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Retire To Cuenca, Ecuador

Retire To Cuenca, Ecuador, For The Most Affordable Cost Of Living And The Best Weather In The Americas

“I have just read your description of Cuenca, Ecuador, and this looks like a place I would like to examine further.

“I have been living in Costa Rica for two years and, frankly, am not impressed with the people, the cuisine, the architecture, or the climate. This country seems to have attracted the wrong types of gringos also.

“I don’t intend to return to the States and am now casting about for a more hospitable place to spend my so-called Golden Years. My primary concern would be the difficulty of establishing residency in Ecuador. How much of a hassle is this process? Also, does the U.S. Social Security Administration make direct bank deposits in that country?”

— Bob J., Costa Rica

Establishing residency in Ecuador is a straightforward process. When you arrive in the country, you’ll receive a 90-day tourist visa, which can be extended for up to 180 days. You can then apply for more permanent residency status while in the country on this tourist visa as long as it has at least 30 days remaining. You can also make your foreign resident’s application from your home country via the local Ecuadorian consulate.

To qualify for the retirement visa, you’ll need to show that you earn at least US$800 per month from a pension, Social Security, or an annuity.

Ecuador is not on the list of (about 45) countries where you can have your U.S. Social Security direct-deposited into a local bank account. For the complete list of countries where this is possible (which includes Panama) take a look here.

For more on the good life in this charming colonial city that boasts both the most affordable cost of living and the best weather in the Americas, read our full “Cuenca Retirement Report,” available here.

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