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Ecuador Expat Profile: 2 Texas Gals, Cuenca Ecuador

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador, My Life in Ecuador

This is part of our My Life in Ecuador Series.

Ecuador Expat Profile: 2 Texas Gals, Cuenca Ecuador

The Expats: 2 Texas Gals

Sarah-Canez-Ecuador-ExpatWhat is your blog url?

Where are you currently living?

I live in San Antonio, my partner in the blog lives in Cuenca Ecuador. I’ve been in San Antonio for 15 years, my Texas friend has been in Cuenca since last December.

What’s Your Story?

My husband & I are hoping to retire in about 13 months and move to Ecuador. We want to do more traveling, too, if we can afford it.

I write a few articles a month for a textbook publisher, my husband works in the Freight industry (Sales) When we truly retire, we might be able to do some writing and freelance brokering to keep us flush until our social security retirement money kicks in in about 3 years.

I’ve spent 20 years in the insurance business, sold my agency about 2 years ago. I’ve also lived in France, Canada, and Ecuador. My husband and I are both fluent in Spanish, my French is also not bad.

When and where did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?

My husband and I met in Ecuador. We had just arrived as Peace Corps Volunteers in the late 70’s. We became friends, fell in love, and got married in the states and then went back to Managi (Tosagua, near Portoviejo and Bahia).

We have been back many times since then, and hope to live there as retirees permanently. I am currently researching the self directed IRA rules in order to purchase property in Ecuador.

I’m also interested in information about health insurance in Cuenca. I’ve read that Humana won’t pay any claims, and the other one I am familiar with is Bupa but I don’t know much about them. Do you have any information on health insurance?

What do you do?

I was a teacher in Arizona, taught Spanish and French and a bit of English as a second language, then I moved to Texas and have been an insurance company employee and then agent, then agency owner.

Today, I am “semi retired” but I write articles on various things for a publisher of textbooks and testing materials.

I also help agents with insurance annual enrollments for employees (lots of choices here, I help them navigate the choices). My husband is an LTL Freight salesman, manager of international relations, focus on Mexico-US-Canada sales.

How do you find the cost of living in Ecuador?

We know that life is much less expensive in Ecuador, but what about the kids back home?

We know people who pay the fare for their kids to come visit; it’s cheaper than coming home.

I would like to have a pied a terre here in the states to leave my important stuff, and to be able to come back home once in a while, but I would prefer to be in Cuenca all year – but only if my kids come to see me once in a while.

What do you love about Ecuador?

Here’s my favorite place to hang out…have a smoothie….buy stuff: El Mercado en Cuenca.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

15 comments… add one
  • Michael and Betty Jones Sep 8, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Hey there,
    My wife Betty and I are both recently retired healthcare workers ALSO FROM TEXAS. We are in Ecuador for the next 6 weeks researching the various areas of the country to find a location to permanently relocate to. We are both active painters and photographers and are amazed at the breathtaking beauty of Ecuador. (FYI we still have a property at Canyon Lake). If possible, we would love to get your opinions on life in Cuenca. Could we meet for lunch or a drink? We will be in Cuenca from September 22 until October 4th. Muchas Gracias! Michael & Betty Jones

    • Willaim Thompson Feb 21, 2016, 8:15 pm

      How much money should I have banked before moving to this country ? I am retired Marine Corp and I am single . I make around 2000 a month and need a place to wear I can live a little better than I am in the states . Also is it hard to find a nice place in my retirement amount and still be in comfort . I;ll buy a motorcycle to get around but would love to rent near the coast line . The cost of living in America is killing me not able to even afford to go visit Grand kids . Thank you for your incite . William Thompson

    • sid and kim Aug 25, 2016, 7:59 pm

      this is awesome…. More Texans (San Antonio) My wife and I are looking into Ecuador when we retire as well. We have a little bit longer until we actually do it, but I’d like to begin the process now… maybe looking at properties, areas, etc… in Ecuador, buying, etc… so when we do retire in about 15 years, we can do so knowing we have a place we call home without having to make a mortgage payment. We love the ocean, but weather is pretty important and so is some city scenery… any area’s that you guys would recommend? We intend on flying to Ecuador in the spring of 2017… to see it… we’ve never been…. thanks in advance…

  • nan May 10, 2013, 10:30 am

    lots of “experts” people who have lived internationally for many years – say don’t get insurance – pay as you go – very possible in Ecuador.

  • Robert Douglas Sep 28, 2012, 10:20 am

    Why don’t you include contact information for your recommendations, i.e., Cruz Blanca. This would be really nice to know.


  • Criste Tonra Sep 9, 2012, 8:21 pm

    So interested in the progress of the 2 couples from Texas. My husband and I live in San Antonio, also met in the Peace Corps (Paraguay) and are looking at retiring in Latin America. Will be keeping up with your progress! Also trying the freelance bit, although as a nurse it is new to me. How are you finding the internet services in Cuenca?

  • John Mooshie Jul 31, 2011, 8:46 am

    I’m coming to Cuenca in November to look around. Will you recommend an upscale hotel? Should be downtown.

    Will also be looking for some good restaurants and “don’t miss” places to visit.

    I thank you in advance.

  • Franziska & Daniel Pedersen Jul 12, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Longterm or just for a weekend in the countryside – our little hotel will be open for business later this fall.
    Check out our website!

    Franziska & Daniel Pedersen

    • Bryan Haines Jul 19, 2011, 6:29 am

      Thanks Franziska! Please post an update when you are open. Looks like it will be great!

  • Whatsupelsalvador Jun 27, 2011, 11:56 pm

    super nice article. Go for it! living expat is pretty awesome as long as you actually live in the country. Word of advice: if you eat and live like an American you will spend like an American. Live more like a local, spend more like a local, be happier.

  • Hugh Travers Jun 25, 2011, 7:54 am

    appreciate the feet on the ground view. certainly different from what we have been hearing so far.
    people peeing in the streets sure makes the place sound attractive.

  • Sherril Jun 22, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I found this info on the MLS Ecuador site:

    Caution, there are many health care providers and insurance companies in Ecuador, but many of the lesser known ones have been known to try to find small exceptions
    in order to skip out on paying the larger bills of their clients. To avoid this, I would only recommend working with one of the most established health care insurers of Ecuador: BMI, Salud S.A., Grupo Generali, Cruz Blanca, or AIG.

    In Ecuador, most health insurers have a maximum limit payout available per calendar year. There are NO maximum limits of coverage with Cruz Blanca, and monthly premiums start for males and females in their 50s at $37.19 per month.

    • Bryan Haines Jun 23, 2011, 6:34 am

      Thanks for sharing this, Sherril. Appreciate it!

      • Gail Schumacher Mar 24, 2018, 11:50 pm

        Would anyone know if I could get a job in pottery (clay). I am 59 years old and I was raising children. I became divorced, and I don’t have retirement money. Would there be a dating site for senior expats in Ecuador? I would like to meet someone that could provide security, and a home, and love as well.

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