My wife (Argentinian) claims you can live "well" on $1500 a month in Argentina. True?

LeroyBrown

Registered
If you're coming from Saudi Arabia you won't be impressed with Argentine accommodation. This is my only complaint about Argentina, they don't have any exclusive/nice/modern residential areas. Palermo, Recoleta, etc has character but the vast majority of it is run down buildings who haven't had any maintenance since the 80's. Puerto Madero is OK, but it's a few blocks of cramped, overpriced, high rise apartment complexes. It's not residential, there's people everywhere. There are a few closed neighborhoods they call a "country", in theory similar to an expat compound in Saudi, and some, not all, are nice and modern, but there's so few of them it's next to impossible to find rental there, especially short term. Outside of BA in places like Mendoza, Cordoba, etc it's worse. Argentina needs to loose the "All for Juan, Juan for All" mentality and embrace a little classism and bulldoze some of these areas and replace them with modern and exclusive neighborhoods like the rest of the region.
 

perry

Veteran
If you're coming from Saudi Arabia you won't be impressed with Argentine accommodation. This is my only complaint about Argentina, they don't have any exclusive/nice/modern residential areas. Palermo, Recoleta, etc has character but the vast majority of it is run down buildings who haven't had any maintenance since the 80's. Puerto Madero is OK, but it's a few blocks of cramped, overpriced, high rise apartment complexes. It's not residential, there's people everywhere. There are a few closed neighborhoods they call a "country", in theory similar to an expat compound in Saudi, and some, not all, are nice and modern, but there's so few of them it's next to impossible to find rental there, especially short term. Outside of BA in places like Mendoza, Cordoba, etc it's worse. Argentina needs to loose the "All for Juan, Juan for All" mentality and embrace a little classism and bulldoze some of these areas and replace them with modern and exclusive neighborhoods like the rest of the region.

How is cost of living in Saudi Arabia compared to Argentina?
 

steveinbsas

Registered
As tourist can I get health insurance? from what I have read I can't get one but if I can this would be amazing.
Even if you could enroll in a private health plan in Argentina, as a tourist there is no need to do so. There would likely be at least a six month waiting period to cover any treatmant for preexisting conditions.

If you really are a tourist I beleive you can go to any public hospital in Argentina in case of an emergency. You can also get a traveler's insurance policy good for the dates of your travel that will cover emergency expeneses in most hosptials. This type of coverage may be included when you purchase your tickets (depending on the terms of youur card).

If you have to purchase traveler's health insurance separtaely, I suggest you be sure it includes coverage for an emergency "life flight" back to your home country. Also be sure to ask if the traveler's insurance coverage can be extended if you extend your tourist visa by 90 days.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
PS to my previous post: I enrolled in a plan with Omint during my first 90 days in Argentina, using my passport as my ID. I did not yet have my DNI or a precaria. I don't remember if they looked for/at my entry stamp. Even after getting my DNI I continued to use my passport as my ID for Omint.

Two years later I switched to Medicus to take advantage of the "group rate" offered through expat connection. The rate was substantionally lower and the coverage was great! I don't know if the group rate is still avialble or if someone with only a tourist visa could enroll now. In any case, don't call Medicus and ask about an ëxpat discount. They won't know what you are talking about.
 

AFVA

Registered
I don't know, dozens of my Argentinian relatives have managed to live good and happy lives in Buenos Aires for decades and have turned out OK. They put their children in public schools and every child has gone on to be college graduates and become successful architects, engineers, software/tech engineers, business executives and physicians. They all have cars. A few of them have a second weekend home out in the country. They take annual trips to Europe and Asia, and vacation in Brazil and Miami during the summers. They are happy, they are raising their own happy well-adjusted family-oriented intelligent children. Somehow they managed to do all that while still being Argentinian and living in Buenos Aires, imagine that. Not everyone wants to live like an American.

There is much to be said to live in a society where families are large and very close and look out for each other. Where you can send your child to school or go to work and not worry about being shot. Where that same child then can go to university all the way to getting their PhD and finish with zero student loan debt. Where an accident or illness does not mean they will have to declare bankruptcy from medical bills even while insured.

To the OP, I see where your wife is coming from. I hear her when she says American society is cold. She just wants a simpler life close to her family. It's not impossible. It's also not some huge step-down to live simpler and be happy with less material things and accept that life can be chaotic in Buenos Aires, but for her the benefits outweigh the negatives. No, you won't have a 1200sq ft house with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances in a gated community, drive a BMW, and have a flat-screen in every room on $1500/month. However, if that's more important to you, stay in the US.
 

Stantucker

Registered
I don't know, dozens of my Argentinian relatives have managed to live good and happy lives in Buenos Aires for decades and have turned out OK. They put their children in public schools and every child has gone on to be college graduates and become successful architects, engineers, software/tech engineers, business executives and physicians. They all have cars. A few of them have a second weekend home out in the country. They take annual trips to Europe and Asia, and vacation in Brazil and Miami during the summers. They are happy, they are raising their own happy well-adjusted family-oriented intelligent children. Somehow they managed to do all that while still being Argentinian and living in Buenos Aires, imagine that. Not everyone wants to live like an American.

There is much to be said to live in a society where families are large and very close and look out for each other. Where you can send your child to school or go to work and not worry about being shot. Where that same child then can go to university all the way to getting their PhD and finish with zero student loan debt. Where an accident or illness does not mean they will have to declare bankruptcy from medical bills even while insured.

