10 Years of Blog Archive

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Is it cheaper to live in Pennsylvania or Cuenca?

Someone posted a comment on one of our You Tube Videos saying that it was cheaper for them to live in Pennsylvania than live in Cuenca. Here’s her comment.

I'm married to an Ecuadorian, and we are probably going to end up there, but as far as cheap, it's cheaper to retire in central Pennsylvania. Homes are cheaper, no tax on retirement, etc.

And then just yesterday we read where someone posted on a forum saying they had to leave Cuenca and move back to Indiana because they couldn’t make ends meet here?

This is not the first time we have read something like this from people, nor will it be the last. About three months ago someone was saying that it was cheaper to buy a house in Las Vegas than in Cuenca. For some reason its fun for people to compare U.S cities with Cuenca Ecuador. But it’s like comparing kiwis with mangos, two totally different kinds of fruit.

Is it cheaper to live in some U.S states than in Cuenca? Absolutely not! Food, rents, taxes, utilities, and medical and dental are much more affordable in Ecuador than in many other places in the world.  

But even with that said, every individual, couple, or family has their own circumstances that determine the ideal place for them to live.  Cuenca may or may not be that place—this is why it takes careful planning and due diligent research according to YOUR circumstances BEFORE you come here.

If a couple or family is coming here without a plan and they have no retirement income, they may not be able to make it here—it really depends on how you want to live and what you want to do when you get here. Everybody’s situation is different. Some things can be risky, such as relying on a social security pension, since these pensions become smaller and smaller as the years go by and can change without a moment’s notice

It is true that in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and in many other major U.S locations real estate is a bargain right now. But that certainly does not mean it is cheaper to live there than here. What it means is you can buy more house for your money there right now than in Cuenca, maybe.

It could be cheaper to live in the U.S over Ecuador if you grew all of your own food, didn’t drive a car, owned your own self sufficiency home with alternative energy, and took care of your own physical and emotional health to reduce visits to the doctor.

Even though Cuenca’s property prices have risen about 20% percent  you can still find a diamond in the rough if you know where to look and how to negotiate a price that is fair to both parties—that means not letting yourself get gringoed.

The cost of living in Cuenca, at least at this time, and AFTER you have set up your home with furniture and appliances is far more affordable on the budget than most U.S cities.

The truth is anyone can live anywhere in the world quite frugally when they put their resourcefulness to work, have the right attitude, and the willingness to work the self sufficient lifestyle.

Does anyone think the reason we’re seeing these comments about U.S cities being  cheaper than Cuenca might be that people are reading about how cheap a place is to live somewhere and then, without doing their own diligent research, jet on down to the place without a care in the world?  Could this be the biggest reason “why” some people move back to where they came from?

Even with higher property taxes and higher utility bills, for committed self sufficient living, and if you don’t mind snowy winters, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania just may be cheaper than Cuenca Ecuador after all.  We looked into Pittsburgh Pennsylvania before coming to Cuenca.  Pittsburgh has a lot going for it.  It all depends on who you talk to…but as a lot of us know, there’s more to life than just cost of living…comments?...


  1. Doesn't the average Ecuadorian family live on much less than $5000 a year, roughly -- depending on what source you refer to on the Internet?!

    How are you going to do that in Pennsylvania or Indiana? I'm not buying it.

    I know Detroit had some houses for sale for a dollar, although the median price was $7500 about three years ago, which means it's probably gone down to about $5,000 now.

    Sure, property is getting cheaper in the U.S. every day, but that is only because the economy continues to collapse.

    The more the economy goes down the drain here, the more the taxes go, too.

    While it might be cheaper to stay in the stay in the states squatting in an abandoned tear down and dumpster diving, I'd hardly call that 'living.'

  2. My husband and I left Las Vegas a year ago. Sure houses are cheap right now, but consider the following: Utilities are high (105+ degrees in the summer and cold in the winter); it was the first place we had to have two cars (one payment plus the insurance on both) -- and then there's the health insurance issue. We are over 60 and the insurance for us was over $900 a month. It actually costs us less to live in San Francisco (for one thing, no cars -- we use buses, ZipCar, and the occasional rental car or taxi -- saves a bundle). And SF has a single payer health insurance citywide plan that costs us $200 each month for both of us. Go figure.

