I hope this message finds you doing really well. It’s been a busy start for me. I haven’t actually been on holiday since May 2019 and I finally have a lovely Uruguay-style month-long holiday coming up in Rocha from February 6 🎉🏝 So I’ve been packing in a lot of content for you over the last month 😅
Guru’Guay started out in 2013 as a Uruguay travel website. Five years later we started writing content for folks interested in moving here. So, when the borders closed to foreigners for travel (from March 2020 to November 2021 ) it was not a surprise—but still quite remarkable to witness—that the most read articles went from being 80% travel-related and 20% relocation-related, to the exact inverse. Most popular were moving to Uruguay, the average salary (pretty miserable, which is why I always recommend you have your income sorted out before you come), how to become a resident and an interview with a US risk analysis expert who concludes “Uruguay is an eye of calm in a global storm” 😲
Given the demand—and anyway, when we travel we all fantasise about what it would be like moving to the country that we are travelling in, don’t we?—over the last couple of months Guru’Guay has teamed up with one of Uruguay’s top law and tax firms to talk about living, working and investing in Uruguay.
Many of the questions I asked in the interviews are from Guru’Guay readers (collected in our Facebook Discover Uruguay group). The rest were my own. The conversations were pretty frank—“without hairs on the tongue” as they say in Uruguay.
Francesca answered reader questions about residency and relocation and retiring to Uruguay (hear us crack up 🤣 over whether a retired couple need tie the knot before arriving). Francesca leads Andersen’s residency unit which has tripled in size since the pandemic started.
You'll learn about taxes in Uruguay from Juan (I’m hoping to bring down my own tax bill on the basis of what I learned, and I voiced my frustration at the system 🤬) and we talked through the basics of setting up a business (plus his take on the burgeoning software industry was an eye-opener 👀).
I hadn’t really twigged that a full 95% of Uruguay is rural. In my interview with Federico, managing partner at Andersen, we talked about why investors choose Uruguay and specifically farmland. We talked yields. I also asked about the benefits to Uruguayan society and how the land is protected. Federico gamely answered Guru’Guay readers' questions about carbon neutral 🥩 beef, subsidies for organic farming and whether owning a boutique winery 🍷 is a good investment. All good stuff. We also sorted out the perennial confusion between tax residency and legal residency (Federico’s comparison with Portugal’s Golden Visa program, at least in part, was the first time I’d heard that reference).
👉 👉 Watch all the interviews on YouTube
If you prefer the written word, the farmland interview article is already out, and a new article will be released each Monday of February
👉 👉 and collected here Living, Working & Investing in Uruguay
What else? Like elsewhere in the world, the number of Covid cases has soared. I still can't believe that I haven't had covid yet, but so many people around have it, it feels like a matter of time... Meanwhile carnival 🎉 began with most events in the open air as usual (if you’re wondering how to buy tickets for the upcoming Llamadas parades, your answer is here). Same for the Sea Goddess festival 🌊 Everyone is being asked to act responsibly including getting vaccinated. You’ll recall that we have really good vaccination rates. You can see the numbers on our Covid page which we continue to update every couple of weeks.
I have some exciting news to tell you in my next newsletter out on the second Saturday of next month. It’s personal but I think it’s also going to be of a great deal of interest to lots of readers. So more then. ❤️