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.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What is retirement really?

Most of the expats we know here in Cuenca are retired, about to retire and looking for the right place to live, or thinking out a few years about what they will do when the time comes. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what retirement means for them - travel, an easier life style, an escape from the work ethic, leisure, a time to do things never done before, and dozens more reasons or possibilities. But retirement isn’t all that easy. For us, it meant uprooting the family, leaving everything familiar, and moving to a foreign land. Some others realized their dream by moving into a retirement community so they could play golf every day for the rest of their lives. Some have actually stayed at home and will work, as they have always worked, until it is no longer profitable or feasible.  Others reached out and followed a life-long dream by traveling or moving to a more hospitable place.  We have found that three of the real draws when making these choices are health care, economics and a favorable climate. These are subjects that we, and others, have dealt with extensively in our blogs. But there is another factor that lays hidden in the excitement of retirement.  What will you do for the rest of your life? There are hundreds of answers to this question and it is very personal but the main fact to think about is that you must have something to do with yourself when you retire.  There is nothing worse than no longer having a job to go to, nothing to do, and 24 hours to deal with each day. So, before you make this important transition, start planning what you’ll do in the next chapter of a long and fruitful life. Nothing will serve you better than to tuck a few projects into that suitcase, projects that will make a contribution, that will satisfy a life-long need, or that will keep you engaged, interesting, and useful. 

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