Work Abroad but earn in USD

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Getting Our Ducks In A Row

This last post about Shedding Possessions gives you a good idea of where we are in our journey of getting ready to leave our home country. We used to own a home, which we decided to sell as the first real step on our path to move to Argentina. By selling the home it forced us to shed possessions, and it got us into an apartment which can only be temporary, just a place to stay where we can save some extra money every month on our way out of the country.

We now own a fraction of the stuff we used to own, and when we move out of the apartment on the way to Mendoza we will sell off almost everything else. We are close to our goal, with regards to personal property, which is to be able to put all the possessions we will keep in the US into a mere 100 square feet of a self storage warehouse.

There are so many things one needs to do in order to move to another country, so many ducks to line up in a row to make the move as smooth as it can be. We are not getting sent to Argentina with a company on an 'expat package' where someone else is handling the immigration and housing issues for us. We are moving on our own, like El Expatriado did, as a self employed person who will be responsible for everything. Many of the tasks we will do on this journey cannot be done, let alone contemplated, until we are actually there. But there are many things which must be done before we leave. I see these as the major steps for us to make before the move.

1.Shed possessions so we can leave with minimal expenses in the US (to store items we are keeping while we are gone).

2.Increase our virtual business revenue, earn more USD in our small businesses that operate over the phone and on the Internet. We can operate our virtual businesses from anywhere in the world with high speed Internet access, and if we can increase our income a bit here then we will have total freedom to live almost anywhere.

3.Deal with the bureaucratic items we must deal with to legally move; our own immigration paperwork (family of three), and the paperwork we need to bring our cat & dog.

We are mostly done with the shedding possessions stage, and are making progress on growing our virtual business revenue. We have done quite a bit of the research on the bureaucratic items we need to deal with to be able to get visas and entry paperwork for the people and pets in the family, but we have not pulled the trigger on hiring help to start this yet since we are more than 6 months away from moving. Our biggest task that we are currently focusing on is growing our businesses. The income from these small businesses will be the core of our monthly income when we are in Mendoza, earned in USD, and spent mostly in Argentine Pesos. Once these businesses grow a bit more we will be ready to set a move date a few months out (at a break point in our daughter's school schedule), and then get moving on the paperwork and the visas which we are going to start at least 3 months before we move.

We have a long way to go until all of our ducks are in a row, and we are ready to transition into our new life in Argentina. But we alone control our future and we are having a good time enjoying the journey.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

the online business part is intriguing...out of curiosity, is this business completely built from scratch or did you "join in" on some already existing business?
I was also do you plan on doing banking from Argie-land? Just keep your account in the US and manage it online?
Good luck!


6/17/2007 01:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog, and last year when I was visiting BA I read most of it. Now, I have a question please: did the prices go up since last summer? I want to visit again, I loved it there and I miss BA so much, but should I be prepared to face the "new prices" there? If yes, how bas is it now?


6/18/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also interested to learn how you are planning on handling banking in Argentina. I recently moved here myself as an expat from Austin and am in the final phases of acquiring my DNI and CUIL. I have found banking to be my biggest challenge, more so than immigration paperwork, moving, medical insurance, or anything else. I am reluctant to put my funds in an Argenine bank, but at the same time, I accrue a 3% transaction fee for any purchases with a debit or credit card, plus a $5.00 fee at the ATM. I thought I could avoid this by operating in mostly cash (which most Argentines do) and take out a lump sum once a month, but I've found that ATMs here frequently won't let you withdraw more than 300 or 350 pesos at a time.

Once I have my DNI, I am going to look into opening a small savings account with ATM access.

What are your thoughts on this?

Best of luck as you prepare to move.


6/19/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which ATMs are you using? In all my years living/traveling in Argentina, I have never had such fees charged by an ATM. In fact, throughout the entire country, I can draw $500 pesos at a time with only a U$1.50 transaction fee. Not bad considering the security I feel from keeping all my funds in US bank accounts. After 2001/2002, I do not plan to ever put money into an Argentine National Bank.

6/20/2007 12:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which ATMs are you using? In all my years living/traveling in Argentina, I have never had such fees charged by an ATM. In fact, throughout the entire country, I can draw $500 pesos at a time with only a U$1.50 transaction fee. Not bad considering the security I feel from keeping all my funds in US bank accounts. After 2001/2002, I do not plan to ever put money into an Argentine National Bank.

6/20/2007 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Espero que me entiendan, dado que mi conocimento del idioma Ingles es rudimentario.

Les sugiero dejar su dinero en bancos FUERA DEL PAIS. Todos los bancos en Argentina funcionan como sociedades locales, y responden solamente con sus bienes en el pais, y estan sujetos a las leyes nacionales.
Ej: De nada les servira depositar su dinero en una sucursal local del Citibank si llegara a aparecer un nuevo "Corralito".

6/22/2007 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all,

Bank accounts can be a very frustrating task here in BA. After the crash, the American branches separated from local, so why they may have the same names they are two different companies. However, if you have an account, for instance, at Citibank in the States and open a local account with Citibank Argentina, you can transfer your cash directly from one account to the other and extract up to 3000 pesos per day.

You will pay a conversion fee from dollars to pesos, and receive your funds in pesos, but the fee is roughly 0,4% of total. Much cheaper than paying foreign transfer fees and extraction fees.

In order to get a local account, you must have minimum your passport and CDI# (tax identification number).

Fees and policies differ from bank to bank (and day to day), so you should visit your local bank branch and discuss your options in person. Any questions, let me know.


7/08/2007 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting reading, I am also at the stage of scaling down on our personal property. I am at the 12 months to go mark, However I need to find information on importation of a Pet Dog?

I am also wondering about a good place to rent at a fair price?

Thank you for publishing your article.

7/21/2007 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My wife and I have been reading your blog and we're thankful for all the great information. We are moving to Argentina in a few months and we've contacted ARCA as recommended on your blog regarding our visas and other documents. We were quoted a price of $4300 USD for two people ($3500 for one person + $800 for a dependent) for getting everything needed with the rentista visas. I was a little suprised at how high the price was. I certainly don't mean to lessen the value of their services as I've heard on this website and elsewhere that there is tremendous value in not having to worry or deal with all of the hassle. For anyone else who has contacted ARCA, does this seem about right to pay $3500 to $4300 for these services?


8/23/2007 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What is the difference in price between the ARCA way and the Uraguay way? Currently, I don't think I could afford such a huge amount of money to go out at once, although in Several months I should be able to. I just want to know what is the difference in the two processes, and what are teh difference in prices. Thank you.

10/10/2007 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to move the pets? we have a cat and a bird. I anyone has done it, it would be nice to hear similar experiences.

2/13/2008 04:16:00 PM  

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