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Why we didn't move

Hola,

My wife and I thought about moving overseas a few years ago , but decided to stay in the USA.

We did a lot of research on a lot of countries, but Ecuador was the most appealing.  This forum is a good source of information, because it gives equal time to opposing points of view.  I think the best information comes from expats who actually live in Ecuador, so read their blogs and get to know what day-to-day life is like for them.

Be careful.  Dreaming about a better life can blind you.  The same skunks who talk us into lousy car loans and worthless health insurance are selling over-priced condos in Cuenca and saying you can live like a king for $1,000 a month.  Greed knows no borders.

Learn to speak Spanish.  If you can't have a conversation with your neighbor or go to a grocery store without an interpreter, what kind of life do you have?           

I think it's possible to move to a foreign country and retire with dignity, but I don't think it's easy.  On the other hand, if you're prepared and realistic, it could be a hell of a challenge and adventure. 

For us, the hassle and uncertainty outweighed the benefits.

Try checking this for actual cost comparisons. The figures are provided and updated frequently by Expats who reside in those countries:
Country by Country and even Citywide Cost of Living comps.

As far as your comments about it being too much hassle to move ... I think you're still too young and life inexperienced to understand the harsh realities that the US confronts it's low income workers & Seniors with. My wife and I paid 500 bucks monthly for health insurance back in 2015, in the USA, just for the two of us. This was for a less than mid-grade, well researched plan, out of precious few available to us. At the age of 53, I went to the emergency room due to some heart pain (I'm actually very healthy) because it was "the prudent thing" to do. I kid you not, I spent 2 and a half hours there ... received a chest x-ray ... received two nitro pills ... was told to wait by a nurse (an hour and a half) who spent 10 minutes checking me in, including the use of a gurney, and finally got to see a doctor (not a cardiologist) more than 2 hours later who talked to me for about 5 minutes, followed by telling us to go home since everything was fine, just a minor scare.
Our then health insurance required a 450 USD deductible for the ER visit, 125 USD deductible for the room & gurney, plus a 60 USD deductible for the first consultation ... ALL OF WHICH WE HAD TO PAY ON THE SPOT ... at the hospital. But hey, you think that's bad treatment for someone with insurance? Hah, about 6 weeks later we get a bill in the mail for my hospital visit of 2 and a half hours. Another 1450 USD is what we were supposed to pay. Obviously we called them up with WTF is going on here ??? and were told that those were the amounts for procedures that the insurance refused to pay !!! My response ... WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? What treatments? What procedures? I saw a person at the registration desk, a nurse for 10 minutes, got an x-ray, two pills, saw a doctor for 5 minutes, so WTF are you talking about "procedures" that the insurance won't pay?
"Oh, we can't answer that question specifically, but that's the amount that's still due, blah blah blah blah blah." Yeah, that's how good hard working Americans are treated anymore (in Florida), and I'm willing to bet millions of people have stories like that to tell.

BTW, in the US millions of people go bankrupt and/or lose their homes every single year, due to medical expenses. Google it !!!

If I went back to the USA today, I'd still be too young to qualify for medicaid, but too old to find a half-way decent job (I have university education). However, if I want health insurance, medium to upper medium tier right now in 2018, it would cost me a whopping 643 USD monthly ... JUST FOR MYSELF. Oh yeah, stay in the USA and pray to god that you or your wife or your kids never ever get seriously sick, or even just a little sick.

Wanna hear more? Oh, you're going to love this one! We have a Son who moved out of our house at the age of 17. According to FL law, as our Son he's automatically insured by the State as long as he's enrolled in School. Well, during his summer vacation he was visiting with some relatives overnight and ended up with extreme stomach pains for whatever reason. Instead of calling us for advice, he listened to the people where he was visiting, who suggested that he go to the ER immediately. Different area, different hospital. Our Son was there for about an hour and a half ... received zero treatment, zero pills, zero x-rays, or anything else for that matter ... spoke to a doctor for around 15 minutes who prodded and poked, diagnosing him with a kidney stone. Our son was told to go home, that although the pain is pretty acute, he'll be able to discard the kidney stone by peeing it our naturally in a few days.
Six weeks later a bill arrived in the mail for his hospital visit ....
Believe it or not, 6900 USD to pay for ... WHAT ??? Un-friggen-real !!!


