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Start Up Costs

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Once you have purchased the basic things that you need, living in Ecuador can be very inexpensive. With utility bills, property taxes, transportation expenses and the cost of produce and non-imported goods being so low, it is possible to live on only a fraction of what it costs to live in the U.S. My wife and I find that our expenses are about 1/3 of what they were when living in St. Louis, Missouri.

However, start up expenses can be more than anticipated.

Budget Details

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When making the decision to move overseas, I scoured the Internet searching for detailed information on how much it would cost to live in various locations around the world. I read articles about people living in Ecuador on as little as $600 per month. Others indicated that between $1,000 and $1,500 per month was a more realistic goal. The truth is that, because lifestyles vary so much, it is difficult to make an accurate projection of monthly expenses until you are actually living there.


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How much do we really need? That question was key to our decision to leave our jobs while still in our 40's and make the move to Ecuador. In my Internet research, I had come across information about a movement toward voluntary simplicity in countries such as the United States where working harder and longer hours in order to acquire more things had become empty for many people. I realized that it was important to determine what brought us long term happiness and what only provided “happiness surges” that helped to temporarily mask the emptiness that we felt in our daily work lives.

Lives of Quiet Desperation

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“How long can I continue doing this?” That was the question that I asked myself day after day as I struggled through the monotony that had become my life prior to making the decision to start a new life in Ecuador. Friday afternoon would bring the feeling of relief that came with the temporary furlough from the stresses of a full time job. That feeling would be short lived though as Saturday faded into Sunday and every hour brought me closer to the alarm that would begin the process all over again on Monday morning. “There must be another way,” I thought.


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