Work Abroad but earn in USD

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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.

Reader's Question

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!

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Blogger said...

As an Argentinian I can say that I agree with what is stated is this post. The only thing I would like to say to this possible expat is that his U$S 1000 will be tied to the exchange rate against our local currency, the Argentinian peso. This is about 3 to 1 nowadays, but it could change. Most likely the peso will stay as it is now or will devaluate. But no one can give 100% guarantee that will be the case...

4/23/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree not to plan that your USD 1000 a month will keep you ahead of the game forever. Things change in Argentina dramatically, and just 6 years ago a thousand a month would have seemed like $400 a month right now

5/03/2005 01:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friends and I are visiting Buenos Aires from July to August, and would like to rent an apartment. Do you think we should rent from one of the online sites, or wait till we arrive in BA to look for a place?

5/25/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would this question be answered now July 2011?
Thanks Bob

7/17/2011 06:26:00 PM  

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