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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Cuenca, Ecuador

Aug 03, 2020


Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Cuenca

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.

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

Cuenca

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

We wanted to explore new cultures and nature. Moving abroad can be challenging and we were ready for a change!

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

All year. We sold everything expect two computers and my bike. We are here to stay.

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

We did explore other countries. The reason for Ecuador was the cost of living, weather, drinkable water, welcoming and friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and architecture.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

No.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

A year and a half.

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

None.

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

Probably just the language. We are learning Spanish. Ecuadorians are very helpful and patient.

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

We LOVE meeting new people, learning new ways of life, and being stimulated and surprised as if we were nine again!! Smiling every day.

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

I'm sure that we would do any different. I just suggest to people that they visit more than one time before moving to their desired destination. We visited Ecuador three times.

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

Yes, all of the above. There are music, clubs, art, hiking, tours, horseback riding, and meet-ups.

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

The biggest problem is that the rules change often in Ecuador. We started planning two years ahead. Still, the Visa "types" change along with eligibility. We currently have a two year temporary Visa. We are only allowed 90 days each year out of the country.

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

We rent. We have no intention of buying. We want to move around at will.

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

Yes. Actually we have found more advantages and ways to save money since we have arrived.

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

Overall it has low cost of living including rent, transportation, and food.

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

Everyone's comfort level is different. There are a variety of price ranges for homes, condos, and apartments.

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

Yes, Fortunately, we live in an area where we can walk to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies. There are all kinds of insurance options, however we are required to have insurance in Ecuador.

Expats living in Ecuador interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Ecuador interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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

We have not experienced any crime in our neighborhood. It exists, but overall are minor offenses such as pick-pocketing.

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

We do not have cars and have no intention of buying any. City buses run all over the city for .30 cents. Cabs are cheap, averaging $2.50 for most areas.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Yes, excellent internet.

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

We have no regrets and can't wait to explore the rest of South America!

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Ecuador from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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