Retiring in Ecuador
Retiring in Ecuador has many advantages. A warm, mild climate throughout the year, a low cost of living (at least two times lower than that of other industrialized nations), unparalleled landscapes and biodiversity, an efficient and affordable healthcare system, benefits for retirees and of course Ecuadorians’ hospitality make this Latin American country increasingly attractive for people from the Northern hemisphere looking to enjoy a second home under the sun, or to retire and relocate to this marvellous part of the world.
For six of the last nine years, International Living consistently ranked Ecuador the World’s best place to retire (the three other years it shared the top two or top three positions). According to the popular magazine, the categories where the country scores close to perfection are the low cost of properties, benefits and discounts, healthy lifestyle and climate.
Cost of properties
Where in the US or in Canada can you find a truly oceanfront, luxurious condominium for under $200k to enjoy your retirement?
As an example for that range of price, HolaEcuador offer luxurious beachfront properties in Ecuador, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, granite countertops, ceramic tile flooring, shower with ceramic surround walls and floor with glass door, floor-to-ceiling closet organizers, high ceilings, oversized windows, large balcony and semi-private infinity swimming pool, all this in a North American community with 24/7 controlled access, 12 kilometres (7 miles) of pristine beach, a large sports complex and many other amenities on site. How much would this type of property cost where you are living now?
This means that the country still remains a relatively well-kept secret. Properties are much more affordable than in similar tourist destinations, which is one of the main reasons that thousands of North Americans retire in Ecuador. Prices reflect what was available in Costa Rica 15 years ago, but in a country where first-rate and modern infrastructure is already in place.
Further, there are many aspects that are reassuring when buying a property to retire in Ecuador: the Ecuadorian government is stable, the currency is the US dollar and foreign property owners/investors enjoy the same rights and obligations as Ecuadorian citizens. They may hold Ecuadorian land titles and own outright the land and/or properties purchased from abroad. Please click here to learn more about buying a property in Ecuador.
Benefits and discounts
If you decide to retire in Ecuador, you will definitely be interested to know that when you are 65 and over, you enjoy the same benefits as Ecuadorian citizens. These are many interesting advantages:
- 50% discount on domestic flights
- 50% discount on public transportation
- 50% discount on public services (electricity, water, gasoline…)
- 50% discount on artistic, cultural and sporting events and shows
- Free land line telephone
- Refund of 12% on Goods and Services tax
- Priority in lineups to access a government service
According to many expats, retiring in Ecuador means getting away from their stressful, fast-paced daily routine; instead, slow down, live better and eat better. As a matter of fact, they report doing more with each dollar and taking time to enjoy life.
Depending on the region where you live, you might have noticed that prices for healthy food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood are often higher than that of less healthy food. In Ecuador, the prices for these products remain quite low compared to what we see in the Northern hemisphere, which encourages the consumption of locally produced, healthy food.
Public transportation and taxi services are well-developed and very accessible, while prices for vehicles are similar to those of North America. This may be why many retirees in Ecuador choose to settle in a location where most services and amenities are within walking distance, and everything else can be accessed by bus or taxi. In addition to long strolls on the beach, all this walking helps one stay fit!
Should you need to see a doctor, high-quality, affordable health care is available to visitors and residents alike at public and private clinics throughout Ecuador for only a fraction of the cost of equivalent care in the US. In the bigger cities, you’ll find hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as specialists in most fields. Many Ecuadorian doctors are trained in the US or in Europe and have top notch skills. We have received many positive comments from clients about the quality and speed of the service and the costs.
The climate is also a motivation for many people who choose to retire in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Pacific Coast has moderate temperatures year-round (25oC / 77oF on average), without the extreme wet seasons that are common to the tropics. The sunniest months in the areas we are developing (between Manta and Puerto Cayo) are generally from January to June, which is interesting because these months are also part of the rainy season that runs from December to April. From January to March, you can expect downpours, most often at night, alternating with magnificent blue skies. The rest of the year is relatively dry and a little cloudier, but the temperature is still very pleasant.
Ed Staton and the staff of International Living. Escape to Ecuador – Everything You Need to Know to Retire Better, Invest Well, and Enjoy the Good Life for Less. International living, 2014.