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Places To Retire: Ecuador

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Places To Retire: Ecuador Empty Places To Retire: Ecuador

Post by SlantNose Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:02 am

Places To Retire: Ecuador Flag1-300x238

[size="3"]Ecuador Fact File[/size]

History:
What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty—New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito—gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the “Republic of the Equator.”

Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador’s last four democratically elected Presidents.

In September 2008, voters approved a new constitution; Ecuador’s twentieth since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, were held in April 2009, and voters re-elected President Rafael Correa.

Location:
Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru.

Area:109,483 square miles (283,561 square kilometers)

Population:
14,790,608 (July 2010 est.)

Capital:
Quito

Geography: Ecuador is divided into three continental regions—the Costa, Sierra, and Oriente—and one insular region: the Galápagos Islands. The continental regions extend the length of the country from north to south and are separated by the Andes Mountains. The Galápagos Islands, officially called the Archipiélago de Colón, are located 620 miles west of the Ecuadorian coast.

The Costa, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, consists of coastal lowlands, coastal mountains, and rolling hills that separate river valleys. The widest part of the region stretches 93 miles from Cabo San Lorenzo in Manabí Province to the foothills of the Andes Mountains. In the southern part of Guayas Province, east of the Gulf of Guayaquil, the narrow coastal plain is only nine to 12 miles wide. The lowlands of the Costa do not exceed 656 feet in elevation, whereas the coastal mountains extend no higher than 3,280 feet. The coastal mountain chain, known as the Cordillera Costañera, divides the region into the Costa Externa, next to the coast, and the Costa Internal, next to the Andes. The Cordillera Costañera reaches from Esmeraldas in the north to Guayaquil in the south. North of Portoviejo in Manabí Province, the Cordillera Costañera loses its character as a mountain chain and becomes a series of hills and small mountains.

The Sierra consists of two major chains of the Andes mountains, known as the Cordillera Occidental (Western Chain) and Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Chain), and the intermountain basin or plateau between the two chains. Several transversal mountain spurs, known as nudos, cut across the plateau. The Nudo del Azuay, at 14,760 feet the highest of these transversal spurs, divides the Sierra into two sub-regions—the area of modern volcanism to the north and the area of ancient volcanism to the south. The former area consists of newer, higher mountains than those in the ancient volcanism section, which with time have eroded to lower levels.

The Sierra has at least 22 peaks over 13,780 feet in height. Of the two cordilleras, the Cordillera Oriental is wider and generally higher, with peaks averaging over 13,123 feet. The Cordillera Occidental, however, contains the highest point in Ecuador, which is the Mount Chimborazo at 20,560 feet. The Sierra also contains the highest point on the equator, Mount Cayambe at 18,996 feet.

The Sierra has at least 30 peaks of volcanic origin, including six still active. These peaks, which vary in width from 50 to 80 miles, are located in the area of modern volcanism known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes. The most active volcano is Mount Sangay, 17,159 feet high. Although its last major outpouring of lava occurred in 1946, specialists consider Mount Sangay to be in a constant state of eruption because of fires and bubbling lava at its crater. Mount Cotopaxi, at 19,347 feet the highest active volcano in the world, last erupted in 1877 and is now listed as “steaming”. Its crater is 2,624 feet in diameter. In addition to the other damage caused by eruptions, volcanoes in the Sierra have melted snowcaps, which in turn generate massive mudslides and avalanches. Earth-quakes and tremors also are common in the region.

The Oriente to the east of the Cordillera Oriental consists of two subregions: the Andean piedmont and the Eastern lowlands. The piedmont drops from a height of 11,000 feet to the featureless lowlands, which spread out at an altitude of 490 to 985 feet.

The Galápagos Islands consist of a chain of large, medium, and small islands that have a combined area of roughly 3,088 square miles. The largest island is Isabela Island, also known as Albemarle Island, which is 75 miles long with an area of 1,650 square miles. All of the islands are of volcanic origin, and some have active cones. Santo Tomás, located on Isabela Island, is the highest peak of the Galápagos at 4,888 feet. Its crater is 6 miles in diameter.

Government:
Republic

Head of State & Government: President Rafael Correa Delgado (since 15 January 2007)

Flag description: Three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag. The flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Columbia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830. The yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice.

Language:
Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Religion:
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Time Zone:
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Electricity:
The majority of outlets in Ecuador are 110/120V AC (60 Hz).

Emergency numbers:
In case of an emergency, call 911 or 101 for the police only.

Tipping:
Restaurants in Ecuador add a 10% service charge to all checks. It’s common to add 5% to 10% on top of this. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips. Hotel porters are typically tipped 50 cents to $1 per bag.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Tortoise

[size="3"]Ecuador Visa and Residency Information[/size]

Information on Visas and Residency in Ecuador
Getting a Visa and Becoming a Resident

There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident and the process is fairly straightforward. Although you submit your immigrant-status visa application at the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your former residence, it is, in fact, approved through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, so expect the approval process to take four to eight weeks. Visa applications for your dependents, however, can be processed directly by the consulate once your application has been approved.

We strongly recommend that you hire an Ecuadorian immigration attorney to help you navigate the visa process. Contact your attorney for the latest.

