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Forget Panama -- too hot. How about Cuenca, Ecuador?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/2-places-retire-well-small-191...

When considering the world's best options for where to retire well on a very limited retirement budget, two cities jump out immediately: Cuenca, Ecuador, and Granada, Nicaragua. [No! Granada is too hot!]

Both Cuenca and Granada are beautiful and authentic Spanish colonial cities, founded in the 1500s. In both cases the cost of living is about as low as you'll find anywhere. You can get by frugally on much less than $1,200 per month. In fact, it's possible to live in both of these interesting cities on a budget of as little as $800 or $900 per month. For a more comfortable lifestyle by North American standards, estimate around $1,500 a month or so... living in either Nicaragua or Ecuador, you'd also enjoy low levels of government intrusion, low taxes, and few rules and regulations.

Both Cuenca and Granada are home to sizeable, thriving expat communities of North Americans. And residency is easy to establish in both countries, with low income and investment requirements.

Cuenca has the edge for big city amenities including theater, nightlife, and restaurants. It also has a new, upscale shopping mall and many options for modern health care facilities... Cuenca is located high in the Andes, at 8,200 feet above sea level. Thanks to its elevation, it offers spring-like weather year-round, with highs rarely above the mid-70s [Yes!] and little seasonal variation.
________________________

So, wolvie, what are you waiting for?

--fleg
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For Panama, try the Chiriqui Providence. Much cooler in that part of the country. They grow coffee in that area. You can go to youtube and find, shoot, I'm forgetting his name, but an American living in that area who does video tours around Panama while on his motorcycle. He's a trip at times, but you can get some really good stories/video's of Panama.
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Man I can retire there now!! Yes even if I pay off my huge student loan. Only problem what about change in country, culture....and losing proximity of friends and family? Political stability? What if another Chavez gets elected there?
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So, wolvie, what are you waiting for

LOL!! Sometimes I feel like taking advantage of something like that and living off my military retirement. It would appeal to the wanderlust in me. I've essentially lived out of a suitcase since I was 18. I've seen and done things that 99% of my fellow Americans can only dream about.

However, at some point, I wanna put down roots. I'm tired of starting over again. Plus, the only real family I have is my kid and I kinda like my kid. I kinda like being around her.
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" What if another Chavez gets elected there? "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You obviously have never lived in a community with a home owners
association.

Howie52
Worse than a Communist Party takeover.
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" What if another Chavez gets elected there? "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You obviously have never lived in a community with a home owners
association.

Howie52
Worse than a Communist Party takeover.
====================

I was telling DH this morning The Ballad of Barn 1.0. I will never live in a house connected with a homeowner's association.

arrete
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You obviously have never lived in a community with a home owners
association.

Howie52
Worse than a Communist Party takeover.


------------

Second that. They are especially intolerant of barn dwellers.
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What if another Chavez gets elected there?

Venezuela is not that bad for a Yankee, particularly if you settle in the anti-Chavez zone, like Maracaibo. There's a very strong middle class there, living in pretty nice airconned apartments. And as is the case in most socialist countries, not bad medical for routine stuff. If you need non-routine medical, you can do like Chavez himself and do medical tourism in another country.

Don't rely on the national level politics to make retirement choices.

Best Latin American country all around is Costa Rica. They have the best land laws. But the cost of living is close to stateside. Be careful about owning stuff elsewhere. Lease, instead.

For Ecuador, expensive to fly if you want to visit grandkids.

Kat
Going to Ven this week--sleeping in hammocks
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What if another Chavez gets elected there?

What if another Chavez gets elected here?
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aol
Man I can retire there now!! Yes even if I pay off my huge student loan. Only problem what about change in country, culture....and losing proximity of friends and family? Political stability? What if another Chavez gets elected there?


As long as America remains relatively free, I'll stay put here. However, I like the idea of vacationing at places for a month at at time so you can really soak in the local culture. How about renting a condo/house on the beach at places like that? I'm thinking you could do so pretty cheaply if you shop around.

decath
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I read that article. I was in Granada, Nicaragua last year and will be there again this year for a medical mission trip. Nice area. Get up in elevation and its not too hot. I did see some nice property for sale around an inactive volcano/lake.

While it would attractive, I think it'd be easier to assimilate into Canada or New Zealand.

JLC
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Both Cuenca and Granada are beautiful and authentic Spanish colonial cities, founded in the 1500s. In both cases the cost of living is about as low as you'll find anywhere. You can get by frugally on much less than $1,200 per month. In fact, it's possible to live in both of these interesting cities on a budget of as little as $800 or $900 per month. For a more comfortable lifestyle by North American standards, estimate around $1,500 a month or so... living in either Nicaragua or Ecuador, you'd also enjoy low levels of government intrusion, low taxes, and few rules and regulations.


