One option for a cheap country to retire to that many Americans don’t necessarily think of is Ecuador. However, they really should as there is a lot to recommend it. Not only is it inexpensive to live there, with a couple being able to live in a rented apartment with a full time maid for less than $1,000 a month, but it has a great climate as well.
As Ecuador is located on the equator, the climate is very nice. You can live down by the beach at the lower altitudes and have mainly 80 degree days, or you can live in Quito up in the mountains and have 60 degree days. There is a fair amount of rain for about four months of the year, but this is usually in the afternoons. The altitude will take some getting used to as well. This is a very bio-diverse country, so nature lovers will really enjoy their time here.
Those who like a more cosmopolitan big city environment will definitely want to be in Quito. The infrastructure in the country works well, and, best of all for people that don’t want to be constantly thinking of exchange rates, they use the dollar as their currency. In Quito there is public transportation, shopping, restaurants, and museums to keep you occupied. They are also very welcoming of Americans. You will have to pay a fee of $350 for the visa, however. If you are in one of the larger cities you will have access to well equipped hospitals that have qualified doctors, many of whom have trained in the United States.
Health care is even less expensive than in Mexico. You also don’t have to worry about not having the luxuries you’ve been used to. You can get U.S. cable stations for less per month than you pay back home.
The economy and the government are stable in Ecuador, and the level of crime is said to be less than that in the United States, which is great when it comes to a cheap country to retire to. You know you are likely to be safe, and you don’t have to worry much about investments you might make in property and belongings. There are also a fair number of people who speak English.