Not the lyrics of a song but maybe they should be because dollars, Loonies, and Mexico make beautiful music together. And while that may not be your prime mover, it’s nice to know that what you’re used to, can be had here for much less than what you’re used to paying. And depending on where you’re from, it can be much, much less.

A couple stopped me on the beach yesterday and of course, when they see me with my dog they figure I’m a local Ex-Pat. Something I know is an enviable position based on the reactions I always get.

“What’s it like to live here, I mean, really?” And the answer I give is always pretty much the same. “It’s great. Of all the places in the world that I’ve been to, no place has ever felt as good as this place.” Our conversation turned to the costs of living here versus their home In San Francisco. After we both stopped laughing she said, “But is it nice where you live?” I pointed over my shoulder at my luxury oceanfront condo and said. “You tell me.”  They looked over and just shook their head and we all laughed again.

My cell phone service is a perfect example. I just started a plan with Telcel. For $300 pesos per month, about, I get 2,500 MB’s, unlimited calls to U.S. and Canada, unlimited texts, What’s Up,  Snapchat, Twitter and FaceBook. Try that on Sprint, Verizon or AT&T back home and see if they’ll cut you that deal. And AT&T has service here if you want it at Mexican rates.

Here’s a shocker. My electric bill just came in. $578 pesos around $30 USD. My condo is large and while I do get cool evening breezes off the ocean at night the day often need my AC units to be on. Of course, my next one will be a little higher because September is always a hot one but still.

My two local supermarkets are very high-end with good bakeries, fresh fish markets and actual butchers who will custom cut any cut you want. They easily compare to Whole Foods with plenty of organics and gourmet selections. But you can’t compare the prices. Where Whole Foods usually clocks in at around $100 a bag, you can fill your whole cart here with purchases of the same quality for that much and that includes tipping the person who will carry your bags out and put them in your car for you.

Love plants like I do?  My two terraces are filled with flowering bougainvillea, hibiscus, lemon trees, gardenias and more. I bought them at the local nursery at roughly $4.00 USD per plant. And big ones too. I had to ask twice to confirm the $80 peso cost. I have never seen plants that large and gorgeous priced so low.

As I’ve said in an earlier blog, my Ninja cleaning ladies, 3 of them, give me about 5 hours for $25 USD. My Vet comes here to clip my Lab’s nails, the one thing I hate to do. $60 pesos….$3.00. First, run movies in lush theaters that serve you dinner and cocktails in your leather reclining seats. $4.00. And things like that go on and on down here.

When I first started coming to Mexico the peso floated between 8 and 10 to the USD. Now it trades at around 20 to the USD. The forecasts have been saying 20-22 by the end of the year. I think it will stabilize at 20 for a while, but you never know. That makes this time, THE time to make your move because prices are definitely moving up as inventory begins to be bought up and the popularity of this beautiful corner of the world continues to grow. That should surprise no one, certainly no one that’s been here.

Puerta Vallarta has everything anyone could want. 2 world-class malls, numerous haute couture boutiques, fabulous restaurants, , shops, galleries. Spice shops and artisan tequila stalls, hammocks, fabrics, bags and belts and the best taco you’ve ever had till you walk a block and taste another. You can get a Chanel Bag while eating Hagen Daz or Gelati in your brand new Jimmy Choo’s or prowl the flea and farmers markets for local treasures and treats. Your local pharmacy carries the drug you need or the exact Mexican equivalent at substantially lower costs. The larger ones also have in-store advisors to make sure you get exactly what your doctor has prescribed.

In larger, close by cities like the beautiful Guadalajara, you can find everything from A to Zara, the Bloomingdale’s of Spain and other international chains you can’t find back home. And if you find yourself missing a little back home you can install a fire stick to your TV and get HBO, Showtime, ABC, CBS, NBC all of them with no monthly fee.

Golf Courses. Tons with much lower greens fees. Tennis, Fishing, Sailing, Salsa Dancing, Spanish Classes, sunsets on the beach, if you like it you’ll find it, including things you won’t than anywhere else. This A.M. I had a big thrill, a turtle nest opened right at our feet and I got to play Poseidon and put a few handfuls of hatchlings into the sea.   

Another thing that I like so much here and I think you will too, are the others you will meet that are doing what you did. There’s a certain sense of adventure and wanderlust in all of us and that makes for a mosaic of interesting friends and stimulating conversation.

In my humble opinion, there is no better place to be. The question is where to begin. Condo? House? Jungle? Beach?  Village? Downtown? In the hills? At the marina? My advice, of course, is to start with people who know the market inside out and just as important know what’s what and what you expect. Coldwell-Banker at the P.V. Marina has my highest confidence and regard. Not only do they cover the market, luxury compound to a condo and even raw land but their guidance and understanding of what you want and need will be at the front and center of everything they do.

There are mornings like today when I wake up, sit down to have a cup of coffee and listen to the ocean roll in while I figure out the twists and turns of my latest novel and I think how lucky I am to live in this amazing place at this time of my life.  My 3 are grown and now it’s me time when I am free again to live on my own terms. How far dollars go here make it that much easier to do. They say, life is all about give and take, and I’m willing to bet you’ve been doing most of the giving Isn’t it time to do some taking?  It is the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself. And if you don’t give it to yourself, who will.

Come share my dream,

Saludos, Irv

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