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    Tips for Comfortably Retiring on a Tight Income

Baby Boomers can still retire, even on a tight income, by taking steps to stretch their dollars! 

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Baby Boomer Retirement in Uruguay


by Kathleen Peddicord


We like Uruguay not only for its four mild seasons, long stretches of coastline, charming old quarter (in Montevideo), and laid-back way of life...but also for its friendly tax legislation, its absolutely low cost of living, and its real estate investment opportunities right now. Montevideo's old town is being rejuvenated, thanks to foreign (not only American) investment, but it's not too late to get a super-good buy on a classic-style apartment in a good location. Beyond the capital, you can find even better buys, on estancias and big tracts of productive land.

Best known beach buy in the country is Punta del Este, which has been a draw for Argentine and other South American sun-seekers for decades. This Gold Coast, but an hour-and-a-half from Montevideo, has been enjoying such a boom that rental owners we know have lately reported extraordinary returns, as much as 12% net and more per year. Best unknown beach buy in the country is in Rocha Province.


Learn more at "Live and Invest Overseas


Uruguay is also one of the easiest countries in the world to establish full-time foreign residency and, as well, a jurisdiction where opening a bank account can be a super-straightforward process. You should be able to open an account as a foreign resident or even as a non-resident simply by walking into a local Uruguayan bank and showing ID. And an account at a local Uruguayan bank (as opposed to one at an international bank in the country) can be all you need to manage your local expenses.


Medical facilities are top-notch in Uruguay, and comprehensive health coverage can cost less than US$100 per month. This is not "health insurance," per se, but full coverage at a particular Uruguay hospital. These kinds of "hospital plans" can be a good option if your plan is to be in one country full-time.

Uruguay's approach to taxation is as good as it gets for the foreign resident. Living here, you're taxed only on money you earn in the country. You can bring ("remit") as much money as you want into the country to cover your living expenses; however, as long as you earn no income locally, you have no local tax bill.

Finally, cost of living. Uruguay qualifies as highly affordable. Not as cheap as, say, Ecuador or Nicaragua, but not expensive either. A couple could live comfortably in this country on a budget of about US$1,600 to US$1,800 per month, including rent.

For all these reasons, therefore, and all things considered, Uruguay makes my short list of world's top retirement havens. Uruguay qualifies as sleepy, which is both a pro and a con. But un-sleepy Buenos Aires is only a quick flight or ferry ride away.

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Uruguay at a Glance


Population 3.5 million (July 2007)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $37.05 billion (2007)
GDP Per Capita $10,700 (2007)
Inflation Rate 8.3% (2007)
Currency Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar 23.947 Uruguayan pesos = 1 U.S. dollar (March 2008)
Language Spanish
Capital Montevideo
Population of Capital City 1.3 million
Time Zone UTC minus 3
Seasons Temperate; warm summers, cold winters
International Dialing Code 598
Electricity 220V / 50 Hz; Plug Type: C, F, I, L
  Constitutional Republic
Name and Party Affiliation
of Current Leader
Tabaré Vázquez, Broad Front Party
Income Tax Rate for Residents 0% to 25%
Property Tax 0.84% to 1.6275% for residents; 8.4% to 16.275% for non-residents
Capital Gains Tax 12%
Inheritance Tax 0%
Rental Income Tax 12%
Transfer Tax 14%
Sales Tax 23%
Restrictions on Foreign
Ownership of Property
Local Chamber of Commerce
Rincon 454 P.2
Montevideo 11000
Tel: (598) 2 916 12 77
American Chamber of Commerce
Plaza Indepencia 831
Office 209
Montevideo 11000
Tel: (598) 2 908 91 86
Primary Exports Meat, rice, leather products, wool, fish, dairy products
Residency and Visa Requirements Tourist Visa: automatic 90 days upon entry
Residency: temporary residence, permanent residence
Citizenship: after legal residence for 5 years if you practiceany art, science, or industry in Uruguay
Special Benefits for Foreign Residents or Retirees None
National Airline PLUNA
Preferred Contact  





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Information on this page is provided in partnership with Kathleen Peddicord, Publisher of Live and Invest Overseas. 

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