La Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay
La Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay
La Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Retire in Uruguay

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Uruguay? Retirees share their experiences living in Uruguay.

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How do I meet people in Uruguay?

When we asked people living in Uruguay about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Hah! That's what we DON'T have here... Here is just a magic vibe, granite boulders covered with mussels & snails, the mighty Atlantic on your doorstep, with 4 beaches. As for activities, just daily life is enough for us... Gardening, cooking out, building on our house. The whole area is filled with national parks and some old Spanish/Portuguese forts, etc. Great for hiking through the ghost gums (eucalyptus trees), checking out the capybara & fantastic birds from a comfy blind, and perving on all that luscious plants in the shade gardens, etc... Laguna Negra is nearby, a great lake for fishing & camping. Don't expect your catfish to look like the ones you've caught. These have a fin all the way around the back to the belly side of the tail, but they taste the same... If you or your kids are into soccer (futbol here) then you're home free as far as a social life. Life revolves around the kids. Get to know your lavadera (laundry lady). Ana is great, cheap, and knows how to get whites white. The "other guy," however, who has stickers on all the fridges in the rental places, will hang your clothes on the line & spray with fragrance. :-/ They will come home with all of the dirt still in them, but smelling fresh, thank you... Our town dentist, Mario Garcia, is a godsend! The ONLY completely pain-free dentist I have ever known. We're getting ready to move back North for a spell to take care of elderly parents, but we are having hub's teeth fixed first. He needs a partial for the uppers, as he lost his back teeth long ago. He does NOT like going to the dentist, but he & Mario are friends & fishing buddies now. The partial & an implant in front are going to cost us about 1/20th of what we'd pay in the US and First Class work it is... Never any mercury fillings down here. In fact, Mario specializes in removing mercury fillings and replacing with ceramic," commented one retiree living in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay.

"First of all, learn some Spanish, preferably Castellano (Castile, Spain) instead of the Mexican version... They will understand YOU, but you may not understand THEM... Many TV shows here are in English with Spanish subtitles... It helps, believe me, especially with grammar. We have one Canadian couple here and one crusty old Irishman... Those are the only expats we have met in our tiny fishing village of 1,000 souls... This agrees with us PERFECTLY, as we want to assimilate, not hang with expats. I would recommend just chatting the local up - your grocery clerk, the fellow who fills the tank for your car at the Ancap station, the meat man (prime rib is always in the meat locker, seldom out front). We have made friends of a family who own a wine/cheese shop in the town where we buy our groceries... They love to practice their English while we practice our Spanish. My dentist has just returned from a trip to British Columbia to do a work/study tour on a boat up there. He practices his English with me & I practice my Spanish with him... We have been so well received & made welcome, I may eventually offer English classes for adults... My best advice is not to be shy and simply venture "Buen dia" occasionally until you feel more comfortable. Undoubtably, someone will eventually try to engage you in conversation on the bus or at the market. If they speak to fast for you to understand, simply request "mas lentamente, por favor" & they will slow down. I had to retrain my ears to the Castellano, altho I had grown up speaking Tex/Mex and Mexican Spanish. Just be yourself, be courteous & respectful, smile & the world will open up for you. Be aware that here we don't say "Adios" but, rather, "Ciao!" Schnitzel is Milanesa here... Germans may have invented it, but the Italians immigrated first, so there ya go... :D One of the BEST places to meet people is the local futbol matches and/or practices. Uruguayans are rabid futbol fans, and will quickly try to persuade you to root for their favorite teams... ;p," explained one retiree living in Punta del Diablo.

What is life like in Uruguay?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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La Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay
William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

Living in Uruguay GuideLiving in Uruguay Guide

Many expats who consider living in Uruguay have lived in other South American countries, and then they are exposed to stories of all that it has to offer.

Uruguay Forum Uruguay Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Uruguay.

Best Places to Live in Uruguay Best Places to Live in Uruguay

Expats in Uruguay agree that the best thing about living in Uruguay is the friendly people. In addition to the friendly locals, the weather, beautiful beaches and stable economy make it a great place to live.

Healthcare in UruguayHealthcare in Uruguay

Expats in Uruguay have a variety of healthcare options available to them. Understanding what is available is an important part of preparing to move there.

Moving to UruguayMoving to Uruguay Guide

Expats who move to Uruguay offer a lot of advice about moving there. There are several aspects of living in Uruguay that need to be taken into consideration: health care, cost of living, transportation and types of housing are just a few of the areas to investigate.

Real Estate in UruguayReal Estate in Uruguay

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Uruguay.

Pros Cons of Living in UruguayPros & Cons of Living in Uruguay

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Uruguay.

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Contribute to Uruguay Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Uruguay.

10 Tips for Living in Uruguay10 Tips for Living in Uruguay

Uruguay may not be the most popular expat destination, but expats there are probably hoping that the truth about Uruguay's healthy lifestyle, family-oriented culture and beautiful beaches doesn't get out.

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