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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don’t know if this is something that has been raised before on the forum. I searched “weight loss” but found only several threads about surgery & diet questions; nothing along the lines of what I’m about to address.

First, here’s where I’m coming from: As a career soldier in the Army I was a “Mr. Fitness” all-in for the lifestyle demands, to include weight control. Anybody else who has served knows of the emphasis on physical fitness and weight control, all outlined & enforced by military regulations. However, the older I got, the more difficult it became to maintain the routine, especially after I got injured & had a couple of surgeries. When I hurt my back (again) in ’98, it brought everything to a screeching halt. Instead of being able to attend advanced training to accept a promotion, the injury was evaluated as a “retention issue” and I was encouraged to retire for medical reasons after 20+ years of active service .

Once retired, the weight piled on before I realized it once I was not able to maintain the level of physical activity I did in the Army. At one point I had gained almost 100 pounds in less than 5 or 6 years. In the year 2011 I underwent a lap-band surgery and lost close to 60 pounds. However, the lap-band had to be removed a year later due to complications caused when the injection port broke loose from the muscle wall. Even so, I was able to maintain my weight and even lose more while walking every day and starting to swim again. However, when my back issues started up again, I began a downward spiral where I couldn’t maintain a physical routine – eventually not even being able to walk or balance myself.

In March of 2016 (this year), I underwent surgery again to fuse 3 vertebrae in my neck, but the walking & balance issues have persisted and hamper efforts to control my weight or to be physically active. In looking over what I could do to regain my mobility – AND TO LOSE WEIGHT (60 to 70 pounds of it), I was drawn to the idea of retreats or “fat farms” as a way of breaking my current routine in favor of a healthy & monitored environment. However, in spite of finding plenty of intriguing places available, the average price runs about $2400 a week, or more. Yeah, I’d go broke in no time, flat… just for me – not to mention trying to include my wife in the process. Like me, as she got older, the pounds began to pile on & stay. Now she would like to lose weight, too.

In trying to find an economical “fat farm” I turned my search to Mexico hoping to find something within my financial means, there. No such luck. Then I began to think about what would be required to put together my own live-in situation for losing weight.

This would include:

1) having a cook skilled in providing healthy & calorie-controlled meals;

2) a personal trainer who could work with my physical limitations to help me get into shape again, burn more calories – and increase my physical ability to do more exercise as time goes on;

3) a good gymnasium or health club available that would include a pool for water exercises & swimming, the usual weights & training apparatus, an indoor track & the privacy to be able to work out;

4) maybe a masseuse or masseur for periodic relief from the muscular exertions;

5) a good yoga program – which I’ve heard is very good for finding balance, stretching & encouraging muscular flexibility.

All told, I’m thinking that such a set-up is possibly within an expat retiree’s financial means as part of setting up a healthy lifestyle to go beyond just getting the weight off & becoming active again. I’m wondering if anyone on here has already done something similar for themselves, or have seen it done… and who could give a rough break-down of how much it would cost to include in a budget for living there.

I can appreciate that some of you are / were medical professionals and could provide other ideas & advice. I’m looking to make a lifestyle change, which I always have felt was a better and more permanent way to lose weight & to keep it off. After all, what's the point of living in "paradise" if you can't enjoy it more completely?

Please, your comments & ideas are welcome… :)
 

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Since you asked...

You are describing a complete program. I only have experience with the weight control portion of it, and will restrict my comments to that aspect.

In my opinion, food intake is far more significant than exercise output. The only time I have lost weight by exercising was on one walk on the Camino de Santiago. I was walking 35 km a day, 12 hours a day, for three weeks and lost about 10 pounds. Normally I run an hour every morning, and I can replace those calories with with one cookie after my run. Exercise just won't do it.

As far as controlling food intake, I find it far easier to stop eating some kinds of foods than to try to limit the volume of some kinds of foods. For example, I never drink sodas or eat candy. It is easier to just stop than to think about how many are okay or try to limit the number. After a while you change your thinking so just the idea of eating a candy bar is disgusting, you don't miss them at all. Just cutting out all the junk food and processed food goes a long way.

My two cents and worth just what you paid for it.
 

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Since you asked...

You are describing a complete program. I only have experience with the weight control portion of it, and will restrict my comments to that aspect.

