Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Cost of Living in Chile

Our favorite little ice cream shop with handmade ice cream in Frutillar 2,000 CLP for a double scoop waffle cone 
The cost of living in a country is an important consideration. Some countries are very inexpensive to live in like Panama or Ecuador or Peru. But there may be trade offs for this lower cost of living like poorer infrastructure, unavailability and quality of goods, safety, the quality of living like safe water and clean food. And another big factor is how you choose to live. You can live like a king in Ecuador on an average US social security check or you can live like an average Chilean in Chile. Your choice but you need to do your research and make your choices based on the facts and your wishes of how you want to live. Some people want to have it all to be happy while others are looking to downsize and let go of things  to enjoy the simple life.
 The costs of living is a big and variable issue to deal with because prices vary from high in Santiago to low out in the country and small towns. 

Here are some numbers from my experience and as the rates are continually changing if you want to convert these prices to USD or any other currency, you can use this website https://xe.com/   

Rent-   1-2  bedroom apartment or cabin- out of city 150,000 CLP (chilean peso) in city 250,000 CLP
Rent-  3 bedroom apartment or cabin - out of city 280,000 CLP in city 350,000 CLP
A useful link - https://www.yapo.cl/
Yapo is the Craig's List of Chile. Just put in the region you are looking for and then put in the key words for what you are looking for in the left side bar in spanish, of course! Or you can search through the categories on the bottom of the left side bar. Rentals and cars are very popular items to list on Yapo.cl.
Always lots of cabins to rent especially in tourist areas 


Cellular/Internet - The most popular services for cellular and internet are Entel, Movistar, and Claro.  BTW, you can't get service unless you are a temporary or permanent resident. You can get a pay as you go plan but no service contracts. High speed wireless in town 20,000 CLP or Low speed intermittent signal out in the campo with an internet company that has a tower on the nearest volcano 45,000 CLP . We have 2 cell phones and an internet plan with a router for 66,000 CLP per month.

Gasoline - 650 pesos per liter which is $3.63 per gallon. Diesel is significantly less like only 480 pesos per liter. So it would be best to purchase a diesel car or truck if you could.

Power Bill - 2 people in a 2 bedroom apartment with an average of 20,000 CLP per month or 5 people living in a 4 bedroom house with an average of 100,000 CLP per month

Propane -  Most homes use a propane stove and a propane hot water heater and with no central heating many homes use propane heaters esp. if they live in a city that can't burn firewood because of pollution. A 2 person home uses around 18,000 CLP per month and our 5 person home used 54,000 CLP per month

Direct TV- 10-20,000 CLP per month

Food - Food prices are comparable to the US. Jumbo is the high end grocery store and the prices may be a bit higher especially with imported specialty items. Better deals can be found at Lider ( the Chile Walmart) or Unimarc. We also shop for food at the local feria for fresh produce and seafood. We also shop for produce in bulk at the local feria that sells to markets. It's kind of like wholesale but it's not and if you can or dehydrate the produce it is much cheaper.

Shopping at the local feria

We spend about 200-250,000 CLP per month on our family of 3 but remember we also grow a lot of our own food.
Here are a few prices for you - 
milk- 700 pesos per liter that is about $4.00 per gallon 
ground beef - 4-5,000 CLP per kilo = 4-5$ per pound
bread - 1,000 CLP per kilo = $1 per pound
Here are some links to the most popular nationwide grocery stores

My crazy teenager outside the Jumbo Supermarket

Jumbo

Lider/WalMart

Always a good supply of fresh bread at Lider

A nice specialty coffee for 2-3,000 CLP


Cars -  Car importation is highly regulated and over taxed especially on used cars so cars retain their value better than in the US. You can get a decent small used car or truck for 4,000,000 CLP See yapo.cl for the selection of used cars. Towns and cities have great bus systems so if you live in the city a car is not always necessary.

We bought a 2007 Toyota Prado in Santiago in 2013 for about 8,000,000 CLP


This chart shows that living in Chile can be a whole lot cheaper than living in most places in the US. So prices are lower in Chile than the US but take a look at that last line on local purchasing power. Here is the definition of that term from Numbeo 

Local Purchasing Power shows relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given city for the average wage in that city. If domestic purchasing power is 40, this means that the inhabitants of that city with the average salary can afford to buy on an average 60% less goods and services than New York City residents with an average salary.

