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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Cuenca, Ecuador

Feb 04, 2019


Cuenca, Ecuador

A retiree talks about what it's like living in Cuenca, Ecuador - she enjoys the slower pace of living, lower cost of living, climate and that she has friends from all over the world.

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

Cuenca

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

I like New Mexico, but it was becoming clear to me that life in the US on my Social Security was no longer feasible. I speak Spanish, am a retired behavioral health therapist & really like Cuenca, Ecuador.

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

Most of the year

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

I love Ecuador, its people, the culture, the slower pace of living & the climate and weather. I know folks from the US, Canada, Ecuador, Venezuela, Italy (where I grew up), Peru, Colombia, India, Sri Lanka, Israel and other places. I am never bored and there is always something interesting to do. The cost of living is very low and I eat out in great restaurants almost every day.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

Yes--in Mexico, India, Canada & Israel.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

Since July 2018 or almost eight months.

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

0 -- I only turned 65 in May, 2018.

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

I am not crazy about the constantly changing rules and laws!

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

The warm welcome by people of so many countries--including US & Canadian expats.

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

I'd have more money!

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

There are many cultural attractions, many concerts, many holidays, a very active expat community -- almost too much to do! Gringopost, Cuenca Hi Life all have many current announcements, as does expat exchange.

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

I have a volunteer visa good until January 2020 & will be getting a retirement visa. All documents must be "apostilled" and the translations must be apostilled. I found the consulate in Phoenix to be very helpful.

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

I rent a very small place downtown that includes all utilities, DirectTV & wifi.

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

Living in Cuenca has more than met my expectations!

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

Have Social Security and a nest egg if you want to buy a home or a business.

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

I live on less than $1,000 per month, very comfortably.

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

I teach TESOL and have access to their health insurance. Medical Care is much cheaper than in the US and of excellent quality.

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

Very little crime in Cuenca.

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

Taxis, buses, light rail -- some people have their own vehicles -- I do not.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Yes.

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

It's lovely--no regrets.

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