john wrote:Affordability is really a function of disposable income. For example, if your US (Southern California) monthly salary is $8000USD and your monthly cost of living is $4000USD you would have a disposable income of $4000USD. Whereas, if your Chile (Santiago) monthly salary is $4000USD and your monthly cost of living is $2000USD you would have a disposable income of $2000USD. So, based on that admittedly very simple example, it would be less affordable for you to live in Chile than in Southern California.
My average monthly cost of living in Viña del Mar is less than half of what it would be in Southern California; however, my disposable income is greater as my retirement income has remained constant. So, for my wife and I, living in Chile is significantly more affordable than it would have been had we stayed in Southern California.
That overlooks taxes, unless you'd included them as part of your cost of living estimates. Separately, but related in an overall sense , does anyone know whether the U.S./Chile double taxation treaty was ever completed?
no, but there was some news recently about it passing out of U.S. senate commitee finally.
Still, overall, Chile's taxes are way, way cheaper; but, I guess that depends on your tax bracket in both countries. Any comparison between individuals will kind of be apples and oranges.
Yea, disposable income is likely the key. All things being equal, in relative terms of quality of living, who cares if you spend $10000 U.S. a month or $1,000 U.S. a month, if your relative disposable income is greater in one or the other. I am much happier to have a $1,000 in my pocket to blow or save, than $1 in my pocket, at the end of the month.
As I started this thread telling the story of living in mexico, the idea that as a 12 year old in the 80's in Mexico, that my $5 allowance would leave me often $4 still at the end of the week sure made life appealing in Mexico vs. the U.S. at that time.
In a sense, that extra disposable income is empowering, as it provides you options in life.
I recently made a trip to Florida, and I was shocked by how cheap Florida was compared to Chile; still, was not sufficiently appealing to make me want to live there. There are much cheaper places to live, if you are looking for something cheaper than Chile. I also only think the U.S. is cheap, because the economy is crap. Don't be fooled by the lipstick wearing pig.
Really, there are a lot of places that are "cheap", if you don't have to depend on the local economy.