    Oh hurricanes do hit, but they are preditable (well in advance of landfall) and I’m mobile, I can retreat inland, no worries about property damage – I’m leasing my condo/hotel room… I’m gonna bring my truck, so I will have transportation, outside the bus, and I can take my personal belongings with me and hide out inland till it leaves…

  18. Pete Schuster

    February 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I’m living about the same, we have lived in Ajijic 9 years ago. The prices then were about the same as living in New Orleans.
    That’s why we moved to Tequisquiapan, Que, Much better climate and priceing.
    We were happy to buy 1200 Meter lot for 16,000 USD and build our new home and guest house for much less then people would believe. Pete

  19. Elizabeth Center

    February 20, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Hi Barbie, I have been reading your site and researching other avenues for over 5 years. I think I am about ready to make a decision. I really would like to talk to Charlie, if he is still taking messages from you. I am very interested in knowing about the area he is talking about. I am fluent in Spanish and would love to be part of the Mexican community since I love all things Mexican. I will be retiring within the next 12 months, maybe sooner rather than later if I can get what I want and need in a place to live.
    As an aside, I am very surprised at how many people are choosing a location just based on low the cost of living may be. I don’t think many are doing their homework and studying the language, culture, food, music and the people. I know that in many places the US and Candian expats have driven up prices and we have gotten a bad reputation for wanting to have everything like it is in our home countries. If you do not love Mexico the country, if you do not love the Mexican people, if you do not love Mexican food and music, you will probably not be happy. Mexicans are passionate about everything and their exsubereance can sometimes be overwhelming. But their charm and love of life is contagious! Good luck to everyone that is following their dream! Best, Lizzz

  20. Barbie


    March 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Lizzz – I’ve sent an email to Charlie – I always leave it up to him to make contact. I’ve send your request and your email – so keep an eye on your inbox!
    Best to you. Barbie

  21. Barbie


    March 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Pete – good to hear from you! I have your pictures from your lovely home and of your beautiful wife. Take care and keep in touch, please! Barbie

  22. Barbie


    March 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Hi James – thanks for the great email! Do let us all know how things turn out. Go and enjoy! Barbie

  23. Barbie


    March 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Sure will, and Thanks to you too!! Barbie

  24. Linda Thompson

    February 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Barbie,
    I love your e-mails. I have made up my mind to move to Mexico. The weather up in Minnesota is to much for me. I am on disability and need to find a place in Mexico to live.
    I understand that you have a friend named Charlie. If it is not a problem I would like to have him contact me.
    I want to move to Mexico before I have to go through another Minnesota winter. So that would be in September or October of this year. 2014. If you can help me that would be wonderful

    Thank you Barbie for all the great information you have given me.
    P.S. I ordered your books on Mexico to my Kindle. They have been very useful.
    Thank You,
    Linda Thompson

  25. Barbie


    February 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Dear Linda – I am so sorry – Charlie passed away – everyone loved his help – he was a good man. Barbie

  26. Eddie Flores

    August 20, 2014 at 3:03 am


    Your site has helped us so much. We are now living part time in Mexico and part time in Texas. I think sometime next year we will spend the majority of our time in Mexico. Our beach house that we built is about 40 km east of Progreso in the Yucatan. We paid our taxes for the year which included our home and 3 lots. The bill was $45.00 USD. Our water bill was about $18.00 USD for the year. Our electric bill is averaging about $8.00 a month including A/C in the bedroom. We are right on the beach but there is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house less than a block from the beach and it just went on the market for an asking price of $40,000.00 USD. It is amazing the prices are still so low
    Keep up the good work and letting everyone know about Mexico.

    Eddie Flores

  27. Barbie


    August 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Eddie, Sure appreciate you taking your time to confirm the savings you can achieve in Mexico! It helps people so much to know that real, everyday folks have blazed the trail! Enjoy! Barbie

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