Hmmm, I guess that decrease in purchasing power means your chilean pesos don't go as far. So the lower prices may be a wash overall.

This chart was taken from Numbeo with the link provided below.
Indices DifferenceInfo
Consumer Prices in Chile are 22.67% lower than in United States
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Chile are 33.47% lower than in United States
Rent Prices in Chile are 55.26% lower than in United States
Restaurant Prices in Chile are 25.61% lower than in United States
Groceries Prices in Chile are 33.17% lower than in United States
Local Purchasing Power in Chile is 53.08% lower than in United States

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Chilean slowdown and a new president

*Note the update below as of 4/22/2018 with a new video from VisualPolitik

 Presidential elections are held every 4 years and a person can serve more than once but not consecutively. Bachelet, a pediatrician, served from 2006-2010 as a socialist. Then Pinera served from 2011- 2014.Incidentally, during Pinera's term Bachelet served as the first executive director of the newly created  United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Bachelet again served from 2014-2108 as president of Chile. November 2017 were the last elections. Like the US, it is just a bouncing back and forth between conservative and liberal and now Pinera is in office as of March 2018. He is a conservative capitalist business man. Watch the video link below and then I will make a few comments.  Note also that this video was produced in June of 2017.






Yes, minimum wage here is abysmally low at only $700 US dollars per month which is about 325,000 Chilean pesos per month. But many jobs in the  farming business also come with a house and power and water are included plus free milk and occasionally meat on a dairy farm. So there are some perks with some jobs. Despite this and the high cost of products, Chileans live well just simply. They don't own a car but the bus system is great. They live and eat simply. The quality of life is good. You would be hard pressed to find a shack with dirt floors and even the simplest most rustic looking cabins have Direct TV, indoor plumbing, and woodstove.
Being the capitalist that I am, the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world and the increase on taxation on companies by almost 40%  during the Bachelet presidency has really hurt the Chilean economy and stifled growth.
Less investment by businesses is less growth for the economy and less tax revenue for the coffers. This hurts the government but mostly hurts the people who could be working and making a better life for themselves.
I guess I was not surprised to see the low immigration of foreign professionals. It is hard to start a business here. Before you can even open your doors for business, you have to hire an accountant who will guide you through the maze of documents you need to sign to open your business. Plus the SII, which is the Chilean IRS, I found to be even more repressive than the IRS and we had been audited before. The system is archaic. If you visit the SII office for any length of time, you will see small business owners coming in with boxes and boxes of paper receipts. Every transaction must be recorded with a bolete or factura which must be turned into the SII so you can pay the tax. The SII is trying to switch over to all electronic receipts but the new program is so archaic our Windows 10 computer wouldn't run it. The SII contacted us when we had no receipts one month wanting to know why we hadn't paid our taxes. And try opening a bank account here! You need to have at least your permanent residency. No bank accounts for tourists but even then most banks wouldn't take our money except Banco Estado but then the limitations on the account were so ridiculous you couldn't do much with it. They limit the amount of money you can put in on a monthly basis. Totally puzzling.

Another thing we found puzzling was the difficulty in importing goods. Chile would quickly sink into bankruptcy with out the exports of copper, fruits, veggies, and wine to the US and other countries but any imports have a  26% tax  including those from the US. So much for free trade. These taxes stifle growth.

Here is a quote from a young Chilean

"I am Chilean and I'm 20 years old, my parents always tell me "Son, the Chile you can live in is a paradise, the Chile of our times was a constant fight for survive".

They told me about how in the 70's the people was dying of hunger, my father hardly could find a job to buy some bread, and how those who could leave Chile did it to go to some better country like Sweden or Germany. And it's a little bit hard for me to imagine all of that now, being that I grew up all my life seeing that in Chile we have as problem the overweight, the low-income people are able to donate their money to the neediest in the country, and how people from other good countries like Peru or Colombia come to my country with the hope to find even a better life.

I cannot avoid to feel proud about my country when I think about it, we used to be the worst shit of the whole Americas, but we did progressed when no one thought we could, and now we find out that the rest of the world knows about us, and they consider us one of the best countries of our region.

