Any advice for newcomers?

klj81

Registered
Hi everyone. I'm trying to figure out how to make the expat move. I'm 28, fleeing Los Angeles (and the States more generally), in search of a better quality of life and a place where I can try to write without worrying about making ends meet quite as much. I've heard amazing things about Buenos Aires, but I'm not sure the best way to go about moving there. Anyone have advice on the job prospects for expats? Good places to look for housing? Is it really possible to work part-time and still get by? Thanks everyone
 

preuben

Registered
Hey there...I live part time in BsAs and Part time in Los Angeles. The best advice I can give you is first financial planning. If you have any assets in the States, do not apply for full time residency because Argentina has a world wide tax on all assets you own- could get messy and from what I understand - hard to prove you don't own anything and the AFIP ( tax man in Argentina) will always have his hand out to you for taxes.

Second, don't close out your N.American bank account. You'll probably need it.

Third, invest in a Vonage phone or get Skype to make any calls you need to the States. Bring an open mind and your city smarts with you. BsAs is a great city to live in and you can definitely live for much less than you can in LA - also, there's still the big city problems that are common place such as petty theft etc...

Fourth, if you have a way to make a few bucks from abroad plan in it. The wages in Argentina are very low and you may find that transposing yourself into BA life with BA wages that you're equally as limited as you were in LA. I have a girlfriend that lives in BA and is struggling to keep afloat on the peso.

Lastly, try and find an apartment that you can stay in that doesn't require a Guarantia. This is tipically required of foreigners and from what I understand, you'll need to post more money to secure an apartment.

Where in LA are you? When are you leaving for BsAs?
 

Napoleon

Registered
I came here from LA as well.

I know a bit about the city.

That's all I have the ganas to write right now.
 

klj81

Registered
I don't really have any savings, since I just blew all my money on a disastrous first year of law school (I'm dropping out). I can sell my car but that's about it. Hopefully I can make some scratch this summer before I leave in the fall. In terms of work, my first thought was to go to the teaching ESL route. How did you guys find the tax situation out there since you retained US citizenship? Thanks!
 

mini

Registered
klj81 said:
I don't really have any savings, since I just blew all my money on a disastrous first year of law school (I'm dropping out). I can sell my car but that's about it. Hopefully I can make some scratch this summer before I leave in the fall. In terms of work, my first thought was to go to the teaching ESL route. How did you guys find the tax situation out there since you retained US citizenship? Thanks!

You will probably struggle more financial here than you every did in LA. It is very difficult to get a decent paying job. If you are living on pesos, things get really expensive. If you are fleeing the US due to financial issues yet have no money/assets in the US to live off of, I think you are in for a bit of a shock.
 

yillabean

Registered
i also recommend you come with a nice savings (just in-case money). before moving here i didn't think i'd touch my savings account after the second month, but i was wrong. i also thought i'd find work quicker (teaching english).

also, i get paid in pesos, but rent a room in dollars. even though the rent stays the same, the dollar keeps rising, which means i pay more and more, even though i make the same amount of money (just keep that in mind)

i don't regret the move one bit. i'm very happy here, but it's not because i'm comfortable with money or because things are inexpensive (on a peso salary things aren't cheap), i'm happy because i can enjoy the little things that b.a. has to offer.

good luck. pm me if you have questions about teaching english.

yill
 

MJK

Registered
I'd recommend trying to set something up yourself here in Buenos Aires. It is the perfect place for entrepeneurs as there are a lot of unexplored opportunities for businesses that you can see have worked well in say London or New York and just don't exist here (plus a lot less aggressive competition). Obviously there's a reason for that, because of the endless crisises people have rather sent their money to invest abroad rather than their own country. Of course setting something here is riskier because of unstable governents and economy, but I beleive that the amount of opportunity here really outweighs the risk factor.
A good example is the California Burrito Company which a couple of guys from the states set up as a fast food mexican here a few years ago and have done really well, set up a few chains now. But that's a prime example of a good opportunity as there is not really any other healthy fast food place i can think of in BA like that (unlike London & New York), very little competition if you pick the right idea.
 

Joe

Registered
Having lived in four different countries as an expat (Japan, Thailand, UK and Argentina) my advice would be don't set your expectations too high.

When looking to move overseas we get caught up in the romance of the exotic locale, tango dancing, exotic women (or men), succulent steaks.

Living in San Francisco, I can walk in five minutes to Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Korean, Spanish, Ethiopian, Russian, Turkish, French, Thai, Indonesian restaurants of very good quality.

If you want variety here, check out your choice of hamburger patties in the freezer section.

So don't set your expectations too high and you won't be disappointed.

I expect that the majority of expats that end up staying, do so because of a romantic relationship (or cheap sex).

For me, even a romantic relationship (or paigo sex) would be hard to compete with my beloved restaurants: Italian, Vietnamese, Guatemalan, Greek, etc. etc. etc...
 
klj81 said:
Hi everyone. I'm trying to figure out how to make the expat move. I'm 28, fleeing Los Angeles (and the States more generally), in search of a better quality of life and a place where I can try to write without worrying about making ends meet quite as much. I've heard amazing things about Buenos Aires, but I'm not sure the best way to go about moving there. Anyone have advice on the job prospects for expats? Good places to look for housing? Is it really possible to work part-time and still get by? Thanks everyone

Coming from Los Angeles I think you are in for a bit of a suprise. There will not be much of a difference in the cost of living. Rent an apartment for 3 months and see how it goes. At least initially, don´t make any long term plans. There are tons of apartments on the market for rent. Check out Craigslist as their prices tend to be much lower. But, still don´t rent until you have come to Buenos Aires and you can see the apartment in person and check out the location. Once you have done that, in person, you can usually always get a better price than you ever will over the internet.
 
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