"Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming."
"Our new lives in Ecuador are better than we ever thought possible. We fall asleep to the lull of the waves and awake to a view of the sun reflecting off the blue Pacific…
"Because it costs so little to live here, we're actually saving more than we spend… And best of all, we're healthier than ever."
You, too, can have it all in Ecuador.
Dear International Living Reader,
"We took a walk on the malecon…the walkway along the beach. It was about 6 p.m., so the sun wasn't quite down yet and there was a red glow to the western skies. Although it was February and back on the eastern seaboard in the States it was icy cold, here in Salinas it was just below 80 degrees F, with a cool ocean breeze. The weekend tourists were all leaving, and the vendors were rolling up their canopies…
"There we were, strolling in the sand and water, watching a flock of pelicans glide by, when Rita suddenly turned to me with a look of wonder on her face and said, 'We live on the Pacific Ocean!'
"I knew what she meant. Sometimes we think we must be dreaming. A little over a year ago, we formally lived in Maryland…and the idea of living beside the ocean was an impossible dream. The Atlantic Coast of the U.S. can be very expensive, and the weather can sometimes be very rough. If we wanted to walk on the beach in February in the U.S., we would have to buy a multi-million-dollar home deep in southern Florida. We certainly didn't have that kind of money.
"So who would have thought we could not only live in a beachfront home, but that we would actually save money by moving there?
"Pinch me, because I must be dreaming. But the truth is, I'm not dreaming… Our new reality is that we're having the time of our lives here in Ecuador."
I'm Jackie Flynn. What you've just read is a note sent to me by Jim Santos, who has been living his dream life with his wife, Rita, in Ecuador.
As Jim says, his stroll on an Ecuadorian beach—in the middle of February—certainly isn't the only "pinch me" moment he and Rita have shared.
"We have the same 'we must be dreaming' feeling when we get our electric bill every month, and it's for less than $20," Jim says. "Or we go to pay our gas bill, and it is $6.11. Or we visit our local mercado and can barely carry back the overstuffed bags of vegetables we just bought for less than $10."
The thing is…stories like Jim's aren't unusual in Ecuador. Over and over again, I hear from International Living readers who are living in Ecuador…on the coast like Jim and Rita or in pretty colonial cities and villages in temperate Andes Mountains…and they're loving life and spending less money at the same time.
Best of all, as Jim reports, when you move to Ecuador you may find that you'll not only be happier than ever, but healthier than ever.
"I have Type II diabetes," he says, "and before I moved to Ecuador, my AIC number that reflects blood sugar levels was close to 8—well above the normal range. After we settled into our lives in Ecuador, we found ourselves taking long walks on the beach and to the mercado for our fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, eggs and seafood. The stress melted away. And when we returned to the States a few months later for a family visit, I stopped in to see my doctor.
"She ran some tests and then asked, 'What changes did we make in your medication since your last visit?' I told her we didn't "change" anything, I just moved to Ecuador. But I've now lost 50 pounds, my blood pressure reading was normal, and my A1C blood sugar reading was 5.7, well within in the normal range, so I was able to stop taking one of my diabetes medications.
"It was a very good feeling to have actual proof that we're not only living a happier, more affordable life, but also a healthier one here in Ecuador."
Jim and Rita Rescued Their Retirement in Ecuador… And You Can, Too.
I'm pleased to share the Santos's success story with you. They're happily retired and enjoying the good life in Salinas where they've been joined by a number of other expats from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and more…
As Jim will tell you, Ecuador has thrown out the welcome mat to foreign retirees—as well as to those not yet ready to retire who are going to Ecuador in search of opportunity. The slower pace of life and the real sense of community are attractive to everyone, including young families who are finding Ecuador a wonderful place to raise their children.
And it's not just the enchanting Pacific Coast that's attracting foreigners…but places like the bustling capital city of Quito…charming rural Vilcabamba and Cotacachi and other safe, small-towns…and the country's most popular expat destination of Cuenca… All these places and more are attracting their share of attention.
For instance, Donna Stiteler is living the good life in the gorgeous colonial city of Cuenca, in southern Ecuador's Andes Mountains. But not too long ago, shes been pushed to the limit by life in the U.S.
As Donna tells it:
"I was pushing the end of a career in fundraising, looking at a near-barren savings account, and with a monthly $1,700 Social Security check as my financial future. That's what my monthly check is after 40 years of work. And even with a paid-off home, I could see that I wouldn't be able to live on that amount during retirement. Like many retirees, I don't have a pension from work, and my savings were close to depleted.
