The government, the natural disasters, and the people.
The Chilean government has pros and cons, like all governments. But its dispute with Bolivia over fishing rights, and with Peru over their common border has me concerned about their “peacefulness”. The current president is a billionaire (who made his money introducing credit cards to Chileans in the 1980’s), and is fairly right-wing. The last right-winger was the military dictator Augusto Pinochet (set up and funded by the US).
NOTE: The current government of Argentina is very left-wing (nearly socialistic) and does incredibly crazy things. SO I AM NOT SAYING all right-wing governments are bad and all left-wing governments are good. Both extremes are BAD in my opinion.
In my “Worst Of” series, I list the worst countries for natural disasters, according to the amount of deaths, property damage, and disruption that natural disasters cause. Chile ranked #1 in average annual deaths due to natural disasters. Does this mean that everyone in Chile is going to die of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes? Of course not! Or it would not be ranked the #2 Safe Haven in the world.
However, this is a concern. Natural disasters are less “controllable” than any of the other Big 5 Killers, even epidemics and disease. You just never know. So that is one concern I have about Chile.
The other concern is the people. They have been reported my many expats as “cool” (not warm and friendly), “distant”, “hard to get to know”, and other similar expressions.
There are three main benefits to expatriating to Chile.
The southern South America location. The business climate and opportunities. The survival possibilities (weather, food production, water…)
Now I love the top recommended area of Chile. It is beautiful, has class, and lots of outdoor activities. It has a four-season climate (but a bit too cold for me in the winter.) The cost is “reasonable”, and expats communicate with me that they do like the area, appreciate the business opportunities, and feel relatively safe.
I think that anyone investigating Chile will either love it (this is the place for me!) or not particularly like it – “there is something just not right – it doesn’t ‘feel’ right…”
As always, I recommend reading the two books Culture Shock Chile and Culture Smart Chile. You can purchase these on Amazon.