In my opinion, food intake is far more significant than exercise output. The only time I have lost weight by exercising was on one walk on the Camino de Santiago. I was walking 35 km a day, 12 hours a day, for three weeks and lost about 10 pounds. Normally I run an hour every morning, and I can replace those calories with with one cookie after my run. Exercise just won't do it.

As far as controlling food intake, I find it far easier to stop eating some kinds of foods than to try to limit the volume of some kinds of foods. For example, I never drink sodas or eat candy. It is easier to just stop than to think about how many are okay or try to limit the number. After a while you change your thinking so just the idea of eating a candy bar is disgusting, you don't miss them at all. Just cutting out all the junk food and processed food goes a long way.

My two cents and worth just what you paid for it.
I'm pretty sure the latest science (changes every year, of course) supports just what you're saying. Exercise does nothing to take weight off (I think youngsters still can), nor does cutting fat or starch or meat help. It's the overall amount of food and calories you take in daily, these scientists are saying. If you eat fewer calories than you burn off daily, no matter where those calories come from, you'll lost weight (though it's sure easier to me to limit myself to a chicken breast of six ounces than six ounces of pasta with a big, beautiful pot of it sitting on the table).

I have no idea how that squares with "fast" metabolism and "slow" metabolism, but the simplicity of it makes sense.

All of the "miracle" diet fads over the years just try to use some snazzy new way to disguise the fact that they're trying to get you to eat fewer calories that you burn off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You are describing a complete program...

In my opinion, food intake is far more significant than exercise output. The only time I have lost weight by exercising was on one walk on the Camino de Santiago. I was walking 35 km a day, 12 hours a day, for three weeks and lost about 10 pounds. Normally I run an hour every morning, and I can replace those calories with with one cookie after my run. Exercise just won't do it.
Yes, true... I agree with you on the importance of diet in weight loss & maintenance. Yet for all those years I kept a revved up metabolism from constant moving (running, rowing, swimming) as well as with weights & calisthenic workouts, I didn't worry too much about what I ate. So now, in addition to a weight problem as I've gotten older, my mobility has become greatly decreased because of surgeries, injuries and deteriorating joints. I've had 7 surgeries since 2011 which has curtailed my activity levels & my ability to even move or walk freely. I need to strike a balance between eating from a well-planned & prepared menu and somehow getting my body to move again.

I see both approaches as mutually complimentary, but feel I need each as much as the other in order to salvage my health & stamina and to enjoy a better quality life as I get into my 60s (starting next year). One thing I want to do, besides losing weight is to be able to walk again without a cane or walker. If I can't enjoy the extra time, where's the joy in living longer? Add my wife to the mix, and I've got a double incentive to somehow make it happen for both of us.

So back to my basic question - how much would it probably cost to put together the following elements of a fitness & nutrition-based lifestyle in Mexico?

1) having a cook skilled in providing healthy & calorie-controlled meals;

2) a personal trainer who could work with my physical limitations to help me get into shape again, burn more calories – and increase my physical ability to do more exercise as time goes on;

3) a good gymnasium or health club available that would include a pool for water exercises & swimming, the usual weights & training apparatus, an indoor track & the privacy to be able to work out;

4) maybe a masseuse or masseur for periodic relief from the muscular exertions;

5) a good yoga program – which I’ve heard is very good for finding balance, stretching & encouraging muscular flexibility.
"Lifestyle" is the key word here, something I can learn from while enjoying its benefits in an ongoing program tailored to my / our needs & limitations.
 

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Greetings,

I have background in nutrition (Degree from US Ofcourse)and certified wellness and heath coach (from institute in NY) would be happy to help from February 2017 onwards.

Since you are looking for a lifestyle change. What is your budget? I may be able to help you but I need to understand the duration you require service and your buget.

Also, do you specifically need someone in person or are you open to services and phone/skype sessions?

Regards,
-s

I don’t know if this is something that has been raised before on the forum. I searched “weight loss” but found only several threads about surgery & diet questions; nothing along the lines of what I’m about to address.

First, here’s where I’m coming from: As a career soldier in the Army I was a “Mr. Fitness” all-in for the lifestyle demands, to include weight control. Anybody else who has served knows of the emphasis on physical fitness and weight control, all outlined & enforced by military regulations. However, the older I got, the more difficult it became to maintain the routine, especially after I got injured & had a couple of surgeries. When I hurt my back (again) in ’98, it brought everything to a screeching halt. Instead of being able to attend advanced training to accept a promotion, the injury was evaluated as a “retention issue” and I was encouraged to retire for medical reasons after 20+ years of active service .

