If you are contemplating a move to South America for your retirement, here are some helpful tips and things to think about. Retirement living for expats in South America is becoming a popular trend, now that baby boomers in the USA and other countries are realizing the many benefits that retirement overseas can bring. There are several South American destinations that are great for retirees: Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay are three of the top choices.
Retiring in Ecuador
Ecuador is a popular retirement destination for several reasons. The country enjoys free healthcare, stable government, and year-round tropical weather. The locals are friendly, there is a wide variety of terrain and cultural highlights to explore, the cost of living is affordable and there are several lively expat communities throughout Ecuador.
Another reason why living in Ecuador is so popular, especially for Americans, is that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency. So, if you are an American retiring in Ecuador, you won’t have to worry about learning to use a different currency. The only difference is that Ecuadorians use the dollar Sacajawea coins that never became vogue in the US.
The city of Cuenca is especially popular for retirees and expats. The website GringoesAbroad.com is run by a Canadian couple living in Cuenca, and they share many helpful tips on the expat life.
In Cuenca, Vilcabamba, Quito, and many other cities and towns in Ecuador, you can usually purchase real estate for a much better price than in your home country. But before you decide to make the move, plan a trip to Ecuador and scope out the area first. Talk to real estate agents – many are native English-speakers, before you settle on a place and make an offer.
Retiring in Argentina
Whether you want to stay in a charming apartment in Buenos Aires or in an isolated estancia in Patagonia, there are several options for retiring or just living abroad in Argentina. The economy in Argentina is not as stable as in Ecuador, and price inflation is a fact of life. But the country is still affordable for North Americans wanting to live there for an extended period of time.
Buenos Aires is a rather European-style city, with French architecture, Spanish plazas, and many sidewalk cafes. If you have traveled to Europe or are from Europe, living in Buenos Aires may not be such a culture shock.