Thinking of leaving Argentina?

  • It's a weird situation for me. I am thinking of leaving, but ultimately know I cannot. My thoughts are focused on what would need to happen here for me to say enough is enough. I have two teenagers, I think uprooting them now would be terrible and selfish. So, we will endure and it would have to be the worst scenario that would make us leave. For example, if becomes so dangerous, uncomfortable, or politically unstable for us to stay. If I was to leave, it would be more of an escape.


    I also admit I am looking at this from a complete position of privilege. My biggest gripe is probably that I simply don't get the level of access and functionality that I got in the UK. Yes, rising crime is a concern but this I am not fearing for my life. The economy is tanking, but I am mostly insulated from those pressures. So, my problem is more about just being able to live the kind of free first-world life that I know is available in the UK.


    What's strange about it is there is no doubt we (my family) could have a better standard of life almost anywhere else in Europe, and probably across the border in Uruguay and Chile. None of us really doubt that, but still everybody's life is here. Stability is enough for me, I know Argentina is never going to become anything more than stable. The erosion has gone to far and I don't see how the country could reach its potential without complete breaking it first. I am happy if it just becomes a stable country because I am aware the grass is not always greener on the other side.

  • We are also thinking about it.


    Problems - elderly mother in law who is healthy but would miss her grandson tremendously. She already felt displaced when we moved 60 kms north of the capital......


    My principal source of income has dried up and unlikely to return for at least 24 months . So I have interviewed for a couple of jobs recently - in Europe and also here.


    Still being considered for those and that will be a major influence in what we decide.


    In spite of the craziness of Argentina , we enjoy life here . As Semigoodlooking says we would also enjoy a better standard of living elsewhere . But that is not the only factor .


    As semi said there needs to be a breaking point and we haven't reached that yet.

  • I think it was 12-18 months after arriving here that we started talking about leaving. We were still in Zona Norte and our main complain was that things were getting Europe-expensive, with the crappy local quality. Then we decided to move to Palermo Soho as it looked like a change of lifestyle, and it was. The offer that there is in Soho is completely different than that available in San Isidro. We have a pretty simple lifestyle and we enjoy eating a variety of products/meals well beyond the Argentinian diet. In Soho, there is plenty of restaurants and cafès with quality dishes. They were expensive, still, but we could afford a treat when we wanted to.


    Right now, the situation has shifted: finally, everything is very affordable, but many places have closed or are not yet back in business. We are just finishing the last touch ups to our place, and every day I look at the kitchen table chairs and wonder if we should change them if we talk about leaving daily. However, we can't complain.


    During the quarantine, we explored (from the comfort of our home) a range of destinations: I was pushing for Canada and my husband has heard many acquaintances praising Malaga, Spain. To be honest, I have googled several Spanish locations (Malaga, the whole Andalusian coast, Córdoba etc.) and none looks appealing to me. Actually, they look pretty depressing and the houses/apartments are so old and ugly compared to Buenos Aires' beautiful architecture. Provided that most people live in an apartment that could look the same anywhere in the world, I think that in Buenos Aires it is easier to find affordable accomodation with some unique features.


    So, for us, it would be quite the opposite: moving abroad would mean to lower our standard of living because of higher living costs and worse housing available.


    Last night I asked my husband: when enough is enough, for you? But he failed to provide a punctual answer, and stayed on a very generic 'let discuss a plan B, just in case'.

    My point is, I like it here and I don't want to move to the next best option (a safer and stabler similar country, such as UY or ES) because I'd miss Argentina too much and Id' be comparing the newer location to Argentina all the time. Instead, I'd rather uproot our our life and move to a completely different culture, like in Canada.


    My husband mentioned a similar answer as @semigoodlooking's (if becomes so dangerous, uncomfortable, or politically unstable for us to stay). However, at that point it will be too late to sell the house.

    My real concern is to lose the house, and this could come in many forms: you can sell, but you can't transfer the money abroad / get paid abroad / get paid in USD / etc.


    I think it is important to draw a line now, setting what we are NOT okay with, because day-to-day we adapt too much to the nefarious politics of the Ks (the complain, but we stay regardless). It is also hard to be able to predict what they could come up with, of course!

  • Since we live in Argentina only part-time, and have always rented instead of owning, I can’t thoroughly enter this discussion. But I would like to raise this question: would having a better standard of living in another country also cost a lot more? For those earning in € or $ payments, the economic advantages of the weak peso would be lost. (For those earning in pesos, the situation would be quite different, assuming a move would mean earning and living on a different monetary system.)

  • Since we live in Argentina only part-time, and have always rented instead of owning, I can’t thoroughly enter this discussion. But I would like to raise this question: would having a better standard of living in another country also cost a lot more? For those earning in € or $ payments, the economic advantages of the weak peso would be lost. (For those earning in pesos, the situation would be quite different, assuming a move would mean earning and living on a different monetary system.)

    For me, only this year. It has now become amazingly cheap here as a dollar earner.


    Last year and most previous it was more give or take. I don’t come from a city in the UK so I could live a solid life there. For a start, I earn enough to get a mortgage in the UK and have for some time. I moved here at 26 so if I was in the UK now I would be around 8-10 years into paying off my mortgage. It is worth noting my wife owns a house here.


    I consider a better way of life meaning more than just money. In the UK there are more things to do, more to see, and most things just function. Whenever I go back I am amazed how smooth everything is compared to here.

  • I agree Semigoodlooking

    It's certainly not just the money, but one has to accept that the cost of living in the UK is much higher, mainly due to higher wages etc.

    But more than that, it's quality of life without having to worry about being mugged outside your front door, that price you paid for groceries will be the same next week and having the freedom to make your own choices in so many areas without the state restricting those choices. But much more than all of that is the notion of home.

