“Kathleen, do you take into account political climate such as in Ecuador? It looked very interesting until I started to read about the leftist president and proposals. I am not being critical of your work. Just want to understand.”
–Charlie M., United States
Presidents change. Ecuador has had eight of them in the last dozen years or so. The current president has been in office longer than his three predecessors combined. His political leanings aside, it’s more important to note that the country has improved more under his rule than under its previous seven presidents, including in ways that benefit foreign residents and retirees.
You don’t have to like his or any politician’s policies. That’s not the point. Here’s the point: What is life like in the country?
In the case of Ecuador, according to contacts, friends, and expats living in the country, life there can be great and, in fact, is getting better, thanks to improving infrastructure and medical care, for example.
Both politics and economics are ever-moving targets. Argentina was a top destination choice until Kristina got her nails into the country. The country is in a down cycle now, but this won’t last forever. Argentina will become interesting to the would-be expat and retiree again at some point, because its fundamentals are fundamentally interesting. Its politicians and its economic policies will come and go, but Buenos Aires will always be a great city and this country’s wide-open spaces will always have an appeal.
Spain, Greece, and Ireland are good examples on the other side of the Pond. Right now, their economies are in ruin, but the countries themselves remain interesting in many ways. The question for the would-be retiree or expat isn’t, what are the political leanings or policies of the president? The question for the would-be retiree or expat is, what is life like in the country? Maybe this has something to do with the current administration’s policies and priorities, maybe it doesn’t.
It’s important to be flexible when setting out on your overseas adventures, because the world is always changing. When the living becomes unpleasant or unbearable one place, move to another. That’s why so many Americans are leaving the States right now–because life there has become unpleasant and, for some, unaffordable. Move to where you want to enjoy life now, understanding that life in that place could change to the point where you might decide you’d like to move again.