Cost of Living in Ecuador

Would be moving from Maryland, USA, which is very expensive. Gas, housing, insurance, food, entertainment out-of-control. To even thrive, one must bring in at least $35,000 annually. And Thats the minimum.

Would a retiree moving to Ecuador on American Social Security $$$ be able to live comfortably? Because I'd hate to find myself poverty stricken AND in another country!

Thanks, Meg

megandmsm :

Would be moving from Maryland, USA, (where) one must bring in at least $35,000 annually. And Thats the minimum.

Would a retiree moving to Ecuador on American Social Security $$$ be able to live comfortably?

The average ‘benefit' for Social Security recipients this year (2016) is over $1,341 per month, which is about $16,000 for the year -- which most Expats living in Ecuador would consider a comfortable retirement income here for a single-person.

One-bedroom apartments can be rented in decent neighborhoods in Quito and Cuenca for 400-some dollars a month.  Check for city-specific budgeting.

In your case, Meg, some variables are in play:  your actual income once you start receiving Social Security ... your desired lifestyle ... and the possibility that you may wait the full eight years till you can “technically" retire (barring a Trump election upset ;) ).

cccmedia in Quito

Thank you so much for your info. And for correctly comprehending the cryptic political message in my profile (Trump) 😕

Thanks, ccc. I checked out but appears most of those numbers are out of date based on comments from posters who are currently in Cuenca. Just out of curiosity, I checked the numbers for cost of living in Richmond, VA where I live and they too are outdated (or some inflated) since folks have different perspectives of what constitutes a "comfortable" lifestyle. Naturally, purchasing local products will be more economical than exports. It seems the most significant deciding factors that compel many Americans (esp. those living on SS only) to become ex-pats concern affordable and decent housing, taxes and health care (not to mention spiraling prescription $ due to price gouging). However, as many ex-pats on this forum have advised, it is wise to visit Ecuador for a period of time before making any long-term commitments.
Regards, PS

I moved here without ever having visited.  BUT I had experience in other Latin American countries and speak Spanish.  Two big buts.

That said, I researched on-line for 6-8 months before moving to Loja Province.

And this is on Canadian income, not American, a big difference.  Still viable.


Hi, Helen:
Key phrase: prior experience! Good for you.


I too am Canadian, Helen Pivoine, with a meagre retirement pension, which I hope I can supplement with part time work in Ecuador  ($1,000 now, $1,500 in two years when I am 65).    Do you mind, Helen, giving some details about the manner in which you live, and what it costs you monthly?

I just wanted to mention what a great service, CCMedia you have provided me and I am sure many other expats over the years.  I hope others voice their appreciation.   I started my research about three years ago and now I am on schedule to move to Quito on August 31, 2016.  I am not sure how my plans would have developed without the information you have provided.
I hope we get to meet sometime while I am living there and I am able to take you to dinner or some other small token to show my appreciation for all the accurate and honest information you have provided.
Thank you so much.

Kudos to CCMedia

Yes, mega KUDOS to cccmedia for so much accurate, up-to-date information and sage advice, all with a witty touch!

Thank you, PS and Jade River.  When you get to Ecuador, please contact me in early September via PM messaging.


I live in Ecuador, and I live real good here better than most locals for sure. I have a small house on 1 hectare of land with a free flowing river behind that. The house is a modern only 5 years old large 1 bedroom with large kitchen and bathroom fully furnished with oven/ stove ,refridgerator and washingmachine no dryer but clothes hang dry better without shrinking. Rent only 300 per month utilities ( water , electric,trash and gas only run me about 31 dollars a month. Transportation about 50 to 100 a month lot's of taxis but you could slum it on the buses. Food maybe 200 to 250 depending on how much i eat out. Entertainment 50 to 60 travel/health about 50 to 60. Cable and internet about 90, I get directv gold package expensive and high speed internet. You could live well here under 1000 a month I spend about 1100 a month but I also ship a lot of products from the USA here which is quite expensive also use skype a lot which cost money and other miscellaneous things.

@schrifty, thanks for your (very interesting) post, I've moved it to the cost of living in Ecuador thread ;)

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