“My husband and I are interested in Ecuador. I believe we have sufficient income.
“My husband receives approximately US$3,000 in VA benefits. In nine years, he will start receiving his military pension and, as we are both basically 50, hopefully Social Security would start after that.
“In addition, I have a 401(k) and a small pension of US$300 a month from a former employer.
“We have read your suggestions, and we intend to rent and not buy. That way we can move if we need to.
“My question is to do with my ‘stuff.’ I want to take it with me. Not everything, but the pieces that I have accumulated over the years and that make a house a home. Most places seem to come furnished. How do you handle that? Do you simply tell them that you want the stuff moved out or will we need to move it into some form of storage ourselves?
“I also would like to know, when you say you can live there for US$1,200 a month, what areas are you talking about? We would prefer to live in one of the coastal areas, as opposed to the mountains. It doesn’t have to be the largest city or even very cosmopolitan. We just want to live near the beach in a somewhat small town. Are the costs of living there more prohibitive?”
— Connie C., United States
You are in an enviable position, dear reader. On the retirement budget you describe, frankly, you could retire almost anywhere in the world. In Ecuador, you’ll live like a king and queen.
As you say, Latin America Editor Christian MacDonald’s detailed budget for colonial Cuenca shows that you could live in this city for about US$1,250 a month if you rent your home. Yes, you could use roughly the same budget for planning a retirement on this country’s coast.
Christian’s budget is for basic living expenses. It includes an amount for entertainment…but you could spend more, of course. And it doesn’t include household help or international travel, for example. However, again, on your retirement budget, dear reader, these things would be super-affordable.
Regarding your stuff…I understand. By all means, bring it with you if it’ll make your retirement home overseas feel more like home. Typically, short-term rentals come furnished. Long-term apartments and houses are usually rented unfurnished. If, though, you find a place that you like that’s furnished…yes, you can ask the owner if he can remove the furniture you don’t want or need.