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Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-24-2003, 12:24 PM   #1
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Anybody know Buenos Aires??

I just made it to 62 (I'm a single woman in good shape and in good health). Don't have a lot of income, but not in debt either. I've always worked for nonprofits. I expect to get around 800 per month in social security, plus I have some fixed income from long bonds to spend if I have to. I know Buenos Aires and would love to live there--simply--like I do here. My plan, such as it is, is to go there for the three years between 62 and 65, then come back to the states and be a proper grandmother, etcetera, back in Cincinnati. Question is: Could I live in Buenos Aires on my social security? Want to save something for the later stretch back home. I'm fluent in Spanish and I know the city--but it is different when one visits.
Thanks, thirdage
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-24-2003, 02:19 PM   #2
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Thanks for noticing.
Yes, I do tango. That is how I got there around 15 years ago.
Before the crash there was a protracted recession having much to do with peg of dollar to peso.
I was there during the crash--saw the despair and sense of betrayal. Not good.
Default and devaluation were pretty mind-blowing for them.
I have watched my middle-class friends descend into something approaching poverty.
I think things are on the mend, kind of. At least the IMF is no longer in the driver's seat.
Read Joseph Steiglitz (Globalization and its Discontents) to see the extent of damage.
I have no desire to earn my keep there. It is hard enough for them. That is why I waited till I could receive social security to do this. I think I could be okay there on 800 a month.
At least I hope so. My idea is to live on income and hang on to savings, if possible.
I'm no mathematician. But private health care there is $80 US monthly/apartment $200US.
Lot's more disposable income than trying to retire here. I think it is a no-brainer. Or hope.
Thanks again for your reply.
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-24-2003, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Thirdage: A very interesting post. I enjoy reading about folks considering foreign locales for retirement. I hope you'll keep us posted on what you learn and how it goes.

Dick
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-24-2003, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

It has been about 7 years since my last visits to Argentina. While Buenos Aires is a very cosmopolitain city, I would prefer to live in one of the smaller cities such as Mendoza. Guess I'm just not a big-city kind of person. I especially liked San Rafael.

Honestly, I can not begin to say what their economy is like at the moment. When I was last there, the country was bustling. But from what I 've heard, things turned for the worse in 1999-2000 time frame. I would certainly try to get a better feel from some of the locals about how the economy is faring and what the near-term outlook is.

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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-24-2003, 06:42 PM   #5
 
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

I lived and worked in Cordoba, Argentina for a couple years in the late 90's. We went to BA several times on long weekends and loved the experience there. Loaded with cultural activities and good restaurants. It is a major city, so there is a great deal of noise and traffic.

The main problems include cost.....when I was there apartments were rather expensive - especially in the heart of the city....and crime (situation seems to be much worse than when I was there....probably a lot of desperate people. Knowledge of the language is very important. Even with the problems, I miss the excitement of BA, and would sure like to visit again. Good luck!
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 07-25-2003, 05:07 AM   #6
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Quote:
I lived and worked in Cordoba, Argentina for a couple years in the late 90's.
I knew a business associate who live in Cordoba during the mid to late '90s. Very nice fella. I never got to visit that city, but it sounded like an interesting place. Another unique place I visited was Salta.

Those were fun and interesting times for me. I'll probably never have an opportunity to repeat them, but I certainly relished the experience!


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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 08-14-2003, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Quote:
I just made it to 62 (I'm a single woman in good shape and in good health). Don't have a lot of income, but not in debt either. I've always worked for nonprofits. I expect to get around 800 per month in social security, plus I have some fixed income from long bonds to spend if I have to.
Hi Third Age. I am interested in your post because 1) I grew up in Cincinnati (Clifton) and my sibs still are there, 2) I dance Argentine tango, (but not particularly well) and 3) I am looking to go to Latin America to bring back my Spanish which I learned in Colombia in the 70's. I am also 62. I would enjoy hearing more about your project.

I am also wondering about the income info that you provided. Do you have a pension that kicks in at age 65? Or must you get along solely on your bonds and the social security that you mentioned? Do you have a home in Cincy to return you? I am wondering if you run a risk of being locked out of the real estate market during your absence.

Mikey
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 08-18-2003, 12:09 PM   #8
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Hi Mikey,

Since my kids own homes in Cincinnati I can always couch surf for a while. I also have many friends from the dance community from my tenure there (I left in 78). Mostly in Norwood, also in Clifton. I'm sure I could rent a room or do something if the kids and I suffered from too much togetherness; something I anticipate and would understand. In San Francisco the notion of owning anything doesn't enter my head, so I don't worry much about being locked out of the realty market. I don't think I want to buy, except maybe in an old-age community way later.
When you think of me think aging hippie.

My idea is to live simply in Buenos Aires till I turn 65 using only my social security, and perhaps some bond income, which isn't that much. (I have a small pension from work that will kick in at 65, but it surely won't let me into any real estate market here in the states).

I figure that it will be far more expensive to try to be retired in Cincinnati than in Buenos Aires for many reasons. I hope that I am right. At 65 with Medicare (maybe), I'll have more of a chance in the U.S. I expect to move my base back after 65 (maybe).

