Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why we are considering a move to Ecuador

Where did this all begin? Maybe a year ago, we were watching an episode of House Hunters International. The couple was looking at homes in Ecuador (wish we could remember the town). One of their options was a somewhat rural house that rivaled anything we could ever wish for AND it included a guest house for the caretaker/cook to live in. The price? $40,000 We both chuckled and from time to time Stu would drag out this story and share it.

Recently we watched another episode of HHI that featured a young couple from Canada that was looking for a rental in Cueca, Ecuador. The three homes they showed were all in the $500 or so range (rental) and were huge.

We started talking and started reading online about Cuenca, the expat community, the cost of living and even found the blog for the couple featured in the most recent show, Bryan & Dena Haines GringosAbroad.com

So why consider this move? One, to save money. Over the last couple of years we've played a lot and we've seen our savings depleted by 1) the economy and 2) a lot of unexpected expenses. We talked about a five year plan and estimate we could easily come back at that point and pay cash for our cabin. Of course, we could opt to stay longer.

Here are some of the pros and cons as we've discussed them.

  • Ability to save money
  • A more laid back lifestyle
  • Healthy lifestyle (lots of walking and fresh food)
  • Special perks for those over 65 (once you have a residency visa)
  • Good healthcare
  • The adventure of seeing the country and traveling South America
  • Currency is the US Dollar
  • Scuba diving monthly for Stu
  • Missing our family and friends
  • Selling our RV and possibly our pickup and motorcycles 
  • Not knowing Spanish (but we plan to learn some basics)
  • Cost of car ownership, liabilities of driving and SAFETY (eek)
  • Missing first run movies & our favorite TV shows
Then there are the questions:
  • How do you handle mail?
  • What do you take with you?
  • What to do with Sadie?
  • What to sell and what to store?
  •  ...and a gazillion more

A lot to think about....more posts coming on various subjects as we work through all this. We've bookmarked a lot of websites, are following blogs of several residents, and have signed up in a couple of forums/groups about living in Ecuador.

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