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Brazil/Economical rentals in Copacabana?


I am a retired US citizen 62 years old on fixed income (social security and small pension). Do you know about how much economical rents or accommodations would cost in Copacabana?
Is it easy to get around on mass transit there?
Anything else I should probably know?
Thank you sir.

ANSWER: While I've never lived in Rio (I live in the state of Bahia), I can tell you this: Brazil, for locals, is a very expensive country, Rio (along with Sao Paulo) are the most expensive cities, and Copacabana is one of the most expensive neighborhoods. With a dollar-based income, you have the additional risk of the exchange rate. At the moment, and for the past 12 months or so, the value of the Brazilian real in relation to the dollar has plummeted. So for the moment, the dollar goes much further than it did for the last 6 or 8 years. But if you had been here during those years, you would have lived like a pauper. Remember that Brazil has a long history of a seesaw economy, volatile exchange rates and steep inflation.

Bottom line: I would not recommend Brazil for someone on a small, fixed, dollar-based income. Especially Rio/Copacabana. I've lived here as an expat for 10 years, so I have a lot of experience to draw from.

Sorry the news is not good. But you don't want you retirement dream to become a nightmare.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks again.
Is the Bahia region also expensive too?
Is that a better pick for someone like me or just avoid the whole country as it's too expensive?
Thank you for your insights.

Most anywhere in Brazil, including the state of Bahia, will be cheaper than the fabled Rio beaches. But the big problem will always be the exchange rate risk. Right now it's in your favor (strong US dollar), but for the past 5 or 6 years it was the other way around. Who knows when it will swing again. I think that places like Mexico and Costa Rica have less of an exchange risk, and because so many Americans have retired there (far more than to Brazil), they're probably safer bets overall for your situation.



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Iím an American, retired, and have been living in Brazil for 8 years. (My wife is Brazilian.) I would be happy to answer questions related to the following: visiting and traveling within Brazil; living in Brazil (as an expat or retiree); Brazilian food/music/customs/traditions, etc; doing business in Brazil (except legal questions). Please note that I CANíT address legal-related topics, including questions on visas, passports, marriage to Brazilians, etc. (There are other, very qualified experts on this site who can do that.)


I worked in Brazil (for a multinational) for several years before retiring. I live in the south of Bahia in a small town on the coast, have lived and worked in Sao Paulo and have spent considerable time in Rio. Although Iím married to a Brazilian, I had to learn a lot of things the Ďhardí way about living in rural Brazil, and Iíd be especially happy to share that learning with anyone considering living here permanently.

I wrote the first professional home study course for the American Society of Travel Agents (but that was a few decades ago, and Iím sure itís long out of print!).

B.S., Education (Music); M.A., Hotel and Restaurant Management

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