Our favorite place to buy fruit...and lunch on Pilsener & chancho

2 Texas couples – the first couple, still working but planning to retire soon to Ecuador…the second couple already retired,  living the low stress and good living lifestyle in the colonial Andean city of Cuenca. This blog is about the experiences of each of us (and hubbies, natch!), Ann still working in Texas while planning a new life and Alta living the new expat life in Cuenca and loving everything about Ecuador.


9 responses to “About

  1. Hi Ann,

    How can I get in touch with you? My husband and I also live in Texas (Houston) and are considering retiring early and moving to Ecuador! My husband is in the transportation industry also. My email address is candyhunnicutt@hotmail.com.


  2. Hi Ann

    My wife and I are in the process of selling our house to relocate to Cuenca ASAP. We live in Dallas and met several other Texans in the same stages. Where in Texas do/did you live and let’s keep in touch. bobd@swirlzice.com

    • Hi, Ann here….hubby & I still live in San Antonio, Texas. Our goal is some time in late 2012 when we will relocate to Cuenca. Alta and hubby are already there. They lived on a ranch close to Bastrop when they were in Texas. Let us know when your house sells, we’ld love to keep in touch!

  3. I have set up a self-directed IRA through IRA Services Trust Company and curious to see how far you got in your study of this re Ecuador $25,500 investments/real estate.

    • From what I have been led to believe, to obtain the deposit visa (in place of a pensioner’s visa) you must deposit $25,000 (and an additional $500 for each dependent) into a CD at a bank (that is listed as an acceptable depository by the Visa people, they will give you a list) in the name of the visa applicant; the deposit must stay in the CD for 3 years. I’m not certain how you would be able to deposit money from your self directed IRA into a bank account in your own name, but then I am not familiar with self directed IRA’s. Maybe you could explain how to do this. Do you have a checkbook with your name on the checks? Can you deposit money (cash checks or wire money) in any way you wish to any account? Do you have to account for the expense or usage of the IRA money to a U.S. bank or whoever is holding the U.S. funds? If the EC Bank CD account was in your name, and you had signature authority on it, you would be required to report that account on your tax return, and then also file an FBAR listing that account with the IRA, and possibly be required to pay taxes on it. However, tax is not required on any investments within an IRA before any distribution for personal use, so, this falls in the category of not quite, not really kosher in either countries, I think. I.E., you are using the funds for personal use (contra to IRA rules) and EC has you deposit the money to prove that you have the funds to live on after the 3rd year, but since the funds are within an IRA, and will be taxed when distributed, is not exactly ALL your money as it may be taxed when distributed (contra to EC visa rules). We have decided NOT to do this since it seems to straddle the lines of requirements in both countries. While we have not chosen to go this route, if you can she more light on the details, please do!

  4. We do not have checks per se, the “checkbook ira” is just a name to indicate that you can invest in whatever you want. But some places like Brazil will not allow an LLC to invest in certain things, but the IRA trustee did approve investment from the IRA in a Brazilian project. I see your point about Ecuador requiring an account in your name so it seems likely that it wouldn’t work because the account would have to be opened in the name of the LLC. I have funds in the trust company for annual/misc. expenses and accounts in Belize etc. And of course, we pay very close attention to the reporting requirements as we know that the exceptional power to squash any bug, no one is too small, middle class included.

  5. Dear Ann
    We like you blog a lot. Many Thanks for answering our questions.
    Could it be possible that you contact us by email:
    orr2 (at ) gmx (dot) net
    Muchas Gracias

  6. Looks like I’m the late-comer here. My name’s Dave, and my wife and I live in San Angelo, TX. We plan to make the jump in early 2013. Where can I find out exactly what needs to be in my letter for pensioner’s visa? I have reviewed the consulate’s website and it just says we need a letter. Is there a form? What else do you recommend we obtain before heading down, to avoid trying to get things done long-distance (or worse, having to come back to get it!)


    • The letter needs to state your name, your passport number, spouse’s name & passport number, and should state the type of visa (description and number)that you are requesting (for each) and why you want to live in Ecuador. It must be dated for the day that you are submitting your documents to request a visa, and should be signed by you and spouse, notating your Cuenca Address & phone number. It must also state that you have either the pension (amount) to support you and spouse, or that you have invested XXXX $$ in a CD in XXX banco in Cuenca. We wrote the letter and Cristabel Aguirre translated it for us and got all the translations we required, notarized. She did a great job, I would recommend her highly for all the translations and notarized copies of the translations. Good luck!

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