What It Costs to Live in Argentina

Living Buenos Aires

Many a traveler has landed in Buenos Aires and within less than 24 hours started to ponder the question, “Could I find a way to live here?” Some don’t just ponder it; they actually move to Argentina.

I spoke with Lisa Besserman, who lived in New York City most of her life and was facing the prospect of looking for a new apartment in Manhattan because her lease was up. “The rental prices were absolutely ridiculous, super-expensive,” she says. “My company was going through some changes and my job position didn’t feel stable. I didn’t want to be spending thousands of dollars on rent without being secure about my job. I was up for a promotion though and proposed a deal with my boss where I would work remotely for a few months instead, at the same pay rate, and I would go live somewhere cheaper. They said yes, so I looked at a map for places with a similar time zone and ended up in Buenos Aires.”

She did her three months of work for her old company, then decided not to come back. She left the job and now she runs her own company in Argentina: Startup Buenos Aires.

A large number of people who visit Argentina seem to dream of living there for a while at some point in their life. Buenos Aires is a major tourism magnet, but that’s just the beginning in a country that has more land than Mexico or Indonesia—but with a much lower population density.

The good news is, it’s relatively cheap here, especially if you’re earning dollars or euros somewhere else. “I didn’t want to have to work two jobs and have a crappy apartment back in the U.S.,” says writer and mother of three Cathy Brown. “I can freelance here and make it work, spending a lot of time with my family.” She lives in laid-back and beautiful El Bolson in Patagonia. About two hours south of Bariloche, it’s a land of gorgeous mountain scenery and some of South America’s best microbreweries.

Living El Bolson

El Bolson

There’s a lot of diversity in these landscapes. Up north you have a dramatic desert on one side and Iguazu Falls on the other. There are seasides, cities and farms in the middle, down to glaciers and freezing cold in the jumping off point to Antarctica.

Once you get settled in, prices can be very reasonable, especially if you have a way of bringing in lots of U.S. dollars or euros in cash. That’s because there are two exchange rates in Argentina’s fragile economy: the official rate and the “blue rate” you can get on the street from money changers. The latter is typically 20% to 30% better than the official one and both are printed in the local newspapers. Getting to your money electronically is almost like a hobby here though: many banks limit ATM withdrawals to around $150, so you end up hopping from one bank to another or using a service like Xoom to take out larger amounts of pesos. Hold onto your home country Paypal account because the banks here are too unstable to work with that service locally; the best bet is to get a debit card you can use to pull money from in Argentina using your original country account.

The Argentina Visa Situation

They’re not real big on rules in Argentina and that includes visa rules. It will probably cost you a lot to enter for the first time because this is one of those countries (like Brazil and Bolivia) that has a retaliatory visa fee policy. Whatever Argentines pay to enter the country on your passport, that’s what you’ll pay to enter theirs. It’s good for 10 years or the life of your passport, however, so after that you can come and go without paying again. Many renew their tourist visa indefinitely, leaving the country every three months for a short hop to Chile or Uruguay.

People who have come to work for an international company tend to get a work visa, but many others just leave four times a year. If something happens and they overstay their visa, it’s not the end of the world. “Argentina is one of the most lax countries for visas,” Cathy says. I don’t want to do anything wrong because I’ve got kids, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that if you overstay your visa, you just have to pay 300 pesos (less than $40 at the official rate)—whether you overstayed a day or five years. They sign off and you’re on your way.

If you’re only going to stay six months at a time, you may be able to renew your tourist visa locally without leaving the country. That’s generally only going to work once though, so it’s best for people not planning to spend the whole year here.

Getting a business visa requires a letter from an employer, a specified time period, and the employer’s acceptance of financial responsibility for the traveler. For obvious reasons, they have to really want you to make this happen. If you get one though, multiple-entry business visas are valid for four years.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Housing Costs

As in many countries, living in the biggest city is going to cost you more than living in the countryside. For Lisa though, coming from Manhattan made this country seem like a screaming bargain. “I pay $700 a month for my duplex apartment in Palermo Hollywood, a great neighborhood, and it’s a doorman building with a pool. If you transplanted this place into Soho in Manhattan, which is a pretty similar kind of feel, it would easily cost $10,000 to $15,000 per month.”

Naturally the prices drop when you settle in a smaller city or town. While $300 to $500 a month is a good deal in the capital for an apartment, that will get you something furnished and modern in Salta, Mendoza, Cordoba, or Rosario. Where Cathy lives in Patagonia, $350 gets her a four bedroom, two bath house on 15 acres, beside a river.

Lining something up ahead of time is quite difficult though; hardly any agencies list prices online. The best plan is to rent a short-term apartment or stay in an apart-hotel at first so you can take your time looking around. Get recommendations from others (both locals and expatriates) on which agencies are trustworthy and look at plenty of apartments to assess what’s a good value.