"I could see that medical costs would soon exceed my house payment. That the cost of car insurance would dictate that I'd have to drive a 10-year-old car. That the sweltering 90-degree F summer heat, boosted by Florida's stifling humidity close to eight months of the year, would mean that I'd have to choose to stay cool and be poor (my bill averaged $300 in summer).
"And then one day," she says, "I woke up and realized…this life was sucking the breath out of me."
It was a February day in 2014, she says, when "I didn't want to live one more day held hostage to a life that was bleeding me financially and emotionally. I realized I no longer wanted to work for mortgages, cars, healthcare…"
Two months later, Donn was unloading five dogs and four bags of luggage into a three-story house she rented for $450 a month in Cuenca.
"I was only 59 years old," Donna says, but now "when I sit on my front porch, I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. I have landed firmly on my feet."
Today, she says, there is "enough monthly income to live an upper-middle class lifestyle. And while money isn't everything, having enough money to live on makes a huge difference in quality of life."
The goal, Donna says, was to fashion a life where she could live comfortably on a limited income. And that's exactly what she's done.
In a moment, I'll share a typical monthly budget for a couple living in Cuenca. It's the most popular destination in Ecuador for expats…a city that offers all the modern amenities and cultural activities you might want. But first…
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:
- Locals and expats alike are warm and welcoming, and the country is safe overall.
- Perfect weather year-round
- A U.S.-dollar-based economy
- Close to home (just a 4-hour flight from Miami)
- Quality medical care at one-fourth to one-tenth the costs of the U.S.
- Affordable private health insurance plans
- Seniors are treated respectfully (and offered welcome discounts)
- A couple can live well on $1,600 to $2,000 a month or less
- 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 and a perfect climate, deliciously healthy food, and the warmest, kindest, most generous people as neighbors.
Find out firsthand if Ecuador is right for you…with the best Ecuador experts holding your hand every step of the way.
International Living Fast Track Ecuador Conference
August 15-17 Swissotel Quito, Ecuador
Join us for this Fast Track Ecuador Conference—the only event International Living will host in Ecuador in 2019—and discover everything you need to know to help you decide if Ecuador is your ideal retirement or relocation destination…
You'll meet dozens of experts and expats and come away with all the knowledge and contacts necessary to make your move happen with confidence.
If you've read this far, I've got a feeling that you may have something in common with Jim and Rita Santos or Donna Stiteler or even with Joel Kaplan who moved to Ecuador with his wife, daughter, and young granddaughter to experience a "true foreign culture immersion."
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…you really should consider joining us in Quito in August—where you'll learn all about the benefits, cost-savings, opportunities, advantages (and yes, challenges) this country has to offer.
There are so many benefits to living in Ecuador, in fact, that I certainly can't go into all of them here. The low cost of living isn't the number one reason most expats in Ecuador give for living there. To a person, they credit the sweetness and kindness of the Ecuadorian people themselves.
"Ecuadorians are about the nicest people you'll find, says an expat friend who lives in the small charming village of Vilcabamba, "We live on a dirt road amongst the locals. They are some of the wealthiest people I know…they just don't have a lot of money, but they always have time to say hello."
Of course, many expats say the low cost of living is a huge benefit. Full-course meals (soup, an entrée of chicken or beef served with salad and rice, and dessert) for $3 or less—and that's with a fresh juice included! And with $3 haircuts, $1 beers, 25-cent bus rides, and $20 doctor's visits, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
And if you're worried that you'll miss your family and friends when you move to Ecuador, remember that with the money you save you can afford to go back for frequent visits…not to mention the low cost of hosting your visitors in Ecuador.
As one expat says, he and his wife expect to see their grandkids more because they've lowered their monthly expenses and they're no longer tied to jobs.
"If we were still working in the U.S.," he says, "we'd have three or four weeks of vacation a year and hope we had enough money to visit. Plus, our two children live in different states, so there's no way we could live near both of them simultaneously. Therefore some form of travel would always be necessary even if we still lived in the U.S."
So What Is The True Cost of Living in Ecuador? Here's the Tale of the Tape…
Of all the places in the world International Living covers, Ecuador ranks as one of the best values, hands down.
Your cost of living will depend on your personal needs, of course. If you buy imported goods at the upscale supermarkets, for instance, you'll spend more than if you shop at the farmer's markets. If you enjoy fine wines and spirits, you'll certainly spend more than someone who abstains from alcohol. And if you live at the beach, you'll probably want air conditioning for part of the year whereas in the highlands you won't need either heat or air conditioning.
