Back From Ecuador

By: Dixie Davey

Would you have guessed? We have already booked our ticket back to Ecuador in June. The air travel is quite expensive, but so long as you stay in Ecuador for a reasonable period, the lower costs-of-living quickly compensate for the high travel costs ' stay for 60-90 days and it is about break-even. But any successful opportunities sourced soon make the trip very viable.

It has been quite a shock to get used to the higher costs here in Australia fuel, food, clothes, accommodation, entertainment. I think we became very accustomed to living on the other side of the world, in comfort with relatively very few dollars being expended. It really is true that a couple can live easily on less than $20,000 year ' and that includes rent. The requirement to get a "retirement residency" is that a person has to prove that they get at least US$800 per month as a pension or from superannuation (US$900 per couple). The Australian single pension is about US$1,050 so that easily qualifies (US$1,780 per couple). That benchmark provides an idea as to what the Ecuador government thinks is required to live adequately.

And the best thing is that we will be able to conduct a business without too much pressure, and we won't have manufacturing issues to deal with. Ecuadorian lifestyles also seem to be much lower pressure than in Australia.

And if you know friends or family who are struggling with coping with lack of cash in their retirement, encourage them to look at other options by living overseas. We now know that it is not always necessary to stay on the treadmill of making more money to afford a high cost of living. Another option is to live in a low cost environment and reduce the pressure on the income requirement. The savings from lower living costs will more than cover a couple of trips back to Australia each year, so living overseas does not mean that retirees have to do without contact with family. And these days with Skype internet communications, they can talk to family every day for as long as they want - for FREE. With video (web cam) you can also visually see loved ones while you speak to each other.

An example of how many people struggle to make ends meet in retirement was illustrated in an article in our West Australian issue of "The Sunday Times" last week. It was pointing out how difficult it is for pensioners to live on AU$546.80 per fortnight (AU$14,000 per year).

"Thousands of impoverished pensioners are rationing their food, going without simple pleasures and doing it tougher than ever before".

This situation would not be the same in Ecuador if the same person lived in that country with the same pension. Quality accommodation can be achieved with just US$250 - $300 per month. For a couple, the numbers are even better. That leaves a lot for food, transport and entertainment. Medical and dental is also much cheaper than Australia and insurance can be purchased for less than $100 per month (for over 65 year olds).

No wonder Ecuador is listed as one of the best countries in the world to retire (see. www.internationalliving.com/)

Hasta Luega

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