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Curious as to why You personally chose Uruguay to move?

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LosGringos
2/21/2016 21:49 EST

Hi everyone,
I am new here and thinking of moving for a while to Uruguay for personal reasons as my father is ill.
Reading through some of the information here which is very insightful one question kept piping into my head. Why would these people who are not native especially to Uruguay have chosen Uruguay to live ?????

I am from Uruguayan parents and have traveled back and forth on holidays since I was small I just couldn't imagine the great leap form one country to another and am curious about everyone personal journey on the decision of moving to Uruguay.
I would love to hear

It also got me thinking there must be so many foreigners then in Uruguay wow !

LosGringos

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Morell
2/22/2016 06:33 EST

According to El Pais, most of the applicants for residency are from Argentina or Brazil.
Last year only 207 were from the US.

Here is Atlantida it is rare to hear English spoken while out shopping etc. and it is very rarely that I see any expats that I know by chance except at the weekly feria.

There are more products from abroad though in the high end stores so there is more demand. Whether it is from the Uruguayans who have returned or from foreigners, I am not sure.

If you did not make " the great leap" - how did you end up away from here? Your parents moved and you were born overseas?

Once you no longer need a permanent job it becomes easier to think about living in other parts of the world, either permanently or just for a time. Life is short and travel is very enriching. I have lived in five different countries so far, all had positives and negatives and all have been an interesting experience for me.

I was asked the same thing when I was working in a small town in Alabama - what on earth are you doing here? Seems a lot of people cannot imagine why anyone else would chose to live where they live. I lived in a small town on Prince Edward Island in Canada for many years and worked with a Doctor from Greece. It seemed odd to me he would chose PEI over Europe.

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LosGringos
2/22/2016 14:27 EST

Wow you seem well travelled.
My parents are both from Uruguay hence my roots always bring me over on travels.
,
To explain my parents are in 2 parts of the world Australia and USA I was born in Australia and spend time between both.

I love Uruguay but always find it a little dicy, I have seen just on holidays 2 mths at a time how the drugs have spread and people seem to rob for so little.

Do you find Atlandia still quiet and tranquil.
I like it there and remember spending summer holidays I think it's nicer than Punta deal Este

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Morell
2/22/2016 15:04 EST

Most of the year Atlantida is very quiet with at least half the houses closed up and many of the small businesses and restaurants closed.
The summer is busy of course, this year more than I have seen for several years since the folk from Argentine can once again take their money out of the country.

We find it busy enough for us, there is a nice group of English speakers - we meet twice a month and the numbers vary from about 6 - 25. Some are locals who have lived in the US and want to keep up their English, some are German, others are from Canada, the US, and elsewhere.

We have not been personally affected by the increase in crime but we have to be much more aware than we were in Canada. We have a monitored alarm and a dog and if we go away for any length of time we have house sitters.
We have neighbours who are here most of the time as well.

We have made some nice friends - both English speaking and local and for now we are content. Especially this time of year seeing the weather reports from Canada (where we last lived.)

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crazyfarmer
2/22/2016 16:45 EST

>Why would these people who are not
>native especially to Uruguay have
>chosen Uruguay to live ?????

Around five years ago we decided to leave the US. For the five years before that, we had been talking about leaving, but didn't know where we might want to go. Then some things happened both in our personal lives and in the US in general, that made us decide to leave. It took us about a year to get everything together and actually move.

We made a list of countries that we thought we might like to move to, and began to research them. We also made a list of priorities, characteristics a country had to possess that were important to us. And we made a list of specific problems in the world that we wanted to avoid.

Then based on our priorities, we began crossing countries off the list. Finally, we ended up with Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. Argentina was out because of the financial problems. We were worried about getting money in and out. We also had heard that they didn't like foreigners or Americans very much. Not sure how true that is. We also heard that Chile had a longer and more complicated residency process than Uruguay. Uruguay also was better for farming, with more water, less expensive farm land, etc.

Uruguay had some down sides as far as we were concerned. But the upsides more than made up for it. That's still our assessment. After being here four years, we still feel like we were right to leave. And we feel like we picked the right country for us.

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LosGringos
2/23/2016 17:33 EST

"Crazy Farmer"

I love hearing your story about how you came to Uruguay amazing.
I think of my parents who immigrated to Australia also after choosing between USA and Australia in there early 20's and think how brave.
I am glad you feel you made the right choice and you found your place. Do you mind me asking where you came to settle ? And what do you farm ?
I dream of owning average and living off Te land, it was once within reach but now in Australia real estate prices are astronomical to say the least.
Thank you for sharing it's inspiring!

