Ecuador: Thinking About Retiring Here

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by TXKajun, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I turned 66 this year and have been trying to figure out how I can retire successfully. I could do it here in the U.S., but then we'd live out our lives in poverty, mainly due to taxes, health insurance costs, home insurance costs, car insurance costs, internet costs, satellite tv costs, cell phone costs and several more that U.S. citizens can't seem to live without. So several weeks ago I started researching retiring overseas. One of my co-workers got me started. He's planning on retiring in December to Portugal. After a bunch of research, Ecuador kept coming up consistently in the top 3.
    Anywho, I've been reading tons about Ecuador, focusing mainly on the coastal area between Salinas and Manta. Besides not being fluent in Spanish yet (Sweetie is and I can mangle Tex-Mex a bit), I haven't found any deal killers. We're going to take a look in person in October for a couple of weeks.

    Anyone have input?


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  2. yeti695

    yeti695 Monkey+

    Well first off good luck on where you decide to retire, but I would not leave the the US. I would research as much as I can about the area you want to live in. I understand what you are talking about money wise as my parents are both retirees. It is hard for them to live on a fixed income. If it was not for the VA insurance for my dad it would be really bad. Below are a few quick searches for living in Ecuador. I hope that you find what you are looking for.

    Ecuador Is Not a Good Expat Destination | Escape America Now
    Ecuador... the Bad and the Ugly - Ecuador George : Ecuador George
    7 positive and negatives about Ecuador
    Gun Laws In Three Expat Destinations | Panama Expats News
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  3. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

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  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Best of luck on retirement, regardless of your final choice of locale.

    The one deal breaker that I see in most of the "best" ex-pat locations is that rights don't may have government permissions for many things we take for granted in the US...or you might not even be allowed actions that we consider necessary - such as self-defense.

    FWIW, my retirement plans have me staying right where I am.
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  5. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Be aware of the potential for political and social instability. Costa Rica used to be a fave spot for US expats, as did Cyprus and Baja Cali..
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  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @TXKajun I guess I can weigh-in here since I spent most if not all my adult life overseas. I returned exactly 2 years 7 months ago and many times I have asked myself if it was a mistake. So, I understand what you are saying, the cost(s) of living here make it almost impossible to survive and frankly I still do not understand how people can do it here. Luckily, I made much more money overseas than I did if I would have stayed stateside all those years plus I got huge tax breaks. I am going to give you a first-hand sort of 'stream of consciousness' concerning some pros and negatives about living overseas...

    First, everything will be cheaper, a lot cheaper, from food to women and I imagine you will be able to afford servants - that's the no-brainer and the good part.

    What people forget is that you will be a second-class citizen in those countries and you will be preyed upon by criminals, police and even the honest folks for they think because you are American that you are rich and to them you are rich. Since neither your wife or yourself are a citizen of Ecuador makes this even worse. Hell, I have been in countries where the police use to chase me down the street when they saw me as they knew I was American simply by looking at me so they knew I had money. So, they would corner me and shake me down for some bullshit reason. But, what can you do? The answer is - nothing. The best thing for you would be to get what the Russians call a 'roof.' This is an individual that normally is high ranking in the government or police which will protect you for a price which normally is not too exorbitant. In Uzbekistan, quite by accident I rented my apartment from a Colonel of State Security which I didn't know at the time but when the local cop decided to shake down the American (me) I called him - it was either that or throw the SOB out of the 3rd floor window and I did not want to go to a Uzbekistan jail cell so... I handed the phone to the local cop, he went white and every time after that would run from me whenever I saw him. True story. Anyway, understand that many of these countries police are the Mafia and their courts rule in favor of the highest payer and even then you cannot trust them so one needs to stay under-the-radar and have a strong roof because you do not want to get entangle in their law system - you lose, they win...I suppose it's like here in that regard. And, DO NOT TRUST OR COUNT ON THE AMERICAN EMBASSY TO ASSIST OR HELP YOU IN ANY MANNER besides some simple admin stuff. They won't. In fact, they do not want you there! I would also recommend not to drive, get a driver (a big male) due to what can happen in case of an accident, he can also double as security.

    Guns...some countries down that way will allow you to have them even though most the time they are illegal for non-nationals. Most the time, this is because of a deal with local law enforcement, costs you, of course, but if you have to use it - well - you don't want to be in that situation of having to use it. It's better to get Security. Let them do it. Pay it up front rather than get entangle in their courts, cheaper too.

    Medical...many of these countries medical services are not adequate and remember you are getting older. I say many but some countries are as good as ours or better, for example the Philippines. This is something to consider. It will most certainly cost much, much less but will you be able to get medications you need or, in a emergency, a surgery? Now, the majority of medical problems are basic, not a problem but it is something to consider especially if you have any special needs. In many countries, one does not even need a script to purchase common medicines (non-narcotic medicines) and frankly I cannot understand why we must have a doctor prescribe these for us here but that is a different post for a different time...

    Your inability to speak the local language is a HUGE problem for you. You need to recognize this immediately and move to correct it. Luckily, Spanish is fairly easy to learn so start learning it now. What I am trying to say is you cannot trust anyone. They will all be looking for a way to make a buck off you even your so called friends there.

    Another point is can you, a non-national, purchase property? And, finding someone to trust to assist you in the purchase or even renting a place.

    Keep your money here or in another first-world country. Set it up so you can easily transfer funds electronically as needed. Do not keep much money in their banks and under no reason give them access to your account(s).

