Wannabe Expats

#1
I'm still in TX... I have had just about enough of the madness in the US. The upcoming election scares me and I don't want to be here anymore. I am currently an airline pilot, but am willing to try something else...
I would LOVE any advice any of you may have to offer on "chucking it all" and moving south. A prominent concern I have is that I have a 16 and a 14 year old... They aren't out of high school yet...
How much $ a month do I realistically need to live reasonably comfortably there? Any info on schools and medical would be appreciated also.
Thanks.
 
#2
Hi Deb. May I ask when was the last time you visited Argentina? Or are you contemplating on taking up residence in the city of Buenos Aires alone? An updated visit would be a wise move prior to relocating your teens here.
Cheers, Grazie
 
#3
Hello Deb, my name is Viviana I reside in Nashville Tn, where I am a realtor and financial consultant to hispanics. My husband and I are also weary and sick and tired of everything here. We just both happen to be from Argentina so we are very aware of the changes we must face. the change is definitely worth the move!!!! My husband will be in Mendoza July 10th, we help americans with travel, housing accomodations for vacations or your permanent move check out our blog
http://www.mendozaconnection.blogspot.com
http://mendozaconnection.blogspot.com/
If you want to contact me in the US my number is 615-405-7217 or
wwwtodofinanciero.net
Good luck to you hope we can help!!
Viviana and Ariel
 
#4
Quoting "Deb""

I'm still in TX... I have had just about enough of the madness in the US. The upcoming election scares me and I don't want to be here anymore. I am currently an airline pilot, but am willing to try
something else...

I would LOVE any advice any of you may have to offer on "chucking it all" and moving south. A prominent concern I have is that I have a 16 and a 14 year old... They aren't out of high school yet...

How much $ a month do I realistically need to live reasonably comfortably there? Any
info on schools and medical would be appreciated also.

Thanks."

Hi Deb,

I see your post has already received some replies, including one from a US based Argentine realtor/financial planner plugging Mendoza. There’s nothing wrong with Viviana touting Mendoza, but you did make your post here on the BA exapts forum, and I think it’s important that you get some information
directly from BA expats. Being Argentine, Viviana and her husband will face few difficulties returning to live in Argentina. You and your children will face an entirely different situation.

Most expats coming to live here (not just "moving" here for six months or a year) either have a job lined up in advance or have enough incomefrom "untouchable" investments to satisfy the requirements of the

office of Argentine migraciones. You can't just come here to "live" (legally)without a visa, and a work visa is required if you are to be legally employed. You can also live here if you have a guaranteed monthly income of about $900USD (for one adult...possibly more for the three of you) from a trust, pension, or an annuity. For this a visia rentista is required. Foreign property, money in bank accounts, mutual funds, child usually support, and alimony will not be considered when applying for the visa
rentista. I am not sure if your dependent children would be "entitled" to a "free" education under the conditions of a temporary visa.


I’m sorry to say that a foreign woman in her late 30s or early 40's wouldstand little chance of finding an acceptable entry level position in "something new" here, and if she did, the pay would probably be
abysmal by US standards. A "well paid" 40 year old professional woman I dated makes a little over $1000USD per month here. For the entry level position, you would be competing for even lower wages with women half your age who are probably still living with their parents or other young women their age who are also working. A three bedroom appartment in a decent (not necessarily safe) area of Buenos Aires could easily cost over $1000USD per month (plus expenses and utilities). Your total monthly apartment costs would probably exceed your entry level income before taxes, and you would still
face the need for food, clothing, health care, travel, and entertainment.

IF you could get a job as a pilot for an Argentine airline, you might be able to make it here, but I have no idea if they are hiring foreigners. I seriously doubt Argentine pilots are paid even half as much as you are paid in the US.

Average pay here is about 25% of comparable jobs in the US (according to other posts on this forum and Argentines I know). You would also be taxed at a rate of up to 30% in Argentina.

Unless you pay into the Argentine social security system for (30?) years, you will not receive any "retirement" benefits. As US tax law is now, your Argentine income (up to $85KUSD) would not be taxed in the US You may still be required to pay into US social security, but I'm not certain.There is also a 21% IVA tax on most goods and services here, not to mention the fifth highest inflation rate in the world today. The official rate is 9.5% but few believe that figure. Many items in the grocery store have
increased in price by 50% or more in the past year, some in the past few months. This includes sunflower oil, coffee, cheese, and chocolate, just to name a few. Most groceries, with the noteworthy exceptions of beef, wine and beer, cost about the same as in the US now, and the selection here is
limited.



