Mexico Connect
Forums  > General > Living, Working, Retiring
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


dibartolo

Jan 11, 2006, 9:50 PM

Post #1 of 44 (14089 views)

Shortcut

    

Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
We are planning to retire in a couple of years and are considering Mexico as a possible home base for at least 6 to 8 months a year. We love The San Francisco Bay area where we have lived 35 plus years but it will be too pricey for us once we stop working. We will be in Mexico for 3 weeks this May and would like some advice, particularly from people who used to live or still live part of the time in The Bay Area, as to which places would most likely be a good fit for us. We are university graduates, Italophiles (Italy is where we would like to live the rest of the year), politically and socially liberal, interested in cultural activities, especially music and art. We don’t speak Spanish so we want to be where there are a good number of English speakers with whom we could make some friends with similar interests and values. We usually spend a month in Italy each year so we are not afraid of living in another culture. We are not beach people or sportsman. We prefer museums, good cuisine, good architecture, good books, interesting classes and workshops. A main concern is air pollution. While on a 1980 trip to Mexico we found the air in downtown Guadalajara in traffic areas impossible to tolerate as it made us almost instantly very sick. The places we were thinking of visiting are San Miguel de Allende, Lake Chapala, Guadalajara (if there are areas that have relatively clean air), and Cuernavaca. We would love to hear from you and also if you have any tips for ways to make the most of the short amount of time we will be visiting. Thanks.

[edited to remove attachment]


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jan 11, 2006, 10:03 PM)



Anonimo

Jan 12, 2006, 5:29 AM

Post #2 of 44 (14051 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dibartolo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Nueva Italia, Michoacán. <Joke>

Actually, San Miguel sounds best of all the places you mentioned. Or Querétaro. It's cultured, clean, the city administration apparently cares about the well-being of its citizens *, and the climate is temperate. Universities, good restaurants (although personally, I can't name any.) I don't know about the air quality. I have only been there once, for a few days. Also, check out Tequisquiapan, near QTO.
I think there may be vineyards in that area also.

*Last night, our affluent Mexican neighbors described QTO to us in glowing terms. (They are from D.F but live mostly full time here near Pátzcuaro. Their daughters live in QTO)



Saludos,
Anonimo


Gringal

Jan 12, 2006, 10:38 AM

Post #3 of 44 (13991 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Anonimo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Queretaro really is a well run city, but it also industrialized to the degree that produces much traffic and an undesirable degree of air pollution during some months. It's a great place to visit and do serious shopping.

Berkeleyans would find many kindred spirits in San Miguel. Since we're from Santa Cruz across the bay, we're very comfortable with the environment here. I could name many good restaurants and such, but that's another topic.

As always, it's best to come and stay awhile before making a decision on the best fit. We met some people from Palo Alto last year who were almost convinced to settle in San Miguel until they visited Ajijic. They bought a home there and are well content.

No matter where they move, it would be a good idea to begin learning Spanish. I wish we had been fluent when we arrived. Many difficult experiences could have been avoided, though some were so comical in retrospect that it was (almost) worth it. Example - the trip by car from California, Spanish dictionary in hand while trying to decipher road signs. Yikes.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jan 12, 2006, 11:09 AM)


Bloviator

Jan 12, 2006, 10:53 AM

Post #4 of 44 (13982 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
I agree about the Spanish. In fact, it would be a good idea to find a good Spanish language school in one of the places you are considering and go there for a month long intensive course. Kill two birds with one stone. Learn Spanish and learn about the city. If you speak Italian, you should have little trouble with Spanish.

I previously mentioned Ajijic to you. You will find that many of the people Lakeside share your political views. You can have lots of fun having shouting matches in restaurants with those who don't, as I have seen several times.


