Retiring to Uruguay: Planning your move

Will I pay tax on a pension? Is overseas rental income good to get residency? Can I open a bank account? All your Q's on retiring to Uruguay.
By Karen A Higgs
Retiring to Uruguay
Last updated on July 4, 2024
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If you are eligible for residency in Uruguay, you are eligible to retire to Uruguay. There are no special requirements—and no specific benefits—for retirees. So if you haven’t already, read our article on Living in Uruguay: Planning your move before reading further. In case you’re curious, the age of retirement in Uruguay is 65.

Income requirements

There are no set income requirements and proof of income is reviewed case by case. Generally speaking, it is expected by the government that newcomers can sustain themselves financially with a good standard of living. Given the cost of living in Uruguay is higher than in most South American countries, a minimum of 1.500 USD for a single adult and 2.500 USD for married couples per month is recommended.

Rental income is accepted as a proof of income here in Uruguay. The only documentation you need to show is a rental contract. It will be important that the contract stipulates the term of the lease because the proof of income will be valid for that time. The contract cannot be presented as is. It has to go to an escribano, a notary in charge of authenticating documents, who will prepare a ‘proof of income’ certificate. The notary will then have the contract translated and apostilled. What is presented to the national migration office is the notarial certificate—not the original rental contract itself.

Taxes on pensions

Being a legal resident is not linked to taxation and foreign pensions are not subject to taxation. As a resident receiving a pension from abroad, you will not have to pay tax on your pension.

Transferring your assets

When submitting income proof to Uruguayan authorities, you must clarify the source of your income. You can either continue to use your home country’s bank account, withdrawing funds via an international debit card, or you can opt to open a new bank account in Uruguay for direct access to your finances.

Luckily it is very easy to open a bank account in Uruguay, you only need proof of identity —such as your passport or Uruguayan ID— proof of address in Uruguay, a letter of reference from your bank abroad, and documentation proving the origin of the funds. Uruguayan banks open accounts in both pesos and dollars, so if you are moving from the US your income will be deposited directly in your own currency.

Healthcare

The healthcare system in Uruguay is very attractive to foreigners due to its good quality and affordable fees. If you’re over 60 —higher premiums usually apply however they are still affordable, particularly when compared to the USA. Expect a medical checkup and analysis of your medical history at the healthcare institution of your choice. In general, the good thing is that the clinic is checking you out to tailor your health insurance plan to your needs—not to exclude you.

It is very helpful to work with relocation services to help you navigate this process, so you can compare different institutions and consider your options.

Residency

As mentioned the fact that you are retired is neither a plus nor a minus where Uruguayan residency is concerned. It is fairly easy to obtain residency in Uruguay as long as you fulfill the income and permanence requirements, have a clean criminal record and can provide the necessary documentation. apply for residency as a married couple, you will have joint files and your applications will move along together. On the downside, they could also be delayed together.

Read more

The importance of making a will

Legal rights of surviving spouse.

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2 Responses

  1. No specific benefits? Did the pensianado program get removed? I still see it on the government website (Law 16,340) with tax free import of household goods and (most important me) a car. I can’t find specifics on car OR allowed/disallowed items.

    1. Hi Mark, as far as I know, there has never been a special plan for retirees (I assume you are saying pensionados) and there are no special benefits for retirees when moving to Uruguay. There is still tax-free import of household goods including a car in the six months after applying for residency (regardless of your season of life). Please check our other article for more details which is linked at the top of the page. Best from Montevideo — Karen

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