Once retired, the weight piled on before I realized it once I was not able to maintain the level of physical activity I did in the Army. At one point I had gained almost 100 pounds in less than 5 or 6 years. In the year 2011 I underwent a lap-band surgery and lost close to 60 pounds. However, the lap-band had to be removed a year later due to complications caused when the injection port broke loose from the muscle wall. Even so, I was able to maintain my weight and even lose more while walking every day and starting to swim again. However, when my back issues started up again, I began a downward spiral where I couldn’t maintain a physical routine – eventually not even being able to walk or balance myself.

In March of 2016 (this year), I underwent surgery again to fuse 3 vertebrae in my neck, but the walking & balance issues have persisted and hamper efforts to control my weight or to be physically active. In looking over what I could do to regain my mobility – AND TO LOSE WEIGHT (60 to 70 pounds of it), I was drawn to the idea of retreats or “fat farms” as a way of breaking my current routine in favor of a healthy & monitored environment. However, in spite of finding plenty of intriguing places available, the average price runs about $2400 a week, or more. Yeah, I’d go broke in no time, flat… just for me – not to mention trying to include my wife in the process. Like me, as she got older, the pounds began to pile on & stay. Now she would like to lose weight, too.

In trying to find an economical “fat farm” I turned my search to Mexico hoping to find something within my financial means, there. No such luck. Then I began to think about what would be required to put together my own live-in situation for losing weight.

This would include:

1) having a cook skilled in providing healthy & calorie-controlled meals;

2) a personal trainer who could work with my physical limitations to help me get into shape again, burn more calories – and increase my physical ability to do more exercise as time goes on;

3) a good gymnasium or health club available that would include a pool for water exercises & swimming, the usual weights & training apparatus, an indoor track & the privacy to be able to work out;

4) maybe a masseuse or masseur for periodic relief from the muscular exertions;

5) a good yoga program – which I’ve heard is very good for finding balance, stretching & encouraging muscular flexibility.

All told, I’m thinking that such a set-up is possibly within an expat retiree’s financial means as part of setting up a healthy lifestyle to go beyond just getting the weight off & becoming active again. I’m wondering if anyone on here has already done something similar for themselves, or have seen it done… and who could give a rough break-down of how much it would cost to include in a budget for living there.

I can appreciate that some of you are / were medical professionals and could provide other ideas & advice. I’m looking to make a lifestyle change, which I always have felt was a better and more permanent way to lose weight & to keep it off. After all, what's the point of living in "paradise" if you can't enjoy it more completely?

Please, your comments & ideas are welcome… :)
 

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What goes in is either Burned Stored or Evacuated. So as was mentioned consumption control is of the greatest importance.. That said some foods help you burn calories others don't and not all calorie / fat burners work for everyone. I have gotten into Body Building... 3 times in my life.. and will be the first to agree that exercise to lose weight/fat or inches is very time consuming.. That said done properly it can have FABULOUS Results.. Before my total knee replacement I was becoming more and more immobile aka putting on weight... I was reducing calories burned but wasn't reducing my intake. I kept telling myself I would do one or the other.. I finally ended up at 229 hummmm not a bad weight when I was spending 2 to 4 hours a day in the Gym but NOT a good weight for sitting around the house eating and reading and being 64 yoa. This morning I weighed in at 202.. Not James Bond yet far from Elmer Fudd.. That drop took 4 weeks... How? HCG diet.. The issue will now be ? Learning portion control and being more active or as active as I can be.. ( Long boring story, made shorter. I ruptured a tendon after surgery and had to wear a cast for 8 weeks and aggravated a back issue I didn't even know I had. )
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First, Thank you for your service.
Second, you say "the average price runs about $2400 a week, or more." is that USD or pesos..
Where a bouts in Mexico are you located?
Yes, I apologize... that was $2400+ USD (dollars). I could afford it if it were in pesos :(

We've spent the past couple of years in Orizaba, near where my wife has worked at establishing & opening a clinic for a remote community. We've also looked seriously at Taxco, Queretaro & Veracruz as other possible places to base ourselves until making a firm decision on where to permanently establish ourselves.

For this purpose, I would more be inclined to choosing Orizaba or Veracruz (although we could be flexible). How do you like Guayabitos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Greetings,

I have background in nutrition (Degree from US Ofcourse)and certified wellness and heath coach (from institute in NY) would be happy to help from February 2017 onwards.

