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Here are thoughts on a better retirement in Ecuador.

Thousands of our readers readers have visited Ecuador. Many have stayed and found a better retirement.

Those who have the best retirement are the ones who have not retired… but developed a Pinnacle career.

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Cuenca Ecuador at dawn.

Roberto Ribadeniera the head of the Ateam Ecuador in Quito compiled these thoughts on better ways to retire in Ecuador.

A Great Place to Live
By Roberto Ribadeniera

The fewer the options, the easier it is to choose.

When I had to choose from an iPhone or something else two years ago, it was easy, I chose an iPhone. Now we have some other great offerings in the market; so you have to research, compare, analyze, etc. I don’t like it.

Same thing with everything else these days. TV channels, way too many; cloud services, streaming services, insurance policies, cars, computers, shoes, bags and so on. But those things are not the most important ones.

Now you have the option of choosing when and where you may want to retire, or if you are actually going to retire at all.

The New York Times had an interesting piece a few weeks ago, on Americans moving abroad, not to retire but to  open businesses and continue to work. 

I asked a couple of people to give me their thoughts on their personal experiences of choosing a better retirement.

“I am looking to work for as long as I can.” – Randy Strakbein.

Randy and his wife Helen are two really nice friends who are business owners. They own a flower shop in Colorado that has been a family business for over 40 years (they bought it 17 years ago). Which means they have seen the ups and downs of the economy in their area.

Randy wants to retire when he gets to be 70 years old. But he wants to keep active long after that. He knows that these days’ things are not what they used to be. Like many others they had to use some of their savings in tough times. Many Americans also have faced trouble and had to take money out from their 401k accounts, so a full retirement is not an option.

The average expenses for a couple, paying a mortgage on their house – in Randy’s area – is around $4,200 a month. So retiring there is not much of an option for them. Which doesn’t mean that they don’t want to live there, it means they can’t afford to do it unless they have a full time job.

So I asked Randy if he ever thought about going to a less expensive place like Ecuador?

He said that he may, but even if he gets some income from his retirement, he will still be working.

In Ecuador the average income that you need for a comfortable life is around $1500. This will get you good food, rent, electricity, internet, paid TV, etc. If you retire and have anything around that number, you can probably get by without having to work.

But Randy’s dream is to own a small farm and grow products so he can export them.  This could be a nice career that pays well for Ecuadorian standards.

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Randy at his Flower Shop, Alpine Floral.

His ideal place is a small farm that has access to all the services that make our modern life great. He also thinks that the place should be close to a big city with access to health care services and good doctors. Plus they want to have extra income so they can go back to the USA to see their family.

They have four children and want to be there when their children have kids, to be there on birthdays, holidays, etc. So they want to be able to have extra money for those expenses.

One thing that is really important in this type of situation is not to buy unless you are sure that you want to be there. Randy and Helen will rent first and then make a decision about buying. That is really important, not every place is right for you and if you buy, then your options are limited. If you rent and don’t like the place, you can always pack up and leave!

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Cuicocha in the afternoon (close to Cotacachi).

There is another plus that Ecuador may offer to Randy and that is also important to him. He says that they would rather be around other Americans.  He wants to feel that he can reach out to fellow citizens and have an American community nearby.

Cotacachi, Bahia and Cuenca, have thousands of Americans living there already, which means that even if Randy and Helen may be far from home, they can also feel at home.

“I like living in Cuenca, but I did my research before coming here,” Michel Blanchard.

Michel loves living in Cuenca; he said that this is the right place for him. He came to Ecuador about three years ago, visited Cotacachi first and attended several of the Ecuador Living tours.

He knows that coming to Ecuador for many people is about money. He mentions that a lot of Americans are coming to Ecuador because they believe that the cost of living if much lower than in the USA, but they often  failed to see other factors as well.

That is why I never get tired of telling people to rent for a while and then decide if you like it here.

Michel did not come to Ecuador to retire.  He is not close to retirement yet.  He is in his early 40s. He is working and living his life, has a radio program on Mondays, works on real state and on interior design.
Before he moved to Cuenca he wanted to make sure that he liked the place.

Cotacachi was too quiet for him, Quito way too big.  Cuenca was the perfect size.

Once we got to talk he mentioned what is really important, and what others are not telling Americans; if you are coming to Ecuador, you are coming to Ecuador.   Living here is not like living in the USA.   With technology things are easier, but the cultural differences are significant.

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View of Cuenca at DiscoveryEcuadorinvestments.com.

Honesty is the key when it comes to advising people. I tell people what they should expect, not what they want to hear. Michel is the same way, so he gave me some important information about his life in Cuenca.

First, he mentioned that Cuenca is a growing city, new buildings everywhere, pollution, traffic and noise. Dogs are barking until late at night, parties and of course the cost of living has increased in the past few years.

But some of those things are normal to every city in the world, if you like a quieter place you can think about Bahia or Cotacachi.

Even with the higher cost of living, Cuenca is still affordable to many. With $1500 a month, it is possible to rent a nice place, have great food, eat out, have Cable TV, internet and many other amenities.

He is happily living in Cuenca, after researching several places he found that being there just feels right.

Food is fresh at the market, there are plenty of restaurants, an airport nearby, lots of places to live, around 5000 Americans in the city and of course, everything that the modern world offers.

What Michel mentioned is that people should be more honest when they try to tell you where to live. He said that a lot of people come because they are told a complete different story and when they come it’s not what they expected.

This doesn’t mean that Ecuador is not great, it is great, in fact is one of the most amazing places in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone.

Michel and many thousands more are very happy in Ecuador. The cost of living is fairly low, crime rates are going down also and the economy is steadily growing. Access to technology is affordable, renting availability still pretty high and the food is out of this world.

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Michel at his Radio Show on Monday.

That is why people like Randy and Helen think of Ecuador as a great option. They may or may not end up living here, it will depend if after coming and staying in Ecuador for a while this still feels right.

This is the advice: Ecuador is a small country that offers you calm places, big cities, small towns, international airports, big highways, bumpy old dirt roads, new technology, brand new cars, old trucks, cold high mountains and many beautiful towns around the ocean.

And even with all the wonders you still have to see if this is what you are looking for. A lot of people speak English, but many others don’t. We are Latinos, so festivities, parties and noise are part of our culture. We do love people from other countries coming here and we have strong ties with the USA.

Choosing where to live is not an easy task, but getting it right is basic to ensure a happy life. No place is perfect, but there are many that can be what you are looking for. Just make sure that you have honest people giving you advice.


Ecuador is a great place to write to sell.

Learn how to write to sell online  with our $299 Online Self Publishing Course

Save $299 when you join us in the Blue Ridge for our June 14, 15, 16 or August 31- Sept 1-2 Writer’s Camp.  We have two spaces left for the June Camp.

Writer’s Camps – Recorded on MP3

Learn how to learn how to wrote and self publish from our recorded Writer’s Camp…

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 


Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

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David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund . 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a quarter of update lessons $79.   Click Here.

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.