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LosGringos
2/23/2016 17:39 EST

"Morrell"
Thanks very informative and nice to know some places are still pretty much unaffected by the things happening in the suburbs or that the community loos after one another.

That's great news more people spending money over the holidays at least, wven though Uruguayan often complain about the Aeentuneana or porteños.
Can't live with them can't live without them.

Do you mind me asking what did you end up doing career wise in Uruguay ?

Thanks again for your reply.

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Morell
2/23/2016 19:18 EST

We are retired so live on pensions from the US and Canada.
When we came we were getting 19 pesos to the US dollar now it is around 31. Our Canadian dollar has not fared as well but when we came in 2011 it was around 19 pesos to the Canadian dollar and now we get around 22 pesos to the Canadian dollar.

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crazyfarmer
2/23/2016 19:36 EST

>Do you mind me asking where you
>came to settle ?

Just north of Montevideo between Las Piedras and Sauce.

>And what do you farm ?

Mostly weeds so far. We have some animals which has gone well. We had five cows at one point, but down to zero until we can get better fencing.

We're about to install a greenhouse where we'll be planting all kinds of things to feed the family.

>it was once within reach but now in
>Australia real estate prices are
>astronomical to say the least.

This was one reason for choosing Uruguay. It didn't have the crazy land prices that other places have, one reason we avoided Australia and South Africa, in spite of the language.

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LosGringos
2/24/2016 10:55 EST

Morrell

Awesome exchange trata great!
Do you find as the dólar goes up everything else too or not so much?

I remember when I was 16 I lived there for 2.5 yrs and the bus cost us 13 pesos I went back and it was 15, 18 what does the bus cost now ?

I think Uruguay is a perfect place to retire by the way in my opinion it can be just a bit tricker for younger ones in terms of work and pay.

We know many Uruguayans who left like my parents in there 20's immigrated elsewhere and return when they retire with forge in pensions.

Do you find healthcare expensive ?

Pardon all the questions it's nice to hear from someone living there but with a foreigners opinion.

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LosGringos
2/24/2016 11:02 EST

Crazy farmer

Ja Ja Ja you made me laugh with your weed cultivation! Sound like your living the dream just fine tuning things.

How long have you been there?
Did you find it a major headache to purchase property?

I often look online and freak out thinking its such a different ball game. Prices seem very high or suspiciously low I think you really need to be there to touch and feel.

I imagine you drive I think I read something if it was you about driving. How lucky Ng would the drive be to MTVD ?
I hate being a passenger let alone contemplate driving in Uruguay it's a little hairy.

Thanks and pardon all the questions I really appreciate your insights!

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Morell
2/24/2016 13:31 EST

We keep a record of costs here and our monthly costs have stayed about the same when we convert the total to US dollars.

I have not used a bus recently but Marita posted this info a while back


Bus fares up again--Yep, starting on February 1st, 2015, in Montevideo, the simple or 1 hour ticket costs $24, the 2 hour ticket is up to $36, and the centrico is $17. --8.2.2015


Saving money on bus fares in Montevideo--As has already been discussed, you can save a few percent of the IVA tax by paying with plastic for all purchases. But it is also possible, if you have a tarjeta (the plastic, credit card like items you see people in the bus press on the machines when they get on the bus). These tarjeta are available for free at the CUTCSA offices like that at Tres Cruces.


If you also pay in advance (prepay) for bus tickets using a debit card, any debit card, you then get a couple of percent taken off the price of each bus ticket (between 2% and 4%). (For example, if you pay $200 (pesos), then, for the next 9 or 10 regular bus tickets, you merely press your tarjeta to the machine, and it subtracts the price of the trip from the total you prepaid.) Not sure if they have gone up again but there has been an increase for power, telephone etc.

Coming from Canada, any charge for basic healthcare is expensive! I was used to paying for a prescription or dental work but not a monthly charge or paying for tests etc.
That said, it is reasonable.

Here are the costs at Asociacion Espanola ( in pesos)
http://www.asesp.com.uy/uc_140_1.html

We belong to A.JU. PEN. A a seniors club with a low monthly charge. With that we get discounts on our monthly medical charge, car insurance and various businesses in town.

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crazyfarmer
2/24/2016 13:59 EST

>How long have you been there?

About 4 years

>Did you find it a major headache to
>purchase property?

No. It's about the same level of time and work as buying a house in the US. The process is just different.