Just to give you an idea, here is an average monthly budget for a couple living in Cuenca, one of Ecuador's largest cities:
|Rent (for a 3-bedroom / 3-bath apartment) :||$500|
|Groceries:||$450 (includes alcohol)|
|Transportation:||$40 (buses and taxis)|
|Housekeeper:||$75 (once a week)|
Use this budget chart as a guideline. Your expenses may be more…or less…depending on your lifestyle requirements. For example, if you have a car (most expats in Ecuador choose not to), you'll have maintenance and fuel costs. You may want to join a health club or travel often.
It's possible your actual budget may be even less than what's shown here—some landlords include internet and phone in the rent. You may not need DirectTV. Your grocery and dining out expenses may be less. A good rule of thumb is to budget about one-third to one-quarter of what you spend at home.
By the way, for a health plan, many expat couples of retirement age in Ecuador opt for coverage through Ecuador's social security system IESS, pay as little as $70 to $80 a month per person for this coverage. A hospital- or network-based private insurance policy can also be purchased and some expats that go this route report that they spend as little as $250 a month, total, for a couple.
So what should you budget for rent? In small towns like Vilcabamba, Cotacachi, or coastal Crucita, small furnished rentals start at about $250 a month. Larger homes and apartments will cost more. In Cuenca and more populated coastal locations such as Salinas, most expats report they spend $400 and up for a long-term furnished rental, with the average being about $450 to $500.
Why are costs so low in Ecuador? Good question. Maybe the answer is that in Ecuador, goods and services cost what they should cost—and they're overpriced elsewhere in the world.
Labor costs are low, too—the minimum wage in Ecuador for 2019 is $394 a month. That helps keeps all costs low, and it's why things like household help, lawn care, hair care and so on are so low. An hour-long massage: $30. A woman's haircut and style or manicure: $6. (More in upscale salons.)
And food in Ecuador commonly comes straight from the producer…fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive, although you'll pay more for fancy imported packaged items that you can get in the country's modern supermarkets.
Also, Ecuador is an oil-producing country, so gasoline and transportation costs are low. Vehicle gas is about $1.85 a gallon ($1.05 for diesel). A taxi ride in Quito or Cuenca typically costs no more than $5 anywhere in town.
For now, the government subsidizes propane costs, and a 14-lb. tank to heat your stove and water for a month costs just $3.50. (That's delivered to your door—it's $1.60 if you fetch it yourself.) Those prices are expected to slowly creep upwards in the coming years… but not by too much.
What about property taxes? Those are low, too.
Joel and Kathy Kaplan's home in Cotacachi consists of more than 1.25 acres in land and three homes—a 1,500-sq.-ft. two-bedroom home, a one-bedroom casita, and a small studio casita. Their property taxes are just $250 a year.
As you can see, it's easy to live affordably in Ecuador.
If you think about it… the average U.S. Social Security check for a retired worker is now about $1,461 a month. In Ecuador, that amount goes a long way toward covering your monthly expenses. If your spouse has a similar income, you may find yourselves with something left over each month.
By the way, Ecuador's official currency is the U.S. dollar – so you needn't worry about complicated currency calculations or exchange risks.
And real estate costs? They're among the lowest we've found anywhere in the world.
Beach Condos for $50,000… City Condos for $90,000… And a Four-Bedroom Mountain Hideaway for $85,000…
It's always best to rent before you buy. That's the best way to find out if a city or town is right for your lifestyle. But if and when you do decide to buy a home in Ecuador, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the prices.
Imagine… a brand-new two-bedroom/two-bath condo—with city views—for less than $90,000. A new hacienda-style home in the mountains for less than $140,000. A two-bedroom condo with views of the blue Pacific… just $99,000…
You can certainly pay more, but these aren't just the lowest prices…these are typical prices!
Briefly, here's what to expect when it comes to bargain real estate prices…
- Quito is Ecuador's capital and its second-largest city, located in the heart of the Andes Mountains. In its modern neighborhoods, you'll find trendy coffee shops, boutique hotels, modern shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, and state-of-the-art hospitals. You can find two- and three-bedroom condos in good neighborhoods for $90,000 or even less. Think about it…a modern condo in the heart of one of the world's most exciting cities at one-eighth the cost of a comparable apartment in midtown Manhattan or Chicago (and without the weather extremes.)
