08/28 - Cinco Años

I'm a couple months late reflecting on our 5 year aniversario of being Lakeside as we completed year 5 at the end of June. But life's events have kept us quite busy the last couple of months; wedding, funeral, sick friend, etc..  

Things are starting to settle back down to normal, so I thought I would share how I view things after having been down here for 5 years versus what I thought it would be like. 

But I'll give you the bottom-line up front - 
I love being here as much as I ever thought! 

I've spent a lot of time over the last 2 months thinking about this blog update.  I recognize that I have significantly reduced the frequency of my blog updates and some could perceive that as a lack of interesting things to post. But that isn't really the case, it's just that is a lot more social media posting available today about living lakeside.  And honestly, I don't like to be repetitive (too much), so it gets harder and harder for me to think of things that I think might be interesting.  

But giving a perspective of how I view the move after 5 yrs is something that those who are doing their research on Lakeside and thinking about it as a potential retirement destination might find some value it, so here goes.

I had several reasons for making the decision to relocate to Lakeside:
  • The adventure of living in a new culture
  • A very attractive social life and a bunch of new friends
  • Great year-round weather
  • A lower cost of living without sacrificing a good standard of living
  • The ability to use our home as a base from which we can travel
And I haven't been disappointed with the results in the slightest.

Embrace, or at least accept cultural differences.  It's part of the Adventure

Things you've taken for granted all your life are sometimes not available.  You have to think and plan, before you can do some things.  If you don't speak the language things can be more difficult and you've got to figure out how to get help when you need it. Sometimes you've got to adjust your priorities

But, if you learn patience, and to go with the flow, you'll figure it out.  And maybe you'll incorporate some new things into your life and enjoy them.

Your Social life and friends are what you make of it.

We have more friends now than any other period in our lives.  Not only do we have more friends but we have a greater diversity of friends.  With a community comprised of both full-timers and snowbirds there's a continual change going on.  You miss your snowbird friends when they leave, but you also have a ton of full-timers that you can hangout with and enjoy.

Our social circle is so large that we often find ourselves trying to schedule getting together with friends we really enjoy, but haven't seen in a while because "life" got in the way.  Travel schedules, trips NOB, trips to the coast are just some of the reasons you might not see your friends, but then you always find a way to see those you value.

Year-round good weather = Active

I'm sure most everyone researching Lakeside has run across at least 1 article stating that we have the 2nd best climate on Earth.

Well, I can only tell you that I have never experienced weather that is so consistently great anywhere that I have ever been.  You have to go through an entire 12 months to really appreciate how wonderful it is to be able to be outside and comfortable 300+ days of the year.  It gives you the chance to get outside, walk, play, sit on your terraza and enjoy it.  You're more active and that's great.
Low Cost of Living and High Standard of Living, what's not to like.

During the first 2 - 3 years the peso vs USD was running 11 - 12p/$.  During the last couple years is has improved to 16 - 18p/$.

What's not to like when you get a 20%+ raise.  Sure there are some things that are more expensive, but overall the cost of living Lakeside is considerably cheaper than most places NOB.  That means the nestegg can last a little longer, or you have more disposable income to take that trip.  

I projected that we would be able to save 40%+ living Lakeside over NOB and I'm right on target.
Ability to travel and have a home base

The savings we have been able to capture by living Lakeside are going toward our favorite pastime, travel.

We can afford to have house-sitters stay with our cats when we're gone and also take care of the house.  So we can go a lot more frequently and be a lot more spontaneous.
We love travel, whether it's international trips, or traveling around Mexico, we just love it and we wouldn't have been able to do it as much if we lived NOB.

Whether travel is your thing or something else is, you're bound to save some money vs NOB and hopefully spend it on things you enjoy.

So 5 years in, how do I like it?  

I can't think of any place else I'd rather be. My wife isn't at the same level of enjoyment as I am, but she's got a great life down here and has learned to balance it out with trips up NOB when she feels the need.

It wasn't a very risky deal coming down here and trying it out, and with that risk we found our reward.  It's not for everyone, we've seen friends come and go back, but they didn't regret their adventure.

So if you're thinking about Lakeside and wondering if you should take a chance, "Just Do It".

If you're already here, then "carry on".