Argentina is often cited as a desirable place to retire as it offers expats an affordable but good-quality lifestyle. There is certainly some truth to this, and if one's income is from an offshore source, money can go a long way. That said, foreigners looking to find the promised land should be wary of the yo-yo nature of the country’s economy – one minute booming, the next plummeting. This instability often leads to spiralling inflation and soaring prices.

The cost of living in Argentina's rural areas is much lower than a metropolitan area like Buenos Aires, which was ranked 153rd out of 209 cities worldwide in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2020. Compared to other South American cities such as San Juan in Puerto Rico (66th) and Montevideo in Uruguay (88th), the cost of living in Buenos Aires is fairly cheap.


Cost of food in Argentina

Supermarket prices for certain items are slightly cheaper than in the UK. If expats have the time to shop around, particularly for fruit and vegetables, which are much cheaper from the roadside stalls, they can bring their grocery bill down – but this can be time-consuming and expats tend to follow the ‘one shop a week’ pattern rather than the daily food shop that locals are used to.


Cost of transport in Argentina

Vehicles are an expensive commodity in Argentina. The country no longer has a car manufacturing industry of its own and import taxes on cars are exorbitant. Strangely though, second-hand cars hold their value, and it is not unusual to buy a car, use it for several years and then sell it at the same price or even more than one paid for it.


Cost of accommodation in Argentina

It is almost impossible to give average prices for either property purchase or rental as it varies hugely from province to province; urban prices are significantly higher than rural prices. One thing to consider is that since many Argentinians aren't in the position to buy property any more, the demand for places to rent is high. Foreigners hoping to rent will be required to provide a deposit and several months of rent in advance as well as a guarantor. 


Cost of living in Argentina chart

Prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The table below is based on average prices in Buenos Aires for February 2021.  

Accommodation (monthly)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

ARS 45,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

ARS 35,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

ARS 28,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

ARS 23,000

Shopping

Milk (1 litre)

ARS 65

Dozen eggs

ARS 150

Loaf of white bread

ARS 120

Chicken breasts (1kg)

ARS 340

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

ARS 200

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

ARS 500

Coca-Cola (330ml)

ARS 90

Cappuccino

ARS 180

Bottle of local beer 

ARS 150

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant 

ARS 2,400

Utilities/household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

ARS 13

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

ARS 1,800

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

ARS 4,500

Transportation 

Taxi rate per km

ARS 40

City centre public transport fare

ARS 27

Petrol (per litre)

ARS 70