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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Receiving Medical Care in Chapala, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

 Lake Chapala at sunset

Lake Chapala at Sunset

People are often curious about medical costs in retirement.

They write to us asking what sort of insurance we have and how they might budget for this in their own life away from work.

At this point in our lives, a few months away from turning 70, we have no US-based health insurance policy other than Medicare. We live in Chapala, Mexico.

So, granted, everyone’s situation is different. I am only sharing this recent series of events to give you an idea of what it’s like to obtain quality care in our chosen adopted town here south of the border.

Unusual tumbling series of medical events

Generally speaking, I get my teeth cleaned regularly, I have my blood pressure monitored by a cardiologist, and I get special eye tests performed once a year.

However, recently I found myself in a curious cascading series of tests, x-rays, and monitoring which showed me once again how lucky we are to be in this location – medically speaking.

Routine teeth cleaning

I walked the 10 minutes to one of my dentist’s office (I have 2 dentists I routinely use, one of which is an oral surgeon) to get my regular teeth cleaning.

Dr. Claudio spent almost an hour with me, checking out my various caps, bridges, inlays and “restorations” that I have collected over the 70 years I have been alive. He used a laser to clean my teeth, and afterwards he put a protective coating on my teeth along with a gum rejuvenator agent.

He told me all my restoration work was fine – and if I ever had further questions, I could go to the x-ray lab and get a panoramic view taken.

Since I was good to go, I paid my 350Pesos (about $18USD) for the cleaning and went on my way.

Routine eye checkup

The next month I was due for my eye pressure checkup and was ready to schedule my annual OCT optic nerve test and a visual field test.

I walked the 12 minutes to the EyeCenter here in town. Arriving 15 minutes early, the doctor took me in right away.

Dr. Sarah Garcia spent time with me in consultation and went over my records which she had in her computer. We discussed the medication I was using, and she checked my eye pressure twice during our office visit.

Dr. Garcia is a well-known eye specialist in the area, and has another office in the city of Guadalajara. She visits Chapala EyeCenter weekly. We set up an appointment for these special tests for a month later.

Because she is a specialist, my cost was a bit more for her services. I paid out-of-pocket the 1,000Pesos for my consultation (about $50USD)





Meanwhile back at the ranch

Meanwhile, I was still unsure about the condition of some of my ancient dental work and woke up one morning with some mild toothaches. It was nothing horrendous, but I was motivated to WhatsApp my oral surgeon and have him take an x-ray and check out two of my teeth in question - a molar on each side which were already fitted with crowns.

When I WhatsApp'd him, Dr. Fernando Ochoa was in the US doing some dental medical tourism for a group of people but would be back in a few days. When he returned we set my appointment up via WhatsApp for the following week.

I walked the less-than-20-minutes to his office, and we discussed my concern. Dr. Ochoa visually checked out my two molars and took x-rays of them. Both visually and in the x-rays he could not see any problem.

I was happy to hear this, but my instinct was telling me to have him go ahead and replace the one crown on the right side since it was so very old. Some years previously, I had lost a tooth due to decay under a crown that no dentist saw, and I didn’t want to take that chance again.

He was happy to do this for me and said he’d take a look under the crown when he replaced it.

He took impressions, we set up another appointment for the crown replacement and I paid a deposit on the total price of  2,500Pesos (about $125USD) for the replacement crown.

The next appointment

A few days later I was back in the chair for the crown removal and the next step in the replacement process.

When Dr. Ochoa was removing the crown, he found the cavity under it that was causing me the pain and said it was a good thing I was having the crown replaced.

I felt great about this because I’m certain that not only had I just saved my tooth, but probably avoided the cost of having an implant down the line.

We discussed doing the same procedure for the molar on my other side, and he suggested that I get a panoramic x-ray so he could see more clearly what might be there causing me concern.

Dr. Ochoa wrote me a prescription for this x-ray.

Panoramic mouth x-ray

Panoramic mouth x-ray

Panoramic X-ray Clinic

I had no arranged appointment at the clinic and only needed to show up.

Two days later I walked the 10 minutes to Jacer 3D Dental Imaging Clinic and within 20 minutes I had my panoramic x-ray in hand to give to Dr. Ochoa.

I paid the office the 400Pesos (about $20USD) for this x-ray and took the physical one home with me. The administrator sent Dr. Ochoa a digital copy which he received in his office that same day.

Back in the chair

Five days later I again walked to my dentist’s office, arriving 15 minutes early and get called right in. Dr. Ochoa has my new crown ready for my right molar as well as my panoramic x-ray that was sent to him by Jacere 3D Dental Imaging.

As I walk in he says to me “This panoramic x-ray showed me the cavity under your other old crown.”

I’ve got my physical x-ray with me, and he has his digital one on the screen. We discuss the situation and a couple of questions I had about the panoramic photo.

He replaces the previous crown on the right and begins drilling to remove the 2nd older one on the left.

