Argentina is almost synonymous with soccer, but the country’s love for the famous game is matched by its fame as a destination for those who enjoy great wine, exquisite meat and the finer things in life. Argentina is also a very appealing retirement and digital nomad destination as it boasts seductive natural landscapes, a cost of living of around 75% of that in the U.S., and its jam packed with a multitude of cultures.
Argentina is the second largest country in South America by total area and the eighth largest in the world, with the Andes to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and sharing a border with Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay to the north. This vast country encompasses a plethora of landscapes, cultures, and climates… it is, after all, the second biggest country in South America.
As a result, there is no shortage of exciting places to live, things to do, and scenery to ogle at. There is simply no denying that Argentina is one of the most splendidly alluring countries in the region in terms of geographical landscapes. Not exactly sure what kind of landscape you’d like to live in? Well, sorry, but Argentina isn’t going to make that decision any easier. From the otherworldly Iguazú Falls to the Perito Moreno Glacier, the mountains at the “end of the world” in Ushuaia and the Arizona-like rocks of Cafayate, you can’t fail but be blown away by Argentina’s geographic beauty.
Another enticing feature of this South American country is its eclectic culture and history. There’s no escaping Argentina’s historical tie to its colonizer Spain. Spain set up a permanent colony in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires in 1580. The early occupation of the country resulted in some of the economical, architectural, and cultural distinctions that you can see in today’s Argentina. If you have ever traveled to Italy and fallen in love with their culture, Argentina is a surprisingly excellent relocation destination. Did you know that Argentina has the second largest population of Italians outside of Italy? In the 19th and 20th centuries Italians moved in their masses to Argentina.
Italian influences can be seen throughout the country in some of the best ways. Some of Argentina’s most delicious dishes are based on the Italian greats like pizza, pasta, and gelato. Spanish, Italian, and Argentina’s own customs and traditions have resulted in a nation that exudes multicultural acceptance.
If moving to such a drastically different country to the U.S. is a little intimidating for you, not to worry. Argentina’s culture, friendly nature, and European feel gives the country a more familiar feel than you may first imagine. You may also be surprised to find that Argentina’s infrastructure, especially in the bigger cities, is excellent, and they boast modern technology and a rigorous health care system. What is more, is that according to the Global Peace Index, Argentina is one of the three safest countries in South America. So, what are you waiting for? A retirement move to Argentina awaits you.
Though Argentina as a whole has a very diverse climate, most populations live in areas with mild seasons. Head north and the climate becomes sub-tropical, there are arid deserts in central Argentina, and Patagonia the south feels more like Antarctica.
If you make the move to Buenos Aires expect to experience a temperate climate. Average temperatures vary from 47°F(8°C)to83°F(28°C)throughout the year. The wetter season in the capital is between October and April, but generally speaking rainfall is not high in the city.
Life everywhere is what you make of it. There is no denying that an Argentinean lifestyle is of a slower nature to that back home. But its slow pace is also to be admired. Asado, the traditional Argentinian barbecue, is a centerpiece of Argentinian life. A move to sleepy Argentina will reduce your stress and allow you to appreciate what life has to offer.
Though it is good to immediately start learning Spanish, English is also widely spoken. Learning a new language is a fun and interesting way to get to know locals and immerse yourself in your community.
If you are a soccer fan, then you’ll be right at home in Argentina. Spend the weekend watching your local team and enjoying an electric stadium atmosphere. If you aren’t into soccer, then don’t move to Argentina! Just joking, even non-soccer fans will love the atmosphere surrounding Argentina’s love of sport.
Safety and Security
In terms of safety Argentina is one of the safer South American countries. On the 2022 Global Peace Index it ranks third, below Uruguay and Chile. Yes, there are petty crimes and some violent crimes in the larger cities, but mostly Argentina feels safe. One of the reasons why Argentina is safer than other South American countries is the large police presence in the big cities, especially Buenos Aires. Many parts of the capital itself are considered to be very safe and even tourists’ areas don’t experience a lot of issues.
Cost of Living
It is usually one of the most important things to consider when moving abroad…the cost of living. Many expats are pleased with how far their money can stretch in Argentina, especially when coming from Europe or the U.S. Again, the cost of living varies significantly from place to place and depending on how lavish a lifestyle you wish to lead. Living expenses can be around 50 or 60% lower than in the States and apartment rentals average at around 75% cheaper than back home.
One of Argentina’s attractive features is its culinary scene. You’ll be pleased to know that food in Argentina isn’t going to break the bank. You can save a ton of money on food if you eat at local hole-in-the-wall joints. It’s not uncommon at many restaurants to have a lunch or dinner which includes a starter, main, dessert, and a drink for $8. Talk about an absolute bargain! At a fancier English style restaurant, you could pay between $16 and $25 for a three course dinner with local wine. Talk about an affordable date night!
Bottom line is that many expats and retirees manage to live comfortably with a monthly budget of around $1,000 to $1,300 for singles, and $1,500 to $1,800 for couples.
Good news as Argentina does not tax pension income.Those who own property are also expected to pay an annual tax to the government, irrespective of whether they reside in the country. You must also remember to keep on top of these taxes as you don’t receive a reminder to pay each year.