    These are some off the top of my head and will add more as they filter down... But, I do understand you. The costs of even simple services are beyond ridiculous... My Central Asian wife (she's Russian) is constantly ranting about why we pay 6-8 times more for internet here but it is no where close to being as good as the internet in her third-world country. Go figure... If I could give you one recommendation it would be to at least go where they speak some English for if you have to totally rely on others to negotiate for you - well - you are going to get screwed. I hear Belize and Costa Rica are finished as costs are now excessive but there are other locations where much of the population speak English as second language.

    We, actually, I , had made up my mind to return overseas if Hillary won but we would have returned to Central Asia where I know the lay of the land and my wife still holds citizenship. We actually spoke about going to the Ukraine as entire country is flat broke and land is really cheap so we could have purchased a seaside mansion but the criminal element there made it too dicey even though my Russian is pretty good and the wife (fluent) also speaks good Ukrainian. Plus, the Eastern portion is not too fond of Americans...Imagine that. LOL! I'm not saying it was impossible but risky and I am getting a bit long in the tooth to take risks. I am almost your age and what I want now is stability, peace, privacy and reasonable cost(s). I get 3 of the 4 here. I am not saying we won't leave but everyday we stay our roots grow a little deeper. I still hope the country will turn around but I know it is false hope. But, I understand your reasoning...
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  7. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator


    the current president of Ecuador is Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés, named after vlad lenin the leader of the soviet union, that should tell ya somethin

    Ecuador (n) (n)



    [gone] as fast as ya can
  8. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    India is 1/10th the cost of US so your dollar goes a long way. The hospitals are top notch and better (and cheaper) than US plus you can convalesce on a beach if you are near one.

    Read the book 'the 4hour work week' and he talks a lot about the pros and cons of living abroad.

    Be ready to easily move at any time. That is my advice.
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  9. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    plus Ecuador is ruled by a left-wing socialist political party

    aint at venezuela levels yet, however that can happen overnight ..
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  10. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    I moved out of the country a few years back and I have to say, I miss the USA a lot some times. Living in a place like this you get used to dealing with corrupt gov't officials, secret killings, and the drug cartel. Anything you do has to be done with bribes and if you are friends with the local city/police you can get much much farther. I wouldn't have any trouble moving back to the states should things go sideways. Things here in Maine could boil over at any time so I keep a close eye on current events.
  11. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    like yeti MG tech Merk Bandit loop said or suggested, corruption plus political and social instability is a yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge problem in Ecuador, plus every other country in this hemisphere except Canada plus the US.

    yer savings aint gonna last long if ya have to bribe corrupt govt officials every day :(

    there aint no rule of law either, when the $ runs out they dont need ya no more
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  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Have you planned on your retirement?
    Do you have a payed for retirement location?
    Cell phones can be cheap, but that means only voice.
    Do you have a plan for ill health?
    Same for Auto insurance if you check the best way to be insured.

    You might want to compare US cost that compare to Foreign locations with the same level of service.
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  13. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    La Morbida: it's a way of life. Thinking seriously about going back to Thailand myself. Had enough of Central America.
  14. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Even in Thailand, a "roof" is helpful. A friend of mine got his roof by marrying a Thai general's widow. They did well as you might imagine.

    Very definitely liked the time I spent there, however short it was. Just stay out of the south where the rebels are active and do nothing that might be the tiniest bit seen as disrespectful to the crown. Thai jails are tough.

    Another friend of mine, just last year, had a medical emergency in Chiang Mai.. There were no hospitals that would take his health insurance for the two week stay and recovery. Fortunately he could, and did, pay the bill "out of pocket" (well into the upper half of 5 figures) and was reimbursed by his insurance when he got home. His experience says that Thai health care is the equal or better than readily available here. And yes, if you live there, insurance is available.
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  15. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Plus in India, you can watch them use that same beach as the local toilet!
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  16. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    plus ya got chinese plus pakistani nukes ready to be launched at india

    not to mention conventional stuff ..

    plus north korean nukes can easily reach india
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  17. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Methinks knowing flood levels would be useful, too.
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  18. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    never mind the floodin plus the nukes ..

    when ya got nepal next door ya can expect the big one to hit some time in the near future :( :cry: if the mag is high enough it can do as much damage as the nukes would ..

    isis plus aq plus their affiliates have bases plus active ops in countries surrounding india plus the Philippines, Indonesia, plus potentially the whole region which would include Thailand plus all of its neighbors
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  19. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Were I an expatriot I would always keep in mind that I'm a guest (even if permanent) and that Americans aren't liked by everyone. Prior to doing the small amount of foreign travel that I have done I made it a point to study language and culture before I went. India has been mentioned and one thing many do not realize is that in that part of the world there is a clean (right) and unclean (left) side of your body and you can unknowingly offend someone by passing them (or an idol or shrine) on the left. I once accidentally paid someone with my left hand (I'm neitherhanded) in a market in Kathmandu and the look on his face told him he's been deeply insulted. He wasn't angry, just devastated and I was unable to explain it to him.

    There are many, many places I'd like to visit and see, but the only place I feel remotely free is in the US. My retirement ducks are lining up pretty well with the one exception being I'm uncertain about Medical. I think that uncertainty faces all Americans regardless of age at this point.
  20. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    in certain countries ya get murdered for less than that .. :cry:
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