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We have traveled to Ecuador 3 times in the the last 2 years and have found prices very low compared to Costa Rica. With gas at $1 a gallon the econmony seems to be well. It is my understanding that residency and importing household items are less expensive also.

ron

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Ecuador residency is more straight forward and you do not need an attorney to apply in Cuenca which seems to be the area that many are recommending. Health Care is good also as I can determine. You need to be on the ground first in any area in my opinion before you make a move. Just reading Merida Mexico sounds like a great place but I have never been. If cheap is the ticket there are areas outside Charlotte that a trailer rents for $100 a month and you get free water and internet but you need body armor in my estimation to live there. Price alone is not a good way to pick. Just between us my wife is not cheap but a great value after 40 plus years. I am certain I could have found a cheaper mate but would it have last.

 

Gambler93

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Okay, don't know anything about Ecuador (except that we'd love to vacation there one day), but Humboldt loved it when he explored the area about 300 years ago.

 

As to Panama, we would never even consider it because of the political issues there. Here in CR, people don't like something, they call a strike to protest. Everyone just sort of deals with it and maybe the protesters get some of what they want, maybe not, but at least they are heard. In Panama if people strike, the authorities go out with heavy equipment, batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Look at recent press reports of native groups' protests near the border. IMO, the Panamanian government's response was very harsh and disproportionate. I don't care how cheap or how many incentives Panama has, it's not a place I want to be.

 

I'm stepping off my soapbox now.....

 

regards,

Gayle

Edited by salish sea

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Can't recommend Costa Rica - prices are skyrocketing - central bank predicts more of the same for 2013

 

I think that in the final analysis for 2012, the central bank calculated inflation at around 4% or a little higher, and not much higher for 2013, barring unforeseen circumstances. People I know in the US are saying that they feel that inflation is much higher there than officially claimed.

 

Many things here ARE more expensive because Costa Rica depends on imports for a lot of consumer goods, and even things made here are influenced by outside costs.

 

All we can do is tighten our budget and watch our spending.

 

Dana

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Gambler - Mérida, Mexico is a really neat city. I was only there a few days in 1999 while on a trip during grad school. I went with a group of university students to tour the Mayan ruins throughout the Yucatan. I'm not sure about living there, as that wasn't on my radar at the time & I was looking at it through the eyes of a tourist, but I would highly recommend a trip to anyone who wanted to go & see some absolutely amazing sights (& sites!).

 

Jessica

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http://insidecostarica.com/2013/01/08/costa-rica-ranked-amongst-top-5-retirement-havens/

 

Yes, I've seen that as well recently; perhaps some US/Canadians retirees would choose CR over Ecuador because it is a bit closer to their "hometown" for relatives to visit, though? Although Mexico is #4, CR #5 on the link above. $1 gas sure sounds good, though :)

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Yes, but on Panama - at the bottom of your link...

"Tourist Visa

If you are from the U.S. or Canada you do not need a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Tourists may stay for up to 90 days and, in general, extensions are not available unless you can prove you need more time because you are changing your status from that of tourist…for example, if you entered Panama as a tourist and then decided to apply for residency."

90 days is a fairly short time to determine whether you want to live in the country, find land/a home if you are buying...just my 2 cents on that. I have no idea if the above is enforced, though.

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Yes & no. It is much more expensive than I expected & rules/laws are changing much faster than I expected. Crime is a lot worse than it was when I moved as well. There was a time when it was a lot cheaper (food & utilities in particular). There was a time when it took years for laws to change. There was a time when petty crime was having your flip flops stolen on the beach, not your car at gunpoint. CR is changing/has changed in my experience. Those changes haven't altered my mind about my life in CR because the good still outweighs negatives.

 

Jessica

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Wow! That is a big increase!

 

I think every community goes through the angst when valuations are updated every six or seven years (7 is the law in NC) where you have inflation increasing values or changes in methodology. Where I live they typically the government makes the adjustments "revenue neutral" to update the valuation but maintain the same revenue since they collect all they need to do their business.

 

Personally, I have always been interested in how property taxes affect property values. It seems like the cost of maintaining a home in CR is low (low labor and taxes compared to the US) so people can wait years for a sale. In the US, the longer your house is on the market, the more money you lose to taxes, insurance, and maintenance which means eventually prices come down to stop the loses. If property taxes continue to increase in CR, I wonder if folks who have been sitting on empty houses will be more motivated to sell and prices will decrease.

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With this new tax increase more and more people will rent rather than purchase property.

As Jessica posted above, that here has been many changes and not all for the better.

For those thinking of moving here, especially those on a limited income, really think about your budget.

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