March 29, 2012

Best Retirement City in the World: Cuenca Ecuador or...Hutchinson Kansas??



Yes, Hutchinson Kansas.  Why?  Before you click away from this article consider that we know of retirees in their 70s that live well on less than $1000 a month in Hutchinson Kansas.  We know this because they are long time friends.  We have personally spent time in Hutchinson Kansas so we know the city personally.  And finally, we considered moving to Hutchinson Kansas before coming to Cuenca Ecuador, so we investigated a lot of the important things people want to know before moving to a new place.

There are many North American Cities that would make for great retirement. We are not singling out Hutchinson for any particular reason except for the fact we have personal knowledge of and believe it would make for a low cost, low stress, peaceful retirement.  It would be one of our cities of choice to retire in if we had stayed in North America.

22 reasons why we might have chosen Hutchinson over Cuenca:

1. Hutchinson is flat, so it’s easy to ride a bike.  Even a three wheeled one.  Traffic is manageable.
2. Our 70 year old friends ride a “recumbent” bike.  It’s easy on his back. No car expenses.
3. Downtown is easy, you can walk to:  American style coffee shops, (with good coffee, ahem) small stores, grocery stores, familiar franchise restaurants such as Taco Bell and also buffet restaurants, even Mexican restaurants.  And yes, even the goodwill stores are well stocked, for low cost living. Do I need to say it?  Don’t need to worry about gas prices.
4. Organic stores are common with E Z access to all our favorite natural foods.
5. If you don’t want to pay for internet, there’s a very large library, within walking distance, and the books are all in English.    
6. Utility costs are low compared to many areas, we know, we called them and asked their rates.  Free wood for your wood stove from branches falling off trees at each snowfall. 
7. The downtown actually has benches on the intersections and corners in case you get tired of walking and no drunks to bother you while sitting.
8. Everybody speaks English.  You can make jokes and people laugh.
9. Large chains like Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe’s.  (Guys, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone-wink)
10. Extremely low crime rates.  Violent crimes very rare or unheard of most years.  Can walk alone on the streets without worry.  Safe even at night.
11. Family oriented, farming communities outside the main city center provide access to low cost farming staples, such as wheat, corn, gourmet goat cheese, raw honey, etc.
12. Low rents, average $400-$700 a month, and this is for large new or older houses, 3-4 bedrooms with yards etc.  Lower prices from $300-$500 for smaller houses.  Single apartments from $250, that’s not a typo.  You can spend more if you want to and get luxurious American standards.
13. Owning a home in the center is easy, usually under $50,000 for an older home with charm; some fixers for less than $30,000; median brand new homes at $85,000.  Lower prices means, aha, lower property taxes.
14. No smog. 
15. Four seasons.  Some people prefer seasons to bland and boring 365 days of the exact same weather day in and day out. Can grow different types of vegetables depending on season.
16. It’s easy to shop, because all the packages are in English!!! And if you need help, guess what, English is no problem.
17. Easy to blend in.  You will not be profiled, or assumed to be rich and therefore overcharged because you’re a North American.  No real estate bubble.
18. North American Disability access etc.
19. Peace and quiet.  No noise pollution like in Cuenca, even in the city center.
20. You can buy your favorite stuff off Ebay, craigslist or online auctions without worrying about excessive shipping costs, customs duties, etc.
21. Your family can visit you whenever they want, and even move there without concern over immigration requirements.
22. No dadgum almuerzo hour, you can still get stuff done between 1pm-3pm.

The city of downtown Hutchinson is pleasant and practical, trying to be artsy, in a small town way and is quaint and even charming.  It is clean and feels very safe.

Would you like to live there?

Things to Do 

Hutchinson boasts a nice mall, and movie theater.  There is also a Dillion Nature Center; and a very neat park called Carey Park and a pretty good-sized zoo. The downtown shopping district has a nice feel. Hutchinson has some nice parades and festivals and of course the state fair.

The city keeps the downtown area very clean and there are benches and tables all over the city center for sitting and enjoying the outdoors, weather permitting. Hutchinson is geared for retirees and walking around and enjoying a leisurely pace of life. For families with children, the city of Hutchinson has two community colleges and there are several more Universities within driving distance of Hutchinson in the cities of Wichita and Kansas State University.

Hutchinson has a 40,000 population but still boasts all of the above stores and franchises. It’s a clean city, with nice folks, organic food, low rents and real estate prices. 

It probably won’t ever make the retirement press but we think that’s actually a plus, so if you are thinking of an E Z retirement to a low cost, low stress peaceful lifestyle, why not consider North America.   We recommend you consider taking a look and do your own due diligent research about the practical and peaceful city of Hutchinson, Kansas.

So why didn’t we go there?  Read part 2 and find out!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Frank and Angie, if your Blog Readers are thinking of an E Z retirement to a low cost, low stress peaceful lifestyle and Beautiful warm sandy beaches and the safest place on earth consider Prince Edward Island.Rated and voted one of the top Islands to live and you can drive on and off this Island too and yes the water is as warm as North Carolina So if Ecuador does not meet your safety needs then I recommend you consider taking a look at Prince Edward Island and as Frank and Angie have said Please do your own due diligent research about the practical and peaceful Prince Edward Island You can see a great video of Prince Edward Island on my Blogger Profile....Joe

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