Papirex


Jan 12, 2006, 11:03 AM

Post #5 of 44 (13979 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dibartolo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Click on this link for a lot of information in English about Cuernavaca http://www.clickoncuernavaca.com/ we do have clean air here, and absolutely the best climate in all of Mexico. When other members of these forums complain about occasional freezing weather in the winter, or hot days in the summer, I just smile, it never gets anywhere near freezing here, or really hot in the summer. I just wrote to my daughter in Fairbanks. I told her we were now in the “bitter cool” of winter here. Some nights here it has been dropping as low as 55° - 60° F, and reaching daytime highs of only about 72° - 74° F. Never depend on any online weather service to find out what the weather is like in any area. The Cuernavaca airport is about 25 miles south of us, and doesn’t come close to reporting what the conditions are in the city. We seldom have fog here.

My wife’s large Mexican family members live all over Mexico. Almost every one of them claims that the city/area that they live in is the best place to live in Mexico. A cousin and her family moved to Queretero a couple of years ago. They have been banging on us ever since then to move there. It is a beautiful city, but a little too hot in the summer for us.

You will find what you want if you look. Houses listed by Real estate companies are always higher priced than those being sold by individuals, which is the usual way most homes are sold in most areas of Mexico. Be aware that the real estate industry appears to be largely unregulated in Mexico, if it is regulated, enforcement is lax. It is a critical requirement for you to find and use a type of lawyer with the title of “notario publico” when buying a house. They are not the same as a notary public in The US. Do some searches on these forums; there is a lot of info in past posts.

Do yourselves a favor and learn at least some Spanish. There are not a great number of English speakers in Cuernavaca. English speaking enclaves are few and far between here, and usually more expensive than other areas. There is an English speaking group here in Cuernavaca called “The newcomers club” they are listed in the link above. It is good advice to rent for a while to see if you really want to live in your chosen area. Houses in this area are usually, not always, rented unfurnished. Houses usually sell very slowly here in most areas of Mexico. It might take 1,2, or even 3 years to sell a house. We have a friend here that used to be a real estate salesman. He told us a few years ago that he had sold a house the first day it was listed. He was amazed, he said it was the first time in his career that he had ever known a house to sell that fast.

Don’t drag your political leanings to Mexico, it would be an exercise in futility to think that you can influence any elections in The US while living in Mexico. Don’t even dream of becoming involved in Mexican politics, it is a crime for a foreigner to do so, just as it is in The United States. You will be deported if you try to do it. I am a conservative. Only a couple of Americans here know my political leanings. It is refreshing to me not to discuss American politics here. I do that via Email with some of my deranged liberal relatives in The USA.

I am a former Napan, but I became a naturalized Alaskan several decades ago. I am surviving very well in Mexico.

Good luck, Rex


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Bubba

Jan 12, 2006, 12:35 PM

Post #6 of 44 (13955 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dibartolo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
You will not find:

Good food here
Good art here
Good Italian food here
Clean air here
Clean highways here
Decent local beef here
People who have any idea what they are doing here
People retired here who could afford to retire in any desireable place here
Good music here (with certain exceptions)
Clean ocean water here
Clean drinking water here
Functional Functionaries here
Gringos you wish to associate with here

Nice climate, however.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 12, 2006, 12:58 PM)


Gringal

Jan 12, 2006, 1:08 PM

Post #7 of 44 (13946 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Bubba] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
...back to the graveyard contemplating the skull and the Meaning of Life, Bubba.

You can no doubt trade in your current house for a nice doublewide near the sophisticated city of your choice, stateside. If that won't do it, check out a hovel in Europe. These Berkeleyans are facing the choice you had back when. Why don't you give them some useful information instead of that dumpload of negativity?


Bubba

Jan 12, 2006, 1:24 PM

Post #8 of 44 (13938 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Ah, Gringal:

Bubba is an ex-Berkeleyan, ex-Santa Cruzian, ex- Santa Monican, ex-San Franciscan, ex- Sonoma County Pothead Freak, ex-Denizen of the Haight, ex- Humboldt County Arcata Veggie weirdo and if there is one thing Bubba knows it is that any clown who identifies his/her self as an ex-Bekeleyan or Santa Cruz Beach Bum loser has more room in their cranium then is needed to accomodate their useless pea- brain, I'll tell you the best retirement place for Berkeleyans. Pitch a tent in the Berkeley Marina and hang around until they come and take you away.