If you’re going to buy a house or condo here, figure on paying the whole amount in cash, in dollars. People literally bring bags of money to a closing. In theory you can get a mortgage, but with interest rates running at 18%, you probably don’t want to. You can’t find the bargains here you could 10 years ago since Argentines view real estate as one of their reliable investments and there have also been buyers from Brazil coming in too. If the financial system collapses again though like it did in the early 2000s, who knows?

living in Salta

Other Costs

Leigh Shulman and her family live in Salta, Argentina. They own their house outright and other costs average out to $1,500 a month. “One of the biggest expenses is medical insurance, which is about $300 a month for good care. If you pay $60 more a month that includes plastic surgery once a year!” Private school costs around $100 a month and “we pay our maid far more than the market rate,” still $12 or so a visit.”

Thanks to subsidized electricity, Argentina has some of the lowest monthly utility costs in Latin America. Lisa pays $5-$8 a month for her apartment of around 1,000 square feet. “I thought it would go up a lot when we were running the air conditioning in the summer, but it was only a couple dollars more,” she says.

Cathy Brown pays even less in her small town. “My last electric bill was around $4,” she says. “And that was for two months.”

Leah Shulman and her family live in a large house they own in Salta, but still only pay $10-15 per month in electricity and $8-$10 per month for gas and water combined.

Cable and internet together are $15-$18 per month depending on the package. “In New York City I paid $150 per month for about the same bundle,” says Lisa.

If you like a good steak dinner accompanied by a nice bottle of wine, you’ll be in heaven here. They take their grilled meats very seriously in this country and it’s considered a God-given right to sip wine with every meal. Prices are quite reasonable on both, to the point where a group of people can go out and eat to their heart’s content for $10 a person or less. The things Argentines do well they do very well: barbecued meat, wine, Italian food, coffee, ice cream, and pastries.

The recent financial problems have wreaked havoc with prices and supplies though. When the peso fell by 19% in January of 2013, many store shelves were bare and prices for what was available skyrocketed soon after in local currency terms. The country is a financial basket case and inflation is very high. Who knows what will happen in a few years or even a few months. This is probably not a country where you want to swoop in and buy a place without knowing what you’re getting into. But if you have the kind of job where you can earn hard currency elsewhere and spend it here, this is currently one of the world’s great arbitrage opportunities.

The bottom line? If you’re able to exchange dollars for pesos at anywhere close to the street rate, you can live pretty well in Argentina as a single person on $800 or quite comfortably for $1,000—even in Buenos Aires. If you’re sharing a place, it’s even easier. For a couple or family, $1,500 a month will put you at the upper range of middle class here.

Comments
  1. Jason Pelker

    My god, this looks like heaven.

  2. Anthony

    Unimaginable. Seems like something out of a dream. Electricity $5-$8 and just a couple more dollars with air conditioning? This is paradise. I would go there in a heartbeat. I’m so sick of paying over the odds…just to live.

  3. Anthony

    Sounds like much of Latin America to me… To new readers however they would be amazed how much inflation has caused the typical American Middle Class lifestyle cost twice or three times as much than it does in Latin America.

    I would argue its best to have an income stream in Western money (Pounds, Dollars, Euros) in any part of Latin America.

  4. Mike

    With the actual inflation of the country it doesn’t cost so much whatever your actually currency is lol

  5. Pablo

    I´m argentinian living in Argentina. I agree with the writer. If you earn us dollar or euros, you can have a “god life” here. For any other questions, I´m here to help. :)

    • Sabari

      Hi Pablo,

      I am sabari from Bangalore i got a job opportunity in Buenos Aires, Argentina, so i plan to come with my wife and 10 months kid so kindly suggest me the how will be the climate and how much i need to spend for a month for normal life.

      Thanks
      Sabari

      • Anil

        Hello Sabari, Hola.

        Hope you moved to Argentina from Bangalore. How are finding living there being from India. I would like to hear your experience.

    • Askari

      Hi Pablo,

      I live in Germany and am thinking of living in Argentina. I have a question:
      Can I withdraw “real” Euros from my bank account in Germany from an ATM in Beunos Aires, or will I only get Pesos at the official rate?

      • Tim Leffel

        Askari, The banking system in Argentina is a mess, so most people take the ferry over to Uruguay to pull out euros or dollars.

        • Mara

          Hello everyone! This is an old post, but I would like to add sth here. I am from Argentina and I would like Tim to explain why argentinian banking system is a mess.

          I hope that you say that kind of things with a solid background and knowledge.

          • Gregory

            Mara, I’m thinking of spending a few months in Argentina. How is the banking system I own a few companies and I would be converting dollars. Also any help with housing would be appreciated.

