Where do you envision yourself when you think of retirement? If you’re like most folks, at some point you’ve probably daydreamed of spending your post-work years in a city full of culture, art, and history. A place where you could spend the morning strolling through carefully restored centuries-old buildings while gazing at their beauty. Every so often you’d stop to admire a grand cathedral or a stone-block church built in the Gothic style of architecture.
Lunch would be had al fresco at a little cafe where you could sample the local fare while being serenaded by passing street musicians. A relaxing afternoon at home would restore your energy for a night out at the symphony, followed by a late dinner at your choice of five-star restaurants serving international cuisine.
Sounds nice doesn’t it? But for most of us a life like this is an unaffordable pipe dream. Living large in Paris, Rome, or London would be far out of our economic reach for many. But if you adjust your retirement compass from east to south, you’ll find that such a life can be had at a very reasonable cost in Quito, Ecuador.
This city of over two million people has something for everyone. Art galleries, science museums, botanical gardens, fine restaurants, and all manner of performing arts. But living here and taking advantage of these amenities costs a mere fraction of what it would elsewhere.
Many musical events, including symphony performances are free of charge as is the Museum of Modern Art. At an upscale Indian restaurant, $20 will get you an appetizer, entree, glass of wine, and dessert. And taking in all of the architectural eye candy in Quito’s Old Town (the first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site) will only cost you a bit of shoe leather and energy as you walk by.
The cost of living is low here too with cheap and plentiful public transportation, utilities that run under $100 monthly for electric, water, and propane gas, and such a wide array of locally produced foods that you can fill a large grocery bag full of produce for just $5 or $6.
There are good deals to be had on real estate too…if you know where to look. Currently there is a completely furnished three-bedroom condo for sale at $75,000. The building is located right on Old Town’s famous La Ronda street where it is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and nightlife. If you buy here, you would be right in the midst of 500-year-old structures, the Presidential Palace, and some of the city’s best events including the massive annual Good Friday procession.
Or you can choose to sip your morning coffee (Ecuadorian-grown of course) on the balcony of your own condo in the city’s coveted Quito Tenis neighborhood. There is a two-bedroom, two-bath unit available for $148,000 close to several parks and a large shopping mall. This is a great price for a space in one of Quito’s wealthiest neighborhoods and it comes with a parking space for your vehicle if you choose to own one.
If you’ve got a bigger budget you can hop a few streets over and pick up a nice three-bedroom, three-bathroom unit with laminate floors, granite countertops, and a spacious living room. The building comes with an outdoor garden area and elevator access. I found one that can be all yours for $230,000.
So don’t give up on your dreams of a relaxing, fulfilling, culture-filled life. Turn your attention to the equator and see what kind of lifestyle Ecuador can offer you.
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