6 Things That Make Ecuador Affordable
Thinking about making the move abroad and wondering where is the best location for a soon-to-be expat? Your answer might just be Ecuador, the newest hot spot destination for retirees and expats wanting the good life without the financial stress.
Ecuador is the world’s best place to retire overseas on a retirement budget. Here you can live better than you do in the U.S. for less money. The cost of living is low, and the cost of real estate is one of the lowest for Latin America. With monthly estimated living expenses ranging from $900 to $1,400, Ecuador surpasses Panama, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
1. Real Estate in Ecuador Is Affordable
If you want to call Ecuador home for good, the process of buying a house is straightforward. Real estate prices are still relatively low. Some expats find it is still possible to build new residential construction for under $100 per square foot. But remember, this is local construction… cement or red clay brick. There is almost no wood construction in Ecuador.
2. Getting Around Ecuador Is Cheap and Easy
Most expats find getting around Ecuador easy; most choose to ditch their cars and use public transportation or walk. Ecuador also has a good mass transit system. Quito, the nation’s capital, is well-equipped with buses and taxis, most of which are constantly available and cost an average of $1.00 per hour of travel.
3. Ecuador Offers Great Health Care
Most expats are pleasantly surprised with the medical system in Ecuador, especially the quality of care. Medical costs are one-tenth of what they are in the States and the hospitals are state-of-the-art and offer many healthcare options for expats.
4. Latin American Cuisine at Its Best
So how’s the food? One would be hard-pressed to go hungry in Ecuador for lack of options. In Quito and Guyaquil, you can get any type of food in the world; while outside of the city, local fruits and vegetables are in abundance along with chicken and pork. As one moves closer to the shore, the cuisine varies slightly. The same fresh fruit and vegetables are complemented by a huge variety of fresh fish.
5. American Culture
As much as an expat retiree may want to get away from it all, a little homesickness is inevitable from time to time. Ecuador’s English-speaking expats along with other English-speaking people and American franchises, is enough to ward off homesickness should it arise. Cuenca is a popular mountain town, which now has a few thousand English-speaking expats living there.
6. Ecuador’s Currency Is the U.S. Dollar
One thing to remember about Ecuador is that this country uses the U.S. dollar. For an American expat, this means it’s easier to understand what things really cost; it’s easier to keep track of your spending; and, very important, you avoid any currency-exchange risk. You may still have local inflation to contend with, but you won’t have to worry about that being compounded when the exchange rate goes against you.