Staying on a Tourist Entry

When you first enter Ecuador, you will receive a T-3 tourist stamp in your passport, allowing you to stay in the country for 90 days.
If you wish to stay more than 90 days within a year, go to an Ecuador consulate in your home country and apply for the 12-IX visa. Often referred to as the Tourist, Commercial or Sports Visa, this allows you to stay in the country for up to 180 days in a year. If you are planning to apply for permanent residency, you are required to have the 12-IX visa when you file your application.
Why Get a Resident Visa?

While both non-resident and tourist visas can keep you in the country for a while, only the resident visa will allow importation of your goods duty free. Also, the tourist visas given upon entry have cumulative time limits per calendar year that cannot be reset by leaving and entering the country. Resident visas can be obtained while in Ecuador on a tourist visa, but the process can be much simpler at consulate back home if you’re doing it yourself.

If you’re using an attorney, the process is even easier, and they can deliver your visa to you here in Ecuador, or have it sent to you in your home country (via the consulate) before you depart.
Absences From the Country

The resident visas outlined below will grant you permanent residency. That means you’ll be allowed to come and go from Ecuador as you wish. However, you can’t be absent from the country for more than 90 days per year during the first two years of your residency, nor more than 18 consecutive months after your second year of residency.
Varieties of Resident Visas
9-I: Pensioner Visa

This visa is intended for retired persons who receive pensions from their native countries (pension from a stable source, at least $800 per month). Also for an annuity recipient or trustee who will live on cash deposited in the Central Bank of Ecuador or on income from a trust. In the case of a deposit or trust, the amount must be that which would result by multiplying the monthly minimum over a period of five years.
This amount may vary from $800 monthly and will be determined by the Immigration Advisory Board.

9-II: Investor of Real Estate or Securities Visa

This is for real estate and securities investors who are investing at least $25,000.
9-III: Industrial Investor Visa

For investors in industry or investors who wish to export agricultural products, livestock, or minerals, provided they bring capital the equivalent of at least $30,000.
9-IV: Legal Representative, Work Visa, or Religious Visa

Intended for foreign local agents who possess unlimited power of attorney to represent a company in Ecuador, provided that 80% of the company’s local personnel are Ecuadorian. Also technicians or technical experts under indefinite work contract with a company established in Ecuador, and members of religious organizations. (An indefinite work contract is one that does not have a specified term.)
9-V: Professional Visa

For professionals with university degrees recognized by a national university who wish to practice their profession in Ecuador. Should the applicant’s profession not exist in Ecuador, the degree must be locally certified. The applicant must also fulfill the Ecuadorian requirements for such practice, such as bar exams, etc.
9-VI: Economic Dependence Visa

This is for individuals economically dependent on a spouse or a blood-related family member with an approved immigration visa.
Requirements for Residency

The requirements to obtain a visa to live as a resident of Ecuador are relatively simple, and the process can be done by anyone if you’ve got a bit of attention to detail.

Alternatively, there are some good attorneys who can do all the paperwork for you for a fee. But remember, you’re still going to have to dig up any required information. In general, keep the following requirements in mind:
· All documents submitted for this process must be originals or certified (notarized) copies
· Documents provided by the applicant must be obtained only from the responsible U.S. authorities, and authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consul
· Documents must be legally translated into Spanish if not already in Spanish
· If you’re changing visa status while in Ecuador (for example, going from a tourist visa to a resident visa) the application and associated documents must be submitted no less than 30 days prior to the expiration of the visa that you currently have
· You must register your home address with immigration authorities, and report any change of address while living in Ecuador.

All applications for resident visas require the following to be submitted:
· A visa petition addressed to the Director General of Extranjería, signed by the applicant and an attorney
· A completed form ” Solicitud de visa de inmigrante” for the appropriate visa type
· Two notarized copies of an up-to-date passport, with the notary attesting to the fact that its status is legally current
· A completed form ” hoja de datos para la cédula” (a data sheet, subsequently used for your identity card)
· Two current passport size photos, in color with white backdrop· Visa fee of $350.

About the fee:
These fees are current as of April 2010.
In addition to the six items above, there are additional submittals required depending on the type of visa you’re asking for:
9-I: Pensioner Visa

· Retirement documents showing a stable income of at least $800 monthly, certified to be correct by the party responsible for the source of the funds, and authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consul in your country of origin
· Certification by Ecuadorian Consul that the funds are no less than $800 monthly for the applicant, plus an additional $100 for each dependent.

Note: the required income level is subject to change.
9-II: Investor of Real Estate or Securities Visa

Proof of investment of at least $25,000 (plus $500 for each dependent) demonstrated by:

· Updated certificate of title clearance indicating that there are no liens
affecting the property
· Any kind of certificates or titles, including fiduciary documents granted
by the private sector, bonds, and certificates of deposits, stocks,
and obligations
· The original and a copy of the relevant instrument, showing a term of
at least one year.

Note: This investment level is subject to change.

9-III: Industrial Investor Visa

Proof of your investment of at least $30,000.

For companies:
· Constitutive Contract or “Increase of Capital” registered at the Mercantile Registry.

For partnerships or sole proprietorships:

· Certified copy of the Commercial Registry of the corporation, or of the partnership at the Mercantile Register and at the Registro Unico de Contribuyente (RUC, Federal Tax registry)
· Business license granted by the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, and Fishing
· Agreement to comply with Article 32, numeral VII (7), of the rules and regulations determined by the Immigration Laws of Ecuador (Ley de Extranjeria). Consult with your nearest Consulate about this subject.

