Cuenca, Ecuador, Is A Top Budget Retirement Choice

New Video Reveals Why Cuenca Is
Still A Top Retire Overseas Choice

June 12, 2014, Cuenca, Ecuador: Cuenca, Ecuador, remains one of the best places to retire well in Latin America on a budget.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Many retirement destinations are promoted on the basis that they're "just like the United States"...that living there you'd be in familiar surroundings. That's not the case with Cuenca, Ecuador. Walking these cobblestoned streets past the historic Spanish architecture and the old colonial churches, you know that you're not in Kansas anymore.

If you're looking for the world's best place to retire on a budget, Cuenca should be at the top of your list. You'd be hard pressed to find a more appealing place in the Americas to live better for less. However, that's not to say that Cuenca is for everyone. Retired here, you wouldn't forget that you were living in a different and a developing-world country. For some this could be a plus, for others a minus.

A friend who has lived in Cuenca for years tells me that he still stops frequently when out shopping or running errands to look around at his surroundings and marvel at the reality of his reinvented life. For him, the thrill of being in this old Spanish capital hasn't worn off.


Why Ecuador Remains A Top Retirement Choice

An Ideal Place To Weather Any Storm

June 10, 2014
Salinas, Ecuador

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I've had many careers in my life.

At one point, I was a mail carrier. I was maybe 35-years-old at the time, but I had a lot of mail carrier friends who were older, near retirement age. One day, one of those guys, just a few months away from retiring, told me that he had gotten a part-time job. He was going to start working as a clerk in a local shop.

"Why did you do that?" I asked him. I couldn't understand why he'd take on a new job. He had been so looking forward to his retirement.

The guy explained that his pension from the U.S. Postal Service wasn't enough for him to live on. He needed to supplement it.

That was a turning point for me. I realized at that moment that I needed to make a big change in my life. Bottom line, I needed to take control of my life. I had no interest in going to work at Wal-Mart during my "retirement." This realization launched my long search for what to do instead...for a Plan B. Eventually that search led me here to Ecuador.

Back in the States, I might be retired. I've reached that age. But now, after more than nine years living in Ecuador, I can't imagine that.

I chose Ecuador because I perceived it as a land of opportunity, and there's no question, for me, that's what it has been. Rather than winding down and worrying about making ends meet in the States, I've completely reinvented my life so that I'm starting anew. I've lived all over this country. I've met a woman and fallen in love. I've started a new family...and a new business.


Retire To Loja, Ecuador

Why Nobody Is Retiring To Loja (Yet)

June 9, 2014, Loja, Ecuador: Loja is emerging as the next top retirement lifestyle choice in Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Big opportunities await the expat entrepreneur in Loja, Ecuador. This is a city that's just coming into the limelight as an expat destination, and the field is wide-open for creative people with pioneer spirits.

On my most recent trip to Loja, I was reminded why I like the city as much as I do. One of Loja's best features is the setting. The city is surrounded by tall, green Andean peaks, lush valleys, and broad meadows. And, as the music capital of Ecuador, this relatively small city of around 185,000 people has more than its share of arts and culture. And its laid-back, polite, and old-school values harken back to what Ecuador was like before it became such a hot expat destination.

Loja enjoys great weather, and the real estate is inexpensive, both to rent and to buy. The cost of living is also low here, lower than you'll find in any city with a comparable level of amenities. Healthcare and health insurance, in particular, are very affordable.

However, the thing that really caught my eye during this most recent trip was a handful of small business opportunities that could support and even enable Loja's eventual popularity as an emerging expat destination.


Cost of living in Cuenca, Ecuador

Exactly How Much Does It Cost To Live In Cuenca, Ecuador, Today?

June 8, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Cost of living comparison for living in Cuenca, Ecuador, for renters, homeowners, and car owners.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

For years we've been suggesting that Cuenca, Ecuador, is the most affordable place you'd want to retire in Latin America. Other places can be cheaper, including other places in Ecuador, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better lifestyle for the money.

However, the truth is, Cuenca is no longer as affordable a place to live as it once was. The cost of living in this colonial city has increased over the past near-decade we've been recommending it (as the cost of living has increased most everywhere on the planet over the past 10 years). In the case of Cuenca, our man on the ground David Morrill reports an average inflation rate during this period of about 3% per year.

So...what does it cost to retire to Cuenca today?


Affordable Off-The-Grid Community On Mexico’s Riviera Maya Coast

Own On The Riviera Maya For Less Than US$37,000 (Interest-Free Financing Available)

June 6, 2014, Tulum, Mexico: Los Arboles is an affordable off-the-grid but full-amenity community on Mexico’s Riviera Maya coast.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Living off-grid attracts two different kinds of personalities—those who want to do their part to save the planet and reduce their carbon footprints...and those who want the security of not having to rely on "the system" for their utilities.

Taking yourself off the grid is particularly appealing in a country where the mains electricity isn't reliable.

One developer I've known for some years on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico has launched a second sustainable, off-the-grid community (this after completing a similar and successful first project). This new development is Los Arboles Cobá and is 20 minutes inland from Tulum in the heart of Mayan country.

Los Arboles Cobá is a sustainable, off-the-grid community that nonetheless offers amenities like high-speed Internet, phones, and satellite TV. The lots are large tracts of old-growth jungle with very low development density—less than 15% of the property.

The developer is offering a 25% discount for the first 15 cash buyers. At least seven of those lots have been taken as of this writing. Some people are buying with a plan to build a house while others see the opportunity to get in early at such a discount as a good investment play. With prices starting at less than US$37,000 (with the launch discount), the capital you need to buy into this opportunity is low.


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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