Reason for the bill? During school vacations the kids aren't covered by health isurance. We were able to get the state involved and with many many phonecalls, tons of paperwork and driving around during the course of 2 months, were able to get the State to cover most of that bill.

I could tell you more and more stories from people in the USA whom we know. America has some of the worst and most expensive medical treatments on earth, because of corporate greed in many places nationwide. Even worse than in some third world countries. Oh, and since we're in the Ecuador forum ... most Ecuadorian doctors are trained in Houston & Dallas, Texas. Also, Ecuador has been rated as the #1 Country with most technical & medical advancements in the world during a 12 month period, for the year 2017. Ecuador is also rated wayyyyyyyyyyy lower on the crime scale than the US and homicides by gun are so rare that it's almost unheard of if you're not residing in one of Ecuadors worst neigborhoods within one of the 2 or 3 largest cities. None of these insane mass-shootings or school shootings by gun toting idiots in Ecuador. And best of all, the US Dollar is the standard Ecuadorian currency ... which means that most of the time you won't even have to worry so much about your spanish speaking skills.

Stores, Gas stations, Markets, Taxis, Busses, Restaurants ... everywhere you go, prices are posted with a currency that you're already familiar with. On top of that, Ecuador has one of the highest rated public transportation systems. Many many raves about the escellence of public transportation right here in the forum. It's not perfect everywhere of course ... just like the rest of the world isn't perfect.

Bad people, scammers, rip-off artists, and hard core criminals are everywhere on earth, but if you do some dilligent research you'll find out that the US is one of the worst places in the world for that. Drugs, Homicide, Scamming, Abuse, Overpriced almost everything, it's unbelievable how much America has changed during the past 30 to 40 years. Political corruption is at an all-time high, the lobbies are running the politicians and the politicians are running the Country into the ground. Greed is worse than it's ever been too. There's no capitalism in America anymore today. Today it's called ... SUPER CAPITALISM ... from which exclusively well to do or rich people can benefit.
Look at how we treat *ALL* poor people, our teachers, our law enforcement personell.
Look at the millions of college kids working in poverty jobs, paying their student loans off for the next 10 to 20 years. Open your eyes and look at what's really going on !!!

In 2016 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's over 60 and as American as American can be, lived over 50 years in America. Both of us are 100% convinced that if we had remained in the US with our then health insurance, my wife would more than likely be dead today. Her level of care was so unbelivably fantastic, that to this day we're still in sheer awe at the amount of extra care and extra professionalism that my wife received here. Until you get the stones to leave that sh_t_ole Country called the USA, you'll never be able to understand or relate to real healthcare with affordable prices by doctors who actually give a damn and doctors who aren't working in order to get rich.

We pay around 225 USD monthly (that's for both of us) for state mandated health insurance and get treated like Royalty (compared to the USA). Our prescriptions cost 5 bucks per pop, soetimes good for up to 90 days, and so far we've almost never had to pay anything extra for other things. Heck, during my wife's 50+ appointments for her cancer treatments, we were even re-imbursed travel expenses !!! We actually feel sorry for all of the people in America who simply have no clue how everyone there is being bled dry by greed.

In most civilized Countries Worldwide, an Education is a Right !!! In most Countries you only have to be intelligent, to qualify for a university education. In most Countries you pay for your books & study guides, that's about it ... And not between 60.000 and 250.000 USD for a degree that you shouldn't even need for many jobs.

Where we live now, almost everything food related is priced about the same or much less (bread, cheeses, pastries, veggies, other dairy, wine, beer, childrens clothing) than in the USA ... while the quality of the food would literally blow your socks off. Here, the cheapest food is comparable to the most expensive Gourmet items that you can buy in American grocery stores. We currently live in Germany, but plan to relocate full-time permanently to Ecuador in 2020.

