"We could never afford to live like this in Canada," says Dan McTavish, who worked in marketing and now, along with his wife, spends his days volunteering and raising money for local charities. "Our dollar goes so much further here; $100 annually for property taxes on a $250,000 waterfront home. The mild weather means no heating or air-conditioning costs, and medical care is good and inexpensive."
A winter population of some 6,000 Canadians makes the Lake Chapala region the second-biggest community of Canadians abroad after Florida.
It’s easy to obtain a six-month tourist visa for Mexico; those over 51 are eligible for Rentista (a longer-term non-working visa) but must prove they receive a monthly income. There are well-organized expatriate communities in snowbird destinations like San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. Also check out www.mexconnect.com and www.mexico-newsletter.com.