- "Old Town" Quito was the first-ever city to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1978, and you won't find more traditional Spanish colonial-style architecture anywhere outside Spain itself…massively thick walls, high ceilings and romantic balconies. Huge wooden doors open from the street to reveal interior courtyards with cobblestone floors, tastefully decorated with lush greenery and bright flowers. Many of these have now been renovated into shops, restaurants, offices, and condos. A 2-bedroom condo near the famous Quito Basilica is selling for just $39,000. Or go upscale all the way… A luxury 2-bedroom/2-bath apartment in the best location in Old Town, with gorgeous tile and wood floors and a stunning modern kitchen, is selling now for just $220,000.
- You may have heard of Vilcabamba…also in the Andes in what's known as the "Valley of Longevity" because so many of the locals reportedly live to a very old age. Expats who've moved to this healthy valley report that they feel better than ever…and couldn't be happier. If you think you'd like to have a small garden property, or even a farm, Vilcabamba is a great place to do that. Right now, for instance, with majestic mountain and river valley views and on nearly 2.5 acres of land perfect for planting and cultivating, a four-bedroom home is selling for just $85,000. You can build your own home on a nearly 4-acre property that's selling for $45,000. You'll have to bring in electricity here. Near the center of Vilcabamba itself, a gorgeous newly renovated 3-bed/4-bath home is on offer for just $105,000. And surely, you can spend more and get more…
- In quiet Cotacachi, the leather artisan village about two hours north of Quito, for just $69,000, you can buy a three-bedroom two-and-a-half bath condo in the heart of town—fully furnished. A modern 2-bedroom/2-bath fully furnished home with a lovely yard is selling for $98,000. $139,900 gets you a gorgeous 1,300-sq.-ft. hacienda-style home with breathtaking views of the mountains.
- At the beach, you'll find similar bargains. Near Salinas, arguably Ecuador's most popular coastal playground, you'll find a condo just a half block from the beach selling for just $50,000. Or how about a 3-bedroom luxury condo with two ocean-view balconies in a complex with a concierge/doorman—selling for just $99,000, fully furnished. You'll find bargains like this all along the coast, including in communities such as Olón, Crucita, and more…despite these places becoming increasingly popular with expats.
Important Note: In Ecuador, foreigners are afforded all the rights of citizens when it comes to property ownership. Still, things are done a bit differently than they are at home. You need to understand the intricacies of property ownership in Ecuador and know who to turn to for legal help in order to safeguard your investments.
There's so much information to share with you about Ecuador. And we'll do exactly that when you join us for the Fast Track Ecuador Conference in August.
Note: This is the first conference we've hosted in Ecuador since 2017 and I can't guarantee when we'll return. At this conference you'll meet the best, most reliable experts we know who can help you streamline your move to Ecuador. You'll meet dozens of expats, too, who will share their experiences and help you every step of the way. When you are ready to make your move, you'll have built-in, one-the-ground support and a network of friends ready to welcome you.
Cuenca: One of the Top Retirement Destinations in the World
About 275 miles south of Quito in the Andes, Cuenca is Ecuador's third-largest city, but its central historic district feels more like a small, charming old-world town, with tidy plazas, ancient churches, and cobblestone streets lined with tall colonial-era adobe-walled buildings transformed into small hotels, restaurants, and shops. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
But this city offers more than just aesthetic beauty…
- It shares Quito's year-round, spring-like weather, and for most people, the crisp mountain air is never too hot or too cold.
- Its infrastructure can't be beat, with drinkable tap water, good phone service, inexpensive high-speed internet, and a brand-new public transportation system. And culture? Restaurants and cafes are numerous and diverse, and orchestra performances in the colonial Teatro Sucre are free to all…plus you'll find modern malls and supermarkets where you can buy just about anything that you can get back home.
- Medical and dental care is excellent and inexpensive. At one local private hospital in Cuenca, expats report costs of just $30-$40 for an extended appointment with a specialist. There are three excellent teaching hospitals in Cuenca, by the way, and many other smaller medical facilities. Many offer their own private health plans.
- There's a thriving and energetic expat community…with as many as 6,000-8,000 full-time expats in Cuenca (in a total population of almost 350,000), you can truly mix into and experience another culture.
And Cuenca real estate prices? You'll be happy to know that even in Cuenca—the most desirable city in Ecuador for retirees—you can find bargain prices:
- In the historic center, a gorgeous luxury penthouse condo with fabulous views from the huge terrace can be had for just $136,000. It has lots of natural light, upscale finishes featuring polished wood floors…and it's conveniently located next to the Tomebamba River.
- Not far from the colonial center, in a newer area of the city popular with expats, you can pick up a brand-new 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with stainless steel kitchen appliances and granite countertops, gorgeous wood floors, and more for just $82,000. A brand-new modern-style freestanding home offers 1,900 square feet of living space, with 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms…and It's listed for just $115,000.
