"International Living" magazine has called Ecuador "The World's Best retirement haven." The magazine notes its "perfect" climate, friendly atmosphere, low cost-of-living and beautiful landscape. However, before you pack up your belongings and travel around 3,000 miles away, it's wise to learn as much as you can about your new home.
1. You'll need some Spanish. While many people speak English in the larger cities, Spanish is the official language in Ecuador. To best enjoy your life there, you'll need to spend the time, energy and money to become at least conversational in Spanish.
2. There are no true seasons in Ecuador. This can be good or bad news, depending on your point of view. Ecuador sits directly on the equator and, thus, has the same amount of sunlight year-round. Since most cities are located in the highlands, the temperatures are more moderate than you find in many other equatorial countries. This is helpful in keeping heating and cooling bills low. However, if you crave snowy winters and long, summer days, this probably isn't the right destination for you.
3. It's expensive to travel back to the states. It takes a lot of time and money to travel back to the United States from Ecuador. Airfares from Quito to New York City start at around $625 for connecting flights and at around $1,000 for a non-stop flight. The trip takes around six hours non-stop (much longer if you change planes.)
4. You can live well for much less money in Ecuador. According "NBC News," it's possible to live well on $2,000 per month or even less in Ecuador. Rents, health care, utilities and meals cost much less in that country than they do in most parts of the United States. According to "NBC," you can find a three-course lunch for $2.50 and a glass of local beer is just 85 cents.
5. You don't have to worry about currency conversions. Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency, so you won't have to get use to a new form of currency and value, nor will you have the expense of converting your money to another currency.
While retiring to Ecuador may not be the right choice for everyone, relocating to this South American country can help your retirement income go further and expose you to a new and diverse culture. It's just important to do your homework before you set off to parts unknown. Now that you know a little more, go ahead and continue to search for those beautiful ecuador homes for sale!