Close

“Cuenca never wanted to attract retirees,”

said Ana Paulina Crespo, the director of international relations for the municipality. “In fact, we’re facing lots of problems over how to deal with a phenomenon that we aren’t responsible for creating.”

“Cuencanos are feeling like strangers in their own city,”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation- … 93359.html

It reads like an IL piece especially with the prices, "live an upper class lifestyle for $1500." And that's for two people.  :unsure

I don't know what they're talking about, and just to expose such nonsense, a public sector nurse starting salary here is $1250, and I am 100% certain that these nurses are not living upper class lifestyles. My closest friend and his wife earn a combined $2200 a month, and they are middle class folk.

A pharmacist I know makes $1400 a month and she is not living an upper class lifestyle. A junior engineer I also know earns $2400 a month, and he is not living an upper class lifestyle.

So how two expats with a combined income of $1500 a month can live an upper-class lifestyle is beyond me. Especially when 1 Ecuadorian with the same monthly income can not live an upper class lifestyle.

vsimple :

It reads like an IL piece especially with the prices,.

Yes, but I doubt IL would publish some of those unfavorable quotes towards expats. It would sort of be like them saying you can live well here in Ecuador on your pension, but don't expect the locals to welcome you anymore.

I noticed over on the DrudgeReport today that Drudge posted a link titled

"Retirees flock to Latin America to live upper-class lifestyle... $1,500 a month..."
along with the following photo of a church in Cuenca.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9kTm9BXUAAhhP8.jpg

The link is for the same article in the Miami Herald but posted on the Charlotte Observer.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/n … 9.html#fmp

I wonder how many new recruits to Cuenca this article will generate.

Seems like the same old same old, saying 10,000 expats are negatively affecting a city of 350,000.  Always easier to blame the foreigners for your troubles at home.  Can't see them bending the Healthcare system too hard with such low numbers. If they are charging less than 1% what it would cost in the USA, then they can expect more of the same.  As I understand it now, health insurance in Ecuador, based on my income , would cost considerably more than my medicare in the USA..

Whether the grievances are real or not may not matter because perception is everything. A taxi driver from Cuenca who moved to Quito voiced such concerns mainly about rising real estate costs. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant because he believes it. This isn’t much different than in some countries where they blame immigrants or illegal immigrants for crime yet they only make up a small percentage crime.

So it’s all about perception, and if locals truly believe it then to them it’s real.

Let’s put ourselves in Cuencanos shoes and see if they have justified grievances.  Considering that many expats there are retired folk we can’t merely say they comprise a small percentage of all Cuenca residents in terms of healthcare.

We would have to estimate how many Ecuadorian seniors there are in Cuenca and calculate and determine that ratio to expat retirees.  So let’s say Cuenca’s population is 600, 000,and local seniors make up 7%, which is based on Ecuador’s demographics of 65 years and older population or about 42,000 for Cuenca's seniors population. Then something like 6000 expat seniors is about 15% and that’s huge percentage for outsiders and could be quite visible within the healthcare system.

So what to do about that 15%?  Perhaps non-citizens should pay higher rates, meaning Gringos would have to be in country for at least 3 years before getting the preferable rates.  How many expats become citizens?

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that but what you suggested is possibly a solution if the new rules that mandate expats pay their fair share or 17.6% does not work out. So I think it will take some time (few years) to see what the numbers are after this new rule.

I tried to read this article from an unbiased opinion.  First of all, here in manta when I meet expats I've never met before (lately), they all seem to be heading back to the US.  From all the horror stories that I have heard from local expats here, I would never sign up for IESS or go to a govt hospital for care.  We have always paid out of pocket for all our medications and medical issues, including surgery and hospitalizations.  Even in private hospitals if you don't stay very proactive and know your issues, you could still die easily from the lack of knowledge/care.  I know this from experience.