Still Not Sure Ecuador is Right For You? One Visit Can Help You Decide. And Here Are Two Critically Important Incentives: Low Health Care Costs And Political Stability.
In Ecuador's bigger cities, you'll find hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as specialists in all fields and physicians with private clinics. A visit to the doctor's office can cost just $25, with the fee to see a specialist costing as little as $35 to $40. (Smaller towns also have hospitals, but just as in the U.S. they aren't always outfitted with the latest technology.)
Name-brand medicines are typically much cheaper than in the U.S. Generics can cost a fraction as much and availability is good. One expat we know tells us that one monthly medication he needs costs more than $60 in the U.S. and less than $30 in Ecuador. In another case, a month's supply of a general blood pressure medication, for example, costs about $45 in the U.S. and less than $10 in Ecuador.
Dental work performed by highly skilled doctors is also widely available and inexpensive. Partial plates, for instance, can cost as little as $325, and a complete set of dentures as low as $900—including office visits, fittings, impressions, and lab work. In many dental offices, a cleaning is $30 or less while a filling costs $30.
And don't be afraid to have surgery here. Many specialists in Ecuador have trained in Europe or the U.S. and have top-notch skills—and costs can be one-fifth to one-tenth what you'd likely pay in the U.S.
Health insurance, too, is a bargain in Ecuador—a tiny fraction of what you'd pay in the U.S. Many foreign residents have chosen to join Ecuador's Social Security system. If you're of retirement age, a couple could pay less than $100 a month for this. You can also purchase an affordable private policy. In some cases, you won't pay more than $125 a month per person for a private policy!
What About Political Stability and Safety?
Ecuador is a peaceful country with a long-standing commitment to democracy. Traditionally a farming country, Ecuador's economy was transformed after the 1960s by the growth of industry and the discovery of oil. There was rapid growth and progress in health, education and housing that continues to this day.
By and large, the government gets high marks for infrastructure and commitments to social welfare.
As for safety, there are some "no-go" areas, primarily in jungle provinces, but overall—beyond typical petty theft—expats in Ecuador say they feel very safe.
As Jim Santos says, "I can honestly report that in all of that time, we have never felt unsafe or threatened in any way. Safety is a relative state of mind, but we actually feel safer—as in less stressed and more relaxed—in Ecuador than we do when visiting the U.S."
The Best Way to Find Out if Ecuador is Right for You? Join Us August 15-17 in Quito
At the Fast Track Ecuador Conference this August, we'll show you exactly how to live a comfortable, laid-back lifestyle in Ecuador…even on a very modest budget.
If you want to pursue your retirement dreams, retire even earlier than you thought you could, or just live a more luxurious life than you ever thought possible—then there's no better opportunity to gain access to so much expertise…in one place, at the same time.
Whether You're Retiring Or Buying a Second Home…Or Starting That New Life You've Always Dreamed Of…This Conference Will Deliver Exactly What You Need to Make It Happen
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. People like Joel Kaplan who lives in Cotacachi, Donna Stiteler from Cuenca, Jim Santos from Salinas, and others from all around the country.
- Discover the best places to live and buy or rent 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.
- Find out 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.
- Understand exactly which documents you need to qualify for residency and Ecuador's health care system…and where to bank, which of your household items you can bring, the best place to buy insurance, go for medical care, take a laidback low-cost holiday etc. etc. Hear it straight from the attorneys, professionals, and others who are guiding your fellow expats.
- Discover how to finance your lifestyle in Ecuador. A special presentation will guide you to moneymaking opportunities you probably haven't considered—and using skills and knowledge you already have…and with little (even 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.
To Discover the Real Ecuador, You Need Expert Guidance…and to Hear From People Like Yourself—Those Who Have Gone Before You.
Here are just a few of the people who make up our faculty for this groundbreaking conference. Remember: they're not just presenting their topics. One of the primary conference benefits is that they'll be available to spend time one-on-one discussing your own situation.
International Living's Dan Prescher will be your emcee for this conference. As special projects director and media spokesperson for International Living, no one is more qualified to talk about living overseas than Dan. He's traveled all over Latin America researching and writing about everything from deserted beaches to bustling world-class cities where life is good and costs are low. He and his wife, Suzan Haskins, are four-country expats and have lived full-time in Ecuador off and on over the past 18 years.
Born in Ireland, Margaret has spent her most of her adult life living outside her home country. She now resides in the Casco Viejo neighborhood of Panama City, Panama—and from there she travels extensively in here role as Managing Director for Pangaea, International Living's preferred real estate advertising partner. She's logged hundreds of thousands of miles scouting new properties, and new opportunities, off the beaten track.
