Living in Ecuador is very cheap living and a top pick if the cost of living is of utmost importance to you.
Your first image of Ecuador was probably a llama and there are quite a few.
The real attraction to Americans is that this a pretty much undiscovered place to retire.
Imagine a condo on the beach or a new home in the mountains for less than $100,000 to buy...all doable living in Ecuador. If you rent, this is the place to go if you want to live for less than $1000 a month per couple. that figure would include a maid full time if you like.
As great as delicious retirement gifts are, the best gift you can give yourself is to retire to Ecuador.
The first thing I would do to see if Ecuador is for you is get immediately Ecuador OM April 2012
Note the large portion of Ecuador in the Andes
It is a country of 12 million people that has a very diverse topography.
It sits on the equator so its beach areas are a consistent 80 degrees but the town of Quito is around 60 due to the elevation of 9200 feet.
It does get a lot of rain, but you can count on sunshine most mornings throughout the year.
The currency is the US dollar. The largest city is Guayaquil, about 2,000,000.
This country boasts one of the largest middle classes in Latin America.
The infrastructure works and Americans are welcome. It is a 4 hour plane ride to the US.
Living in Ecuador is made easy for a retired couple.
If you can prove a monthly income of $900 from a stable pension, like Social Security, they would like you to spend your money in Ecuador.
The visa fee is $350.
For a doctors visit, instead of $30 in Mexico you can expect to Pay $20 in Ecuador.
Many doctors are US trained and the hospitals in the larger cities are well equipped with the latest equipment.
For the more daring there are "shamans" in the mountain regions that many swear by, it's up to you. Caveat emptor.
You have a choice of Amazon jungle, Colonial cities at 9,000 feet (take it easy until you acclimate), or a valley in the south the Incas considered sacred.
Quito is the choice for sophisticated high altitude living.
Some call Quito the most beautiful city in South America, sorry Buenos Aires.
The Spanish architecture and influence is every where you go.
You will find world class restaurants, museums, shopping and beautiful cathedrals.
The public transportation is first rate.
Please remember you are at 9,000 feet...it may take several days to get used to the altitude. Denver is only 5,200 feet by comparison.break Clairol
Located on the beach, Manta is a town of 200,000, and a place where you will find Americans who want the comfort of beachfront living in a good sized town.
A lot of the city people in Quito have beach homes here to use on the weekends or longer.
Manta is just one example of where your pension will go a long way to live very well.
In fact retiring in Ecuador will afford you a chance to do the same...if you want to have 2 homes.
Ecuador is at the top of the list for best places to retire from a dollars and cents standpoint. It is a very sophisticated country. If you do not require a large American/Canadian community already in place, retiring in Ecuador may have you celebrating your foresight in the future when Ecuador catches on. And catch on it will...it's too good to do otherwise.