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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 http://wikitravel.org/en/Buenos_Aires 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 http://tinyurl.com/2r4c3c 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. http://www.baexpats.com/. 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.

Mike



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I would be very reluctant to retire outside of the United States, although I own a Condo on the Kona Coast of Hawaii

The last time I checked, Hawaii was one of the United States. I'm away from home right now, but we do get news here in St. Louis. Has something happened to Hawaii?

Carol
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The last time I checked, Hawaii was one of the United States. I'm away from home right now, but we do get news here in St. Louis. Has something happened to Hawaii?


So much is different since Missouri seceded, Carol. Do try to keep up!
LOL!
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So much is different since Missouri seceded

There's a reason MO is the Show Me State! ;-)

Carol
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If you are interested in Buenos Aires you should take a look at Paul Terhorst's site. He recently built a house near Cardales about an hour from BA.

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/5315/

intercst
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I've noticed a number of articles over the past year or so about living/retiring in Buenos Aires -- I think the NYTimes has had a couple of articles.

It's certainly a wonderful place to visit. I love the French architecture -- it seems a combination of Wash. DC (wide avenues and lots of statues of generals on horseback) and Paris. I have friends who are considering Uruguay because it's smaller (also beautiful). They're from Boston and consider Montvideo comparable to Boston (in size) which BA is comparable to NY (in size).
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Thanks for the blog site. Seem like a nice couple. I'll write and say hi.

Living outside of Buenos Aires (but in Argentina) is an altogether different experience. Living outside of Buenos Aires in a farm-like setting can be fun I'm sure but it's even “more different” than living in a smaller Argentine city. We considered such a rural experience when we first moved here but we realized that we would not take advantage of Buenos Aires if we lived outside the city. Why? Because we're lazy and comfortable at home. We're a 20 minute subway ride to downtown but still don't get out nearly so often as we should.

As I said in my first post, it's probably a lot cheaper to live outside Buenos Aires and has many advantages, but what I know and can discuss somewhat intelligently here is living and retiring to BA. Some would like a rural setting and have the abilities and skills to manage such a life. Some of what I could discuss might be helpful still.

Mike


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Well - - -I'm been a member for less than 30 minutes and already I am enjoying the view. About Buenos Aires - - I've been there 3 times; Twice on my way to Ushuaia in the Tierra Del Fuego, first in 1995 on my way to run the first marathon to be run in Antactica ---(I came in 9th out of 114 starters but I was only 67 at the time). Then to run the marathon in B.A. and then again because Tom Gilligan of Marathon Tours and Travel (out of Boston) laughed at me when I told him that I planned on running on all the continents so I could be in the Guinness Book of Records. "Ya - - You and a dozen others"
Well - - that did it! 4 years later I ran Antactca the 2nd time and by then I had run at least twice on all the other continents. So- - I got into that wonderful record book.
Talking about books: I wrote a memoir called, "Old at Forty, Young at Sixty" by W. Bill Galbrecht (www.booksurge.com www.amazon.com)

Incidently----Did anyone know that Mesa Airline will be part of a Chinese Company (they will be in China to teach a Chinese airline to ferry passingers into the big hubs! All the insiders jumped the boat because they knew that Mesa was going to lock horns with the Island Carriors in Hawaii, but the ordinary stockholders were not told! Later Mike
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I've spent months in various Latin American countries and can easily see myself living in one of them, but not full-time. I'm not so sure about DW. My Spanish is pretty good, hers is non-existent. We haven't visited BA yet, and would like to do so, but then there's this:

Buenos Aires hit by rush hour rail riot

http://www.guardian.co.uk/argentina/story/0,,2080670,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

Arson, looting and fighting with riot police broke out among angry Argentinian commuters when rush hour train services from a Buenos Aires station were delayed last night.

Twelve police officers were injured by flying rocks, mostly with cuts and bruises to the head and chest, and nine people were treated for smoke inhalation, said Alberto Crescenti, a spokesman for emergency medical workers.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas when rioters pelted them with rocks as the fighting at Constituçion station spilled out to the street. Angry passengers shattered windows, set fire to a ticket sales area, looted shops and ripped payphones from walls.
________________________________________________________________________

It's a big city and I don't know if the trouble was anywhere near the parts of town we'd be hanging out in, but still.

--fleg
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Fleg: One of things I would have talked about is living in an unstable environment--which can describe most Latin American cities. However, I live in the Palermo district of BA and we didn't know about the problems in Constitucion train station until we read about them in the papers. No glowing sky or the like.

I was visiting Buenos Aires during their 2001 financial crisis and while I can't say life went on like normal then, it wasn't impacting on many aspects of life. Of course ATMs didn't work then and hopefully you had brought dollars with you or had hidden them under the mattress.

In a way it's like reading about crime--someone gets murdered on a street coner and everyone gets cautious. Buenos Aires despite the stories remains one of the safest cities in Latin America. It's not as safe as it used to be unfortunately.

By the way I'm redoing a house not too far from the Constitucion train station--maybe six blocks from there and I'm happy to report no problems in my soon to be neighborhood.

Mike
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