Camila Moreno, legal counsel
Camila will bring you up to speed with the practical information you need to know if you're planning to retire, buy a property, or start up business. The firm she represents, Moreno di Donato, is one of the leading law firms in Ecuador when it comes to expat issues and more.
For nearly 40 years, Sandra—a native of Ecuador—has been working in the international shipping industry. She is your best resource for shipping your household goods, business supplies, pets, and more. She handles everything from import regulations, duties and taxes, to customs clearance, and unloading and unwrapping your goods at your home in Ecuador.
Winton is founder of the Barefoot Consultants, an international training and consulting company that helps clients make a living from anywhere in the world by tapping into their own skills and career experience. "By taking charge of their earning power, rather than waiting for governments, financial institutions and employers to 'right themselves,' the baby boomer generation now has the power and access to put their skills and abilities on the global market regardless of where they live or work now," he says.
Julieta is a born-and-raised Ecuadorian. As owner of Nuevo Mundo Expeditions, her family is one of the country's best-known when it comes to the travel and hospitality industry. Julieta will introduce you to Ecuador's best destinations… the well-known and the little-known… and she'll explain how to get there, where to stay, what to see, what to pay, and more. (The Nuevo Mundo team will also offer tours before and after the conference—you'll learn more when you receive your confirmation letter.)
As a writer/editor for International Living for more than a dozen years now, Suzan has traveled extensively in Latin America, searching for the world's best and most affordable lifestyle opportunities. She has lived in Quito, Ecuador; Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, Merida, Mexico; Panama City, Panama; and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. In Ecuador, she lived most recently in Cotacachi with her husband, Dan Prescher. She'll be on hand to talk about the challenges and rewards of the expat life in Ecuador and beyond.
In 2014, Donna gave up her high-stress job in Florida and moved to Cuenca, Ecuador with her husband, Rowland. There, she organized a women's group that raises funds for spay neuter programs, she teaches memoir writing to expats, she blogs about travel destinations, especially within Ecuador, and she wears the hat of International Living's Ecuador correspondent.
➜ Plus, a Special Colombia bonus session:
Ecuador's neighbor to the north, Colombia, is another very popular retirement spot. And at the Fast Track Ecuador Conference, you'll discover why, if Ecuador appeals to you, you might also want to take a look at Colombia.
Nancy Kiernan will be on hand to speak to you about Colombia.
In 2012, after a four-month adventure through Central and South America, Nancy left her role as CEO of a large private medical practice in Maine to retire to Medellin, Colombia. There, she teaches English to business executives, is co-owner of a small travel agency that specializes in cruises and introducing North Americans to Colombia, and serves as International Living's Colombia correspondent.
Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, it's possible the speakers may change. Other experts, however, will take their place covering the same topic.
You'll get firsthand information about:
- Residence visas—how to qualify and what your obligations are
- The ins and outs of buying property in Ecuador… buyer's and seller's obligations, property rights and estate laws, and more.
- Your healthcare options: How to qualify for Ecuador's private health plans, the IESS Social Security program, and how much you might expect to pay.
- Working or starting a business in Ecuador
- Learning Spanish for enjoyment and business.
- And much, much more…
This firsthand information is worth its weight in gold. Just think about it. How much would you pay to travel about Ecuador on your own, arranging appointments with legal experts, real estate professional, tax specialists, and expats who've been there, done that? But don't worry—you don't have to do this on your own, we've done the heavy lifting for you. All these experts will be at your service and under one roof in Quito.
We've got a full schedule planned for you, and yes, we're mixing business with pleasure.
After registration on Thursday, August 15, we'll have two hours of general sessions from approximately 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM to introduce you to some of our key experts and staff members. Then, we'll look forward to chatting with you at our special welcome cocktail party, held in the networking and exhibit hall to give you the opportunity to network and chat with the speakers, exhibitors, and your fellow attendees.
The networking and exhibit room will open bright and early at 8:15 AM on Friday, August 16. General sessions will kick off promptly at 9:00 AM and go until about 6:00 PM, followed by our always-exciting VIP event on Friday evening for Platinum Circle, Roundtable, Lifetime, Explorers Club, RETA and World Club members.
On Saturday, the networking room will open at 8:30 AM (it remains open all day) and sessions will run between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. You'll get more information in your confirmation letter and we'll send you a detailed schedule a week before the event.
On Saturday evening, we'll have our Farewell Cocktail Reception, and you'll be ready to do some firsthand exploring of Ecuador!
