Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008
Dear International Living Reader,
After Mexico, Ecuador is the second best country in the world to retire to, according to our 2008 Global Retirement Index.
In this Index, Ecuador gets a top score of 100 points in our climate category. In fact, Ecuador is often referred to as the “Land of Eternal Spring.” The country has several climatic zones, ranging from the coast (sea level) to the Andes Mountains, where elevations exceed 20,000 feet. The climate varies widely according to altitude.
The capital city of Quito, at approximately 9,350 feet above sea level, enjoys year-round spring-like weather. Here, the days are around 72 degrees Fahrenheit and the nights are usually near 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures generally do not change by more than four or five degrees from one part of the year to another. In the Oriente or Amazon region (which averages 1,500 feet above sea level) on the eastern side of Ecuador, the climate is tropical. The coastline has two distinct zones; semi-desert in the south and tropical in the north with temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s. If climate is a primary concern to you in your retirement, this country is worth your attention.
Ecuador also scores high marks in our “Special benefits for retirees” category (75 points). Retirees aged 65 or older have an extra incentive to consider this country: airfares to North America and Europe are half-price on several airlines; all in-country transportation costs are 50% lower; and big discounts apply to a variety of other expenses such as taxes, utilities, and entertainment.
Ecuador is a beautiful country. From snow-capped volcanoes to dense Amazon jungle, from sun-drenched Pacific beaches to the famous Galapagos Islands, this is a place of astounding natural beauty. There’s plenty to explore in your retirement years. As a foreign resident here, you’ll blend easily into the community, being welcomed into a new circle of friends and a new way of life with relative ease. You’ll also be treated with respect, and the people will be eager to get to know you.
Suzan Haskins recently traveled to Ecuador to explore the property market here on behalf of IL. She was impressed with what she found. In Quito, for example, she found renovated apartments for sale from $40,000. Farther north, she and Dan were so smitten with the town of Cotacachi that they bought a new penthouse suite for $46,000 there. Bargains abound, too, in coastal Ecuador, where Suzan tells us of a four-bedroom house on an acre of land, with sea views, selling for $45,000.
Not only that, but she also reports on major infrastructure improvements in Quito since she lived there in 2002. The airport in Quito has been modernized and the city itself seems cleaner and more confident. Trendy coffee shops and boutique hotels line the streets of Mariscal Sucre, the city’s tourist center. Many of the city’s buildings have been renovated.
It’s hard to pinpoint the best reason for retiring to Ecuador, but one thing’s for sure: This is an affordable—and beautiful—retirement destination. Ecuador also offers a high quality of life. This is no isolated backwater. It’s a land of opportunity, where a middle class is forming. After waking from a long economic slumber, Ecuador is preparing to join the global economy.
Managing Editor, International Living
Editor’s Note: To learn more about the best places in the world to retire to see our September issue of International Living magazine. If you are not already a subscriber, follow this link to sign up.
To read more IL articles on Ecuador, see:
Vilcabamba Ecuador: Four Riverfront Lots for Sale
Ecuador Beach Property: A $50,000 Beach Condo
To find out which country won the “Best Climate” category in our 2009 Annual Retirement Index, see:
Why Malta’s Climate is the Best in the World