For the agricultural and/or livestock industry:
· License granted by the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, and Fishing
· Federal Tax registry (RUC)
· Property Deeds and Titles, Registered and Indemnified Membership with the Chamber of Agricultural or Chamber of the Livestock Industry
9-IV: Legal Representative, Work Visa, or Religious Visa

Legal representatives:
· General Power of Attorney specifying the representative’s legal, judicial, and extrajudicial powers, registered in the Registro Mercantil
· The minutes from the board of shareholders meeting that granted the Power of Attorney
· Certificate of incorporation of the company or the Amendment of Capital increase, duly registered
· Certificate of fulfillment of obligations issued by the Superintendencia de Compañías y Bancos, as required for each case
· Appointment as the company’s legal representative, duly registered.

For persons under an Indefinite Work Contract:
· Indefinite Work Contract, legalized by the Labor Ministry
· Indefinite Work Authorization granted by the Labor Ministry.

For persons who are part of a religious organization:
· Certification which shows that the foreigner belongs to a religious
organization and states the assignment that he will be performing in
the country
· Registered appointment of the legal representative
· By-laws of the religious organization approved by the Ministerio de Gobierno.
9-V: Professional Visa

Requirements for this visa include:
· If the degree is from outside Ecuador, you must provide the original and a certified copy authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consul (in your home country), which has been validated by an accredited Ecuadorian institution of higher learning for equivalency and registered with CONESUP. The degree must be translated
· When the applicant is taking advantage of an International Agreement, a certified copy of the agreement is required
· If the degree was granted in Ecuador, provide the original and a certified copy of the degree, legalized by the granting authority and endorsed by the Ministry of Education.
9-VI: Economic Dependence Visa

The Economical Dependence Visa may be requested by an Ecuadorian citizen for his foreign spouse, children, parent, grandparent, or sibling. In addition it is granted to the family members of foreigners who have been approved for 9-I; 9-II; 9-III; 9-IV; and 9-V visas.

Applicants will need:
· The original and a certified copy of your marriage certificate. If you were married in Ecuador, this was issued by Registro Civil at the time of your marriage. If you were married outside Ecuador, the original and copy must be translated and authenticated by the Ecuadorian Consul
· If the visa is for an Ecuadorian child of non-Ecuadorian parents, you must present the curaduría especial and the original and copy of the child’s birth certificate
· Documents that accredit the Ecuadorian nationality of the spouse, father, or mother, including their cédula and voting certificate. (This is not needed for those who are taking credit for another type of Immigrant visa)
· Certification of income of the applicant’s sponsor
· Economical guarantee made before a notary public indicating that the sponsor will have sufficient funds for him or herself and their families to provide for their income in Ecuador. This includes the funds necessary to return to the country of origin in case it’s required by authorities in Ecuador
· A copy of the sponsor’s and beneficiary’s passports if they are foreigners.

Non-resident Visas
If you don’t want permanent residency in Ecuador, you can still remain in the country past the 90 to 180 days you’ll get as a tourist. Here are the non-resident visa options available.

Student Visa, Category 12-V

Applies to:
students (at all levels, regular school year) and family members accompanying the student (husband/wife, children).

Applicants will need:
· Valid passport, at least for the next six months
· Doctor’s certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases
· Police certificate indicating that there is no record (criminal) for said person;
· Two recent photographs, passport size, in color
· School registration or proof of admission to an Ecuadorian school or institution duly recognized by the Ministry of Education
· Certificate from bank indicating good economic standing with letter from the parent/guardian indicating that they will support the student while in Ecuador.

This visa is valid for one school year (it is not applicable for courses less than one year).
It may be renewed when presenting:
· Passing grades
· Registration for the following year
· Police certificate (available in Ecuador from the police department)
· Letter of economic support.

Consular fees:
· Application: $30
· Visa: $100.

Work Visa, Category 12-VI

Applies to:
Professionals of high technical levels, professionals of specialized fields, immediate family members accompanying the professional.

Applicants will need:
· Valid passport, at least for the next six months
· Doctor’s certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases; including HIV test
· Police certificate indicating that there is no record (criminal) for said person; two photographs
· Authorization to work, issued by the human resources office from the Ministry of Labor-duly legalized
· Copy of the working contract duly protocolized by the Ministry of Labor
· Certificate of payment to the “Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguro Social” (Ecuadorian Social Security Office), duly authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
· Certificate of fulfillment of requirements established by the Superintendent of Companies
· Legalized copy of the company’s bylaws
· Affidavit from the hiring company or person, assuming the responsibility for expenses incurred by the foreigner as a result of abandoning the country or deportation, accompanied by the appointment, duly registered, of the legal representative-all documents duly legalized.

Valid for:
· Depends on the authorization to work from the Ministry of Labor, not exceeding two years
· General Managers, only for a year.

Consular fees:
· Application: $30
· Visa: $200.

Voluntary, Missionary, or Religious Visa, Category 12-VII

Applies to: Missionaries, volunteers, religious persons.