>I often look online and freak out
>thinking its such a different ball
>game. Prices seem very high or
>suspiciously low I think you really
>need to be there to touch and feel.

Yeah, you need to be here. It seems like the properties listed online are overpriced compared to others. Also, it seems like someone selling a property might not be in such a hurry to sell. So they advertise a unrealistically high price hoping someone will pay it. So it stays on the market for years.

When we were shopping for our current place, we met more than one Uruguayan who couldn't tell the difference between an acre and a hectare. One property we saw had two very different prices online, and a third much higher price when our real estate agent happened to find the same place on her own. The span was $30,000 to $65,000. Prices sometimes went up when they saw that it was Americans who were interested. Prices were sometimes listed online as a price per hectare, which doesn't make a lot of sense when a house is involved... and so on.

All you can do is go see the property and make an offer you think is reasonable for you.


>I imagine you drive I think I read
>something if it was you about
>driving. How lucky Ng would the
>drive be to MTVD ?

30 to 45 minutes depending on where and what time of day. We're maybe 30 minutes to Carrasco in light traffic, but could be as much as an hour to Pocitos in heavy traffic.

>I hate being a passenger let alone
>contemplate driving in Uruguay it's
>a little hairy.

It scared me a lot when we first got here because it requires a heightened sense of awareness that you just don't need in the US. So it's more stressful. I'm sort of used to it now. I know the kinds of crazy things that are likely to happen. So I watch for them and I'm prepared.

>Thanks and pardon all the questions
>I really appreciate your insights!

No problem. :-)

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gbowwii
2/25/2016 09:26 EST

If you are interested in the trend towards emigration and retirement both, there's a good website with statistics. The guy who made the site was an international aid consultant and contracted for a major survey by Zogby in 2011 since reliable statistics didn't exist until the survey was done. He's in Panama and naturally extols that country but that's not relevant to the general findings. A big surprise for me was how many younger people have seriously looked beyond the USA; much more than when I was a kid*:
http://www.businessinsider.com/more-americans-moving-abroad-america-wave-2011-11?op=1
http://retirementwave.com/surfingthewave.htm

*I may have been unusual insofar as I knew 2 contemporaries and 2 older family members who had gone overseas to live although one was just to get a degree. Most people hardly left their state let alone the country.

PS personally, the land being less expensive and a reserved but helpful people with a more similar cultural background were drawing cards. Minimal disaster likelihood, hundreds of miles of beaches and more moderate weather helped make it more appealing.

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LosGringos
2/26/2016 02:10 EST

Thanks to the 3 of you whom replied and posted very good information.

Moving to another country requires allot of research, time and I appreciate the information first hand helping to make a informed decision.

Some places make it seem like such a simple thing to do I think it's crazy doing things right for me does not require a over night decision rather eploring all your possibilities, pitfalls and upsides.

Once again thank you and I am sure we will speak again it's been fabulous priceless information from all.

Loving this forum!

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Ivory1234
3/31/2016 19:37 EST

What draws the people together in your Atlantida group? I guess they are drawn together by being expats from other countries? I'm a 76 yo U.S. citizen. In recent years, I've neither looked to join a group or been invited to join one -- although the idea seems attractive, especially if one is in a so-called "foreign country."

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Morell
3/31/2016 21:52 EST

The Atlantida group was quite a going concern when I first moved here. There were often new people joining us for lunch, some just visiting Uruguay, some thinking of moving here etc. We would get 20 - 25 or more each time. It was a good place to get local information, find a handyman, ask questions and meet new people. Some were locals who wanted to keep up their English or wanted to offer services to foreigners.

In the last year or so it has dropped off considerably. There are rarely new people and those of us that have been here a while don't seem to show up very often. The last time I went only 6 or so came.
We seem to get tired of the same restaurant and the restaurants seem to get tired of us. There are not many to pick from especially in the off season and moving to a different one is not always feasible.

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florenciaferraro
3/31/2016 23:24 EST

I would like to get in contact with that group. Is that possible?

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florenciaferraro
3/31/2016 23:24 EST

I would like to get in contact with that group. Is that possible?

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Morell
4/1/2016 07:56 EST

Here is a link with the info.
The next one is April 7th.
(The restaurant seems to have given up on the specials for our group.)

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gbowwii
4/1/2016 12:10 EST

Here's the link:

http://mydayinuy.com/atlunch-4/

Indigo has a beautiful view. Some suggested the (uncertain of the name) S???? Beer House to the right of Niagara Hotel on the IB. But I am not sure they are open Thursdays year-round. The food was really good there. If it changes, the web link would show that.

