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Why does everyone say it's so expensive here?

Since my first post here on Expat.com I've seen many people saying (complaining) that it's terribly expensive here in Brazil. Other than a very few things, mostly imported food products, I don't see that. Sure, my Coke Zero costs at least twice what it would in the US. But my wife and I have a nice 1 bedroom house/apartment that costs less than half of what I would be paying for a room with bathroom and kitchen privileges in the US. There I'd most likely also be paying for water and electricity and that's included in my rent.

I can get a kilo of boneless/skinless chicken breasts for about the same or less than I can everywhere I've lived in the US.  Gas is more expensive, but I don't drive, so that's not an issue for me and when it does become an issue, I'm a certified mechanic so, except for "big things/repairs" I won't have to worry about that, either.

By and and large, I don't really see a difference in clothing prices, either. Logo'd clothing, such as 'Seleção' shirts cost just as much here (about R$150-R$200) as an official NFL jersey or NASCAR shirt.  Same thing with shoes: I bought my last pair for about R$30. I can do the same thing at "Shoe Source" or "Payless Shoes" in the US. But, if I was one of those people who thought the name on a piece of clothing was important, I could also spend foolish amounts of money on shoes and other clothing articles.

My wife's son is acting as a middle man for a large property owner here in Bertioga. He's got 5 X 20 lots that are selling for about R$50k-R$80K, depending on how close to the beach and/or "city" center they are. They'd be going for the equivalent of that in most areas of the US, quite a bit more in California if they were still available.

Hi Mike,

I know what you mean and, yes, if one compares prices here directly to what they would pay in the US it really doesn't seem so bad.  The only exceptions are things like "WaterPiks"; the things that blast water between teeth: In the US they sell for about US $40; here I often see them priced at between R$ 360 and R$ 400.  But in general I think prices here are about 40% less than a similar product in the US.

The main issue is for people whose income is tied exclusively to the Brazilian economy.  When I moved here, my income decreased by about 70%.  So, things are 40% cheaper here but even though I am highly qualified and experienced in my field--and I have very few competitors--my relative income here is still well below what I was earning in the US.  So, even though I really like living here and would never willingly leave, my cost-adjusted relative income is about (1-.70)/(1-.40) = .30 / .60 = .50 or 50% of what I had in the US.  (Example: My 70 square meter apartment in SP is about the same monthly payment as my 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in the US midwest.)

Cheers, JMc

Maybe that's it JMc.

My income went up when I came here. In 2012 when I arrived, I had been a freelance writer for 5 years and was making about R$1200 a month, give or take. My girlfriend at the time didn't think that being a writer was actually a job, so she helped arrange a job as a teacher at a small ESL school a few blocks from where I was living. My income went up an average of about  R$1300-R$1400 a month from that. Now, depending on how much effort I put into it, I'm making about R$2500 a month. My clients are all US and UK-based.

I forgot to mention cigarettes. I was paying about $5US a pack in the US for Marlboro Reds. Before I switched to the cheap brands, I was paying R$7 a pack, or about $2 US a pack, or about half of what I was paying in the US, whether that be Arizona, Kansas, Virginia, or California. The only bummer there is that Brazil has never heard of chewing tobacco/snuff.

Thank you for the information posted in your posting

You're welcome.

It just depends on how someone wants to live.  We do quite well on our pensions.

Jim

Do you have any advice because I'm moving to Ho Chi Minh City and I'm getting myself established there and I'm waiting on my Visa right now I'm going to purchase a plane ticket as soon as I get my Visa and I'm going to be getting settled would you have any advice to offer

This is about Brazil . We don`t have any  advice about Vietnam.

Jim

It was not, but its getting that way

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