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.

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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?

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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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Adventure Travel In Ecuador

This Is Why I Came To Ecuador

June 5, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Ecuador is an adventure traveler’s wonderland, from the Andean highlands to the hidden Valley of Longevity in the south, from the Amazon rain forest to the secret beaches of the Galapagos Islands.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We made a sharp turn off a small country road into the brush and started to climb. After a brief pause to shift into four-wheel-drive, we continued climbing through fields of lemons, bananas, and finally sugar cane. The road narrowed and then disappeared as we entered a clearing at the top of the mountain.

The Land Cruiser crawled over a deep bed of discarded sugar cane stalks, and we pulled to a stop in front of an old open-sided, tin-roofed building that housed an ancient cane press powered by an antique Briggs and Stratton engine.

Just behind this enclosure we could see the tell-tale wisp of wood smoke indicating the presence of a "still" just out of sight.

An old man was back at the still, tending a wood fire under a used 55-gallon oil drum as a clear, anise-scented Mallorca sugar cane liquor dripped from the other end. We all gathered on wooden stools around the still and sampled the hot cane liquor as it dripped from the copper tubing.

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Import/Export In Ecuador

Go Big Or Keep It Low-Key—How To Start An Import/Export Business In Ecuador

June 4, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Ecuador is one of the best places in the world to earn an income and build a business from import/export.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"It was an incredible journey that took my breath away," reports Jan McKinley on her first foray into the world of import/export entrepreneurs in Ecuador.

"I hoofed it alone for four days in Quito, taking photos, shopping, and experiencing the city, as my passions are travel, writing, photography...and, of course, shopping. I then joined an import-export tour, where operator took us on an incredible five-day expedition to the indigenous artisan markets around the Cotacachi/Otavalo area, culminating in a visit to the Saturday market in Otavalo.

"We visited the artisans at their homes, where most of them do their crafts. We met people who were looming, spinning wool yarn, making Panama hats, crafting tagua jewelry, marzipan, forming bamboo flutes and musical instruments, woodworking...the list goes on and on.

"These people are amazing. Visiting their families at their 'factories' (their homes) and watching them work side-by-side, generation-to-generation, in their cinderblock houses—sometimes of only one or two rooms—was a journey I'll never forget.

"The smiles on their faces, the countryside, seeing their crafts...as well as experiencing the Otavalo market, getting it all on film, finally seeing the tops of the volcanoes on our last day was amazing. I can't wait to return!

Read more...

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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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