I have also heard that the # of expats in Cuenca has been dropping rapidly.  However, having never been there I take the info with a grain of salt.  When I rented a 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath here, I was paying $650 a month and trust me it was as basic as it could be and unfurnished.  I still had to pay for water and all utilities.  Yes we are looked at as walking atm's, and that's why I usually no longer wear makeup or even costume jewelry, except for special outings.  I never draw attention to myself since I'm so fair complected I stand out anyway. 

I'm still amazed that locals don't understand that we help their economy, especially since the govt just issued sovereign bonds to make up their fiscal budget for 2017.  Not to mention that they default so much on repayment that ecuadors credit rating is not so great.  If expats leave and quit contributing to the local economy, I think locals will have a tougher time in affording things and trying to live a better life style.  But their thinking is different than ours, and most, however not all, only see today and not in the future in terms of jobs and economy.  Even if they did I'm not so sure they would understand the concept.  So either we deal with it or find another place to live, and my guess is that we would face the same thing in any developing country.  Just my opinion.

Thanks for your honesty and straight shooting thinking.

mugtech :

As I understand it now, health insurance in Ecuador, based on my income , would cost considerably more than my medicare in the USA..

Well, I see someone on Cuencahighlife agrees with you.

Ricki  Andrew • a day ago
We are a couple that are already planning a plan B. No planes to GYE, impossible service at IESS, and soon to be twice as much as medicare. Portgual is looking really good,

I moved to Ecuador upon retirement because I wanted to continue to challenge myself.  I surely am not disappointed.  Living here is an extreme challenge.
I started planning my move here a good three years before my actual move.  I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.  None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.  And the cost of living was under estimated.  There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.
And then there is Customs who will squeeze as much money from you as they can.  And not just a little.  Walking ATM is a good description of the general attitude of the locals.  Just about all will have a proposal for you to give them money.  Every problem you encounter here, and there are many, will have a $$ solution with a discount for cash.  And the onus is on the customer for all transactions just about everywhere.  People are friendly enough but expect, as a customer, to do the work.  Things that take a few minutes in the US can be several processes here that stretch over several days.
That said I have absolutely no regrets.  I love Ecuador.  However, I did not move here for the easy cheap life.  If that is your goal Ecuador is not for you.

JadeRiver :

I moved to Ecuador upon retirement because I wanted to continue to challenge myself.  I surely am not disappointed.  Living here is an extreme challenge.
I started planning my move here a good three years before my actual move.  I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.  None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.  And the cost of living was under estimated.  There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.
And then there is Customs who will squeeze as much money from you as they can.  And not just a little.  Walking ATM is a good description of the general attitude of the locals.  Just about all will have a proposal for you to give them money.  Every problem you encounter here, and there are many, will have a $$ solution with a discount for cash.  And the onus is on the customer for all transactions just about everywhere.  People are friendly enough but expect, as a customer, to do the work.  Things that take a few minutes in the US can be several processes here that stretch over several days.
That said I have absolutely no regrets.  I love Ecuador.  However, I did not move here for the easy cheap life.  If that is your goal Ecuador is not for you.

Good post.  :top: And I'd like to add to what JadeRiver wrote.

Living here is an extreme challenge.

Spanish in itself is a huge challenge and there is no way around it for a person who wants to be part of society and not isolated, and I will delve into the Spanish aspect more later.

I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.

A few reasons come to mind, they have never lived here, they profit in some way and the same is true for newspapers which have paid content on their websites even if disguised. There are only a few honest newspapers that explicitly state that such an article is paid content.

But lets not dismiss many online posters who paint Ecuador as a cheap utopia, but ironically some of these bloggers have went silent, some have even moved to places like Mexico.

None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.

As I mentioned some have an agenda, but also realistically how can anyone understand what an Expat is going through unless they are walking in his/her shoes. I mentioned Spanish as a challenge and without it one will be isolated. I am putting in 3-4 hours a day of organized Spanish. That's right, 3-4 hours and I don't mean entertainment like watching all Spanish TV shows with Spanish subtitles to train my ears.