You'll discover everything you need to know about Ecuador, and in one of the country's most comfortable and beautiful settings…
We'll gather at the Swissotel Quito. Quito is one of the easiest cities to fly to in South America. It's just 4 hours from Miami and 5 hours from Houston. The direct flights are just one of the reasons we're holding our Fast Track Ecuador Conference in Quito.
The Swissotel offers luxury all the way. There are several excellent restaurants offering a wide variety of international cuisine: Japanese, Mediterranean, Ecuadorian—even a sports bar.
Your large contemporary suite is among the most lavish in the city, and the bathrooms feel like a suite of their own… You'll have all the state-of-the-art amenities…even your own steam bath, sauna, and Jacuzzi, if you choose.
This best-in-class hotel is the perfect place to relax between sessions…get a spa massage…swim in the luxurious heated pool… Best of all, it's conveniently located near Quito's La Mariscal area, with shops, restaurants, and nightlife all within a short walk.
If you're more interested in discovering some of Ecuador's history, Quito's celebrated Old Town is just a short taxi drive (no more than $5) away, with its narrow streets, markets, and 16th-century Spanish colonial architecture to explore within a short distance.
And keep in mind: although Quito is near the equator, it's elevation creates daytime temperatures that hover near 70 degrees year-round…a perfect Spring-like climate. It gets cooler in the evenings. So you'll want to pack a sweater if you like to stroll out after dark.
We hope you'll join us for our Fast Track Ecuador Conference, August 15-17 in Quito. We've negotiated an incredible group rate at the Swissotel for all of our conference guests. Your pre-tax hotel room charge will only be $137 per night for a single and $147 a night for a double—and that includes free internet and breakfast.
The conference runs for two-and-a-half days, but if you like, you can take advantage of this rate for three days before and after the conference, based on hotel availability. Come early or stay a few days after the event to explore this magical part of the world.
Do note, though, that only a limited number of rooms are available. Which is another reason you should quickly make your decision to attend.
You will get complete contact information for the hotel, including our special group hotel code, in your confirmation letter once you register for the event. We'll also include all related travel information, including special discount codes for airlines.
This Conference is a One-of-a-Kind Opportunity. The Depth, Breadth, and Diversity of Lifestyles in Ecuador Just Can't Be Found Anywhere Else…
You'll discover all sides of Ecuador from the lush green mountains to the dazzling beaches and everything in between. And you'll see for yourself how you can enjoy a very comfortable way of life, no matter your income.
Think about it. If you gather this information on your own, you'll spend thousands of dollars, and months of your time. Knock on doors, search the internet, sit in lawyers' offices, and hang out with real estate agents, it will be impossible to assemble the body of knowledge and contacts that we've pulled together for this conference.
Bob Dolha—who attended a previous International Living event in Quito, said "All of the speakers were excellent! I would highly recommend this conference to anyone who is planning to move overseas. Great job!"
And Steve Stamper, who also attended this event, said, "Great speakers, well prepared, good photo support, and good delivery, but most important; the information provided was right on track."
This Fast-Track Ecuador Conference is a good investment of time and money for anyone who's considering making a life in Ecuador…well worth every penny you'll pay to attend.
But here's one more important thing to consider:
Sign up for our Fast-Track Ecuador Conference and we'll send you via email one of the most valuable reports about Ecuador we've ever developed.
This special up-to-date report—The Five Top Ecuador Destinations Where You Can Live Better for Less—was created specifically to deliver actionable information and real examples about life in Ecuador. You already know that Ecuador is one of the best retirement destinations in Latin America…the most affordable overall and with some of the lowest real estate prices. But there are many communities to choose from, and unless you have unlimited funds you'll want to know as much as possible about each of them.
In this special report you'll discover more about some of the locations we've discussed here…the best highlands destinations: Quito, Cuenca, Vilcabamba, Cotacachi, and the Pacific Coast resort town of Salinas, along with a few more beach towns that may strike your fancy.
Why is this so important?
Because before even getting on the plane for Ecuador, you'll have studied each of the geographic areas, along with property examples and the different lifestyles you'll find there.
Once you get to the conference, you'll know exactly where to focus your energies in order to make the most of it. You'll know which regions interest you, and what the cost of living there is. You get a head start on getting the most out of your time at the conference.
And you'll have a pretty good idea of area you might want to explore after the conference.
The Five Top Ecuador Destinations Where You Can Live Better for Less will be rushed to you immediately when you sign up for the conference. It's an electronic report, so you can make the most of it before you head to Ecuador.
This valuable report is only available to Fast Track Ecuador Conference attendees. It will not be offered for sale.
