Best Countries to Retire in South America:

South America has lots to offer for retirees looking to relocate and live their golden years in the sun. South America allows retirees to explore regions of great cultural diversity as well as geographical diversity. It is very important to consider the cost of living, cultural variations, immigration laws and lifestyle when considering which country to move to. Read about the top 5 countries in South America to retire as an expatriate.

1. Uruguay

Nestled in between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a highly desirable country for retirees wanting to retire in beautiful South America. Buying a home in Uruguay allows retirees to automatically be eligible for a temporary residency visa, which functions as a wonderful route for retirees to obtain a long-term relocation option.

Priding itself on having wonderful white sandy beaches & a robust landscape of forests and lakes, Uruguay can offer a variety of adventures and activities for any desire. Some fundamental benefits of choosing Uruguay for your retirement destination are a stable economy, a mild climate that is suitable for everyone’s enjoyment, affordable healthcare – although we highly encourage obtaining international healthcare before departure – low taxes and a low crime rate.

Uraguay is known as a very progressive country and friendly to the LGBTQ community. It was the first in the world to legalize cannabis. Montevideo, the capital, boasts a vibrant cultural scene and historic architecture. If you are a soccer or football fan, you will be in luck as the country renowned for its soccer prowess, winning multiple international championships.

Retiring in Uruguay

2. Chile

  • Located on the west coast of South America, Chile is a wonderland of excitement for future retirees. With its dramatic mountain ranges, luxurious lakes and coastal beach access, Chile can offer every retiree a life of excitement. The ability to ski in the winter and live by the beach in the summer is a luxury that most countries cannot offer. If you want to maintain an urban lifestyle, the city of Santiago offers a widely developed and advanced environment for expatriates.

While maintaining that urban lifestyle, you are able to still live comfortably off of an average of $1,200/month USD, as well as having the benefit of living in the country with the highest standard of living & strongest economy and the lowest levels of corruption & poverty in all of South America.

Three quick points about expat life in Chile:

  • Cultural Richness: The nation is a blend of indigenous and Spanish influences, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere for retired expats.
  • Warm Hospitality: Most expats in Chile find that local nationals are known for their warmth and friendliness, making it easier for expats to integrate into the local community.
  • Cultural Richness: Chilean culture blends indigenous and Spanish influences, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere for expats. It can be difficult to learn a new language when older, but there are plenty of in-person and online courses available.

3. Argentina

Retiring in Argentina has many advantages if South America is calling your name, one of the main ones being a rentista visa. A rentista visa allows retirees to move to Argentina on a permanent residency visa with proof of income of 1,600/month USD. As well as having a facilitated visa requirement, Argentina also offers expats the ability to buy a property with a 90-day visa. In order to ease the process for foreign real-estate investments.

Argentina offers retirees a diverse and vibrant landscape, towns enriched with culture and as well as a wide variety of small quaint towns and larger more lively cities. One important consideration about deciding to move to Argentina is the difficult language barrier that is prominent throughout the country. The primary dialect is Rioplatense Spanish, which tends to be difficult for foreigners to learn and understand.

Retiring in Argentina

4. Peru

Peru may be the best location for adventure-seeking retirees. Home to the impressive Machu Picchu, Peru can offer anyone moving to the country a vast amount of mountain ranges, sacred valleys and many more beautiful attraction sites. One may visit during their spare time. When it comes to the cost of living, Peru is noticeably one of the lowest costs of living in comparison to its South American neighbors. An average retiree is able to comfortably live off of 1,600 USD/month.

An important factor about retiring in Peru will also be the process of obtaining a resident visa. Peru also offers a renting visa for expats, as long as you are able to prove an income of $1,000 USD/month and in the country for a minimum of 6 months of the year.

Note that the political and crime situation in Peru has deteriorated recently, so this is something that foreigners should be aware of. Make sure you retire in an area with excellent security.

Three quick points about expat life in Peru worth mentioning for future retired expatriates:

  • Cultural Richness: Expats in Peru encounter a rich blend of indigenous and Spanish cultures, reflected in traditions, cuisine, and festivals such as Inti Raymi.
  • Diverse Geography: Peru offers a diverse natural landscape, from the Amazon rainforest to the Andes Mountains, providing expats with various outdoor and adventure opportunities.
  • Affordability: Compared to the USA and Canada, the cost of living in Peru can be more affordable, allowing expats to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, especially in smaller cities and towns.

5. Ecuador

According to, Ecuador has been listed as one of the most desirable countries to retire as an expatriate. One of the major benefits of choosing to live in Ecuador is the economic benefit of having the country’s official currency be the U.S. dollar, which will facilitate the moving abroad process for many people. Ecuador also offers retirees a permanent residency scheme simply by providing an income of $800/month USA or by a real estate investment.

As a retiree in Ecuador, you will have access to the country’s over 65 discount program. Some of the benefits included in this program are reductions in taxes, discounts on transportation and discounts on electric and water bills.

Here are two additional reasons to retire in Ecuador:

  • Housing, healthcare, and daily expenses are definitely lower than European and American destinations, which allows retirees to maintain a comfortable lifestyle on a retirement budget.
  • Ecuador boasts diverse landscapes for retired global nomads. It is a great place to explore the Amazon rainforest the Andes Mountains and the Pacific coast. And better yet, it is easy to visit the  Galápagos Islands.

Some Final Thoughts for Retirement in South America

Choosing one of these five countries in South America to retire is an exciting experience. An important element to remember as an expatriate moving abroad for retirement is that it is crucial to obtain Global Health Insurance before departure. Global health insurance is the safest and most reliable option for long-term global medical care.

International health insurance has the ability to travel with you from country to country. This is extremely important for expat retirees who plan on visiting family back home for the holiday season. Contact Expat Financial for expert advice and to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements.