Cost of Living in Ecuador


In Ecuador, not only can you retire on little money, you can also live very well. It’s easy to retire on less than $17,000 per year, and this figure is based on a very comfortable lifestyle. Many foreign residents have their main home in the city, and also have a country home, a beach property, or even property in another country…a feat that would be impossible on a comparable budget in the U.S.

Additionally, this low cost of living in Ecuador allows retirees to increase their travel, take up new hobbies and generally enjoy a better quality of life. Ecuador offers something for everyone, and at prices unheard of in North America and Europe.

Here is a sample budget for a couple living very well in Cuenca. The expenses are, of course, approximate. We’ve erred on the side of extra spending to come up with a budget that allows for a pretty luxurious lifestyle…for less than $20,000 a year for two people.

Sample monthly budget for a couple in Cuenca:

  • Housing (rental of luxury two-bedroom apartment): $500
  • Utilities: $150
  • Maid (twice a week): $60
  • Groceries: $275
  • Maintenance and fuel for one car: $140
  • Clothing: $70
  • Entertainment (two people dining out eight times a month at top restaurants): $200
  • Health care (four $30 visits to a doctor per year for two people, divided by 12 months): $20

That’s a total of $1,415 per month or $16,980 per year.

But you don’t have to spend that much. The truth is, you could rent a modest apartment for as little as $250 monthly, spend $50 on utilities, eat out for $10 or $15, drive a fuel efficient car…and you’d be living very comfortably for closer to $850 a month—that’s only $10,200 a year.

*Prices as of 2013


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