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Making the Transition to Retiring in Ecuador

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Ecuador | 1 comment

You’ve been working toward retirement for many years. Your affairs are beginning to come together, and you’ve spent many hours deciding how/where you want to spend your retirement life. After perusing through the travel magazines and websites, you have come to decide that Ecuador, my personal retirement choice, might work for you.

Ecuador is an incredibly beautiful country with long tropical beaches to the west and the spectacular Andes mountain range to the east. And, of course, the Amazon jungles and the Galapagos are within proximity.

Why Choose Cuenca

My city of choice was Cuenca. I am going to give you some reasons why I chose Cuenca as well as a consensus of why so many other expats I have met have chosen it as well.

Consider Cuenca Fernando Tapia
Consider Cuenca by Fernando Tapia

I am a single woman. Moving abroad alone was scary for me.

Cuenca has a large community of expats and many that are unmarried women and men.

I was able to build a wonderful support system even before I moved here that has been a great help for me as it has for many other expats, married or single.

The Three C’s

After speaking with many of those expats about their reasons for moving here as well as my own, the consensus came down to what I call the “Three C’s”- Cost of Living, Climate, and Culture.

Adventure awaits Isabel Garger
Adventure awaits by Isabel Garger

The cost of living is much lower than in the U.S., particularly as it pertains to housing.

It may take some shopping, but you should be able to find a fully furnished, all utilities paid house or luxury condo for only $600 a month just about anywhere in Ecuador, and Cuenca has many nice properties to offer.

Housing costs for those who choose to buy range widely but are still low compared to those in the U.S.

The climate in Cuenca is temperate and mild, with temperatures that range between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round (no heating or air conditioning needed in homes).

And the culture of the Ecuadorian people is warm and very empathetic with a rich history, much of which has been preserved.

The Exploratory Trip

I moved to Ecuador without a scouting trip, but most of my fellow expats highly recommend making that exploratory trip first, especially if you have not been to South America previously or traveled internationally.

I had traveled to many countries prior to this move but had never lived abroad and the learning curve is steep.

My opinion is that it takes about a year to get a real feel for what living in another country is all about.

What are your “deal” or “no-deal” items for your expat destination? Let us know what you are thinking in the comments below.  Bienvenidos!

by: Cathy McKay

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