To casual visitors, this colonial town in southern Ecuador looks like it was torn from the pages of history. With its cobbled streets, soaring cathedrals and bustling markets, it exudes a lazy, old world charm.
But Cuenca is also on the cutting edge of a very modern trend: providing a safe haven for U.S. retirees who have found themselves unwilling — or unable — to live out their golden years at home.
The growing wave of ex-pat seniors is not only upending notions about retirement in the hemisphere but reshaping the face of communities throughout the Americas. And the trend is expected to grow as waves of baby boomers exit the workforce ill-prepared for retirement.
Everything in Ecuador is cheap, healthcare no exception. How does average people in Ecuador afford healthcare? Do they get lower quality care or just simply forego expensive treatment? Americans get a lot of expensive treatment which is not available in other countries. These $1500 retirees are top 1% in Ecuador, they can afford best hospitals there. But how do the best hospitals in Ecuador compared with US? Is it really important to get the most advanced treatment? Maybe the better quality of life for these $1500 retirees will help them live better and longer even with a 3rd world healthcare.
Is some treatment discretionary and should not be available to everyone? Do we need different levels of healthcare consumption, just like we have different levels of auto consumption?
Anytime we try to bring cost-benefit analysis to health care we have the GOP crying death panel. I think it’s entirely sensible to debate whether as a society we want to spend millions to prolong the life of terminally ill for 3 months. We don’t have unlimited resources, even though we like to pretend we do. Anytime we spend more on something we have to spend less on something else.