Perhaps we are not like our brothers of Canada, perhaps we'll never be like our brothers of the U.S.A,. But we are Chileans, we can be proud of it <3"

My comment to this is the reforms from the communist Allende (1970's) to the dictator Pinochet did a lot for the economy. Pinochet tortured and killed many of his political opponents but he did do a lot to establish a free market economy in Chile which has improved the quality of life for all Chileans.
Here is another quote

"As a Chilean I do share some of these points, but the problem is more than just what is shown in the video. The fact that power/money and politics are deeply ingrained in the chilean system, blocks any chance of reform. This marriage between power and politics affects every single party in Chile (from left to right). There's no motivation and incentive for these families to invest in long term solutions, nor they want to, all chilean businesses are focused in short to mid investment, primarily in the extraction of resources. There's no manufacture sector so we, for example, extract copper but then buy copper manufactured products from other countries. We do have several natural resources that could bring revenue if they are then transformed into manufactured products (Like Lithium, Copper, Iron, etc). There's also a big problem with class mobility and general racism among the people. The education system is archaic and quite stagnant for the modern world challenges, and the private education system is not focused in actually guaranteeing a minimum of education for their students, they only seek profits. Our pension system (same as Australia) is not working because there is no protection from the government not help from companies to ensure that their workers have decent pensions once they retire from the active workforce.

What Bachelet tried to do I think was partially correct. But she and her coalition applied the reforms badly. They were badly designed and they were more focused in gaining popularity for the next elections than actually helping the people. The right wing coalition also has not contributed anything to find a solution, and both left and right have gained the ire from the people who are tired of being abused. Both coalitions have deep ties to these families and between them, so corruption is terrible. "


As my closing notes, I would like to say that we love Chile. I don't have many criticisms of the  Chilean people or life here. All is good but no place is perfect. Most governments and politicians have weaknesses and problems. I would like to see Chile grow and prosper but I think growth and prosperity bring their own problems. There is a lot of potential in Chile and hopefully for the sake of the Chilean people, Pinera can open the doors and clear out the stumbling blocks to growth and free trade.

See VisualPolitik's latest video on Chile
Can Pinera resuscitate the Chilean model?


Friday, October 20, 2017

Rental in Los Lagos Region

Interested in trying Chile out with no commitment?
A rental is a great way to experience Chilean life and after your rental contract is over you can move on or stay without the loss of having committed to purchase a property.
This beautiful little 1 bedroom cabin is on 600+ acres on a river - off grid - private - spectacular views - only an hour from Puerto Varas.
Here is the link to our Youtube channel

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top 10 Things I LOVE about Chile!

By Lori Dorchak
1. The breathtaking natural scenery: the Andes with snow capped volcanoes, the rugged Pacific coast, the sparkling blue lakes, and the lush green Valdivian rain forest.From the driest desert in the world, the Atacama, in the north of Chile, to the Mediterranean climate of central Chile,  to the rugged sub-antarctic climate of southern Chile, the diversity is incredible!
Punto Godoy facing south to Isla de Chiloe
2. The clean fresh air that blows up from the Antarctic. It’s some of the cleanest in the world.
The southern hemisphere is a lot less populated and less polluted and the winds from the more polluted northern hemisphere stay there as well as the ocean currents. So it’s a lot cleaner down here!

Rainbow over Petrohue on Lago Todos Los Santos
3. The kind, gentle people of the campo. Country folk are much different than those of the city so I am not speaking for the people of Santiago. But the people in the south of Chile in the country are for the most part kind and helpful and understanding as you stumble through their language!
Plus they love Gringos!
4. The culture is more family oriented. While most Chileans have small families, they admire large families.
The country is not filled with trashy billboards of a questionable nature.
The grocery aisles are not filled with porn and the streets are still safe for children to play and walk home from school unattended.
Celebrating Fiestas Patrias
5. Smaller, less invasive government that doesn’t spend money it doesn’t have.
Less taxes and fees, less rules and regulations. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, the government has shown prudent public financial management, keeping  public debt low and budget deficits under control.
Plus government corruption is the lowest in Latin America.

