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My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

by Case_Anova Online Now Dec 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hello,
My father recently retired and has asked me to help him research some possible retirement destinations. I've been trying to search the net for information but I'm not really finding what I'm looking for. I think Ecuador could be a good country to check out but can't pinpoint where on the coast would be best to go visit. My dad is not your average retiree and has special requirements. He is not a very intimidating man and because he loves to meet new people and tends to drink too much, I worry for his safety moving to a new place. Here are some details regarding the city/town I'm searching for:
-reasonably safe day and night.
-reasonably in-expensive compared to Canada.
-on a beautiful beach for swimmimg, snokeling, etc.
-good party atmosphere
-warm weather and sunshine
-developed area with most comforts of home.
-friendly locals

I've read mixed reviews about Salinas and Manta. If anybody has any advice on where they feel might be a good spot on the coast of Ecuador for my dad I would very much appreciate hearing it. Or if anybody might recommend another Caribbea or South American city/country that might suite my dad better.
Thanks
Case

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5 Answers
  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

    by Odinnthor Online Now Dec 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Nice of you to help dad on this matter. It is always a good idea to talk to people that hve already done what he wants to do. To do that you should take a look at some of the expat sites for Ecuador, - or for any country that he may consider. All you have to do is to Google Ecuador and Expats, and you will find a few sites where you can join forums and talk to those that have taken that path already. Here are a couple, but there are more.

    expatexchange.com/expat/inde...

    gosouthexpat.com/ecuador-exp...

    expat-blog.com/forum/viewfor...

    http://www.pro-ecuador.com/

    gringosabroad.com/ecuador-ex...

    As for another place in the Carib, I suggest you look at expat sites for both Belize and Costa Rica. Good luck.......d:o)

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

    by angiebabe Online Now Dec 23, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Hi you might also grab a copy of the very well regarded Footprints handbook to South America - great info and coverage of countries - and 50% discount until 31 Dec via their website online - with discount code winter11

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  • tayloretc's Profile Photo

    Re: My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

    by tayloretc Online Now Dec 24, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I'd second talking to people who have done the same thing, and especially people who are doing the same thing now.

    Looking for different places or other general information, you might also try the resources and forums on these sites:

    http://internationalliving.com/
    http://www.transitionsabroad.com/ (scroll down, last menu on the left side)
    overseasdigest.com/moveovers...

    From your post it sounds like you're looking for a western-style retirement community located in the still-developing world. There's a fundamental conflict in this, looking for the comforts and safety of Canada in places where those comforts are often still rare, and concepts of safety can be different.

    A more fundamental question is, what's his comfort level dealing with change? Has he travelled before, or is he curious and open to new experiences? Does he speak Spanish, or will he learn? How does he feel about rice and beans as dietary staples? What's his reaction when something basic (like water) just doesn't work? Does he have health problems that will require certain types of medical care? Maybe most important, will he have a personal support system there?

    I'm all for retiring abroad, btw, and I don't want answers to those questions. They're just the kinds of things to consider when moving abroad, especially for something as permanent as retirement. Too often people forget that moving somewhere means actually living there - shopping for groceries, doing laundry, going to the dentist...

    I have heard (through friends of my parents) about de facto western retirement communities in more established western-retirement places, like the Dominican Republic, but they aren't inexpensive. Although, right now I guess most places are less expensive than Canada. Maybe he could retire to California. :)

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

    by Odinnthor Online Now Dec 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    (....that is one of those, - "wish I had said that....")

    To consider the points made by tylorec is absolutely essential. Every one of them is crucial to doing this successfully. Every point she brings up you should discuss with your dad. Each of them alone, could be a deal breaker.

    For instance, her point on language. Only you can determine how much of a factor that is to dad. How much English will he need in the general community, to comfortably get along in a Spanish (example) speaking region, meaning, how much of an expat region does there need to be.

    There are areas in several countries down south, where there are degrees of expat community size, like the aforementioned Costa Rica and Dom Rep. Even Panama, and recently for some reason, yes, interest in Ecuador for retirement purposes is rising considerably. The only country in Central and South America that is English speaking, is Belize (former British colony), so a lot to consider.

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Re: My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America

    by Kakapo2 Online Now Dec 25, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Brilliant answer by Tayloretc.

    To me the most important thing would be the ability to communicate. It is not so easy to emigrate a country at old age when you do not speak the language. It is no fun to stammer about the daily needs. It surely is survivable if you only have to talk about food and drink but what happens when he gets ill?

    I would surely enjoy to travel to countries without speaking the language but it is a big difference if you live somewhere permanently and want to become part of the community.

    On the other hand it is easier to make friends in South America than in many other countries. Being an immigrant myself, with perfect language skills of my new country, I can tell you that things look easier than they are in reality, and my best friends are still in my country of origin despite being married to a local.

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