Thinking of returning


Dec 29, 2009
Hi out there - I am an Argentine born US raised and educated Attorney considering returning to Bs. As. for a few years, perhaps setting up a pied a terre and traveling or just finding my roots. Am familiar enough with the city and the people and have some relatives, however I need an objective picture. I cannot get a true feel for the cost of living from the blogs. Friends have told me that it is better to rent than to buy; that all US amenities are available and that other than idiosyncratic hassles, generally one can live very comfortably. I am curious about the health care system - is it equivalent to the US ? my dad was a US Physician and I have always heard that it was not - has it caught up? Is a car necessary? How much does one cost ? I had estimated 40K/year. Is that doable? How bad is the culture shock? Anyone know any horror stories of people who have repatriated?

Aqui todo lo electronicos, opticos,carros ,etc, es mas caro que alli.Pero podes todos tus electronicos portatiles en el avion sin problemas,creo(una propina en Ezeiza siempre ayuda mucho)When in Rome.....
Todo lo que sean servicios en mucho mas barato que alla, incluida la cirugia plastica,etc.
Las casas tenes que mirar mucho, Caballito es buen lugar tambien.
Health systems buenos son Galeno, Sw3iiss Medical,etc.
Los autos nacionales son mas baratos y los repuestos tambien.
Llamame 4687-1604 Henry
Gracias Henry - pero cuanto cuesta un auto mas o menos y pensas que con 40,000 anual se puede vivir bien ? Tengo preguntas basicas - por ejemplo - jamas uso cash - me manejo con tarjetas y cheques - es lo mismo?


Con 40K USD se puede vivir bastante bien, provided you'll be able to still earn that sum in dollars.

Para tener un negocio, los intereses the tarjetas son mucho más altos que en America, es por eso (y no solo por el VAT) que siempre te piden pagar con cash.

Como consumidor sin embargo uno se maneja en todos lados on CC. Cheque sin embargo es más complicado, hay cierto impuesto, etc.

Los autos son muuucho más caros, y electronica (trae todo lo que puedas de allá).

Healthcare es mucho más barato y = calidad. like 200 USD/month for a family plan, and it actually covers what it says it covers. I dislocated my shoulder here and got 1st class surgery with an imported "harpoon" the stuck in me, and stayed at a 5star clinic. It didn't cost me a dime more than the monthly payment and the surgeon told me without coverage it would have costed me around 80.000USD.....

Thanks - I can do 40K easy - I am just trying to get a feel for what I will need for a comfortable life - If electronics are so expensive what do locals do? Like my printer, do I have to take it with me or can I buy locally? Cell phone, does that require a contract or can I do on a month to month?


You should bring as many computers AND computer parts as possible. Even if you only need one laptop, buy another and bring it, you'll be able to swap it for all the electronics you'll need (so you don't have to bring heavy hardware). Computers are literally 3x more expensive down here, and the smaller they are the more expensive they are and ironically the less hassle will the charming custom people do.

It's easy to buy a "celular liberado" and then just buy cards to charge it, not a prob.

Clothing is nice here, specially for a lady, but you wont find American quality for say outdoor equipment, trekking shoes...

Let's break down those 40K/yr:

Housing: 4000 pesos a month will get you a nice place unless you're coming with family -> plus general maintenance expenses: 16K USD yr

Healthcare (Depends on age but you don't ask that to a lady so let's round up): 500 pesos month, +- 2K USD yr

Dining out every day (lol): 6K USD yr

Furniture and Car: 16K (a lot less actually)


40K and that's in Argentine standards an upper middle class living, and you only need to buy the car and furniture once.
If you look at the latest Mercer cost of living survey B.A. and Portland Oregon are about the same from a COL standpoint. I used one of those COL comparisons between Austin and Portland and the COL according to the one I looked at said the COL between these two cities is about the same.

I agree that you could live in B.A. today for $40k but remember inflation is high here. A year from now you will likely need more than $40k, assuming 20% inflation you would need $48k to maintain the same standard of living assuming everthing remains equal. It a little more complicated than this due to the change in exchange rates. If the dollar gets stronger or weaker against the peso would have a big impact on you.
I really appreciate the input - I may be picking your brain some more as I try to digest all this. I assume that I could find something to do to supplement income and that could pay for some of the 365 nights I planned to eat out. ;)
Thanks again
Alicia: yo me retire de USA y vivo aqui con mucho menos que eso (pero tengo casa).
Todos los equipos electronicos funcionan bien aqui, solo tenes que conseguir los transformadores, adapters, etc.,apropiados(todo eso se consigue aqui).
Los mejores autos aqui son japoneses o alemanes, tienen mejor calidad, pero son mas caros. Pero tambien valen mas cuando los revendes (capish?).
Despues te envio precios.
Trata de evitar Palermo, Barrio Norte, Belgrano, etc, pagas el doble o triple que otras zonas que podrias vivir sin problemas, dado que sos Argie.
Todos tus muebles los podes traer en un container como efectos personales sin pagar aduana (averigua en el consulado Arg en NY).
There are a couple of things to consider when buying a car in BA:
1) Diesel engines are more efficient, but the diesel fuel here is of bad quality. Toyota will not sell Corolla diesel cars here no more, the warranty expenditures were phenomenal, (clogged fuel injectors, fuel filters, etc).
2) For resell value try Tototas or VW.
3) Cost and availability of spare parts. Toyota Corolla is the 5th most produced car in the world, so is the VW Gol, approx (there is plenty of spare parts for those).
4) As to the level of training and experience of technicians working in the dealers, Toyota (again) is the best here.

Recomendation then: buy a Toyota Corolla (and it is the advice that worked for GM for 20+ years)