You Can Afford Mexico – Oh Yes You Can!



Side of


Hello Everyone,

This article

is sort of an

emergency article, brought on by a dear

retiree living in Mexico, Jerry.

Jerry first wrote, and I shared with you all: “I have lived in Mexico for 11 yrs and I rent a two bedroom 4 yr old house (very pretty) in a nice neighborhood for $83.00 per month! How about that? And there are more! Jerry”

I responded:  Hi Jerry! Thanks for writing! Yep – it can be done! Way to go! Barbie

With that, and with many, many people replying to me, concerning his email, I asked Jerry if he would mind telling me where in Mexico he was located, he replied:

“I live 7 miles from Chapala on the north side of the lake in a small but nice village called Ixtlahucan de Los Membrillos. Email me at (deleted by Barbie). I lived in those areas (around the lake) but found them to be too expensive — so I figured – what are the people of Mexico are paying, so I did my homework and found this place and the home that I lived in before, for 5 yrs was $100 USD per month with two bedrooms too! They exist, you just have to look for them…Mexico Jerry”

And then, after I asked if he would mind if I shared where he’s located in Mexico, Jerry quickly replied:

“Barbie:  Sure, I live in a small village at the bottom of the mountain just before descending into Chapala. (that’s Lake Chapala.)  The village’s name is Ixtlahuacan de los Membreious in the housing area called Aguilillias (some call it Vista Del Lago!)  There’s one house next to me that the bank just took back over so it’s empty at the moment! Hope this helps! Jerry” (Barbie = I looked this up on the computer – tempting!)

In his next email, he continued:  “When I first moved to this area, I paid the usual $350/250 per month for rents but decided that the locals can’t pay that – so I looked around.  For 5 yrs I paid $100 per month and then found this house for $85.00 per month.  You can get around the costs here if you do as the Mexicans do.  Health insurance, you can cut that way down too!  Lots of fine clinics in Mexico, and low cost hospitals. You just learn to work the system as the locals do. Jerry” (Barbie = Exactly what I tell people – do your research – be well prepared, and then check things out in person – not as a tourist, but as someone looking for a new home in Mexico.)

You can afford Mexico - Yes you can!

Jerry’s front door

Then, quickly from Jerry:  “Barbie:  Thank you!  I don’t mean to step on your toes, It’s just that I figured that Mexicans aren’t paying big amounts for rentals so why should I.  Your readers will need to get down here and look around and do a little legwork.”

To which I replied:  “And – no – my toes are just fine ;)  I’m going to get an article/notice out asap – and yes – love your email – you are so logical – that can be a rarity these days…  have a good one!  Barbie – do keep in touch!

And after a very brief pause, Jerry sent:  “Barbie, You are right. I went to laundry-mats and small grocery stores and anywhere to ask about rentals in the Mexico neighborhoods. Ask the locals – quite often they know of something or maybe a relative has a rental and would love to get a Gringo in there! It worked for me.”

I wrote:  “Hi Jerry – thanks so much for your reply – yes – I understand – but my one fear is the ugly American coming down to Mexico and ruining the “goose”.  I’m going to put up an article – try to tonight – hopefully explain – more – I say over and over that the average DAILY wage is $5 in Mexico…I keep trying :) Barbie”

(Lightly Edited for privacy)

Added by Barbie – please, dear readers, don’t think you can just go to Mexico and pick up rental prices like this easily – it’s going to take work – just like Jerry said.  Barbie

You can afford Mexico - yes you can!

Jerry’s front room seating area

And, added Jerry wrote this to me :

“Should any of your readers think that even though I only pay $83 per month for my rent, that I am living is some sort of squalor, they couldn’t be more wrong!  I have high speed Internet telephones and Sky TV, a maid twice a week  and  (I think,) all the amenities.  I am retired from the University of Florida and while my pensions are small, I am able to travel, and even save money too just from my income.  I am planning a trip to Asia in October and have been saving for that. My point is that if someone has a pension of $1,100 US per month, they can live very well here in Mexico.  The best to you, Mexico Jerry”

Post Script from Barbie:  2012 – Jerry has since moved on – he lives in the far East, and is having a wonderful time exploring a new area!

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see –

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8 Responses to You Can Afford Mexico – Oh Yes You Can!

  1. dental hygienist

    June 29, 2010 at 5:08 am

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  2. Linda M-K

    July 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you for posting this information. So many sites have info for Americans who have more money than I do, and I sometimes wonder if you have to be rich to live in Mexico with any quality of life. I really appreciate the fact that it can be done!

  3. Linda Thompson

    July 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Dear Barbie,

    I enjoy your articles very much, they are so informative. I hope to receive more information in the future.

    Thank You for such a wonderful service!

    Linda T.

  4. Barbie


    July 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you very much! Barbie

  5. Cathy

    July 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I would love to move to Mexico. I would have to find some type of income. Is it worth it to become certified to teach english? I live in Minnesota and would love the warm winters. How much money are some people stashing away before they take the plunge and move? If I sold my house, I could maybe have $100,00.00, but that’s it.

  6. Freddie

    August 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Sure wish I would have known about Barbie’s website before we moved to Mexico.
    We were headed to Ensenada, but were diverted to Jocotepec (just south of Ajijic) because a friend of ours lived there. We didn’t know at the time that it is one of the most popular places for expats to live – and to drive the prices up as well!
    At the time we only had my social security (about $1109) which our friend said would be more than we needed. Not for Jocotepec though. We barely made it each month and wouldn’t have if we didn’t have the proceeds from the sale of our mobile home. We only came back because we were advised that my wife needed the mitral valve in her heart replaced and it would have meant about $35,000 cash for the operation. Turns out that she didn’t need one and we regret leaving Mexico. We came back after spending thousands of dollars moving our things down, and then back up again.
    If you are contemplating living in Mexico I can’t think of a better source of information than Barbie’s website. Sadly, it’s something we found out just a little to late.
    You will you will absolutely love Mexico! Weather is as near to perfect as can be. People are very friendly (albeit quite noisy at times) and it is very beautiful. Things may not get down as fast as we gringos would like – but they do . . . eventually! Their version of social security (IMSS) is great (about $500 per year per couple) but we didn’t sign up because my wife’s preexisting condition and they wouldn’t have covered it.
    If we were younger and not so dead broke and with the health situation we would definitely go back.

  7. Kevin Michael Finnegan Brown

    January 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I have recently and forcibly retired. I am on a VERY strict “fixed income” and am 62, so my employable abilities are limited. I would VERY MUCH like to move back to CA, preferably San Diego, close to the beach. I have considered baja, even Tijuana area, but have not been there in almost 20 years! I have searched the ‘net, but (SURPRISE!) all I can find, even using words like “reasonable” and “limited income” are way out of my budget. Can anyone point me in the direction of CHEAP (I’m not proud, housing, etc.? My needs and expectations are REALLY very modest. Blogs or online groups like this would be great to network with, if anyone knows of any? Thanks!! Abrazos a todos!! oh, p.s. the availability of Spanish speakers and La Comida Mejicana son MUY importante, tambien!! :-) Muchisimas gracias, Kevin p.s. email me direct: kevinmb49 at gmail dot com.

  8. Barbie


    January 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Kevin, First thing I want you to do is to get pencil and paper and sit down at your computer and read EVERY ARTICLE, blog and newsletter and report I have available to folks like you. Then, and only then, pick an area that you feel you would be interested in.
    I want you to read these too:
    and check with the State Department:
    Best to you, Barbie

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