Ecuador

Ecuador

Ecuador: The Hidden Paradise Where A Couple Can Live Comfortably On $2,000 a Month or Less

Sell your winter clothes…and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in the Land of Eternal Spring. Every cliché you’ve heard about living large on little…on even a retiree’s budget…is true in Ecuador.

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Fast Facts About Ecuador

Ecuador
  • Population: 15,439,429
  • Capital City: Quito
  • Climate: Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
  • Time Zone: GMT-5
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Country Code: 593
  • Coastline: 2,237 km

Archives

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Our Ecuador Vacation Lasted a Lifetime

There are people who plan carefully for the future—folks who weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of major decisions, then make life changes in careful, graduated steps… My wife Ann and I are not those people. When we announced to family and friends that we were selling our home and moving to the beach town of Salinas, Ecuador, they were—to put it mildly—shocked. Looking back, I can’t say that I blame them.

Horses

Create a Good Living Working with Horses

Imagine if work involved saddling up and taking to the trail instead of being stuck in morning traffic, heading into the office. You don’t need to have a lot of money to work with horses overseas. If fact you don’t need to own much land or spend a fortune buying horses to set up your own business.

Ecuador

Ecuador, Uruguay and Malta Boast Best Climates in the World

InternationalLiving.com’s annual Global Retirement Index names Ecuador, Uruguay and Malta as the best three countries in the world when it comes to climate. Their temperate weather throughout the year, moderate rainfall and little risk of natural disaster saw them rise to the top of the Climate category, one of eight categories in the Index, which details the top countries in the world for retirement in 2014.

Expat John Brenner has enjoyed the interesting experiences and people he has met while learning Spanish.

An Expat’s Worst Spanish Mistake—It Was All Part of the Process

John Brenner, a Minnesotan in his late 50s, was traveling in South America looking for a new place to live. The next leg of his trip was from Bogotá, Colombia to Lima, Peru. He was joined by three others, also Lima bound, whom he had met in the Bogotá hostel where he stayed. After an all-night bus ride they reached Ecuador’s border, where they crossed on foot. Once in Ecuador the four had a stroke of luck.

ThreeDayTrips

Three Day Trips from Cuenca, Ecuador

You have probably heard of Cuenca. It’s Ecuador’s most popular retirement haven, home to thousands of contented expats, colonial architecture, verdant parks, galleries, museums, and plenty of bars and restaurants. But that’s just the city itself. Since arriving, my work with a local tour company has helped me uncover some of the best day trips.

Emerging-Markets

Emerging Markets Grow as America Declines

For any careful investor it’s important to understand not just the current trend but rather where we’re headed. As such, keep an eye toward the future for the growth leaders of tomorrow. Since 2007, emerging markets have been outspending American consumers. Take a look at the charts here to see how the international growth/redistribution of current consumption trends will change the landscape of international business.

WhyWait

Why Wait? “Perfect Weather, Low Costs, Incredible Views”

There are people who plan carefully for the future—folks who weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of major decisions, then make life changes in careful, graduated steps… My wife Ann and I are not those people. When we announced to family and friends that we were selling our home and moving to the beach town of Salinas, Ecuador, they were—to put it mildly—shocked.

LivingOnLess

Living on Less than $1,500 a Month Overseas

Most mornings Chuck and Kathy Baumgarten can be found leisurely sipping coffee and enjoying the sunrise from their porch. It’s easy to see why if you visit their home. They have one of the most scenic vistas in all of Ecuador. Mount Imbabura seems to rise from their backyard. A 180-degree turn showcases Mount Cotacachi’s golden-hour glow.

FiveSpots

Five Spots Where You Can Find Premium Views for Less than $150,000

A great view usually translates into a premium price tag. But you can afford a home with stunning vistas if know the right place to look. For example, I know of one Pacific coast town where a beachfront condo with Californian-style ocean views and a similar lifestyle will only set you back $119,000. You’d need at least three times that to get close to the beach in California.

PeopleAlwaysAsk

People Always Ask, “What Do You Do All Day?”

