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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Cuenca, Ecuador

Mar 09, 2015

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Cuenca, Ecuador

A retiree in Cuenca, Ecuador talks about why he chose Cuenca as his retirement destination. He enjoys the low cost of living in Ecuador, beautiful scenery, Cuenca's affordable restaurants, quality medical care and more.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Why did you choose to retire abroad?

Affordable quality lifestyle

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

Retired all year

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

After researching several countries Ecuador turned out to be the most affordable for me with great medical and quality of living!

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

Yes I lived in mexico for ten years but could not afford to retire there.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

Three years

How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?


What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

Learning Spanish

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Making friends with Ecuadorians and the great choice of year around fresh vegetables and fruits.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

I think I did all the research I needed and am still happy with my decision to move to Cuenca.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

Many expat activities in Cuenca and great affordable restaurants. Beautiful scenery and lots of great places to visit in the Andes and the beaches.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

Proof of at least $800 a month income, FBI and local police report, birth certificate and if applies divorce papers or marriage certificate. All need to be notarized and apostle stamped. You can hire a lawyer or do it yourself at the local Immigration office here takes about 3 months to receive your residency card good for ten years. I have a blog about the process: AAA Living in Cuenca gas2335.blogspot.com or book available on amazon: Why Ecuador for me.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

I rent a two bedroom, two bathroom condo on the 11th floor on the Rio Tomebamba. 24-hour security guards, underground parking I pay $300 a month for rent, gas $8, water $10, cable $52, internet $34 and security is $50.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

I live on about $1000 a month as a single guy. Of course what you spend will depend on your lifestyle.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

Choosing the lifestyle that is affordable to you, I have friends that live on $5000 a month but they have higher cost accommodations and travel a lot, eat our often etc.

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

One thousand a month for a single and $1500 for a couple.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

Your choice of the free hospital or higher cost facilities. Also qualify for the Social Security hospital here 100% coverage for $72 a month.

Retiring in Ecuador? Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Sponsored by CIGNA.

Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

Not a lot of crime in Cuenca but people need to us common since living here as they would in any city.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

Buses are 25c, taxi's around the city around $3 I just purchased a car which is costly here but gas is just $1.46 a gallon. Great bus and van services around the country a reasonable costs.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

We have internet not to speedy but will improve very soon.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

It is not for everyone, if you have not traveled outside your country you should check it out before moving. Many expats move here and after 6 months to a year many go back to the US! Many might miss family or just can't adjust to a non- English speaking country. My blog offers a good idea of live here: google: AAA Living in Cuenca or my book Why Ecuador for me is available on kindle through amazon.com

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Comments about this Report

Mar 23, 2015 10:30

You forgot to mention for a single man there are 'chongos' where a woman can be had for $10 for a quickie, which is nice because the normal Ecuadorian women are difficult to know.

Apr 7, 2015 23:21

thank for the insight on Ecuador a friend and I are considering a move to Ecuadro thank you steve

Apr 7, 2015 23:24

what is the weather like hot and humid or mild don't care for high humidity

Sep 7, 2015 00:43

what advice would u give a single woman, moving to Ecuador? 2nd do many people there speak English? Thank you Johanna

Oct 26, 2015 10:13

Read his book: good primer and an easy read; $5 on Kindle. May need updating as Ecuador changes laws frequently. Weather in Cuenca could be an issue for some.

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