I only responded to your post because my wife and I were literally shocked, that someone who's never lived outside of the US for any number of years could actually write what you wrote. Hopefully this rant will give you guys something to think about. *NOTHING* outweighs the benefit of leaving that rip-off Country behind, absolutely nothing !!!
Best decision that we ever made, no intentions of ever going back to live there.

I must applaud both posts.
They each have good points to consider.
Situation for each individual / couple, differs, thus, decisions to be taken will depend on their circumstances, knowing that only with time they will find out if their move was convenient or not.

MM

And statistics show that 1/4 of the expats here in Ecuador go back home within two years.  Some are due to circumstances beyond their ccontrol,  but many could have avoided the heartbreak by spending some more time researching their planned move like LeftCliqus did.

Freejack :

. Oh, and since we're in the Ecuador forum ... most Ecuadorian doctors are trained in Houston & Dallas, Texas. Also, Ecuador has been rated as the #1 Country with most technical & medical advancements in the world during a 12 month period, for the year 2017. Ecuador is also rated wayyyyyyyyyyy lower on the crime scale than the US and homicides by gun are so rare that it's almost unheard of if you're not residing in one of Ecuadors worst neigborhoods within one of the 2 or 3 largest cities. None of these insane mass-shootings or school shootings by gun toting idiots in Ecuador. And best of all, the US Dollar is the standard Ecuadorian currency ... which means that most of the time you won't even have to worry so much about your spanish speaking skills.

. On top of that, Ecuador has one of the highest rated public transportation systems. Many many raves about the escellence of public transportation right here in the forum. It's not perfect everywhere of course ... just like the rest of the world isn't perfect.

Oh, and since we're in the Ecuador forum ... most Ecuadorian doctors are trained in Houston & Dallas, Texas.

Can you provide a credible source to support such a claim. When I injured my leg and saw an Ecuadorian doctor who was educated in Chile, I asked him where most Ecuadorian doctors are educated and he replied Ecuador. He didn't speak English, and when I first arrived, and suffered altitude sickness and my oxygen levels dipped, I went to the emergency room, and not a single doctor in the ER room spoke English. The translation was by a nurse who was using her Samsung phone to help translate.

Ecuador is also rated wayyyyyyyyyyy lower on the crime scale than the US and homicides by gun are so rare that it's almost unheard of if you're not residing in one of Ecuadors worst neigborhoods within one of the 2 or 3 largest cities.

Again, do provide a credible source, because for homicide rate for 2016, Ecuador was higher than US murder rate.

On top of that, Ecuador has one of the highest rated public transportation systems. Many many raves about the escellence of public transportation right here in the forum

Ecuador public transport is very good but elderly folk need to be in good shape to ride on and get off some of the buses, IMO. People who actually ride the buses, at least in Quito, know what I mean. The Ecovia is not only packed but can be dangerous with turns that can throw a person on the floor.

Actually, I had the distinct impression that their research wasn't anywhere thorough enough. It's one thing to conduct research on a Country where you might want to move to, which I believe they did. But it's a whole different story when you look at what you have where you are, and compare that to where you want to live. My wife and I know numerous people here in Germany who are shocked at the regressions in the US during the past 30+ years. For older people (55 and above) who are not on medicaid or have good paying jobs of at least 40K to 50K per year, it's not even affordable to live in the US anymore ... at least not when healthcare issues arise. Moving to another Country for the rest of your life should include the quality of living there. In the USA, unless as stated you're making really good money, the cost of quality life has become prohibitively expensive.

Will respond to the rest later or tomorrow.

.

vsimple ... I don't know where or how you find your information, but my facts about the USA come from actually living there on 5 different ocassions, spanning a total of 28 years, last from 2010 until 2015. Your assertion that crime, most especially homicides might be higher in Ecuador would be downright absurd & laughable ... if the statistics weren't as sad as they actually are. So let's begin with this ...