Retirement is the perfect time to try on old dreams and see if they still fit. After graduating with a degree in journalism I embarked on a career path that had absolutely nothing to do with my field of study. But I loved writing and never gave up on the possibility that one day I would be able to pursue my interest. Today I sit here at my computer happily sharing this message with you.

crucita-ecuador

Better Weather, a Lower Cost of Living…and other Great Reasons to Move Overseas

Sometimes my old friends back home have a hard time understanding why I moved abroad. Just last week I was wrapped up like a polar explorer in borrowed coats, helping a friend I was visiting back home for the holidays shovel the drifting, blowing snow off his driveway. “What’s the fascination with living abroad anyway?” he asked through the scarf wrapped around his face to avoid losing his nose to frostbite.

Cotacachi

Moving Our Family to Cotacachi Changed Everything

Two years ago, my husband David and I broke the news to our friends and family that we would be moving to Ecuador. We enjoyed much about our life in the States, but we didn’t like the high-pressure work environment and focus on consumerism. We longed to break out of the corporate rat race and have the chance to work for ourselves.

Barbara Wilson and her husband Joe live in paradise and produce chocolate to fund their life in Ecuador.

No Experience Required for Profits in Ecuador

Barbara Wilson, from Michigan, launched Mindo Chocolate Makers in Mindo, Ecuador in 2009, with no experience. Originally she and her husband, Joe Menza, ran a hostel and restaurant, but when Barbara couldn’t find good cocoa for her brownies, they decided, “Let’s make our own!”

ecuador-highlands

I Was Right About Ecuador

When I made the move to a small highland town in Ecuador two years ago I knew that my new lifestyle would also come with an education. In fact that was part of the appeal. I would learn Spanish, adopt new customs, and adapt to life in a country halfway around the world. It was going to be great. Guess what? I was right; it is awesome, but not necessarily for the reasons I thought it would be. Sure, my original intentions have come to fruition. My Spanish is coming along nicely and I’ve gained many new friends because of it.

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The Adventure of a Lifetime: A Dream Retirement in Ecuador

I often catch myself being taken aback by the stunning view of the Pacific that greets me from every western-facing window of my home in San Vicente, Ecuador. I don’t know exactly why I still experience a flash of surprise at the sight at this point. Maybe it’s because less than two years ago, such a thing was merely a dream. Like so many when the Great Recession struck, my husband and I were struggling to maintain the lifestyle we had built over the years.

Travel the unknown, and fund your travels with a basic skill...your ability to teach English.

They’ll Line Up to Pay You When You Go Overseas With This Skill

I used to be like you. Sitting in front of a computer screen dreaming of faraway places…the sun on my face…lazy afternoons exploring forgotten seaside villages…or drifting through market towns in search of exotic indigenous rugs and hammocks to adorn my beautiful, colonial apartment. And then I decided to actually do it! In 2003, I chucked in my day job, bought a ticket to South America, and never looked back.

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Dream About Your New Life Overseas…Then Do It

Not long ago, I received a note from a high-school friend I haven’t seen in many decades. “Did you follow a dream to South America?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied, “but I’m not finished. I’m still following my dreams.” The thing is, I don’t know where my dreams will take me. I have a very full bucket list of places I want to visit. Who knows how long I might be seduced into staying in any one of them?

cuenca-market

Life Just Gets Easier in Ecuador…

It’s interesting what you get used to—and what you forget about that you used to be used to. Since moving to Cuenca, Ecuador three and a half years ago my wife and I have noted how much simpler our life has become. For us moving abroad and retirement went hand in hand, so we’ve attributed this phenomenon to no longer having careers with the accompanying stress and pressure.

The best locations in Yunguilla, a long valley area, are less than an hour’s drive southwest of Cuenca.

The Valley Lifestyle—Just One Hour from Cuenca, Ecuador

Yunguilla is a long valley that begins just south of Cuenca and ends near the seaport city of Machala. Its elevation ranges from about 7,000 feet near Cuenca down to 4,500 feet at the Santa Isabel side (closest to Machala on the coast). At its highest point, Yunguilla is 1,500 feet lower than Cuenca, which translates to a warmer climate and very short rainy season. Since the valley is oriented east-west, it gets direct sunshine all day long.

A life in Ecuador is much less regulated than a life in the States.