Applicants will need:
· ” Aplicación de Visa” (visa application) completed and signed
· ” Certificado de Visación” completed and signed
· Passport, valid for at least six months
· Doctor’s certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases
· Police certificate indicating that there is no record
· Letter from legal representative of the entity requesting that the volunteer/missionary be admitted to Ecuador
· Copy of the Decree issued by the Ecuadorian government authorizing the entity to operate in Ecuador
· Copy of the appointment of the Legal representative of the entity duly registered and authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
· Copy of the bylaws of the host entity in Ecuador
· Affidavit from the host entity or person, assuming the responsibility for expenses incurred by the volunteer/missionary as result of abandoning the country or deportation, duly legalized
· Affidavit from the foreigner certifying to render services at no charge
· Guarantee from the sponsoring entity to support financially the foreigner during his/her stay in Ecuador.

Valid for:
· Priests or religious missionaries, up to two years
· Lay people, up to one year.

Consular fees:
· Application: $30
· Visa: $150.

Cultural Exchange Visa, Category 12-VIII

Applies to:
· Teachers involved in cultural exchange programs (schools in Ecuador must have bilateral agreements with schools in the U.S.)
· Students participating in cultural exchange programs
· Foreigners participating in the development of cultural exchange programs.

Applicants will need:
· ” Aplicación de Visa” (visa application) completed and signed
· ” Certificado de Visación” completed and signed
· Passport, valid for at least the next six months
· Doctor’s certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases
· Police certificate indicating that there is no record
· Letter from legal representative of the sponsoring Ecuadorian entity requesting that the person be admitted to Ecuador
· Copy of the Official Registry in Ecuador, indicating the legal constitution of the entity
· Copy of the appointment of the legal representative of the entity duly registered
· Copy of the bilateral Cultural Exchange Agreement
· Affidavit from the host entity or person, assuming the responsibility for
expenses incurred by the foreigner as result of termination of cultural exchange or deportation, duly legalized
· Affidavit from the foreigner certifying to render services at no charge. (For teachers only)
· Guarantee from the sponsoring entity to financially support the foreigner during his/her stays in Ecuador.

This visa is valid for one year.
Consular fees:
· Visa: $50
· Application: $30.

Tourist Visa, Category 12-IX

Applies to:
· Tourists
· Professional athletes
· Students
· Scientists
· Artists
· Businessmen.

Applicants will need:

· ” Aplicación de Visa” (visa application) completed and signed
· ” Certificado de Visación” completed and signed
· Passport, valid for at least six months
· Doctor’s certificate and HIV test, indicating that the person does not have any communicable diseases.
· Police certificate indicating that there is no record
· Copy of round trip ticket to Ecuador
· Bank letter or other evidence stating that the person has good economic standing and can support himself
· Two recent photographs in color passport size.

Valid for:

· More than three and less than six months
· May be granted only once a year (as of the date the visa was granted).

Consular fees:
· Visa: $200
Application: $30.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Xray-150x150


Excellent Health Care in Ecuador at a Fraction of U.S. Prices

One of the great perks for foreign residents living in Ecuador is high-quality, low-cost health care. Here, you will receive personal attention from medical practitioners not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. You’ll have access to excellent medical care in Ecuador. In the bigger cities, you’ll find hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as specialists in all fields and physicians with private clinics.

A visit to a general practitioner costs $25 to $30 while a visit to a specialist runs $30 to $40. A psychiatrist will charge $30 to $40 for a half-hour session. Simple, ambulatory procedures are equally inexpensive. For example, the removal of a small lump (under local anesthesia), and a biopsy, costs about $100. Brand name medicines usually cost less than in the U.S. Generics, which are widely available, are also much cheaper.

And don’t be afraid of surgery—many specialists in Ecuador have trained in the U.S. or Europe and have top-notch skills. For example, a shoulder repair for a torn tendon is a two-hour procedure done under general anesthetic. The total bill for the operation, anesthesia, pre- and post-operative care, an overnight stay in the hospital, and all supplies and medications costs just $2,900—about a quarter of what the same procedure costs in the U.S. One of IL’s colleagues underwent this particular procedure and told us that the outcome was excellent, and mentioned that follow-up physical therapy from an experienced therapist with a thriving private practice cost just $20 a visit.

Health insurance is a bargain in Ecuador. A review of comparable insurance policies for a 60-year-old man in the U.S. and Ecuador, tell the story. In the U.S., the man would pay a monthly premium of $1,200; in Ecuador he pays $66. A woman, age 50 to 60, would pay $67 for the same policy in Ecuador while coverage for a dependent child, between 2 and 17 years-of-age, costs $15.69 a month.

The policy cited is offered by Salud, S.A., Latin America’s largest health insurance company and pays 80% of doctor’s visits, 60% of medications costs, and 100% of hospitalization. It also offers extra coverage for walk-in procedures and accidents.For more information about Salud, visit the company’s website here.
[url="http://www.saludsa.com/"]Health Care in Ecuador[/url]

Places To Retire: Ecuador Indy_square

[size="3"]Reasons to Retire in Ecuador[/size]

Retire in Ecuador and Let Your Money Take You Further


You can retire in Ecuador and enjoy lots of charming areas, such as Independence Square in Quito

If you retire in Ecuador, every cliché you’ve heard about living large on little money–about settling into the lap of luxury on even a pensioner’s budget–is true.

