Argentina vs. EU


A long story short.... my parents were Argentines who lived and married in Spain, and I was born in Barcelona. Returned with me to Arg when I was an infant, lived there several years, then emigrated to the US in the early 80's. I am a US citizen.

I am now considering moving out of the US and while Argentina really pulls me back (adore it there, lots of family), I am worried regarding economic instability in the future. I can get my Arg citizenship current and live and work there if needed, with the added benefit of a spouse who receives a comfortable monthly U$S military pension. We can afford life in BsAs even without a pile of savings.

Being born in Spain also gives me the option of going through and getting Spanish (and therefore EU) citizenship. Our pension income would go far less in a place like Barcelona compared to BsAs. However, at our age (late 40's and early 50's) we need to consider that living somewhere with good affordable medical care needs to be a top priority. Spanish citizenship and access to its excellent and low/free medical system is admittedly very tempting. My biggest fear is getting sick or in an accident in the US and, even with good insurance, being bankrupted by medical bills.

With those circumstances, what would your choice be? A cheaper daily life in Argentina with the risks of economic difficulties? Or a more expensive "1st world" European retirement with excellent free public healthcare?


Given your circumstance, I believe I would choose Argentina. If your (husband's) pension is in USD, then that is a plus, absolutely (iow, even though there is significant inflation here in Arg, your USDs will be able to keep pace, more or less). And in Argentina there is both public and private healthcare. I have private medical insurance through Medife and my monthly premium for a bronze (not gold) policy is around, I believe, $4.000 pesos/month and I have been impressed with my coverage. For me it is more than adequate. In the US, if I was to pay for just a catastrophic policy, my monthly premium would be something like $1,000 USD per month with a $10 thousand deductible before anything at all is paid, which for me is a total no-go.

I cannot really speak to Spain and its cost of living etc. If you are eligible for Spanish citizenship, perhaps that would be a good idea, regardless, (just to have in your back pocket). But in your circumstance, if your 'heart' lies in Argentina, then with your USD income then it would seem your Argentinean endeavor is certainly viable (and perhaps a blessing!). Bear in mind though, that in Argentina we never really know what lies around the next corner ... Given your circumstances, though it just might be worth the 'adventure', especially because you have 'options'.

You might also have a look at this handy tool, called Numbeo. It gives you a pretty real time comparison of the 'cost of living' in various countries and cities around the globe -

Last word - go with your heart. And if you can make the numbers work, then all the better ... !

With a bit of study and foresight, I am sure you will do just fine!


only you can make this decision- but to me, it comes down to where do you think you would love living more.
there will be economic issues, political issues, pluses and minuses everywhere.
to me, the pluses of Argentina are the people, the culture, the architecture, the landscape.
I have been to Spain a few times, and, while I like Barcelona, I Love Buenos Aires. But thats just me.


I have lived and worked in the US, Spain and Argentina. I also have a medical background, so my perspective will be from this angle.

You as a (potential) patient or consumer of medical services should be aware that when we look at the quality of medical services we look at complex factors that deal with access, administrative efficiency, equity, and (probably the most important for you) health care outcomes. If you are looking to live in a place where health care system as a whole operates as close as possible to the 'gold standard" (the optimal), Spain (Barcelona or Madrid for example) is much, much closer to this than Argentina (Buenos Aires for example). If you are considering private medical coverage, keep in mind that private medical coverage in Spain, such as Sanitas (with 5 euro copay per visit), costs much less than in the US or AR, while giving you to access superb medical facilities in Spain and Europe.

IN addition to the above you may also value stability as an important factor contributing to your well being and overall health, and this factor alone is very different in AR vs Spain/EU.

As others mentioned, you have a choice and that's great.

UK Man

I personally would chose Spain for several reasons. I would say the cost of living there is comparable to here if not cheaper in certain areas. It has a far more stable economy - then again most of Europe does compared to here - which will allow you to plan and budget better. The clincher for me though is Spain isn't isolated so you can hop on a plane and fly to loads of different countries at little cost for weekends. However if your heart is set on coming here and you can handle the hassles of living here permanently then I'd go for it.


Hopefully @ElCordobés will see this and reply. He moved from the US to Argentina with his family, lived in Cordoba for several years, and now lives in Spain. So it seems like he could give the best first-hand experience, including with the health care system.

I don't have first-hand experience living in Spain, and minimal contact with the health care system in Argentina, but I would guess Spain is better for health care. Also I'm totally envious of your options for citizenship in both the EU and Argentina!


Thank you everyone for your input. I do have lots to think about and consider.

Having the option of both ARG and Spanish citizenship is a nice fluke, but I will tell you that it caused all sorts of issues for my poor father whenever we traveled back to ARG on family visits back in the 70s and 80's. Back then every trip required spending an entire day in line at the Depto. de Policia (which no longer exists I believe) to get papers stamped and other various nonsense tramites and every single time, having one child born overseas (by then I had 2 arg-born siblings) caused huge problems for us. They would refuse to renew my cedula or DNI (because it was extranjera, horrors!), or send us to stand in line at the US Embassy for invented visa renewal issues, tell us they'd allow my family to return but not me until some paper that takes 3 months to process is completed,etc etc etc. I have very clear memories of my dad and grandfather going out to buy fancy perfume or jewelry as bribes to whichever official was needed to move my paperwork along so that I could fly home with my family before school started.

Those were the days! Not that I have many illusions that those sorts of things don't happen any more, I am sure they do. That may be part of my hesitation, my childhood memories of the dictadura of the 70's and the chaos of the 80s/90s and beyond. I don't trust it will improve. I have the classic Argentine pessimism about the future in my blood, I suppose!