Military parade in Frutillar Bajo
6. A stable economy that produces more than it consumes. The country exports more than it imports. Chile produces wine, copper, and veggies which are exported all over the world.
This culture is not based on consumption. Life is not about buying and buying, who has the nicest car, and clothes, who is wearing the latest fashions (It may be that way in Santiago but not here). And the quality of life is high. You don’t see much third-world poverty here like in Peru or Brazil.
7. The small town atmosphere where everybody knows everybody. Life is centered around the town plaza where people hang out to socialize. It’s reminiscent of the USA in the 1950’s.
Volcan Osorno on Lago Llanquihue
8. There is little to no social and civil unrest. No race wars. The level of crime here is half of what it is in the USA. though the communists are often causing minor problems in Santiago.
9. You don’t need any vaccinations to visit Chile as there are no tropical diseases and the water is always safe to drink.
10. Great tasting local fresh produce and seafood and the meat is always pasture fed! Little to no fast food here. Comida rapida (fast food) here is picking up a handmade empanada.

11. Less densely populated. With a population of 17.6 million, 1/2 of which is in Santiago, the rest of the country is pretty empty. No traffic jams, except at milking time when the cows cross the road–and no road rage.
12. A rich Christian cultural heritage where religious holidays are national holidays and it’s not illegal to show your faith.
Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Patroness of Chile
13. Inexpensive quality healthcare- $15 to see the doctor at the local hospital with the meds (antibiotics) running about $2-3.
14. Oops! What can I say? I got a little carried away and I could go on with more but I think I already went over my top 10!
Well, I just love Chile 🙂

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to make your dreams come true .....

Somewhere over the rainbow
Here is a repost of one of my more popular posts .... 2 combined.

1. Start paying off your debt.

 Debt is servitude. Being in debt ties you to your job because you have to make a certain amount per month just to pay the debt. Here are some scary debt statistics and I hope you aren't one of these!
over 40% of US families spend more than they earn. WOW! that is scary
* the average US household credit card debt is $16,140.
* the average consumer has 3.5 credit cards
*total outstanding consumer debt is $11.34 trillion and includes car loans, mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and personal debt and the numbers keep going up every year!
 I'm no financial expert but we did it buy living simply and cheaper and then using that money to pay off the debt. We drove the same car for 8+ years. We cut up the credit cards. We shopped at Goodwill and Aldi's. We rarely ate out and we rarely bought "toys" and stuff. I enjoyed listening to Dave Ramsey and there are many other financial websites that can help you achieve your financial goals.

2. And then start saving.
Open a savings account, stuff it under your mattress, bury it in the backyard, anything! Just start saving.
It's hard to judge how much you will need to live in a foreign country until you get there. Some places are really cheap. Our friends in Panama tell us how much they pay for stuff and it makes me cringe because things are expensive in Chile. But it is relative. Our friends from New Zealand think Chile is cheap. We lived in South Carolina and to us Chile is expensive. You can check out numbeo.com to see how much things cost in the country you are looking at. Then you should try to save enough money to live on for a year or two while you get yourself established. For Chile, outside of Santiago, a family of 4, living simply, could survive on $3,000 per month. But you have to figure costs if you need a car, buying land or house, sending the kids to private school which is typical here and could cost you $500 USD per month. You may have a retirement check or other monthly income which will be great to keep you going if you have no major expenses like car or house but don't expect to come down and just get a job. Jobs here are low paying for unskilled labor and if you don't speak Spanish you might as well forget it unless you plan to teach English.  Which leads us to ....

3. Get or create a job.
You may have a retirement income or not or just need some extra income. Get or create a job that is not tied to a certain location like telecommuting or an online job. If you are an entrepreneur, there are many opportunities esp. in Chile with its growing economy and stable government and rising incomes. And your 1-2 years worth of savings will give you some time to get some other income going. We have a monthly retirement check we are living off of but we want some more disposable income and we are still young and energetic, at least most days, so we are opening a business here in Chile selling products from the US. Often it just takes some time on the ground living in the country of your dreams and thinking with your entrepreneurial thinking cap to see what opportunities exist.

Next time we will wrap up our list with
4. To Pack your stuff or not to pack your stuff
5. Finding a place to live
6. Buying your airline ticket cause you've made your dreams come true!
And also a few tips on set backs and not getting discouraged because most of your friends will tell you that you are crazy and you'll never do it!

4. To pack or not to pack

Here are some pros and cons for each.