        • sl

          I do not agree the mess is in Uruguay

          • Mara

            Gregory, sorry I did not see your message, the web site did not send any response to me. You can extract money from a ATM normally at the official convertion. About housing, sorry I fcannot help you, I am travelling through Asia but you can rent without problems. You have to pay 2 months (one month of rent and the other corresponds to the deposit) or 3 (if you rent it by an agency). You have to demonstrate your incomes. Thats all. If you have any further question please write me back mcastrovacc@gmail.com because I don´t recieve any email from the web page.

          • sham

            I m an australian n wish 2 live in capital for 20 weeks with a minimum budget. .what costs i should be looking for..thanks..

    • quiroz

      I make 3000 a month on retirement money can i live in argentina good?

      • Marie

        Did you even read the story??

    • Amber

      Can you tell me about the Internet there? How fast is it and is it hooked up in most houses for rent? I run a business online and would need to know that I can run it there. Thanks!

      • val

        you can get high speed internet, it won’t be as fast as what you get in say usa or canada but it’s still high speed. you need to make arrangements with the property manager so that they get the service that you need; otherwise you might be disappointed.

    • Rae

      Hi Pablo!

      I am a chef & my boyfriend is a recruiter for a financing company. I have always, always wanted to move to Argentina! It is a beautiful country! Would it be hard to find employment do you think there? All of the people discussed in this article seem to either work from home or started their own business. I would be nervous about making the move without feeling confident that we could find employment.

      Thanks!!

    • Hakan

      Hello Pablo
      I would like to ask you do I have any chance to find a job as English speaker?
      or how much Do I have to spend for small investment in Agentina to live?
      thank you
      your sincerly

    • Alison

      How do you find apartments for rent in Buenos Aires (or elsewhere in Argentina)? What websites do you use? Also, what is the Internet access like there. Is there high speed Internet? Do people speak English there or mostly Spanish?

    • Patrick swain

      Hello pablo.
      I am disabled I receive 1000 dollars each month.
      Would that make me rich?

    • Raul Parnell

      Hi Pablo my nicknames Pablo me and my gf wanna move down there are you happy down there and do you think it’s a good idea for a brand new start in life and is it cheap to get a place???

    • Abdul Razaq

      I am Christian missionary and planning to move to Argentina, I have a question, is it safe to live at the farm in Argentina? Please reply at, servedmi@gmail.com

    • Javier del Castillo

      Thanks Pablo, I’m thinking of taking my wife their for vacation and maybe move there.

    • Diana

      What are the average temperatures there and is there any places you can rent cheaply on the ocean?

    • BRUCE GALLO

      Pablo, lots of headlines since you made this reply what are your thoughts,feelings ideas on the situation in Argentina thank you Bruce

    • eli

      Hi Pablo, what is the average salary of an engineer and manager.

    • Mike

      Hello Pablo, I would gladly pay you for advice. Is there a way to contact you? I realize this an old post. If you re interested, I look forward to bearing from you. Thanks
      Mike

    • Eric

      Pablo sir I just want to confirm that Argentine government allow to work for student during study

    • Sergio

      Hi Pablo,
      I have a question.
      I am originally from Argentina, my parents moved us to the United States in 1968, and have been here since.

      I have a wife and three kids.
      I am a Computer Network Engineer, and have a small business here where we manage the computer networks for small to mid-size companies.

      I am worried about the future forecast of the US economy.
      I would like to move to Argentina, and also work there.

      My wife does hair, and I do computer systems.
      Would it be difficult to get employment in Argentina?
      I am fluent in spanish, but my wife and kids and english speaking, very little Spanish.

      We have a home in California, that is currently worth about $400.00

      Thank you for any info

      sincerely Sergio D’Alessio

      sergio.qcs@gmail.com

    • wilish

      hi pablo

      I am wilish macwan from India. Mr. pablo I need your instruction and guidance, as I am planning to come Argentina and live overthere with my family. Please reply me on my email : mwilish@yahoo.com and my whatsapp number +919898532462

    • Key

      I dream to live there :(

  6. Laine

    We are a family of 3 with 2 pets . My father past away afew years back and left me a substantual amount of argentine pesos. We are needing to move asap. we would like to know on average what it will cost us in argentine pesos to buy a small home in the country with privacy and would prefer where its not very cold. Where would be the best places to live maybe a with some farm land a? any other tips will be greatly appreciated thank you and we will be moveing fron alabama U.S.A

    • Dafne

      Hi. Im argentinean .. currently a college student in Buenos Aires. .. I came around you post and notice you wanted some tips on what kind of cities to live in. I qanted to recommend my hometown Gualeguaychu .. its a small city two hours away from the capital and about the same distance from Uruguay. Its very open to where you’ll find lots of green … as in parks, and plazas with nice sceneries by the river for your pets and family. Also it has some nice small river beaches and a very nice weather. You’ll find very cheap rates and figure its a nnice environment for kids. During winter its very relaxed and in summer plenty of tourist due to its traditional carnival. Schools are good and the people here are very friendly. Compared to Buenos Aires its a much smaller but yet growing city. For a family is way better than living locked up in an apartment.
      I have also traveled around Argentina and found Colon, Tandil, Bariloche, Victoria, Trenque Lauquen, Lincoln, and San Martin de los Andes very nice places to live.
      I think my comment is a little late but maybe you can ggive these places a visit and check them out. Good luck :)

      • Tim Leffel

        Thanks Dafne, I really appreciate the recommendations! I agree Buenos Aires is a fun, electric place, but not the best bet for families.