Since you are looking for a lifestyle change. What is your budget? I may be able to help you but I need to understand the duration you require service and your buget.

Also, do you specifically need someone in person or are you open to services and phone/skype sessions?

Regards,
-s
Thanks for your reply from way down-under!! Our budget as retirees would be about $6000 USD a month... hopefully enough to live decently and to pay for the services I asked about in / on the Mexican economy.

The cook would probably be the most permanent fixture in the plan... and could even be combined with / as a live-in housekeeper & cook. As diet would be very important, previous training or experience would be a big help, but someone who could take instruction in how to plan & prepare meals would be just as welcome or likely. Although I haven't read much about it, I'm sure there are a few of you who have employed housekeepers & maids (in addition to gardiners), probably as live-in or permanent employees...?

The other parts or services (personal trainer, yoga instructor & masseuse / masseur) could all be part of a membership plan at a good well-rounded health club or gym. If anything, these people could be hired separately on a schedule according to my need & their workload as in-home instructors or supervisors. As I got healthier & more mobile again, I would have less need of their services or time.

Again, to get good quality help along these lines it could or would get pretty expensive here in the US. I'm curious about how feasible it would be to set up such a situation in the Mexican economy as a "dollar-backed" US expat with the aforementioned budget...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What goes in is either Burned Stored or Evacuated. So as was mentioned consumption control is of the greatest importance.. That said some foods help you burn calories others don't and not all calorie / fat burners work for everyone. I have gotten into Body Building... 3 times in my life.. and will be the first to agree that exercise to lose weight/fat or inches is very time consuming.. That said done properly it can have FABULOUS Results.. Before my total knee replacement I was becoming more and more immobile aka putting on weight... I was reducing calories burned but wasn't reducing my intake. I kept telling myself I would do one or the other.. I finally ended up at 229 hummmm not a bad weight when I was spending 2 to 4 hours a day in the Gym but NOT a good weight for sitting around the house eating and reading and being 64 yoa. This morning I weighed in at 202.. Not James Bond yet far from Elmer Fudd.. That drop took 4 weeks... How? HCG diet.. The issue will now be ? Learning portion control and being more active or as active as I can be.. ( Long boring story, made shorter. I ruptured a tendon after surgery and had to wear a cast for 8 weeks and aggravated a back issue I didn't even know I had. )
Thanks for your input DS... I have some experiences in common with you, MMoM & TG. I was once a bodybuilder at 2 distinct times in my life, but it became too time-consuming to keep up with. Besides, I wanted a body that could "do something" rather than just too look fabulous, so I opted for a more activity-oriented lifestyle in sports & the military. I did & looked very well for myself until the injuries & surgeries connected with my military service that began to limit my ability & mobility and ultimately led to my retirement.

After I retired & got into teaching, my health worsened to the point of having to be retired on full disability.by the VA. This also meant more surgeries & medication, then the gradual loss of balance, ability to walk normally and sensation in my legs. The last surgery helped with the sensation, but not with the balance & walking issues. That will take a year or more of therapy & exercise to possibly correct.

In the meantime, like you my weight began to pile on... at one point I tipped the scales at nearly 280 pounds! My son & I did the HCG diet back in 2010 and lost about 35 pounds each... I gained it all back very quickly, although my son kept most of it off. After that and the lap-band surgery, I decided the best way would be a more natural approach that included a change in lifestyle. Now I feel I have more riding on this than simply getting the weight off of my frame... I need to get limber, flexible & mobile again.
 

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Hi Howler: I started with Cross Country Skiing.. I was young lived in Eugene Or and had little to no money..( Down Hill was OUT!$$$$ ) It wasn't long and I was competing regularly.... moving on I was then in and out of Gyms for years and I was more into Body Sculpting than the more A typical mass builder.. I Got into MMA's along the way and classes got spendy so like many others I started teaching in exchange for free classes .. Lastly I Got PADI Certified. I had thought I would move Permanently to Mexico,I had bought a small home. So I became a NAUI OWSI. Weight issues up until my injury in 2012 never really existed for me....Ahhhh but the clock tic's on... As I said , I lost 27 lbs in 4 weeks.. The issue... secret..... trick....is to keep it off.. Hocus Pocus Dominocus..... It still comes down to ... If You Eat it, you have to Burn it as fuel or evacuate it..or it turns to FAT! PERIOD!! Yes Yes Yes there are a few variables .. but they don't allow you 4 Margaritas and 9 Tacos for dinner.. Finding a Healthy Cook may be difficult but your best chance would be in a Big City... same goes for "Great Gyms" There MUST be some NICE Gyms in Mexico but I have yet to see one let alone what you describe. In fact I have only seen a few of those this side of the border..
 

