Ecuador Is the "Complete Package" for Retirees

January 8, 2013 ( - Ecuador is the single best place for North Americans to retire overseas, according to research.’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2013 found Ecuador scored well in a number of categories, including “Climate,” “Real Estate” and “Special Benefits,” which examined the range of discounts and perks various governments roll out for retirees.

Ecuador also scored high in the “Cost of Living” category. A doctor visit costs around $25, a local meal out can be as little as $2.50, a beer is $0.85 and an hour-long massage comes in at $25. In fact, researchers were able to find American expats living comfortably in Ecuador on less than $900 per month (if you include rent, a full monthly budget of $1,400 would be reasonable).

“Ecuador is the complete package,” said Ecuador resident and editor Dan Prescher. “From its varied climate to the friendliness of the Ecuadorian people, it exceeds even the loftiest of expectations.” Prescher also noted that seniors in Ecuador qualify for half-price entertainment and local transport, discounted airfares and refunds of sales tax.

One of Ecuador’s northern neighbors also scored well. Panama, with its pensionado incentive program for retirees, came in second place in the 2013 Retirement Index, while Malaysia rounded out the top three.

In putting together the index, now in its 22nd year,’s editors collated data from its team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. and Canadian expat retirees.

The research is available here.