News From Abroad!
Not very long ago, U.S. News and World Report, one of the major magazines in the United States, published a long article about the best retirement places in the entire world. Not surprisingly (to expats already down here!) Ajijic was listed as the Number One Destination! What follows was taken verbatim from the article.
Top Expat Community Pick #1: Ajijic, Mexico. Ajijic and the area around Lake Chapala, Mexico, hosts the most organized, developed expat community in the world. The Lake Chapala Society reports about 4,000 American and Canadian residents in Chapala proper. The Mexican government, meantime, estimates that nearly 20,000 expats reside full-time in the state of Jalisco, the region where Lake Chapala sits.
In other words, the path has been cut. Moving here, you could slide into a way of life not dramatically different from the life you left behind in the States. You wouldn’t have to worry about learning the local language if you didn’t want to. You wouldn’t have to work to make a place for yourself among the local community, because this isn’t a “local” community.
This is an entire community of non-locals. You could wander into the restaurant down the street anytime and find English-speaking companionship, someone to complain to about the bureaucracy at the Department of Immigration or the challenges of studying to take a driving test in Spanish. Retiring to Ajijic, you could make a very comfortable life for yourself in a place that’s exotic, beautiful, safe, and very affordable.
Friends who have taken this path live comfortably on less than $50 per day (U.S. dollars), including housing, food, transportation, entertainment, and in-country travel. They eat well, play tennis, socialize, and travel comfortably. As they put it themselves, they want for nothing.
Don’t misunderstand. Ajijic isn’t a retirement village. This isn’t Sun City South, at least not formally. This is a legitimate Mexican town that, over the past three decades, has attracted such a volume of foreign retirees that it’s become less Mexican and more foreign resident–friendly.
Of course, there are two schools of thought about this news: a) Bad because it means the foreign-population might get so overcrowded that the substructure cannot support it, or b) Good because it will greatly help the local Mexican economy.
We here at the Ojo think the latter argument is the winner by a country kilometer.