You’d Never See This in the States…

My wife, Suzan, and I have lived in Ecuador for a long time now, and sometimes we forget how different life here can be from what we were used to back in the U.S. But every now and then we’re reminded pretty clearly, as we were just last week during a trip to Baños de Agua Santa, or simply Baños as it’s commonly called. Baños is a top tourist destination in Ecuador thanks to its incredibly beautiful setting in the Andes.

Quito, Ecuador was the perfect paradise for adventurous Attila Gyuris and his family.

IL Radio Episode 40: Great Adventures in Ecuador

Attila Gyuris, or AT as his friends call him, can safely qualify as an adventurer… a commercial pilot and motorcycle enthusiast from California, he not only rode his motorcycle on a solo trip through Mexico and Central America to Ecuador when he relocated, he also flies Sikorsky freight helicopters in the Amazon and commercial transport helicopters on Ecuador’s coast.

Panama is the winner of International Living's best place to retire in 2014.

Revealed: The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2014

InternationalLiving.com’s annual Global Retirement Index 2014 profiles the best destinations for good-value living around the world today. The Index considers not only a wealth of statistics, but—critically—more than three decades of expertise and current insights from a network of correspondents around the world.

retirement in Panama

Best Places to Retire Overseas and Get Retiree Discounts

From special discounts to front-of-line privileges, the respect for elderly citizens and residents shines through in these three countries, ranked best in the world for retiree benefits in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014.

You can get a 25% discount on airline tickets in Panama as part of  the Pensionado program.

The Best Places to Retire Overseas and Get Discounted Airfare

When moving overseas you may be worried about seeing your family back home or saving your money to get to the U.S. when you need to. However some countries offer discounted airfare to retirees—which will lower your travel costs.

In Pictures: The World’s Best Retirement Havens in 2014

For more than 30 years, International Living has been researching the best retirement havens in the world…and every January the Annual Global Retirement Index is released—highlighting the best places for you to retire. This Index ranks the top 24 countries in the world for retirement in 8 categories. The top 10 countries that feature on the list this year each bring spectacular benefits for retirees living overseas—from great health care and ideal climates to a low cost of living and financial perks for retirees. Starting with number 10, here are our top retirement havens for 2014.

Uruguay enjoys four distinct seasons including a warm summer.

Best Places to Retire Overseas and Escape to a Better Climate

Tired of shoveling snow, braving the torrential rain or wrapping up against the bitter cold? If so, check out these top three places to retire for a better climate as ranked in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014. With a perfect score of 100 and for the second year in a row, Ecuador comes out top in the Climate category and is the overall runner up in this year’s Global Retirement Index. Lying directly on the equator, it enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.

For the fifth year in a row, Ecuador has ranked number one for great value property.

The Best Places to Buy Real Estate When You Retire Overseas

Whether you are looking for a home on the coast, on an island or in a colonial city, these three countries have the best value real estate. If your dream home includes a pool, a big back yard in which to swing from a hammock in the sun, a place close to the beach where you can snorkel, relax with a good book or watch the sunset…rest assured, you can have it—because your real estate dollar stretches further overseas. You can buy a superior property in a better location for the same amount or less than you would spend on a home in the U.S.

For many reasons, Panama is the best place in the world to retire.

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2014

Whatever you see on our leader board, just remember, we measure here only the very best havens. So the country last on our list—newcomer to the Index Cambodia—is still one of the best in the world. In each of these destinations, you’ll find thousands of folks who have already found their dream retirements. You can too, and this 2014 Retirement Index is designed to get you started. It covers all the bases, revealing a wealth of choice when it comes to a comfortable life overseas…

Penang, a cultural melting pot, is a great place to move to with children. 
© mellsva - Fotolia.com

Best Places to Retire Overseas For Families

We all dream of giving up the rat race, packing our belongings, and moving some where warm and sunny, but why wait until you retire? Moving overseas can be a big decision, even bigger when you have children—but the benefits that make living abroad a good thing for adults are similar to those that make it a good thing for kids. A lower cost of living, healthier lifestyle, varied life and cultural experiences…they all benefit your child’s life in some way. Here are some of the best places to retire for families.

Save big on retiree benefits in Panama, the winner of our Annual Global Retirement Index 2014.

