For us, the daily grind in the States had begun to require too much work for too little reward. Expenses were rising and both my wife and I had reached a level of dissatisfaction with our careers. It was time for a major change. It was time to slow down, work less, and enjoy more of life! This would not happen by accident. We made a plan.
After some months of research, Ecuador emerged as the location for our next chapter. Having spent many years in Alaska as well as Florida, we sought not only income opportunities and a much lower cost of living but also a climate that was neither too hot nor too cold. As Ecuador has been regularly named a prime retirement destination, many retiring expats were making the move…and a growing base of potential customers was on the way.
Situated on the equator—four hours directly south of Florida—Ecuador is a small and emerging nation. That means two things. First, there are numerous business opportunities almost everywhere you look. Second, the infrastructure is also emerging…meaning the occasional power outage, some roads in disrepair, and a culture that operates at a much slower pace in all ways.
Ecuador’s coastline is almost entirely unspoiled with vast stretches of open beachfront property that are ripe for development. The temperature along the coast is fairly stable at around 75-80 degrees. Perfect! Climbing into the clouds to about 13,000 feet, the Andes Mountains rise like a winding spine through the center of the country. Large mountain cities like Cuenca and Quito provide culture, major hospitals and great infrastructure.
On the other end of the civilization spectrum, the wilderness jungles of Ecuador’s Amazon region are best explored with guides for safety’s sake. Then, of course, there are the magnificent Galapagos Islands with all the pristine wildlife and undersea wonders we’ve all heard about. One can easily understand why Ecuador is a world-class vacation destination.
Diane and I made the move and we are now well into our second year living on Ecuador’s coast. Our cost of living has been dramatically reduced and our standard of living has greatly improved. We have a beautifully furnished rented condo in a lush, gated enclave with two pools…just steps away from the Pacific.
The sea provides all the fresh shrimp, fish and lobster we want delivered to our door by local fishermen. Local farmers provide fresh produce at the open market; potatoes still covered with dirt and tomatoes that really taste like tomatoes, all expertly prepared by our housekeeper/cook. I’m afraid we have become a bit spoiled.
I now have plenty of time to write and can earn money simply by sitting at my laptop several hours each week. I can take a nap any time if I wish. I have retained my entrepreneurial spirit and executive nature but have slowed my speed to an almost sluggish pace compared to my previous life. No more 60-hour work weeks for me.
Our move meant that my wife could also retire well before her 50th birthday. Should Diane ever choose to work, she can easily earn an additional $300-$600 per month as a teacher. She has declined several of those opportunities already. We simply don’t need the money.
In addition to writing, which I truly enjoy (I’m finishing my fourth Kindle Book), I also provide consulting services to several local businesses, manage my active website and blog, and conduct the occasional tour of the local area for visitors. And I’m doing all of this in approximately 15 hours per week or less.
We regret only one thing and that is that we didn’t make this move earlier.
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