Be Bold! Retire to Ecuador
Expats choosing to retire to Ecuador are taking the “road less traveled’ and enjoying it. Though not as well-known as other popular Latin America destinations, Ecuador has an untapped potential that could make it the most popular retirement destination in the region.
There are more options for retirees in Ecuador today than ever before. Improvements in the country’s infrastructure have opened more areas for expats looking for a less cluttered existence.
Retire to Ecuador, Save Money, Live the Life You Want
Ecuador’s cost of living is certainly one of the most affordable in Latin America. It is important to remember, however, that some online claims about living there for practically nothing are overblown. Like anyplace else, how much you spend will depend on the choices you make concerning location, amenities, and luxuries.
The fact that the U.S. dollar is the currency of Ecuador is an important plus. Knowing the cost of things and not having to deal with currency exchange rates certainly makes budgeting for your retirement much easier – especially for those on fixed incomes.
Being able to buy or rent your retirement retreat at reasonable prices is one of the biggest draws of Ecuador. Even in the larger cities like Quito or Guayaquil, a spacious three-bedroom apartment can rent for under $1,500 per month. Rental and sale prices in smaller towns make finding a home much less stressful.
The lower health care costs that are offered in Ecuador certainly make living a healthy lifestyle much easier. Modern state-of-the art facilities provide high quality care at a fraction of the expense for the same procedures in the U.S. Dental care and dental tourism is another area where retiree dollars can go farther and enhance the quality of living for years to come.
An important and intangible benefit to retiring in Ecuador is the more relaxed pace of daily living. Being able to appreciate the natural beauty of the country, without the hectic approach to living found in the U.S., can make those retirement years truly “golden.”
Investment Potential Continues to Grow
A decision to retire to Ecuador may also provide the potential for a strong return on investments. There are a number of areas that are primed for new projects as expats continue to arrive seeking new housing and commercial options. In addition to already built properties, there is a growing number of undeveloped lots that are available in a variety of locations; both urban and rural.
The beach towns of Canoa and Ancon have a great deal of undeveloped and underdeveloped property that can be purchased quite reasonably. Crucita has become a world-class destination for paragliders and hang gliders. This increase in the tourist trade makes investing in rental properties a viable and potentially profitable action to consider. Along with San Clemente, this area is well on the way to becoming the next Pacific “Gold Coast.”
The beach is not the only part of Ecuador that is an attractive investment option. Cuenca, a World Heritage city in the foothills of the Andes and the Yunguilla Valley are becoming increasingly popular as expat destinations and potential retirement meccas that combine a moderate climate, rich cultural history, and affordable prices.
The Beauty of Ecuador – So Many Diverse Locations
One of the most unique features of Ecuador is the wide diversity of regions that can be your retirement destination.
For those whose idea of a tropical paradise is a cosmopolitan city with attractions and entertainments, Quito and Guayaquil are both modern and filled with the kind of amenities one might find in any major city in the U.S. These cities also are the locations of the two international airports in Ecuador; Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre in Quito and Simon Bolivar in Guayaquil.
Cuenca captures the flavor of the Andean Highlands and retains the essence of its rich colonial heritage. The coastal villages of Canoa, Ancon, San Clemente are rustic, laid-back beach communities just perfect for those looking for a more authentic Ecuadorian experience.
For those truly seeking to ‘”get away from it all,” Ecuador also has a number of island communities that could be your retirement paradise. Santa Cruz, Isla Isabella, Pena and San Cristobal are just some of the places expats are beginning to pay attention to.
The continued growth in the number of expats and retirees coming to Ecuador will increase the options available. Some of the small jungle towns, such as Banos, are in the earliest stages of moving from tourist attraction to a destination for expat arrivals to settle and develop.
Even beyond the possibilities of places to live, there are stunning natural wonders suddenly much closer if you are living in Ecuador. The Galapagos Archipelago, the Andes, and the Amazon Basin become more accessible and easier to explore; adding another dimension to the desirability of this Latin American gem.
So Many Positives to Choose Ecuador and Things to Consider
For retirees, expats looking for a tropical escape, and investors exploring new options, Ecuador has many features to commend it. Constantly improving infrastructure, growing communities of North Americans and Europeans, and affordable properties are all important reasons to retire to Ecuador.
However, even in a tropical paradise, there are a number of factors that you should examine as part of your decision-making process. First and foremost is that English, while growing in usage, is not the dominant day-to-day language – particularly in the smaller rural villages and towns. An honest appraisal of your comfort level of living someplace where communications may be challenging at times is truly an important step to a happy relocation.
A second consideration is the fact that the more rustic communities also have fewer of the modern amenities of major cities such as Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. If having ready access to high speed internet, cable television, etc. is a necessity, this could limit the potential Ecuadorian locations that might be right for you.
Patience is an important facet of expat life throughout Latin America and Ecuador is no exception. Travel, particularly where the only option is driving, can take significantly longer; repairs and improvements to infrastructure items such as roads, electricity, and even water, may involve much more time than one might find in the U.S. or Europe.
In the end, the best way to truly know if Ecuador is right for you (and if you are a good fit for Ecuador) is to talk to others who have made the decision. Do your research and, most importantly, visit this unique land of potential and promise and see if it resonates within you and makes you want to retire to Ecuador.