      • maia

        hi, dafne!
        i’m a US citizen looking for a comfortable and affordable place to live and am wondering about medical costs, as i’m 76 and at some point will most likely have to see a doctor about something…

        i’m currently living in mexico, where a doctor’s visit costs the equivalent of $15 and a minor surgery i had added another $7…

        also, are there any coastal towns where i might be able to afford an apartment with a sea view?… if so, how warm/hot does it get?

        anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated…

        love and hugs, maia

      • Ivan R.

        Thanks, Dafne!!
        And I am considering relocating to Argentina from Russia.
        IMy family consists of four: me with wife and two kids 1.5 and 0,5 years.
        So your advice is to look onto Tandil, Gualeguaychu, Colon, Bariloche etc.. to live in.
        How good is internet connection there? I need it for work!
        Can a family like mine have a good living spending like 2K USD monthly (including house rent)?
        Please respond!

      • Rafat Ali

        Nice to hear. based on your response I will contact you if u want to communicate.

  7. Laine

    also i am moveing by March 7,2015. That is only a couple of weeks.and im not shure as to the steps We need to take in order to get our animals who are also part of our family in to argentina with us. I am told by the breeder that its a simple paper from a vet in our state. I would hate if some how we were to get thernot be able to leave or enter. It is an important move for us nothing illegall but urgent that we do before this date. iv never traveled abroud before so I am unaware how even where we are to get our visa passport or wher we should go to. I even need advice on where we should go in argentina for hotel accomidations at a low cost in a safe inviroment for my 13 year old son while we look for a home to buy. My husbands bigest concern is the pesos that was left to me by my father are old and he is afraid that we will get to argentina and they will no longer honor them for spending or trade which would leave us with no money at all. I dont know exactly how old it is Im not shure about a date on them. some are large bills all are paper money. I meed someone to walk rather run me through the steps that I have to take and a idea on the price of the total travel. we are not rich americans we are just in need of a peacfull happier more simple way of life and this was my Daddys dream though he never made it himself , He would be happy to know his dream became ours and he gave us the abilty to live it at a much needed time. I am however pressed on time and hope you can help me with my many questions. thanks again. hope to hear from you soon.

    • Tim Leffel

      Laine – you need to find an Argentina relocation consultant for all this. A local expert.

    • Ben

      Oh man. I have to comment even though you may already have moved your children and pets to a country you’ve never seen and know almost nothing about. Since no one else has said it: Seriously?! What are you thinking? I even am thinking your posts are not real but some joke. You have inherited some unspecified amount of “old pesos” as per your “Daddy’s dream” and now want to head on down to the pampas. Wow. This goes against all common sense and seasoned travelers’ recommendations. First, those old pesos. It sounds like they were handed down to you as a pile of old dusty bills that had been kept in a box somewhere until Daddy died. So they could be worthless old currency that has been discontinued for many years now. Yet, you were packing the family and ready to set sail when you sought some last minute advice on a blog!? Second, you’ve never been out of Alabama. Yet you are going to resettle in Argentina sight unseen?! Third, none of you speak any Castellano, not a word; you’ve probably never heard the term before!? Sigh. Did it occur to you to go to a bank and see what those dusty old pesos might be worth in terms of U.S. dollars, or if they are in fact worthless before moving your family thousands of miles to a country where you know no one or nothing about the country? Did it occur to you that you should first put your pets in a kennel (if they aren’t snakes or crocodiles) and book a short vacation trip to Argentina to see where it is and to get a feel for what it’s like there? I could go on, but you get the idea I hope. By the dates of your posts and your plunging ahead words, it sounds like you already have moved there. So the BIG question that many reading this blog might be asking: How is it going for you in Argentina speaking Alabama English? Have you settled in without any difficulties, living Daddy’s dream spending all his dusty old pesos? Please update the telenovela.

      • Chas

        Damn Ben, Well said. A little late but couldn’t resist replying.

        • Marti

          Wow, I’m reading this moving scenario too, and wondering what level of education this person has? Clearly this is a troll or else they have no clue what is involved with regard to living in the US, much less pulling up stakes and moving to a country where you speak absolutely no Spanish. Holy cow. For the sake of the 13 year old, I hope this hasn’t happened. You don’t just get on a plane with your child, two pets in tow and a box of money.