    So, while housing might be less expensive in some U.S. cities than in Cuenca, it certainly isn't the only thing to factor in your thinking when deciding on where to live.

  3. Thanks for the comments. Well its true, the thing that stands out is that the "instrastructure" costs are lower here. You do pay for that with minor inconveniences, at least we feel they're minor but some don't.

    1. I am considering to have a fund raiser since my
      living situation in USA is inpossible stuck in a
      totally non accessible apartment at a very high
      price and my identy was stolen so I can't rent
      another apartment because of poor credit again due to
      stolen identy. Done by my old maid Aunt who married a
      Pimp from England and bring him to USA and lived next
      door to us so my dream is to come to Cuenca. They are
      dead now but their crimes of ID theft has left its huge
      damage. The apartment I live in is no good for a wheelchair access and they wanted to put me in a nursing home at only 50s. I witnesses a man beaten to death for wetting his bed is the trama I suffered because his body was removed in the morning just hours after the nurses aides beating for wetting his bed. I crowed out and started panhanding and took the first apartment I could get since my credit was ruined and not been able to find anything else. I won't consider another nursing home the 2 I was in I was abused sexually and witnesses a murder in one. Now I am more wheelchair bound with pressure sores but I would not be in this situation if I had a rehab wheelchair and a accessible apartment. I plan to have a fund raiser to get money to buy a home or have a large nest egg and rent if I can find a decent rental with wheelchair access. I have panhandled for years so I could continue in Cuenca if I had to, that's better then stuck in a nursing home in USA just to solve a housing problem called wheelchair accesslbe housing. I don't need anyone to bath me if I have accessible made home. I am too tramitized to go into a nursing home after seeing that man beaten to death and sexually molested in the 2 old folks homes I was in and crawed out of after I had enough. Someone said I could go to
      Hutchinson Kansas for $200. rent. I can't even do that due to bad credit. Overseas is my only answer where my bad credit won't matter if I can raise the funds to get out. If I do it from USA I would have to raise funds for ID theft first being $75000. then hopefully $200,000. for my move overseas on IndiaGoGo.com I can't take SSI so I need funds to move having no income so I will need a $300,000. fund raiser to cover my ID theft bills then my living-retirement hopefully to buy 2 homes or keep in the bank if they pay normal interest on savings . I don't consider 1% acceptable, I would buy 2 homes live in one and rent the other for a income. I don't have a computer I am writing on my friends machine. I often go to library if you can answer my questions and call me "panhandler on SSI" then I will know your writing to me. How much are homes in Cuenca and how much are homes on the Beach beliving those would bring the best rents for those on vacation. If I am lucky enough to get out of USA and have a successful fund raiser to be able to get out. Called ID theft bill fund raiser and Wheelchair Home Funding. They got judgements against me so I have to fund raise that along with the Home for Wheelchair. My Old Maid Aunt who married a Pimp ruined my whole familys lives Cost my Grandfather a 30 year retirement due to her marriage to a Pimp he was let go or forced out 8 monthes before a 30 year retirement from TWA so they lost everything and went bankrupt in a nursing home they ended up in. I got M.S. is why I am in a wheelchair. Thanks In Advance

    2. hey panhandler. i too am in a wheelchair getting dissability of 720 a month, and want to move to ecuador. i beeen doing a lot of research. i am not rich, but i only owe 8000 due to id theft also. but i can cover that. i been saving every penny. i have about 35,000 saved to make the move and want someone i can share rent with. i live in kansas right now, i have a brand new modular with a mortgage that i still owe 80k on. my number is 9137312201 if you want to talk.. ooh my name is chris. i am in a chair due to a plane crash and am 40 years old with a 20 year old son who wont be going with me.

  4. PA is best to live if you are retired... You can benefit from many affordable retirement communities who provides attractive home for elder one for enjoying their retirement at the desire for quality amenities & modest retirement. So go Pennsylvania.. and live your quality life after retirement.. Thanks


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