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Why would a law-abiding citizen worry? Maybe, say, you own a rental apartment and your tenant is running a drug business out of the spare bedroom. He's arrested and your apartment is seized. Maybe you get it back...maybe you don't...

Foreign investment would be devastated in a country where the government decided to seize private property, especially the private property of foreign investors. This has been the concern in Nicaragua since Ortega took office as that country's president in 2006. When Ortega's party, the Sandinistas, ousted the Somoza region, they confiscated and redistributed farmland and other property. When they were voted out of power in 1990, a new golden era of foreign investment, especially in real estate, began.

Then, in 2006, when Ortega was re-elected, people thought he might revisit the old confiscation strategies. Foreign investment dried up. It's only slowly come back over the last eight years, as Ortega has refrained from imposing any confiscatory mandates. Still, some remain wary.

Could Correa confiscate property in Ecuador? Sure. 

I say that because the truth is any politician anywhere in the world could get it into his head to do any stupid thing at any time.

In this case, I'd say Correa has little reason to get into the business of confiscating private property from foreign investors. It'd be a disaster, and I don't think Correa's an utter idiot.

Lief Simon

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May 29, 2014

"Kathleen, I need to share with you my experience in Ecuador, which began after I read your articles about Otavalo, Cotacachi, then Cuenca a few years back. I have been to Ecuador from Cotacachi to Vilcabamba. Initially I had picked Cuenca, which was the object of two of the four trips. My last trip to Cuenca was entirely focused in finding an acreage to buy, but the prices were far beyond my reach.

"When I came back home I read about Ibarra in your e-letter, and it took all my attention. I searched and found a few properties of interest. One sounded too good to be true so I hopped on a plane and went there to check it out. It was more than I expected. It is located in the southern part of Carchi Province, near Mira. I bought it! It is 3.5 hectares and cost me US$42,000 total including all the paperwork and attorney fees. It has a two-story, 120-square-meter house to be completed. It needs a roof, flooring, etc. Electricity and water are a few yards from the house. The land is high up and surrounded by gorgeous and taller mountains. It has a lot of water, the climate is perfect at 6,400 feet, and there are no mosquitos.

"There is an old pebbled road that goes a little farther from the land, and there is a bus that passes by twice a day.

"I am now back in the States getting all the paperwork in order for my residency in Ecuador. I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits of about US$1,100 per month. From my calculations, with the house built, furnished, and all initial expenses dealt with, such as a car, appliances, and so on, my monthly expenses should be around US$400 including massage and acupuncture therapy once a week, restaurants, and some shopping. Not bad at all for a total investment of less than 65K!

"Thank you so much for all of our reporting. It was absolutely crucial for me!"

--Jorge B., headed for Ecuador

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May 28, 2014

"Kathleen, really enjoyed Lee Harrison's comparison article Cuenca versus Medellin. We are currently making our second trip to Cuenca (for two months). Our next trip will be to Medellin in 2015. Lee's insights were very helpful in making our decision to visit Medellin as soon as possible. Is it possible for you to provide some rental information in the district mentioned in Lee's article? I believe it was called Poblado."

--Chief P., United States

The Apartment Medellin should be able to help you find a rental apartment for your visit. And, yes, El Poblado would be a good place to base yourself.


"Kathleen, I am a happy 81-year-young single man now living in San Carlos, Mexico. I am here with my 36-foot sailboat that I have owned and sailed for the past 27 years. My little Dachshund dog and I still sail nearly every week on the Sea of Cortez. We enjoy the fellowship of many other sailors and our Mexican friends.

"I have now lived here full-time nearly three years, and I have stopped looking for a different local. This is home now. I believe that your publications are a real contribution to retirees looking to make a substantial change in their lives like I did.

"Congratulations on your successes and continue your good works."

--Malcolm J., Mexico

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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.

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