March 24, 2017

RAM - Retired Abroad Magazine: We Know What They Won’t Say about Ecuador But What Are They Going to Talk About?

They refer to Ecuador as a “paradise” and with “perfect weather” all year round and easy this and easy that, etc. Reading just the first few lines of their sales chatter made our alarm bells go off.  We know that if we were thinking of moving to Ecuador or Panama, we’d want the real skinny, not the sugar-coating stuff.  See for yourself.

...yes, miles of unspoiled beaches that are still trying to recover from a devastating earthquake
We used to soak all this stuff in like sponges when we were in our 20s and before we moved to a “paradise” (No place is perfect as we all know).  We were young and didn’t know any better.  In our younger days there was no Internet and we were subscribers to their snail-mail, travel newsletter about living in cheap paradises around the world.  They were called something different then and they only had a few writers. Today they hire perfectly talented writers around the globe that whitewash how it really is.
 

For You Resentful Ecuadorians: Be on the Lookout, ‘Rams’ Pumping Ecuador, Again
 

In June of 2017 (RAM) Retire Abroad Magazine is going to have “another” conference pumping Ecuador.  Ok, ok, we know what they won’t say about Ecuador but what are they going to talk about? We wonder what has changed from 2015 in Ecuador that deserves such a big splash (conference) in 2017.  What are they going to say that they haven’t already said last year, or the year before, or the year before…? ….?...?
 

They even brag on their sales page that they have named Ecuador as the “best place to retire” for 6 years in a row.  Wow!  So then we have to say it again, we know what they won’t say about Ecuador, but what are they going to talk about?
 

Well, according to their sales spiel and getting through the white-wash, they will have their usual “experts” on banking, consulting, real estate and investments, speaking at the conference to help you make your move to Ecuador. They already have their own built-in experts picked out for you; isn’t that nice of them?
 

Next, they select a retired couple already living in Cuenca that will tell you how wonderful everything is and how they live so cheap and how good the medical system is, how cheap it is to eat out and how good the food is, and how great the weather is and how nice every single local is and how safe it is and blah, blah, blah.  Most of you know the rigmarole.
 

But watch out,  if the couple they provide for the Ecuador conference is anything like the couple they used as role models to the last Panama conference, then it’s time to start worrying folks. We meant to write about this back then and we wish we would have, but we never got around to it; so here it is now, we think it fits in perfectly with the Retire in Ecuador conference.
 

Role Model Couple NOT Your Average Retiree
 

When they had their last conference for Panama they used this couple as an example for retirees to see how cheap it is to live in Panama. They’re basically saying, “Look at how cheaply they live; you can do this too”.  Below is a snippet about this couple that moved to Santa Fe, Panama.
 

“The 60-something couple bought a small farm out in the country… they garden organically, growing most of their food so they don’t need to be near grocery stores; they have chickens for eggs, and they grow herbs for medicinal purposes instead of relying on healthcare.  They even call themselves “self sufficient”.  They are basically living in “their” paradise in a small town community on some acreage out in the country of Panama”.
 

Sounds good, right? There’s nothing wrong with being self sufficient, in fact it’s great. But let’s be real guys. How many 60ish something retirees are going to grow their own food and medicine?  Is this for real?  They are not your “average retirees”.  Guys, what were they thinking!?
 

How many people are going to move abroad and actually live like that? Does this sound like something you would do? Would you grow your own food, medicines and herbs instead of relying on grocery stores, health care and hospitals?
 

All of the retirees we meet want to be near a major grocery store and at least 15 minutes of a hospital! And that is the reality.  What do you think, is this a fair assessment of how you are going to live when you move abroad? Is using this self sufficient couple helping you decide appropriately if Panama or Ecuador is right for you?   

And incidentally has anyone actually shopped for land around Cuenca or in Panama?  Good luck trying to find anything at a reasonable price.  Clearly, the prices are similar to u.s. prices, and do not at all reflect developing world prices that are thrown around when reading about how ‘cheap’ it is to live abroad.  Check out our Ecuador guides for more detail on that.
 

Not to mention that living out in the country in a Latin American country can be dangerous, especially for a retired foreign couple. But we will not go there today. That’s a whole other article we’ll save for another day.
 

Whiner’s signing off, until we write again…
 

If you would like to have a more balanced view of what’s it’s really like to live in a developing country then please rummage through the 1500 posts we have written (many of them updated!) on this blog to help you make a more informed decision about your move abroad.
Source: InternationalLiving.com

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