Work Abroad but earn in USD

Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 Questions for Daniel K. in Buenos Aires

EDITORS NOTE: This is another post in our series of Expat Interviews. Let us know if you know someone who would be a good person to interview and we will try to do it. Daniel is from California (US) and currently lives full time in Buenos Aires with his Argentine fiance, he is an entrepreneur.

1. Where were you born, where else have you lived, and where are you living now? Born in Sacramento, California and grew up in Portland, OR. Lived in Los Angeles for 7 years from 1997-2004. Since then have lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2. Who did you move to Argentina with? When? I moved to Argentina by myself on an exploratory level in 2004 and permanently in 2005.

3. What made you pick Argentina? I already spoke Spanish and I wanted to experience Latin America having already traveled through all of Europe and most of Asia. I also wanted to go far away from the US so that left basically 2 options: Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires. I did a bunch of research and everything said that Buenos Aires was the most fun, had the best food, had the most beautiful women (I met my fiancée here) and had a European sensibility. So I picked here and it turned out to be the right decision.

4. What is the best part about living in Argentina? The worst? The best part is the financial freedom for people coming from countries that operate in dollars or euros. You simply cannot start your own business in the US or Europe with very litte money. Here you can. The worst part is the cultural attitude here which is very defeatist. After many terrible governments the people of Argentina have lost faith in their own system and turned quite pessimistic. Coming from a country where the prevailing ideology is "if I work hard, I can do it" it is hard to get used to the frequent comment "es así" in Argentina which means "that's just how it is."

5. How do you make your living? I started a wine club called Anuva Vinos that exports high quality, undiscovered Argentine wine to the US and Europe.

6. What is a typical day like for you? Up at 830, commute 5 meters to my living room to start work. Much emails and phone calling to bodegas (wineries), vendors and logistics suppliers, research on new marketing channels like restaurants and tourism agencies, meetings with those same agencies, tasting wines to see if we should put them in the club. Weekends include lots of asados (Argentine bbq) time with friends, movies and leisure.

7. How has living in Argentina changed your life? Living in the US is like living in a gated community, you never are exposed to how most of the rest of the world lives. I never thought I would pay so much attention to exchange rates, the price of oil, the GDP of Argentina, the housing market in the US, etc. I feel much more attached to the rest of the world out of necessity because I know that it will directly affect my life. I also have a new appreciation for what it means to be patient, appreciate slow cooked beef, well made wine, and great coffee in very small cups.

8. How does living in Argentina differ most from living in your home country? Many little things: subway strikes, massive lines at the movie theater on weekends, not having to use a car EVER (which is great), higher quality dairy and meat, the price of the tomato (read the news in Argentina 2-4 weeks ago for this), and having no direct flight to the west coast of the US.

9. What are your future plans in Argentina? When are you planning on leaving? We are planning on living here for the immediate future and have no plans of leaving anytime soon.

10. What one tip would you pass on to a future expat moving to Argentina? Besides the obvious one which is learn Spanish, be ready to deal with many different ways of doing things that take much longer and are more cumbersome.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

for #4, in addition to "es asi" you should include the ever-present "y bueno, que se va hacer" :)

11/01/2007 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#8 - no infrastructure (education, transportation, energy, social, etc, etc)

11/03/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#5 - As a USA Citizen, do not forget to file US income taxes. Even if you do not make enough to pay, you still need to file. Income that you may be making in the US on savings accounts or other investments (fixed income, etc) are always taxable regardless of foreign income.

#7 - it shows that you do not have to feed a family yet.

#8 - there is also no infrastructure (education, transportation, energy,
social/health, etc, etc, etc)

#10 - This item is trully an understatement.

11/03/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#7 - I may be off a bit here, but where do people that have a bit of money, want security, quality of life, and a place to raise a family live in BA? oh yeah, a gated community.


11/03/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ezzzzzzzzzz said...


if argentines have to migrate, first option will be europe. always.

and if argentines have "a bit of money" they very rarely migrate (unless they're offered an outstanding job position.

11/08/2007 03:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ez, my response has nothing to with migration, it has to do with your comment that in the US we live as if we were in a gated community. Using the same analogy, Argentineans with the means to do well will usually live within the confines of a gated community too.

I truly wish you well, but please do not be fooled, the people are irreplaceable and friendships are forever, but Argentina (the country) is a trap, good meat and wine will go so far, and when you least expected the rules will change again, and everything that you worked for will be wiped out.

11/08/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As most US citizens think. Always on the defensive, not willing to listen or see other then theirs. What Daniel means is not about "living in a gated community". He means people here are not willing to see beyond their backyards. Or experience other cultures.Although not everyone is like that in the US, but I can say that most are.

11/17/2007 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As most Argentine citizens think. "Always on the defensive, not willing to listen or see other than theirs" - "or experience other cultures". Those are typical Argentine traits and I'm speaking of people I love and enjoy being with so I can't say everyone is like that in Argentina but I can say that most are. I also wish you well but anonymous gave good advice..don't be fooled.

2/23/2008 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ed Dowding said...

great website - and thank you!

a few months on from this post: would you still buy in Buenos Aires, given the current market?

3/25/2008 05:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, thanks for posting your interview. I've spent 4 of the last 6 months in Argentina (I'm from California). I'm considering moving to Buenos Aires so that I can be with my girlfriend while we get engaged, married and apply for a visa for her to come to the US. I've done a lot of research, including a little around individual taxation in Argentina. Would you be willing to put up a post on this topic or reply with a comment describing how you deal with personal (as opposed to your business) taxes? I have read that, if you live in Argentina other than on a work sponsored visa, you need to pay taxes in Argentina on all your worldwide income (income from your assets located in the US). I have also read that there is a separate 'asset tax' on all your worldwide assets (regardless of income). This makes moving to Argentina unattractive for someone with other assets/income. How do you manage this? I understand you can't give legal or tax advice ... just interested in your knowledge and experience. Thanks.

4/04/2008 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Don Gonzalito said...

Wow, if an American says we don't have infrastructure, we must be REALLY lacking infrastructure.

4/12/2008 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck. I lived in Argentina for 30 years. And while I lived there I became 100% INTEGRATED vs living in a recreated miniature USA ghetto like most other expats. My bet is that 95% of you recent American immigrants to Argentina will quit and return to the US within the first 3 years. If you really don't have any family ties then there is really no SANE reason to tie oneself to that putrid South American cesspool nation. Now I'm NOT saying that any of you guys are sane ..after all you HAVE voluntarily deported yourselves to a Third World dump; I'm just saying that 99% of Argentinians would choose to EMIGRATE if ever given the chance and here you are going the opposite direction.


7/23/2008 07:13:00 PM  

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