To the OP, I see where your wife is coming from. I hear her when she says American society is cold. She just wants a simpler life close to her family. It's not impossible. It's also not some huge step-down to live simpler and be happy with less material things and accept that life can be chaotic in Buenos Aires, but for her the benefits outweigh the negatives. No, you won't have a 1200sq ft house with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances in a gated community, drive a BMW, and have a flat-screen in every room on $1500/month. However, if that's more important to you, stay in the US.
To complete the picture of BA you might want to add that you have a greater chance of being robbed and attacked pulling your car into your garage than your child does getting shot at school in the States. And I am not just talking about low rent areas. It happened to a friend of mine in a middle class neighborhood. And that's just one story.

Also, not related to the issues of living in BA, but when people who can afford to pay for their post secondary education do so, the govt has more money for scholarships. The cost of education is more than just tuition. It's also books, and room, board and transportation for students who must away from home. I have a doctorate from the US and never had to borrowed a cent, and my parents didn't pay for it. A lot of that has to do where you go to school. I agree, though, that the cost of US post secondary education has gotten ridiculous.
 

Fiscal

Registered
If you're coming from Saudi Arabia you won't be impressed with Argentine accommodation. This is my only complaint about Argentina, they don't have any exclusive/nice/modern residential areas. Palermo, Recoleta, etc has character but the vast majority of it is run down buildings who haven't had any maintenance since the 80's. Puerto Madero is OK, but it's a few blocks of cramped, overpriced, high rise apartment complexes. It's not residential, there's people everywhere. There are a few closed neighborhoods they call a "country", in theory similar to an expat compound in Saudi, and some, not all, are nice and modern, but there's so few of them it's next to impossible to find rental there, especially short term. Outside of BA in places like Mendoza, Cordoba, etc it's worse. Argentina needs to loose the "All for Juan, Juan for All" mentality and embrace a little classism and bulldoze some of these areas and replace them with modern and exclusive neighborhoods like the rest of the region.
Very interesting analysis. Thank you.
 

sergio

Registered
I don't know, dozens of my Argentinian relatives have managed to live good and happy lives in Buenos Aires for decades and have turned out OK. They put their children in public schools and every child has gone on to be college graduates and become successful architects, engineers, software/tech engineers, business executives and physicians. They all have cars. A few of them have a second weekend home out in the country. They take annual trips to Europe and Asia, and vacation in Brazil and Miami during the summers. They are happy, they are raising their own happy well-adjusted family-oriented intelligent children. Somehow they managed to do all that while still being Argentinian and living in Buenos Aires, imagine that. Not everyone wants to live like an American.

There is much to be said to live in a society where families are large and very close and look out for each other. Where you can send your child to school or go to work and not worry about being shot. Where that same child then can go to university all the way to getting their PhD and finish with zero student loan debt. Where an accident or illness does not mean they will have to declare bankruptcy from medical bills even while insured.

To the OP, I see where your wife is coming from. I hear her when she says American society is cold. She just wants a simpler life close to her family. It's not impossible. It's also not some huge step-down to live simpler and be happy with less material things and accept that life can be chaotic in Buenos Aires, but for her the benefits outweigh the negatives. No, you won't have a 1200sq ft house with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances in a gated community, drive a BMW, and have a flat-screen in every room on $1500/month. However, if that's more important to you, stay in the US.
A 1.200 sq ft house is pretty small!

It's good to hear that your relatives have achieved the "Argentine Dream" - cars, 1,200 sq ft.homes, annual holidays in Brazil, Miami, Europe. On top of it all, happiness! WOW. And they gave done this without living like Americans! Fantastic.
 
I don't know, dozens of my Argentinian relatives have managed to live good and happy lives in Buenos Aires for decades and have turned out OK. They put their children in public schools and every child has gone on to be college graduates and become successful architects, engineers, software/tech engineers, business executives and physicians. They all have cars. A few of them have a second weekend home out in the country. They take annual trips to Europe and Asia, and vacation in Brazil and Miami during the summers. They are happy, they are raising their own happy well-adjusted family-oriented intelligent children. Somehow they managed to do all that while still being Argentinian and living in Buenos Aires, imagine that. Not everyone wants to live like an American.

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GREAT for your friends. But they certainly didn't do this on $1,500 US per month! I think that was the point of the OP. Can you SURVIVE on $1,500 US per month with a wife and child in Buenos Aires. Umm. Sure. But my point is that surviving and thriving aren't the same thing.

AFVA mentioned his dozens of friends that had great lives there. Absolutely you CAN but it takes money. People that have second homes in the country, take annual trips to USA, Europe and Asia and vacation in Brazil and Miami during summers do NOT do it on $1,500 US per month! That was my point. My wealthy Argentine friends make most of my wealthy American friends look poor!

It's not about "living like an American". My point was that in life it's almost impossible to go backwards. When you have a big house (and no I don't consider a house of 1,200 sq. feet as big). and try to go backwards it's tough. When you have a really nice car and go to a cheap car it's tough. When you have a certain style of life and accustomed to things actually working it's tough to go backwards.

No one is even talking about driving a BMW, living in a fancy house, etc. etc. Do the exercise. Add up realistically what you'd realistically spend having a wife and child (no matter where you live). Take my list and be honest and list all the things you would spend and I can promise you that for most people it will be a heck of a lot more than $1,500 US per month.

This isn't even about being materialistic. Things just add up. Wives like to go and get their hair done, their nails done, buy clothes, eat out at nice places once in a while. I don't care where you live and I've lived in many different places. You just have to be realistic. From my experience, people magically try to move somewhere and they try to say to themselves that they can make it work but don't really be honest with themselves how much they will actually spend across ALL spending categories including saving for retirement. That's the #1 reason why most people around the world aren't prepared for retirement and older age. They spend most of their lives fooling themselves and not saving enough.

At least in Argentina, many do end up having a paid off place by the time they are retired. Most in the USA will never see their title deeds and have no idea what it looks like.
 
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