If the charm and affordable cost of living compared to the United States attracts you to South America, then you will find our list of best places to retire in Ecuador very helpful.
There are lots of reasons to consider Ecuador as a retirement destination besides the low cost of living. You will be surrounded by beautiful nature whether you opt for a life on the coast or in the inner part of the country. It will be easy for you to get to the United States when you get home sick since there are 8 flights per day from the capital Quito to the United States. There is a big expat community, so you’ll have no problems in finding a friend. Finally, you could say the people are happy here, since the World Happiness Report from 2017 ranks Ecuador as the 44th happiest country in the world, being in front of more developed countries like Poland and Japan.
When it comes to healthcare in Ecuador, the things have drastically improved in the last decade. According to WHO Ecuador spends 9.2% of GDP on health, while the life expectancy is 76.5 years on average. There were 1.67 physicians and 1.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people in 2011. Until a few years back, the foreign residents of Ecuador had to turn to private insurance, but thanks to legislation changes from 2014, expats can now join the public healthcare system for a monthly fee. The medical costs are considered to be very cheap and the quality of healthcare is satisfying.
In terms of safety and security, according to World Economic Forum report, Ecuador ranks in 85th place compared to the rest of the world, being one place behind the United States. Still, the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council Crime and Safety report for Ecuador tells us that the crime rate in the country is critical. U.S. citizens were often targeted by petty thefts and violent crimes, while the rates of conviction and apprehension were very low. Pickpocketing, bag snatching, and credit card frauds have been on the rise in the last few years. The criminals mostly operate around tourist attractions, restaurants, airports and on public transportation. The report singles out northern border region of Ecuador for being dangerous, due to organized crime. In case you want to see more of retirement destinations in South America, check out our list of the Best Places to Retire in Colombia.
In order for us to make the list of best places to retire in Ecuador, we searched for recommendations about good retirement destinations and places to live in the country from numerous sources including the Wall Street Journal, Expat, and Nomad List. Then we checked the most recommended places for the meal cost, the price of renting a one bedroom apartment (prices are taken from Numbeo and Expatistan) and hospital to population ratio (Google Maps). We assigned points to each place based on these criteria while awarding extra points for weather averages close to optimal (World Weather Online). You should note that hospital to population ratio should give you a picture of how many people are assigned to one private or public hospital in the destination. Also, the weather data is there to tell you the highest and the lowest monthly temperature, rainy day and sunny day averages in one year. Now, let’s begin our trip all over Ecuador and check out the list of best places to retire in Ecuador.