As he continues, the cracked and decayed part of my tooth falls off and he shows it to me. He takes an impression for the new crown, puts on a temporary and I pay him another deposit on the 2nd crown, towards the total price of 2,500Pesos.


specialty eye exams

Specialty eye exams

Seeing eye-to-eye

Now, six days later I again arrive early to the EyeCenter and Dr. Garcia ushers me into her office.

She measures my eye pressure, and we discuss both tests I am to take that day - the digital scan of the layers of my eyes and the field of vision test.

I complete the tests, get the results, have another consultation with my eye specialist regarding some supplements that I take for my eyes and I get another eye pressure reading before I leave.

Dr. Garcia gives me the hardcopies of my tests to keep and she takes digital photos to add them to my other digital information in my file.

Seriously, with no one in line in front of me, I’m out the door in under an hour.

I pay in cash the 1,500Pesos for each test, 3,000Pesos total (about $150USD) and walk out of the EyeCenter.

Later, via WhatsApp, I send Dr. Garcia the photos of the bottles of my eye supplements.

EKG in my doctor's office

EKG right in my doctor's office

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Alongside the appointments for my eyes and teeth was a recurrent consultation with my cardiologist for my blood pressure.

An 8-minute walk from our apartment brought me to his office.

I arrived early and was ushered in by the Doctor. On a digital thumb drive I gave him my readings that I track since our last meeting and he looked them over. He asked me questions about how I was feeling, and if I was experiencing any difficulties with my medicine.

Then he took my pressure, listened to my lungs and had me set up for an EKG there in his office.

More discussion, an appointment was made for the next consultation and I paid 800Pesos (about $40USD) for the morning session.





Finishing my last crown

Ten days after my latest appointment with Dr. Fernando Ochoa, the good doctor contacted me via WhatsApp to let me know my crown had arrived from Guadalajara. We set up an appointment for the following week.

Again, I walked the 16 minutes to his office on a beautiful morning, arrived early and was ushered in. Thirty minutes later the crown was polished and in place. I paid the remainder of what I owed for his services and Dr. Fernando asked that I give his best to my husband, Billy. I asked him how his Father’s Day went and we chatted a bit before I left to walk the few minutes home.


My point to writing this account of my visits with 4 medical professionals in the last couple of months was to show you how easy and affordable this all was.

 * All four medical offices are within walking distance of my home. No needing a car, no dealing with traffic or parking.

 * Arriving early at each appointment, I was taken in right away. No long waits or wasted hours just for a 10 minute appointment.

 * I paid out-of-pocket for each medical procedure because it is so affordable. No insurance coverage needed, no paperwork to fill out, no waiting to be reimbursed.

 * My appointments were arranged via WhatsApp, and my Oral Surgeon received my panoramic x-ray digitally in his office from the imaging clinic.

* I was able to do the EKG in my Cardiologist's office, and my Eye Doctor has all the equipment in her office for my specialized testing. I did not need to hire a driver or take public transportation to another city some hours away to have these tests done.

 * Any questions I might have, I can write directly to any of my doctors’ WhatsApp numbers and I get a response within an hour.

This couldn’t be easier living here.

Medical care Stateside

We have family members and friends living in the States who – even with insurance - pay exorbitant amounts for procedures to be done and wait weeks or months for an appointment and follow ups.  No one has hard copies of their results, oftentimes the results are not explained to them, and for sure, no one has their doctor’s personal cell numbers.

It’s a different system, I understand, and - reflective of my experiences in both llocations -  I believe this one is better.

Doctors in the States pay higher rents, higher wages, and they match unemployment benefits. There is paid sick leave, paid Federal days off work and in some cases paid family leave. They also pay for costly malpractice insurance which is burdensome, as well as needing office staff to process insurance claims to receive payment from the patient months later.

It’s complicated, overwhelming and emotionally distanced from the patient.

Not everyone would choose to leave their beloved home and live overseas. However, there is the option of Medical Tourism for many procedures. It is common place for people who already live in southern States routinely cross the border for dental and less expensive medicines, so this is nothing new.

In the case of Chapala doctors listed below it is easy enough to schedule an appointment, fly down and stay in a hotel and make a holiday of it. You may just end up moving here yourself.

 I have listed the names of the doctors and clinics I used below for your convenience.

Jacer 3D - Imagenologia Dental

Hidalgo 291 Interior 1

C.P. 45900 Colonio Centro 

Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Tele: 376. 765. 6840


EyeCenter Mexico, Dra. Sara Garcia


Guadalajara: 33. 2494. 0474

Chapala: 33. 3403. 3857



Dr. Claudio Ochoa, Dentist

33. 1549. 2282


Dr. Juan Carlos Ochoa Arcineiga Cardiologist

Miguel Martinez #530

Chapala, Jalisco 376.765.4001


C.D. Fernando Ochoa

General Dentistry and Dental Implants

Av. Francisco I Madero No 560-A

Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Tele: 376. 765. 5295

Cel: 33.3105. 9601


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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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