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"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer."

Ah yes, Summer is right around the corner and for those of us that live in parts of this country where it snows, the winds howl, the temperatures drop below zero and you are subjected to wind chill factors of minus 40 or below it is a welcome time of the year.

Put on your shorts and a t-shirt, grab an ice cold beer and fire up the grill. Life is good.

But for those of us that live in such places as Phoenix ( AKA "The Valley Of The Sun" ) in the midst of the Sonoran Desert, it's time to crank up the A/C, stay hydrated and out of the direct sunlight for extended periods of time lest we drop dead from heat exhaustion.

I love my Smart Fortwo, it has plenty of window space which provides me with great visibility. But, as is noted in this article titled "Summer Car Safety"

"If you ever park outside during the summer months, your car will heat up quickly. Heat coming in through the windows is absorbed by the interior, and the glass acts as an insulator. The temperature in your car get up to 200 degrees, depending on the temperature outside, the kind of vehicle you have, and how long it has been in the sun."

So, for the benefit of those of you that live in the hotter climates here are Five Tips About Hot Cars you might want to check out if it is your 1st Summer driving a Smart Fortwo. It is for me and I have noticed already ( And it's only hit around 100 so far ) that my vehicle gets much hotter inside than the Nissan pickup truck I drove for over 10 years even with the Windshield Reflector in place.

( I'm beginning to think there may be a reason I haven't seen many Smart cars in the wild out here. I'm going to get a thermometer and place it in my vehicle to see just how hot it gets in there, I find it hard to believe that it can get as high as 200 degrees as the article says)

Be cool >:D
 

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I don't doubt it can get to 200 inside. It was in the low 40s and a dreary, rainy morning when I went out to my car today. Even with solidly overcast skies, my car was nice and toasty inside. If it can get to 30+ degrees above the outside temperature in those conditions! it'll definitely be able to get that hot in direct sunlight when it's in the 80s or 90/ outside. Of course, my car is black, so I foresee a long summer of parking with the windows down in a shaded spot at work - which shouldn't be a problem, since I generally get there half an hour or more before anyone else, and the shaded spot is right outside my office window.
 

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I have done temperature tests inside my car back in 2008 and I never got the interior temperature above 138°. The ambient temperature prevented it. I don't believe you can do it naturally in North America. Perhaps near the equator, but it would be difficult. (Full Sun, no wind)
 

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It may come as a surprise to some, but you can drive south for cooler, drier weather.
From Phoenix, drop down to Nogales and get on Rt 15, a modern toll road that will take you south (still hot) through the desert, along the coast to Mazatlan (a wonderful city) and then up to Tepic, where you will have begun to climb toward the central highlands of the state of Jalisco. In the environs of Guadalajara (a spectacular city) and especially at Lake Chapala, you will be comfortably cool and lush all summer long. It is why we retired here in 2001, along with thousands of other USA, Canadian and many other expats.
You may not want to go back, since the winter is also delightful with only a slight drop in temperature and no rain at all; certainly no snow, and no need for heat or AC in our homes or our cars.
Eat your hearts out. If you doubt me, ask ALSRAC how homesick he gets. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It may come as a surprise to some, but you can drive south for cooler, drier weather.
From Phoenix, drop down to Nogales and get on Rt 15, a modern toll road that will take you south (still hot) through the desert, along the coast to Mazatlan (a wonderful city) and then up to Tepic, where you will have begun to climb toward the central highlands of the state of Jalisco. In the environs of Guadalajara (a spectacular city) and especially at Lake Chapala, you will be comfortably cool and lush all summer long. It is why we retired here in 2001, along with thousands of other USA, Canadian and many other expats.
You may not want to go back, since the winter is also delightful with only a slight drop in temperature and no rain at all; certainly no snow, and no need for heat or AC in our homes or our cars.
Eat your hearts out. If you doubt me, ask ALSRAC how homesick he gets. :)
You have sparked my interest. I will be able to collect SS in 2 years and have been trying to decide what I want to do. 1,200 miles is a bit of a hike but I just might have to take a drive down to Jalisco and check it out. Do you live in an RV, own a home or rent?

Retirement & Cost of Living in Lake Chapala and Ajijic Mexico
Example of Cost Chart based on a monthly period:
  • Groceries: $250 USD/month
  • Property Tax: $15 USD/month
  • Electric: $40 USD/month
  • Propane Gas: $20 USD/month
  • Telephone + Internet: $55 USD/month
  • Satellite TV: $60 USD/month
  • House Keeping: $100 USD/month
  • Gardening: $100 USD/month
  • Healthcare: $25 USD/month (cost of IMSS insurance per month)
  • Gasoline and Car Maintenance: $185 USD/month
  • Dinning and Entertainment: $250 USD/month (restaurants, movies, social events)
  • Misc expenses: $200 USD/month
TOTAL: 1,300 USD (if you own your own home)
TOTAL: 1,900 USD (adding a 600 USD for renting)
 

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We sold the RV in 2001, when we bought our first home in Ajijic, Chapala, Jalisco. In 2004, we sold that house and bought another in Chapala Centro, where we are now.
Our expenses are different than those you have listed, but not too far off; some higher and some lower. We are now permanent residents of Mexico and do not have to deal with immigration renewals any more. Having retired in 1998, there is no way we could afford to live in the USA now, since Social Security and my small pension have barely changed, while prices have skyrocketed. Even here, we have to be frugal an, at our advanced ages, it is time to think about selling our large home and getting a much smaller place.
 
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