Saturday, May 1, 2010

One of the Cheapest Places on Earth

Own a brand new beachfront condo for $75,000. Or a luxury apartment for $28,000. Employ full-time household help to cook and clean for $30 a week. Enjoy a gourmet meal for two, with wine and dessert, for $25.

Every cliché you've heard about living large on little…about settling into the lap of luxury on even a pensioner's budget…is true in this country.

Ecuador has my attention because it offers some of the cheapest property values in the world today. For example, you can buy a high end 1,000-square-foot condo on the beach for less than $100,000…or a comfortable mountain retreat for less than $50,000.

Last year, Ecuador topped International Living’s Retirement Index, which praised its quality of life and low cost of living.

In this country, you can live high in the mountains and enjoy year-round spring-like weather. Or you can choose from 1,390 miles of coastline and great beaches. And your dollar goes far. I know of retired couples who live comfortably on $700 per month. An excellent three-course lunch costs $2. Ecuador welcomes foreigners with open arms. Best of all are the property prices and holding costs, both of which are low.

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