If you're thinking about retiring abroad but aren't quite sure which country best suits your individual needs and preferences, you should consider Ecuador. Ecuador is a relatively modern country that features significant natural beauty and a vibrant culture. Following are five reasons why retiring in Ecuador might be a good fit for you.
Ecuador Uses U.S. Currency
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of Ecuador, which makes it extremely convenient for American citizens who live or visit there. U.S. currency was officially adopted by the Ecuadoran government in the year 2000 in an attempt to stabilize the region's economy, and the move has had positive effects so far.
Real Estate Is Inexpensive
Even though the economy in Ecuador is experiencing a growth spurt, housing prices are still considerably less than in the United States. For instance, a newer, two-story 2,000 square foot home in the city of Cuenca sells for around $128,000. Luxury condos in Quito, known as South America's most beautiful city, average just $115,000. Because purchasing property in Ecuador doesn't involve mandatory escrow, and there are no purchasing restrictions on foreign citizens, real estate transactions are less complex than in most other areas.
Quality Health Care Is Inexpensive
Everything from prescription medication to surgery is significantly less expensive in Ecuador -- and the chances are good that you'll be seen by an actual physician rather than by a nurse, even for routine visits. As a resident, you may also be eligible for the Ecuadorian government's health insurance plan, which is similar to Medicare. Private insurance is also available.
Ecuador Has a Fabulous Climate
Ecuador's tropical climate is one of the main reasons why many retirees are drawn to the country. However, it isn't all palm trees swaying in balmy breezes on the beach in Ecuador -- if you're the type who appreciates weather variations, you'll certain find them in Ecuador. The country has four distinct geographical regions, each with its own unique weather:
- La Costa -- the Pacific Coastal plains experience the classic tropical climate that most people associate with Ecuador. Instead of a true winter, the area experiences a hot, rainy season that lasts from January through April, while the rest of the year is cooler and mostly dry.
- Galapagos Islands -- located 600 miles west of Ecuador's coast, the climate of these islands is similar to that of the coastal mainland, and temperatures rarely get higher than 80 degrees. However, the effect of the Humboldt current on the islands creates significant temperature variations in the higher elevations.
- The Oriente -- this region is located on the eastern slopes of the Andes mountain range and contains some of the last uncharted and unexploited tropical rain forests on the planet. Although the region offers abundant visual appeal, most retirees find the climate of the Oriente to be too hot and humid for their liking.
- The Sierra -- the climate in the Andes is much cooler than most people would expect and can vary significantly with altitude. Quito, however, enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate that rarely experiences either hot or cold extremes.
Foreign Retirees Receive Special Benefits
Foreign retirees over the age of 65 who reside in Ecuador receive significant discounts on tickets to cultural and sporting events, public transportation, utility costs, and international airfare. You'll also be eligible for a monthly refund on all sales tax that you pay. Perhaps best of all, you'll get the go to the front of the line at grocery stores and banks.
Of course, there are numerous reasons beyond the ones listed above to retire in Ecuador. Talk to a real estate professional today about making starting your search for Ecuador homes for sale.