The Best Place to Retire Cheaply in South America

The Best Place to Retire Cheaply in South America

When looking for a place to retire, searching the beyond the borders of your home country can yield great rewards. Not only is retirement the perfect time of your life to travel and see the world, but living full-time abroad can allow you to live much more comfortably in countries with much lower cost of livings than your own. Ecuador is hands down the best place to retire cheaply in South America.

The low cost of living in Ecuador is made even better by the year-round Spring-like climate. With the low real estate prices, you can even have your pick in term of home locale. You can choose between a beautiful beach-front property, a relaxing mountain escape, or even city life. The wide-variety of living options is at the top of the list of why Ecuador is the perfect place to retire cheaply. In addition to the natural beauty, you also have access to lively college towns, history, and cultural offerings. Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of, told Forbes earlier this year that, “This country rolls out the red carpet for its seniors, as well—offering benefits like 50% off international airfares and cultural events. Plus, Ecuadorians are welcoming, friendly, and easy-going. It’s a friendly place to launch an adventure in retirement.”

So what are you looking at in term of actual dollars and cents? According to Burke Speaker of Investorplace, “rent for a great building often falls under $500 a month” in Cuenca, one of Ecuador’s best locales. It’s “a colonial city with a large and growing expat community… The city offers an orchestra and many art, theater and dance opportunities that are free — and culturally thrilling.” Smith agrees saying, “You can rent a furnished apartment in the colonial city of Cuenca, for instance – a place right in the heart of things – for $600 or less a month. And it’ll only cost you $2 or $3 to take a taxi across town.” The Forbes article adds, “you could live comfortably, rent included, for $1,800 a month.” Smith is quoted as saying, “a condo right on the coast that might cost you $1 million or more in California would cost you less than $150,000 along Ecuador’s northern Pacific.”

The financial saving don’t just stop at rent and cab prices either. The perfect spring-like climate also yields utility savings says International Living, “In the country’s Sierra region, you’ll find daytime temperatures typically hover around 75º F, which means you’ll find little need for either heat or air conditioning. (International Living editors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher, who live in the mountains of Ecuador, say their typical utility expenses…for electricity, water and gas…are rarely more than $30 total.)” They go on to say that, “Even along the coast, despite the equatorial location, daytime temperatures rarely reach 90 degrees, and you’ll experience far less humidity than in many other tropical destinations.”

Another factor to consider when looking into retirement locales is health care. Ecuador has an excellent private health care system, especially in the three largest cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. “And if you’re over 65, you can avail of some nice retiree benefits, including a return of money spent on VAT (value-added tax) on your purchases refunded each month—up to about $250,” says International Living.

Photo Credit: Rubem Jr

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