  8. Fernanda

    I dont really agree with the prices shown here, and Im not saying this to discourage anyone, but to prepare you for what you will actually find. The cheapest rent you will find in Cordoba is 3000 pesos for a 1bdr apartment (including common expenses) if you are not very picky. My first electricity bill after buying an air conditioner that I only use at night was almost 300. Buenos Aires, on the other hand, is even more expensive and the same kind of apartment there would cost at least 4000. Cellphone companies charge from 160 a month (which will only last a few phone calls, unless you only call customers of the same company), cable and internet at least 200 (if you catch a six month promo, after which you will be paying more),and dining in buenos aires will rarely cost less than 120. A bottle of coke (2l) can cost up to 30 pesos, a kg. of some unexpensive meat is around 80. The south of Argentina, which is stunning, is way more expensive than Buenos Aires so, if you are thinking of going to Patagonia you have to know that the prices I just described (specially rent) may double. Also, most public services suck and customer service in the US and Europe is luxurious compared to the one you get here.
    I can tell you we have great landscapes and awesome places to visit, and that Buenos Aires is truly vibrant and modern, but I would also like to warn you about crime rates, which are quite high (specially in our biggest cities). There are lots of armed robberies, lots of areas in buenos aires that are not safe at all, and the police isnt too helpful. I live in Cordoba, which is said to be safer and more quiet than Buenos Aires, and my family has suffered 6 armed robberies in the last 5 years.
    I am not saying this to be negative, I am only sharing this because I am currently searching for another country to move to and I would appreciate to know this kind of stuff too.
    Oh, and the weather in the summer is crazy hot (except in the south).

    • Fernanda

      I almost forget! The rent prices I talked about are unfurnished ( not even a fridge or an air conditioner). For furnished apartments, think of an extra 1500/2000 pesos.

    • Tim Leffel

      Prices listed in the post are from real expatriates living in Argentina and have gotten even cheaper since then based on the exchange rate they’re getting from Xooom for their dollars. Sure, some things are going to be more expensive—especially since the government has made it so difficult for importers. There’s always a trade-off. Still, many of those prices you cite are a fraction of what they would be in a typical U.S. city.

    • val

      I agree. Prices have gone up 30 percent at least since the article was published. BA is particularly more expensive. The exchange rate is stuck at 1 us = 12ish pesos and doesn’t seem to want to go up

      -phone bill pesos $450
      -$internet an d cable $650
      furnished studio in a decent location starts at $6000

      Cars are ridiculously expensive these days too…
      CLothes are very expensive so are electronics

      • Tim Leffel

        I’m in touch with all the people I interviewed for this article and the book and your experience is not consistent with theirs. I just spoke to someone last week who is coasting by easily on 1/4 of what he spent in Toronto. Sounds like it might be time to move on?

  9. Nathan

    How much we need to spend for rent in moreno? Will 10,000 ARS enough for living as a single in Moreno?

    • val

      why would you be in moreno??? I am confused.

  10. Nathan

    basically i want to know the cost of lining for a single in Moreno,_Buenos_Aires

  11. Tara copeland

    Hi!
    My girlfriend and I are planning on moving from Los Angeles to Argentina next year. January 2016. We have your book but we’re indecisive about what city would be a great place to move to. Can you recommend a great city? And maybe a great source for apartment living to?
    Thanks!
    Tara

    • Jimi

      Buenos Aires is my favorite city in the world. I live in LA too, born in Salta, raised in Tucuman, but lived in Cordoba and Buenos Aires as well. Buenos Aires is a little smaller than LA, but it feels like more of a cement jungle, a la New York City. But if that’s not what you’re trying to get away from, Buenos Aires all day. It’s very unique, a fusion of Latin and European culture unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The people won’t be as warm as the rest of the country, but it’s a fantastic place to live. So if you’re trying to avoid that kind of metropolis, Cordoba and Rosario are probably the only two other cities that wouldn’t feel like small towns coming from the 15 million people you’re moving away from. I love Cordoba, the people talk in a sing songy accent that you’ll think HAS to be a joke but that’s just how they talk. By the time you leave, good luck getting rid of it in your spanish :P. Don’t know too much about Rosario other than our little lord and savior, Messi hails from those parts. Smaller towns, I’m partial to the North West. Tucuman feels like a mini Buenos Aires…it’s a little city that feels a lot bigger. Going for independence day festivities is almost a must not matter where you end up. Salta is smaller but growing quickly, and it feels a lot more touristy with its orange tile roofs and pink (yes, pink) cathedral. If you want places that won’t feel like real life, look into Puerto Iguazu in the jungle right next to the coolest waterfalls on earth, or if you’re into skiing and snow covered mountains, Bariloche. The two are total tourist destinations and the towns themselves don’t have all that much to offer as they’re there to funnel you to their nearby attractions. In all things consider distance, this country is really really big and if you plan on bussing around to save some money, it might end up limiting your itinerary a bit. No matter where you go, eat the best grass fed beef on earth every day, please. If you think that’s excessive, you have much to learn. Hope that helps.!