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Morell
4/1/2016 12:12 EST

Thanks for the link, mine did not get included.

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carlitos
4/1/2016 12:29 EST

Beer you said?

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Ivory1234
4/1/2016 16:23 EST

Would it be reasonable to say the top five reasons, in no particular order, for moving abroad include: reuniting with family, improving your economic situation, "chasing the sun," romance, and, as you said, for personal enrichment? I've thought about my own reasons, and affection for Spanish is probably my own primary motive, but I am able to study Spanish right where I am (in Ohio), so there would have to be other reasons.

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carlitos
4/1/2016 17:18 EST

not my reasons but I've heard the following reasons: clean air, water and food. It is far from the center of power (USA and Europe). It is not in the West Cost, Legal Cannabis.

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Ivory1234
4/2/2016 16:37 EST

Do you think that some or most natives seem hostile toward gringos? I don't mind the occasional frown, but I would not enjoy being in a place where most people looked at me with scorn.

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musclearms
4/2/2016 19:04 EST

Are they against retirees from America?

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carlitos
4/2/2016 19:10 EST

no, you don't have that feeling here, although they might ignore you.

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mjferriesmcgrew
4/2/2016 19:37 EST

i think the uruguayans in this town, anyway ( Minas ) are some of the friendliest people i have met anywhere, and i have lived in a number of places in the u.s. and abroad. Maybe i am just oblivious, as my spanish is terrible, they could be stabbing me in the back once i am gone, but everyone is sure nice to my face!

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mjferriesmcgrew
4/2/2016 19:37 EST

i think the uruguayans in this town, anyway ( Minas ) are some of the friendliest people i have met anywhere, and i have lived in a number of places in the u.s. and abroad. Maybe i am just oblivious, as my spanish is terrible, they could be stabbing me in the back once i am gone, but everyone is sure nice to my face!

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Freddikins
4/3/2016 09:03 EST

The openness and genuineness of the people is one of the greatest reasons we decided to make this a retirement home. We haven't yet retired however, and come down for extended periods once or twice yearly. In the nearly 8 or 9 years of coming down, nothing has occurred to change my mind. I have to laugh at myself as I sometimes will create in my mind something that isn't true, but just my perception of things. The other day for example, the woman at the check out counter treated me in a way that I interpreted as, she doesn't like me because I am either white, or tourist..., although I have been seeing her there for years. The next time I saw her, she was as she usually always is. It wasn't a 'me', or who I am issue, it perhaps was nothing more than a bad day for her issue. The other part of why we like the people here as we do, is that they are more like us. They don't have the deep cultural background that keeps us out, they are educated, so we can relate, and are genuinely decent people.

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focus
4/3/2016 10:02 EST

I would echo previous comments about the Uruguayan people and, to me, it makes a world of difference about whether I feel at home or not.

Another point I would make is that for those who remember 'the good old days' when things were simpler, Uruguay gives you the opportunity to relive that era. The corollary being that those turned on by excitement probably won't find Uruguay too stimulating.

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carlitos
4/3/2016 10:09 EST

Hey Focus, "The corollary being that those turned on by excitement probably won't find Uruguay too stimulating."
I like your statement. Thanks

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dawsonpointers
4/6/2016 15:32 EST

We haven't moved yet; but, are inching our way along the path (waiting for my wife to retire and for me to get more proficient in Spanish).

We'll be back down in August to start serious house-hunting for a place that is cosy in the winter somewhere around Piriapolis.

We could easily stay here in Canada, but we are looking forward to a renewal: immersion in a different culture and language. We also hope to explore more of S. America of which we are sorely ignorant.

Yet, Uruguay reminds us of where we live now in northern Ontario Canada. Low pop density, respect of law and property, agriculture, friendly people, and the ability to get to a big city (Montevideo) easily when we want (Toronto is 5hrs to the south of us). We don't want to be trapped in a gated community for safety or on an island without the ability to explore at our own pace. We have loved taking the rented car on day trips from Piriapolis to places like Colonia, Minas, Maldenado, Jose Ignacias, Canelones, Aigua......

This week (April 4) has provided additional incentive. We had -20C three nights this week and are currently under a winter storm warning with the prospect of 30cm of snow tonight and tomorrow. Considering it is the 3rd week of SPRING, it is pretty depressing.

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Morell
4/6/2016 15:36 EST

Well to cheer you up, right now it is like Vancouver, days and days of rain and cloud with more to come according to the forecast.

