American businessman David likes the inexpensive cost of living in Montevideo, Uruguay


R David Finzer

August 15 2006

-Where were you born?
United States of America

-In which country and city are you living now?
Uruguay, Montevideo

-Are you living alone or with your family?

-How long have you been living in Uruguay?
Six months. But I have lived outside the US for the last nine years in the Caribbean, Montenegro in Europe, Costa Rica and here.

-What is your age?

-When did you come up with the idea of living in another country and what factors helped your decision?
It was in 1998 -- at that time, a totally business drive.

-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?

-How do you make your living in Uruguay? Do you have any type of income generated?
I work for my own company, which I brought with me.

-Do you speak Spanish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I speak some Spanish and I am learning more daily. It is very important for expats to speak the local language here. It is less important to observe local customs than to RESPECT them. Anytime a foreigner, particularly an American, shows respect for the local language, history and customs, it is noted and appreciated.

-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
No. I have a VoIP phone service and maintain a local phone number through it in my home town, so I can talk on the phone to my friends and family whenever I want and it is a local call for them as well.

-Do you have other plans for the future?
In addition to my business I am writing a book about living in Uruguay, which is based on my blog.

-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
I am renting a house right now in Carrasco, which is a very upscale area at the east end of Montevideo. It is half a block from the beach, has a garage and walled garden, has three bedrooms and 2.5 baths on two floors. It costs US$850/month furnished.

-What is the cost of living in Uruguay?
It's inexpensive, much less than Costa Rica. I can only think of three things more expensive here than in the US: cars, consumer electronics (excluding computers which are only slightly more than the US), and the Internet. Food costs are lower, housing is significantly less, as is household help and other labor. Medical care without local insurance is cheaper than US insurance co-payments.

-What do you think about the Uruguayan people?
Uruguayans are very friendly and the culture here seems to frown on "gouging" expats, unlike in other places I have been.

-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Uruguay?
I would say the biggest single negative is the cost and quality of Internet service. In this, Uruguay certainly lags behind its neighbors. Secondarily, I wish there were more things in English, but it really is up to me to learn Spanish.

The positives vastly outnumber the negatives: good quality of life, excellent medical care, good public transport, and great food and wine, all at really inexpensive prices. The people are well educated and friendly and don't try to gouge gringos like in other places I have been.

-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Uruguay?
You must either be able to speak conversational Spanish or be able to afford a bilingual assistant to function well here. The level of English is certainly increasing here, but still remains relatively low, especially as compared to Costa Rica or Panama.

There are very few US brands in stores here, and those that are tend to be more expensive. I have found the local brands to be excellent and have almost entirely adapted to local offerings. This is the first country I have been in where local potato chips are as good as those from the US.

Coca-Cola and other soft drinks are made locally under license and taste just like the one back home.

-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Uruguay? - This is my own site in which I have tried to detail moving and living here. I have tried to be thorough but remain humorous. Through it I have met a lot of people who are moving to Uruguay and many more who are thinking about it.

From Uruguay - A really good blog about Uruguay by a local.
MAPRED - If you want to find an address within Montevideo, or the best route to go between two points in Montevideo, you have to try this interactive map. It will even tell you how far it is by road between two points.

Hi David, It's Jake here

jake mintrim's picture

Hi David,
It's Jake here from Nevis. i was just chatting to my girlfriend about you and telling her the story of how you called and I lost your number so couldn't call you back. She sais let's google him and here you are.
If you ever in london give us a call and we'll have a rum.
Jake 07973185562 / 0208 4515707

moving to uruguay

Mary's picture

David its been wonderful learing ab out uruguay though your eyes. i am a 64 years old and retired on a modest income. i have always been an adventure and now would love to fulfil my dream of moving to this beautiful country. I wondered if one could bring computer and any personal belongins without great expense and in what manner would i get them there f rom the U.S.Also i have to persian kitties that i would like to bring along. Are pets enjoyed by the people of uruguay?

Thanks for all your comments much appreciated.



RSANTINI's picture

Hi David,
Im planning to move to Uruguay too..But, what about the jobs there. Do you need a permit. Is it easy to get it?, Or what about putting a business there? Thanks a lot David.


Hi David,

Alvarov's picture

Hi David, I'm originally from Uruguay at this moment I'm living in the United State Miami FL but i want to go back to my country. Since you own a company i was wondering if there is any opportunity of job for me, i finish High School in the U.S i can write, read, speak, english

Hi David,I'm originally from Uruguay but at this moment I'm living in U.S Miami FL. i want to go back to the Uruguay but i need a job, since you own a company i was wondering if there is any opportunity of job for me. I finish High School in the U.S and i did Middle school in my country i can read, speak, write English and Spanish, and i known how to use Microsoft word, excel, power point, and much more. You can contact me by e-mail

Thank you very much and enjoy the Uruguay and people.

Cost of Living

Hare's picture

How would you compare the cost of living in Uruguay verse Argentina?


Telli's picture

Hi David;
I am Italian living in NYC. I am considering to relocate to Montevideo and retire there. My only concern is the weather. Can you elaborate on humidity ? I have arthritis and climate will be the major factor in making my decision.
It would be appreciated if you could elaborate. Thanks.


Telli's picture

Hi David;
I am Italian living in NYC. I am considering to relocate to Montevideo and retire there. My only concern is the weather. Can you elaborate on humidity ? I have arthritis and climate will be the major factor in making my decision.
It would be appreciated if you could elaborate. Thanks.

Moving to Uruguay in 2010

sklopfer's picture

Need some info on health care. Thanks.. We plan to move to Uruguay in 2010.

Hello old friend

Bob Rivers's picture

Hi Chip,

It has been a few years since we last talked. I was wondering what became of you? Google is a wonderful thing. Glad to see you are doing well.


Hi David I am semi retired

goldfish388's picture

Hi David

I am semi retired in US now and now considering retiring in Uruguay...can you tell me how much will it cost me and my wife in healthcare? I am partially disabled but my wife is healthy. What kind of healthcare benefits are there? Also, I need advice on obtaining residency, real estate and cost of living too..would appreciate if you could elaborate.


David I was wondering was it

Rob1967's picture

David I was wondering was it hard to get used to the climate ? Is it really hot with dramatic changes or are the seasons more subtle. Is real estate (Farms specifically) expensive ??

Thank you for your time and consideration


Hello I am a Canadian

Cosmos's picture

Hello I am a Canadian citizen currently residing in Uruguay. We have a construction and real estate company so if anybody is looking to move to Uruguay and needs assistance with buying, renting or building a house please do not hesitate to contact us at: Also, if anybody has any other inquiries about life in Uruguay, I would be more than happy to share my experience! Regards to all!