By the way, Gringal; if you think it is appropriate to make fun of people who live in mobile homes, then I applaud you but that makes you an elitest with the credentials of a warthog.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 12, 2006, 1:29 PM)


jacpowell

Jan 12, 2006, 1:58 PM

Post #9 of 44 (13932 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
When someone leaves the US, they really need to shed their identities as being from one place or another. Background is definitely important and can telegraph a lot of information in a short period of time, but it also is stereotypical. The impression I got from this request for information is that Berkeleyans are exceptional, and would hesitate to settle somewhere except where there are soulmates. Good luck. I would assume anywhere with a concentration of former Alabamans, Arkansans, Texans, Nebraskans, Dakotans, etc. would be unacceptable. I might be a soulmate, but you might not be able to get beyond your preconceptions of me. You are likely to end up banging your head against a wall -- in Mexico or NOB -- if you try to find a duplicate Berkeley, or if you try to make over your new community in your own image. The least we can do as tourists or expats is be tolerant of the country we are visiting/moving to. And listen to Bubba. He speaks the truth, even as obnoxious as he often seems.


jennifer rose

Jan 12, 2006, 2:11 PM

Post #10 of 44 (13924 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [jacpowell] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  |
Kids! Stop fighting, or I'll make you sit in a circle and sing "Kumbaya" until you're hoarse.

BTW, folks from Berkeley. I don't think you'd like Morelia. There's a guy in my neighborhood who went to Cal, and he doesn't much like the guy across the street who went to Stanford. But neither of them talk much to the guy who went to Yale.


(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Jan 12, 2006, 2:12 PM)


Gringal

Jan 12, 2006, 3:04 PM

Post #11 of 44 (13911 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Bubba] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Hey sweetie ! (I'd hate to have Jennifer stick us in a kumbaya circle)

Some of my best friends are spending their golden years in double wides. My implication was that you couldn't trade your lovely home in Ajijic for anything else in the la de da Bay area cities these days. Likewise, my exquisite abode in sniffy San Miguel.

I can't argue with the point made about folks who identify with cities as a means of explaining their social/political status. In my youth, I moved from Southern California to San Francisco and encountered the Attitude. I might as well have been from Lower Slobbovia.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jan 12, 2006, 3:05 PM)


CCarol

Jan 12, 2006, 3:10 PM

Post #12 of 44 (13907 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [jacpowell] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply

Quote
When someone leaves the US, they really need to shed their identities as being from one place or another.



Gringal

Jan 12, 2006, 3:33 PM

Post #13 of 44 (13896 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [CCarol] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Philosophically, I'll second that.

Maybe they should leave the old place-identity behind, but in the real world, they'll probably tell you within the first five minutes of conversation. Unless you're lucky, they will also tell you what important thing they did before they retired (after giving themselves a little border promotion) and what their educational level and illustrious ancestors' claim to fame may be. The Pecking Order Program is usually running in the background.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Jan 12, 2006, 3:34 PM)


CCarol

Jan 12, 2006, 3:43 PM

Post #14 of 44 (13886 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Wow! All that ended up on my post was the quote! I had a lot to say, but can't remember what it was...LOL

It was just something like why would anyone want to move to Mexico so they could have everything like it is at "home?" I would really like to move there because I love the people, language (still learning!), quaintness, and especially the FOOD! Every time I visit, it stirs me to "just do it." I'd NEVER want to move there so I could surround myself with American people, language, food, culture and duplicate my current lifestyle.