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dawsonpointers
4/6/2016 16:39 EST

We'll take it!

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WendyHJ
4/6/2016 19:28 EST

I am from Seattle but living near Los Angeles right now. I thought Uy was a little more temperate. Is it at least a warm rain? I don't mind the wet, it is the cold that pains me.

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Morell
4/6/2016 21:10 EST

Right now it is not actually cold but we are getting our winter wood in soon as usually we burn wood daily from May to at least the end of September.
Winters are cool and damp, we usually get light frosts for a few days but it can also be sunny and mild.

It is not that it is especially frigid but most houses are not insulated and just have an open fireplace. Schools often have no heat at all, the kids may need to wear their coats in class and many small businesses have no heat.
I have heard of people wearing coats, hats and gloves inside their own homes.
I have seen -5 C reported in the news as well as sleet, hail and occasional snow but it usually only lasts for a few days.

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musclearms
4/6/2016 22:20 EST

Why do you choose Uruguay instead of the neighbor countries?

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focus
4/7/2016 08:41 EST

From my standpoint it would be the corruption levels of the surrounding countries. Left Brazil for that reason. Very hard to trust anyone in a culture like that. Both Paraguay and Argentina are just as bad in that respect.

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Ivory1234
4/8/2016 13:49 EST

Yes, a video in YouTube mentions seizures (of cocaine) in Argentina of one ton/year.

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carlitos
4/8/2016 14:14 EST

Seizuring cocaine and thrusting people are 2 different animals, I hope you can understand that. And Focus I am sorry your experience in Brazil was not good. I also had bad experience in Brazil but I also met people that were totally reliable and we've been in business and friends for several years. I also had a business partner in Argentina, several years working together, thrusting one another and no problems at all.

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Ivory1234
4/8/2016 16:41 EST

Yes, the individuals are what can make a (big) difference. A Cuban woman who responded to each and every one of my emails taught me that.

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focus
4/9/2016 09:22 EST

That's absolutely true Carlitos, there are some wonderful, trustworthy Brazilians. However, you always had to be on guard and that's not something I enjoyed. Plus, the undercurrent of violence in the country was not appealing. So yes, I met some really nice Brazilians, but no, I choose not to live there.

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LinLu
4/14/2016 09:30 EST

We had been considering moving to another country when we began to receive our Social Security. That happened about 2 years ago and then it became easier. We wanted to go where out dollars would stretch because we live on a limited income.

We chose Uruguay because it is more peaceful at this time than the USA. In Punta del Este our costs are lower than they were where we were living in Michigan. For example we were paying about USD$800/mo. for food for the two of us in Michigan, and we are now paying around USD$300/mo and eating better than ever.

We are not the kind to go out to eat, but have found some funky little places where the food is great and the prices are decent.

We moved here for freedom reasons: religion, lifestyle, less crime. What we have found out is that most of the good things we learned about Uruguay before we came are still true. Most of the negative things we learned before coming are not quite the way they seem. Having lived in Brazil and stayed in Mexico, we are not blown away by some of the things that would be negative to other expats from the states. But yes, there are definitely some negatives here -- like spiders and other bugs, like potholes, like humidity, and high rents for people on fixed or lower incomes.

But how you adjust here will be directly proportional to how much the negative things affect you and how you are able to handle big changes. We love it here and will probably live here for a long time.

If you immediately try to make friends and hang with Uruguayans, some of the difficult things you experience will be made less so by the kind of help and advice you receive from them. We have found Uruguayans to be very warm and delightful people.

The high cost of housing, as I said, is expensive. However, a new Uruguayan friend found out we were having trouble finding a place to live within our budget and immediately helped us find one (within 1 day of mentioning it to her). Our rent is only $575 per month and we live in delightful surroundings.

We live close to fresh markets and good meat shops, and found a small car to fit our budget as well.

All the reasons why we came have been being realized one after the other. Hope this gives you another perspective as well.

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Picareno
4/14/2016 12:20 EST

Greetings. My husband and I are back in the U.S. and will probably stay for a while, since we want to be available for his 100-year old Mother.'s last time. But after that, we are out of the U.S. We visited Uruguay -- mostly the Punta shore area, Atlantida, and Montevideo and Uruguay remains at the top of our list of places to move. Why? Friendly people, much lower cost than U.S. (although we understand that's it's one of the costlier South American countries), fairly stable economy and government, and weather, which we love. We met many lovely people there, including small groups of English speaking expats who are willing to help us through the transition. Lastly, we are retired and welcome a change, including struggling with a new language. Good luck!

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