21 reasons for Uruguay, or 8 why it’s not all that?

A follower of our Uruguay Expat Life page on Facebook asked me to comment on this Global Post article 8 reasons Uruguay’s not all that; as a counterpoint to the Buzzfeed 21 reasons to move to Uruguay one that went viral last month.

Other than that he was kind of setting up the strawman fallacy, with that “in light of the Buzzfeed”, because I never said I really liked that Buzzfeed. I don’t. The Buzzfeed piece was a snarky silly goof article on unimportant stuff, because, Buzzfeed. I made fun of it at the time in various places, on some networks shared it much like a “Mujica smoking out in sandals” goof. Lisa and I shared it, but for fun. The articles shared about ratings on peace, freedom, economic stability, the Economist country of the year, the Economist’s good but not top level rank on countries likely to have protests – sure, serious discussions. But that Buzzfeed 21 reasons most involving pot, sandals, and what’s ol’ Tio Pepe growing out on his flower farm? But this Global post article is nearly as bogus non-serious as that. Or if the author of it, currently living in Uruguay, is, I have to say, “Surely you can’t be serious” about some of his complaint. Not all, but, the Post Office lines? Using this picture as argument?

A bunch of packages, 3 people, and actually nobody waiting in line.
Post offices everywhere. This one happens to be in Uruguay. That’s your argument?

I actually agree with much of this Global Post piece. But it, itself, is also a bit of a strawman fallacy. Which is why I don’t like all of it, but it’s a good “Whiny part-BS article” counterpoint to “Silly part-BS article”. Continue reading 21 reasons for Uruguay, or 8 why it’s not all that?

Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – update from a major study

US National Institutes of Health - Online Library LogoWe’ll have a new post in our ongoing series, Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay, later this week. I’ve just been reading over a number of definitive sources, including a major analysis published by Mexico’s Public Health agency. They’ve been doing a series of reports on the health systems of other Latin American countries. The Uruguay study was published in 2011, from data in 2009, after Uruguay’s Health Care Reform law came into effect. It gives much more detail about the three tiered system of Uruguayan health care I mentioned our Part 1 and Part 2 posts.

The formal report, Sistema de Salud en Uruguay, is in Spanish. I’ve been reading it in both the original and in two alternate machine translations. Will have links, and our perspective here at Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me, coming up this week.  Meanwhile for an overview, here is the abstract, in English, at the US National Institutes of Health website. If you’d like to read the original, it’s here for free at SciElo.

As a sampler, did you know that over 50% of the population here (including me and Lisa Marie Mercer) choose the cooperative, “mutualista” system of paid by social security payroll tax, or voluntary buy-in (for all of about $85 US monthly per person), and 37% are in the fully-subsidized Public Health tier? Only 2% go for the Private system. The rest are covered either by the military, or some other organizational-specific system.

If you read the typical “Institutional Expat” blogs, forums, websites, Facebook groups, you may get the impression that only the Private system is any good. Or worse, that the only thing worth having is some kind of special “Expat Cover”. Baloney! (and malarkey too). Continue reading Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – update from a major study

Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

Uruguay central bank ups reserve requirements to combat inflation | Reuters.

This report broke on my Google News Uruguay filter, just as I was making some notes for an upcoming Cost of Living post. That’s probably a few days away, but yes, we are having some inflation problems. This move by the central bank, BCU, to raise the fractional reserve requirements is a big one, and it does make a lot of sense. I don’t know if it will help the inflation problem, but it does help keep our banking and monetary system a lot less likely to crash than, for example, the USA.

Photo of several denominations of Uruguayan currency
Not worth quite as much as when we arrived, but isn’t it pretty?
Photo credit mercopress.com

Relatively short explanation of the “reserve” requirement concept. For a filmed version, re-watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for Jimmy Stewart’s explanation of why the money on deposit isn’t in the bank. Except nowadays it’s more like Mr. Potter’s bank, not the good old Building and Loan!

Simply put, when you deposit money into the bank, it creates new money. Continue reading Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay: Part 2 – Management Election Day!

Voting for who runs your health care provider. Meaningful voting. Wow, I really am in a foreign country!

(Here is Part 1 of our occasional series on getting health care in Uruguay.)

Picture of Asociacón HQ with sign on tall building
Asociación Española central location in Montevideo

I just now picked up this news from the Montevideo Portal website, a Spanish-language commercial news and services hub:
Elecciones en la Asociación Española Usted decide / Montevideo Portal – www.montevideo.com.uy. Got it from this Tweet.

 

Here is the “Marcos Translate” version (and lots more about the many health care options in Uruguay, after the break):

Continue reading Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay: Part 2 – Management Election Day!

Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA

I wasn’t going to get dragged into another Uruguay costs social network discussion again, but some Facebook Uruguay Expats group members pulled me back in.

I’ll say this: There are at least three to five types of “Uruguay Expatriation” with very different costs:

Type 1 Expat. Live in a North American/English/Oceania-oriented Expat Compound (e.g. something like the Sugarloaf Development pushed by International Living). Everything you need is there, the world is gated off, and they discourage going to town. “Everything is here in The Village, why are you being unmutual?” Meanwhile missing out on the true Uruguayan life in the beautiful and affordable resort city of Piriápolis which they show on their website. In which town I could rent a 2-bedroom sea-view raised apartment for under $800 USD. Or simpler, away from the beach properties, cheaper. But the Type 1 Expat would not consider such integration.

Montevideo 35% cheaper than Boston
Comparing Montevideo Uruguay and Boston, MA, USA cost of living

Type 2 Expat. Live in a Major City or Major Resort Area, in upscale US-upper-middle-class-equivalent with a full North American lifestyle (anything based on the Expatistan cost of living calculator that factors in buying 42″TV, new VW Golf TDI, regular meals out, regular pub drinks out at “an expat bar”, regular paid entertainment – read the assumptions on it.) Continue reading Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA