It’s official! We’ve got the tickets!

It’s official now – Hubby got the airplane tickets for us to make our retirement move to Ecuador. Leaving here Saturday, June 1, 2013. Hubby has now been retired since January 3rd, but I’ve started the tax season with a woosh. He’s made a great househubby.

It’s crazy busy already, even though the IRS won’t accept returns until January 30th. I’ve had customers in the office with IRS letters looking for more money going back to 2007, just in the past week. We’ve begun work on actual returns, but the IRS is looking for “money” everywhere that they can try to find $$. Most of the time, the IRS overstates the tax due, but that’s when I really enjoy the problems – especially when I can point out the IRS errors.

We are seriously purging the household goods now, and have made umpteen trips to Goodwill with trunk-fulls of various things. A local children’s home came and picked up some old furniture in the garage after our garage sale – taking the things that no one wanted. I can’t believe we thought we needed all that stuff. Still have a lot more to get rid of!

We’ve received the certified copies of our birth certificates and that of our marriage license that I ordered online before Christmas, all from different states. Next month, we’ll send them off to their respective states for “apostilling”. We have plans to drive to Houston to apply for a 6 month visa; we’ll get the police reports just before leaving. I need to get my driver’s license renewed in the next month or so; it’s not due for a year or 2, but they last 6 years, so I’ll just do it now and then it will be good for a longer period.

Question to my readers: Do we submit the original apostilled documents for the residency visa? Or, do we get the original apostilled documents notarized in Ecuador and submit those notarized copies, and keep the originals? Or some other process? This has been sticking in my head, that I need to keep the originals; but I’ve been told that once you apply for the residency, Ecuador doesn’t return to you your documents. If someone knows, please chime in, it will be much appreciated!

I’ve continued to sort items: things I can’t bear to part with but that my children don’t want; things I will definitely pack to bring with me June 1, and things I can get rid of. Things I can’t bear to part with go in a box (or 2 or 3) that we will have shipped to us after we settle in and obtain residency; things I will definitely pack to bring with me go in a special dresser with drawers that allow me to estimate how much I can fit in my suitcases; everything else is either in a box to be donated (we fill up 2 or 3 boxes each week) or thrown out. Today I broke a pyrex dish, I dropped it, just slipped out of my hands. Darn those hard tile floors. Hubby said, well, one less thing we need to cart to Goodwill or get rid of! I was more upset about the dessert that I had baked (and smashed on the floor) than the dish, which is really not like me. I guess I’m getting into this “purging” thing, finally.

Luckily, hubby has enough points to have been able to get us first class tickets all the way. United Continental states that with this ticket, we can each check 3 bags, carry on 1. That’s 8 bags total! If we need one or 2 more, we’ll have to pay. Yippee! I can fill up 4 or 5 bags in no time. Of course, one of these will have to be hubby’s bicycle, which will be an odd size so don’t know if that will count as one checked bag or if we will have to pay for that.

Of course, the ‘return’ tickets will be coach. Not enough miles for 1st class both ways. I read somewhere that in order to obtain the 6 month tourist visa in Ecuador, obtained here in the US at the EC consulate, a return ticket is required for 6 months out, and that the 6 months’ time period starts when you obtain the visa. Anyone know this to be true? I went onto the Ecuadorian website for “foreigners” explaining all the different visas and rules and applications, but could not find anything about a 6 month visa. Nada. ?? We’ve already used up 2 and 3 weeks of our allotted 90 days allowed on a regular visa the last time we were in Cuenca in September; we thought it might be prudent to get this 6 month visa to give us a bit more time to get the residency visa. Just in case. Let me know if anyone is certain about this, ok?

only 4 more months to go!



19 responses to “It’s official! We’ve got the tickets!

  1. Oh, I envy you. Wish we were closer to making the move. Will follow your successful move.

  2. Hi Ann, My husband and I are taking our 3rd trip to Cuenca about the time you are moving there. Good luck to you both. We look forward to the day of getting rid of most of our earthly possessions before we move to Cuenca for good. We have about 3 more years. I’m a school teacher and we have kids in college right now so it doesn’t seem prudent to move yet but it’s within reach. I will eagerly read future posts about all your experiences as you make the move. God bless you and keep you safe. Mara Gano

  3. Notariized copies of documents are fine in my experience, but be aware that the government agencies frequently change their minds!

    Good luck with the move and have a wonderful time here in Ecuador!