What would be the point? I might as well stay in Berkley, Idaho, Florida or anyplace else that suited all my "American" appetite.


dolores57

Jan 12, 2006, 3:49 PM

Post #15 of 44 (13884 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Come on people cant these nice folks get a little help without a boatload of attitute,opinions,grumpiness,degenerating into soapboxes for political/socialogical lectures and bush peeing. Try to be nice Give them a chance to acclimate before you start up.....it is sometimes entertaining but these people are new. Didn't your moms teach you any manners


Gringal

Jan 12, 2006, 4:01 PM

Post #16 of 44 (13877 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dolores57] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
You're absolutely right. Those poor folks got a lot more of our personal biases than they asked for. My excuse is that I recently had occasion to be stuck in a crowd of my fellow-countrymen and got some very bad vibes. It's time to let that go. Kumbaya.


michele lieberum

Jan 12, 2006, 5:46 PM

Post #17 of 44 (13839 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [Gringal] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  |
Sayulita is Berkeley by the sea. Warm, beautiful , with crazy intelligent people-not straight !! We are from Berkeley ,and on our small hillside (about 4 blocks) are four couples from Berkeley ,all about our age. Check out the forums,sounds like one of our city council meetings. It's a amazing place. We will end up like we started , the troops are gathering. If you don't get it- you don't get it. get it!!!


raferguson


Jan 12, 2006, 8:59 PM

Post #18 of 44 (13789 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dibartolo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Without getting into politics, who doesn't like people from which city, etc., I will say that San Miguel sounds like the place you would be happiest. Ajjic is another possibility. If you spoke more Spanish there are other and better choices, in my view. Note that even small towns in Mexico have buses belching diesel smoke, so polution is not just a big city problem.

As always, I recommend that anyone considering a move to Mexico come down and rent a place for a month or two. This is long enough to get a bit of a feel for the place, and decide whether or not you want to move there. It should be pretty easy to find a place to rent in San Miguel, you can just check into a hotel, start asking around, and check the bulletin boards and the local English language paper.

If you decide against Mexico, most towns in the USA are cheaper to live in than Berkeley, especially away from the coast.

Good luck.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Jerry@Ajijic

Jan 12, 2006, 9:28 PM

Post #19 of 44 (13781 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [raferguson] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
I still think that someone who hates this place (Lake Chapala) should move, assuming they can find some other place that would have them. Most of the people I know here are here because they like it. It is really not perfect nor is it cheap but more and more people are moving in every day, staying here and liking it. Some people would not be satisified anywhere.


Bloviator

Jan 13, 2006, 7:06 AM

Post #20 of 44 (13744 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dolores57] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
When I read your posting, I was surprised. I had missed the "bush peeing," so went back and carefully re-read all the postings. I still missed it. I'm not sure what it is, and I don't think that I really want to know. However, if it had been posted, I don't see how it would be appropriate to this discussion.

Those of you who are so adament that we abandon our identity upon entering Mexico seem to discount that we are a product of what we have seen and experienced. True, there are a variety of people in Berkeley with a wide range of viewpoints and experiences, however, as I read the original posting, I felt that it gave information that would help people make suggestions. It is unlikely that the general culture of Scottsboro, Alabama (land of lost luggage) and that of Berkeley are likely to produce many people whose experiences and perceptions are alike - or even very similar.

I agree that by moving here we have pretty much abandoned our right to consider ourselves part of the political process NoB, and we definitely have no role in Mexican politics as was so ably pointed out above, still, It is fun for me to discuss politics with those who have intelligent views, either conservative or liberal. Radicals and reactionaries need not apply.

