The Low Cost of Living in Ecuador

“I get those articles and letters from International Living…you know the ones…the ones that say you can live in Ecuador like royalty on less than $700 a month…and I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t believe everything you read.”

When John Curran says this, I sense more than a few eyes turning my way. I wrote one of those articles, you see…about a couple who lives in a small town in the Ecuadorian Andes. They report that their monthly expenses amount to less than $700 a month.

I’m waiting to see where John Curran is going with this. Will he call me out? And then he delivers a bombshell.

“Well,” he says, “Sue and I live on $500 a month.”

Seriously? $500 a month to live in one of Ecuador’s most popular destinations?

John explains exactly how he and his partner, Sue, do it.

They live in Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador. Known as the Valley of Longevity because it’s such a healthy, stress-free place that residents commonly live to be 100 or more, you gotta figure it’s a very good thing that living there costs so little. John and Sue, who are right around 50 and have been retired for more than four years now, have a very long life ahead of them.

But that’s why they’re in Ecuador, John says. “We’re not wealthy. We were teachers.” And while education has its rewards, John says, “money isn’t one of them.”

But being teachers, John and Sue knew that if they did their homework and made smart choices, they could retire and live the kind of lives they really wanted to live.

The smartest choice of all was to move to Ecuador.

In Ecuador, the weather is so perfect you don’t need heat or air conditioning (even at the beach, except on the hottest days)—which means low utility costs. And property taxes are pocket change.

Health Care, Taxes, Food: Prices in Ecuador

A new valuation system caused property taxes to rise more than 500% this year, John says. For his nearly 1.5-acre property with home and guesthouse he paid a whopping $62.60!

Medical costs are ridiculously low, too. After a nasty fall from a horse that necessitated quick local care and then an ambulance ride to a hospital an hour away, where she spent three nights in a private hospital room with a CAT scan, X-rays, lab tests and so on, Sue’s total bill was less than $800.

Food costs are practically nil since John and Sue eat fresh-off-the-vine produce from their garden and sweet, juicy fruit from the dozens of fruit trees—banana, papaya, plantains, lime, lemon, orange, mandarin, and more—that grow on their small property on the edge of town. Occasionally they go out for a beer. (A frosty cold and delicious 22-oz. Pilsener is just 75 cents in stores…$1.25 in most small mom-and-pop restaurants where you’ll commonly pay just $2 for a delicious home-made meal.)

Oh, I could go on and on…but I am done defending Ecuador. Because expats like John Curran are doing it for me. And now you can hear it directly from them…

I’m Suzan Haskins and I’m writing to you from Quito, Ecuador, where the International Living Live and Invest in Ecuador Seminar has just begun. I’m back in my room after the first day’s general session and a get-acquainted cocktail party where the conversation was flowing as freely as the wine and beer.

Everyone I spoke with wanted to know four things:

1. Is the cost of living in Ecuador really as low as we say it is?

2. Are home and apartment prices really amongst the lowest in the world?

3. Is the health care really world-class?

4. Are North Americans welcomed here?

Yes, yes, yes and YES! Those are the answers as we learned today.

Conference emcee and International Living editor (and my husband) Dan Prescher personally attests to the quality health care available in Ecuador. A few weeks ago he suffered a serious detachment of the retina of his right eye. Within a day of seeing an English-speaking ophthalmologist (trained at UCLA) he underwent a vitrectomy performed by a truly world-class board-certified surgeon, just back from presenting his research at a major medical conference in Orlando.

And the cost? Dan figures here in Quito he paid less than half what this surgery would have cost in the States.

What about real estate costs? Today we learned that in its annual International Home Price Comparison Index, global real estate giant Coldwell Banker has named Ecuador as the lowest-priced real estate market in the world for the past several years. Surprisingly enough, the least-expensive market is the beach resort town of Salinas…where fancy high-rise condos overlook the beautiful blue Pacific and the average selling price is just $75,000.

It’s so inexpensive to live in Ecuador, in fact, that you really can have it all. Expats Ron and Terresa Moore (who suffered retirement nest egg meltdown in 2008) are neighbors of ours.

(Yes, Dan and I have also bought into the joys and affordability of living in Ecuador.)