  4. Donna B. McNicol [@dbmcnicol]

    So glad to see your have some of the same questions I have. We are taking our first exploratory trip to Cuenca this April-May (staying for a month). If we decide to make the move, it won’t be until next Jan/Feb (and I’ll be ever so impatient about it).

  5. I enjoyed reading the posts in your blog….our ‘date’ is June 1 to Quito, then off to Cuenca a day or 2 later. I hope to meet you when we’re both there! I noticed in your blog you mentioned health insurance for under $100 each, can you share your knowledge? We have friends who have bought expensive insurance; others are paying ‘cash’ as needed and feel that insurance is not needed. I’d like to know your perspective. Bon Voyage!

  6. Just read your Blog today for the first time, and saw….. you guys are leaving on the same day I am. I too am going to get my Retirement Visa. I am just doing th finishing touches on a condo purchase in Cuenca. Perhaps we’ll meet one day. I hate to leave Minnesota. We are at 14 below zero this morning, and I see Cuenca is at 75…. well, maybe it is a GREAT tradeoff.
    Good Luck!!!
    Hope to see you there.

    • Hope to see you there, Neil. Where is your condo in Cuenca? we are planning to rent until we decide what to do with our house here in Texas. If we sell it, YAY! if we rent it out, we will have a bit of rental money to spend. We can’t wait for our adventure to begin. We are flying thru Houston and landing at the new Quito airport. Have read that THAT may be a big adventure, too.

      • The condo is in the building called El Rocio. From my terrace, I look directly down on the stadium. I think it took me about 15 minutes to walk to Parque Caldarone and The New Cathedral… so close to El Centro.
        In the past, I’ve flown into Quito, this time, I’m flying from Miami into Guayaquil then I’m taking a van on the morning of the 2nd into Cuenca. I am actually renting for the month of July, so I can have some time to furnish the condo. I’ll only have my appliances in place when I arrive. Too bad I don’t have it set up, you could crash there for a few nights.
        Stay in touch !!
        Your Future New Neighbor….. Neil

      • Thanks for the invite! we are going to stay in a very fabulous apartment just by the Escalineras and the River, not too far from you, that our good friends are letting us stay in for the first month or so til we find a place. We have other good friends who live in the “gringo Palace” just outside of town. Both are in very good locations, and I like yours, too. Good place for walking. Hope to meet you when we get there.

  7. I enjoyed reading your blog, I’m moving to Cuenca In April.
    I plan on renting for the first year then decide if I’ll buy or not.
    Good luck on your move , I wish you both the best !

    • You have a good plan, it’s what we are planning to do, also. We will be in Cuenca the first week of June-permanently! I look forward to meeting you, Robert, once we’re all there.

      • You know, I never thought to ask you what airlines you were flying. I guess I assumed that you were leaving from the Texas area, there would be zero chance of us being on the same flight, but stranger things have happened I suppose. You wouldn’t be flying AA would you? Wouldn’t that be a hoot if it so happened?
        Stay Well,

      • Flying from Houston, United/Continental. Arrives Quito June 1 late at night. We are trying to decide whether we want to shelp all our suitcases to Quito on the new long drive for a day or 2 or stay somewhere close to the airport and fly to Cuenca Jun 2 after a short sleep. What are your plans to get to Cuenca from the new airport?

      • Not flying into Quito this trip, going into Guayaquil. I will crash there the night of the 1st at a Hotel 2 blocks from the airport, then jump in a van after breakfast the 2nd of June, for a 3 hour drive through the mountains. Supposed to be a beautiful drive. I went with AA as they had the only connecting flight out of MSP International. I fly into Miami, 4 hour layover, then a 4.5 flight into Guayaquil. The hotel is picking me up, so it’s pretty seemless. I should arrive around 7:30 P.M. on the 1st.
        Keep my email addy so when you arrive you can contact me.
        Stay Well,

  8. PS. I had a friend that lived in ” The Gringo Palace ” that you mentioned in an earlier post. He sold it last June. Funny, even my Realtor referred to it as that! I had said that my condo was close to the stadium ( soccer ), and that was incorrect. I’m close to the colosium, ( basketball )

  9. Finally received my new passport !! , i’ll be booking a flight for the 1st week of April , and staying for as long as it takes to get residency, then back to ship/auction my stuff ! I have been planning for a long time , now it’s reality !!!. I hope you all have safe travels 🙂

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