As for education, there are several important considerations: Do your children expect to go to college in the US? Will a "diploma" from an Argentine school (public or private) satisfy the entrance requirements? After 2 to 4 years in school here will they stand a chance of scoring well on the SAT or ACT? Will they still qualify for “resident” tuition at a state college or university in the US if that is an important consideration? Most important of all, do your children want to leave their present schools, friends, the rest of the family, and even their own future in the US...in order to have a life here?...a life which a number Argentines I know would gladly trade with them!

As for health care, you and the kids would be able to go to any public hospital in Argentina and receive "free" medical care, but you would probably want "private" care (at least $300 US a month for the three
of you for full coverage) as soon as you became aware of the differences between the public and private systems. I have been told that there are "better" public hospitals out of the city (and probably in Mendoza as well).

If the upcoming election in the US scares you, the present socioeconomic and political situation here will scare you even more as you become aware of the reality of life here (especially if you learn Spanish and read the newspaper regularly). Street crime, including mugging, robbery, home invasion, and kidnapping (for ATM withdrawals) here are far greater in the “better neighborhoods” of Buenos Aires than in those of any US city The US devotes a lot more resources than Argentina to catching, prosecuting and
imprisoning criminals (TWO million inmates!). Argentina doesn't have theresources to go after these thugs, so we just live with them, literally. I'm 6'2' and weigh almost 200lbs, and, while I am not as "likely" a target, I know that anything is possible. An Argentine man I know who is ten years younger and 50 pounds heavier than me was robbed at gunpoint in a San Telmo grocery store at 5 in the afternoon!


Believe it or not, I’m very happy here, but I love even more the two or three months each year I spend in San Francisco and its environs....and the occasional month in Paris. I lived in Mexicofor five and a half years before moving to Argentina two years ago, and I

still consider that move a significant upgrade. I received my "baptism under fire" in Mexico (two home invasions and numerous police (traficos) shakedowns), so I was able to adjust to life here rather quickly. Speaking Spanish (well) is essential, unless you only want to associate with other expats, and that's not why I moved here.

I suggest you find the topic "help me decide" by Hannah in the expat life forum. She was considering
moving to Buenos Aires from Ibiza with her two year old daughter. Although the details are somewhat different than yours, it was another example of "the grass is greener" syndrome. There were some thoughtful replies to her post, but I don't think she actually ever visited Argentina.

As a result, even now she probably knows nothing of the "madness" to be found in Buenos Aires. Until you actually spend some time here, neither will you.
 
#5
I feel sorry for Deb. When the turmoil and uncertainty of Argentina, when one of the MOST polluted places ive ever been to, busses that screech as loud as jet airplane engines, when formaldehyde is in toothpaste and soap, when the population of sideway looks and backward glances, hard, cold, and gripping their bags with clenched fists pressed against their bodies, when all of this, and lets not forget the galloping inflation, when all of this is the best solution you can come up with then it just must be flight. FLIGHT!
Deb, this is argentina, the tunnel has no light at the end, either end.
 
#6
"viviana" said:
Hello Deb, my name is Viviana I reside in Nashville Tn, where I am a realtor and financial consultant to hispanics. My husband and I are also weary and sick and tired of everything here. We just both happen to be from Argentina so we are very aware of the changes we must face. the change is definitely worth the move!!!! My husband will be in Mendoza July 10th, we help americans with travel, housing accomodations for vacations or your permanent move check out our blog
http://www.mendozaconnection.blogspot.com
http://mendozaconnection.blogspot.com/
If you want to contact me in the US my number is 615-405-7217 or
wwwtodofinanciero.net
Good luck to you hope we can help!!
Viviana and Ariel
Viviana,
In case you didn't notice, this woman asked for real advice on moving with her family to Argentina. I'm sure she didn't ask for this kind of jingoistic propaganda... I undertand you are trying to promote your business, but i don't think this is the right place to do it. You do realize this is not in the ads section, right?
On the other hand, uprooting a whole family and moving here is not as easy as you make it sound. Believe it or not, Argentina can be a tough place... Why do you think so many argentines want to flee the country then? Think a little....
 

Fishface

Active Member
#8
I'll second that. Great post - spot on accurate.
bsassteve - bravo for writing it all down!
Deb read some off bsassteves other posts on gaining residency etc they illustrate the 'normal' state of affaires here - it's all do-able but its a slog!
 
#9
Muchas gracias to Johny and Fishface for their kind compliments. If you want to read some of my other posts, log on and enter my name in the search box. There all there.