“Kathleen, have you visited Uruguay lately? Well, let me leave you with a short comment: Uruguay is no longer an inexpensive country to retire in. The Uruguayan peso to U.S. dollar is continuing to go south, and prices from housing to food to taxes have gone out of sight. Property prices in decent areas of town in Montevideo are continuing to go up.
“My wife and I lived there for two years and we recently moved back to the United States because we could not afford it there any longer.”
–Andy B., United States
Indeed. Your point is well-taken. We’ve been reporting on this situation (inflation in Uruguay and the U.S. dollar/peso exchange rate moving against dollar-holders) for the past couple of years.
Latin America Correspondent Lee Harrison adds:
When I first went to Uruguay, we enjoyed an exchange rate of 34 pesos per U.S. dollar. Living in Uruguay was probably as cheap as living in Ecuador at that time. But, over the years, I watched as the rate sank below 19 pesos per U.S. dollar, meaning the dollar lost 45% of its former purchasing power. And that was before accounting for any inflation.
Today, low cost of living in Uruguay is limited to places like Mercedes and Treinta y Tres…not Montevideo and Punta de Este. And, even in these less high-profile spots, the cost of living is correspondingly higher than it was in 2004.
Personally, I still like–and highly recommend–Uruguay for a lot of reasons, from banking to farmland, as well as the lifestyle and culture. However, if low cost of living is an important concern, you have better choices right now.