Saturday, March 31, 2012

Money talks.


I can totally afford to visit Ecuador and to move and get settled there if that’s how I decide. And believe me, my calculation of the cost of a permanent move was so exaggerated, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the actual cost comes in at 28 % less than the estimate.

To fund the visit, I’m withdrawing the total cost in advance from my IRA.  Roughly, the cost of the fee for the Spanish lessons, the cost of living with the Ecuadorian family, the air fare and cost of money to spend while visiting---that’s one division of the total cost. The other is the cost of my San Mateo expenses while gone---the rent of the studio apartment and the monthly bills I’ll continue to pay.  

This is the part I like. The accumulation of funds from my monthly government pension payments while in Ecuador will cover 63 % of the total cost of this visit.
So let’s say I do move to Ecuador. I find out I’d get along just fine living there.  After the expense of moving and getting settled, I’d have $16,000 to my name---reserve funds. If I did need to get back to the states soon after moving there, I could do that and still return to Ecuador.  The only caution I would need to exercise in this event is Ecuador requires its immigrants to stay in the country nine months out of the year for the first two years.

Take a gander at this. My pension checks provide $2,202.00 a month. In looking at the cost of living in Cuenca, I’ve seen varied amounts given--- ranging from $300 a month to $1200 a month. Ecuador requires its pensioner class immigrants to receive $800 a month to reside in the country, plus $100 more a month for a spouse or dependent child.  Let’s say I live on $950.00 a month in Cuenca as comfortably as I live here in San Mateo. I'd be happy with that.  My monthly surplus income would be $1,252.00.  If I saved these amounts over four years, I could in one payment buy a house selling for $65,000 in Fort Kent, Maine.  After, I’d still have an adequate monetary reserve and could start renting to students at the University of Maine in Fort Kent. 

Fort Kent is on the border of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. About 32 % of the people there are mono-lingual French. I’ve wanted---a lot---to speak fluent French, ever since I started taking French in high school. Both my grandmothers spoke French and I probably feel a sort of ancestral link that moves me to want to speak French myself. Why not move to New Brunswick to a town just across the border from Fort Kent?  I would be nearby as a landlord to my tenants, and I could take French lessons and immerse myself in a French speaking environment. Ah…

It’s funny how the prospect of enough money spurs thoughts of ways to make things happen.