1. To pack by shipping container




In 2013 we bought a 40' seaworthy shipping container for $4,000. We packed it up and then it sat for 9 months in the yard at our duplex which our eldest son was living at. And in the meantime in Chile, we were checking out what we could and could not get here and the prices. So we had our son buy a welder and put it in the container. Then he put some kayaks in and so on. Then we paid $1000. to have it driven to the port of Charleston about 3 hrs away.  We paid $2700. for the boat ride to Concepcion, Chile. which took 3 weeks. We hired an aduana or customs agent to oversee things for us and do all the paperwork and pay all the port fees. This was about $500. Chile has a special deal for new residents- if you ship during your temporary residency you pay less taxes. We met the container at the port where they did a quick inspection and we were on the way with a truck which we hired to bring it to our house about 6 hrs from the port for $2,000. The whole process was pretty smooth and we had no problems. But not always. You can rent your container instead of buying but this puts you on a tight time schedule which can be very stressful! Friends of our had their container detained in the US for a random inspection. 2 weeks later and $2,000., the container was on the way. He was sorry he had done the whole thing. So think about your stuff. Do you have collectibles or valuable things, irreplaceable items, sentimental things you'd prefer not to live without? Specialty equipment for your hobbies or job? Or just a bunch of junk you'd prefer to sell then....


2. If you sell everything, you can use the money to start over once you settle down. 


Cons - You may not find everything you want or think you need once you get here.

Pros - A lot less hassle and expense


           
You can bring some stuff on the airline for free usually 2 suitcases up to 50 lbs and $80 for   any extra but that varies depending on the airline and the time of year you travel.         
 You can ship stuff by postal service. We got a 25 lb box for about $175 and it took 2 weeks. The Chilean postal service has a bad reputation for stealing stuff and sometimes they do        inspect your box. There are usually no importation fees unless you receive a box from a business and then they will charge you 19% IVA tax.

5. Find a place to live

This beautiful cabin is in Frutillar Bajo

We have a friend with a vacation home that they let us live in for almost 2 years but if you don't have a friend like that (sorry, I don't have a vacation home) .....

You could travel around Chile using airbnb.com to find cheap short term rentals. This way you could explore different areas and when you find one you like you could do a more permanent rental on a cabin. Expect to pay $400-500 for a small 1-2 bedroom cabin outside a city. January & February are peak summer vacation times so rentals may be more expensive or even hard to find in some areas. July also may be a busy and expensive time because of winter break. BTW, these are good times to explore Santiago as the residents leave en masse for vacation. I would recommend 6 months to a year in your chosen area before making the commitment to buy anything. 

6. Buy your airline ticket


Expect to pay $800 to $1,000. for a roundtrip ticket from LA, Dallas/Ft Worth, Atlanta, or Miami direct to Santiago on LAN or American. The overnight flight gets you there first thing in the morning on an 8 hr. flight or leave in the AM and get there in time for a late dinner. Chile is usually 1-2 hrs ahead of eastern standard time.

Chile used to charge a reciprocal one time entrance fee to all US citizens of $160. but that was revoked in 2014. A free tourist visa lasts 3 months and can be renewed once for another 3 months but then you have to either leave or apply for temporary residency.


In conclusion. I wrote down our goals with a rough timeline of when I wanted to have certain things accomplished. I checked this list regularly to keep us on track. It helped us to stay focused and take action instead of making excuses. And don't get discouraged because everyone will think you are crazy and will tell you you'll never do it. Best wishes to you all! 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Lot for sale

We now have a lot listed for sale.
It is 11.73 acres or 4.75 hectares of vacant develop-able land with pasture and views located 5 km outside of the city of Osorno.


Please see our Youtube channel Chile Expat Family for a video and more info
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nf_OYI5si0


Monday, December 19, 2016

Farm for Sale

Well, we hadn't planned on going into the real estate business again but.....
When someone comes to you and asks you to help sell their farm, what can you say?
This small dairy farm of 60 hectares or 148 acres is located in the vicinity of Puerto Octay in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile.
It has a fantastic 5 volcano view. See Volcan Osorno below with the house on the right side of the picture.

 The entry to this working farm. They have about 50 cows but the animals and machinery are not going with the farm.
 There are 4 barns including the milking shed.
 Lots of pastureland
 The house is newer and has 5 bedrooms, 1 bath and is around 1300 sq. ft.
 This is the workers house.
 Please see our Youtube video for more info
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8BWqWY_euY

Friday, November 25, 2016

Questions from Readers






I have been getting a lot more emails the past few months from people interested in moving to Chile so I thought I would share some of the questions with my responses here for you.

 what made you go to Chile??

