Feb 15, 2005, 1:56 PM
Post #24 of 37
Hi, Anne -
The replies posted above all make good points, particularly as regards health care. That said, it's difficult to generalize about whether one can live in Mexico on $1200 US per month because so much depends on where one chooses to live and their lifestyle. Here in Ajijic, I live in a smallish 2BR house, fully furnished, off-street parking, large back yard, which I lease for $450 US per month. I must say, however, that my situation is not typical, as the owner of the house is a respected local Mexican businessman who is also a good friend, so were it not for that fact, I wouldn't be living in this house. The owner's father is my next-door neighbor and gardener (he's back there now as I write this, watering the vegetable garden he planted a couple weeks ago) who watches over the house when I'm away, and the owner's aunt is my maid, so I've got a pretty good deal here. However, their pay is not included in the rent. After adding in utilities, I figure it costs me about $750 US a month to live here, including everything but food and entertainment. As for health care, I have IMSS but pay as I go for the little things. I enjoy good health, so this has not yet been a significant factor and I therefore can't speak to it with any authority.
As for bringing your car, again it depends. Public transportation is cheap and plentiful. But I brought mine and, living in a small town with Guadalajara shopping centers 40 miles away, wouldn't want to be without it. Gasoline is expensive here, about $2.10 a gallon, mas o menos. But I live right in town and walk a lot more than I drive, so the cost of gas isn't much of a factor for me. But I'm glad I have my wheels, if only for the freedom they provide me in being able to just hop in and go whenever I wish. I wouldn't bring a sports car, or some exotic or off-brand that would be next to impossible to get repaired if it should break. No Hummers or other such monsters- too big for the narrow streets. In this town, you could clog up traffic for hours just trying to get around a corner in one of those things, you might as well be driving an 18-wheeler. I think a small-to-mid-sized 4X4 SUV is perfect for Mexico. When I do drive, it's a low-mileage '97 Grand Cherokee which works just fine around here. There are several GC's in Ajijic. We also see lots of VW's, Nissans, Toyotas, etc. locally.
My suggestion would be to carefully research your two or three top candidates for places to live, visit them, get to know some people, ask lots of questions, and then make your decision based on what you learn and your anticipated lifestyle.
Hope this helps,
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 . . . ." - Joseph Heller
(This post was edited by Gary Anderson on Feb 15, 2005, 2:01 PM)