      • Ben

        Despite it’s perpetual political craziness and devolving economic situation, BsAs has a hold on me, and I long to spend more time there soon. And eating beef and lamb there, especially in the open at an asado, can be unforgettable. But I’m sorry to disillusion you of the grass-fed myth. Yes, until around 20 years ago that was how most beef was raised in Argentina. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. In 2009, Rodrigo Troncoso, the General manager of the Argentine Feedlot Chamber at that time, forecast that in five years more than 60% of Argentina’s cattle would pass through feedlots — and that has more than come to pass, as estimates in 2012 put the share raised in feedlots at 80% at least. So, today, unless you are paying top dollar in a higher end restaurant or at your butcher, or the menu specifically guarantees grass-fed, you are likely consuming feed-lot raised beef now in Argentina. If you are familiar with recent history and changes in the campo under CFK and her husband, then you know what has been happening: many cattle ranchers sold off their cows and turned over their land to farming soy or corn. Whereas grass-fed cows may take three to five years to be ready to sell, a farmer can turn around a soy or corn crop in a matter of months. Argentina is now one of the largest exporters of soy as a result. If you can still find it and can afford it, grass-fed beef is tasty; but these days you’re more likely to find your Argentine lamb grass-fed. Sorry. Oh and P.S., my research would bear out the validity of Val’s price observations. Here are links to some sources on this major shift in Argentina:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/09/AR2009090903211.html
        http://grist.org/sustainable-food/in-argentina-factory-farms-replacing-grass-fed-beef/
        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/americas/argentina-falls-from-its-throne-as-king-of-beef.html?_r=0

  12. Cutter

    Wow I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog. I’m an American currently living in Australia and seeking a cool destination where I can live and get the best bang for my buck. I do not plan on working there although will most likely be doing business over the internet. I’ve been doing some research and Argentina always seems to be one of the countries to come up. My only concern is being able to enter in and out the country every 3 months. Does that raise a red flag with immigration when you consistently leave and re-enter? Do people get denied entry back in? And also when it comes to renting an affordable place does the end date of your tourist visa play a factor or can you rent indefinitely despite the fact your visa is only for 3 months.

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s a non-issue. I know people who have been going in and out like that for years. And if you overstay, the penalty is a pittance.

      • John A

        Would it not make more sense to overstay as long as you like then pay the small fee somewhere down the road?

        • Tim Leffel

          Plenty do that. If you don’t have kids in school or real estate there, not much risk unless the laws change.

  13. Weaver

    I would like to come to Argentina for 1 – 2 years with a large family (wife and 4 children ages 8-14). I am concerned about crime. Can anyone recommend the safest place to live in a 3 bedroom house or apartment that is safer for children. Also where they can attend an English speaking school ? And also I would love some recommendations on costs for housing there and school costs as well. I would like to be close enough to travel to Buenos Aires to enjoy the culture without necessarily living there (if the crime is too bad for children!!!) Opinions???

    • Alexis

      As a local I can tell you that there is very low crime in Bs.As. I have been living here for 30 years and I never suffered a violent crime. There are no gangs. The typical crime in BA would be that someone steals your cell phone from your pocket while you are traveling on the subway withoout you noticing it.
      What do you mean by too bad for the children? The murder rate here is very low in comparison to other countries (lowest than the US).
      I d chose BA if I were you, or San Isidro and Martinez, that`s adyacent to BA and they are very safe and nice. You have a lot of english schools but I am not sure their prices.
      Remember that there is an unofficial rate for the dollars called dollar blue 1 d = 15 pesos. Everyone is able to exchange the dollars in BA at the unofficial rate, don`t go to the banks because they use the official rate 1 d = 9 pesos
      3 bedroom house = could be up to 15.000 pesos

    • Melisa

      We are also looking to move to Argentina with our family (3 kids) in a year. Have you decided on a city? i have not looked into the quality of the local schools but I would almost rather my kids (ages 11, 9, an 6) go to local school in order to integrate more into the culture and learn Spanish. We will most likely only live there for a year. Any info would be helpful!
      So glad I found this blog post. We are hoping that my husbands job will allow him to work remotely for the year. I am a RN and it would be nice to work a little in Argentina as a nurse, but don’t have any idea if that is possible- haven’t gotten that deep into the research yet. Thanks!

