Hello, I just retired knowing that my pension will not offer a living in North America. I'll have my pensioners visa by early October and my plane leaves October 30th for Quito.
I'll start with Mindo although it could be more expensive due to tourism. But I'll look around the mountains closer to Quito without going much higher than Mindo. Also between Tena and Archadona. I hope to find a wood house of comfortable size and a yard to grow some food. I don't like big cities. I could learn that the city is better to start with since I won't be fluent in Spanish.
I know about the benefits and drawbacks for several areas.