Thursday, January 09, 2014

Retirement in Uruguay

I follow the blog posts of Linda Brown at with interest, and was surprised to read when I checked recently that she is in the process of becoming an expatriate from the U.S. and moving to Uruguay.

Brown, who is in her 70s, has been travelling extensively and writing about it for many years, but always returning to her home in Clearwater, Florida where I heard her speak some years ago. She ranges widely--Eastern Europe, India, the South Pacific, South Africa and various other places, often staying in hostels. She finances her travels mainly with her income from Social Security, and encourages other retirees to do the same.

Her recent blog posts tell of her enchantment with Uruguay, a quiet country that is sometimes called the Switzerland of South America. It is not particularly inexpensive, but has an equable climate, friendly people, and a foreign lifestyle. I have visited Uruguay myself and while I wasn't particularly impressed, I know a lot of expats love it. I was there briefly at a time of severe economic crisis in 2001.

Brown explains the complexities involved in becoming a legal resident of Uruguay, which are considerable. She recommends highly a publication of on retiring in uruguay. As a resident, one is able to access the government-financed healthcare system and to travel freely.

I am noticing a trend--a lot of people I know seem to be considering leaving North America for sunnier or cheaper climes. One friend will soon be scouting out expat possibilities in northern Thailand, another is spending a lot of time in Guatemala. I'm not at the expat stage myself yet, but I wouldn't mind taking a year or two in Russia or Ukraine, destinations that attract few of the traditional sun-seeking retirees, probably because they aren't very sunny.


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