New York Times, 2016 information:

And this link here, also based on 2016 ...

Actual info. from Ecuador

Now mind you, Washington DC is not the worst by a mile, but already twice as bad as Ecuador.

Enjoy reading through these links, not about Ecuador but about the USA, and then please do go ahead and find me the links which directly contradict those, with statistics about Ecuador. Yes, you get to do some of the work too ...

Drug Addiction in the USA.

BTW, when I lived in Detroit, there were over 160 crack houses in a 1 mile radius ... and that wasn't even the worst part of the city.

Strictly mass-murder-shootings, VS none in Ecuador.

More than 100 shot on *ONE* day in *ONE* city.

Beyond ridiculous, poverty wages and people living in cars, enother epidemic.

Hmmm, I wonder how this one stacks up to Ecuador?

Just the tip of the iceberg. Utterly out of control healthcare costs.

How about this one, very important for Women ... an average of 27 rapes per 100.000 people in the USA as opposed to only 10 rapes per 100.000 people in Ecuador. Do your own work, google it, no doubt you'll find it.

BTW, the intentional homicide/murder rate per 100.000 people when you compare the 2 Countries is over 4 times higher in the USA. Again, I have no idea where you get your facts from.

So many more comparisons to make where Ecuador wins hands down. No, not everything is perfect in Ecuador, not by a long shot, but when compared to the USA, it's really a no-brainer ... for anyone who's looked for work, lived with poverty wages, tried to enjoy entertainment, and paid for any kind of health services in the USA.

Ahhh yes, here's one, the robbery rates in Ecuador are almost triple of what they are in the US. But hey, guess what, robberies aren't a deterrant for my wife and I to live or not to live in Ecuador, especially when you consider that rovbberies in the USA are often with guns which add to the above homicide list. And secondly, those robbery rates are from 2006 ... sorry, best I could find at the moment ... and in the USA robbery as well as all other crimes have also increased during the past 10 plus years, primarily due to the massive increase in drug usage.

Oh, here's another really scary read for you:
Despite a downwad trend? OMG !!!

We already talked about quality of food ... And America has the worst food quality that you can possibly imagine. Why do you think there's a litreral nationwide epidemic with obese people? Everything is raised to be huge and fat and fake and colored and ... DISGUSTING. When the quality of food is truly superb, you find yourself paying triple to five times the price of the same quality for food in places like ... oh, should I go ahead and say it ... yeah, I will ... places like Ecuador !!!

You know, I don't really care, believe whatever you want to believe, but I'll guarantee that as far as retiring with piece of mind is concerned, there's no doubt in my mind that Ecuador is wayyyyyyy more pleasant of a lifestyle experience from A to Z, when compared to the USA. I'm not talking about selectively stabbing at one or two things that may be better here or there, but I'm talking about as a whole, when you compare all that a Country has to offer its citizens/residents.

vsimple ... I don't know where or how you find your information, but my facts about the USA come from actually living there on 5 different ocassions, spanning a total of 28 years, last from 2010 until 2015. Your assertion that crime, most especially homicides might be higher in Ecuador would be downright absurd & laughable ... if the statistics weren't as sad as they actually are. So let's begin with this ...

what's absurd is the this following comment by you:

most Ecuadorian doctors are trained in Houston & Dallas, Texas

:D

As for the murder rate, the sources I provided, Wikipedia, which in fact stated the murder rate in the USA for 2016 was 5.3 per 100,000, and an Ecuadorian Newspaper which in fact stated the murder rate in Ecuador for 2016 was 5.69 per 100,00 are a lot more credible than your ignorant comments.

Moderated by Bhavna last week
Reason : Flaming/disrespectful
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Freejack, I don't know if you realize this, but you come across as quite abrasive and know-it-all yourself, to say the least.  Somehow I don't think you'll be happy in Ecuador.  Or that the Ecuadorians will be happy with you.

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