This is one of the world’s cheapest places to live. Take $250 out of the ATM Monday morning, and your expenses are covered for the week. In fact, we ranked Ecuador as the world’s best retirement haven in 1999, after it weathered the earlier economic, political, and natural problems during the two years prior, and went on to prosper. In fact, IL has voted Ecuador the top retirement haven in the world for the last two years.

Of course, low prices alone do not make for an ideal retirement or investment destination. There are plenty of places the world over where you can buy cheap land, but you wouldn’t want to live there; not so in Ecuador.

Retiring in Ecuador Means Living Well

In Ecuador, not only can you retire on little money, you can also live very well. Retiring in Ecuador offers something for everyone, and at prices unheard of in North America and Europe. Golf on breathtaking courses so uncrowded you’ll never have to make a tee time. Indulge in a gourmet meal in a world-class restaurant. Why not? The cost is about what you’d pay for bottled water and an appetizer in a restaurant in Los Angeles or New York. Plus, the fresh fruits and vegetables you find overpriced at specialty “organic” shops up north sell at local Ecuadorian markets for pennies.

It’s hard to pinpoint the best reason for retiring to Ecuador, but one thing’s for sure: this is an affordable and beautiful retirement destination. Ecuador also offers a high quality of life. This is no isolated backwater. It’s a land of opportunity, where a middle class is forming. After waking from a long economic slumber, Ecuador is preparing to join the global economy. Recently, for example, the Quito airport has improved dramatically; it now has new jet ways, a totally renovated entrance, a new waiting area, and is abundantly adorned with huge vases of roses.

You will be amazed by Ecuador’s natural beauty

From snow-capped volcanoes to dense Amazon jungle, from sun-drenched Pacific beaches to the famous Galapagos Islands, this is a place of astounding natural beauty. Despite covering a mere 0.02% of the world’s landmass, it is home to 10% of the world’s plant and animal species. This country’s real treasure, however, is its people. Ecuadorians live their lives in jungle river towns, coastal fishing villages, isolated cattle ranches, the grounds of ancient haciendas, and large colonial cities. Its compact size makes it possible to experience many of these different lifestyles in a single day.

Enjoy Your Retirement in Ecuador by Becoming Part of Your Community

It’s also one of the few places where a foreign resident or visitor can blend easily into the community, being welcomed into a new circle of friends and a new way of life with relative ease. As a foreign retiree in Ecuador, you’ll be treated with respect, and the people will be eager to get to know you.

Ecuador Is an Emerging Retirement Haven

During the last decade, Ecuador has gone through a number of tumultuous changes. Nevertheless, today the country has emerged as a welcoming haven for those wanting to retire or invest here. The property market offers significant bargains. A comfortable lifestyle can be enjoyed in Ecuador on just a fraction of what you’d spend in many parts of the world.

And remember: Ecuador is one place right now where the U.S. dollar is not losing value, which makes an Ecuadorian retirement especially appealing. Following the late-1990s’ debt default, Ecuador decided to adopt the U.S. dollar as its official currency, which eliminates currency risk. Inflation is under 2% and most economic indicators are positive. Labor costs are still a tremendous bargain and are not rising appreciably. Property prices, which had been dropping since 2001, seemed to have bottomed out.

It’s not just properties that are affordable in Ecuador–nearly everything is. From the cost to hire a full-time maid to the price of produce and dinner in a fine restaurant, you’ll be surprised at how low the cost of living is in Ecuador. For example, in the major cities like Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca, you won’t have to forgo First-World conveniences. New cars abound–several brands are even made right here in Ecuadorian factories. Everyone has cell phones, and Internet connections are just as common. World-class restaurants serve excellent meals, yet you’ll be hard-pressed to pay more than $50 for dinner for two–drinks included.

It’s easy to retire in Ecuador on less than $17,000 per year, and you can live a comfortable lifestyle while doing it. Many foreign residents have their main home in the city, and also have a country home, a beach property, or even property in another country…a feat that would be impossible on a comparable living in the U.S. Additionally, this low cost of living allows retirees the ability to increase their travel, own nice things, or partake in other diversions.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Retireebenefits-300x299

[size="3"]Retiree Benefits in Ecuador[/size]

If you’re 65 or older and looking for an incentive to retire overseas, take a look at what Ecuador can offer you. Unlike Panama’s pensionado program, which is aimed at foreign residents, Ecuador’s senior citizen discount program is intended to help its own citizens.

However, because the country’s constitution guarantees foreign residents the same rights as citizens, you can enjoy the same benefits as locals.

Here are some of the benefits of Ecuador’s over-65 discount program:

* 50% off public and private transportation within the country (including the Galapagos).
* 50% off tickets for all cultural and sporting events, including movies.
* 50% off electric and water bills (below certain usage levels).
* Free domestic landline phone service (does not include long distance and other services).
* Reductions in a variety of taxes, including income and sales taxes (these vary according to income and goods or services purchased).

Although not officially part of the government’s program, one of the most popular discounts for foreign residents is the 50% airfare reduction for international travel offered by airlines such as Taca, Copa Airlines, and Ecuador’s AeroGal. All three offer flights to the U.S. The discount applies to round-trip tickets purchased in Ecuador for flights originating within the country. The discount is available to all citizens and residents over the age of 65.

