Guide to International Retirement - Argentina


Genia Jones
Content Specialist
Genia is a writer for FXcompared. She has over 15 years of experience working in the financial industry as a writer, analyst, marketer, and content strategist. She enjoys writing about emerging trends… Read more

With the rising cost of living in many Western countries, retiring abroad is growing increasingly popular. Many retirees are able to take advantage of favorable exchange rates and a lower cost of living to enjoy new cultural experiences, access to quality, affordable healthcare, and a better climate.

Argentina, South America’s second-largest country, boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery from mountains and lush jungles to massive glaciers, thundering waterfalls, plains, and rugged coastlines. Its cities have often been compared to Europe, in terms of their architecture, art, music and literature – but without the high cost of living. Is it possible to finance a retirement in Argentina that offers a high quality of living with a low price tag?

Argentina - There's a Region or City for Every Type of Retiree

Argentina retirement offers a little something for everyone. From its relaxing coastal towns to the Andes mountain range and its cosmopolitan cities, there’s an environment to suit anyone here. Argentina’s cities, in particular, can offer an easy lifestyle at a low cost, along with access to a diverse foreign and expat community. Argentina is a socially liberal country, and has always welcomed immigrants and expats. Retirees, especially in the larger cities, will find that foreigners and expats can easily fit into a local lifestyle with ease. Most urban areas also offer English-language resources and activities for English-speaking expats.

Retire to Argentina - Center of Buenos Aires

For the City Lovers

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is often referred to as the Paris of the South, and is considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. While your cost of living will be higher here than in other parts of the country, living in Buenos Aires is well worth it. The city’s art scene, restaurant scene, and variety of shops and things to do, make it one of the top places to live in Argentina.

While Buenos Aires does have some negatives, from a fairly high petty crime rate to the above-mentioned higher cost of living, most residents love their city, and its open, tolerant, and welcoming spirit make it extremely popular with foreigners and expats.

Cordoba is Argentina’s second-largest city, and is primarily a college town. Its smaller size means a slower pace of life, a lower cost of living, and a lower crime rate than Buenos Aires. It’s a good option for those looking for the conveniences of a city with a small-town feel.

Cities Aren’t the Only Option

Argentina is blessed with a naturally beauty landscape in nearly every direction. If the city is too busy for you, maybe retiring to wine country would suit you better. Argentina’s wine country boasts a year-round pleasant climate, low crime, and a relaxed lifestyle, with plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Retirement in Argentina for Americans can mean homesickness for some. The city of Mendoza offers a calmer urban environment in the middle of wine country, with a noticeable American influence and a growing expat community. Or, if mountains are more your style, Bariloche may be a good fit. Although small, the city is nestled in the Andes mountains in the Southern end of the country and is a great base for the numerous outdoor activities available.

Retirement to Argentina - Buenos Aires at Night

How Far will USD, GBP or Euro go in Argentina?

For those researching retirement in Argentina, one of the most obvious benefits is how low the cost of living is in Argentina. Of course, this can vary depending on where you live and your lifestyle, but it’s possible for two people to live comfortably for about $1,500 a month. The basics are all relatively inexpensive. Electricity is subsidized, and it’s estimated that it would cost about USD$100 per month for utilities including heat and electricity, water, garbage collection, and $40-$50 for Internet.

Depending on your situation, it might make financial sense to buy instead of rent. Generally, in Argentina, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property. You’ll pay more for property in a city, though prices are still low compared to most European and American cities. And with a favorable exchange rate, you could save even more. Remember that, if you do choose to buy, it’s best to pay cash to avoid the double-digit mortgage interest rates. With the country’s current interest rates hovering around 24% (among the highest in the world), be prepared to pay with cash for larger purchases, if you’re able. This can save you considerably in the long term.

Planning Your Finances for Retirement in Argentina

For one-time, large-sum payments for things like real estate, or for ongoing recurring payments, working with a transfer provider can help you save on both the transfer fees and the rate of exchange. Historically, the Argentinian peso has been weak against the world’s top currencies, including the US dollar, British pound, and the euro, and an experienced currency specialist can help you find the most favorable rates to stretch your dollar (or pound, or euro) as far as it can go.

A currency specialist can help in a number of ways, even bringing a wealth of experience with country rules and regulations. Acquiring an Argentina retirement visa may require specific steps to be taken, including financial accountability, and a currency broker can often help with the process. Taxes for international retirees can also be complicated and an international currency specialist may be able to help keep expenses low by managing exposure to currency risk or fluctuating rates.

Lastly, be sure to factor into your overall cost considerations potential healthcare costs. Argentina does have an excellent national healthcare system which is available to expats, but it’s still a good idea to purchase a private health insurance policy, as well.

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