A New Kind of Blog

There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Senior Discounts

We have been here almost a year and have not yet taken advantage of the supposed Ecuadorian senior discounts. Therefore, we post this with a grain of salt as getting correct information is hard to verify. There are a number of websites that state that those people over 65 who have residency are entitled to senior discounts that can be quite substantial. We will look into them one by one in the near future and post our experiences. But, in the meantime, the senior discounts we have heard about are the following:
-          50% off public and private transportation within Ecuador including the Galapagos.
-          50% off tickets to most cultural and sporting events including movies
-          50% off electric and water charges
-          50% off airfare for international travel for round trip tickets offered by Taca, Copa, and AeroGal when purchased here and for flights originating in Ecuador.
-          Free domestic landline telephone service

If all of this is true and the companies involved respect the discounts, there is a huge savings available to those who take the time to follow up. All that will probably be required is to present your cedula (identity card) at the particular company and you will be billed far less than the average citizen.
We have recently heard that, after registering with SRI on Avenida Remigio Crispo, you can submit bi-monthly your facturas (official sales receipts) for the previous two months.  Most retailers will ask you if you want a Factura when you go to pay your bill. SRI will give you a 50% discount on the 12% IVA tax imposed on most sales and then deposit it directly into your bank account. You can submit up to $1560.00 refund per year. Again, we have yet to do this but will apply at SRI very soon as this is too good a deal to pass up.

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