I'm starting to think about living abroad again. My monthly pension payout from AT&T is just over $1,000. If I could find a place I really liked where I could live -- and live well -- on my pension alone, without touching any other monies, I would love it.

This month's International Living magazine has an article written by a guy living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who shows you how to live there on a budget of about $950 a month.

-andrew, living on $2,100 a month in Chicago and starting to feel squeezed
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Political stability? What if another Chavez gets elected there?

Rent instead of own your home, and if things go south, you can always pick up and move somewhere else.
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"This month's International Living magazine has an article written by a guy living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who shows you how to live there on a budget of about $950 a month."

Been there.....nice place.....but you are 10,000 miles from the places you know and the friends you know.

Thailand is a friendly place....but it is still a long way from Chicago.....

Chiang Mai is like 500 miles north of Bangkok....second biggest city.....

10 years ago, I spent about 5 days there.....stayed at a nice hotel (not a western one) for $20/night. Ate out most meals. There's a fair number of tourists there. There were a few TV channels, but the radio is all in Thai, and I think there was one English TV channel - like the BBC. You might be able to get more on satellite TV..... but you give up things like US magazines (expensive to ship). A lot of us foods.....you'd have to substitute asian ones......and friends and contacts. Nice weather year round.....

the place was full of motorbikes ....and traffic during the day.

I think I'd be bored after 2 months..bored out of my mind.

But it is low cost living, if you can adapt to eating a local diet.

REstaurants serving western style food were not cheap.


t.
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-andrew, living on $2,100 a month in Chicago and starting to feel squeezed

We served in a DR Congo village for 10 years, as part of a faith-based NGO. Some idea of costs:

Utilities: Off the grid. Solar panels.
House help (required, or your neighbors will think you're stingy): $60/month.
Medical: Very cheap if you could find any. Mostly self-treat and consult with a local nurse, good at diagnosing local ailments, and keep wholesale quantities of standard drugs around (for yourself and share with friends). Fly out ($700 each way) if you need more complicated medical.
Water: Send house help running to source with buckets. Purify with water filter.
Food: $20 would feed a family for a week.
Entertainment: Friendship, hunting, fishing, gardening
Car: You kidding? We got around on bicycles
Taxes: We learned to be very nice to local government officials.
Our biggest expense was to charter a flight out on a bush plane every few months. In the 90s, that cost $700 per flight. We could sell seats we weren't using, and there was local mining going on, so people with money to pay. I had a flight manager who I paid a commission to for filling the seats.

I reckon our monthly expenses, even with flights, came to well under $1K.
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We served in a DR Congo village for 10 years, as part of a faith-based NGO.

Didn't you guys write a book about that? "Falling Through The Outhouse Floor"? Hilarious and good read. IIRC, I think I got you guys to send an autographed copy.

JLC
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Been there.....nice place.....but you are 10,000 miles from the places you know and the friends you know.

Thailand is a friendly place....but it is still a long way from Chicago.....

Chiang Mai is like 500 miles north of Bangkok....second biggest city.....

10 years ago, I spent about 5 days there.....stayed at a nice hotel (not a western one) for $20/night. Ate out most meals. There's a fair number of tourists there. There were a few TV channels, but the radio is all in Thai, and I think there was one English TV channel - like the BBC. You might be able to get more on satellite TV..... but you give up things like US magazines (expensive to ship). A lot of us foods.....you'd have to substitute asian ones......and friends and contacts. Nice weather year round.....

the place was full of motorbikes ....and traffic during the day.

I think I'd be bored after 2 months..bored out of my mind.

But it is low cost living, if you can adapt to eating a local diet.

REstaurants serving western style food were not cheap.



Chiang Mai has been on my radar for quite some time, mostly because Paul Terhorst and his wife have lived there and it's one place they keep returning to again and again. They've written brief blurbs about the place (on their website) and it's always sounded like someplace that might interest me. Second-largest city in Thailand, but nowhere near as frenetic as Bangkok.

The guy in the International Living magazine described it as a "big college town".

They have restaurants with a good mix of international cuisines there, from what I've read -- not just Thai and other Asian -- and I even checked out some of the menus online and they didn't seem all that expensive to me after factoring in the conversion rate. Of course, in a foreign country, your cost of living is always best if you live like a local.

Will write more later, maybe. I'm up early today because I have to go to the lab and have blood work done. Leaving in a few... I've been putting it off for six weeks now and can't let that slide any further. What a bad boy I am.
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Didn't you guys write a book about that? "Falling Through The Outhouse Floor"? Hilarious and good read. IIRC, I think I got you guys to send an autographed copy.

Busted. 8-)

Non-profit blurb:

My wife wrote Through the outhouse floor. Still on Amazon, of course, including Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Through-Outhouse-Floor-adventures-miss..., http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddi....

Somewhat dated. Our friends there now have cell phone access, I believe. Proceeds go to scholarships for these folks.

Paul
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