Ron and Terresa are now the happy owners of two spacious condos…one in the peaceful Andean village of Cotacachi and other smack dab on the beach in the Pacific coast beach town of Crucita. And for both of these they paid less than $114,000—that’s TOTAL!

Here’s How You Can Learn Firsthand What We’re Learning About Ecuador

This is an energetic, information-packed conference. And it’s only just begun. There are still two full days ahead of expert speakers, expat insights, and invaluable information.

This afternoon, Ecuador attorney Dr. Roberto Moreno took the stage to explain the requirements to obtain legal residency in Ecuador. There have been some changes lately so it was important to get these updated details.

You can qualify for a standard retirement visa, he said, on as little as $800/month income. He also shared a little-used strategy that may be the least-costly yet easiest way to obtain a residency visa. And it doesn’t require a property investment, a bank deposit, or anything else that requires big bucks. Valuable information that I doubt you’ll find anywhere on websites or Internet forums.

By the way, did you know that you can get an Ecuadorian passport with as little as three years of residency?

So much notable (and new) information about Ecuador was shared today. And of course I want to share it all with you. But there’s just far too much to here.

So take note: here’s how get every bit of the important information from the International Living Live and Invest in Ecuador Seminar…our first conference in a long time dedicated solely to Ecuador—the country that’s earned the #1 spot on International Living’s Global Retirement Index.

You can have all the most important information and benefits from this event …

All of the things we’re learning here… how to find the very best place to live in this country, depending on your interests and budget needs… where to find the best real estate deals… how much to pay, how to ensure that your property is properly deeded and your purchase is secure…how to qualify for the Ecuadorian health care system…the best residency visas for your particular situation…what to do about your ongoing tax obligations back home…how to quickly and easily earn a living here…

By the way, today we had Travis Murphy from the U.S. Embassy and Jane Aboud, the Canadian Consul, here to speak with us and explain the services available from the embassies to their citizens living in Ecuador. Travis says that more than 30,000 Americans currently live in Ecuador.

Did you know you can get your Social Security and other pension checks automatically deposited into your Ecuadorian bank account should you decide to make the move here? The Embassy can provide details about that as well as how to vote from abroad and more.

Like I said, I can’t possibly scribble down all these details here. Besides, some new friends are waiting for me downstairs—we’re off to a fancy Peruvian restaurant for dinner. (The food here in Ecuador is fantastic…and not at all expensive, even at the ritziest places.)

Before I dash off, let me tell you how to get your hands on the information being shared at this seminar—the countless pointers, tips and contact info that you can use right away…

We’re putting together a complete package of nearly everything that’s happening at this International Living Live and Invest in Ecuador Seminar. We’re making audio recordings of all 35 of the presentations.

We’re also making copies of the seminar workbook, PowerPoint and visual presentations. And you get the complete dossier we give to each attendee when they showed up here in Quito. Everything but a cerveza Pilsener and a quimbolito. (And if we could figure out how to send you those treats, we would!)

We call it our Fast Track Ecuador Package. And we guarantee it will show you how to fast track your plans of moving to…or investing in… Ecuador, our #1 retirement destination.

The full price to attend this sold-out exclusive event was $1,095—but you can secure yourself a copy of the Fast Track Ecuador Package for only $199… a mere fraction of what attendees paid to join us here in Quito.

To sweeten the deal, we’re throwing in a $100 voucher toward the next International Living Live and Invest in Ecuador Seminar. Use it to attend next year’s live program (or any future event or seminar you may be interested in).

But this is a limited time offer only.

Once the Fast Track Ecuador Package is available for download and the initial orders have been placed, we’ll increase the price to $349.

The discounted price includes:

  • Audio recordings of all our Ecuador experts’ presentations
  • Copies of the seminar workbook and PowerPoint presentations
  • Plus we’ll send you a free special bonus report, titled: Modern, Affordable Ecuador: Six Destinations Worth a Look (This report is only available to conference attendees and to you…when you order the Fast Track Ecuador Package.) We created this report specifically to deliver actionable information and real examples about life in Ecuador and the best destinations for expats to consider.
  • And remember, you’ll also receive a $100 voucher toward any of our future conferences anywhere, any time. There is no expiration date on this voucher!

Reserve your copy today by completing our secure online form and save $150 on the Fast Track Ecuador Package.

Reserve Your Recordings Here.

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