But Why Chile?
Most of us who didn’t grow-up as geography buffs know very little about the beautiful Pacific coast county in South America formally named “The Republic of Chile.” So we have decided to tell you a little about Chile today, including a pretty serious list of documented reasons that Chile should be one of the handful of countries for you to consider for your permanent relocation and diversification of assets.
But before we begin… let’s be clear that Chile is a developing or second world country. Which is not to say that it is second-class or second rate. What this means is that the infrastructure, markets, and offering of goods and services are not the same as what first world countries have to offer. People who aren’t experienced travelers or who have not studied economics in relation to world market development may not “get it” when they travel here or abroad to similar countries. They expect to see all of the first world comforts they left behind but in a Spanish-speaking environment.
Although there are lots of goods here at the Mall, there still isn’t the plethora to choose from and the price points will often be higher than Oshkosh Michigan, where you might be from. So I often joke with my clients that come from Europe or the United States that “back home” you can choose any item in ten shades of the same color. Whereas here you can choose from maybe five colors.
Don’t forget that the USA is a country of 350 million and Chile, with a small population of 17 million, can’t make money on turnover or volume of sales, nor do they qualify for large quantity order discounts from the world factories in China. They must make their money on mark-up. There is also a 19% consumption tax here to boot. So remember these basic economic laws at the moments when you feel the urge to say, “but back home this only costs…” and you will be a happier and more satisfied shopper.
That said, there are lots more stores and choices of goods in the capital of Santiago than in the Lakes District to the south. So an occasional shopping trip North with items brought back in suitcases or shipped overland will help to get you closer to the kinds of merchandise you might be looking for. However, I still think that you find a suitable selection of basic durable goods here in the south. But if you have very high standards on how you plan to furnish your home in Chile I suggest that you bring your key items with you. Which is a whole topic in and of itself for another day….
Back to our original point. Chile is a safe, stable, low debt country with a growing middle class and a limited government. Chile lacks the massive body of regulations and tax base to create an empire. It also is without the funding to set up huge agencies with the power to confiscate people’s assets and micromanage their lives.
This is a country of law and order, where police are not corrupt and cannot be bribed (as opposed to the rest of Latin America). Property rights are strong and all of those rights are extended to foreigners who come each year and purchase land, homes and businesses here.
There are no “free speech zones.” When the people get angry they hit the streets and protest to the fullest. They are not afraid of the government.
This is a place of independence and is oriented towards freedom. Yet it is an orderly and civilized country–the kind of place that you wouldn’t fear to be in during a natural disaster or crisis. Chile has some of the cleanest water in the world, making the A-list among countries such as Holland and Switzerland. Having a good water supply reduces the chance and spread of disease. The public treatment of sewage in populated areas and septic systems required in the countryside goes a long way toward keeping our beautiful lakes and shorelines clean.
Are there things I don’t like about Chile? Well sure. There can be long lines in government offices and stores. Business transactions don’t happen at lightning speed. Every service isn’t automated to maximum efficiency; life is slower on many fronts. It’s a Christian country but that isn’t to say everyone runs around with a halo on their heads. There are drugs here (albeit tiny compared to countries in the Northern Hemisphere). There is theft, graft, alcoholism, sloth and every form of avarice, greed and addiction that naturally derives from human weakness. But it is at a “normal” level. There is no need to fear that you might be kidnapped off the streets or have a mafia hit squad descend on your house and take all of your possessions. We don’t have political prisons or re-education camps and there are no surveillance drones or whole body scanners.
It’s your decision so here are the facts, we will let the statistics speak for themselves, listed them below for your consideration.
Statistics on Chile: According to the Financial Development Report of the OECD, measured in countries of the world with high middle incomes per capita.
Chile was ranked 2nd place in the category of banking system stability.
Chile led all of Latin America in the category of Internet penetration at 42% and cellular at 100%
Chile was tied for 1st place for control of inflation and 6th for public debt.
Chile ranks 25th in Transparency International Corruption Perception.
Moody’s praised Chile as Latin America’s most fiscally sound county.
Chile is the largest fruit exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and a world- class producer of fine quality wines.
Chile is ranked 7th in the world by the 2012 Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. From the years 2000 to 2010 Chile’s GDP grew at an annual average rate of 3.8% As of April 2011 Chile’s sovereign ratings were as follows: Fitch A+, Standard & Poor’s A+ and Moody’s Aa3.
According to the 2010 Business Environment Rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Chile is one of the 20 most attractive economies in which to do business between 2010 and 2014 and leads Latin America in this field.
In 2010 Newsweek ranked Chile 30th out of the top 100 best countries in which to live–the highest in Latin America.
In January 2012 the Daily Reckoning rated Chile as one of the top 20 countries best to retire in.
We offer a free report with more information about Chile on our web site: www.southernchildproperties,com. And for even more in-depth information, you can go to the articles and reports section at: southernchileproperties.com/Southern-Chile-Properties-Real-Estate-Articles.html.
Thanks for reading! Chao for now, Jeanette
Jeanette and Martin Schnall began their pilgrimage to Chile about eight years ago. They purchased several hectares in the beautiful Lakes District to the south, later built their home and finally made the move complete more than a year ago. Along with their real estate business, they are developing water-generated power and other means of independence on the land. They are settled expats who enjoy sharing information with those interested in considering Chile as an investment option. Jeanette has contributed two other articles to Four Flags Journal. You can read them here and here.
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