Cuenca Ecuador

Retirement in Cuenca Ecuador

Retirement in Cuenca – I’ve got a couple o’ good reasons for ya!

When one thinks to retire in a foreign land they must think how to maintain a lifestyle that would par up or be better with the lifestyle left behind. Most importantly certain basics need be established if one is to think of permanent relocation. This is why Ecuador with it’s favorable climates, access to good and affordable healthcare, easily understood Spanish, and good Gringo landowning laws is a great destination. Cuenca is on the tips of tongues here and abroad as the most popular spot to settle here in Ecuador.

Previously, in our series of articles on Cuenca, I wrote about the great housing deals on Cuencan property. And it is a steal out there, not to mention that one get entitlement here. Not like other Latin countries where you can only own through an intermediary. But why else come here? Well, health is wealth, and any retiree should consider health options when choosing a good place to retire.

Being located on the equator, but at high enough not to suffer from the tropic extremity of the lowland tropics, Cuenca enjoys a mild spring-like climate that lasts throughout the year. January to April ushers in a slight rainy season, though this never lasts the entire day. Cuenca never sees much of a flux in weather patterns, making it ideal for those who want to escape the seasons.

Ecuador has quality health care and affordable at that. Here’s an example: I have a blown disk in my lumber spine and I had to have some MRI’s done. The flatout cost: $180 out the door. I did a Wikianswer search: one person paid $4307 plus the $700 Radiologist fee!!! That person’s insurance ended up paying $2500 of the cost. That’s $2500 dollars he paid. What’s your co-pay back home? What’s your deductible?

My doctor consultation fee here for my Traumatologist (Pain Management Specialist) — who is a good English speaking doctor: $20 a visit—and that’s considered pricey here. What is a consultation back home? At least $50 a visit. Starting to get the picture, cheaper to live here and pay out of pocket than live back home and pay your co-pays. Actually, there are good expat insurance—just do a Google search.

I did some quick company comparison (all the sites will give you instant quotes.) For annual deductibles of about $250 you get 100% coverage of up to $5,000,000. One can pay an average of about $4000 a year per couple. This allows you to choose any hospital and any doctor for your treatment. And this insurance carries you anywhere in the world you are.

Finally, if you come here you’ll find a an extensive expat community which makes for an instant peer group to ease your transitions and pass good times. Living in Quito, I have made friends with folks who have been living here years and years.

They know the ropes and they’re all fun folks, enjoying the life here. But don’t be like some and not learn the lingo. Ecuador is well known for it’s easily learned and understood Spanish. Here, they don’t have a very strong accent and don’t employ a lot of slang.

Thus, Ecuador is an ideal place to study and learn and through learning Spanish is Ecuador, you’ll find yourself making more local friends and having a generally more authentic time here. It also helps you because you won’t find a lot of officials and shopkeepers speak English. I wrote in a previous article about classes offered by the Cuenca Spanish school.

A bit of study goes a long way.

Best thing to do is come here and check it out. Check—a cornerstone website for those wishing to settle abroad–lots of property listings. Cuenca is an amazing city, a mild climate, friendly locals, solid expat community, good healthcare, and an easy accent to understand if you make a little effort. Good luck!

Click here for 7 additional reasons to relocate to Ecuador.

Addition from The Panama Gringo… (this is a network afterall): You might want to consider Panama as well. Check out a post on retiring in Panama here. And thanks Brian, for letting me sneak in here real quick!

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Thomas Kleeman says:

My wife and I live in Austin, Tx., a university town. One of the things we have enjoyed over the years has been the performances by the faculty and students of the School of Music at U.T. I searched academic programs at Universidad de Cuenca, but could not find any for music. Is there a music program there? I saw that there is a Symphonic Orchestra of Cuenca. Are there jazz groups as well? I have enjoyed the Andean music I have heard on my local NPR station, but I am curious as to what else is available.

As I struggle with learning Spanish, it is nice to consider that music is multi-lingual.


Hey Tom,

Thanks for the question. I will have to look into this more. Though Jazz music is quite popular in Ecuador so I wouldn’t rule it out. I know in Quito there is a real famous jazz club called El Pobre Diablo(The Poor Devil) check them out:

here is a link for music in cuenca I found.: seems there will be a jazz event in September!

Re: courses in the university of cuenca: having a bit of spanish language might be useful.

but there are a few sites to get you started.

Hope this helps


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