March 17, 2016

5 Untruths about Living in Ecuador and the Facts that Could Save YOU Money

1. Untruth - You need to pay 2 extra rents upfront.
 

Fact: There is no rental law that says you have to pay 2 to 3 deposits upfront. This is a new made up thing the RE agents started doing (in 2013) to get more money from the foreigners when they rent houses from them.  You don’t think they would get 2 and 3 upfront rents from the Ecuadorians, do you?
 

Here’s what they say: “This is how we do it now”.
 

Here’s what we say: “That’s not how we do it now”.
 

It is taking advantage of foreigners and regrettably, they pay up due to the lack of knowledge of the market, customs, behaviors and local ethics.  You don’t think you’re going to see your deposit(s) again, do you?
Save money!
Actuality: If the hucksters continue to try and get more money from you, be PREPARED to walk away…they might call you back and they might not but at least you can feel good about the fact you are not allowing yourself to become taken advantage of just because you are a foreigner; it’s wrong! Had they been doing this from the start, before all the gringos moved here then it would be different but they just started asking for three rents after the waves of foreigners started coming.
 

2. Untruth - Most retirees living here eventually learn and speak Spanish
 

Fact: Most retirees never learn Spanish well enough to interact on any kind of a deep level with the Ecuadorians and one reason why many leave; they feel disconnected. Many do learn a few phrases just to get by and that’s about it. 
 

On the other side of that coin, young adults who go local for economic reasons and children who interact with the local children daily are much more apt to learn more of the language within 6-months to one year.
 

Actuality: We’ve been saying it all along, you have to get out there and start speaking the language and if you do that, you’ll learn it! Taking a Spanish class or course is fine but only use it as a supplement to your hands on interaction with the local community!
 

3. Untruth - You can live like a King in Ecuador on Peanuts.
 

Fact: This statement is way over exaggerated.  We understand that folks don’t want to be pushed out of the standard of living they are so used to back in the USA,  however, the middle class you are looking for in Ecuador will cost you, in fact, what is considered luxury will cost you more here.
 

FYI:  Anyone can find a lower cost of living here but it will be a modest one and you’ll have to seek it out, not the other way around because the minute the locals see your face, you’re targeted as being rich! Nothing has changed on that score.
 

Actuality:  Living like a king is subjective anyway. Some people simply do not need the same things as another person and may very well feel they are living like kings and queens with a comfortable but modest lifestyle in Ecuador. And by the way, that’s the type of person who hangs around rather than moving on.
 

4. Untruth - English is widely spoken in Ecuador. 
 

Fact: Unbelievable, we’re seeing websites all over the internet that say English is widely spoken here but it really isn’t.  This disinformation is way over-hyped. Sure, in the expat circles English is all you will hear, but away from that, you’re on your own.  And yes, locals that want to "sell" to gringos speak English, but get outside of that and its another story.  

5. Untruth - You Can Retire on $900 in Cuenca Ecuador.
 

Fact: Only a very few select FOLKS can make it on $900 without thinking they are missing out on quality of life.  This taken from one of our other articles “CONFUSING INFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION ABOUT LIVING IN CUENCA ECUADOR on the subject and it still stands VERY MUCH true today. 

Actuality: If you live in a small apartment or house for $300 dollars; and if you seldom eat anything out other than the typical almuerzo for lunch and dinner; if you ride the bus rather than take a taxi; if you don’t buy imported foods, clothing, etc; if you text rather than talk on your cell phone; if you have the lowest/slowest Internet plan of $33; if you keep your utilities down to $50; If you never need to go to the doctor; and you can keep your food budget down to $200 a month; and lastly, if you can keep your miscellaneous expenditures down to $100 dollars per month, well then you might be able to make it on $900 a month. 

PS...we're not saying there is anything wrong with the above either...some people are happy living comfortably and modest while others need extravagance...to each their own, as the saying goes.
 

But we don’t think this is what the retire abroad press meant when they published the article on how you can retire on $900 a month and live like a king in Cuenca Ecuador, do you? Did they tell you all that above? And actually for those of you who did not see it, they first were touting that you could live in Cuenca on $600 a month, not too long ago.  

Now a days, people say they're scraping by on $1500.  But then, we think, there will always be gringos scraping by, because they haven't learned how to go local in a foreign country which starts with knowing the language and reading this blog.  Wink wink. ;-) :-)
 

Until we write again, you might like these related articles about living like a king in Cuenca Ecuador.
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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