The cherry on top of retiring to Ecuador is that citizens and residents over 65 never have to stand in line. If you’re a senior citizen, when you make a bank deposit or pay your utility bill, it’s the law that you go directly to the front of the line…so you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy your retirement in Ecuador.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Courtyard

Expats Move to Ecuador for Its Wealth of Charms

Some move to Ecuador to enjoy its colonial treasures, such as the Iglesia de San Francisco in Quito

Ecuador is a truly unique country, and although it has only recently shown up on many people’s radars, moving to Ecuador should be a definite consideration if you are thinking about moving overseas. In Ecuador, you can find inexpensive but high-quality real estate and a good quality of life.

In Ecuador, you can golf on breathtaking courses where you never have to make a tee time. You can have a driver, a cook, or a maid for a fraction of the cost you’d pay back home. You can eat a gourmet meal in world-class restaurants of every cuisine at prices unheard of in Los Angeles, New York City, or London. Or you can cook for yourself using market-fresh fruits and vegetables only seen in specialty shops in North America.

Moving to Ecuador also keeps you relatively close to friends and family back home. Daily flights connect Ecuador to major hubs throughout the hemisphere, and the flight to Miami is less than four hours. Cell phones and Internet cafés are everywhere in Ecuador, and high-speed home Internet hookups are quite common.

Also consider the fact that Ecuador has one of the lowest serious crime rates in Latin America and a higher standard of living than most Central American and surrounding Andean nations. The reasons to consider Ecuador tend to grow on you.
Who Is Moving to Ecuador?

Moving to Ecuador is a bird watcher's dream come true. The Galapagos Islands are home to many beautiful bird species, such as the frigatebird

Foreigners are drawn to moving to Ecuador for a variety of reasons. If you move to Ecuador, you will find an expat community of entrepreneurs, travelers, advisors, foreign officials, diplomats, businessmen of all stripes, and, of course, retirees looking to stretch their money and experience a different way of life.

Recently, we’ve also seen many expats who move to Ecuador seeking a less-intrusive government and the tranquility of a neutral country amid the terrorism problems engulfing the rest of the world. Of course, there are also a fair number of students and missionaries, as well.

Generally speaking, the expats who have moved to Ecuador are those who tend to blend into the society rather than live together in nonintegrated, expat-oriented communities.


Nonetheless, a bit of time in any town of significant size in Ecuador is all it takes to find the haunts and watering holes of the non-natives. The expat community is probably equally mixed between people who are conducting some sort of business and those who have retired in Ecuador.

How to Move to Ecuador


There are a number of ways to become an Ecuadorian resident, and the process is fairly straightforward. You submit your immigrant-status visa application at the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your former residence, but it is approved through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, so expect the approval process to take four to eight weeks. Visa applications for your dependents, however, can be processed directly by the consulate once your application has been approved.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Coin-300x199

[size="3"]The Economy in Ecuador[/size]

Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country’s export earnings and one-fourth of public sector revenues in recent years.

In 1999/2000, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, with GDP contracting by more than 6%. Poverty increased significantly, the banking system collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year.

In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the U.S. dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports.

From 2002 to 2006 the economy grew 5.5%, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 7.2% in 2008, in large part due to high global petroleum prices. President Rafael Correa, who took office in January 2007, defaulted on Ecuador’s sovereign debt in December 2008, refusing to make payment on $3.2 billion in international bonds, representing over 80% of Ecuador’s private external debt.

Economic policies under the Correa administration—including an announcement in late 2009 terminating 13 bilateral investment treaties—have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. The Ecuadorian economy slowed to 0.4% growth in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, and the sharp decline in world oil prices and remittance flows, but picked up to a 2.4% growth rate in 2010.

Labor force: 4.59 million (2010 est.)

Labor force by occupation: Agriculture: 8.3%
Industry: 21.2%
Services: 70.4% (2005)

Exports:$17.37 billion (2010 est.)

Export commodities: Petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, hemp, wood, and fish.

Imports: $17.65 billion (2010 est.)

Import commodities: Industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, and nondurable consumer goods.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Ecuador_climate-300x199

[size="3"]Ecuador Climate[/size]

Ecuador lies directly on the equator, so the entire country enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year. However, the climate you will experience depends largely on where you are in Ecuador, since there are four distinct geographical areas—the Sierra (mountains), the Oriente (eastern rainforests), the La Costa (Pacific coastal plains), and the Galapagos Islands.

For example, Ecuador’s capital, Quito, lies in the Central Valley between the Andean Mountains’ eastern and western ridges. The equator is less than 20 miles north of the city, yet at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,900 meters), Quito’s climate is spring-like year around: about 50° F (10° C) at night and as high as 76° F (25° C) during the day. The sun makes the difference. You can comfortably stroll out on a glorious Quito afternoon in shorts and a T-shirt, but you’ll need to take your wool sweater in case the clouds roll in. The equatorial sun is intense, but when it’s obscured by clouds, you realize how high in the Andes you really are. In fact, cold weather gear is needed for high altitude hiking and mountain climbing.