  • I'd like to add that living in a solid economy let you think bigger, as well. I am seeing many spots for sale around here. I would LOVE to buy one and put it up for rent (a business property, I mean). The block where we live has been gentrified constantly since we moved here. When we were interested in our current apartment, we initially looked at Google Street View to get a feeling of the area and we were NOT impressed. The images were from 2014. One day we came to Capital to explore the area - we had read a lot about Palermo Soho on expats online venues, but didn't know it. We visited Palermo Soho only during the day because we were living in San Isidro and it took 90' on public transport, we didn't own a car, and evening service to San Isidro was lengthier (the train service stopped at 11 PM, which by Argentinian standard is before the end of a dinner out).


    Palermo Soho transforms at night and becomes lively and vibrant. The neighborhood was in a far better shape than what was shown on Google Street View. On Google Maps, our block was between two pink-shaded areas (indicating walkable area) and it was easy to see that soon the Palermo Soho expansion would have crossed Av. Scalabrini into the corner toward Almagro and Villa Crespo.


    When we moved here in 2017, the 2-3 blocks surrounding our new place were mostly old car shops and rusty ferreterias. Now the corners have pubs, cafés, pizza places, we have a Baum and a Cervelar one block away, etc. One old car shop gave in and a new pizza place opened during the quarantine (https://www.instagram.com/electricapizza/) and it is amazing. They aren't yet open to the public with seating room, they are cooking their pizza in a traditional oven, sealing it and shipping it to your home. We are lucky we live one block away and we buy it hot from the oven. It is delicious... AND affordable.


    The big storage place on our block that used to store event stuff (chandeliers, couches, flower decorations etc.) has closed and it is up for sale. It would be an excellent spot for an indoor market / big pub. I would buy it to give my neighborhood a chance, to make an investment, to have a passive income, all close to home. But seriously, it's crazy to think what I would put myself into! SO I will hold off.

  • When we decided to leave Italy, we started 'interviewing' our friends and family who were already living abroad. What my friend in London wrote was not very promising, money-wise. Of course it's unique in the world, but having to count the pennies every day doesn't sound fun. And there is a lot of competition and exploitation, job-wise.

  • Housing is the big thing. Tourists comparing the costs in different cities of a subway ticket, a cup of coffee, a pizza sometimes draw wrong conclusions about the relative costs of living.


    A couple of years ago, expats liked to say that BsAs was ‘as expensive as NYC, San Francisco, Paris, London.” But housing has long been a bargain in BsAs, and it is sky-high in other world cities.

  • Housing is definitely a big thing, but also everyday items can be expensive and it gets frustrating.


    When we were living in Italy, we lived 30 km from Milan, so it was VERY close. However, it was almost an event to go there because every item added up.

    The highway is about 15 USD both ways, free parking can be hard to find, paid parking on the street is about 2 USD per hour if not more, a garage is at least twice as much.

    An aperitivo is about 10 USD, dinner is 30-40 USD per person, a night cap is another 10 USD. Add gasoline and it was easy 100 USD for a night out. With that money, I paid the electricity bill for two months.


    Every time we were invited out to celebrate somebody's birthday it was not a pleasant news because it would set us back of at least 60 USD.

    When you make €1000 per month, it quickly adds up.

  • Wow! The people who thought BsAs in 2018 was as expensive as other cities never tried living near Milan! Or, I suspect, any of the cities that were held up as suddenly so reasonable compared to BsAs, which at that time WAS reasonable by all the standards you mentioned, serafina .


    (I would add that in US cities, parking garages are much more expensive. In New Orleans, you’d pay $35-45 and in NYC, possibly double that.)

  • Wow! The people who thought BsAs in 2018 was as expensive as other cities never tried living near Milan! Or, I suspect, any of the cities that were held up as suddenly so reasonable compared to BsAs, which at that time WAS reasonable by all the standards you mentioned, serafina .


    (I would add that in US cities, parking garages are much more expensive. In New Orleans, you’d pay $35-45 and in NYC, possibly double that.)

    Well, for example we had far less vegetables because they were expensive. Of course there was more variety and, on average, they were in better shape. However, spending 20-30 USD in vegetables... we considered that expensive. We bought vegetables at low cost supermarkets and never in vegetables stores, unless there were good offers for seasonal fruits such as oranges, apples, watermelons etc. which could be bought in bulk.


    Meat was very expensive, a steak can easily be 10 USD in a supermarket, which is cheaper than in a butcher shop. Minced meat is usually a cheap alternative to make patties at home and still tell you've had meat. When we did BBQ, we bought poultry or pork because it is cheaper. To make a BBQ for two, using poultry we kept it on 15-20 euros for the both of us, while using veal or fish it would be double than that.


    I remember an episode when I was a kid and I wanted to invite over a couple of friends for lunch. I asked my mother to make her milanesa and she yelled at me 'Are you crazy?! Do you have any idea how expensive meat is? I'll cook you you all a plate of pasta and I'll make big portions! ". Here they invite you at an asado and it is okay if you show up with just a couple of bottles of wine... ^^


    We paid 500 USD per month for a 1br in the middle of the countryside of a medium town (medium in Italy is 10-15,000 inhabitants). During winter, it was common to spend €400-500 in heating over two months. We used heating from October to April.


    What was cheaper was traveling by plane due to low-cost airlines. And for this very reason, many Italians have their holidays abroad: Prague is cheaper than going to the seaside in Italy, Germany is also cheaper than visiting Florence or Venice for a weekend. Flying with a low-cost airline is cheaper than taking the train and visit somewhere in Italy.