Actually my biggest expense will be health insurance for the times when I want to visit my kids in the U.S. I am afraid of going without any at all, and the most efficient thing I have found so far is expat insurance (you have to live outside the U.S.) for 1800 a year with a 5K deductible. I think this will be a necessary nuisance expense, one I hadn't actually planned on, but then there is the bond income for just that sort of thing.

Where are you learning your tango? I have danced it for many years, and although it was the primary trigger for getting to know BsAs, it is not the only draw. I love their culture. I really enjoy it there in spite of the pollution, the smoke in most nightclubs and restaurants, and the fact that the night begins around 2AM (or at least the bands begin playing then), all hard things to adjust to. I guess I want to say it is not for everyone. Most people who go come back seduced and charmed by the people. There are a lot of pros and cons. I'm one of the seduced, but I'm trying to keep my eyes open.

Let me know if you want to know more.

Thanks for getting in touch.



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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 08-18-2003, 01:25 PM   #9
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??


P.S.

Pardon the smiley face--don't know how it got there. I meant to say I left Cincinnati in 1978.
I guess I didn't disable the dumb things.
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 08-18-2003, 04:43 PM   #10
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Quote:
When you think of me think aging hippie.
Hi Third Age, Ha! My kids call me hippie, but young people today are very conservative compared to us I think. No hippie would ever have offered me that compliment. In 1968 I was in the Coast Guard. I visited a friend living on Haight Street. I walked around in my uniform, drawing the most incredulous stares. At my first opportunity I left the C.G, but it wasn't until 1971 that I got back to San Francisco. By then the scene had really hardened. Still a wonderful music scene though.

I started dancing tango in Seattle with James Fridgen and Rachel Smith. I have gone to a few workshops, like with Susanna Miller. I find it quite difficult. I am a good Cuban style salsa dancer, and I have been a jitterbugger more or less continuously since I was in jr high in Covington. But tango is really different, and serious! I don't know if I will be able to give it the attention that it seems to require. A lot of my creative energy today is going to learning to play drums. I have an instructional DVD by Fabian Salas, and I think he is a beautiful dancer.

Also, studying tango can be expensive, at least until you find yourself no longer needing help. For you, after so many years at it, I would suppose you don't have to think at all about what you are doing.

The party getting going at 2am- that is so weird to me. The salsa clubs here start late, but nothing like that. How do these people work?

Last night I went to a blues club where a lot of swing dancers go. By midnight, after really cutting it up for a few hours, I felt like I would soon fall onto the table. So I was done.

I want to ask what will probaby seem like an odd question. I plan to go somewhere in Latin America, probably this fall, but maybe in January, to study Spanish. Have you shopped to cook for yourself down there? I eat an odd diet, made necessary by health issues that are completely solved by a diet of pure meat, eggs, fish and vegetables. In some latin countries it is hard to find anything much beyond corn and beans.
I would expect Argentina to be very different, after all it's the home of the gaucho! Could you comment on this?

Thank you for writing your post today. I hope you will have time to return!

Mikey
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??
Old 08-18-2003, 05:13 PM   #11
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Re: Anybody know Buenos Aires??

Yes, I cook for myself all the time there. The meat is excellent; fruit can be really good if you find the right little corner stall. They have little stores where you can buy fresh-made pasta. Yum. The cuisine is very different from Mexico--more European. Many immigrated from Italy, and you will find pasta, salads of all types, fish, chicken, and the ubiquitous steak. Be prepared to be offered cows udders at their asados. I have health issues also (or preventive ones). Omigod, I sound like the woman in American Splendor! For some unjust reason, I manufacture lots and lots of bad cholesterol along with lots of the good stuff. So they are always telling me to change my diet. So I measure the grated goat cheese on my whole wheat spaghetti and stick to fruits and veggies. The rich sauces that I loved in France are no longer an option, but I don't miss them that much, really. Only once in a while.
There actually is swing in Buenos Aires. When you get close to going I will tell you where.
I'm a lindyhopper and jitterbugger although the kids I dance with are half my age--who cares. Our generation started it all, anyway. Or the ones that came just before. Besides, I love the music. (Well, the 30's and 40's, anyway.)
You will find salsa there, as well. They mix up the sets at the less traditional milongas, so you will see salsa and also swing. Yes, Fabian is a wonderful dancer and an excellent teacher. I've known him for years--I actually met him in Cincinnati. He married a beautiful young woman named Carolina and they are gorgeous together.
Don't get your hopes up for a great "authentic" tango experience in BsAs. There is a fierce kind of code that operates in the traditional milonga, especially if you don't dance very well. Another world. (You probably know about the cabeceo and the militant table-Nazi waiters at the milongas.) Do go to classes and practicas; get to know people (the Confiteria Ideal in the afternoons is an easy place to start). After you get to know people you start finding out where they are going that night, and you can sit with friends. People are there from all over, Europe, Asia, etcetera. If you go I can fax you a magazine called El Tangauta which has a complete list of classes and practicas and tell you the ones I like.
If your Spanish is better than "Yo quiero una cerveza," you will do just fine.
If you want lodging tips I can also help you. Don't know about language schools, but the university has good courses for foreigners.
Have fun. Don't bring a bunch of money (just enough for backup) because ATM machines are all over and you can use your credit card.
Anything else, ask me.
Hope this helps.
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