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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.

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.

Expats in Ecuador may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in Ecuador may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

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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Get a Quote

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An American woman talks about the ups and downs of moving to Cuenca. She had limited Spanish when she arrived, but a local woman helped her in the apartment search and she found the perfect place in a lovely Spanish-speaking neighborhood. Her apartment is 3-4 times less expensive than in the US.

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An expat offers an immensely helpful view of what it's like living in Cuenca, Ecuador - from expat clubs to job opportunities.

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An expat in Cuenca, Ecuador appreciates the beautiful environment and people. He advises newcomers to get learn Spanish and meet locals instead of socializing with other expats.

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A retired couple who landed in Cuenca, Ecuador with plans to rent a while and move from place to place is very happy with the decision to move to Ecuador. They appreciate the low cost of living in Cuenca, access to quality healthcare, clubs and activities. The one challenge has been the ever changing residency rules.

Culture Shock in Cuenca

An American expat and his Ecuadorian wife, who initially lived with family in Quito, moved to Cuenca and enjoy life there. The expat husband advises anyone considering a move to Ecuador to learn Spanish, realize that you'll have to travel home see your family (most won't visit you) and know that homesickness happens in random moments that sneak up on you.

Culture Shock in Cuenca

A semi-retired woman who relocated to Cuenca, Ecuador once her children were grown is enjoying life there with her husband. He has longed to return to Central America, since living there as a child.

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