Learning Spanish has become part of life, and the 3-4 hours I learn is every single day and expect to be doing so for the next two years at least, and hopefully after that it will be limited to 1-2 hours a day.

Then there's the cultural differences, a mindset of some Ecuadorians that is just completely different. Yes, it's a challenge and it's the same like trying to think in Spanish, an impossible feat without the drive to try to be fluent (even if that is impossible for most of us). Personally my challenges have not been extreme and it's because of friends and acquaintances who I've asked to intercede on my behalf in many challenges.

There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.

Definitely, and lets not blame it solely on customs because even with duty, taxes and fees that are upward of 50%, there is still no justification for prices charged by merchants for many items. There are items that are literally 4-6 times the cost. Think about it, if you are paying $350 for a $75 item (e.g.  dehumidifier), then that is the equivalent of buying KIA but paying for a luxurious Mercedes Benz.

In all, I appreciate posters like JadeRiver because they tell it like it is without sugar coating, and this is something that we don't get from media entities with an agenda or even people who downplay the costs and challenges.

As for myself I also love it here, and it's full steam ahead. But it's requires a lot of effort on my behalf and allocating 3-4 hours to learning Spanish every day is no easy task especially for an adult, but thankfully I'm at a point where I accept it and receive a level of satisfaction. There's also the costs of living here that are much more than I have ever anticipated and I'm expecting costs to increase as subsidies will eventually be phased out. It might be a third world country but don't fool yourself with equating that with third world prices. Dinner for two with a couple of glasses of wine is easily $70-$80 at mid range restaurants, e.g. Lucia Pie House & Grill.

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

norviato1 :

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

It is not that Spanish is any more difficult to learn than any other language, it is more that people who have only spoken their native tongue until age 65 have that much more trouble with learning a new language.  Many USA citizens believe everyone should learn English, don't learn an additional  language because they cannot see any profit in doing so.

Don't go all cranky on us.  Everyone knows Europeans are very special, however it is much easier to learn a foreign language at a young age which the Europeans do.   Read up on the language learning abilities of the aged. I did.  I took an eight week course in Espanol which was mostly verbs.  The rest I am learning poco un poco and it is one of the challenges.  I think it is even more challenging for an English major such as myself due to the self inflicted expectations of proficiency.  To get where I am with English I took 16 years of courses not counting what my parents taught me before starting school, and I am still learning.  But again, I love the challenges and I love learning the Spanish language.  There are many very cool things about it.  Please just don't belittle me because I find it a challenge.

JadeRiver :

Don't go all cranky on us.  Everyone knows Europeans are very special, however it is much easier to learn a foreign language at a young age which the Europeans do.   Read up on the language learning abilities of the aged. I did.  I took an eight week course in Espanol which was mostly verbs.  The rest I am learning poco un poco and it is one of the challenges.  I think it is even more challenging for an English major such as myself due to the self inflicted expectations of proficiency.  To get where I am with English I took 16 years of courses not counting what my parents taught me before starting school, and I am still learning.  But again, I love the challenges and I love learning the Spanish language.  There are many very cool things about it.  Please just don't belittle me because I find it a challenge.

Isn't it more of a necessity for Europeans to speak, or have a basic level of proficiency in several languages?

If you took the U.S., broke a bunch of different states into countries with different languages, and then put them at war consistentely with each other, like Europe, then many Americans would probably speak more than one language, and there would probably be much more emphasis on teaching foreign languages at a young age. There just isn't that great of a need financially, or for safety that Americans need to speak several languages. It's still much more important financially, and for safety reasons that Europeans have a good grasp of various languages. Granted, Europe isn't as unpredictable as years past, but there is still an awful lot of bad feelings amongst many European Nations towards their neighbor's that could blow up at anytime, and lead to an uncertain future.