Well, this is what we were looking for
Stable government
Growing economy
Safe
A place where we didn't stick out as the rich gringos
Moderate climate not too dry or too cold or too hot
We went to Uruguay and it was nice but not too impressive
We had friends here in Chile from the USA who owned a vacation home which they let us use  for 2 years until we found our farm
Funny thing is they didn't like Chile and are now back in the USA.


How are the school systems in your area?

Public school is the pits but there are private schools - some free like the catholic school my kids attend. Public schools in my experience have problems controlling the students. Their ideas on discipline and control are a bit different than in the US. The teachers teach to the yearly exit exams mandatory for each grade and text books are revisionist history written by the socialists. Students are not taught to think but just how to follow the steps to achieve the correct answer. All schools have english teachers as there is a big push to get all chileans speaking english but in my opinion they don't start soon enough because most kids graduate not being able to speak english.


How bad are the mosquitoes? Any fear of getting one of the fevers? 

Despite the fact that this area is a temperate rainforest (the Valdivian rainforest) mosquitos and other insects are not really a big problem like in Maine, Minnesota, or Canada.
Remember Chile is not tropical or jungley. It is nowhere near the Amazon so we don't have any of the tropical fevers and diseases you may find in Ecuador or Brazil. Chile is very modern, clean, and healthy. You can drink the water anywhere with no fears. The US State Dept does not have any warnings for travelers to get any immunizations before coming here.

Are there wood burning stoves instead of central heating?

Wood burning stoves are very common or propane heaters. Central heat is very unusual.

Are the locals welcoming at all or do they not want us there?

Locals love us. They think America is great (little do they know!) In the area we live, the Los Lagos region, in 1860 it was settled by thousands of german families so we fit in and most people who don't know us just think we are colonial germans. In places like Ecuador and Peru, you will be targeted as a "rich" American but not here. Chileans are friendly and helpful. My kids had an almost superstar status when they joined our little local school as they had never had american students before.

My hope is to get a job teaching English as a foreign language does that actually sound like a possibility in a not so populated area?

If you want a job teaching in a school, you may need to be certified but I don't know how that works but make sure you have all your documents (look up my article on my blog entitled "Don't leave home without it" and I have a list of all the documents you may need and how to have them apostilled.
We have friends who teach english but it's not in a public school and they seem to live in the cities (Santiago & Puerto Montt). You can do some research on Facebook or online for schools that teach english in Chile. Many businesses that don't have a website often use Facebook for advertising.
There's a course for TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) but it's only in Santiago I can't find it anywhere south.

Is there lactose free milk or a dairy alternative? my son is lactose intolerant

Chile has dairy companies that produce lactose free milk and yogurt and are found in most larger supermarkets. Lider (walmart) and Jumbo have the best selection of products and the imported (expensive) products from the US. My friend found a new product at Jumbo made in Chile called Nature's Heart Almond Vanilla drink with no sugar. There are more products available in Santiago than here but things are moving and changing here so eventually we should have most products! Also Jumbo has lactose free cheeses.


What is the safest and best way to transfer funds from America to Chile?

As far as money, we use our ATM and debit card everywhere without a problem though ATM fees can be quite hefty. For large sums of money, you can use Western Union or XE.com

Are there any stores for things to get for kids like toys?

Yes, they have toys here :) but anything imported from America is super expensive.

In your opinion what town is best for someone that prefers the cold but also wants the ocean and forest? (Haha so basically I'm being too picky)

No - that is one of the great things about Chile!  Because the country is only 150 miles wide, more or less, You can easily be in the mountains, the forest, and the beach in one afternoon. We prefer green areas as opposed to the dry dusty arid regions around Santiago. We don't like snow and prefer the year round mild temps of the Los Lagos region. 40 F in winter and 60-70F in summer.  We don't like cities so we live out in the country but if you need a job you could live somewhere near Valdivia or Osorno. I'm not as familiar with the other regions.

My husband was wondering besides English teaching, what jobs are there for Americans there that aren't super fluent in Spanish just yet?

