Monday, January 24, 2011

Least Expensive Places to Live

It's true this place may not be in the top ten best places to live list but it still has a lot going for it including being one of the least expensive places to live. But it's not just living cheap that makes this place so popular. It's known as one of the best places to retire for many other reasons too. Like...

The Best Climate

Could this be considered the ideal climate for life and living - daytime high of around 77º and down to around 50º at night? That sounds like a place where there is no need for air conditioning and a nice warm blanket will keep you cozy while you sleep. In this special place you can find yourself wandering the streets of an historic yet sophisticated city, -or- hiking a tranquil pine tree lined mountain trail ending with a relaxing and rejuvenating soak in a natural warm thermal pool -or- discovering the species of an exotic coloured bird in a lush rainforest jungle. Oh, it doesn't end there. How about walking barefoot along pristine beaches where the only footprints you see are your own?

It may sound like a fantasy but this place actually exists. The country is Ecuador and last year it was rated the Best Place to Retire by International Living Magazine. One of the big reasons is the ability to live comfortable on a very low income. Here's an example of why this is one of

The Least Expensive Places to Live

Lee and Peggy are American expats who live in Cotacachi, Ecuador. One couldn't call them cheap or shut-in's who avoid steeping out to save money. No, they dine out for practically every meal. Not only that they even have a maid who cleans their apartment and does their laundry too!

Here's how much Lee and Peggy spend each month -
Rent $150
Food $250
Water $6
Electricity $13
Propane $7
Medications $50
Laundry $24
Housecleaning $40
Dog food $40

That's a total budget of just $580 for two people and a dog! Now you might be thinking, yes, but what about all of those other little expense you're not telling us about? Well, let's see if we can fill inna few more of the details for you, like - a hair cut for $2, $2 manicures, $7 for a case of beer, 25 cents for the bus, and if you don't feel like doing the paper work for your medical insurance you can just pay the doctor $10 for the occasional visit.

Best Places to Retire
Another couple, John and Sue, live in Vilcabamba. But they were able to purchase their home so they don't pay rent. They say their monthly expenses are even less at under $500 a month!

So now you're likely thinking, "It's too far. It's probably one of those 'third-world' countries. Or perhaps you're thinking Ecuador isn't safe or the government isn't stable?

The reality is none of those things are true.

The Best Place to Retire

International Living recommends Ecuador as one of the Best Places to Retire and has been doing so for ten years now.

The truth is Ecuador continually exceeds expectations.

How's this for inexpensive - a four course lunch including soup, juice, meat, salad, rice, and dessert for just $2. A taxi fares in Quito average a buck. A 30 minute massage, just $15.

And like Panama (the 2nd Best Place to Retire) Ecuador's official currency is the U.S. dollar. So no need to worry about exchange rates.

And real estate is cheap too. In fact some of the lowest prices in the world. Check this out - a brand new two bedroom, two bath condo with city or ocean view for under $50,000. A Spanish Hacienda style home with lots of land in the mountains for under $90,000.

These aren't the lowest prices. These are just the typical prices!

Coldwell Banker studied 83 countries for it's annual International Home Price Comparison Index and found Ecuador has had the lowest priced real estate for the past two years.

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