When Edd and Cynthia Staton were both downsized, they decided to retire for good. They left the U.S. in search of better weather and a lower cost of living. What they found in Ecuador was something much more…Drawn by the fact that Ecuador is close to the U.S. (just a four-hour flight from Miami), has near-perfect weather and a substantially lower cost of living, Edd and Cynthia found their way to the southern Ecuador city of Cuenca.Before they left the States, Edd says, most of their friends didn’t understand their decision. They asked him, “What are you going to do there?” The short answer, he says, was, “Within reason, whatever I want to do.”He says he and Cynthia had spent most of their adult lives preparing, going to and from, and doing a variety of things that were necessary to provide the financial support their family required. “And no complaints,” Edd says, “I’d do it all again. But now…by moving to Ecuador, we’ve placed ourselves in a position to pursue a different path—enjoying things we’ve always wanted to do.”Fortunately, in Ecuador, Edd and Cynthia no longer have to worry about having enough money to do the things they want to do.”We can live a very comfortable retirement on our savings and small income here,” Edd says. “And the truth is that even if we win the lottery, we can’t imagine living anywhere else. Life here is that good.”Why would you want to choose Ecuador?With sophisticated historical cities, miles of unspoiled sun-kissed beaches, fertile farmland, and temperate mountain hideaways, Ecuador has it all:Politically stable and safePerfect weather year-roundA U.S.-dollar-based economyClose to home (just a 4-hour flight to the U.S.).Top-notch medical care at one-fourth to one-tenth the costs of the U.S.Affordable private health insurance plans, a government plan that expat residents can take advantage of, and a public system that provides freehealth care and medications to those over 65, including foreign residents.Seniors are treated respectfully (and offered LOTS of discounts) — Ecuador’s retirement program will save you thousands of dollars a year.A couple can live well on $1,500 a month or less.And real estate prices are among the lowest in the world!For these reasons and more, a growing number of expats is now calling Ecuador home. It may just be the “find of the century,” they say, for anyone who wants to live life like it’s meant to be lived…fresh air, deliciously healthy food, the warmest, kindest, most generous people, and no lifestyle sacrifices. None.That’s why, for more than a dozen years, International Living has been recommending Ecuador as a retirement destination. For the fourth year in a row now it’s earned the top spot on our annual Global Retirement Index.Our top writers and editors all have ties to Ecuador and practically fight over assignments that require travel there. Dan Prescher and Suzan Haskins lived in the capital city of Quito back in 2001 and today, like Ron and Terresa Moore, they call Cotacachi home. Ronan McMahon also bought a condo and Steenie Harvey teaches AWAI travel-writing courses there. Margaret Summerfield calls Ecuador “the best, cheapest place in the world to buy beach property.” Glynna Prentice vacations there.We can safely say that International Living has more experience and more resources in Ecuador than does any other website or publication…And we’d like to share our long resume of Ecuador expertise with you at our annual…Fast-Track Ecuador: Lifestyle and Opportunity ConferenceSwissotel Quito – February 7-9, 2013Join us and discover everything you need to know about Ecuador to help you decide if it’s your ideal retirement or relocation destination…Come away with all the knowledge and contacts necessary to make your move happen with confidence. If you’re concerned about your financial future or your health…wondering whether you’ll be able to have the kind of retirement lifestyle you dream about…wondering if you’ll be able to afford to retire at all…you really should consider joining us in Quito this February– where you’ll learn all about the benefits, cost-savings, opportunities, advantages (and yes, challenges) this country has to offer. People are coming to Ecuador for various reasons. But believe me, this International Living conference has all the bases covered:See firsthand how little it really costs to live in Ecuador. Not via some theoretical budget, but by meeting the people who are already doing it.Learn the best places to live and buy property, by hearing all about the latest hot spots on the Ecuador real estate scene. Not from some agent’s listing, but from International Living contacts who have traveled to or live in these areas.Learn what it takes to start up a business in Ecuador. Not from a book, but from expats like you who have done it themselves…and done it well.Know what documents you need to qualify for residency and Ecuador’s health care system…and where to bank, the best place to buy insurance, buy a car, go for medical care, etc. etc. Hear it straight from the attorney, professionals, and others who are guiding your fellow expats.Learn how to finance your lifestyle in Ecuador. A special presentation will guide you to money-making opportunities you probably haven’t considered – and using skills and knowledge you already have… and with no start-up costs!Get the whole picture, not just the fluff. Taxes, insurance, and visas are not the fun part of being an expat. But you need to know this part of the story before you take your first step in Ecuador. Our trusted professionals will deliver the information you need.