Can you afford to live in Chile????

Chile Investment, how to invest in Chile, what to watch out for when investing, economic issues, currency exchange in Chile, and more.
papageno
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 559
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:46 pm
Location: Colorado & Puerto Varas

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

Post by papageno » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:25 pm

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?

john
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 6130
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:11 am
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile

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

Post by john » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:44 pm

papageno wrote:
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?
Yes, I attempted to include state and federal income taxes in my monthly cost of living estimates, and also property taxes, home insurance and home association dues (Gastos comunes). However, medical insurance may be the big kicker as I assumed coverage by employer with minimal premiums paid by employee. Sorry, can't help you with your double taxation question.
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17769
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

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

Post by admin » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:56 pm

papageno wrote:
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.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

MJSaywell
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:22 am

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

Post by MJSaywell » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:42 pm

Very interesting to read everyones replies and perspectives, Chile is not cheap, but it is not excessive either depending on what standards you are measuring, you are right, some things are hard to compare and it is a bit like comparing apples with oranges. I also tend to agree with the Mcdonalds comment, its cheaper here than in New Zealand, but it just doesnt taste the same, I think I have only been to Mcdonalds maybe 4 or 5 times in the last 4 years here and it was absolute crap, service, cleanliness, taste and everything was just bad. Apart from things like that, the main thing is wine is cheap :-) But seriously maybe if you live in the big cities you need to live behind a condo fence with security, but its not needed in my experience in provincial or rural areas where crime is probably on a par with New Zealand sometimes, I actually have no statistics to back this up just my gut feeling and personal experince. The other thing I was going to mention to do with housing is, at least Chileans still have a shot at home ownership, even if the quality is not that great. Again if I compare it to New Zealand, young families and low income earners are effectively locked out of the market now, where the average house price nationwide, 3 brm on maybe 600 sqm section is North of 300 million pesos, and in Auckland is north of 450 million, for housing that is sometimes so poor your kids get sick in it (seriously look up mouldy homes and leaky home syndrome in NZ). So yeah is Chile cheap ? No, Are we personally looking for Cheap ? Not at all, it would be nice if it was, but thats not our main priority. When we decided where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do with our lives, we decided this is the best place for our family, and how we can do things here that are not possible in New Zealand anymore.

User avatar
JHyre
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1991
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:08 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio

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

Post by JHyre » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:58 pm

MJS,

What is no longer possible in NZ besides perhaps home-ownership? Just curious, not a loaded question.

John Hyre

CarpenterTw
Rank: Chile Forum Tourist
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:51 pm

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

Post by CarpenterTw » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:24 pm

Sounds like what is happening in Vancouver.

User avatar
Dosedmonkey
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:27 am

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

Post by Dosedmonkey » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:13 am

canucklehead wrote:
Dosedmonkey wrote:Just had a go at the calculator and it was wrong for the UK.

They quote the cheapest Chilean prices compared to more top end UK ones. Lider vs. Tescos, I ca. Save about 40% price in UK. Lider vs. Aldi I can save 60% on some items. And UK has larger variety and quality.

UK also has reliable internet shppping, this hugely saves money on consumer products. Also huge competition here pushes prices down. Chile just has a few major department stores for a lot of things.

The only thing I am spending more on here then Chile is property. It looks like its twice as expensive, but actually when you factor in the much much lower crime rate, meani by you don't need to live behind condumium fences. The better insulation, construction and electrics. The better local parks and facilities. You get exactly what you pay for.

Even McDonalds they quote is not the same, the quality is much better here. Different recipes and procedures. Not that I go there very often.
Yes I expect that many consumer products are not cheap. I don't know what Lider, Aldi and Tescos sell so I'm not sure what you are comparing. One thing you didn't mention was food, except for McDonalds, both in groceries and restaurants. How would you compare the price and quality of food?
Put it this way Lider is Chilean supermarket owned by wallmart. Tescos is equivalent to ASDA, ASDA is UK supermarket owned by wallmart. Even though much of products in UK supermarket are transported further or produced in expensive EU countries, it is much cheaper in UK thanks to huge competition and huge amounts of offers. Liturally every isle has 20+ offers on it in UK.
Aldi is german supermarket in UK, much basic prices they other supermarkets. Good for tasty but affordable meat products.

