January 26, 2016

Ecuador Retirement: What Can I Expect with 25K in Cuenca?

A Reader Asks: My income is 25T,what can I expect? 1br+ba cost close to pk caldron? Medical services? Sorry for all the? I'm 82, get around quite well, a gym close to apt?
 

We are asked this question from time to time. Everyone is different, with own circumstances, wants and needs and budget and so this subject is very subjective and depends on you and how you want to live.  Cost of living in a tourist destination is ambiguous at best. Meaning, you just have to come here with a plan in mind and live your plan.
 

Throwing out some random figure on the table can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Here are a few things to consider about budgeting and cost of living in Cuenca Ecuador. By the way, we are assuming you meant $25K.
 

Bring Funds, Not a Wad of Cash
 

Rethink coming here without a pension coming in; unless you already know for sure you have something lined up that brings in your expenses for living. 25K might be enough to buy some land and get a residency visa, but how will you know if Cuenca is right for you? Plucking down your savings on property in Ecuador is not a good idea. We recommend that everyone come here and live for at least a year before investing in property.
 

Know Yourself & Know What You Want
 

If you are making your budget work in the U.S then it will likely work in Cuenca Ecuador as well. From your email it looks like your plan is to live in El Centro, walking distance to the park.  It sounds neat to live in the Center of town but many people learn the hard way, it's not as neat as they thought it would be.

Finding a one bedroom Furnished apartment in downtown Cuenca is easy and they range from $250 to $1000 dollar monthly rent. However, living downtown is not for everyone, especially the older generation.
 

A couple of examples come to mind that we know of personally. A single middle-aged woman lived in a furnished studio apartment in El Centro. She loved the apartment but across the street was two nightclubs and she wasn’t getting any sleep and had to move. The second example is of a couple who also lived in El Centro but after a couple of months the traffic noise and the diesel fumes wafting up into the apartment was overwhelming and they had to move.
 

We hear of numerous stories such as these. Staying in El Centro as a tourist for a few weeks or even a month is probably ok for the tourist, but for permanent long-time living it is not a healthy environment for emotional and physical well being. We've been saying this for going on five years in our DIY Cuenca Landing Guide.  Trying to save $20 and then having to waste hundreds to move again, well, its penny wise and pound foolish, isn't it?
 

For some people, staying in a condo with elevator and 24 hour security is what they need for peace of mind and for a peaceful night’s rest.  

Anyway, you did not specify monthly budget so we can’t really talk about what you can get (rental figures) for a certain amount of money but the one thing to be careful of is not to get taken advantage of when looking. Research the rental market so you know what to expect cost wise. Knowing some Spanish helps.
 

Until we write again…
 

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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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