Jobs are a difficulty here if you don't speak good spanish so start working on it now! Lots of good online programs. Starting a business here or online are options. Though starting one here won't be easy and you need to be here for a while to figure out what you can do or to fill a need you may find. Tourism is big here and cabin rentals and farming. A hands-on trade like plumbing or electrical work may be a good business as Americans are trusted here and have better knowledge of these fields.
Here are a few tips for you- 
You will need some income or savings while you are getting established. If you live simply, you could make it for a year on $20-30,000 USD
Chile is not one of the cheaper places in SA to live.
We keep our expenses down by living simply like chileans and homesteading to produce a lot of our own needs. We sell pigs and pork and vegies to supplement our monthly annuity income.

Monday, August 15, 2016

An exciting opportunity

We have an exciting opportunity for you to get an 8 year jump start on your dream homestead in the south of Chile.
We are helping some friends sell their homestead near Rio Bueno in the Los Rios Region.
Here are some facts

Property Facts:Rio Bueno, Chile

10 Hectares or 24.7 acres fenced with river frontage

Orchard with 370 Avcllano or Chilean Hazel Nut Trees


+/-2100 Sqft House; 3 Br 2.5 Ba W/Inground pool


House is furnished and stocked

NOTE: House is being being remodeled, but is currently habitable



Care Takers House

John Deere 5400 Tractor w/loader & back hoe attachment
POLARIS 4X4 "Magnum 325" , Roto Tiller (a Big one)
2007 Hyundai 1.7 ton Diesel Truck
Woodchipper, lawnmowers, 2 Containers 40', Every shop tool you could almost imagine,
Kipor 6500 or 5000 watt diesel Generator


All this and more go with property. Everything you need to move in is here.
 To see the video on our Youtube page click here
Video
Or you can email Jim for more info  at
jim.dorchak@gmail.com
The seller is asking $450,000.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Great Travel articles for Chile

The Telegraph in the UK has a series of excellent well written articles about traveling in Chile.



Panoramic view of Santiago, Chile, South America


                                                                                                           photo borrowed from article linked below
Here are a few links for you ....

21 Reasons to visit Chile

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/reasons-you-should-visit-chile/

Doug Tompkins and more Patagonian Parks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Patagonia-Chile-a-new-national-park-and-conservation-campaign/

Patagonia, Chile: a new national park and conservation campaign
                                                                                                             photo borrowed from article linked above
This is my dream trip to the Atacama

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Atacama-Desert-Trip-of-a-Lifetime/


Atacama Desert: Trip of a Lifetime
photo borrowed from article linked above

And my dream cruise to the Patagonian Fjords and Glaciers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Cruising-Chile-comes-in-from-the-cold/

And there are more articles about Chile at the bottom of each link. Enjoy your desk top traveling! It's the cheapest way to go!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

April/May News in Review

Well, April was not a very exciting month but May has been pretty eventful!
                           
For a good laugh about Chile's continuing problem with the off again on again Daylight Savings Time program read this article from the Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-time-is-it-in-chile-theres-no-telling-1463063085

This article was quite "tame" as some sites had pictures of the man with his head in the lion's mouth.
I'm not sure why they had to kill the lions instead of tranquilizing them. I guess maybe tranquilizers don't work fast enough?
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/22/two-zoo-lions-shot-and-killed-after-mauling-suicidal-naked-man


This is a little closer to home and BIG news.

In April, large red tide algal blooms were poisoning the fish and shellfish of Patagonia. Red tides are common but this was of unprecedented size fueled some say by El nino and warm waters and others by pollution from salmon farming. It hurt many small artisan fisherman. They protested by blocking the ferry ramps to Chiloe which not only hurt them but many others on Chiloe who have nothing to do with the red tide. Like our friends who own a small dairy farm and count on the income from selling their milk to companies whose trucks couldn't make it over to the island. Never fear
"We are the government and we are here to help you" They offer the fisherman 170,000 pesos, about $250.
As it turns out, the salmon farms were dumping a lot of their dead salmon (from a previous infection earlier this year) way out in the ocean but apparently due to the currents they washed ashore causing more problems and maybe exacerbating the red tide.
What a mess!
Here are 3 articles you can read in chronological order

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/chile-fishermen-red-tide-algal-bloom-protests

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/11/red-tide-crisis-deepens-in-chile-fishing-waters

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/17/chile-red-tide-salmon-farming-neurotoxin



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Buying Online and shipping packages

We try to shop as locally as possible and we try to make do with what is available. We try to live like the average Chilean. But what do you do when you really need something that is not available locally? Well, we do have a few options.

