Can you afford to live in Chile????

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by admin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:11 am

The 2 years is not completly arbitrary either. We have talked about it before. About two years is where expats either adjust, start putting down roots, and chile starts fealing more like a home; or, people make a break for somewhete else. Some do it sooner, some never are able to do it. However, for those that do, they tend to sort of come to terms with chile and are mostly happy with their life here.
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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by admin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:18 am

My advice is for anyone shocked at that number, without other resources or ability to work, dont try chile. You wont like it.

It wont even be chile's fault, just you will be constantly miserable for lack of resources and probably inclined to blame all the problems you can not solve on chile when it is really your lack of resources to solve them.
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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Jamers41 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:24 pm

I got away with having saved less (around $12000 USD), but I also had some advantages........A. it was not my first time living in Chile, B I did not have a car, in fact I did not get one until last year, so essentially I got used to living at a lower quality of life.......not terrible, but not as good as when I was single living in the US. The part about the first year or two being more expensive is certainly correct, I ate through most of my savings in about 18 months before I was fortunate enough to land a job that, while not enough to live the high life over in Las Condes, allowed me to stop burning through cash and "make it" just with my local income (sure beats trying to live off of only English classes). Even recently I, sometimes after having to convince my wife, have made decisions that don't jive with a typical Chilean's way of thinking, in order to keep personal debt levels to a minimum...........if it were up to her, we would be living in a smaller apartment in a much pricier part of Santiago, with a newer car, and we'd probably be struggling to make the minimum payments. Instead we bought a house in a cheaper part of town, and waited until last year to buy an old vehicle, because I decided that I was willing to put up with a crazy commute to work (well over an hour)........I'm willing to bet many from Anglophone countries wouldn't tolerate that.

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Britkid » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:09 pm

It's a reasonable ballpark number admin. Sounds about right to me. I was just clarifying what you mean.

The big wildcard in this is how long before you can realistically work. The people who are saying "might set up some kind of tourism business" or "will try and get contacts and get a business started in imports" or "what other jobs are there other than teaching English for someone that doesn't speak Spanish" are the people that ought to take note of that $50,000 number.

But if you have a job sorted before you get here that takes a huge chunk out of that $50,000 number.

And of course if you are a 20 year old with plenty of determination and drive and willing to check into a 10,000 a night "hotel" while you look to rent a shared room in a house and no intent to buy a car, then you could in theory come here with $5,000 to $10,000 and a promise to yourself that if the number goes below $1,500 and you don't have a job, you could get a plane ticket out.

I had my job sorted before we came and we just came with the money we needed to buy the flights, pay for the shipping container, buy a car, the first month's rent and deposit, that kind of thing. It was something like $15,000 or so, I can't remember exactly. After 2 months we were at pretty much bang on zero but that was because we had paid for a lot of things up front (car insurance, school fees, deposit on rental for instance). Within a few months the money was going back up again although the start was a big scary financially because so many of the year's costs were loaded into the front of the year.

If I'd lost my job in the first 2-3 months after moving out here we would have been in trouble.

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Britkid » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:20 pm

Jamers41 wrote:I got away with having saved less (around $12000 USD), but I also had some advantages........A. it was not my first time living in Chile, B I did not have a car, in fact I did not get one until last year, so essentially I got used to living at a lower quality of life.......not terrible, but not as good as when I was single living in the US. The part about the first year or two being more expensive is certainly correct, I ate through most of my savings in about 18 months before I was fortunate enough to land a job that, while not enough to live the high life over in Las Condes, allowed me to stop burning through cash and "make it" just with my local income (sure beats trying to live off of only English classes). Even recently I, sometimes after having to convince my wife, have made decisions that don't jive with a typical Chilean's way of thinking, in order to keep personal debt levels to a minimum...........if it were up to her, we would be living in a smaller apartment in a much pricier part of Santiago, with a newer car, and we'd probably be struggling to make the minimum payments. Instead we bought a house in a cheaper part of town, and waited until last year to buy an old vehicle, because I decided that I was willing to put up with a crazy commute to work (well over an hour)........I'm willing to bet many from Anglophone countries wouldn't tolerate that.
In my experience, Chileans don't seem to like just having money sitting in the bank. It seems like a waste to them. People in the lower classes will spend all their money month to month, no saving whatsoever, and then ask to borrow 10,000 from someone in their family so that they can go and see their friend. Personally, if I did not even have 10,000 to my name, I wouldn't be borrowing 10,000 for something unless it was critical, but they don't seem to think like that. And people in the middle/upper classes seem more willing to stick money in property or a business that have it sit in the bank.