The beaches and rainforests, on the other hand, enjoy the tropical temperatures that one would expect from equatorial lowlands, with highs ranging between 80º F and 90º F. Between these two extremes, just about any type of weather can be found in Ecuador.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Cityscape
[size="3"]
Ecuador Real Estate
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Amazing Ecuador Real Estate and Property
You can find real estate in Ecuador that is both charming and affordable


The prices of real estate in Ecuador have risen slightly in recent years thanks to Ecuador’s growing economy, but they are still inexpensive in comparison with U.S. prices and downright cheap when compared with real estate in Europe. As property prices are steadily appreciating, now is a great time to invest in Ecuador real estate. An oil boom–created by the completion of a new oil pipeline to the coast, combined with record oil prices in 2006–has also added even more intrinsic value to a property investment in Ecuador. Combine this with Ecuador’s equatorial sunshine, the choice of spectacular mountains, high plains, jungle, or coastal settings, and the unvaryingly friendly and welcoming nature of Ecuador’s people, and you have a combination for a quality of life that’s hard to beat.

Cuenca

Cuenca is Ecuador’s third-largest city and the economic center of the southern Sierra. It has an intellectual, artistic, and philosophical tradition that matches its colonial architecture. Because of its history and state of preservation, Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s three UNESCO World Heritage Trust sites (the others are Quito and the Galapagos Islands). In 2006, an international association of urban planners voted Cuenca as one of the two “most livable” cities in Latin America, citing its culture, low crime rate, and “middle class” feel. And in 2009, IL voted Cuenca the best city in the world to retire to.

With the best restored colonial district in Ecuador, Cuenca is the country’s cultural capital. The city has produced many of Ecuador’s major writers, artists and musicians, and offers a rich program of festivals, concerts, parades and art openings. Although the metropolitan population is 450,000, the central city has a small town feel that has proven popular with tourists and foreign students who attend language schools or one of the city’s seven universities.

Referred to by one travel guide as “South America’s most European city”, Cuenca is attracting growing numbers of foreigners, many of whom have purchased modern but inexpensive apartments just outside the colonial district. Others prefer to take advantage of bargain houses and views on the hills that surround the city.

Property samples in Cuenca:

* A spacious 20-year-old condo located in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance of Cuenca’s historic district. The apartment has three bedrooms and four bathrooms, a maid’s quarters, fireplace, built-in bookcases, hardwood floors and a private backyard garden. It is two blocks from a small mall and modern supermarket. Price: $110,000.



* A four-year-old, two-story, 2,200-square-foot home with an open-floor plan, lots of windows, a private back patio and a second-floor balcony. The house also features floating wood floors, nice woodwork in the kitchen along with black granite countertops, and a skylight over the staircase. With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the master bedroom has a Jacuzzi. The property also comes with secure parking for two cars, an alarm system, and an electric gate opener. Price: $128,000.

Quito

Quito has been described as the most beautiful city in South America. Spanish influence here is apparent in its stately colonial architecture. Though the city has about 1.5 million residents, traffic is reasonable, except at rush hour and during major road resurfacing projects. The public transportation system, including taxis, buses, and trams, is excellent. The area is ringed by staggering Andean peaks, providing beautiful views from many properties. The city is in the process of restoring the old colonial center.

Property samples in Quito:

* A late 19th-century, four-bedroom, two-bathroom home, located in the heart of Colonial Quito. The house is loaded with charm but needs restoration work. Rooms are large and the living room opens onto an inner courtyard. The house is one story but has a wonderful rooftop terrace with great rooftop view of Colonial Quito. Price: $90,000 (negotiable).

* A luxury, 1,000-square-foot, one-bedroom, two-bathroom, 12th-floor condo, attached to the J.W. Marriott hotel in central Quito. Features hardwood cabinets, granite counter tops, custom lighting, hardwood floors and mag key security throughout the building. Great views of surrounding mountains. Comes with a parking space. Price: $115,000.

Manta

If you’d like to look out your window at the sparkling ocean and pristine beaches, but also have the opportunity to step outside to a bustling city if the beach life becomes too relaxing…then Manta, on Ecuador’s coast, is your best bet. With a population of 250,000, Manta is Ecuador’s only coastal metropolis and offers the same transportation, medical, and communication services as the larger cities of Quito and Guayaquil. A recent university study of population trends predicts that Manta will be Ecuador’s second most popular expat destination over the next 25 years, trailing only the Andean city of Cuenca.

Property sample in Manta:

* A two-year-old, three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,270-square-foot condo within walking distance of the beach. The complex has a pool and recreation area. The condo is on the third floor of a six-story building and has nice views of the ocean. Close to shopping and the airport. Price: $96,000.

How to Purchase Ecuadorian Real Estate

Keep in mind that the real estate business in Ecuador bears little resemblance to what you are probably accustomed to in North America or Europe. There is no such thing as a multiple listing service, for example. Agents in Quito will have no idea what’s available in Manta or Cuenca—or even what’s available from other agents in Quito.

Purchasing procedure

You’ll find that buying a property in Ecuador is more straightforward than you may be accustomed to back home. For example, there are no title or escrow companies, and sellers and buyers are required to pay their own debts outside the sales process, such as insurance, real estate commissions, etc. These issues are not brought to a closing, which is strictly between the buyer, seller, and the notary. Your attorney should be able to guide you through the purchase process, and help you to avoid potential pitfalls.

Remember that in Ecuador, as in most Latin American countries, cash is king. Interest rates are still high here compared to the U.S. so if you can pay with cash you will gain significant bargaining power. We’ve seen several shoppers submit offers of half the original asking price who ended up paying 60% or 70% of the original price.