That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to study, and try and learn different languages. Especially if where you are moving speaks a different language, and personally think there should be more emphasis on starting children at a younger age in language courses in the U.S.

norviato1 :

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

So you assume that Lucia Pie House & Grill is a “gringo joint”, because of the name? By that same faulty logic you would assume that Mizu is frequented by Japanese, and that Soulvaki is frequented by Greek.

Clearly that is not the case because in Quito, many restaurants are named after their cuisine rather than by the people who frequent them, for e.g. Lucia is American cuisine, Mizu Japanese, and Soulvaki Greek.  All of them like nearly all restaurants in Quito are frequented by Ecuadorians, a fact that anyone who regularly dines out would know.

As for why Europeans know multiple language, read what JadeRiver wrote. Many Europeans are beneficiaries of multiple languages because in some European countries children from as young as  elementary school are taught a foreign language, and from secondary school they are taught a second foreign language. A small percentage of students are also taught a third foreign language.

So comparing Europeans’ proficiency in multiple languages which for many was acquired in adolescence to people who have moved to Ecuador at as adults is an illogical argument, simply put it's like comparing apples to oranges.

Ok, I haven't gone cranky on any one, and I do get the picture about the aged learning new languages. My point is that Anglophiles were taught from the beginning that English was the only language that mattered. That's why wherever they go, they expect everyone to accommodate them. Now that the tables have turned their arrogance has gone to the back burner. I'm an Ecuadorean that has lived in the U.S. since I was nine years old. I'm bilingual by choice because my cultural heritage was important to me and that includes retaining my native tongue. I'm seventy years old and I'm certain that I could learn another language. Specially any of the romace languages. (Latin based) I have to hear my neighbors talk about how foreigners should only speak English But then, they're not migrating to another country because their pension is not enough, or the weather here stinks. Does that seem fair?

That is great.  If I lived here Ecuador since age nine I would probably be bilingual as well.  While I am sure there is the exception, I am also quite sure that very few US citizens move here expecting the locals to speak English.  Whether or not they choose to learn the native language is another issue.  I really would leave this thread alone but your generalizations ("...expect everyone to accommodate them...") and labels ("...Anglophiles..." do you know what that word means?  What does England have to with anything in this discussion?) pull me back into the conversation.  I believe this forum is designed to be helpful to expats.  I haven't seen anything in your contributions to this thread that is helpful.

The English are very similar to Americans in attitude. The rest of Europe can speak different languages but not them. Oh no, what would be the reason? So the argument you just gave me doesn't hold water. You have to understand that speculation is often the cause behind high prices. I eat out quite often and I see it even here in the U.S. So you guys are helping Ecuadoreans catch up to that malady. Now, I think you might have misspelled Souvlaki in your attempt to sound world class. I visit Quito often as I have family there. So, please don't try to sound like an expert and talk down to me. I could be your guide and Spanish teacher amongst other things.
Have a good day!

You misunderstood. I left Ecuador and moved to the U.S. with my family when I was nine years old. My mom worked for the Ecuadorean mission to U.N. Sixty years later I'm thinking of moving back to my roots. The U.S. has strong cultural ties to England, like Ecuador with Spain. That's why I used the word Anglophile. Or did you think that Americans created their own culture out of nothing? I contribute to this forum from a different perspective. By letting foreigners know what Ecuadorens are thinking. Instead of an inside click with their own questions and answers, that keeps them in the box.

Profit sounds monetary. When people are truly cultured they see themselves as part of the global community. That entails learning how others think. Understood, that learning a new language when you're older is not as easy. But, if the drive and interest is there you can do it.

Yes, but your Medicare covers only 80% the rest is on you. The latest healthcare in Ecuador would cover everything including dental. No pre-existing conditions, no copayments, no deductibles. Not to mention complete drug coverage. Can you find that in the U.S. at any cost? Of course time will tell how efficient it will all be.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Ecuador

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Ecuador

Moving to Ecuador

Find tips from professionals about moving to Ecuador

Travel insurance in Ecuador

Enjoy stress-free travel to Ecuador

Flights to Ecuador

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Ecuador