Retiring in Argentina
I received a question today from a reader who wants to know about retiring in Argentina on a budget of $1000 monthly. As usual, first the question and then my response.
I was wondering about how much of an income an unmarried, childless expat who doesn't cook would require to live a comfortable life in Buenos Aires. I want to know if I could realistically retire there on $1000 USD/month. You know, rent a 1 bedroom apartment in a safe neighborhood; have a plain dinner at an eatery a few times each week and a nice dinner every now and then; stuff like that.
Living on $1000 USD
I really do not see any problem with you living on $1000 USD per month in Argentina. You should be able to rent an one bedroom apartment for $175 USD per month. A basic plain dinner could cost you $3-4 USD. A nice dinner with wine, maybe $15 USD. You can get around the city cheaply as well. There's no need for you to own a car. Subways cost $0.25 USD per ride and a taxi ride across the city might cost $3-4 USD (for a long trip, short trips would cost less).
Let's try to put this in perspective. The poverty line in Argentina for a family of 4 is $266 USD monthly. At $1000 USD monthly, that puts you 3.75 times over the poverty line. In the USA, the poverty line for a family of 4 is $19,350 annually. If we multiplied that by 3.75, we'd have $72,562.
We can also compare your monthly income to local salaries. I went ahead and checked some employment listings to try and find figures to put things in perspective. Ads for entry-level office positions were offering $275 USD monthly. Ads for computer programmers were offering $500 USD per month. Ads for doctors were offering about $1000 USD monthly. So, as a retired person, you'd be having an income comparable to what a doctor here might be making.
So, what I'm saying, is that if you can't live here on $1000 USD per month, then obviously you're doing something wrong because most of the population lives here on a lot less than that. For even more bang for the buck, you might also consider places outside Buenos Aires. Just like everywhere else, prices get cheaper in less urbanized areas. Even so, there should be no problem for you living in Buenos Aires.
I should also point out that $1000 USD per month income will automatically qualify you for a residency visa, assuming you're not a criminal. So, your income is at a level where the Government of Argentina is willing to welcome you into their country with open arms. I would suggest contacting the fine people over at ARCA to learn more about your visa and immigration options.
Best of luck!