DH and I have had to rerack our retirement plans. He is working now but was out of work for over 3 years and we went through most of our retirement savings during that time. I am on disabilty due to degenerative disk disease. Now we are starting from scratch and don't think retirement here in the U.S. is possible. Well it's possible but it would mean an awfully meager existance. After watching my folks struggle I'm not sure I'm up to the stress of such a tight retirement. We are helping them out right now as well by paying their phone bill and giving a little towards their rent each month as well as making extra when I cook to give them a break but they are still struggling. I did some research and found out that you can retire anywhere and still collect your Social Security. DH is a couple of years away from collecting but we know there may not be anything left by the time I retire. And if my health continues to improve, as it has been, I will be off of disability soon. Many countries look like they are much more likely places to retire than here but we are afraid to have our kids so far away, even though we could then afford to travel more due to a drastically reduced cost of living. I know we would still be on a budget and that it is easy to spend as much as you make if you're not careful but we are both very frugal (good thing or we wouldn't have survived as long as we did when DH was unemployed) and we know what's possible now since we have been doing so much research. So... in the interest of continued research, have any of you here on BYC thought about or actually moved to another country for economic reasons or are you currently an expat living outside your home country with advice for us? We were interested in Ecuador because we both speak a little spanish and it would be easier, for us, to learn this language. Ecuador is a very reasonable place to live and the people are very friendly there. The crime rate for violent crimes is very low (please don't tell me about the 1 instance you heard of where someone faced a violent end there because I can quote you hundreds of stories that happen here in our own country for every 1 you can tell me) and the weather is fantastic. The cons I worry about are distance from loved ones, transistion to a new way of life (no we don't want to live in an "Expat Community" in a condo with all the other english speakers that never venture out of their condominium complex), rules and regs about purchasing property as a foreigner (so I can have all my animals and my hundreds of chickens ) and, I'm ashamed to admit it but yes, I am even afraid of what kind of scary poisonous creatures I may encounter in such a lush area. The last one is probably pretty silly since I know I'm always being asked how I deal with all the rattlers here in the desert when I've only seen 3 rattlers in my life and those 3 were running away from me! But snakes are the one thing that kinda freaks me out. So any thoughts? Any concrete information you'd like to share? Any questions you've had regarding this topic that you'd like to share? Hopefully we can tap the brains of those that have some experience with this.