Many people are increasingly choosing to retire away from the country they have spent the majority of their lives. It makes sense to work in a first world country as you will earn high wages and can save money for retirement. However, when you then retire it doesn’t make a lot of sense to stay there. You are no longer earning so choosing to spend your hard-earned savings in an expensive country means you are not getting the best value for your money. Many retirees are increasingly looking at developing nations where the cost of living is lower. One of the most popular destinations is in Ecuador. Here is everything you need to know about retiring there.
Ecuador is an amazing country and this is why most people choose it as a retirement destination. It is a country that on one size has the Amazon rainforest, on the other side a massive ocean and in between some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. To call it paradise would hardly be an exaggeration. As well as this the country is slowly modernizing with infrastructure getting better, a good healthcare system, and high-speed internet available in most places. Its location at the top of South America means that it is close to the western world while still being far away. Ecuador even uses the US dollar as its currency so if you are an American you don’t even need to worry about changing currency.
To live in Ecuador you will need residency. The government there has made this very easy. If your income level is $400 a month then you can easily get residency. If you are now retired then you will need to invest in the country. There is a visa investor program that will provide you with residency if you spend $40,000 in real estate or a simple bank deposit. As you would likely be buying a house anyway this makes the whole thing pretty straightforward.
Life in Ecuador is beautiful but not always easy. Before you pack your bags you should be aware that outside the main cities English is not widely spoken. You may want to start learning Spanish if you have dreams of a small town tucked away by the beach. If you plan to live in the main cities then you also need to be aware of the altitude. Quito, Cuenca, and others are in the mountains. This means 10,000 feet above sea level. If you have any health issues you should be careful as this altitude can cause sickness and many issues for anyone with lung or heart conditions.
Retiring will basically come down to a choice between six cities; Cuenca, Quito, Loja, Vilcabamba, Salinas, and Otavalo. Cuenca is a world heritage city and is a huge community of foreign retirees. Consider this the easy option. There is excellent access to healthcare, good infrastructure and you may never need to learn Spanish. Quito offers a nice mix between modern life and the old ways. Quito is the place to go if you are not yet willing to give up on the party life. Loja is far more traditional and there are not many foreign retirees there. You could live on a very small budget here though and it is, therefore, a great choice. Vilcabamba is a great place to go to get cheap land. So if you want to go big go there. Salinas is the beach destination with many tourists during in season. Finally, Otavalo is the perfect location if you want to disappear into the mountains. This is a charming town with beautiful markets and a cool mountain climate.
Ecuador is an amazing location and an increasingly popular spot to retire. You should really consider some of the cheaper destinations in the world as your final home but before you move make sure your destination provides everything that you want. It is only paradise if it makes your dreams come true.