Escape the Economic Storm Clouds with Life in Ecuador

2008 was a very tough year for my wife and me. At the time, we were living the good life in Las Vegas—big home, high-paying jobs, investments that were propelling us toward our retirement goals.

Then what I refer to as the “Economic Tsunami” hit, and we were among the many casualties of that global financial meltdown. When we both found ourselves downsized, we naively thought, “No problem. With our skillsets we’ll have no trouble finding another great job.”

Wrong. After months of searching we managed to land mindless work for substandard wages.

Then Cynthia was laid off again and we said, “Enough is enough.”

Rather than continue what felt like a losing battle, we decided that our best option was to retire earlier than we had planned, take the assets we had left, and move overseas. But where?

You won’t be surprised that we turned to International Living for guidance. There we discovered a place we’d never heard of (and honestly didn’t even know how to pronounce) in a country we knew next to nothing about—Cuenca, Ecuador.

Cuenca seemed to have everything we were looking for—a low cost of living, ideal weather, high quality medical care, and close proximity to the U.S. Plus it appeared to be a lovely colonial city where we could enjoy a pedestrian lifestyle.

With low costs, high quality medical care, and ideal weather, Cuenca, Ecuador is an ideal expat destination. 

We immediately booked a look-see trip and, finding no red flags that would change our minds, returned home and spent the next year getting our affairs in order. Over four-and-a-half years ago, we got off a plane to begin a new life in Cuenca.

I’m happy to share with you that our bold adventure has exceeded all expectations. We reside in a gorgeous two-story penthouse apartment that is a 15-minute walk from almost everything we need. We have more wonderful friends than we could have ever imagined. The health care is indeed outstanding even though the costs are amazingly low.

Can you believe that our monthly budget for a lifestyle even better than we enjoyed in the States is less than $2,000 per month?

Perhaps you’re in a situation like we were—looking out at the horizon of your financial future and seeing storm clouds gathering. I know unsolicited advice is usually worth what you pay for it, but please take this from someone who has walked in your moccasins.

If it’s not working out, for goodness sake, consider doing something different!

How interesting it is that sometimes the events that seem so catastrophic in the moment turn out to be incredible blessings over time. My wife and I feared that we were ruined, and we would have been if we kept on keeping on. Instead we made a firm decision to do something different and have never been happier. The same can be true for you.

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