Over recent years many empty nesters and baby boomers have considered the option of retiring overseas particularly in south-east Asia, be it full time or for a significant part of the year. The attractions are obvious; the lower cost of living, closeness to warmer climates, unique cultures and the desire for a lifestyle change.

However there are destinations further afield than Asia that offer all of the above attractions and that are often overlooked by Australians- This article features Ecuador- an incredibly diverse country incorporating the Galapagos Islands, the Andes mountains and the Amazon rainforest. One of the big attractions is the wonderful all year round climate that is on offer right across the country.

Cost of Living – average living costs are in Ecuador is 43% cheaper than Melbourne

Standard of living – medium to high; Ecuador is a developing country with a generally higher living standard than most other countries in the region.

Distance –  approx 26 hrs flying time from southern Australia via Los Angeles or Auckland- discount fares usually only available on longer flights.

Language – some English is spoken in the main centres- Spanish is one of the easier European languages to learn

Health and medical facilities– There are a selection of modern private and public facilities in the main centres that are reasonably priced and accessible.Over the past decade there has been significant improvements due to an injection of funding from various levels of government.

Security – generally safe for expats to retire and live in, good idea to do some research here as there are varying opinions amongst the expat population online.

Favourite expat destinations – include Quito the capital and the inland smaller towns live Vilcabamba and Cotacachi. Closer to the coast Cuenca is another popular destination.

Visas requiredYes retirement and long term visas generally available with moderate financial conditions applied to qualify.

Owning property – Yes Ecuador has generous provisions for foreigners to buy and own property with some restrictions within 50k of the coast or borders.

Real research – it is important to do research on any possible destination especially from expats already living there. There are a myriad of blogs and articles on this subject.

Happy researching!