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by admin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:00 pm

When i have time, i might come back and tell the long story of how i was a complete failure in my first pass at chile (mas o menos), under the above criteria, and then some, considering i had all exta resouces and support most foreigners will never have.
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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Space Cat » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:20 pm

Britkid wrote:In my experience, Chileans don't seem to like just having money sitting in the bank. It seems like a waste to them. People in the lower classes will spend all their money month to month, no saving whatsoever, and then ask to borrow 10,000 from someone in their family so that they can go and see their friend.
"Chileans", ehm:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... me/476415/
Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency.
I mean, why attribute some default human behaviors to one nation? I see it often in immigrant statements but usually you can easily swap the nationality name and it will still be true.

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:31 pm

JAJA...back in my early days in Chile, one would occasionally run into the Chilean lecture to a USA person on how they too are "Americans" and to be careful how you use that term. So now ironically USA and Chileans can both be "Americans" when it comes to lack of liquid funds and debt carry levels.
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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:48 pm

Except the chilean can lay low for three years and have their debt record "disappear", so who is the "developed" country here?
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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Britkid » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:54 pm

I don't think it's just a Chilean thing actually, probably not, I suspect there are many other countries with a similar situation. I once caught a train in Tanzania and it was a day late and most of the people catching the train just slept in the station. It was explained to me that the people would travel with only the absolute minimum money needed on them, and wouldn't have money for even a cheap hotel. Keep in mind you could get hotel rooms for $2/ night which is way less than the train fare, and still you've get people sleeping in the train station overnight with their kids.

Compared to the UK, and some other developed countries probably I think there is a difference to countries like Chile. For one thing people can just access an overdraft or credit card if they need 10 pounds, so it's quite different. In Chile that is not how the lower classes at least do it. But also there is some saving culture in the UK, at least in the middle classes. I remember sitting in the pub with my friends and we had this discussion about how much we had saved up. Most of them had about $20,000 or $30,000 dollars or something like that. I couldn't believe it because I never had anything like it. This was when we were like in our early to mid 20s. I couldn't believe it. I honestly think if a Chilean in their 20s had $20,000 dollars unexpectedly you'd see him or her with the latest iphone and a new car about a week later, and a big chunk of the money immediately gone. People in Chile have the same smart phone and car as people in the UK that earn double.

I think most of the things that you can think of as "Chilean" things are actually just poor country things, or Latin country things, or just differences between your country and Chile. I don't think it's wrong to call them Chilean things though, it can sometimes be hard to tell which of the above it is, especially if you have only ever lived in 2 countries.

(OK, when I say Chile is a "poor" country I mean relative to the richer country that most of us come from.)

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by Space Cat » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:11 pm

Britkid wrote:I don't think it's wrong to call them Chilean things though...
After living in 3 Eastern European counties + one Asian – yes, half of the stuff expats don't like here is just underdevelopment problems that their countries had overcome decades ago. The other half is usually "oh no, it's not like in the US". :D

But if there's anything that annoys me in Chile – it's the echo chamber of the low national self-esteem "we are so neoliberal conservative uncultured underdeveloped chauvinistic individualists!!"

Let's not fuel it by statements "Chileans do X" when everybody on this level of GDP PPP is doing X.

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Re: Can you afford to live in Chile????

Post by frozen-north » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:23 pm

Britkid wrote:
And of course if you are a 20 year old with plenty of determination and drive...

I had my job sorted before we came ...

If I'd lost my job in the first 2-3 months after moving out here we would have been in trouble.
Determination, drive and optimism will only get you so far, after that is the story of why you wouldn't do it the same way again.

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