One of my friends recently said that he and his wife were considering retiring to Chile from the United States. I don't know about all the immigration and tax matters that would arise from such a move. I don't think I would want to be so far away from family and friends on a permanent basis like that. She is an American Airlines flight attendant, and with passes the long distances for transportation are perhaps not such a consideration.
That got me to thinking about prices of things here, and so I took a few notes. I had the impression that supermarket food prices were about 80% of what they are at home, but Penny says she thinks they are about the same. Since she is the better money manager, I recommend using her impression instead of mine. My sister-in-law sent some prices from Fred Meyer in Medford, Oregon for some things that I requested, and so here are the comparisons. There are also a few items that I priced online at Target, and using Kelley blue book. The U.S. price will be first, and followed by the dollar equivalent price here in Santiago. Family-sized picnic cooler $20/$55; Whistling stovetop tea kettle $14/$12; pound of butter $3/$4; half pound of Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese $2.19/$4; pkg of three Romaine lettuce hearts $2.50/$3.00; small can of tomato sauce $0.40/$1.00; center-cut pork chops per pound $4.99/$4.73; big box of corn flakes $4.39/$2.80 (this compares Kellogg's vs. the Jumbo store brand).
A bottle of Casillero del Diablo 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon on the supermarket shelf here is around $9, and I seem to recall it being $10 at Trader Joes. Maybe $11?
Having a car is expensive: one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline $3/$5, 2007 Mitsubishi Montero $17000/$22000. Car rental prices have also struck us as high, and they are also high in Argentina.
Restaurant prices are not especially cheap. Now, they are not Manhattan prices, but it is definitely not as inexpensive here to eat in a nice place as it is, for instance, in Lima. Miraflores in Lima is a district similar to Providencia here in Santiago.