“Who remembers the economic tsunami of 2008?” Edd Staton asked.
“Well, that’s how we got here. Before 2008, we had great jobs and were pulling down good money. Our retirement account was growing steadily and we had big plans for our retirement…which we thought was a long ways off…”
As Edd tells it, he and his wife Cynthia had enjoyed long successful careers. But then came the recession. Edd and Cynthia were both “downsized” and were working in sales jobs in Las Vegas when Cynthia was downsized for the second time.
Enough is enough, they decided. It was time to stop putting life on hold and time to start living it.
“We saw the value of our savings plunge just as we were nearing retirement age. Rather than remain in the States and continue to work for too many more years trying to correct this problem, we made the decision to relocate so we could retire and enjoy the rest of our lives,” Edd says.
And by the way, Cynthia adds, “We’re very aware that these are the best years we have left. We want to enjoy every year…every minute.”
Edd and Cynthia decided that they weren’t willing to sacrifice the retirement lifestyle they’d always dreamed of. But in order to “rescue” their retirement years, they’d need to move to a place with a far lower cost of living. After lots of research (and yes, soul searching, too), they decided on Ecuador.
It’s a tale with a classic storybook outcome. Drawn by the fact that Ecuador is close to the U.S. (just a four-hour flight from Miami), has near-perfect weather and a substantially lower cost of living, Edd and Cynthia found their way to the southern Ecuador city of Cuenca.
Before they left the States, Edd says, most of their friends didn’t understand their decision. They asked him, “What are you going to do there?”
The short answer, he says, was, “Within reason, whatever I want to do.”
Fortunately, in Ecuador, Edd and Cynthia no longer have to worry about having enough money to do the things they want to do.
“We can live forever on our savings and small income here,” Edd says. “And all of a sudden we have more social engagements and we’re having more fun than we’ve ever had in our lives.”
This wasn’t the only story like this we heard today….
I’m Suzan Haskins, reporting from the 2014 International Living Fast-Track Ecuador: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference in Quito. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in a lot of countries over the last several years but this one is remarkably different.
If there is any topic that has to do with living and investing anywhere within a few degrees of latitude 0 and longitude 77W, it’s been on our agenda. (By the way, this is the only International Living conference devoted solely to Ecuador and the only conference International Living will hold in Ecuador this year.)
Truth is, Ecuador is a small country, but it’s HUGE with what it has to offer…from golden palm-lined (and largely deserted) beaches to tranquil, rural living in places like Cotacachi and Vilcabamba to modern city living in sophisticated cities like Quito and Cuenca, both of which have historic centers that are UNESCO World Heritage sites. (Imagine living next to a centuries-old Spanish-colonial church or home once occupied by the likes of Simon Bolivar.)
In Ecuador, you can have it all, as I mentioned yesterday…and if you ask me, that’s kind of the unofficial theme of this conference.
Here’s just some of what we learned today (and keep reading to learn how you, too, can tune in and hear it all):
- We’ve not only been discussing the most popular expat destinations in Ecuador, but some emerging destinations as well. (Some that you won’t hear about practically anywhere else, I’m guessing.) What makes for a perfect destination? We’ve been hearing from expat after expat who live in various places in the country. We’ve drilled down and learned firsthand what these places are like, what amenities (medical care and more) are available, what the locals (and fellow expats) are like, how much it costs to live there…
- Global real estate expert Margaret Summerfield shined the spotlight on how to avoid the most common mistakes foreign property buyers make. (That’s us, folks…but it doesn’t have to be.) Today we got some hard-won tips and advice. Eleven of them. Do not miss these if you ever might consider buying property in Ecuador.
- Ecuador attorney Dr. Roberto Moreno explained how to legally structure your property purchase in Ecuador (it’s absolutely safe, but the legal system here is different than you’re used to, so these are need-to-know tips). He recently helped a foreign tourist obtain a mortgage loan using the property as collateral—that’s a big deal and an important thing to know about!
- Expat Wendy DeChambeau shared her family’s experiences moving young children to Ecuador. How did she and her husband help them integrate into the culture? What about language issues? Education? Health care? Truthfully, the insights Wendy shared are pertinent to all of us, children or not.
Plus, we heard from language experts and tax experts… (You can never escape Uncle Sam…but you can put some distance between you with a move to Ecuador.)
Health care and health insurance is a big concern for anyone these days…at home or overseas. There are several options in Ecuador, including paying out of pocket (costs are that low…one-tenth the cost of the States in some cases), joining the public system, or obtaining a hospital-based or private plan. Health insurance expert Maria Jose Hernandez explained all the options and associated costs of health insurance…how to qualify, how much you’ll pay, and what you’ll get in return…
And we lived vicariously through expats living in Quito, Cuenca, and in two separate beach locations. Hearing the stories of others who have successfully restarted their lives and rescued their retirement dreams by moving to Ecuador is one of the biggest benefits of this conference.
These expats are generously sharing their experiences here, both good and bad. Not one of them has anything to gain financially by doing this… They purely want to help you do what they’ve done here in Ecuador: find happiness, security, adventure, and a real sense of community.
There’s much, much more I’d like to share with you. But there’s just far, far too much to jot down all the details now. (And like I said, there’s another full day ahead and more to come tomorrow.)
But…there’s a way that you can get every bit of the important information from the International Living Fast-Track Ecuador Conference…
How Can You Get Your Hands On These Tips and Secrets?
You can have all the most important information and benefits from this event…
All of the things we’re learning here…where to find the best deals on rental properties…where to find the rentals, for that matter…how to analyze and compare real estate prices…where the best medical facilities are… I wish you could hear Attila Gyuris’s take on Ecuador and especially Quito, the gorgeous colonial city that’s been called “the most beautiful city in South America.”
And of course, we took a virtual trip to Cuenca, thanks to Edd and Cynthia Staton who shared their inspirational story. “We’ve never looked back,” Edd says. “In fact, our future looks pretty rosy. And if you’re looking for a way to save your retirement…in the most beautiful and friendly place possible, I’d invite you to look at Cuenca.”
Like I said, this has been an action-packed conference. We’ve been privy to countless pointers, tips, and contact info (so very important) that you can use right away…
And we want to get this information into your hands as quickly as possible. So we’re putting together a complete package of everything that’s happening at this event. We’re making audio recordings of all the presentations.
We’re also making copies of the conference workbook, PowerPoint and visual presentations.
We’re including the complete information packet we give to all the attendees when they showed up here in Quito.
We call it our 2014 Fast-Track Ecuador Package. And we guarantee it will help you fast track your plans of moving to…or investing in…one of the top retirement destinations in the world—Ecuador.
You’ll find out…
How to navigate residence issues, where the country’s most temperate climates are found, how to structure a real estate purchase here—and importantly, what the going prices are now, thanks to market corrections driven by the worldwide recession.
You’ll learn what to look for and what to look out for when appraising Ecuadorian real estate investments…
You’ll learn where to find the best doctors, lawyers, and other service providers… If you move here or buy property here, you’ll learn what your tax obligations will be—both in Ecuador and at home…
…and I’m just getting started here…
This conference is providing countless pointers, tips, and contact information for key contacts we trust—all of which you can use right away…
Editor’s Note: Learn more about Ecuador and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter. Sign up for IL’s free daily postcards here and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT – Ecuador: Live Like Royalty on Your Social Security.