Retirement In BA


May 24, 2008
Good day all. First and foremost, this is a GREAT site. I am currently in the US military and will retire soon. I know for sure I will be retiring to BA. After living in Naples, Italy (FANTASTIC PLACE) for 7 years and the wonderful experiences I've had, I know BA is the place. The Euro is a killer right now and my plans to move back there are slim. Of course BA looks and I'm pretty sure feels the same way as any other European city. Some of you might laugh but...I'M NOT WORKING ONCE I RETIRE. That's why it's called retirement. I was wondering if anyone has any info on a good Realtor down there? I'm looking for a apt for around 50-70k.What are the monthly bills like. Electric, water, cable, etc? Also, do any of you 'just live' in BA and come and go as you please? It's just me, no wife, no kids. After doing the military thing for 20 years, I just want to live...and I think I've found the perfect place!
I lived in Italy myself for a year. B.A. isn't Europe. It's like pizza in the U.S. versus Italy. They are both called the same thing but they are quite a bit different. You can listen to the pros and cons of living here but the only way for sure is trying it out for yourself. The only piece of advice I can offer beyond that is you should rent first and not buy. If you rent and you decide you don't like it you go to the airport and leave. If you have all your money tied up in an apartment you can't leave until its sold, which depending on conditions this could be months or years. I would make the rental period at least a year. Things like utilities today are artifically cheap thanks to the government. However how long this can last is doubtful. Inflation is running 25-30%. Basically in South America people are cheap and things are expensive. Locally produced goods and food tend to be cheap(although some things are not of great quality) and everything imported is probably more expensive (sometimes substantially more expensive) than in the states.
Stanexpat, Thank you for the response. I FULLY agree with renting versus buying for the first year or so. I know it's a nice place and everywhere you go in the world will have its ups and downs. Do you know of any Realtors or should I just look online. Thanks! Darrell
Do you need a Realtor that sells only or one that rents units only? Or do you want the Century 21's and REMAX's of Buenos Aires? They are in every corner of BsAs but the ones that are the best are in the very area that you are looking to rent or buy. They tend to specialize in the areas they service.
If retirement time is soon, in less than a year or two, maybe it is best to visit a couple of times first in the present economic and government conditions and then when the right time comes and you are fully convinced that this is your perfect place , you could focus on that barrio you would want to rent in. Buenos Aires is composed of several barrios and each has its pros and cons. And depending on what you want to do during your retirement in Buenos Aires you might want to see where a good place to sleep is (no noise) and place where to play.
Buen Suerte. You speak castellano, I presume.
While life in Buenos Aires isnt equal to a military tour of duty, neither is it easy. its a very difficult place to live, mostly because of the people. such unhappy people, such dishonest people, always on the edge of rage and fury, the rudeness, the pollution and noise (much more than any city we are used to), and the fact, because any local knows its a fact, the fact that the tunnel has no light at the end. this is it! it cant get better than this. if you dont grind your teeth at night, youll soon realize you have begun to do so and you wont recognize photos of yourself from just a few years ago.
Id think long and hard before moving here.
Choklit- After you log in, click on the left side of the screen in "My Notes". I sent you a private email addressing some of your issues.
I don't have any specific recommendations for someone in real estate. I sure someone will recommend or check around on this site.If you check around on this site and some of the answers to your post you are going to find quite a few people with things not so nice to say about B.A. Frankly I would have to agree with a lot of the negative comments. If living with friendly people in tranquil environment is what you want then B.A. is not for you. However, B.A. is not all of Argentina. There are other cities like Rosario and Cordoba which are just as nice but on a smaller scale with friendlier people and I suspect a somewhat lower cost of living. You might also think about Uruguay which is more tranquil and has friendly people. I've heard and read a lot of good stuff about Chile but I don't have any firsthand knowledge.The discontent you will hear on this site is real. The complains generally fall in to difficult people, high crime, and high inflation. This is overlaid with the sense that things are getting worse and not better. This is certainly true of crime and inflation. Knowing what I know to today I wouldn't come B.A. nor would I recommend it to anyone else, although I think there are some better options nearby. In my opinion real estate in the city is generally overpriced today (just my opinion). My sense is that in the next year or two prices are more likely to fall than to increase.
choklit, steveinbsas is saying is true. Buenos Aires is not Argentina and Argentina is more than just Buenos Aires. I love the outside of the city. I have said it here before and I will say it again, the people the atmosphere and the way of life outside of the city is wonderful. People are warm and true. Food is good, vegetables are fresh and there is a more relaxed paced.
I have officially lost the hearing of my right side hear from extensive walking on the streets and riding buses in the city. It pains me to accept this fact but I can still hear in my left ear so how long that will last - who knows but I am being positive here.
Try the outskirts of BsAs when you come for your visit. I am sure you will love it. try this for for an insentive - you can hear the birds chirping in the afternoon, see the stars at night and actually smell the fresh cut lawn grass after a dewy morning. Now that is what retirement should be about. And yes, a nice asado on a Sunday with lots of vino never did hurt anyone.
First of all I don't understand why you need a realtor when you agree that you should rent for a year. I really urge you to rent and see if you like the place. If after a year you are happy you can look around for a property but you will need closer to $100,000 if you want to live in one of the nice areas. Keep in mind that for $100,000 you will get no more than 50 meters, not a lot of space! As for BA being like Europe, it really is similar to Italy - without the art and history. There is intense traffic and noise, people speak in a loud voice, can be rude and are aggressive like the Romans. There is a lot of corruption too, just like Italy! There is a lot of Italian food but it is not nearly as good as what you get in Italy with little focus on vegetables as there is in Italy (and little variety in vegetables and difficulty getting fresh ones). Now the price of some things is cheaper here than in Italy. For example, the subway is about 30 cents US compared to 1 euro in Rome. But be careful because if you want to travel to other cities you will find distances great, unlike Italy, and there is no good rail system. Trains are generally bad here and few and far between. Long distance buses can be good, if you can tolerate buses. If not, you will have to fly and you will be shocked at how high the domestic air fares are (no low cost discount airlines as in Europe). Want a cup of coffee? You pay 90 cents of one euro in Rome for a little coffee; here you will pay anywhere from about 3,5 pesos to 6,50 - that means it's about the same or a lot more and not as good. Anyway, come here and see for yourself and then decide what to do.
Even though I don't live in BA, I have visited numerous times and was ready to get a small Apartment until the gang on here talked me out if it. Not directly but the many negative stories and comments I picked up on - BA isn't what you think it is when you have to put up with all the daily garbage that so many complain about all the time. I didn't really see a lot of these things they mention during my short stays in BA but I do believe what they have to say.

With that said here's 2 Real Estate agents that are probably a bit over priced BUT also most likely decent, honest, and on the safe side - AND

They do cater to "outsiders" and the first one is connected with "International Living" a GREAT organization that will tell you all about being an Expat ANYWHERE in the world. They are a wealth of information covering the planet from THAILAND to AUSTRALIA to PANAMA to BUENOS ARIES. International Living is something every Expat should be involved with - . So, there you go choklit, now how about dishing some negative super secret dirt about the US Military to make Dudester happy ??? (just joking....maybe)