Sign Up NOW For the International Living Fast-Track Ecuador Conference— Before the Early Bird Discount Cut-off Date—and SAVE.
The full price for this event is $1,195 ($795 for your guest). However, book before Wednesday July 17 and you'll be eligible for the Early Bird discount of $200 per person.
** This means that when you register before July 17, you'll only pay $995 to attend this event (your guest pays only $595).** An incredible bargain for two-and-a-half days of information-packed meetings, and access to well-informed and experienced contacts who are ready to share their firsthand experience.
And you're probably eligible for a further discount!
- International Living magazine subscribers get an additional $50 off
- Lifetime Society Members get an additional $150 off
- Platinum Circle, Publishers' Roundtable members and Real Estate Trend Alert Members get an additional $200 off
- Explorers Club and World Club members attend FREE
If you’re not an International Living subscriber or VIP member, and you’d like to become one before the conference, or you’d like to find out more, please call Jillian Revels at 1-866-381-8446 or contact her online at http://intliving.com/contactevents.
The entry price includes:
- All presentations
- Formal and informal Q&A sessions
- Introductions to reliable business contacts, fellow expats, real estate experts, and professional legal resources
- Coffee breaks and snacks, and welcome and farewell cocktail receptions
- Conference materials, notebooks, and handouts
- Video recordings of all conference presentations
And of course our special report, The Five Top Ecuador Destinations Where You Can Live Better for Less.
Registration is easy, via any one of the following methods:
- Call toll free, 1-866-381-8446 to speak to one of our conference team members, who can take your order and answer any questions you have; contact us online at http://intliving.com/contactevents, and we’ll take it from there;
- Or go ahead and register now via our secure, online order form.
Note: You’ll receive information about hotel reservations and rates, getting to Ecuador, and more in the confirmation letter you’ll receive after you register for the conference.
We expect this conference to sell out quickly so ACT NOW.
Remember, this is our only conference in Ecuador in 2019, and we’re not sure when we’ll host another one. We expect this event will be very popular. We urge you to sign up soon to guarantee yourself a seat.
Please take a moment to register now, using our secure online order form. (Hotel and travel information details are available in your confirmation letter.)
This is your best chance to fulfill your dreams in Ecuador, whether it’s to:
- Enjoy a comfortable, secure retirement, own a second home in a warm, sunny climate, start that business you’ve been dreaming about, or
- Learn more about one of the world’s lowest-cost-of-entry real estate markets
This conference will provide the content to fit your needs. And don’t forget to take advantage of the Early Bird discount that expires on July 17, 2019. That date will come up fast. After that, prices will jump $200 for any seats that remain.
Join us in August for an in-depth look at Ecuador and an experience that may change your life forever.
Don’t leave it until the last minute to get the discounted pricing—if you do, you may miss out. Please register now, using our secure online order form or call 1-866-381-8446 (toll free from the U.S. or Canada) or +1-410-622-3040 today, to lock in your place at the conference.
Publisher, International Living
P. S It’s been two years since we hosted a conference in Ecuador and it’s likely this conference could sell out before the Early Bird deadline. If you’re interested in discovering this opportunity-rich country, and how living there can change your life for the better, please don’t run the risk of being shut out. Register Now.
Please take a minute to sign up now, or call 1-866- 381-8446 (toll free in the U.S. and Canada) or contact us at http://intliving.com/contactevents.
Here are comments from attendees of our most recent 2017 Ecuador conference:
"After attending this conference my husband and I are confident we can afford to make the move to Ecuador and in fact have already set our targeted move date." —Dawn Campbell
"I have been to a few on these events in the past, IL has got it dialed in, good as always." —Jim Anderson
"Just what was looking for. A lot of information without bias. Was a little afraid that was going to hear a lot of sales pitches but to my relief that did not happen. Very good information, just what was looking for." —William Mack
"I liked how the areas were grouped together geographically so that the coastal speakers spoke and then the southern area speakers spoke and so on. Thank you for being time conscientious. As always IL does a great job putting on these conferences and giving us the knowledge we need to make our dreams come true." —Steve Crumley
"I received all the information that I came to the conference for." —Dana Drew
"Face time is too important to even mention!" —Kep & Erin Vadnais
"I left the conference feeling very good. I was very impressed with all the speakers that I heard. Each gave very clear, and in depth information on the topic they were sharing. It was good to hear from a variety of people including lawyers, doctors, vets, business owners and many more. Thank you International Living! You truly are a group of people working to better the lives of all who seek a more enriched existence." —Eleanore H.