I feel so spoiled and fortunate to live here,” says Tracey Krause of her life in Cotacachi, Ecuador. “There’s a real gentleness of life; it’s just beautiful in the mountains, and I love the weather.”
Six years ago, the consensus among my friends and family was that I had lost my mind. For them, trying to understand why my husband David and I, would move our two young sons from a rural spot in the Rocky Mountains to a small...
If you're like most retirees, you dream of spending your golden years in a peaceful and relaxing place with a beautiful setting. No more days spent rushing to the office or battling gridlocked traffic. You won't want to worry about sweltering summer days that keep you wrapped up tight in your air-conditioned house.
“I’m in better shape now than I’ve been in many years,” says Warren Sklar, reflecting on his new life in Ecuador. “I was 140 pounds heavier, I was having a very difficult time controlling my blood pressure with three medications, and my diabetes was pretty much out of control… If I had stayed in the U.S., I’d be dead now.”
If you had only $1,200 of monthly retirement income to live on, could you do it? Could you pay your mortgage or rent and all of your utilities? Would you have funds left over for groceries and basic living essentials? Could you still pay for fuel and car insurance?
Ecuador has long appealed to expats and we have a solid group of international residents scattered throughout the nation. The family that lives next door to me hails from Australia. I buy my hearty European-style bread from a German fellow. And my family and I rented our first apartment from a woman from Spain.
As a child, I dreamed of living on a farm. I wasn't much interested in tractors and combine harvesters, but the thought of a life that revolved around animals thrilled me. Alas, my parents both grew up on farms in the Midwest and had no interest in running one of their own.
I'm going to let you in on a secret. There exists a beautiful, small city full of friendly locals, lovely buildings, and interesting parks. Its climate is akin to the southern coast of California with comfortably warm summer days and only an occasional need for a sweatshirt in the winter.
Kristin Simmon-Lowman has found she can live her life just as she desires in Ecuador. "I'm a routine person," she says. "I spend eight hours a week taking Spanish lessons and that's something I enjoy a lot. Also, I teach English twice a week to 11- and 12-year-olds through a local education program, Uno a Uno," she says.
When I came to Ecuador five years ago, deciding where exactly to settle down was the dilemma that my family and I faced. Eventually we landed on Cotacachi and we feel we've found that sweet spot of locales. Here's why.