  14. Michael

    I’m considering moving to Argentina and am interested in Cordoba. I work and am single. How much would it cost for a two bedroom apartment

    Thanks for your help.
    Mike

  15. Patrick swain

    How do you obtain cash from an atm to make use of the blue rates.rather than use the banks there.

  16. andrew

    This is literally my dream, hopefully while I’m still young too and not way later in life.

    The only problem I see is trying to find a way to keep making money outside of argentina. Because I wouldn’t want to be forced to take a job in argentina. If I could make more money from freelancing and online this would be perfect.

  17. Teo

    Lisa pays 8-10 on electric bill.
    And then you say she lives in 1000 Sq feet house!!!! I smoke too but it hasn’t affect me so much.

    • Tim Leffel

      That’s the real cost. Subsidized electricity. New prez has vowed to roll this back though, so it won’t last forever.

  18. Supratik

    Greetings from India.I am still studying in sophomore year.I would like to start my career in Latin America probably Argentina .How difficult is it with zero Spanish knowledge ?

  19. Serhat Engul

    Such a great post. It’s nice to know first hand experiences. Otherwise I would never know how to organize a long budget trip to Argentina. I have always dreamed of living in one of Latin countries for some time. Argentina seems to me like one of the best option. Thank you.

  20. Juan

    Am I the only one noticing this? The comparisons authors of these move abroad blogs always suggests are always against super expensive places like: New York, Toronto, etc.
    Sure, compared to THOSE places anything can be cheap except for the most expensive in the world. Those places have some of the highest real estate costs i.e. rents, in the world.
    Why don’t you do a better service to the reader, or rather, why doesn’t the reader do himself a better service, and compare prices to more reasonable areas. It’s easy enough to find rents in the midwest or the south of the u.s. of $500 to $700 per month. A place where people sound like you and speak the same language. Where the post office actually works, where you can buy whatever you want online and actually receive it in 3 to 6 days. Where if something isn’t to your liking, you can return items and receive excellent customer service.
    Readers from other expensive countries should take note. Comparisons to NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, MOSCOW, SIDNEY, etc. etc. and similar large metro areas, you will find much cheaper prices in small towns u.s.a also, as a commentor mentioned about small town Argentina. Same concept.

    • Tim Leffel

      One person quoted moved from New York City to Buenos Aires—an equivalent move from the most expensive city in one country to another. The other moved from rural Michigan to rural Patagonia. Again, an equal comparison. If you move from the rural south to a rural part of Nicaragua, your costs will drop just as much as someone moving from Chicago to Managua. The only way your costs will go UP for any of the countries I’ve profiled in A Better Life for Half the Price is if you go in an unequal direction—such as from Podunk, Mississippi to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. That’s a huge upgrade, so of course your costs won’t automatically drop in half.

      • HAG

        I can assure you that, besides rent of basic services, everything cost more than in the US. Electronics are outdated and almost prohibitive. A “brand new” (almost 3 years old tech) laptop could cost you US $ 1000. Any T-shirt its around US $60 and so on.
        Shure If you have an income of US $ 2K you can have a decen average lifestyle but thats it, don’t think on fancy electronics and house appliances.
        Since 2016, there is only one money conversion rate (the official one, around ARS $15.00 / US $ 1.00)
        And it’s worth noting that, the average income for a Young argentinan citizen is around US $600/month, a upper-middle class, good paid job (> 10 years exp.) its around US $ 2.3K/mo.
        So anybody planning to move here, better have a foreign currency income.

        • Tim Leffel

          Well, more than half of the people reading this probably do have a foreign income these days. And expats are used to bringing electronics and clothing with them, replenishing as needed when they return to where they lived earlier to see relatives. (Or buy them in Panama duty free in transit.)

  21. eli

    Hi, i am planning to shift Argentina, can anyone say what is the good salary for a manager in IT sector. Is BA a safe place to live with family.

    • HAG

      HI
      I don’t work directly on the IT sector, but have a lot of friends on IT sector. An entry job (less than 5 yr of work in a company, and previous experience doesn’t really account for a better pay) is around US $1.500

  22. Jose

    I’m saving money . I live in the US California , but saving in few years I will move out to Argentina , it’s my dream . To live there and open little coffee’ , sandwich deli , and market . Near the beach . And enjoy life . Few more years , maybe possibly meet a special woman to share it with . Been my dream since I was young . I’m Mexican but I always heard of Argentina being a secret paradise , with European buildings , and culture . I’ve read a lot about its drop of dollar value the cost of living , regardless I feel like I’m meant to finish off my life there . My dream making it come true

  23. D JD

    My wife and I are thinking about experimenting with Argentina as a retirement area. We both have visited the country several years ago and I lived in Paraguay in the 1980s for several years. Anyway I was trying to sort out the best references for trying to make a decision. We both love BA and Mendoza, I was thinking about Bariloche also. We would like to teach or do some part time work of some sort; we are both teachers in sciences and I speak Spanish. Any suggestions for locations etc? We love culture, history and nature. Mate is great too!

