“Kathleen, I get your emails all the time and enjoy reading them. I hope to make a fact-finding trip to Ecuador fairly soon to see what living conditions are like get an idea of real estate costs, and see if I can tolerate the altitude there since I have hypertension.
“Would like to have some medical exams done there, like a comprehensive physical and blood work evaluation. Am wondering if I would have to be a resident to take advantage of lower costs there for such procedures?
“Have seen how easy it is to acquire residency in Ecuador but am not at the point of wanting to give up and sell out in the United States. Doesn’t seem like it is worth the scrutiny one would get from U.S. IRS to just start to move a part of one’s savings offshore. It seems like until one is ready to make a complete break from the United States, the best option is just to get an extended tourist visa and just rent something on a short-term basis. Am I correct in my conclusions?
“Thanks and happy holidays to you and Lief.”
–Mike H., United States
Cuenca offers a medical tourism program that makes it possible for you to select from a number of “bundled” examination sets, after which you can take the results home with you. You can do this even as a tourist.
You can select among several top hospitals for where to have the examinations. I’d suggest you start at Mount Sinai. The costs are extremely low compared with U.S. costs for comparable exams, blood work, etc.
You can enter Ecuador as a tourist and stay for 90 days without any type of advance visa. That would give you time to have the exams that you’re interested in and also to explore.
Note, though, that if you do petition for residency in Ecuador or anywhere else, that does not mean that you are “giving up and selling out” on the United States. Residency abroad has no effect on your U.S. citizenship or on your rights as a citizen.
Furthermore, moving part or even all of your savings offshore does not draw the attention of the IRS. You aren’t breaking any law having bank accounts or investments offshore. More Americans are moving assets and savings offshore than ever before in history.
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