As for restaurants, in Chile menus are limited.
Italian, good taste and price
Chinese, dumbed down menus and not great, average price
Chilean sandwich bars, good price, but essentially fast food, which is good price every country.
Seafood, great, good price
Peruvian restuarants, very tasty, average price

All other restaurants with more mature menu slightly higher price then UK I find, but less options in Chile.

Thats my take on it.

Best thing Chile that does not exist in UK is Taco Bell haha.

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17769
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

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

Post by admin » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:10 pm

you know recently, a lot of people in email seem to be pushing me for a hard number in terms of what it costs to move to Chile. Guess what? That is what I got a forum for. So I don't have to keep having this conversation in every single email.

So, her it is.

As of July 2017, I would say your ballpark goal is you need about $50,000 U.S. or about 32 million pesos (mas o menos, at 655 pesos to the dollar today, [or about 1,230 UF to keep this post inflation indexed for the future]).

That buys you about 1-2 years to get settled in Chile. So, you will need about $50,000 U.S. over 1-2 years, in a fairly liquid and accessible form.

Yes, some people will be able to do it much cheaper. If you want to go hot bunk with the Haitians in a warehouse in central Santiago, I am sure it will be much much cheaper. On the other hand, for some people that will nowhere near be sufficient. If you require a Lamborghini to go look for your mansions, I would budget little bit more.

But, for most people, somewhere in between, this does things like let you rent an apartment or house for a year. Buy some furnishings. Buys you a car to get around. Some gas and repairs. let's you contract some health insurance, car insurance, etc. covers a few emergencies. Probably most importantly, for those that don't make it, will get you an airline ticket home, if you decide you don't like Chile. If you do like Chile, perhaps it get's you home to visit the family at Christmas. However you cut it, it should be sufficient to get you going.

It most likely will not be an extravagant start in Chile, but it should be tolerable for most people on the planet.

And, please, please, do not email asking about if you need to deposit that in a bank account in Chile or some other silliness. This is not a government number, has nothing to do with residency, etc. It is just my eyeball estimate of what it is going to cost a foreinger to get setup in Chile, without struggling too much. The early post in this thread still apply, and then some.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
nwdiver
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 2989
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:45 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC and Chile where ever it's Summer
Contact:

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

Post by nwdiver » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:48 pm

Yes $50,000 for 18-24 months is very realistic, some need $5,000 a month others $800, as has been said, your mileage will vary......
It's all about the wine.

Britkid
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1721
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:59 pm
Location: Talagante area, Chile
Contact:

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

Post by Britkid » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:14 pm

$50,000 for one adult with no dependents?

You are talking about $50,000 to move here and get settled rather than an annual income right. You are saying if you have $50,000 when you are about to buy the plane ticket to come here than after 1-2 years in Chile without working, you should still have more than zero. Is that right?

User avatar
eeuunikkeiexpat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 7471
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Megalith of unknown origin near my digs, south V Region coast

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

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:05 pm

LOL
Generally, just a SPAM KILLER. You are on your own in this forum. My personal mission here is done.

BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

--eeuunikkeiexpat

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17769
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

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

Post by admin » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:56 am

Yea, think about it.

12 - 15 million a year.

Living cost on the cheap but comfortable level (not moving) is somewhere about 12 million, or about 1 million pesos a month.

Add in some getting started costs. Your first one to two years will be the most expensive. So about 15+ million a year for those added.

I would say a couple, on the very cheap, might be able to do this. Kids will cost you more, but they always cost you more. Not talking about a family here.

Just over the years, among our clients and other expats we know, i can think of very few that made it and succesfuly got settled in chile, with no other resources (e.g. chilean family), or working, for less than $50,000 u.s.

Many have burned through a whole lot more cash, and still were not able to make it.

Again be realistic about your needs.

Once you got the swing of things, friends, working spanish, etc, then you will have the option to cut costs back to something more like what a chilean might get away with if you want.

In fact if you are cheapskate at heart, think of it as an investment in not spending a lot more money later.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

Post Reply