On the past 6th of January 2014, the Huff Post released the new ranking list of the World’s Best Places to Retire and Ecuador has reached the 2nd place after Panama.
Ecuador–Still Great Value
Where else can you rent an upscale, fully furnished apartment in the heart of one of the world’s largest World Heritage historic centers for just $400 a month? Or take a taxi across town for just $2 or $3?
Most retired couples in Cuenca, the most popular destination for English-speaking retirees in Ecuador say they live there quite comfortably–all in–for $1,500 to $1,800 a month. And that typically includes rent. Two- and three-bedroom apartments can be rented for $300 to $600 and that often includes furnishings.
You’ll find Cuenca, a city of 350,000 to 500,000 (depending how widely you throw the net) in southern Ecuador, closer to the country’s second international airport at Guayaquil than to Quito. Like Quito, the central historic area of Cuenca is also a World Heritage site and the iconic blue domes of its new cathedral and the red tiles of the ancient Spanish colonial buildings can be seen from the windows and terraces from many an expat residence.
Another place where the scales tip decidedly in Ecuador’s favor is in the climate category. In the country’s Sierra region, you’ll find daytime temperatures typically hover around 75 F, which means you’ll find little need for either heat or air conditioning. (International Living editors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher, who live in the mountains of Ecuador, say their typical utility expenses…for electricity, water and gas…are rarely more than $30 total.)
Even along the coast, despite the equatorial location, daytime temperatures rarely reach 90 degrees, and you’ll experience far less humidity than in many other tropical destinations.
Like other top retirement destinations, Ecuador offers a good private health care system, especially in the three largest cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. And if you’re over 65, you can avail of some nice retiree benefits, including a return of money spent on VAT (value-added tax) on your purchases refunded each month–up to about $250.
Ecuador offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for sophisticated city living or the life of a gentleman farmer… And for a small country (about the size of the state of Colorado) it packs a big punch environmentally.
And, as in Panama, Ecuador hasn’t lagged in its infrastructure progress. This past February, the country’s new $680-million airport opened just outside Quito. In the northern area of the country, a high-tech “City of Knowledge,” called Yachay, is being built. Work continues at a steady pace to upgrade and widen the Pan-American Highway. The economy, too, is stable and growing–Ecuadorians themselves are enjoying better-than-ever lifestyles.
So if you’re on the fence, trying to decide between the top countries on our Global Retirement Index this year, you have a tough choice. Ecuador remains a top contender.