Argentina for Retirees
I received a comment from a reader about a week ago about Social Security and living outside the country. As I'm not retired, I don't focus on this issue as much in this blog, so I wanted to take some time to address it.
I enjoy your blog. I have always heard that living outside the U.S. earning US dollars is the way to go! From your blog, it seems that you can do quite well living on a lot less, especially if you are living off of Social Security.
Pushing Your Dollars Further
I personally believe that in a few years, the U.S. is going to see a very large exodus of retirees. As the baby boomers reach retirement age (my own parents have begun to think seriously about what to do during their golden years) I believe many of them -- especially the well-traveled ones -- will realize the universe of opportunities outside the United States.
Let's face it, most boomers are going to be relying on Social Security as their primary source of retirement income. Private pensions are rare nowadays. Every day we hear about one corporation or another that's either abandoning its pension plan or dumping it off on the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (which doesn't actually guarantee benefits, it cuts them by 50%).
If you're a retiree earning $1500 a month, you're not going to be living too comfortably in the U.S., even if you did manage to pay off your mortgage. First off, health care costs could eat up half your income. With what's left, you'll be lucky to meet the basic necessities of life. In Argentina, however, its a different story.
I just paid my bills again this month. My water bill came to $15, gas was $10, cable was $20, internet was $12, electricity was $13. I own my own apartment, so I pay no rent. Some of these bills are bi-monthly also. My building expenses were $75. I pay $25 per week for a chef service to prepare 7 healthy dinners for me and I always order delivery for lunch, which comes to maybe $3.50 daily. Add on a hundred dollars for miscellaneous expenses and I'm still at less than $500 USD per month.
Retirees who come here (and own their own home or apartment) can actually be saving money from their Social Security income. As long as you take rent out of the equation, you can easily meet your basic needs for $500 USD per month. In fact, you'll probably have money left over for trips throughout the country. With airfare in pesos for legal DNI-holding residents, your in-country trips will be affordable.
Moving from the U.S. to Argentina is literally "upgrading" your lifestyle and spending power. As long as you are willing to approach some of the challenges of living abroad with an open mind and a willing spirit, I see no reason why a retiree should be struggling to make ends meet with Social Security in the U.S. when they could be easily living in comfort here.