Retire to Argentina: So much to offer Expats!
As we are always searching for the best opportunity to make the US Dollar stretch further in retirement, Argentina should be on everyone’s list!! After landing in Argentina, many expats and tourists can get swept away in the Argentine life! It has the laid back lifestyle with a bit of a European flare! Personally, I have fallen in love with the many different lifestyle options Argentina can offer; from city life with rich cultural experiences to outdoor adventures. One can live in Argentina for a fraction of the cost from the USA!
Many expats are likely to find themselves in Buenos Aires and its suburbs as there is so much to do in the capital! The capital city is affordable on the US Dollar (Blue exchange is $1USD to 200 Argentine Pesos) that offers a great city life of shopping, restaurants, beautiful city parks, great public transportation, culture events and nightlife! The wealthier neighborhoods of Palermo, Recoleta or San Telmo might be more expensive as they are large tourist attractions but still are more affordable than you can imagine! We stayed a few nights in a Palermo Airbnb that was centrally located 2 blocks from the square and several blocks from the train/metro station for only $50/night! We really enjoyed the neighborhood filled with cafes, restaurants, boutiques, galleries and the walkability. Check out the Airbnb here!
The extensive public healthcare system is impressive and basically FREE! I couldn’t believe the amount of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in Argentina. Unfortunately, while traveling through Argentina, we caught the flu and then bronchitis. I did visit a private clinic (x-rays and doctor for less than $25) and a local public hospital (x-rays and doctor for FREE) to receive great medical treatment. After visiting the doctors, I was given a prescription and found it very easy to find a pharmacy (even on a Sunday) to fill the script! Many people opt for private care to help reduce the wait time of the Free public care. There are many specialist available in Argentina making it a great healthcare system for everyone.
The wifi was reliable, fast and easy to find throughout the country – visited Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Valeria, Calafate, Bariloche & San Luis over the last few trips. The ease of transportation from one city to the next is affordable and easy with the extensive bus lines, trains, and local flights. Argentina offers an abundance of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy all over the country! Having a base in a major city and then one could explore the rest of the country to find that perfect spot!
Residency in Argentina
Visas and residency requirements can be a major issue in many of the world’s premier retirement destinations but Argentina has made an effort to simplify things for foreigners. U.S. citizens can stay for up to 90 days without a visa—and it’s easy to take a quick day trip across the Uruguayan border (Check out our trip to Uruguay) and then re-enter Argentina. This isn’t a long-term residency solution, of course, but it can be handy during an initial trips to explore Argentina’s potential for future retirement.
Argentina offers a number of visa options aside from the standard 90-day tourist stamp. Depending on your plans and circumstances, you might consider their Visa of Temporary Residence, Work Visa, Financier (a.k.a. Rentista) Visa, and Pensioner Visa (the last two are the most useful to retirees). If your ultimate goal is permanent residency, you must first be a temporary resident for at least two years.
US Dollar – Funds for Retirement
It is important to understand the quality of life in Argentina is based on the ability to have US Dollars to convert to Argentine Pesos. While credit cards are widely accepted, spending cash is the cheapest and most effective way to make Argentina cheap! With the official Blue Dollar conversion of about 200 pesos to $1 USD, a couple can live a comfortable life under $2500 a month and often less once converting to the Argentinian lifestyle. Since the banking system can be very limiting on ATM transactions and dollar conversions, most people bring USD and convert to the pesos once in Argentina. The official unofficial BLUE dollar exchange can be done with locals and on the streets with vendors. This seems very strange but it is widely known and even published in the news daily!
Because Argentina places so few restrictions on the ability of foreigners to own property, you may decide it’s more sensible to buy instead of rent when you’ve reached the stage of serious accommodation-hunting. Either way, you’ll be paying a lot less than you’re used to for a comfortable home in one of the most appealing nations on earth. Once you are ready to move forward with a Real Estate purchase, it is vital to contact a good attorney and accountant to learn the best way to bring CASH into the country.
While many expats fall in love with Buenos Aires for the great food, nightlife, parks and transportation, Mendoza should also be on the top of your list! Mendoza offers an incredible lifestyle for even less than Buenos Aires. Nestled in at the base of the Andes, Mendoza is a vibrant city with award winning wines, incredible restaurants and wineries, city parks, and outdoor life including mountain biking, river rafting, hiking, horseback riding and more! The accommodations are affordable and there are an abundance of options in the city to the base of the mountains. We stayed in multiple locations and found this great Airbnb in the foothills offering great views and minutes to the best wineries!
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Argentina and will definitely be back! As an expat currently living in Roatan, Honduras, I find it is important to always explore retirement options! Argentina retirement is largely based on the ability to have US dollars for income. Many expats are on fixed incomes but one could always work online, teach English, or have an Airbnb or rental property! The Argentina real estate market is based on US Dollar prices as is the rental property.
First stop in the Retirement Series was Uruguay. Next stop, Santiago, Chile.
Check out the Krystal Enger YouTube channel for some of day adventures in Argentina! WE fell in love with the country for all of the traditions including the Asado, Wine, Mountain Parks etc.! Go visit Argentina!