1. Buy online here in Chile
This is not always so simple or easy as it is in the US. Many businesses don't have a big online presence. They may have a website but you can't order off of it (?) or they just use Facebook (not!).
So for example, I found out from my friend about a company call Tostaduria Puerto Rico in Santiago. They sell dry bulk items which is great because buying (10) 1-ounce bags of cinnamon is a pain in the neck. So you go to the website which has just lists of their products with no prices or sizes and you email them and tell them what you would like. They send you a price list.Then you find out what the minimum order is and tell them how much you would like of each item. Then they send you a cotizacion or quote of your order with the total amount due. Then you have 2 options - if you have a Chilean bank account (which I don't) you would send them a bank transfer  which takes 5 days to clear or you can go to their bank in the closest city and make a deposit which clears fairly quickly. The next day or so your item will ship from their warehouse by bus to your city of choice. When it arrives the next day you go pay for the package's bus ride and pick up your package. Wow, I feel like it's the 1980's!
Here is what I bought

From top to bottom 
Basmati Rice - 5 kilos for 3,077 pesos per kilo inc. taxes of 19% and shipping
Whole coffee beans from Brazil - 5 kilos for 8,430 per kilo
Polenta or grits if you are from the south - 10 kilos for 903 per kilo
Popcorn - 10 kilos for 1,128 per kilo
These came in 2 boxes and the bus ride was 13,000 pesos but prices above reflect shipping fees.
These prices are good deals as buying an inferior coffee in the grocery store in a 250 g bag runs over 10,000 pesos per kilo.


Here are a few other options for shopping online in Chile.

Mercado Libre is like the ebay of Chile and purchases are free from the 19% IVA tax.


Busca Libre is a search engine for Amazon and Ebay and other US stores plus it has Spanish and Chilean books. If you shop on Amazon through this website, it gives you the prices in Chilean pesos and the shipping accordingly which seems pretty cheap if it is coming from the US. I tried ordering a book and the shipping was only 1,990 pesos. My gripe is the custom regulations. This is the note you see if you try to order a vitamin or supplement. I am seriously bummed out!!

Warning: Due to customs restrictions, we can not import airbag, perfumes, makeup, skin creams, food, food supplements or remediesIf the product you're quoting is none of the above, proceed with the purchase. If the product is one of the above and continue with the purchase, we will refund your money.


Another interesting site for local products sold by locals is the Chilean version of Craig's List called Yapo. Ya is spanish for already but adding po to the end of words is distinctly chilean. Sipo! You can search for an item by region and they sell great things like chickens, rabbits, trucks, tractors, etc.


2. You can order directly from the US. 

Though you do have 2 choices. You can order directly from a company if they ship internationally and you will probably have to pay Chilean taxes on it. We have a friend here who ordered something worth $500 and when it arrived she had to pay another 19% tax on her purchase to the Chilean government. Or you can order it and send it to a friend and have them ship it down. We have a friend who has a shipping box. When we need something we have it sent to her and when the box is full she ships it down to us. Since it is personal, it is usually not subject to the sales tax. We had a 40 lb box one time that cost us almost $200 to mail. yikes! We don't do that much anymore.




This package above had a pressure canner part and cell phone parts for a phone Andrew was fixing so we labeled it replacement parts. It wasn't insured for much and had to have weighed less than a pound but we paid $22 for it and it took about 2 weeks to arrive. It was sent USPS and Correos de Chile (Chile Post Service).




This package only had a replacement part for our Coleman camp stove at 5 oz and $13 for shipping. I have heard Correos de Chile has a problem with items missing after customs inspections. I have never had a problem but my friend has had items stolen from the packages her mom sends.

And when you are worried about getting stuff and whether Chile has as much stuff as the USA remember this quote. A sentiment I am always working towards.


But there are two ways to be rich:
You can earn, inherit, borrow, beg, or steal enough money to meet expensive desires;
or, you can cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires;
that way you always have more than enough money.

The secret of happiness you see is not found in seeking more
but in developing the capacity to enjoy less”.