Save Big on Benefits in the World’s Best Retirement Havens 2014

International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014 has just been released, detailing the top 24 countries in the world to retire to. In the Special Benefits for Retirees category in the Index, we consider whether retirees get a good deal for health care, importing goods, entertainment, airfare, utilities, tax rates, residence and more. Panama, Ecuador and Costa Rica have topped the list in this category.

Salinas, one of Ecuador's best-known beach towns, still has reasonably priced real estate.

Sun, Sand and Good Living in Ecuador’s Top Beach Town

Outside the window of the condo I was renting, two huge pelicans sat nodding in the sun. Or so it seemed. Because in an instant, and in perfect synchronicity, they leapt from their perch, pulled in their wings, and dove headfirst to the emerald water below. No small feat since we were 20 floors up. Hmm, I wondered, what’s for dinner? Because, as the pelicans know, these waters are rich with a choice of seafood or every kind.

Damon Freeman hires freelance teachers, like Charles Gryglewicz pictured here, to give language lessons to aviation personnel.

The Profit Potential in Education and Training

“Many educators will tell you that schools are not in the business to make money,” says Janice Gallagher, who set up a children’s school in Nicaragua. “I, on the other hand, am a business woman, and there is definitely potential for profit. There will not be profit immediately because you will need time to grow and establish yourself. There are several private schools that do turn a profit after several years.”

Inside Track on Researching Your Franchise Options

One of the ways to reduce the uncertainty of moving overseas and setting up your own enterprise is to buy into a franchise—an already proven business model. The advantage of a franchise is that it has name recognition, provides you with the necessary “know how,” and much of the groundwork has already been done, which will increase your chances of success.

Donald Murray

“How My First-World Know-How Created an Income in Ecuador”

When a serious health issue and the loss of my job occurred at the same time as the international financial collapse, we took a huge hit emotionally and financially. Our family’s income was instantly reduced by 65% when I lost my job. Saving for a rainy day had been tough enough…but we were ill-prepared for the several “rainy years” that followed.

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New Year’s Regrets Burn Away in Ecuador

My wife, Suzan, and I rarely know too far in advance where we’ll be for the holidays. We haven’t lived in the U.S. for a dozen years now, but around about September or October we start making the decisions about what to do for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year…whose family back in the States we’ll spend which holidays with…and which holidays, if any, we’ll spend by ourselves at home, wherever home happens to be at the time.

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The Spirit of Christmas in Ecuador

It is Christmas morning, and my wife Cynthia and I are celebrating the joyous occasion with our daughter’s family in New Jersey. Tomorrow we fly to North Carolina to do it all over again in the home of our son. When we moved to Cuenca, Ecuador three and a half years ago we had no grandchildren. In the space of 19 short months we experienced our own private “baby boom” and today we have three (and counting?).

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Small-Town Beach Life in Ecuador

Crucita is about 40 minutes north of Manta, Ecuador’s largest coastal city. But while Manta is big and busy and full of shopping and social opportunities, Crucita is the opposite. It’s a little fishing village with a produce market, a fish market, but no supermarket… You can get eggs, bread, beer, toilet paper, soap and other necessities of life at some of the local mom-and-pop shops, but for anything more exotic than that, you’ll need to go to Manta or the closer town of Portoviejo.

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“Beach Condo or City House in Ecuador? We Can Afford Both”

I’m typing this from the comfort of a lawn chair on the patio of my house in Quito. It’s early December and even though Quito is moving into winter, today is warm and sunny. Quito, Ecuador’s capital (a UNESCO World Heritage site), sits on the spine of the Andes nestled between two mountain ranges and several ice-capped volcanoes. The climate is mild, with high temperatures in the 70s and lows of around 50.

Bull Jumping and Cockroach Racing

Bull Jumping and Cockroach Racing

The devil masks worn for the Diablada de Pillaro (The Dance of the Devils) in Pillaro, Ecuador, have spawned a whole school of art. It’s well worth joining the thousands of onlookers to see the elaborate processions that take place each night from New Year’s Day to January 6. The feast of Edina Bronya, which essentially represents Christmas for the people of Ghana, in west Africa, falls this year on January 2.

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