Buying restrictions

Foreigners and Ecuadorian natives are on equal footing when it comes to real estate. You do not need to be a resident to own property. To the contrary, property ownership can qualify you for residency. There are certain restrictions in the case of “National Security Areas,” which may include the country’s borders, although these areas are not specifically defined in the law. Your attorney or the notary will inform you if your property requires any type of permission.
Learn more about Ecuador real estate and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.

Places To Retire: Ecuador Indy_square

[size="3"]
Taxes in Ecuador
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taxes in EcuadorUnless you are running a business in Ecuador, your tax liability as a foreign resident is very low. If you live in Ecuador but obtain your income from overseas sources, there is no reporting requirement. The practice of monitoring and taxing banking transactions in Ecuador has been abolished.

Income tax


Foreign residents of Ecuador are taxed on their Ecuadorian-sourced income but not on income earned outside of the country. Income taxes are charged at progressive rates, ranging from 5% to 35%. The first $8,570 of an individual’s income is not taxed.

Sales tax

Most of Ecuador’s tax revenue is generated by the IVA, which translates in English as value added tax (VAT). The rate for this tax is currently 12%, and it is added to most purchases.

Property tax

Residential property taxes are based on a percentage of the municipal value of the property, and city and rural properties are taxed at different rates. Even on large properties it is unusual to pay more than $200 a year in property tax. Homeowners over the age of 65 pay half of these rates.

Capital gains tax

This tax is based on the change in the municipal value of the property between the time you bought and sold it. Technically, the percentage is 0.5% of the difference between the purchase and sale price. There may be discounts on this fee based on the amount of time between the purchase and sale of the property. A short time span between the purchase and sale will mean a higher capital gains tax.

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Post by Ponee Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:34 pm

.

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Post by RoyBoy Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:54 pm

Ponee Good read ;-) I think I may need to look into this a little bit more
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Post by occe Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:52 pm

Quito sounds like a great place, but 9,350 feet elevation is a bit too much for me. Need to check out other areas..maybe the highlands along the coast. 

        coffee  sarcastic
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Post by Goldiegirl Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:15 pm

What is the fascination with South America?  question 

I see so many Americans wanting to live there. Yes it's cheap but many of these SA countries are poverty stricken and having a big wallet only draws attention. The kind  if attention I don't want. 

There are so many places in the world I want to visit and explore. I have to say SA countries were on the bottom of my list. With the exception of Peru, I doubt I will be exploring the others unless I am dressed as a popper. 

Come visit Canada. We have mountains, lakes, seafood and the French (if you like that sort of thing) and you can blend here well. Poor and  rich all walk the streets in relative safe territories.  Ignore the whole Rob Ford Major gossip. He'll be gone soon enough. Saint can even show you around Quebec if you need a translator.

 :juggle:
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Post by RoyBoy Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:19 pm

Goldiegirl, Canada is a very nice place , I have traveled parts of Europe, a little of the middle east, and some Asian countries, not yet South America,  at the age of 55 I am tired of this long winter, I love North America, just need to get down there and see what it is all about. plus see if my money down there could let me retire sooner . Can't expect the dinar to be a sure thing . We just hope and pray it will happen . ;-)
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Post by occe Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:37 pm

Canada is on a higher latitude than the U.S. which doesn't turn me on.

          hemademe    Wink
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Post by catman Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:22 pm

Friend of mine looked into Ecuador n a few years ago and was thinking seriously about going.  Just about that time his kids started having babies and grandpa wanted to stay around.  He did say that everything he checked into was great.  I wish he would have at least made the "go take a look" trip.
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Post by Goldiegirl Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:50 pm

Come visit in July and August. It's hotter than hell here and you'll feel like you're in the South.

I don't like winter either. Never have but just thought if you want a place to spend your money where it's relatively safe...Canada love Americans... Especially when you spend  your greenbacks. 
 :juggle: 

Myself, I think a Caribbean place most of the time is more my style and perhaps a few months in the Rocky's when its a bit to warm in the southern waters.

 Places To Retire: Ecuador 1150991001
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Post by Saint Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:18 pm

Goldiegirl. I can be a tour guide in Quebec. In the
Rockies I can be a better guide. Been in the Rockies for over 21 years and love it, all year round.  Places To Retire: Ecuador 2834342768

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Post by Goldiegirl Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:22 pm

Oh yeah French Boy?  Well I can hike 2300 feet in a day uphill better that most men.

Think you can keep up with me?

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Post by Saint Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:25 pm

I can climb Pikes Peak in less than five hours and that is over 14000 feet . So you have to get up very early to keep up with this guy. Just saying, no brag just fact.  Places To Retire: Ecuador 1150991001  Places To Retire: Ecuador 1150991001

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Post by Goldiegirl Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:04 am

@Saint wrote:I can climb Pikes Peak in less than five hours and that is over 14000 feet . So you have to get up very early to keep up with this guy. Just saying, no brag just fact.  Places To Retire: Ecuador 1150991001  Places To Retire: Ecuador 1150991001
Yes, but do you look good doing it?

 face to face
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Post by Saint Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:22 pm

I always look good no matter what I do even when I stumble and fall.  bigsmile ROTFLMAO  Laughing

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