That never works, guys... sorry. You carry your problems with you and run face first into a whole new set of serious life debilitating issues if the move is not completely researched and carefully orchestrated. It took us over a year to get all our documents ready for the relo, and we already owned a home in Argentina. Also, my wife is a citizen of Argentina AND the USA. It took me over a year and a half to get a DNI: Documento nacional de identidad after we got here, without which I was denied a bank account in my name and a local driving license.
We did all the paperwork ourselves without legal representation, which had no effect on the time required. I am not trying to work here, depending upon my US dollar retirement and investment income from the US. The cost of using an ATM machine at my bank's local branch just increased 40% a month ago. It takes a minimum of 5 days and a USD$30 fee for our daughter to go to our bank and do a wire transfer. In the event of a 'corralito' (Google this) we would have to depend upon the amount of cash and junk gold items we have ratholed around the country... hoping we will never have to use it.
IN MY HUMBLE OPINION a plan to skedaddle out of your native country needs to be fairly well set up NOW for the remote future possibility where staying put would be life threatening. I agree that everyone with the capability to get a foreign passport should do so. I will be applying for an Argentine passport when I have spent the requisite amount of time here. My brother's Italian wife and half-Italian sons will be carrying EU/Italian passports. My wife'z kids from a previous marriage will be carrying US and Spanish passports as well as Argentinian passports. For those of you looking to qualify, I recommend you consider Chile, where I understand the residency requirement is only 2 years.
BUT... it is veryveryvery important to get your short term survival, G.O.O.D. situations squared away FIRST and worry about a foreign safe haven ONLY after taking care of the local stuff.
The Expat site info follows:
BOB: Hey, guys! I enjoy reading all the posts here. I visited Argentina several years ago and really enjoyed it a lot. I am considering relocating to Argentina. I am hoping that those of you who are already in Argentina will share info on recent prices/cost of living vs. those of, say, four years ago. Obviously, economic reasons have a lot to do with my desire to relocate.
EXPATS: Personally I think moving here for economic reasons is not a very wise decision at all. There are other reasons that are much more valid and reasonable such as change of scenery, life style, midlife crisis, family, etc. But economics? No way. Not even if you are living on US$. Don’t believe everything they tell you in the travel guides and websites. imho
BOB: Obviously pure economics is not a good reason to move ANYWHERE. But I recall about 4 years ago in BsAs a great steak dinner for 2 with malbec (of course) and dessert was about 90 pesos, which at that time was about $30 U.S. I am just trying to get some feel for how much prices have gone up.
At this point I am coming to spend about 3 months, but may decide to move in the near future...I'm on kind of a home-hunting expedition. I'm also looking at Uruguay.
EXPATS: Forget the 90 pesos!! Maybe is 90 pesos each these days. I think Uruguay is more expensive than Argentina, but not sure.
EXPATS: Moving to a Latin country for economic reasons is not a smart thing to do. Latin countries have crazy economic cycles, Argentina is one of them. When we moved here in 2000 it was more expensive then living in California, we did not move here after the economic meltdown of Dec 2001 because it was cheap. Move here because you want to experience a Latin lifestyle, culture, excitement, great friends.
From my www.argentina-info.net website:
Cost of Living - Healthcare
Cost of Living - Inflation Percentage Changes - 2003 to Present
Cost of Living - What things cost in July 2004
Why I love Argentina!
Good luck! Suerte! -CapnRick
Thanks Rick, we had a terrific time by the way, say hi to the family for us.
A good example of how things not always end up being what they looked like can be found in the price of meat. There's a link there that mentions buying two "2 HUGE filet mignon steaks in the supermarket for 5 pesos (USA $1,81)". That was in 2006, today the price is 8 to 10 times as much in supremarkets and neighborhood buthcer.
Pay special attention to that, regaridng prices of living in Argentina. Today with two kids, I'd be spending less money living in Miami than living in Buneos Aires. Same for living in Spain or most other European countries. This is mostly because school for kids has to be private, and most of teh expenses tipical for kids, clothes, toys, social activities when they grow up , etc, are all pretty expensive here.
When considering other... shall we say... favorable exchange rate countries, may it be in Latin America or Asia, check the stability of such currency durign a span of several years so as to have an idea of what to expect.
No use in relocating somewhere that looked cheap only to have hiperinflation eat up your funds.
Also, like Rick says, some people seek a quick fix , and make mystakes. A frined of my family came back to Argentina after getting divorced, she had been living in USA for over 30 years. Now in Rosario and in her 50's, she asks herself why she ever came back here and wishes she could go back.
Plan carefuly, get to know the places. RENT and live on your plan C location for a few months before rushing and regreting it later on.