Ecuador Provides Retirement Safety Net

Ron and Teressa Moore were on their way to the top, working as executives for a California auto dealer. The two then lost their jobs and their nest …

Ron and Teressa Moore were on their way to the top, working as executives for a California auto dealer. The two then lost their jobs and their nest egg when the economy collapsed, and they found themselves casting about for a backup plan. The Moores settled on buying property in Ecuador and now they are living a dream they knew they would never be able to have in California, enjoying beachside living and affordable healthcare, meals and services. International Living and Pathfinder offer a great deal of information for expats looking for a new a new life in Ecuador that is made available in books, tapes and seminars. For more on this continue reading the following article from International Living.

“In 2007, we had great jobs and were pulling down good money. Our retirement account was growing steadily,” says Ron Moore. “Then, it seemed like overnight, everything changed.”

The car dealership where Ron and his wife, Terresa, were both part of the executive management team, went out of business. As the economy down-spiraled, so did the couple’s savings.

In a matter of weeks, their retirement account lost nearly three-quarters of its value.

They were mad as hell, they freely admit. But they knew they had to retrench. And quickly.

“We knew we could no longer afford to live in California,” Ron says. “And we knew for sure that we didn’t want to look for new jobs.”

Instead of letting the situation get them down, Ron and Terresa took charge. Terresa started downsizing the properties and material things they owned and Ron started investigating the options. The more research he did, the more certain he became.

They Would Move to Ecuador…

It’s a tale with a classic storybook outcome. Ron and Terresa made an exploratory trip to Ecuador. They had just a week to see as much of the country as possible…a true mini-dress rehearsal for the next stage of their lives. They admit to being a little overwhelmed by it all.

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But the first place they tried on for size seemed a perfect fit. In the small village of Cotacachi, they bought a brand-new, 1,100-square-foot, two-bedroom/two-bath condo with a magnificent view of the Andes. Price: Just $52,000.

A few months later, they had sold everything in California and started new lives in Ecuador. Carefree lives, emphasizes Terresa, where a restaurant meal is just a few bucks and she can have her house cleaned for just $10.

But Ron and Terresa didn’t stop there. They started exploring more of Ecuador and on a trip to the coast 18 months ago they found a charming little seaside fishing village called Crucita. And in a new, modern eight-story building with glass-fronted balconies overlooking the Pacific, they purchased the beach home they’d always wanted.

For this 950-square-foot, two-bedroom/two-bath condo…with a community swimming pool and barbecue area right on the beach…they paid just $61,800.

Who needs Wall Street when you can have Ecuador? Ron and Terresa are now happily occupying two little corners of paradise here in the equatorial sun. Life is good…

This wasn’t the only story like this we heard today…

I’m Suzan Haskins, reporting from the International Living Live and Invest in Ecuador Seminar in Quito. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in a lot of countries over the last several years but this one is remarkably different.

For one, this is the first full-fledged International Living conference in five years devoted solely to Ecuador. If it has to do with living and investing anywhere within a few degrees of latitude 0 and longitude 77W, it’s been on our agenda.

Truth is, Ecuador is a small country, but it’s HUGE on what it has to offer…from those golden palm-lined (and largely deserted) beaches to tranquil, rural living in places like Cotacachi and Vilcabamba…to modern city living in sophisticated cities like Quito and Cuenca, both of which have historic centers that are UNESCO World Heritage sites. (Imagine living next to a centuries-old Spanish-colonial church or home once occupied by the likes of Simon Bolivar.)

You can have it all in Ecuador

Here’s just some of what we learned today (and keep reading to learn how you, too, can tune in and hear it all):

  • The top five expat destinations in Ecuador and what makes them so. Cities, villages, rural destinations, and those gorgeous beaches…we explored them all. And we drilled down and learned first-hand what it’s like and what amenities (medical care and more) are available in locales like Cuenca, Quito, Cotacachi, and more.
  • Global real estate expert Ronan McMahon shined the spotlight on the top five Ecuador locales to invest in under-valued (but overly appealing) real estate. What’s driving the market in Cuenca? It’s not North Americans. How much can you expect to earn on a rental property (in big demand) in Cotacachi? Where’s the best stretch of Ecuador coastline to buy large parcels of oceanfront land for $1,000/acre? Ronan spilled all the frijoles.
  • Ecuador attorney Dr. Roberto Moreno explained how to legally structure your property purchase in Ecuador (it’s absolutely safe, but the legal system here is different than you’re used to, so these are need-to-know tips).
  • Want to avoid the most common mistakes foreign property buyers make? (That’s us, folks…but it doesn’t have to be.) Pathfinder Real Estate’s savvy Margaret Summerfield shared her hard-won tips and advice. Ten of them. Do not miss these if you might consider buying property in Ecuador.

Plus, we drilled down into some of those popular expat destinations in Ecuador, getting the first-hand low-down from experts and expats alike. But what’s it like to live in these places? What’s the real cost of living in Ecuador? What kind of infrastructure and amenities are there? What’s the weather like? What’s the expat community like…and what do they do for fun and fulfillment?

Importantly, we learned how expats can qualify for Ecuador’s public health care system. It costs about $50/month and it’s a one-time fee that covers just about everything… doctor’s visits, lab work, prescriptions, hospitalization, even optical and dental. Attorney Santiago Andrade was in the house to explain all the details…

Health care is an important consideration for all of us, these days. So it was good to learn more about the quality health care available here in Ecuador. Sarah Dettman, a nurse and 20-year member of the Peace Corp management team in Ecuador, knows this country’s health care system inside and out. The advice she shared today, about navigating that system, is invaluable for anyone looking to make a move to Ecuador. What is the #1 thing you absolutely must do before you leave your home country? Sarah filled us in.

What about private health insurance? Insurance expert Maria Jose Hernandez explained all the options and associated costs.

After what we learned today, I can’t imagine anyone left the room without a personal strategy for obtaining quality, affordable health care in Ecuador.

There’s much, much more I’d like to share with you. But there’s just far too much to jot down all the details now.

This article was republished with permission from International Living.


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