Visas and Residency
US and EU citizens only need a visa if they plan to stay for more than 90 days. If you do plan to spend more than 90 days in the country, the visa you will need will depend on how long your stay will be and whether or not you plan to work in the country.
For individuals planning to retire in Argentina, there’s the retiree visa and the steady-income visa. For the former, you are required to prove you are retired by displaying evidence of a monthly pension (three receipts of your social security benefits) and have a monthly income above 30,000 Argentine pesos, which translates to about $823 a month. For the steady-income visa you must be able to prove that you have a minimum monthly income of around $2,000. This figure does change regularly, so be sure to check the final amount when you are applying for the visa.
Visa for retirees is only valid for one year and after two successful renewals, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Argentina’s Healthcare system is overall good. Argentina is currently ranked at no 67 on the World Health Organization‘s ranking of the world’s health systems. Argentina has a universal health care scheme, meaning everyone is guaranteed access to public health care. No matter your residency status this holds true. Those who can afford to tend to invest in private health insurance. Though in big cities health care infrastructure is good by Western standards, public hospitals are often overwhelmed and there are long wait times.
Compared with the U.S., private healthcarein Argentina is far more affordable. You also don’t need to be a resident to be able to enroll in a private healthcare scheme. The services offered under private healthcare plans are often extensive compared to the U.S. There are even schemes that cover therapist and nutritionist visits at no additional cost.
If you are worried about the potential language barrier, then don’t be. Most of the doctors throughout the larger hospitals speak English and some even speak three or four languages.
Because of the fluctuating nature of the Peso, Argentinian property is often valued and sold in U.S. dollars. If you are searching for a real estate bargain, then consider staying just outside of the main metropolitan areas. It is affordable to both buy and rent property in Argentina. In the beautiful wine country city of Mendoza, rental properties can be more than 15 times cheaper than in California! Yes, you read that correctly. You can rent a three bed apartment in Mendoza for just under $400, when comparing that to the U.S. it’s a no brainer.
One of the interesting things about real estate in Argentina is the architecture. Buenos Aires is home to many old buildings that wouldn’t look out of place in Europe. This contrasted with modern high-rises, makes for a fascinating real estate market.
Whilst many choose to live and purchase property in Buenos Aires, the rest of Argentina has plenty to offer too. The beautiful city of Bariloche, which sits in the foothills of the Andes, is another excellent option for real estate. Travel to Bariloche and you may be confused thinking you are in Switzerland. Surrounded by a glacial lake and snow capped mountains, Bariloche has adopted the chalet-style architecture. You can purchase a 1,700 square foot Alpine-esque chalet with an all-important view for around $110,000. Who needs Switzerland when you can live a more affordable mountainous Argentinean dream?
Best Places to Live in Argentina
There is a profusion of destinations to happily retire to in Argentina, all with their own unique perks and charms.
Cities like Buenos Aires and Córdoba provide that bigger city life feel with all the modern amenities and infrastructure.
However, a move to Bariloche, situated on the Nahuel Huapi glacial lake is a welcome change to large city life. Choosing the best place to live in Argentina really depends on your priorities and your economic situation. Here are some of the most popular destinations that retirees choose to move to.
Buenos Aires is one of the most favored destinations in Argentina among expats. Both retirees and working expats choose to make the move to this South American capital. Buenos Aires is actually one of the safest cities in South America, which should also give you some peace of mind. The city has a cosmopolitan vibe, with a ton of things to see and do.
The strong Latin flare heavily influences Buenos Aires gastronomic scene, providing residents with some of the best food experiences in Argentina. Buenos Aires provides a reflection of the country at large. From culinary influences, cultural groups, and history, the capital incorporates and showcases pockets of Argentina. You can experience so much of Argentina’s culture just in this one city.
Like your Argentinian wines? Then moving anywhere else other than Mendoza is out of the question. Mendoza is a fabulous wine region and Argentina is the world’s 5th largest wine producing nation in the world. A sizable expatriate population has emerged in Mendoza. There is also a wider North American influence in the area. Just east of the Andean mountain range, this city has a hot and humid summer climate and cold dry winters. Its landscapes are charming, culturally varied and the wine is plentiful.
Proximity to the United States
Argentina isn’t so far from the United States, well it’s definitely closer than making the move to Asia. From New York you can reach Buenos Aires in 10 hours 45 minutes. Usually, people will fly to Buenos Aires before taking connecting flights to other destinations in the country.
Activities and Recreation
Whether you choose to travel around the country or enjoy your local area there is always something to do in Argentina. One really great thing to learn to do is dance the Argentine tango. There are many local spots to head to so you can learn. What’s more this will allow you to become involved in the local community.
Another favorite Argentinian pastime is horse riding. Gauchos were an important part of the country’s culture. Imagine a western style American cowboy, living on the Pampas plains, gauchos are Argentina’s equivalent. Embracing this part of Argentina’s culture is an excellent recreational activity to get involved in. Argentina is home to a number of some of the best ecolodges in the world.
The bottom line is that Argentina is a retirement destination that will tease you until you pack your bags. There is something so refreshing and eclectic about Argentine culture, architecture, and lifestyle that is convincing many expats to the country. Argentina’s effortless natural beauty, affordability and cultural diversity are some of its most alluring features.
Here is a list of the Pros and Cons of traveling, living, moving and retiring in Argentina
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