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Howler,

TundraGreen nailed it, but it's so hard to eliminate certain things in our diets that have been around so long. Do you drink? I run in marathons, kayak, and hike all over the mountains of the Sierra Gorda, but didn't lose any weight until I cut down on my alcohol intake (from almost daily to only weekends). Walking is the best exercise you can do while trying to get into a state of better fitness...because it's easy and you can do it anytime/anywhere and don't need a lot of recovery. Prior to my move to Mexico early this year, I helped a coworker shed a lot of weight by walking with him during breaks at work and at lunch.
 

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Permit me to disagree if you will? #1. You can choose to drink your carbs #2. Swimming is FAR better than walking and its zero impact.. If no pool is handy we learned long ago to walk in sand or ankle / knee , deep water..


Howler,

TundraGreen nailed it, but it's so hard to eliminate certain things in our diets that have been around so long. Do you drink? I run in marathons, kayak, and hike all over the mountains of the Sierra Gorda, but didn't lose any weight until I cut down on my alcohol intake (from almost daily to only weekends). Walking is the best exercise you can do while trying to get into a state of better fitness...because it's easy and you can do it anytime/anywhere and don't need a lot of recovery. Prior to my move to Mexico early this year, I helped a coworker shed a lot of weight by walking with him during breaks at work and at lunch.
 

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Howler,

TundraGreen nailed it, but it's so hard to eliminate certain things in our diets that have been around so long. Do you drink? I run in marathons, kayak, and hike all over the mountains of the Sierra Gorda, but didn't lose any weight until I cut down on my alcohol intake (from almost daily to only weekends). Walking is the best exercise you can do while trying to get into a state of better fitness...because it's easy and you can do it anytime/anywhere and don't need a lot of recovery. Prior to my move to Mexico early this year, I helped a coworker shed a lot of weight by walking with him during breaks at work and at lunch.
Didn't Donald Trump say he gets a lot of his recent exercise waving his arms during his speeches. Does the same apply if you wave your arms around strenuously, maybe in Irish or German drinking songs, as you imbibe just a smudge of alcohol?
 

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You're correct, a pool is better and better on the joints/body, especially given Howler's physical ailments. Of course with $6K as a budget monthly, I imagine an olympic-size swimming pool at home is not much of a stretch, along with a cutie lifeguard to encourage one to use it more often.

I prefer walking as a primary form of exercise (for those getting in shape) since it's something that can be done when there are no pools around and at any time of day.
 

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Pools are so common place here in SW Fla. and we had one in N.IL. so we sometimes take it them granted..
You're correct, a pool is better and better on the joints/body, especially given Howler's physical ailments. Of course with $6K as a budget monthly, I imagine an olympic-size swimming pool at home is not much of a stretch, along with a cutie lifeguard to encourage one to use it more often.

I prefer walking as a primary form of exercise (for those getting in shape) since it's something that can be done when there are no pools around and at any time of day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You guys are great - and funny! I really appreciate the information & input!! To answer 2BF. no I don't drink - but I remember learning that alcohol packs more calories in it than a comparable amount of sugar! That helped me understand more the expression of "having a beer belly".

The best period of weight loss / maintenance was when I was consistently walking 1 1/2 to 2 hours at the gym... it was great to just put the iPod on and pace myself. Like I said, the current "crisis" has been a result of not being able to walk over the past couple of years. It got to the point that I fell too much when I tried to continue, and sometimes hurt myself in the falls. At one time, I was on some heavy meds, but since got off of them and try to manage as best I can with minimum prescriptions and OTC meds.

While in Mexico, I've seen many "gimnasios", but never entered to see what they were like. Usually when I could hear a loud rhythmic beat wafting out onto the street, I figured it had to be "zumba" or something too aerobic for me. Other than that, maybe a glorified weight room. I haven't actually seen anything "all-inclusive", such as having a pool or other amenities with it.

