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The market is down and so I'm roving around the Fool world and discovered this board. Interesting discussions and so I thought I'd add my 2cents since I might have some insights that might interest you--at least by way of comparison. What it costs to retire in Buenos Aires Argentina. This might provoke a wider discussion about other places in Argentina or Latin America. I've seen some on Costa Rica in earlier discussions but surprisingly nothing on Mexico.

My intention is to start with some tidbits—that I'll add on to in this thread by doing some further research on to this thread.

Here goes.

Some basics. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and has like Washington DC a special political status. Read about it at It's the most expensive place in Argentina (except the far south of the country where due to transport costs things can be a “bit” more costly). For the most part, however, if you locate outside of Buenos Aires—Mendoza, Cordoba and Bariloche for example you probably will spend less.

If you speak Spanish or will eventually learn Spanish, Buenos Aires has advantages—theater, concerts, opera, museums, millions of restaurants, tango and the like. But this is a debate that could go on forever. For me perhaps the most important advantage is its access to the rest of the world.

I have particular reasons for living in Buenos Aires; for one because I'm married to an Argentine lady. But we've traveled the world and lived in around 10 countries and could conceivably pack up and live (retire) somewhere else eventually. More on this below.

There are two reasons for us to live in Buenos Aires right now aside from the attractions. It's cheap and my wife is taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer's.

But there are many Americans coming here and you can learn more of their own experiences at this web site. These guys sponsor a dinner once a month and provide some other useful services to this community. Many of the posts there are however for visitors who expect to live for short periods of time. Many good insights on costs, but maybe not for long-termers, that is retirees. But you never know.

If you're still outside of Argentina you might like to look into a resident visa. There is a retirement visa which I'll look into in a later post if there's interest. However you can come into Argentina on a 3-month tourist visa which can be renewed once for an additional 3 months for ARS 100 (about $30). I have lived here for about 3 years on a tourist visa and that's sufficient for me. If I need to leave the country I can hop on the ferry to Uruguay and return in the day. Not at all difficult.

You can rent a reasonable apartment here from around $600 per month. You can buy one for $100,000. Of course you can pay lots more and maybe even somewhat less. These are just targets that will help you start your own investigation. We bought an apartment in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires for $55,000 about 2 years ago. I'll use this as an example below. It had two bedrooms and a small balcony and was approximately 700 sq. feet (64 sq. meters). We gutted it and put in great new stuff for about $40,000. No more balcony only one bedroom now, but a great place for a couple. I follow the housing market here and believe you'd now have to add about 35 percent both for the initial cost and renovations.

If you own your own place you'll need to pay apartment fees. In this apartment we pay ARS 150 ($45) a month plus about ARS 300 ($100) for utilities including cable and high speed Internet. Yes not too expensive. However be aware that the government is keeping a lid on public utilities and these might increase substantially over time—especially after the elections which take place here towards the end of the year.

Well, I'll add on to this post if there is interest. Let me know.


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