Uruguay

Going where?

South America? Uruguay?

Why?

As we watch housing costs continue to rise across the country and especially in Austin, we worry about our ability to maintain a satisfying life when our rental agreement ends at the end of this summer. Without an increase in pay to cover increasing inflation and housing costs, we’re faced with being forced to move somewhere rent is less expensive — whether or not it’s a location with the particular amenities we find valuable. So, rather than select some random U.S. town in which all other costs (food, utilities, etc.) remain the same or increase (transportation) except our rent, why not an interesting foreign city — and one that comes with possible financial benefits, to boot?

Consumer Price Comparison: Austin vs. Montevideo
Consumer Prices in Montevideo are 17.84% lower than in Austin, TX (without rent)
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Montevideo are 40.70% lower than in Austin, TX
Rent Prices in Montevideo are 70.19% lower than in Austin, TX
Restaurant Prices in Montevideo are 28.59% lower than in Austin, TX
Groceries Prices in Montevideo are 35.11% lower than in Austin, TX
Source: numbeo

Our trip to Colombia sparked these thoughts. We’ve both wanted to live in another country during our lives. I’d largely written that possibility off, but between seeing the affordability of South America and the rising costs of living in the U.S and not really wanting to work harder and longer to maintain the same quality of life, it’s started to seem more reasonable as an option. We’re in our 40s without kids. I’ve worked remotely for a decade or more. In fact, I held the position I hold now while living in Austin, New York City, New Orleans and San Antonio. Being two hours ahead in Uruguay won’t make much of a difference.

Colombia’s even less expensive, but acquiring a visa to stay longer than six months seems to be a bit difficult. Uruguay, however, has a much clearer visa process and, while not dirt cheap like Colombia, is still considerably less expensive than U.S. towns, especially those of comparable size.

Basic Uruguay Facts

  • Montevideo, the capital and largest city, has 1.6 million inhabitants.
  • 3.4 million people in all of Uruguay.
  • Around 40% of the country’s population lives in Montevideo.
  • In 2022, it has a projected GDP of $53.9 billion, with a per capita of $30,148.
  • Uruguay is the most secular country in Latin America.
  • Montevideo is ranked as having the highest quality of life in South America.

Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay, is also rated as having the highest quality of living in South America.

When it really comes down to it, we don’t require much to be happy. Beyond the basic amenities (easy access to medical and veterinary care, pharmacies, groceries and the like), I like to have a local coffee shop to visit on the regular. Misty likes going to greenspaces or trails to go hiking with the dogs. We’d be happy to go without a car, if possible. That all seems possible — with quite a bit more to distract us — in Montevideo.

Currently, we’re scheduled to fly from Atlanta to Montevideo on August 17-18, 2022. We have an Airbnb in the Aguada district near the National Parliament until October 31, by which time we should have decided upon longer-term lodgings.

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