Yes Bubba, even we "idiots" and "imbeciles" can occasionally carry on conversations without drooling too much.


johnv

Jan 13, 2006, 7:29 AM

Post #21 of 44 (13736 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dibartolo] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
The answer in my opinion is only four words: "San Miguel de Allende". Check it out.


dolores57

Jan 13, 2006, 7:41 AM

Post #22 of 44 (13732 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dlyman6500] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
I dont want anyone to abandon there idenity just dont abandon manners. "Bush peeing"....it does not mean peeing on our president it means people trying to one up up each other and put each others town down before they have answered politely a question from a new member


Bubba

Jan 13, 2006, 7:48 AM

Post #23 of 44 (13730 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dlyman6500] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Dlyman:

I was just kidding Gringal yesterday. Actaully, the people who started this thread have pretty much identified that same places we did in trying to find place to retire. In fact, we, as they, could see that we could sell our Bay Area property for such an aoutrgeous sum that it made no sense to continue to live there and anyway, the winter climate is a bit rainy and foggy for retirees who worship the sun.

I shouldn't say this, but San Miguel is a lot classier place than the Lake Chapala area although there are many interesting people in both places. If I were contemplating leaving Ajijic, I would strongly consider the village areas around Cuernavaca, San Miguel de Allendeor, San Luis Potosi (a bit cold in the winter) or, perjaps Jalapa. My favorite cities in Mexico are probably Veracruz and Merida but the climate in those colorful and exciting places is too hot and humid even for the South Alabama boy.

Unfdortunately, we didn't buy in San Miguel in the 80s when first there when homes were outrageously expensive at around $40,000USD. Too late now to buy in Centro in the type home we would want but I'll tell you that, as far as we are concerned, the homes in San Miguel Centro can be strikingly beautiful and architecturally far superior to what you are likely to find in the Ajijic area. A negative in San Miguel for people such as we who have five dogs, three of them huge mastiffs, is that the city is too crowded and too urban for taking care of our prescious babies. Here in Ajijic, at least the part of town we live in, we can afford a large walled-in garden and can simply walk out the front gate to miles of beaches and dirt roads. That means a lot to dog freaks.

We also moved to the Lake Chapala area because it is near Guadalajara with its restaurants (as you live in the Bay Area, you will be greatly disappointed in the restaurants around here but no place is perfect) shopping, cultural activities and outstanding medical care. The lower village in Ajijic also has excellent public transportation, has endless walks on flat terrain in charming surroundings. has an active arts scene and, if you are willing to live in the country, is not that expensive especially considering where you now live. Look at it this way, if we tried to rebuy the house we sold in the Bay Area five years ago, we would have to pay more than twice what we sold it for and have a $6,000 USD mortgage payment plus $1,200USD property tax bite every month. In other words. once you leavem baby, you be gone.

By the way, Scottsboro, Alabama is one place we considered retiring to since it is a beautiful area in the Appalachian foothills with large and beautiful lakes, It's also cheaper than here. However, my wife balked when she saw the local restaurant fare on the internet.

You can tell the Scottsboro locals from the tourists at the lost luggage center.. Their luggage consists of cardboard boxes with WalMart written on the outside.


Gringal

Jan 13, 2006, 9:37 AM

Post #24 of 44 (13704 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dolores57] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
My impression of the original posting from the Berkeleyans was that they were freely offering a stereotype for the purpose of shorthanding their wants and needs as the type of persons who are most comfortable in a Berkeley-type environment. I think people gave them some very good answers. They may find pieces of what they want in some parts of Mexico, but Bubba is absolutely right in letting them in on the fact there ain't no "Chez Panisse" hereabouts. (I found the good Italian food, but I'm not telling. Bribes?)

As for the pissing contest (was that what you meant?) I know - the kidding can get a bit rough. More restraint is probably in order, though most of us who post here know who does and does not have a dark sense of humor. For those occasions when it gets out of hand, we have a good moderator. Or playground monitor. Kumbaya.


Bloviator

Jan 13, 2006, 9:58 AM

Post #25 of 44 (13692 views)

Shortcut

    

Re: [dolores57] Best Retirement Place for Berkeleyans

  | Private Reply
Thanks for the information. I've never heard that expression before. Glad I didn't go into a tirade about commenting about the President. Obviously used in the context you indicate, it does belong in the discussion.
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4