    • Juan Ignacio Pagola

      Try San Martin de los Andes, it’s beautiful down here. Weather is perfect, and we even get some snow every winter. It’s a small ski town, population 30,000. Get online and research a little bit (Chapelco ski resort). If you hate cold weather, try some small mountain village in Cordoba State, like Villa General Belgrano -also home of the Argentinean Oktoberfest! Good luck!

  24. SO

    I’m also planning to move in to BA this December or 2017 January. I’m well aware of the cost of living, I did the math and it seems alright. But I’m going to need to start a private limited company since I work freelance and have to make my income a legitimate one because my goal is to apply for Argentinian citizenship in two or three years.
    First questian; how painful and costly it is to start a small scale company in Argentine?
    Second question; do I need a work visa for starting a company or I need another kind of licence to do that?

    Also I’ve come acrros this list of requirements for naturalisation in Wikipedia. Do you guys think that this list is exact and thorough?

    Thanks for reading

  25. Mara

    This article is very funny not to say unserious.

    To talk about a country as the perfect place to live with money from abroad after criticizing the financial system but at the same time trying to benefit from state subsidies for electricity, puff … I think there are some inconsistencies, not only in your speech. You intend to enjoy certain benefits while at the same time you criticize them.

    I would like to make some clarifications:

    1- Living in a country illegally is not something funny, it’s really shameful having the opportunity and the economic ways to regularize the situation. And not only in Argentina but anywhere in the world.

    2- Do not encourage living in Argentina with the same benefits (such as electricity subsidies or free medicine) that would have any person duly documented and residing in the country with someone who crosses the border to avoid getting charge of citizens’ responsibilities that the residence would demand. And by responsabilities I mean TAXES. As an argentinian it offends me because many of those benefits you want to sell as ideal (after criticizing) are paid by the society and we have fought many years for it. Very bad!

    3- This article is very unrealistic. People living in Manhattan: Yes, rents are cheaper (quite obvious by the way) and electricity is subsidized (if at any time it will not be more).

    For any one who really want to know how it is to live in Argentina, I give you my email: mcastrovacc@gmail.com and we can talk about it.

    I am sorry if I made some mistake, my english is not perfect.

    Thanks.

    • Tim Leffel

      It’s a fabricated political myth that immigrants don’t pay taxes. They do anytime they spend money in the country. The VAT in Argentina is 21% and up.

      If the authorities don’t take living in a country illegally seriously, why should anyone else? As long as the inflow is helping the economy and not hurting it, the attitude seems to be, then keep the penalty for overstaying super low.
      Here’s a reference point for #3: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Argentina&city=Buenos+Aires

  26. Mike Kelley

    I own a small vineyard in San Rafael, a nice small town in westernArgentina and would poass on a few prices for some odds and ends to prospective outsiders looking to move here. All prices are in US Dollars at 15 pesos per dollar.

    Full time vineyard worker includiong social security, etc $750
    Electricity (due to increase soon) $50/ mo
    White wine (Bianchi Chardonnay) $2.75
    Firewood (agaronle) $10 per 50 KG
    Small pig for roasting (12 KG) $40
    Propane (40 kg refill) $47
    Gasoline Super $4 / gal
    Irrigation for 25 acre farm $135/ year
    Internet High speed ??? $18 / month

    Hope this helps someone out.

    Mike

  27. Andrew

    I currently live in the US with about 90k in my bank account and my condo is paid off. I really want to sell my condo and move to somewhere in Argentina where the cost of living would be relatively inexpensive. I would also want to live in a city with a population not larger than Milwaukee, WI. I was thinking of Santa Fe or somewhere like that. My plan would be to purchase some rental properties and live off of that. Is this realistic? I also have a $230 guaranteed annuity.

    • Juan Ignacio Pagola

      Move to Rosario or Cordoba City. Do some online research on these cities. Good luck!

  28. Juan Ignacio Pagola

    I’m a freelance translator living with my American wife and 3 kids in San Martin de los Andes. Rent is USD 1000 per month, food USD 2000 per month…. We should be making over USD 4,000 just to survive. Argentina, especially Patagonia, is no longer a good deal, in terms of living expenses. However, we enjoy living in this incredible place :) October 2016.

  29. ivan de remer

    I have lived in Pennsylvania,USA ALL MY life ,,have been searching ,for good and
    safe places to live in other countrys ,woul lige to know more about ,Argentina and
    also info on what its like in Brazil??also other countrys that might be
    interesting??

    • Lizy

      Hi Ivan,

      I live in Pennsylvania too and I’m planning to move to Argentina.. what a coincidence. In wich city do you live? I think Argentina is the best option.

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