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Cost of Living in Chile

The Cost of Living In Chile

The cost of living in Chile is reasonable. The prevailing stereotype is that Chile is expensive, especially Santiago. And, indeed, there are better places to settle if budget is a critical consideration. But is it truly that expensive? You might be surprised. Take a look at these popular expat destinations, using consumer prices (excluding rent) from crowd-sourced Numbeo:

  • The cost of living is 14% higher in Panama City than in Santiago
  • San Jose, Costa Rica, is 19% higher
  • Montevideo, Uruguay, is a hefty 23% higher

To give a North American frame of reference, check out these cities:

  • You’ll spend about 32% more to live in Phoenix than in Santiago
  • 33% more to live in Portland, Oregon
  • 66% more to live in Vancouver, British Colombia

Despite its many advantages (including the relatively low cost of real estate), Chile is not the cheapest option around for retiree expats. Many expats report that the cost of living in Chile is a great value. You might say, you get what you pay for. Chile offers a near-First World lifestyle for less overall than you’d pay in North America or Europe. Many basic goods, such as groceries and some household expenses, cost about the same in the U.S. and in Chile. Eating out in a decent restaurant in La Serena runs US$20 to US$25 per person, including wine. Medical care costs less than in the U.S: A doctor’s visit runs US$60 to US$80, though several expats mentioned that the quality of care for both medical and dental work is not as high as that in the U.S. Health insurance is also scarce (BUPA International was the insurer mentioned most often.)

Penny-Pincher´s Budget

ItemCost
RentCLP 250,000 – CLP 500,000
Transportation (bus, taxi etc)CLP 20,000
Gas (cooking/heating)CLP 7,000
ElectricityCLP 60,000
WaterCLP 35,000
TelephoneCLP 20,000
InternetCLP 25,000
Cable TVCLP 15,000
EntertainmentCLP 50,000
GroceriesCLP 75,000
TotalCLP 557,000 – CLP 807,000

Apartment or House Rental Budget (for a couple)

ItemCost
RentCLP 400,000 – CLP 700,000 (2 bedroom)
Transportation (bus, taxi etc)CLP 20,000
Gas (cooking/heating)CLP 7,000
ElectricityCLP 60,000
WaterCLP 35,000
TelephoneCLP 20,000
InternetCLP 25,000
Cable TVCLP 15,000
Household HelpCLP 70,000
EntertainmentCLP 100,000 – CLP 200,000
GroceriesCLP 120,000
Gym MembershipCLP 30,000
Medical AppointmentCLP 30,000
TotalCLP 902,000 – CLP 1,302,000

Apartment or House Ownership Budget (for a couple)

ItemCost
MortgageNot included as too variable.
HOA FeeCLP 100,000
Property Taxes1% – 1.4% (depending on value)
Transportation (bus, taxi etc)CLP 20,000
Gas (cooking/heating)CLP 7,000
ElectricityCLP 60,000
WaterCLP 35,000
TelephoneCLP 20,000
InternetCLP 25,000
Cable TVCLP 15,000
Household HelpCLP 70,000
EntertainmentCLP 100,000 – CLP 200,000
GroceriesCLP 120,000
Gym MembershipCLP 30,000
Medical AppointmentCLP 30,000
TotalCLP 632,000 – CLP 732,000

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