The 10,000 - 15,000 expatriates who live in the Ajijic, Lake Chapala area benefit from both the lower cost of living in Mexico, and the strength of their dollars when converted to pesos.
The Lakeside area is a conservative, "suburban" area. You'll find parents walking children to and from school, residents strolling to local markets and shops, and visitors touring the local restaurants and galleries.
It is not unusual to see a horse tied outside of a restaurant or market, while their owner is inside dining or shopping. This is an area where people know their neighbors, both Mexican and expatriate.
The prices of most things are dramatically lower here. For example:
~ Property Taxes are very low in Ajijic, and in Mexico, as a whole:
(.08%) of the assessed value; so taxes on a home might run
$200 - $300 per year.
~ A visit to an English-speaking doctor is about $20.00 at Lakeside.
~ A trip to the dentist that would cost over $100 in the U.S. is around
~ A house call to change a flat tire or jump a battery can be $5.
~ It's not unusual to have dinner for two, in a nice restaurant
with a bottle of wine included, for around $30 to $40.
Two can enjoy a breakfast of champions for under $10.
~ Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive.
~ Most services (gardeners, maids, repairmen, craftsmen) are quite
affordable ... gardeners and maids earn about $3 to $4/hour.
~ Most homes do not have or need either heating or air-conditioning,
which keeps down utility bills.