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  • Writer's picture Michaela & Ricardo

Retirement Lake Chapala, Mexico - The Ultimate Freedom?

Updated: Apr 15, 2022's a difficult word to pin down and it means so many different things to so many different people, but one of the things that I still love most about Mexico is the freedom. I'm not sure how I can describe it but I never felt as free in Canada as I do in Mexico.

This blog was inspired when I was told a story recently by our client and I wanted to relay it to you for you to consider. Here's what he said....

"I just thought of a wonderful and emotional and truthful statement for you to help people in your passion for helping people escape. Now that I am here in Mexico, I realize it's a wonderfully private cash economy, which I really do love.

I just cancelled my prestigious American Express Gold card and it's humongous annual fee....and it was a metal card where the gardener helped me, I couldn't destroy it, it's a metal card, so he helped me cut it up, but, I just realized the fee for this stupid credit card was more than my annual property taxes, and that just gave me a whole lot of encouragement and a lot of hope, so I thought people might relate to that, you know, that the annual fee for a credit card in the United States is the cost of your annual property tax for property (in Lake Chapala)."

This is a good story of economic freedom but choosing Lake Chapala should not just be about economics. Sure it is vastly cheaper to live here than in the U.S/Canada but there is more to it than that.

Gay people have found freedom from social persecution here for a long time and there is a very large and thriving gay population.

Plus, recently we are seeing more an more and more African Americans moving down here as they find that the Mexican people are very accepting of people of color. And why not?

For most Americans living here, I keep hearing that they are enjoying (like never before) political freedom. Now that they are living outside of the U.S they don't need (or even want) to immerse themselves in the daily politics that is so all consuming in the U.S. And here, they're seen as just another expat, not a democrat or republican.

Being from Canada, what I personally find "free" about living in Mexico is the freedom to do as you please. To me, it seems that Canada has as many rule makers as those enforcing the rules and half the population is employed in one of those two professions. You gotta walk the narrow line and stay with in it. Everyone is watching and ready to report you! Embellishment? Maybe, but there is a lot of truth there too.

In Lake Chapala, I find that we can do as we please and that there are very few restrictions. Add to that the flexibility and kindness of the Mexican people and I think you have a winning combination.

Here is a story of mine and I just wanted to share after getting back from a 1 week vacation in Barra de Navidad, a local village on the Pacific Coast.

"After walking down the beach for a half hour we arrived in the town of San Patricio Malaque. We were hot after our beach walk and bought beers at a local tienda. Luckily, we were in Mexico and we had the freedom to drink the beers while walking down the street in search of a good restaurant. We finally came across one which was quite busy (always a good sign of a great restaurant). Sitting down we enjoyed the best margaritas we every had, one was tamarindo and the other passion fruit (maracuya). One of our friends wanted fried huachinango (snapper) but unfortunately they were out. To our amazement, the waiter promptly hopped on his bike and rode away to the pescadaria to get a fish for him. Returning in 10 minutes with fish in hand, he offered it up to the kitchen staff and 10 minutes later he had his fried snapper!"

I just can't ever seeing this happen in Canada (or the U.S)

Finally, here is an interesting story that I am going to leave you with to do with freedom of choice. (as my client found out, not everyone will accept your decision to move down here)

"It is a fascinating dynamic about the freedom thing.... there is a old story I used to tell when I was training sales people, it's about the importance with who you surround yourself with.... If you have a crab and you put it into a barrel or bucket you would need to put something over the very top of it 'cause it will climb out by itself, but if you put in more than one crab you wouldn't even need to cover it, because the dynamic is 'as one' of the crabs tries to work it's way towards freedom, the others can be counted on to pull it back down and keep it inside the bucket. It's a real life natural truth thing, that the rest of them will not let the one get ahead. I used to say in business, that during sales, that you want to be around the people that are performing at a high level because otherwise you are going to hear "how that won't work", "how that can't be done", "those are bad leads", or whatever it's going to be, it's kind of the same metaphor, that negative people do not like to see anyone else succeed because that's just the way it is. It's kind of the same thing with leaving the United States, so, my wife and I are kind of surprised that not everyone is happy (for us), that we left......"

Great stories and and great insight. Think about it.... where are you at at your life in the U.S or Canada? Can you still see outside the box (bucket) to your freedom? Are there family members, spouses, friends, that are still pulling you down?

Is Mexico the 'ultimate freedom' for beleaguered citizens of the U.S and Canada? Only you can decide but I encourage you to come on down and find out for yourself. Let's hear your questions. We're here for you! Contact us!

Michaela & Ricardo are your FULL SERVICE Real Estate Agents. Along with our Retirement Seminars, our over 20 years of combined experience Lakeside, and our network of area Professionals, we help guide you to from beginning to forever in your Retirement Journey to Lake Chapala, Mexico.

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Jun 08, 2021

Hi Guys

how severe if at all are COVID restrictions, masking or any vaccine edicts?! we’re process of moving from Commiefornia to Payson AZ for freedom but want a Plan C. some background::

Spouse is born in LA of Mexican parents spent a few years middle school there but concerned about drug cartels & police relying on 🤔 ‘tips’

We did spend a month in MX February ‘20 w/ guide & very small group in Yucatán a few weeks & then in Copper Canyon area by way of Tucson & ❤️ it! I’m ready but she’s more cautious!

My other option is Costa Rica which we’ve also visited maybe Panama (never been) Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated !


Jun 08, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Michaela, for quick reply. I appreciate it.

You are correct nothing like visiting area to determine livebility factors. That’s what we did in touring Idaho & then Arizona late last year. Idaho was beautiful but too cold w/ 2 much winter snow for us from SoCal outside of big city Boise. Middle AZ which is very green was next. Skipped popular Prescott cuz its already too crowded & busy so we settled in Payson much smaller & surrounded by National Forest. We‘re escaping CA like many cuz of taxes, crime, homeless etc. besides oppressive lockdowns but now even free states of Middle America are fighting against DC federal authoritarian overreach. So planning ahead.

If things continue going ‘south’ 😆…


May 21, 2021

Freedom, indeed, has many different meanings depending on the individual view. My husband and I were severely criticized every time we mention that we will be retiring in Mexico because, particularly my husband's family, it was an insane and stupid idea; however, for us this was the ONLY option to choose because a "golden cage" still a cage and you have to be asleep to believe in the American Dream, and being an interracial couple (I am Mexican and he is Caucasian from the south), it was... let's say, "not pleasant" living in the South of USA.

 Michaela & Ricardo
Michaela & Ricardo
May 21, 2021
Replying to

Honestly, as a Canadian, I couldn't even imagine. Thanks for wading into the conversation and sharing with us your viewpoints.

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