Now that our kids are out of the nest, our budget is finally something we are comfortable with - although my wife (in true Mexican wife form) still worries about it being enough. We have a nest egg saved up of about $50K USD to go with our home equity of another $50-60K USD. We want to use that to buy or build a place in Mexico when we finally take that plunge. The rest of our income is from government retirement & disability pensions and Social Security, which should be consistent for our current & future needs as long as we live within our means... which would be a LOT easier to do in Mexico.

So back to my original questions: What are the going rates (if known) for a good cook, personal trainer, yoga instructor, massage tech and a gym membership?

(- while we're at it, I just as well ask the going rate for a good housekeeper, too) :focus:
 

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You guys are great - and funny! I really appreciate the information & input!! To answer 2BF. no I don't drink - but I remember learning that alcohol packs more calories in it than a comparable amount of sugar! That helped me understand more the expression of "having a beer belly".

The best period of weight loss / maintenance was when I was consistently walking 1 1/2 to 2 hours at the gym... it was great to just put the iPod on and pace myself. Like I said, the current "crisis" has been a result of not being able to walk over the past couple of years. It got to the point that I fell too much when I tried to continue, and sometimes hurt myself in the falls. At one time, I was on some heavy meds, but since got off of them and try to manage as best I can with minimum prescriptions and OTC meds.

While in Mexico, I've seen many "gimnasios", but never entered to see what they were like. Usually when I could hear a loud rhythmic beat wafting out onto the street, I figured it had to be "zumba" or something too aerobic for me. Other than that, maybe a glorified weight room. I haven't actually seen anything "all-inclusive", such as having a pool or other amenities with it.

Now that our kids are out of the nest, our budget is finally something we are comfortable with - although my wife (in true Mexican wife form) still worries about it being enough. We have a nest egg saved up of about $50K USD to go with our home equity of another $50-60K USD. We want to use that to buy or build a place in Mexico when we finally take that plunge. The rest of our income is from government retirement & disability pensions and Social Security, which should be consistent for our current & future needs as long as we live within our means... which would be a LOT easier to do in Mexico.

So back to my original questions: What are the going rates (if known) for a good cook, personal trainer, yoga instructor, massage tech and a gym membership?

(- while we're at it, I just as well ask the going rate for a good housekeeper, too) :focus:
Rates for housekeepers here are about $200-250 mxn for maybe 6 hours work. Skilled workmen, foreman level, can get $400-500 mxn/day. I would guess a personal trainer etc would be similar, maybe $100 mxn/hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Rates for housekeepers here are about $200-250 mxn for maybe 6 hours work. Skilled workmen, foreman level, can get $400-500 mxn/day. I would guess a personal trainer etc would be similar, maybe $100 mxn/hour.
Thanks TG - finally some info I've been looking for! Reference the housekeeper, about how many times a week or month is average for having them scheduled? Also, is it common to have a housekeeper cook, or is that usually a separate hire? Finally, under what conditions is someone hired as a live-in... and how much would that usually cost?

I know that prices & costs are different for other parts of the country, but these are great figures to begin to work into a budget at least as a starting point. Whereas we would probably live more integrated into the "native" population in not as large a place a Guadalajara, DF or the Chapala areas, I'm hoping our actual costs would end up being lower once we got established.

Lastly, does anybody do yoga, either in a studio or with a private coach?
 

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Thanks TG - finally some info I've been looking for! Reference the housekeeper, about how many times a week or month is average for having them scheduled? Also, is it common to have a housekeeper cook, or is that usually a separate hire? Finally, under what conditions is someone hired as a live-in... and how much would that usually cost?

I know that prices & costs are different for other parts of the country, but these are great figures to begin to work into a budget at least as a starting point. Whereas we would probably live more integrated into the "native" population in not as large a place a Guadalajara, DF or the Chapala areas, I'm hoping our actual costs would end up being lower once we got established.

Lastly, does anybody do yoga, either in a studio or with a private coach?
The number of days of the week and what they do is entirely up to the employer. House keeping, cooking, I would guess the rate is about the same. I don't know about costs for live-in help.

Be aware that Mexico has rules about regular help. You owe them an a bonus every year at Christmas equal to a week or two of pay. And if you terminate an employee, you owe them termination pay in the amount of a week for every year they have worked for you. These apply to part time, say once a week, employees as well. A workman who comes in for a one-time project is not covered but anyone coming regularly is.
 
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